Closing the gap for short-term finance

According to Paul Breen, CEO of payroll-based lender WageRoller, only 35 per cent of businesses possess invoices that are eligible for factoring or invoice discounting.

That’s why he set up a business that aims to postpone the pain of payday – if only for a while – for those companies where traditional financing methods aren’t an option.

‘There’s a huge marketplace for us,’ says Breen, a former electrical engineer who launched WageRoller in 2004. ‘Lots of businesses don’t produce invoices that can be discounted, for example, solicitors, accountants, retail, contractors, or construction companies.’

With 380 clients on its books, WageRoller works by paying staff salaries, income tax and national insurance contributions on behalf of the employer. The employer begins repayment after two months on a rolling basis. No personal guarantees from the directors or security over bankable assets is required, and employees need never know who is really paying their salaries.

Breen is keen to stress that the service isn’t just for businesses that have got themselves into a financial hole. ‘We have one customer who used the facility to borrow money to buy another business, then they wage-rolled the other business to pay off the previous owners,’ he says. ‘We prefer healthy businesses that use the service properly.’

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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