Upstream supports fearless growth by providing positive working capital for NI’s SMEs
A significant corporate finance deal has heralded the next stage of growth for one of Northern Ireland’s most successful and experienced funders.
The six figure buyout of an existing shareholder at Keys Commercial Finance has paved the way for an exciting company rebrand and new focus for 2016, including the introduction of a unique funding product, under the direction of now-majority shareholder, Judith Totten.
With a team of 12 experienced professionals, Upstream Working Capital is set to be the leading provider of working capital solutions for NI’s SMEs, having already provided more than £120m of funding to local businesses in the last year alone .
The funder offers a veritable mix of services including invoice and asset financing as well as other advisory business services to help stimulate growth among the Province’s SME community. The Trade Finance product in particular is unique to the island of Ireland and is not currently offered in this form by any other funder on these shores.
The Trade Finance product is ideally suited to businesses with strong order books but who are currently constrained by limits on their existing funding lines. It supports the supply chain by actually buying the product on the company’s behalf and then giving them a period to pay which is based on the company’s trading cycle. As it does not impact on existing funding lines or security it offers fast growing companies with a proven track record the ability to meet demand and enhance profitability.
Recent commentary from Invest NI has shown that Northern Irish business owners are primed for growth in 2016 but access to funding is still potentially a barrier for many.
The only locally owned funder in Northern Ireland, Upstream’s major strength is in its owner-managed model, allowing decisions to be made and flexible solutions created – all with the ambitious SME in mind.
Judith Totten, Managing Director, Upstream Working Capital, said: “After funding our own shareholder buyout, we took the decision to diversify the business and take it in a new direction, increasing the funding options available to SMEs and supporting confident growth by providing flexible working capital solutions.
“An SME ourselves, and having just reinvested in our own growth, we believe we understand, more than our competitors, the ambitions and pressures that Northern Ireland businesses face around their growth strategies. When we say we understand, we really do.
“It’s an exciting time to be an SME here as confidence has been restored and we have begun to see movement, albeit cautious movement, in the market. Upstream, with its positive attitude and approach to funding, wants to help turn this into fearless movement, by facilitating growth and working collaboratively with our customers and partners to allow for a buoyant and confident trading environment.”