The equipment financing market is one of those industries you rarely hear about in the press. Yet it’s also one of the largest industries in the world, with a $1.6 trillion market value.
And $1.1 trillion of the equipment purchasing market is actually financed, which means other companies provide the capital to companies to make their purchases.
For years this has been an industry that has coasted along without any real threat. But it’s being disrupted in 2016 by one fast growing financial tech company named Currency Capital, led by CEO Charles Anderson. So why is the equipment purchase market ready for disruption and where does Currency Capital fit in?
The equipment financing market has historically been relatively simple. If you needed funds to help purchase a new chair for your dental office or for a new deep fryer for your restaurant you went to a bank. The bank would assess your application and give you the money. That worked and you got what you wanted.
Then 2008 happened.
The big recession in the US caused chaos in the world of finance. It meant banks were more conservative and they were refusing to lend to businesses unless they had a solid credit history going back years, among many other underwriting guidelines. This automatically alienated most small businesses and left them with no other choice but to bootstrap, sell their own assets, or simply give up.
And it’s a world that still exists today. Finance startups like Currency are looking to change that by making getting financing easier than going to a bank. They’re trying to make the process faster and friendlier to startups and small businesses.
Who is causing this generational shift?
Currency Capital is a company that allows you to apply for and gain financing online, with many options of lenders to meet the needs of small businesses. This has already given this company an advantage but more importantly has helped make equipment financing for small businesses simpler, more transparent, and faster than ever before.
A recent announcement by IronPlanet, a leading online marketplace for buying and selling used equipment and other durable assets, showcased Currency Capital’s Express technology for additional financing options.
As Charles Anderson, CEO of Currency Capital stated: “Financing equipment can often be a major hurdle for buyers. Our Express platform increases buying capacity for business owners, providing them unprecedented access to the financing they need to continue growing their business. Express makes the entire process easy. Together we get money into sellers hands quickly and most importantly get much-needed equipment back to work for new owners.”
And it’s all getting pushed down to millennials. Baby Boomers are increasingly handing over their companies to their offspring. The younger generations are used to doing things differently. They want to be able to do everything online and they want to easily manage everything to do with their applications in a mobile friendly environment that offers speed and transparency.
Traditional lending institutions are not catering to this, but Currency Capital is and over time other start-ups will likely emerge.
Is it as simple as making lending easier?
The industry is not just changing by making securing financing easier. The very way businesses apply for any forms of financing is changing. Startups and small businesses are going to find they don’t have to go into a bank or see a lender in-person. They will still have to present their business plans, but all this will be done online.
This is happening because the millennial generation wants to do things differently, and are beginning to enter their prime career years.
How will the industry look in 10 years?
Disruption is about to happen to the equipment purchasing industry, but where will the industry be in 10 years and what will the key to success be?
Anderson believes: “The future of the industry is very much in the same strain as the mortgage industry was 10 years ago. Early adopters are going to have a huge advantage over their competitors in looking at new ways to improve the services and technology.”
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say the future of the industry will be a virtual exchange. Lenders and borrowers will be able to find the right deal for them using this virtual exchange, and decisions will be faster than ever before.
Spotted a gap
Currency Capital is sparking change in the equipment purchasing industry. They have spotted a gap in the market worth almost half a trillion dollars. They’re among the early adopters and they may be poised to start a revolution that changes the way businesses finance the purchasing of their equipment.
Laura K. Inamedinova is a startup correspondent for Forbes