Behind the Idea: WayFlyer

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The pandemic accelerated the rise of e-commerce businesses. While startup entrepreneurs often expect growth opportunities and ‘golden mountains’ for their e-commerce business, the reality was different. Financial difficulties to make ends meet, to grow, or simply to meet demand often occurred. Obtaining sufficient capital was not as easy as it seemed, and growth concerns were often daily occurrences for the e-commerce entrepreneur.

Traditional forms of financing were considered, but are there other options? Funding rounds were not the only possible strategy for an emerging startup. By finding the right balance between equity funding and revenue-based funding, a fast-growing e-commerce business will have the greatest chance of becoming profitable in the long run while maintaining a positive cash flow.

Wayflyer helps e-commerce businesses worldwide reach their growth potential by providing a range of financing and analytics solutions that improve cash flow, drive sales and optimise supply chains. By offering affordable, non-dilutive, unsecured capital, eligible businesses were given the flexibility to secure advertising space and inventory, paving the way for growth and profitability. Wayflyer’s analytics platform also analyses marketing performance on a daily basis, equipping e-commerce businesses with analytics and tangible, granular recommendations designed to improve performance.

Matthijs Onland, country manager NL and BE of Wayflyer, is known for his involvement with the business development side of various SMEs and startups and for bringing Wayflyer’s ‘home’ to the Dutch market.

What has been the traditional company response to financial technology innovations nationally?

Wayflyer was founded in September 2019 with the purpose of innovating financial technology and responding to the traditional way of getting funding. We saw a gap in the possibilities for e-commerce companies to obtain funding as the traditional way of financing an e-commerce business doesn’t work for many. As we have a deep understanding of e-commerce companies based on data, we can provide them with funding fast and at a very early stage of their business. We then grow with them while providing marketing analytics tools to help them be as successful as possible.

How has this changed over the past few years?

E-commerce companies have experienced many changes over the past years. Rules and guidelines for online marketing are constantly changing, supply chain has been facing major challenges, and consumer needs have shifted, especially in terms of expectations regarding sustainability or same day delivery. The pandemic has furthermore led to a significant increase in online shopping, making inventory management potentially challenging during peak moments such as Black Friday. Because of that, Wayflyer focuses more on providing e-commerce companies with marketing analytics, and sourcing and freight forwarding consultancy.

Is there anything that has created a culture of change inside the company?

At Wayflyer, one of our core values is to partner with e-commerce businesses to help them grow. We have a deep understanding of the industry and thus the importance of having the right tools available, such as marketing analytics. Our partner approach also means we make sure to have the right people with the right skills working with us, who are knowledgeable and able to partner with e-commerce companies in the best way possible.

What fintech ideas have been implemented?

Wayflyer strives to change the existing model of business financing: make it easier, more efficient, and much faster, for companies to obtain funding and grow their business accordingly.

What benefits have these brought?

E-commerce companies have been able to optimise their inventory management and secure more stock, as well as optimise their online marketing strategies. They have been able to move away from the traditional ‘break on sales’ and actually increase their sales to reach their potential. Initial funding, but also additional funding, can be provided by us in a matter of days, which has provided e-commerce businesses to quickly act on opportunities.

Do you see any other industry challenges on the horizon?

A challenge in 2022 is the pressure to obtain raw materials and the significant increase of logistical costs. E-commerce companies need to buy inventory earlier to make sure they can meet customer demand without running out of stock or having to limit their sales. With this challenge comes having the right funding or ability to get additional funding.

Can these challenges be aided by fintech?

Absolutely, these challenges can be aided by fintech. While the root cause of these challenges is rather societal, fintech can provide many tools to tackle these challenges in the best way possible. For example by having the possibility to get additional funding to respond to changes fast.

Final thoughts…

The pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce and an increasingly large percentage of the population has become used to – and even prefer –  shopping online. E-commerce businesses have a lot of potential but cannot always take full advantage of customer demand due to limited inventory, increased advertisement costs, or slower manufacturing and shipping processes. With Wayflyer, we want to help these companies unleash their potential and make sure they’re here to stay.

  • Francis is a junior journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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