Business Technology

Ormsby Street: Using big data to prevent business credit headaches

2 min read

03 March 2016

With the average UK SME owner waiting 72 days before the invoices they send out are settled, innovative fintech player Ormsby Street, one of the Everline Future 50 2016, provides a unique service for small firm bosses seeking to limit their exposure to the cash flow issues caused by late payment.

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Name: Ormsby Street
Industry/sector: Finance technology
Date founded: 2014
Founder: Martin Campbell
Location: London

By granting company leaders access to over seven million company records, Martin Campbell’s CreditHQ platform solves this problem by allowing them to decide if a customer is creditworthy based on credit and payment data. It has been lauded by policymakers and users alike and in March 2015 was chosen by UKTI last year to exhibit at the UK EXPO which was part of SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Credit HQ’s unique customer proposition is that it provides small firm owners with warning signs if the financial position of debtors changes, without requiring owners to sift through large volumes of data themselves. The platform also explains to users what salient pieces of information mean, and what actions should be taken to protect cash flow.

The tool started life as part of Barclays Bank’s SME offering, but was developed beyond that when Campbell realised that it had the potential to benefit a larger number of customers. The evolved product disrupted the market by focusing on the small firms which most reference agencies were neglecting – and used existing data and financial information from Companies House and Dun & Bradstreet to service this sector.

In less than two years, the platform has attracted £2.5m in seed funding and garnered more than 27,000 UK users – but potential for expansion is rife given that the majority of small business owners still don’t check the financial health of potential customers before extending lines of credit to them.

Ormsby Street’s founder is pursuing overseas growth through partnerships with banks serving small business customers – with Italy the first market the company has expanded into, and the US the next target. The use of lean working methods in the company means the product can evolve rapidly as developers learn more about what works best when it comes to improving small business cash flow.

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