Please provide a brief overview of your company, the service you provide/product you make, and the main audience you serve.
Founded in 2008 by a team of veteran bankers and former regulators, Strategic Risk Associates (SRA) is a national risk software and advisory firm specializing in the banking and financial services industry. The company was born out of a profound need for new business management solutions following the Great Recession.
SRA helps banks and financial service companies with Enterprise Risk Management; Credit Risk Management and Stress Testing; Acquisition Due Diligence; Governance; Strategy; Regulatory and Risk Services. In 2015, the company shifted focus and embraced how technology could help financial institutions aggregate data to provide critical insights and continuous monitoring to help manage risk and performance in a fast-paced market. With this mission, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Watchtower was created.
- Did you ever explore VC or other equity funding? If so, explain why you did not move forward with that option?
We started along the road of VC and equity funding initially. Equity funding can be very complex to integrate into the business model because each equity investor has different expectations in terms of what the value of a company is. Revenue-based financing offered us the flexibility we needed as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company. Decathlon is an expert in the SaaS software market and they understood how technology could help financial institutions aggregate data to provide critical insights and continuous monitoring to manage risk in a fast-paced market.
- What were your original goals with the funding from Decathlon Capital?
When we received funding in September of 2019, our original goals were to nationally expand sales and marketing for ERM Watchtower. We were seeking an organization to partner with that had reasonable finance terms and one that would be able to move quickly.
- Are there any growth numbers you can share as of now (how much you’ve grown since capital infusion, data/numbers)?
We set many goals for ourselves with this new funding from Decathlon. We want to grow our current SaaS customer base, which is currently 30 companies, to 300 software companies over the next four years. We’ve been able to make offers to two additional employees since receiving funding and hope to hire 10 more sales and marketing executives. This capital infusion from Decathlon allows us to expand nationally by providing us with an easy repayment method that’s based on our revenue.
- In what ways did the funding from Decathlon Capital catalyze your business growth?
The catalyst to our business growth was the funding itself because it allowed us to invest in our future company growth goals with more sophisticated marketing techniques and new talent. Our SaaS platform is very well developed, but we needed a head start from Decathlon Capital that would enable us to enhance our resources. We are currently concentrated in banking and credit unions, and we are using the new capital to expand our services into insurance and wealth management industries.
- If you could tell business leaders/companies seeking funding one thing about revenue-based financing, what would it be?
Revenue-based financing was a surprisingly flexible funding model that came at the perfect time for us. It allows for upfront funding and owners don’t have to dilute their ownership. This is a stark difference from other equity options that require deficient covenants.