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02 Oct 2016

Revenue-Based Financing for Tech Companies Without Rough Assets



Revenue-based funding (RBF), also referred to as royalty-based funding, is an original kind of funding provided by RBF investors to small- to mid-sized companies in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of a small business’ gross incomes.

The main city provider receives monthly payments until their invested money is repaid, along side a multiple of that spent money.

Financial investment funds that offer this excellent kind of funding are called RBF funds.


– The monthly payments are named royalty payments.

– The percentage of revenue compensated by the business towards money provider is called the royalty price.

– The multiple of spent money that is compensated by the business towards money provider is called a cap.


Most RBF money providers seek a 20% to 25% return to their investment.

Why don’t we utilize a simple instance: If a small business receives $1M from an RBF money provider, the business is anticipated to repay $200,000 to $250,000 each year towards money provider. That sums to about $17,000 to $21,000 compensated every month by the business towards investor.

As a result, the capital provider expects to get the invested money straight back within 4 to 5 years.


Each money provider determines its anticipated royalty price. In our simple instance above, we could work backwards to look for the price.

Let’s hypothetically say that the business produces $5M in gross incomes each year. As indicated above, they obtained $1M from the money provider. They are spending $200,000 to the investor annually.

The royalty price inside instance is $200,000/$5M = 4%


The royalty payments are proportional towards top type of the business. Everything else becoming equal, the higher the incomes that the business yields, the higher the monthly royalty payments the business tends to make towards money provider.

Traditional financial obligation consist of fixed payments. Consequently, the RBF scenario appears unfair. You might say, the business proprietors are being punished for his or her time and effort and success in developing the business.

To remedy this problem, most royalty funding agreements include a variable royalty price schedule. In this way, the higher the incomes, the reduced the royalty price used.

The exact sliding scale schedule is negotiated involving the functions involved and plainly outlined in the term sheet and contract.


Every business, specifically technology companies, that develop rapidly at some point outgrow their significance of this kind of funding.

Once the business stability sheet and income declaration come to be more powerful, the business will move up the funding ladder and attract the interest of more conventional funding option providers. The company can become qualified to receive conventional financial obligation at less expensive rates of interest.

As a result, every revenue-based funding arrangement outlines how a small business can buy-down or buy-out the capital provider.

Buy-Down Alternative:

The company owner constantly features an alternative to purchase down a percentage of royalty arrangement. The precise terms for a buy-down option differ per transaction.

Generally, the capital provider expects to get a certain specific percentage (or multiple) of its spent money prior to the buy-down option could be exercised by the business proprietor.

The company owner can exercise the option by simply making an individual payment or multiple lump-sum payments towards money provider. The payment purchases down a certain percentage of royalty arrangement. The invested money and monthly royalty payments will likely then be paid down by a proportional percentage.

Buy-Out Alternative:

Sometimes, the business may determine it really wants to get down and extinguish the entire royalty funding arrangement.

This often takes place when the business is offered as well as the acquirer decides not to ever carry on the funding arrangement. Or once the business has become strong enough to access less expensive sources of funding and really wants to restructure itself economically.

Within scenario, the business has the option to get out the entire royalty arrangement for a predetermined multiple of aggregate invested money. This multiple is often named a cap. The precise terms for a buy-out option differ per transaction.


You can find typically no constraints on how RBF money can be utilized by a small business. Unlike in a normal financial obligation arrangement, you can find little to no restrictive financial obligation covenants on how the business can use the funds.

The main city provider enables the business supervisors to use the funds because they see fit to cultivate the business.

Purchase funding:

Many technology companies utilize RBF funds to acquire various other companies in order to wind up their growth. RBF money providers encourage this kind of growth given that it advances the incomes that their royalty price could be applied to.

Once the business develops by acquisition, the RBF investment receives higher royalty payments and as a consequence advantages from the growth. As a result, RBF financing could be an excellent source of acquisition funding for a technology company.


No possessions, No private guarantees, No conventional financial obligation:

Technology companies are special in that they hardly ever have actually conventional hard possessions like property, machinery, or gear. Technology companies are driven by intellectual money and intellectual property.

These intangible internet protocol address possessions are hard to value. As a result, conventional lenders give them little to no value. This will make it extremely difficult for small- to mid-sized technology companies to access conventional funding.

Revenue-based funding cannot need a small business to collateralize the funding with any possessions. No private guarantees are needed of business owners. In a normal bank loan, the financial institution often requires private guarantees from the proprietors, and pursues the proprietors’ private possessions in the eventuality of a default.

RBF money provider’s interests are lined up aided by the business proprietor:

Technology companies can scale up faster than conventional companies. As a result, incomes can wind up quickly, which enables the business to pay for along the royalty quickly. On the other hand, an unhealthy item taken to market can destroy the business incomes equally quickly.

A traditional creditor such as for example a lender receives fixed financial obligation payments from a small business debtor whether or not the business develops or shrinks. During lean times, the business helps make the same financial obligation payments towards bank.

An RBF money provider’s interests are lined up aided by the business proprietor. If the business incomes decrease, the RBF money provider receives less overall. If the business revenues increase, the capital provider receives more money.

As a result, the RBF provider wants the business incomes to cultivate quickly so it can share in the upside. All functions take advantage of the revenue development in the business.

Tall Gross Margins:

Most technology companies generate higher gross margins than conventional companies. These higher margins make RBF affordable for technology companies in several areas.

RBF funds seek companies with high margins that may comfortably spend the money for monthly royalty payments.

No equity, No board seats, No lack of control:

The main city provider stocks in the popularity of the business but cannot receive any equity available. As a result, the cost of money in an RBF arrangement is less expensive in financial & functional terms than a comparable equity investment.

RBF money providers haven’t any interest in becoming involved in the management of the business. The degree of these active involvement is reviewing monthly revenue reports obtained from the business management team in order to apply the right RBF royalty price.

A traditional equity investor expects having a strong vocals in how the business is managed. He expects a board seat plus some degree of control.

A traditional equity investor expects to get a notably higher multiple of their invested money once the business is offered. The reason being he takes higher risk while he hardly ever receives any financial compensation before business is offered.

Price of Capital:

The RBF money provider receives payments monthly. It generally does not need the business become offered in order to make a return. This means the RBF money provider are able to accept reduced comes back. This is the reason it is less expensive than conventional equity.

On the other hand, RBF is riskier than conventional financial obligation. a lender receives fixed monthly payments regardless of financials of business. The RBF money provider can lose their entire investment if the company fails.

Regarding stability sheet, RBF sits between a mortgage and equity. As a result, RBF is usually higher priced than conventional financial obligation funding, but less expensive than conventional equity.

Resources could be obtained in 30 to 60 days:

Unlike conventional financial obligation or equity assets, RBF cannot need months of research or complex valuations.

As a result, the turnaround time between delivering a term sheet for funding towards business proprietor as well as the funds disbursed towards business is as little as 30 to 60 days.

Companies that need cash immediately will benefit out of this quick turnaround time.