Please provide a brief overview of your company, the service you provide/product you make, and the main audience you serve.
My business partner Terry Steinberg and I founded Provengo in 2004. We launched with an initial focus on providing products and logistics services to the United States Department of Defense; items consisting of protective and operational equipment.
In 2014, we integrated a complimentary business line, Provengo.com, a closed site for the Active Duty, Veteran or Retired individual from all branches of the Federal Government, First Responders, and Law Enforcement communities. Provengo.com provides apparel, tactical and outdoor lifestyle products at a significant discount from brands like Benchmade, Costa, Garmin, YETI, and many more.
- Did you ever explore VC or other equity funding? If so, explain why you did not move forward with that option?
When we originally launched Provengo in 2004, we were self-funded. Our business model operated as such that it didn’t require a capital infusion until this year. Quite honestly, our investment needs were not palatable for the VC or family-funded channels, so we decided to explore alternative financing options that would be a fit for our specific needs.
- What were your original goals with the funding from Decathlon Capital?
The primary investment from Decathlon Capital was used to support our Provengo.com business channel. We demonstrated proof of concept with the business model but realized last year that in order to sustain the continued growth with the same pattern, we needed capital. The investment went toward inventory expansion, IT infrastructure, human resources, and marketing efforts.
- Are there any growth numbers you can share as of now (how much you’ve grown since capital infusion, data/numbers)?
The capital infusion came in June of this year (2019) and since then, we’ve seen over 50 percent growth on the Provengo.com business channel. It was immediate as we invested in additional inventory and expansion of our overall operations. We’ve also been able to secure a couple of multi-year Department of Defense contracts in 2019 in excess of $20 million.
- In what ways did the funding from Decathlon Capital catalyze your business growth?
I’m proud to share that our business growth is on a trajectory path going north while we are maintaining our gross margins. They are remaining consistent year over year as we are growing our top line revenue. I’ve also seen a greater increase in market share on the new website which we can attribute to the support from Decathlon Capital.
- If you could tell business leaders/companies seeking funding one thing about revenue-based financing, what would it be?
Revenue-based financing is the appropriate funding model for company leaders who want to maintain equity and continue operational control of their organizations. I don’t think you get that from traditional equity investments. But more importantly, identifying the right financial partner is critical to success. Decathlon Capital has been very instrumental in providing guidance in marketing and operations for us in addition to introductions within their own portfolio companies that have synergies with Provengo.