Revenue-Based Financing for Technology Companies With No Hard Assets



Revenue-primarily based financing (RBF), also called royalty-based financing, is a unique shape of financing supplied by RBF investors to small- to mid-sized groups in change for an agreed-upon percentage of a commercial enterprise’s gross revenues. The capital issuer receives monthly bills until his invested capital is repaid, together with a couple of that invested capital. The investment price range that offers this unique shape of financing is referred to as the RBF budget.


– The monthly payments are known as royalty payments.

– The percentage of sales paid using the business to the capital provider is called the royalty fee.

– The multiple of invested capital this is paid through the business to the capital issue is known as a cap.



Most RBF Capital carriers are looking for a 20% to 25% go back on their investment. Let’s use a straightforward example: If a business gets $1M from an RBF capital provider, the enterprise is anticipated to pay off $200,000 to $250,000 consistent with the year to the capital issue. That quantity to approximately $17,000 to $21,000 paid in line with the month with the enterprise’s aid to the investor.

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As such, the capital company expects to get hold of the invested capital lower back within 4 to five years.


Each capital issuer determines its own predicted royalty fee. In our easy example above, we can work backward to determine the price. Let’s count that the business produces $5M in gross revenues in keeping with 12 months. As indicated above, they received $1M from the capital provider. They are paying $200,000 again to the investor every yr. The royalty fee in this example is $two hundred,000/$5M = 4%


The royalty bills are proportional to the top line of the business. Everything else is the same; the higher the commercial enterprise’s sales, the better the monthly royalty bills the commercial enterprise makes to the capital provider. Traditional debt consists of constant bills. Therefore, the RBF scenario seems unfair. The enterprise owners are being punished for their tough paintings and success in developing the business. To remedy this trouble, most royalty financing agreements include a variable royalty charge agenda. In this way, the higher the sales, the decrease the royalty rate implemented. The genuine sliding scale timetable is negotiated between the events concerned and truly mentioned within the time period sheet and agreement.


Every commercial enterprise, especially generation corporations, that grow very quickly will, in the end, outgrow their need for this form of financing. As the commercial enterprise stability sheet and income statement end up more potent, the commercial enterprise will move up the financing ladder and appeal to greater traditional financing solution providers’ attention. The business might also grow to be eligible for classic debt at less expensive interest costs. As such, each revenue-based totally financing agreement outlines how an enterprise can buy-down or purchase out the capital issue.

Buy-Down Option:

The business owner usually has a choice to shop for down a part of the royalty agreement. The specific terms for a purchase down option vary for every transaction. Generally, the capital provider expects to get hold of a certain particular percentage (or more than one) of its invested capital earlier than the purchase down choice may be exercised with the aid of the commercial enterprise proprietor. The business proprietor can exercise choice by using creating an unmarried fee or multiple lump-sum payments to the capital company. The price buys down a sure percent of the royalty settlement. The invested capital and month-to-month royalty payments will then be decreased with the aid of a proportional percentage.

Buy-Out Option:

In a few cases, the business might also determine its desires to shop for out and extinguish the entire royalty financing settlement. This regularly occurs whilst the business is being sold, and the acquirer chooses not to maintain the financing arrangement. Or when the enterprise has become sturdy enough to get admission to cheaper financing resources and desires to restructure itself financially. In this state of affairs, the business can buy out the complete royalty agreement for a predetermined multiple of the mixture invested capital. This more than one is generally referred to as a cap. The specific phrases for a buy-out alternative vary for every transaction.


There are typically no restrictions on how a business may use RBF capital. Unlike in a conventional debt Association, there are little to no restrictive debt covenants on how the enterprise can use the funds. The capital company lets the enterprise managers apply the funds as they see suit to grow the commercial enterprise.

Acquisition financing:

Many generation corporations use RBF price range to gather different groups so that you can ramp up their boom. RBF capital companies encourage this growth shape as it increases the sales that their royalty price may be applied to. As the enterprise grows using acquisition, the RBF Fund receives better royalty bills and, therefore, blessings from the increase. As such, RBF funding may be a notable supply of acquisition financing for a generation organization.


No property, no personal guarantees, No conventional debt:

Technology agencies are particular because they hardly ever have traditional hard assets like real property, machinery, or gadget. Technology corporations are pushed by way of highbrow capital and highbrow property. These intangible IP belongings are difficult to cost. As such, traditional creditors deliver them little to no price. This makes it extremely tough for small- to mid-sized generation corporations to get right of entry to traditional financing.


Revenue-primarily based financing does now not require a commercial enterprise to collateralize the financing with any property. No non-public ensures are required of the commercial enterprise proprietors. In a traditional bank loan, the bank frequently requires personal ensures from the owners and pursues the proprietors’ private property inside the occasion of a default.

RBF Capital issuer’s pastimes are aligned with the business proprietor:

Technology corporations can scale up faster than traditional companies. As such, sales can ramp up quickly, allowing the business to pay down the royalty quickly. On the opposite hand, a poor product introduced to the marketplace can damage the commercial enterprise sales simply as quickly. A conventional creditor, which includes a financial institution, receives constant debt payments from an enterprise debtor irrespective of whether it grows or shrinks. During lean instances, the business makes precise identical debt payments to the bank. An RBF capital provider’s pastimes are aligned with the commercial enterprise proprietor. If the commercial enterprise sales decrease, the RBF Capital issuer receives less cash. If the enterprise revenues boom, the capital issuer receives extra money. As such, the RBF provider needs the commercial enterprise sales to grow speedy to make a percentage in the upside. All parties benefit from the revenue boom inside the commercial enterprise.

High Gross Margins:

Most technology corporations generate better gross margins than traditional companies. These better margins make RBF less expensive for generation companies in lots of exceptional sectors. RBF funds are trying to find agencies with excessive margins that could effortlessly have enough money for the month-to-month royalty bills.

No equity, No board seats, No loss of management:

However, the capital company stocks inside the achievement of the business do not receive any equity within the business. As such, the cost of capital in an RBF association is inexpensive in financial & operational phrases than a comparable equity investment.RBF Capital carriers don’t have any hobby in being involved in the management of the business. The volume of their lively involvement is reviewing month-to-month sales reports received from the business management team so that it will follow the best RBF royalty fee. A conventional fairness investor expects to have a sturdy voice in how the commercial enterprise is managed. He expects a board seat and a few stages of manipulating. A traditional fairness investor expects to get hold of a considerably higher multiple of his invested capital while the enterprise is bought. This is because he’s taking the better chance as he hardly ever gets any monetary compensation until the commercial enterprise is offered.

The cost of Capital:

The RBF capital company receives bills every month. It does not need the commercial enterprise to be sold so one can earn a return. This method that the RBF capital provider can have the funds for to accept lower returns. This is why it’s miles inexpensive than traditional fairness. On the alternative hand, RBF is riskier than conventional debt. A financial institution receives fixed month-to-month bills regardless of the financials of the enterprise. The RBF capital company can lose its complete investment if the employer fails. On the balance sheet, RBF sits between a financial institution mortgage and fairness. RBF is generally more expensive than conventional debt financing, but cheaper than conventional fairness.

Funds may be received in 30 to 60 days:

Unlike traditional debt or equity investments, RBF does not require months of due diligence or complicated valuations. As such, the turnaround time for turning in a time period sheet for financing to the enterprise proprietor and the budget dispensed to the business can be as little as 30 to 60 days. Businesses that need money right now can benefit from this quick turnaround time.

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Harlan J. Whelan
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