Cash & Liquidity ManagementCash ManagementWorking capital finance provider receives big money backing

Working capital finance provider receives big money backing

This round of investment through the Vision Fund will be used to fund Greensill's expansion plans in China, India and Brazil.

Greensill, the non-bank provider of working capital finance for companies around the world, has secured an $800m investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund.

The UK-based venture, led by former Citigroup banker Lex Greensill, offers early payment to cover invoices due to be paid at a later date by large companies and government agencies, including Vodafone and the NHS.

Greensill said: “We see this investment as an opportunity to increase our insight into supply chains, and use that data to grow our market share materially, serving even more than the 8 million customers we serve now.

“With the Vision Fund, Greensill will build on its partnership with General Atlantic to continue developing its already extensive global network, further grow its established origination and distribution strategy.”The deal makes Greensill one of Britain’s most highly valued financial technology companies and would represent SoftBank’s biggest investment in the fintech sector.Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, a close friend of Lex Greensill, has worked as an adviser to Greensill since his departure from the government.

Last year, the firm received $250 million from US private equity group General Atlantic, helped by Cameron. That deal led to Greensill joining the ranks of Britain’s ‘unicorn’ technology companies – private firms worth £1billion or more. Since 2015, the firm has delivered annual growth of more than 100 per cent.

Importance of working capital

The worldwide market for working capital finance is valued at $55 trillion, according to the latest research by Greensill, while only a small fraction of that opportunity has been accessed. Traditional banks typically offer working capital finance to a limited number of large clients. Greensill’s differentiated technology-driven approach opens the market to all companies no matter their size, scope or location based on a sophisticated, data-driven model.

The transaction underscores the value of working capital finance as the most advanced means of providing low cost capital to companies large and small, while opening up a new asset class to global investors.

Colin Fan, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers said: “Greensill is a strong market leader in working capital finance and has played a pioneering role in the technological revolution that has transformed the industry. Through this new partnership, we see immense opportunity to introduce working capital finance to a new generation of businesses around the world.”

Two years ago, Masayoshi Son – the maverick entrepreneur leading SoftBank, launched the $100billion SoftBank Vision Fund as a vehicle for his investment ideas in the tech sector. The fund’s backers include Apple, Oracle founder Larry Ellison and the Saudi Arabian government.

The Greensill transaction is set to give the Vision Fund a stake of 15-20 per cent.

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