Long Paws has been trading for over a decade now and has experienced steady growth and increased popularity that have seen their turnover grow significantly over the past few years. Aiming to continue their growth, the business wanted to find a new funding partner that could help them achieve their ambitions.Director Elan Mansur launched Long Paws back in 2011 as a distributor of pet supplies but very quickly ventured into designing their own products, with the first original Long Paws items available for sale back in 2015. When asked about his inspiration behind the brand he explains, “As a child I spent most of my weekends in the great outdoors alongside our family dogs, swimming in lakes, cycling on dirt tracks, sailing, and windsurfing. Those great memories are what made me want to create high quality dog gear so that more dogs and their owners can enjoy great bonding times outdoors”.
With quality as a driving selling point for the brand, Elan handpicked suppliers throughout Asia to ensure they could deliver his vision, amassing about 20 great partners he now regularly works with to fulfil orders not only for customers via their website, but also for trade retailers such as boutique owners, groomers, veterinary centres, and for major distributors and wholesalers. Having recently secured large contracts with key players such as TK Maxx, Costco and a Premier League Football team to name but a few, Elan turned to brokerage Fairway Business Finance to discuss funding options to ensure he had access to the liquidity required to fulfil all orders. Broker Patrick Murphy reached out to Ultimate Finance via his dedicated Regional Director John Davies who proposed a structured facility combining an Invoice Finance solution with a Trade Finance facility.
“So far, the business had been able to grow with the support of an overdraft and business loans provided by high street banks, but it was evident that to achieve their growth ambitions specialist finance, and Asset Based Lending in particular, was the right option to help keep the business moving in the right direction”, John says. “We took the time to understand how the whole journey works, from point of order from a client to getting the order from a supplier, shipped and billed to the client, so that we could tailor a facility that could relieve any pressure point on the business’ cashflow”.
In addition to understanding the ins and outs that make Long Paws a unique and successful business, John ensured a smooth underwriting process through Ultimate Finance’s approach to technology. He explains, “To help progress Long Paws’ application, we used our partnerships with an Open Accounting provider that enabled Elan’s team to transfer their financial documents safely and quickly without needing to gather them, package them and send them over via less secured channels. This saved them time and effort and made sure our team had access to what they needed to approve the facility”.
With the facility approved and legal documents signed, the business had access to the funding solution. Long Paws currently offers credit terms to their clients, and the new Invoice Finance facility sees them able to receive the cash tied up in invoices as soon as they are issued instead of having to wait for customers to repay. With the cash coming in much faster, the business can look to take on further orders, bring in additional stock or even look to expand their teams without needing to worry about the impact on their cashflow.
And with suppliers requiring full payment by the time goods are ready to ship, the Trade Finance solution offers additional breathing space. John explains, “Ultimate Finance will pay the suppliers on behalf of Long Paws, and they repay once the goods are sold. Not only does that simplify the ordering process on their end, but it also gives them more purchasing power by removing extra pressures on their cashflow requirements. Late payments from clients are no longer a concern, and they can even look at accessing early payment discounts or bulk-ordering discounts from certain suppliers that may have not been available before”.
With the facility in place, Long Paws is looking forward to seeing their growth accelerates over the next 12 months. Elan adds, “We have secured some great contracts already, and we have just recently launched our Earth Friendly Collection which uses recycled materials to help reduce waste and protect the planet. We are looking to double our turnover within the year now, and we’re also looking forward to developing a great relationship with the team at Ultimate Finance”.