The effects of the COL, the Corona Bridging Loan, are multifaceted. Take Bondex, which facilitates the purchase of stocks and bonds in SMEs with blockchain technology. The COL kept the company afloat, and eventually Bondex was sold to Nxchange.
Such a sale may not be the dream scenario, but all parties are only too happy that there was still something to sell. ''Without COL we wouldn't have made it,'' says co-owner Daan Elllens, ''and there would have been nothing left of a promising company. Now it has been sold and Bondex can continue as a label under Nxchange.'' Nxchange is the stock market for the next generation: an it platform that brings investors and larger companies together.
Hinks on two minds
Bondex sets up digital funds for SMEs, which can sell shares and bonds publicly. Administrative processing is done in the blockchain, making it cheap, clear and transparent. The Bondex tools are interesting for employers if they want their staff to participate. Started in 2019 from Briqchain (funding real estate via blockchain technology), Bondex hopped on two thoughts for some time. Ellens explains that for a long time there was too much focus within Bondex on both fund and platform. ''That's not possible, a choice had to be made,'' he says.
Like a chameleon
The platform, say the software, was chosen. Ellens: ,,I sometimes compared Bondex to a chameleon. We took the color that suited us, but a lot of energy goes into such a color change in a chameleon. It was the same with us. It had an effect on people. It stops once then.''
Bondex was operating for three parties (Shipfund, Groasis, Catena Power) and was in talks with six companies when the corona virus was around the corner last year. Ellens: ,,Those potential customers wanted to wait first. Logical. But two things were really important to us at the time: existing customers stayed, the team stayed afloat and we could keep the business afloat. As management, we had to make sacrifices.''
Complementary to Nxchange
And the COL ensured that "the cash flow became so in order that you could just keep going. Talks had already begun in October with NOM to invest more, because everyone was convinced of Bondex's potential. Ellens: ,,And suddenly we got into talks with Nxchange through a joint customer. We discovered that we were complementary to each other and soon there was interest in taking us over.''
Daan Ellens adds: ,,That seems nice, but if it fails then Bondex is also gone immediately. The market was too thin for us at that time.'' It was an exciting time ('a COL had to be paid off, there was a lien on the intellectual property, people you started with should not be abandoned'). Ellens: ''We now have accommodation with a future unicorn and we have our own place.''
Young Bondex moves on thanks to COL
So Ellens has high hopes for Nxchange, because there are not that many unicorns (startups that grow to billions in sales) in the Netherlands. ''Nxchange has been around for a long time,'' he explains, ''and it was started very thoroughly.'' So the still young Bondex can continue thanks to the COL. ''Without COL we wouldn't have made it,'' he reflects. ,,Our salvation was also mainly the speed with which the COL was provided. And NOM's confidence was evident in a very difficult period.
Klaas Kooistra, NOM investment manager:
,,The great thing about the sale of Bondex is that many promising companies that are beset by blunt bad luck - the corona crisis - and still remain promising thanks to the COL. It's nice that we were able to help with a bridge loan. Bondex is a company with potential and you need a long breath. With the COL you are granted that long breath.
Many companies have applied for COL. It is a success. Follow-up funding for these companies is also a success, because it means that these companies will have a chance to further fulfill their potential. That is the bright side of can the COL, on the other hand, unfortunately there are also companies that will not make it despite the COL.''
In this white paper you will learn:
- What you have to deal with when you start working with investors
- Differences and similarities between bank funding, subordinated loan and equity capital
- In what ways NOM as an investor can help you
Please note that this whitepaper is only available in Dutch at the moment. We are in the process of translating this whitepaper.