Small businesses fail all the time, but it’s not always because they’re bad at business. In fact, in many cases, it’s more bad luck than anything else, with cash flow issues causing several thousand people to shut down – simply because they don’t have the funds to pay their bills. time, regardless of their actual financial health.
It follows that many failed businesses could have continued in business if they had somehow been able to access the money they needed to keep their wheels greased.
“Most small businesses fail because they cannot unlock access to credit,” said Nuula General manager Marc Ruddock in an interview with PYMNTS. “There are a lot of big companies that have failed, just because at that point they couldn’t get the credit they needed. “
Nuula is looking for better ways to help these small businesses gain more financing opportunities during these critical times. It does this by combining traditional credit profiles and cash flow data with more nuanced information that provides useful insight into how a business is doing.
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“We want to look at the reputation and determine whether or not customers are coming back to this business,” Ruddock explained. “We’re also looking at basic financial data and their Shopify and payment data as a means of triangulating and inferring the health of a business. If you want to unlock small business credit in the future, you kind of need to get it now. “
Nuula’s mobile app, launched in June, offers real-time monitoring of cash flow, personal and business activities, as well as ratings and reviews on social media, letting business owners know immediately. ‘there is a money, credit or reputation issue that needs their attention. .
This combination of information means business owners can track both their finances and customer sentiment in one app. This is important, said Ruddock, because the vast majority of small business owners find themselves overwhelmed by the day-to-day demands of running their business.
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“Most entrepreneurs spend 125% of their time on the customer side of their business and negative time on behind-the-scenes metrics,” Ruddock noted. “The danger of doing this is that things can go wrong in the middle of the night, and it will have a ripple effect on your ability to raise capital.”
A negative review on a site like Yelp can go unnoticed by a business owner for a period of time, causing enormous damage if it deters customers from frequenting the place. And that breach in their business could make all the difference when it comes to applying for credit. So, Nuula helps monitor what people are saying and alerts business owners to any negative elements so that they can take immediate action.
“By doing this proactively for them, we let them focus on their business and pat them on the shoulder when there are things they need to know,” Ruddock said. “It’s a compromise that allows us to develop a more nuanced understanding of these businesses, which we can use to help them unlock credit.”
Not only will Nuula release this credit, but it will also be the one who provides it. Ruddock gave exclusive details on an upcoming feature in the app – a built-in line of credit that he likened to “money in the cloud” – which will launch in limited beta within the next two weeks.
As Ruddock said, Nuula will determine how much credit a business can realistically afford to repay – based on its financials and other information about the health of the business – and then make it instantly available. , so that the company can tap into it whenever it is needed. .
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“You can take it out whenever you want. You put it back when you don’t need it and you only pay on the days when you have money, ”he explained. “So you can literally take out $ 10,000 for five days to do payroll in the event that a customer hasn’t quite delivered their payment on time, then you can put it back after five days, and you don’t. pay only for the days you have. money. “
The loan terms are completely transparent, with a fixed fee of $ 1 per day for every thousand dollars borrowed. “So $ 10,000 for five days will cost you $ 50,” Ruddock said.
Nuula’s integrated line of credit will be the first of several new offerings. Ruddock has refrained from using the term “super app,” but his plans suggest that’s exactly what Nuula is building. He said his long-term vision is to provide a full range of small business financial services products, offering easy access to much larger loans, affordable insurance and other offers, through an ecosystem of FinTech partners.
Ruddock said the company has already identified two partners that will allow it to launch much larger lending services of up to $ 1.5 million to clients in the United States and Canada.
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“We are specifically looking for FinTechs who are reinventing their respective sectors to integrate them into our ecosystem. Then we give them the ability to bring up in the Nuula app the daily transactions that people will want to make with their product, ”said Ruddock. “So you can do everything in Nuula, and it becomes the one app every entrepreneur will want to use every day. “
Ruddock told PYMNTS that his greatest hope is that we will see an acceleration of the open banking concept, which refers to the process of banks and other financial institutions making their data available through APIs for regulated providers to access. , use and share them.
“My big wish is to have access to this data and then pair it with related data available through API,” he said. “A larger data pool with the right algorithms on top of it creates a tremendous opportunity for innovation in the FinTech stack. “