Mahon says that Barclays proactively seeks out companies who have raised venture capital and offers debt financing to sit alongside that. “Venture debt should complement venture capital – but you need the correct blend. Ideally, you want VC capital to go into the development of your product, while venture debt can help with cash flow.” Typically, the facilities are interest-only and are offered over 24 to 36 months.
Barclays has completed more than 50 venture debt transactions. The general criteria that companies have a turnover of over a million pounds and 20% year-on-year growth, along with VC backers with a sector track record. “I also don’t like to lend money unless I can look a management team in the eye and ask them how well the company’s going to go.” As a lender, Mahon stressed the need for entrepreneurs seeking funding to be unified as a management team, and be clear in their roles.
Mahon talked through the pros and cons of various types of lending and providers, as the next generation of AI, blockchain and cyber-security bosses listened in. As with the week’s other events, the entrepreneurs then had the opportunity to network with banking and technology experts from Barclays, and the dozens of fintech companies already resident at Rise.
“We saw over 1,200 people coming through our doors here at Rise London during London FinTech Week,” said Magdalena Krön, Head of Rise London and Vice President of Open Innovation at Barclays. “It was amazing to bring together the London community of fintech start-ups creating a real buzz around innovation in the financial technology space.
“Personally, I can’t wait for Fintech Week next year, when we can look back and reflect on the ground-breaking things that will unfold in the next 12 months.”