Revenue-Based Financing for Technology Companies With No Hard Assets

By | 11 August 2017


Income-based financing (RBF), also referred to as royalty-based financing, is a novel type of financing supplied by RBF traders to small- to mid-sized companies in change for an agreed-upon proportion of a enterprise’ gross revenues.

The capital supplier receives month-to-month funds till his invested capital is repaid, together with a a number of of that invested capital.

Funding funds that present this distinctive type of financing are often known as RBF funds.


– The month-to-month funds are known as royalty funds.

– The proportion of income paid by the enterprise to the capital supplier is known as the royalty price.

– The a number of of invested capital that’s paid by the enterprise to the capital supplier is known as a cap.


Most RBF capital suppliers search a 20% to 25% return on their funding.

Let’s use a quite simple instance: If a enterprise receives $1M from an RBF capital supplier, the enterprise is anticipated to repay $200,000 to $250,000 per 12 months to the capital supplier. That quantities to about $17,000 to $21,000 paid per 30 days by the enterprise to the investor.

As such, the capital supplier expects to obtain the invested capital again inside four to five years.


Every capital supplier determines its personal anticipated royalty price. In our easy instance above, we are able to work backwards to find out the speed.

Let’s assume that the enterprise produces $5M in gross revenues per 12 months. As indicated above, they obtained $1M from the capital supplier. They’re paying $200,000 again to the investor annually.

The royalty price on this instance is $200,000/$5M = four%


The royalty funds are proportional to the highest line of the enterprise. Every thing else being equal, the upper the revenues that the enterprise generates, the upper the month-to-month royalty funds the enterprise makes to the capital supplier.

Conventional debt consists of fastened funds. Due to this fact, the RBF state of affairs appears unfair. In a approach, the enterprise homeowners are being punished for his or her onerous work and success in rising the enterprise.

With a view to treatment this drawback, most royalty financing agreements incorporate a variable royalty price schedule. On this approach, the upper the revenues, the decrease the royalty price utilized.

The precise sliding scale schedule is negotiated between the events concerned and clearly outlined within the time period sheet and contract.


Each enterprise, particularly know-how companies, that develop in a short time will finally outgrow their want for this type of financing.

Because the enterprise steadiness sheet and revenue assertion turn out to be stronger, the enterprise will transfer up the financing ladder and appeal to the eye of extra conventional financing answer suppliers. The enterprise could turn out to be eligible for conventional debt at cheaper rates of interest.

As such, each revenue-based financing settlement outlines how a enterprise can buy-down or buy-out the capital supplier.

Purchase-Down Possibility:

The enterprise proprietor all the time has an possibility to purchase down a portion of the royalty settlement. The precise phrases for a buy-down possibility differ for every transaction.

Usually, the capital supplier expects to obtain a sure particular proportion (or a number of) of its invested capital earlier than the buy-down possibility may be exercised by the enterprise proprietor.

The enterprise proprietor can train the choice by making a single cost or a number of lump-sum funds to the capital supplier. The cost buys down a sure proportion of the royalty settlement. The invested capital and month-to-month royalty funds will then be lowered by a proportional proportion.

Purchase-Out Possibility:

In some instances, the enterprise could determine it needs to purchase out and extinguish all the royalty financing settlement.

This usually happens when the enterprise is being offered and the acquirer chooses to not proceed the financing association. Or when the enterprise has turn out to be robust sufficient to entry cheaper sources of financing and needs to restructure itself financially.

On this state of affairs, the enterprise has the choice to purchase out all the royalty settlement for a predetermined a number of of the mixture invested capital. This a number of is usually known as a cap. The precise phrases for a buy-out possibility differ for every transaction.


There are usually no restrictions on how RBF capital can be utilized by a enterprise. In contrast to in a conventional debt association, there are little to no restrictive debt covenants on how the enterprise can use the funds.

