Revenue-Based Financing for Technology Companies With No Hard Assets

6 Mins read


Revenue-based financing (RBF), also referred to as royalty-based totally financing, is a unique shape of financing supplied by RBF buyers to small- to mid-sized agencies in alternate for an agreed-upon percentage of a business’ gross revenues.

The capital issue gets monthly bills until his invested capital is repaid, at the side of a multiple of that invested capital.


Investment finances that offer this particular form of financing are called RBF price range.


– The monthly payments are called royalty bills.

– The percentage of sales paid with the aid of the enterprise to the capital company is called the royalty charge.

– The multiple of invested capital that is paid by using the enterprise to the capital issue is known as a cap.


Most RBF capital providers searching for a 20% to twenty-five% return on their investment.

Let’s use a very simple instance: If an enterprise receives $1M from an RBF capital provider, the business is predicted to pay off $two hundred,000 to $250,000 in step with yr to the capital company. That amounts to about $17,000 to $21,000 paid in line with month by using the enterprise to the investor.


As such, the capital company expects to get hold of the invested capital back inside four to five years.


Each capital provider determines its very own anticipated royalty price. In our simple example above, we will work backward to decide the price.

Let’s anticipate that the business produces $5M in gross sales in keeping with 12 months. As indicated above, they obtained $1M from the capital company. They are paying $200,000 again to the investor every year.

The royalty rate in this situation is $two hundred,000/$5M = four%


The royalty bills are proportional to the pinnacle line of the commercial enterprise. Everything else being equal, the higher the sales that the commercial enterprise generates, the better the month-to-month royalty bills the enterprise makes to the capital provider.

Traditional debt consists of constant payments. Therefore, the RBF situation seems unfair. In a way, the enterprise owners are being punished for his or her difficult paintings and success in developing the enterprise.

In order to treat this trouble, most royalty financing agreements incorporate a variable royalty fee agenda. In this way, the better the sales, the decrease the royalty price carried out.

The specific sliding scale timetable is negotiated between the events involved and in reality mentioned in the time period sheet and contract.


Every business, particularly generation corporations, that develop in no time will sooner or later outgrow their want for this form of financing.

As the enterprise balance sheet and income declaration emerge as more potent, the business will flow up the financing ladder and entice the eye of extra conventional financing answer carriers. The commercial enterprise may turn out to be eligible for classic debt at inexpensive hobby quotes.

As such, every revenue-based totally financing settlement outlines how an enterprise should buy-down or buy-out the capital provider.

Buy-Down Option:

The business owner constantly has an alternative to shop for down a part of the royalty settlement. The specific terms for a purchase down alternative range for each transaction.

Generally, the capital company expects to receive a sure precise percent (or multiple) of its invested capital earlier than the purchase down alternative can be exercised by means of the enterprise proprietor.

The enterprise proprietor can exercise the option by using making a single charge or more than one lump-sum bills to the capital issue. The price buys down a sure percent of the royalty settlement. The invested capital and monthly royalty bills will then be decreased to a proportional percent.

Buy-Out Option:

In a few instances, the enterprise may additionally decide it needs to buy out and extinguish the entire royalty financing agreement.


This regularly happens whilst the commercial enterprise is being offered and the acquirer chooses no longer to retain the financing arrangement. Or whilst the business has come to be sturdy sufficient to access less expensive sources of financing and wants to restructure itself financially.

In this situation, the business has the option to buy out the entire royalty agreement for a predetermined more than one of the mixtures invested capital. This a couple of is normally referred to as a cap. The specific phrases for a buy-out choice range for every transaction.


There are normally no regulations on how RBF capital can be used by a commercial enterprise. Unlike in a conventional debt Association, there are little to no restrictive debt covenants on how the business can use the funds.

The capital issue permits the commercial enterprise managers to apply the funds as they see fit to grow the commercial enterprise.

Acquisition financing:

Many era organizations use RBF budget to acquire different corporations so that you can ramp up their boom. RBF capital providers encourage this shape of a boom as it increases the revenues that their royalty fee may be carried out to.

As the business grows via acquisition, the RBF fund gets higher royalty bills and consequently blessings from the increase. As such, RBF funding may be an excellent source of acquisition financing for a generation enterprise.


No assets, No private ensures, No traditional debt:

Technology businesses are unique in that they hardly ever have conventional tough belongings like actual estate, equipment, or gadget. Technology organizations are pushed by using highbrow capital and intellectual property.

These intangible IP belongings are tough to value. As such, conventional lenders provide them little to no cost. This makes it extraordinarily tough for small- to mid-sized era businesses to get entry to traditional financing.

Revenue-primarily based financing does no longer require a commercial enterprise to collateralize the financing with any assets. No non-public guarantees are required of the commercial enterprise owners. In a traditional financial institution mortgage, the bank often requires personal ensures from the proprietors, and pursues the owners’ private belongings inside the occasion of a default.

RBF Capital issuer’s pursuits are aligned with the enterprise owner:

Technology companies can scale up faster than traditional companies. As such, revenues can ramp up quickly, which allows the commercial enterprise to pay down the royalty quickly. On the opposite hand, a bad product delivered to the marketplace can ruin the commercial enterprise sales just as quick.

A conventional creditor including a bank receives fixed debt bills from a business debtor regardless of whether or not the commercial enterprise grows or shrinks. During lean instances, the business makes the exact same debt bills to the financial institution.

An RBF Capital company’s interests are aligned with the commercial enterprise owner. If the business revenues lower, the RBF capital provider receives much less money. If the enterprise sales increase, the capital company gets more money.

As such, the RBF company desires the business sales to grow speedy so it can share in the upside. All parties enjoy the revenue increase inside the enterprise.

High Gross Margins:

Most technology groups generate higher gross margins than traditional companies. These higher margins make RBF inexpensive for technology groups in many exclusive sectors.

RBF funds seek agencies with high margins which can with no trouble have the funds for the monthly royalty bills.

No fairness, No board seats, No loss of control:

The capital provider shares within the fulfillment of the enterprise but does now not receive any fairness inside the enterprise. As such, the price of capital in an RBF arrangement is inexpensive in monetary & operational terms than a similar equity investment.

RBF Capital carriers haven’t any hobby in being concerned inside the control of the business. The quantity of their lively involvement is reviewing monthly sales reports obtained from the commercial enterprise management team in order to follow the appropriate RBF royalty price.

A conventional equity investor expects to have a strong voice in how the enterprise is controlled. He expects a board seat and some degree of control.

A traditional equity investor expects to acquire a drastically better more than one of his invested capital whilst the commercial enterprise is bought. This is due to the fact he’s taking the higher threat as he not often gets any monetary repayment till the commercial enterprise is sold.

The cost of Capital:

The RBF Capital issuer receives bills every month. It does no longer want the business to be offered if you want to earn a return. This method that the RBF Capital issuer can have enough money to simply accept decrease returns. This is why it’s miles cheaper than conventional fairness.

On the other hand, RBF is riskier than traditional debt. A financial institution gets constant monthly payments no matter the financials of the business. The RBF Capital issuer can lose his whole investment if the company fails.

On the stability sheet, RBF sits between a financial institution mortgage and equity. As such, RBF is typically extra steeply-priced than traditional debt financing, however less expensive than conventional fairness.

Funds may be obtained in 30 to 60 days:

Unlike conventional debt or equity investments, RBF does now not require months of due diligence or complicated valuations.

As such, the turnaround time for turning in a time period sheet for financing to the business owner and the price range dispensed to the enterprise can be as low as 30 to 60 days.

Businesses that need cash straight away can gain from this quick turnaround time.

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