1. How did the idea for Azule Finance come about? Tell us about what your company does.
Azule Finance was an offshoot from another finance company, the majority shareholder had already run and sold a business to a bank, had a earn out period and at the end of this decided to start-up again. The company are the largest financiers of broadcast, sound and lighting equipment in Europe, financing lots of SME’s and freelancers.
2. What sort of hi-tech technology are you using in order to quickly ascertain the viability of a financial request?
We are one of the few companies that has an online acceptance portal. We can operate also via Magento webshop software and also have an online application system. This gives instant acceptances on all deals below £25000 this has direct links to search engines such as Experian and Equifax and has a decision tree process.
3. How many active customers do you currently have?
We have about 1000 customers.
4. Are you seeking startup funding?
No we are 14 years old but did seek startup funding when we set out, this was before the likes of crowd sites so we went to the standard family and friends and a good friend of the business lent us £500K as a start up loan.
5. We see that you are currently focused in the UK and Europe – any plans to move worldwide?
Europe is our key concentration as the modus operandi is very close to that of the UK and we have a long way to go to reach our €50 million target there, currently we write about 10million a year in mainland Europe and 40 million in the UK we would like to bring this up to parity. . The US and Asia are big and scary and US is quite well served with financial services and Asia is not covered by European banking standards as such we pass.
6. Any plans to move out of the media/tech space?
No not at all , that’s our specialism but we can move more into AV and screens as a focus next.
7. There seem to be many companies doing a variation of this sort of finance. Are you worried about competition? What sets you apart?
Not in our industry niche we are the biggest by far. What sets us apart are our understanding of the industry, the way that we make our staff talk language that our customer understands and also understanding the kit applications , plus being faster and more flexible than a standard bank.
8. For fun: What website do you go to check when your internet isn’t working?
Not sure how I can do that if the internet is not working – probably BBC sport.
9. For fun: Any advice for Startup #nofilter?
All start-ups should have a robust plan!