Financing thanks to working capital insurance
Geneva’s suburb of Plan-les-Ouates, renowned for its watchmaking industry, is home to a small business called Acqiris. Acqiris’ data acquisition cards are even more precise than the watches made here: they accurately turn analogue signals into digital data in a billionth of a second. The data acquisition cards are used in all kinds of fields. As components within measuring instruments, they help create digital images in the sub-millimetre range, whether for treating heart disease or fighting coronavirus.
The crux of being awarded a loan
Chinese developers of high-tech medical products also use Acqiris’ cards and have placed orders totalling millions with this SME. As part of these orders, the parties agreed on one delivery per quarter, for several years. The purchaser pays for each delivery, without making an advance payment. This means that Acqiris needs to pre-finance its production costs – and here lies the crux of the matter.
Banks adhere to strict criteria when it comes to giving out loans, and Acqiris does not meet these criteria due to its unconventional history. While this SME, based in western Switzerland, was founded as far back as 1998 and has 22 employees, it was later bought by a multinational firm. It became an independent company once again in 2017 following a restructuring, which is why, officially, it is classed as a young company. “Our new form meant that our company was not old enough and did not have the necessary balance sheets to receive a traditional bank loan,” explains Didier Lavanchy, Acqiris’ co-founder.
“Alongside taking on the default risk, SERV’s valuable expertise helped us cover the export risks, which we are delighted about.”
SERV was able to solve this problem: it took on Acqiris’ default risk vis-à- vis the bank via working capital insurance. In turn, the bank issued a loan that enabled Acqiris to pre-finance its production without needing to rely on an advance payment. Pre-shipment risk insurance also protects Acqiris from losses in the event that it needs to stop production through no fault of its own. “Alongside taking on the default risk, SERV’s valuable expertise helped us cover the export risks, which we are delighted about,” adds Didier Lavanchy.