The Entrepreneur: Peter Tuvey, Fleximize
When it comes to growing a business, Tuvey says you should "surround yourself with successful people, internally and externally"...
Founder (and managing partner): Peter Tuvey
Description in one line: Alternative business finance provider
Previous companies: Ariste Holding, Fortress Group
Turnover: £500,000 per month
12-month target: £7m
Describe your business model and what makes your business unique:
- Fleximize is a direct business lender that combines innovative technology with traditional underwriting methods.
- We were the first UK lender to offer the Revenue Advance, where repayments are aligned with a company’s monthly revenue.
- We don’t apply the strict criteria of banks, meaning we will lend to companies that other lenders – including direct competitors – wouldn’t.
What is your greatest business achievement to date?
Either turning a £750,000 investment into a £60m sale, or taking a £36,000 monthly revenue business to £350,000 within six months.
What numbers do you look at every day in your business?
Volume and value of loan applications, through to call stats for the majority of staff.
To what extent does your business trade internationally and what are your plans?
Our focus to date has been on establishing the business in the UK, but we are currently evaluating four additional countries with a view to launching in at least two within the space of three years.
Describe your growth funding path:
Our seed funding came from my co-founders [Max Chmyshuk and Daniel McPherson] and I, with additional funding from high-net worth individuals and investment funds.
What technology has made the biggest difference to your business?
We often describe Fleximize as the sector’s ‘relationship-driven, yet tech-focused’ lender.
So many individual hardware and software technologies collectively underpin the Fleximize business that it would be wrong to focus on just one. Our bespoke backend loan and customer management platform, ‘Fleximize Admin’, was built entirely in-house on the LEMP stack (Linux, Nginx, MySQL and PHP).
It combines a vast array of internally developed functionalities with an equally varied range of external API-driven services to ensure every arm of the business runs efficiently and accurately, to the benefit of everyone involved.
In that sense, you could say the technology that has made the biggest difference to Fleximize is the bespoke platform that we’ve built to futureproof it and support its every need.
Where would you like your business to be in three years?
I’d like to think that we’ll have a £250m portfolio of funded businesses and at least five new creative loan products for small and medium enterprises. We would also like to be trading in at least two additional countries.
What is the hardest thing you have ever done in business?
Raising money to secure the growth that we know we can achieve.
What was your biggest business mistake?
Taking too long to let go.
Piece of Red Tape that hampers growth most:
Some international regulations have prevented us from expanding overseas quicker than we would have liked.
What is the most common serious mistake you see entrepreneurs make?
Thinking they can do everything, and finding it hard to bring people on board to help.
How will your market look in three years?
After Brexit, it’s hard to say with any certainty where the market will be. But, with demand for our product and alternative lenders continuing to increase, it’s only going to keep growing.
What is the single most important piece of advice you would offer to a less experienced entrepreneur?
Surround yourself with successful people, both internally and externally.
My second home in the Canary Islands.
Executive education or learn it on the job?
Most of my experience has been learnt on the job.
What would make you a better leader?
Less time talking, more time listening.
What one thing do you wish you’d known when you started?
How challenging it would be to balance work and family life.
One business app and one personal app you can’t do without:
Skype and Candy Crush!
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries