min read

RBF vs. traditional funding: Which is right for a mature business?

Discover how Revenue-Based Financing (RBF) stacks up against traditional funding options and why it's gaining traction among scale-ups.

Kasturi Roy

Content Designer

Hi, I'm an India-raised, Italy-based Content Designer & Strategist dabbling in delightful user experiences. A maximalist by nature, and minimalist in practice. Say hi to me on LinkedIn.

Scaling a business requires more than just a great idea; it demands adequate financial resources. For entrepreneurs and founders, the journey to secure funding often involves navigating a labyrinth of financing options, from traditional loans to venture capitalists. However, there’s a newer kid on the block that’s been gaining traction in recent years: Revenue-Based Financing (RBF). In this article, we’ll explore RBF and compare it to traditional funding options to help scale-ups and mid-market enterprises make informed financial decisions.

Understanding Revenue-based financing (RBF)

Revenue-Based Financing, also known as royalty-based funding, offers an innovative approach to funding for companies looking to grow without giving away equity or committing to fixed interest payments. With RBF, investors provide capital based on a company’s performance and revenue. Repayments are then made as a percentage of the revenue generated by the company.

Inject capital with Revenue-based financing

revenue-based financing for scale-ups
Photo by Charles Forerunner on Unsplash

One of the primary distinctions between RBF and traditional loans lies in the flexibility of repayment. Traditional loans typically come with fixed interest rates and repayment schedules. In contrast, RBF’s repayment structure is more adaptable, with no interest payments or collateral requirements. RBF investments are tied to a company’s revenue, aligning the investor’s success with that of the company. For companies, that are not looking for imminent funding, RBF can also help with injecting cash into workflows that are capital-intensive. This allows your company to run seamlessly without having to dip into profits.

Optimizing cash flow

Revenue-based financing offers a unique advantage by linking repayments to a company’s revenue. Unlike traditional loans with fixed monthly payments, RBF payments fluctuate with revenue, ensuring that cash flow remains flexible and aligned with business performance. Another interesting thing to factor in here is seasonality. If your business depends on trends, sales and other external factors, then optimising cashflow here is crucial, and the rewards are high. When you earn less, you pay less and of course, viceversa 😉 .

Increasing liquidity

RBF provides an injection of capital that can significantly increase liquidity. This liquidity can be used for various purposes, such as investing in inventory, marketing campaigns, or expanding operations, enabling businesses to seize growth opportunities promptly.

Protecting margins

Since RBF doesn’t involve fixed interest payments or collateral, it shields a company’s profit margins. The absence of interest rates means that more of the revenue generated contributes to profitability, safeguarding the margin while pursuing growth.

Maintaining business health

RBF promotes sustainable business growth by aligning financial obligations with revenue generation. This balanced approach ensures that companies can meet their financial commitments without straining resources or taking on excessive debt, thus maintaining overall business health and stability.

Revenue-based financing vs. venture capital

Venture capital is a common choice for many scale-ups, but it often requires relinquishing a significant portion of equity. This equity sharing can result in a loss of control and independence for the company. RBF, on the other hand, allows companies to secure funding without giving away equity. It’s an attractive option for those who want to retain full ownership while accessing capital for growth.

Revenue-based financing has gained popularity in recent years due to its unique advantages. Start-ups and scale-ups have been increasingly drawn to this financing model as it offers fast access to capital, often within as little as three days. This speed stands in stark contrast to traditional loans, which can involve extensive paperwork, credit checks, and long approval processes.

RBF’s fit for medium enterprises

RBF for scale-ups
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Revenue-Based Financing isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but it’s particularly well-suited for certain types of companies:

1. Digital businesses with rapid growth

If your company is experiencing significant growth and needs capital to sustain it, RBF can be an ideal option. Investors are more willing to fund companies with impressive revenue and growth records.

2. Expansion without equity dilution

When you want to expand your marketing and branding efforts on a larger scale without giving up equity, RBF offers a viable solution. It allows you to secure funds without compromising ownership.

3. Retail companies with high demand

If your product or service suddenly experiences a surge in orders, RBF can help you meet those demands without facing cash flow challenges.

4. Start-ups & scallops with existing investment

If you’ve already secured seed funding or even your Series A or B, but require additional capital for your growth and expansion plans, RBF allows you to obtain funds without diluting your equity.

5. Stable businesses NOT seeking revenue-based financing

Even if your business is profitable and not actively seeking traditional funding, RBF can provide a strategic cash injection. This additional capital can be used based on your growth trajectories for initiatives like new product development, market expansion, or seizing growth opportunities while preserving ownership and financial stability.

In conclusion, scale-ups can benefit from RBF

In the world of business financing, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully. Revenue-based financing has emerged as a valuable alternative to traditional loans and venture capital, offering flexibility, speed, and the preservation of equity. For scale-ups and mid-market businesses seeking growth without compromising their financial health, RBF can be the right choice. As the popularity of RBF continues to rise, it’s worth considering whether this innovative financing model aligns with your scale-up’s goals and financial strategy. Ultimately, the decision between RBF and traditional funding hinges on your unique circumstances, but one thing is clear: RBF has brought a breath of fresh air to the world of business financing.

Still unsure, if this is the right choice for your business? Get in touch with us here.

Interested to hear more? Check out Viceversa’s RBF platform today.

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