Invoice-based financing solutions for SMEs
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Hope & Ivy

Dragon’s Den success story Hope and Ivy has achieved faster, more sustainable growth with the support of a flexible invoice finance package from Optimum Finance.

The designer fashion brand started working with Optimum Finance in August 2019 after becoming frustrated by the poor service offered by its bank.

The feminine clothing company was set up by Beth Chilton and Sarah Sleightholm in 2014 and just two years later won £78,000 investment from Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones on Dragon’s Den. It has since supplied its floral designs to Asos, Next, Topshop and Zalando.

Finding a tailored solution

As a fashion manufacturer with big upfront costs and customers demanding very long payment terms of 90 days or more, Hope and Ivy had struggled to manage cash flow in a way that supported further growth.

Their bank was too restrictive and inflexible to offer the sort of financial support that would enable them to plug the gaps in their cash flow

Hope and Ivy chose to work with Optimum Finance due to its personal approach to lending.

Beth and Sarah wanted a finance provider that would tailor services to suit their individual business needs.

Optimum Finance provided them with an invoice finance solution allowing them access the cash they are owed upfront, immediately after delivering orders to customers.

A great fit

This has enabled Hope and Ivy to focus on the next stage of growth, which has seen its direct online sales overtake its wholesale business as its main source of revenue.

Beth said: “What I love about Optimum Finance is that they are not the red line of the bank. It feels like talking to a fellow business person rather than talking to a computer.

“They massively help our business. As a manufacturing business, we have to pay hefty deposits upfront, make and deliver our products and then our big customers want 90 day payment terms. This means the money can be out of the business for up to seven or eight months.

“For us to be able to grow we need to be able to shorten the gap on our cash flow as much as possible and with Optimum this has become possible.

“As soon as I deliver to a customer, I can show the proofs then Optimum can release the funds.

“This steady flow of cash has really helped in funding further business growth.”

Optimum Finance CEO Richard Pepler said: “Long payment terms and late payment is the biggest challenge faced by most growing SMEs. It doesn’t matter how many orders you have coming in if no-one is paying you.

“This is particularly pertinent with a manufacturing business with big outgoings like Hope and Ivy.

“We love working with dynamic growing businesses like this one, creating a financial package that perfectly suits their needs, smoothing out any cash flow hiccups and facilitating further growth and success.”

See more about how we’re helping Hope and Ivy in the video here.

Categories: Case Studies