As Australia emerges from the COVID-19 Crisis, some of our finest economic minds are banking on a business-led recovery – and B2B lender ORB Alternative is racing ahead of the pack to meet the funding needs of Australian businesses looking to capitalise on the opportunities of the post-COVID world.
“It was a very difficult time for not just companies in Australia but globally. A lot of strategic initiatives were put on hold, a lot of the opportunities to grow were put on hold,” ORB CEO Simon Woodfull told ifa.
“But as we now come out of hibernation – and touch wood we don’t go back into lockdown – there is a pent-up demand from organisations looking for funds to execute on strategies they may have agreed upon at a board level twelve to eighteen months ago.”
Mr Woodfull co-founded wrap developer Bravura and is chairman of wholesale digital marketing firm Globital. ORB – which started life in late 2019 – is aimed at ASX listed and non-listed companies in search of funding, and Mr Woodfull hopes that ORB’s streamlined application process will win it the favour of the brokers and advisers representing them.
“We’re obviously talking to the brokers, to the financial advisers, who are very much at the forefront of that raise. We’re working with them and providing a funding platform that allows them to execute the needs of their clients – fully automated, and with a quick turnaround,” Mr Woodfull said.
That creates “dialled-in” economic benefits and helps the end client overcome one of the biggest challenges in achieving their business strategies and goals: access to funds in a timely manner, and without jumping through the hoops that come with borrowing from the big four.
“Post-pandemic, the banks are certainly becoming more risk averse. Their lending criteria is becoming far stricter. It’s very clear – and the statistics will show – that the non-bank lending platforms are going to start growing in demand,” Mr Woodfull said.
Allowing for online applications to drive seamless and pain free lending processes means that people don’t have to deal with the copious amounts of paperwork and the cost and the frustration that the banks are obviously known for.”
ORB has four products on the market, with three targeted at ASX-listed companies that require capital for acquisition or development growth. The fourth product – ORB Delta – is aimed at non-listed companies looking for funds, and ORB can leverage its funding panel to provide funding of anything between $250,000 to $150 million.
“There is an absolute need and an absolute appetite for growth, and we know the ASX listed community is all about growth. It’s a new world we’re living in, and people are looking for any process and any digital application that can streamline and make their lives easier and allow them more time to actually service their end client efficiently and effectively,” Mr Woodfull said.
While ORB is “very committed” to the Australian space currently and is encouraged by the deal flow it’s seeing, Mr Woodfull still hopes to see it take on the world and is already seeing some opportunities emerging in South East Asia.
“In this model that we’ve got today, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t be able to take this into other listed jurisdictions – whether that be Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK or the US and the like. The model is very scalable, but right now we’re focused on getting the network of our industry professionals bedded down and trusted. We’re very much here for the long-term.”