Tuesday 8th April , 2014 9:31 am
Aztec Money, the Ireland-based financial support network, which has recently began operating in Ghana and across the African continent, is assisting eco-focused startup Foras Fuels achieve sustainability by offering value added services to companies in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Accessed in Ghana via the portal www.aztecmoney.com.gh, Aztec Money’s platform is providing a critical alternative to traditional forms of finance, leveraging technology to allow suppliers to sell their invoices outright via an online marketplace. To date, the platform is able to process $30 billion receivables annually.
One segment of Aztec Money’s user base which has found the platform a particularly timely relief is the small- and medium-scale business sector. Foras Fuels is one such SME, a startup whose CEO, Eoin Treacy, was able to utilize the large network of investors which the Aztec platform provided to secure funding.
“We get the cash into our own business, and keep our business and supply chain working,” Mr. Treacy noted.
Foras Fuels offers an innovative service which synthesizes fuel from various kinds of waste materials, including trash that would otherwise be sent to landfills. The company actively engages with clients to identify specific waste materials they have which can be processed into quality alternative fuels.
While Foras Fuels works primarily with companies in the UK, Ireland and Eastern Europe, it has already begun expanding into Asia, India and onto the African continent. As the market has responded to international trends in sustainability that are currently taking hold, the company’s client base has grown. Today, it boastes multinationals such as cement giant Cemex, among its client list.
The company has not been immune to financial hurdles, however. Like many startups, Foras Fuels’ has found that traditional forms of financing can be quite restrictive. In the wake of the global financial crisis, banks have tightened lending standards and subjected loan applicants to greater scrutiny.
In contrast to this, the Aztec Money cloud-based online marketplace allows trade suppliers to raise working capital by selling their outstanding invoices to a broad investor base, one that subjects SMEs to less scrutiny. “One big advantage of Aztec Money is that it’s not based in our credit rating – only our clients’ credit rating,” the Foras Fuels CEO noted.
By allowing companies on the platform to sell invoices, rather than borrowing against them, Aztec Money removes the need for credit scoring or lending limits. In addition, because companies on the platform sell invoices on a selective basis, this means no need for any long term contract or personal guarantee, a large plus for SMEs.
Aztec Money also provides the necessary customer care to users of the platform, with an established support staff in most regions in which the platform is accessible, including Ghana. As Eoin Treacy testified, “Aztec Money’s processing team was always very helpful and easy to work with. It was a very smooth process.”
Particularly at a time when businesses are awakening to the critical importance of sustainable business practices, it is critical that innovative entrepreneurs such as Eoin Treacy have access to the right financial support systems to nurture their innovations.
As user adoption of the Aztec Money platform grows in Europe, Africa and beyond, it is expected that more of such success stories will be unearthed, following the example of Foras Fuels.
“We will be working with Aztec from now on,” Mr. Treacy stated.