The capital supplier permits the enterprise managers to make use of the funds as they see match to develop the enterprise.

Acquisition financing:

Many know-how companies use RBF funds to accumulate different companies with the intention to ramp up their development. RBF capital suppliers encourage this type of development as a result of it will increase the revenues that their royalty price may be utilized to.

Because the enterprise grows by acquisition, the RBF fund receives greater royalty funds and subsequently advantages from the expansion. As such, RBF funding could be a nice supply of acquisition financing for a know-how firm.


No property, No private ensures, No conventional debt:

Know-how companies are distinctive in that they not often have conventional onerous property like actual property, equipment, or gear. Know-how corporations are pushed by mental capital and mental property.

These intangible IP property are tough to worth. As such, conventional lenders give them little to no worth. This makes it extraordinarily tough for small- to mid-sized know-how corporations to entry conventional financing.

Income-based financing doesn’t require a enterprise to collateralize the financing with any property. No private ensures are required of the enterprise homeowners. In a conventional financial institution mortgage, the financial institution usually requires private ensures from the homeowners, and pursues the homeowners’ private property within the occasion of a default.

RBF capital supplier’s pursuits are aligned with the enterprise proprietor:

Know-how companies can scale up quicker than conventional companies. As such, revenues can ramp up shortly, which allows the enterprise to pay down the royalty shortly. Then again, a poor product dropped at market can destroy the enterprise revenues simply as shortly.

A standard creditor corresponding to a financial institution receives fastened debt funds from a enterprise debtor no matter whether or not the enterprise grows or shrinks. Throughout lean occasions, the enterprise makes the very same debt funds to the financial institution.

An RBF capital supplier’s pursuits are aligned with the enterprise proprietor. If the enterprise revenues lower, the RBF capital supplier receives much less cash. If the enterprise revenues improve, the capital supplier receives more cash.

As such, the RBF supplier needs the enterprise revenues to develop shortly so it may possibly share within the upside. All events profit from the income development within the enterprise.

Excessive Gross Margins:

Most know-how companies generate greater gross margins than conventional companies. These greater margins make RBF inexpensive for know-how companies in many alternative sectors.

RBF funds search companies with excessive margins that may comfortably afford the month-to-month royalty funds.

No fairness, No board seats, No lack of management:

The capital supplier shares within the success of the enterprise however doesn’t obtain any fairness within the enterprise. As such, the price of capital in an RBF association is cheaper in monetary & operational phrases than a comparable fairness funding.

RBF capital suppliers have little interest in being concerned within the administration of the enterprise. The extent of their lively involvement is reviewing month-to-month income studies obtained from the enterprise administration group with the intention to apply the suitable RBF royalty price.

A standard fairness investor expects to have a robust voice in how the enterprise is managed. He expects a board seat and a few degree of management.

A standard fairness investor expects to obtain a considerably greater a number of of his invested capital when the enterprise is offered. It is because he takes greater danger as he not often receives any monetary compensation till the enterprise is offered.

Value of Capital:

The RBF capital supplier receives funds every month. It doesn’t want the enterprise to be offered with the intention to earn a return. Because of this the RBF capital supplier can afford to just accept decrease returns. That is why it’s cheaper than conventional fairness.

Then again, RBF is riskier than conventional debt. A financial institution receives fastened month-to-month funds whatever the financials of the enterprise. The RBF capital supplier can lose his whole funding if the corporate fails.

On the steadiness sheet, RBF sits between a financial institution mortgage and fairness. As such, RBF is usually costlier than conventional debt financing, however cheaper than conventional fairness.

Funds may be obtained in 30 to 60 days:

In contrast to conventional debt or fairness investments, RBF doesn’t require months of due diligence or advanced valuations.

As such, the turnaround time between delivering a time period sheet for financing to the enterprise proprietor and the funds disbursed to the enterprise may be as little as 30 to 60 days.

Companies that want cash instantly can profit from this fast turnaround time.