Why Evaluating the Alternative Business Finance Space is so Hard

Alternative Business Finance Watch List LogoFor the majority of Alternative Finance B2B providers, their information on size, volumes, etc. is kept private, no different than trying to find the payment terms and commercial agreements between a Bechtel and a Sunoco or an IBM and one of their Engineering suppliers.  That data is just not public.

What you do tend to find is how big the network size is (which can be highly misleading due to double counting or more) or the amount of invoice values processed.  That’s a start.

So I want to ask you the readers what other criteria do you want to see other than the cold hard fact of how many billions (or millions) run through a network’s platform?

Some examples of criteria we may use:


  1. Assets transferred to third parties (and not self-funded by companies)
  2. Invoices financed by early pay solutions (either self-funded or third party)
  3. Number of buying customers that are paying subscription fees
  4. Number of suppliers that have submitted more than “x” amount of volume over a year


  1. A perspective of business model that is superior given market structure changes
  2. Solution innovation
  3. Scalability assessment
  4. Retention of risk in the platform
  5. Collateral management

The reason this can be confusing is you can have a vendor say publicly we have funded $75 billion in receivables.  What does that mean?  That number could be total value of invoices that flowed through the system since inception, it could represent how much was early paid by dynamic discounting, or something else.

There is no one that is producing data that tracks information such as:

  • outstanding invoices discounted
  • volume of invoices not discounted/ processed through the platform (this is where data discrepancies can occur)
  • number of buyers/ buying entities

You don’t know until you have an auditor on site to really verify. The truth is no one wants to lift the kimono until they are forced to (via a stock listing).  See Lifting the Kimono on Supply Chain Finance Data

But there are ways to discern this information, and given my contacts in the corporate world, I find the truth is generally out there somewhere, just very difficult to find.

I would be interested in hearing your criteria and the reasons behind your selection.  Contact me at dgustin at tradefinancingmatters.com and we can chat about the criteria we will use for the selection process.

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