Is Hydr a business for the times, born out of the pandemic, or were plans being laid before March 2020?

Our product has been in development since before the pandemic, but it was during last year that we accelerated with an aim to launch the business now. We sincerely hope that as companies begin to come out of what has been a remarkably tough time, the service we offer will be a significant support to many of them.

The core of our proposition is to enable businesses to reduce their payment terms from as many as 90 days to just 24 hours. This is something that is extremely valuable to any company, at any stage in its life. Optimising your cash flow is critical for any business, be it just starting out, going through growth or managing tough challenges like the pandemic.

As co-founders, we have seen first-hand the transformative impact that managing cash flow can have on businesses and knew that the right technology could revolutionise invoice finance.

With regards to backgrounds, are you both fin and tech experienced, or are those responsibilities split?

As with all great partnerships, we bring different but complementary skills and experience to the business!

Nicola: I lead business operations, product and user experience. My career has been in fintech across lending and invoice finance and I wanted to build a best-in-class digital proposition that is easy to use and scalable.

Hector: I lead performance, growth, strategy and brand. I've worked with private equity and venture capital funds for the past 17 years. As a small business founder myself, manager and technology investor, I've first-hand experience of scaling companies while managing long payment terms and late payments along the way.

Together, we're a force to be reckoned with!

Invoice finance isn't a new tool in an SME's box of tricks. What does Hydr bring to the market that's different?

You're right that invoice financing isn't new, it's been around for a long time! What makes Hydr different is that we're one of the only invoice finance companies to fund 100% of the value of your invoice for a competitively priced, fixed fee. We charge no subscription or listing fees and our price doesn't change if your customer is a little behind in paying the invoice. The fixed fee we quote is always the fee you pay.

Our proprietary digital platform is also unique and best-in-class, and we've combined it with a relationship-based service and real expertise in this space. When you sign up with us, we become an extension of your finance team. Our promise is to invest time and energy in building positive and professional relationships with your customers, freeing you up to focus on managing and building your business.

How does it work and what's the process for releasing funds from Hydr for a typical customer?

Firstly, you will go through our onboarding process. It's fully digital and can take as little as 15 minutes. Once the lending agreement has been signed and we have verified your customer, you can simply create/raise your invoice within your Xero accounting software and we pay it within 24 hours. There is no need to re-enter the invoice data on to our platform - our seamless integration with Xero means we detect invoices upon creation and get on with paying it.

Are you targeting a specific size of business or invoice amount?

We have some limits. Your business has to be registered in England in Wales and to have been trading for at least 12 months. You need to sell products or services to other businesses and not already be signed up with another invoice finance provider.

Finally, you need to have an account with Xero. We will be integrating with other accounting providers during the course of this year, but we are delighted to be partnering exclusively with Xero right now.

You don't launch a business that will be called upon to lend substantial amounts of cash quickly without having your own finance sources in place. Was the business model an easy sell to potential backers?

Nothing is an easy sell to an experienced investor! However, they see how powerful a well-managed invoice financing platform can be for SMEs, and how technology can make it highly scalable.

We are extremely proud to be supported by a small group of seasoned angel investors who have great expertise in finance, technology and scaling successful businesses. We closed two funding rounds pretty quickly which gives us plenty of working capital to grow. 

So here we are in June 2022, what would look like a successful first year for Hydr?

That's a pretty simple one to answer!

We have a cohort of customers whose business lives have been transformed by cash flow being predictable and have had lots of time saved because a trusted partner is managing their customers and making sure that invoices are paid on time. 

We will have integrated with a number of other cloud accounting software providers so that customers who are not with Xero can take advantage of our service, we will have launched our mobile app and are continuing to scale the business.