Navigating the path of an American expansion

Many start-up owners dream about the day when they get to introduce their business to a North American audience. However, that task can quickly become a nightmare if it’s not managed correctly.

Overseeing an American expansion is no easy feat, especially considering current market conditions. Still, there remain those brave enough to take on the challenge head on, including Dave Lewis, CEO, and Founder of Ranqx.

Recently, Dave announced Ranqx’s plans to launch into North America. Here, he details how he is navigating that tricky path, and garnering positive results in the process. We caught up with him to find out more:

What inspired you to launch operations in the North American market?

North America has a major problem with its small-to-medium sized business (SMB) lending system, which could be costing the region’s economy around $1 trillion each year. In brief, there’s currently no traditional bank in the US with the capabilities to provide a straight-through small business digital loan application for either unsecured or secured loans with an instant decision to offer to the customers.

Thankfully, the system we’ve built at Ranqx is able to take on this challenge. Our first of its kind platform offers banks, credit unions and lenders a straightforward two-minute small business API first application process, which can be completed online. Once completed, the solution can digitally underwrite a loan in less than three minutes by leveraging real-time accounting, financial and credit data.

Why is North America suitable to Ranqx’s goals?

As discussed, the North American credit lending market has a serious issue, which we’re able to fix. However, it’s not just what we do, or how we do it, but the speed that we can offer it. Our platform has been designed to offer rapid results, and can deliver fast deployment for lenders, as well as the fastest access to vital capital for SMBs. As a company, we expect this speed to be of huge value to businesses across the continent.

In the current climate, how difficult is it to expand operations internationally?

It’s an interesting one, especially for a business like Ranqx. On the one hand, it’s always difficult to do things amidst a funding downturn. Like a lot of the world, North America is in a moment of economic uncertainty and that obviously decreases the risk appetite of businesses in the region. However, such moments also create an incentive for new solutions to come to the fore, which can help to make a difference. Banks and Credit Unions looking to retain and grow their SMB loan book efficiently, simply cannot do so in such a tight labour market. Digital solutions are the only way to effectively scale SMB lending and at the same time remove friction for SMBs accessing capital.

That’s what we’ve built at Ranqx, and hence why we feel launching now is the right decision. More than ever, North American businesses need capital to help power productivity and maintain sustained employment. With solutions like Ranqx, this endeavour becomes infinitely more possible. Not only can we help SMBs to gain greater access to finance but help lenders to efficiently grow their portfolios within tight labour markets.

What advice would you give to fellow startup founders who may be considering a move to North America?

I think often it’s best to just go for opportunities when they present themselves. Of course, it’s essential to do your due diligence, and to broadly understand the possibility of success in a new region, but there are also plenty of things you’ll never be able to predict. If you feel like the moment is right for you then follow your instincts. Ultimately, as a founder, it’s your decisions that matter, so don’t be scared to make them, and back your belief.

A huge thing is finding a suitable area to launch your operations. It goes without saying, but North America is vast, and some areas are far more suited to certain businesses, and sectors, than others. Try and find out where the ‘hotspots’ are for businesses like yours and prioritise them when deciding on location. By doing this, you put yourself in a great position to take advantage of existing networks and deeper talent pools.

How will you know when you’ve ‘made’ it in North America?

That’s the trillion-dollar question! As mentioned, there’s a serious issue with credit lending in North America, which needs fixing. Look, we might not be able to fix that on our own, but we’re here to give it a good go. Right now, SMB credit-underwriting in North America can take many weeks to complete, which is depriving companies of vital lending capital in moments when they desperately need it. This practice is also grossly inefficient for the banks and credit unions.

If you look at our results in regions like APAC, we’ve been able to generate loan-related cost savings of up to 80 per cent for our bank customers. I’d hope we’d be able to achieve similar things across North America. However, success for us isn’t measured in these terms alone. Our solution can help banks and credit unions to efficiently scale lending at the same time as assisting SMBs, to stay viable in a moment of intense need. That was one of the big reasons why I first started Ranqx, and a huge factor in propelling forth our North American launch.

Dave Lewis