We talked to Ben Ames, founder of Corl, about flexible financing with revenue sharing services, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ben Ames: Well, thank you. We have some elderly who are isolating, but overall quite lucky with everyone being healthy.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Corl.
Ben Ames: I am Chief Investment Officer of Corl. Corl was started out of a need for alternative financing models for the digital economy. The venture is not for all companies and can be a very expensive source of capital. Banks are not lending to asset-light companies. Derek Manuge, CEO, and I were roommates at the University of Guelph.
How does Corl innovate?
Ben Ames: We have developed software to underwrite companies digitally, leveraging 10,000+ data points and seeing data in real-time. This in-depth analysis allows us to adjudicate investments accurately and efficiently, providing affordable financing to underserved companies and founders.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Ben Ames: The pandemic was an uncertain time for everyone, and it certainly affected the bottom lines of some of our portfolio companies. We were concerned for their well-being, but overall the digital economy has come out of this pandemic rather well. Traditional retail brick and mortar businesses have been most affected.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Ben Ames: We were fortunate for the pandemic not to affect our bottom line. We more or less operated under the same conditions as before the pandemic.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Ben Ames: Our customer relationships exist primarily online; therefore, our processes did not change. We are very reliant on web conferencing tools for our underwriting and adjudication processes.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Ben Ames: We did not apply for any covid relief plans as we did not need them.
Your final thoughts?
Ben Ames: The pandemic has certainly accelerated underlying trends in the economy. We see a shift to the digital realm, and we’re going to see more companies investing in digital processes to ensure they’re hedging against any further risk to shutdowns.
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