The invoice financing / factoring global market is expected to be $10 Trillion by 2025.
I know it is only a subset of the real world assets that can be brought in a tokenised format into Tinlake/Centrifuge however this is one of the biggest unorganised markets.
What is invoice financing? Basically businesses, usually SMEs, sell their accounts receivable (ie invoices) to a third party for a percentage of their value. So, instead of receiving 100 in 90 days from its client, the SME receives 95 today from capital markets and the financing parties receive the 100 in 3 months from its client.
The SME has immediate working capital, and the financing parties get a healthy interest (approx 20% annualised in the example).
What are the problems in invoice financing in the traditional world that I noticed when working on projects in this space (I was within capital markets of a major investment bank)?
- Financing parties / Centralisation: This is a centralised world where the structuring and placement is handled by banks, and they place these instruments with asset managers or treasuries of other banks. Therefore, SMEs are subject to the fees and whims of these parties.
- Access: Most SMEs don’t have access to the described parties. They are invariable too small to matter to the banks. Of course banks have limited time and resources and they would like to maximise their output but that leaves a lot of SMEs without access.
- Ratings: Most banks will need the SME to get a credit rating on the notes backed by invoices, as unrated notes are not acceptable to their clients. A rating process requires furnishing a lot of historical data and is an expensive/time consuming process that most SMEs cannot afford.
Crowd-funding has been used for invoice financing however crowd funding has seen greater success with equity financings, and the central authority vets the projects before including them on the platform, thereby preventing access to scores of SMEs.
Enter Centrifuge and Tinlake.
While crypto is still fairly nascent, the success of lending and borrowing platforms such as Aave, Compound, Yearn etc has shown that DeFi has a great future. The ability to lend and borrow without centralised entities and without burdensome regulations and bureaucracy has created a great value proposition.
There is no reason why that success cannot be translated into the invoice financing and other related financings at scale, especially considering the shortcomings described above. How dos Centrifuge solve such issues?
- Financing parties: SMEs are no longer at the whims of the banks, and can just clear themselves on the platform (KYC etc) and be ready to borrow.
- Access: Any SME can access the Centrifuge platform
- Ratings: No ratings needed and therefore no time/cost concerns.
Sky is the limit. Or, in this case, $10 Tn TAM.
Super excited for Centrifuge/Tinlake/RAD.