Empowering Small and Medium Retail Companies
Trademaster is a fintech company specialized in B2B credit solutions that strives to empower small and medium retail companies, by offering credit to all links in the distribution chain – industry, distributors and retail. The company provides an innovative payment platform that is integrated with the commercial operation of the industry or distributor, using technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Launched in 2015, Trademaster enables companies to free up credit and increase the purchasing power of the distribution channels, leveraging sales and mitigating risks. The company offers financial solutions for more than 30 large corporations, including more than 180,000 retailers, with total transactions close to the volume of U$1Billion.
Says Francisco Pereira, CEO Trademaster that the platform is a Cloud and Container-driven one, developed for microservices. “Our platform communicates through a catalogue of APIs, integrated in real-time with the sales process of our customers. This helps us provide a truly frictionless process. We also have a customer service portal that has an interface developed with the best of UX” he adds.
A people’s man, Francisco believes that people can make all the change. “I think that my major objective as a leader is to create an environment where people can create and express their ideas with no fear. I want every employee to treat the company as his/her own business.”
Many of the new startups and fintech companies are unable to showcase their profitability scales to the investors, laments Francisco. During the initial days of a company’s inception, the companies are not able to scale up, there is an increasing need for cash burn and investments and some companies are not able to provide positive EBITDA at some point and investors want to see actual results, not just promises. Francisco cites access to funding as, yet another challenge faced by fintech companies.
Francisco recommends that fintech companies’ partner with those banks that are innovative and pro-fintech culture. “If that’s done properly, this partnership may boost fintech’ potential without having to worry about funding”, he observes.
The Success Moment
Francisco points out that seeking approvals for one’s product/ solution from an MNC that is governed by strict rules and regulations is one of the most difficult tasks for an entrepreneur. Citing an example, Francisco notes that the company was in talks with a huge global leader in Fast Moving Consumer Goods in 2015, convincing the local and regional teams about the company’s solution. “It took almost six months to get approval for a pilot since it was a completely new approach and solution, that was not explicitly covered in their policies. “The moment of glory was when I received a call from the local CFO who informed me about not only our solution being passed through the auditory process but was considered one of the best practices in the globe. He even asked me when we could consider rolling it to other countries in the region”.
Developing Digital Platform for Fintechs
Francisco notes that more than 80% of all the credit in Brazil is concentrated in the hands of five banks. “In such an environment, the medium and small retailer face difficulties in accessing credit. “In those cases, where they are granted some credit line, the cost is prohibitive. Our motivation is to empower small retailers, by giving them credit terms and limits to purchase from the top-notch industries and distributors, the right volume and product mix, to maximize the profitability of this small retailers.”
Francisco adds that small retailers usually have a larger impact on the communities they operate in as they buy a large portion of their goods and services from local suppliers. Also, a large part of the general population is working in these small/medium businesses. “So, as we provide the small retailer with better purchase conditions, larger credit limit and extended payment terms, we help them become more sustainable, with a better product mix to be offered in the store and with lower dependence from bank loans, with lower interest expenses” he observes.