People’s Champion Finalist: Sonovate
Could an alternative finance provider ‘taking on the banks’ be your Startups Awards People’s Champion?
Start-up name: Sonovate
Founder: Richard Prime and Damon Chapple, 39 and 36
Started in: 2014
Based in: Cardiff
Business description: Alternative finance for recruitment
After years working in recruitment, co-founders Richard Prime and Damon Chapple were more than familiar with the challenges faced by recruitment businesses trying to fund and run contractors. Frustrated with having to rely on banks who provide “off-the-shelf products based on an outdated approach”, they were determined to disrupt the stilted contract finance market.
With the industry currently worth £24.1bn and growing fast, it’s a market with incredible growth potential – and the duo have enjoyed almost instant success.
Specifically tailored to recruiters, Sonovate’s solution is designed to prevent cashflow problems; the service pays recruitment agencies 100% of their profit the week after contractors’ timesheets are signed off (in contrast to banks who withhold payment until the invoice is paid), and it also doesn’t place any limits on the number of contractors recruiters can place with any one client.
Sonovate’s clients are also offered more than just a finance solution, with the business claiming to “remove all of the bureaucracy associated with running a contract recruitment business” with its innovative back-office platform.
Since launching in January this year, Sonovate has already surpassed the banks to become “the number one provider of contract finance to the recruitment industry” and the disruptive service has also caught the attention of investors. The game-changing cloud platform has secured an impressive £4m investment from tech entrepreneur and founder of Bebo Paul Birch as well as securing access to £10m debt finance.
Why Sonovate made our 50:
Disruptive and demonstrating 300% growth, the alternative financier is taking on the banks with its impressive proposition as well as helping to facilitate the growth of small, micro and start-up recruitment companies.