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Providing Credit for Small Businesses – Interview With Dave Lewis

HackerNoon Reporter: Please tell us briefly about your background.

I’ve donned many hats over my lifetime but have spent the last two decades firmly in the B2B world. Prior to starting Ranqx, I founded a company called VantagePoint, a growth advisory business with offices in Auckland, Sydney and Dubai.

What’s your startup called? And in a sentence or two, what does it do?

My latest business venture is called Ranqx. We’re a cloud-based SMB digital lending platform based in New Zealand with a special focus on accelerating small business digital lending with real-time financial data. Our innovative solution empowers secure lending by enabling banks and credit unions to leverage accurate predictive technologies, which in turn, helps to reduce much of the risk and inefficient friction traditionally associated with lending to small businesses.

What is the origin story?

Like many business owners, it came from spotting a market opportunity. Around 2015, I noticed there was a gap in the market for a financial insights tool tailored toward banks, businesses, and advisors. Simultaneously, I felt like too many small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were being underserved by traditional lenders. I wanted to create something that helped to tick both boxes and that’s what we’ve done with Ranqx.

What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?

Without a doubt, the thing I’m most proud about when I think of Ranqx is the amazing team we’ve built. We’re so fortunate to have so many talented people working for us. As a founder, I know I can rely on the dedication of my team to help drive forward Ranqx, which is a great position to be in. Much like me, I think a lot of them truly believe in the importance of SMB lending, so they want to make the solution as powerful as possible.

If you weren’t building your startup, what would you be doing?

Well, I’d still be working at VantagePoint, helping to support the business as it continues to scale. If I had to remove myself from the business world entirely, then I guess I’d look to coach rugby at a local high school, or something similar. I truly believe sports like rugby instil people with significant discipline, respect and bravery, all of which are valuable skills when looking to achieve success in other aspects of life.

At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your core metrics?

After a couple of years of lockdowns, disruptions, and other oddities, I feel like simply meeting clients and prospects in face-to-face meetings constitutes success. After spending so long without access to travel, it’s great to connect with executives and leaders from across the financial sector who are open to positively reforming credit lending to SMBs, and who see the important role data can play in this pursuit.

What’s most exciting about your traction to date?

Launching a business is always very exciting, so I still look back on 2015 very fondly. By the same token, it’s been amazing working on our North American launch plans, which have just recently been announced. We’ve also been fortunate to partner with some major businesses, such as Visa, which has helped to improve visibility of our brand among banks, advisors, and credit lenders.

What technologies are you currently most excited about, and most worried about? And why?
Look, maybe I’m biased, but I think what we’re bringing to market right now is perhaps the most exciting technology on offer. With Ranqx, more SMBs can gain access to lending capital, which is huge. In the future, we may see more SMBs survive and thrive with access to capital via trusted lenders that wouldn’t have been possible without our support. That’s exciting and is something that really drives us daily.

With that said, I’m still worried about the pervasive nature of existing credit models, which don’t currently cater to SMBs as effectively as one may hope. There are significant imbalances across different financial institutions. Some are happy and open to trying new technologies, but others remain stuck with their comfort blanket of traditional methodologies and moving at a glacial pace of digital transformation. Therefore, I do worry this reluctance could stall the shift toward easier and more efficient SMB lending.

What drew you to get published on HackerNoon? What do you like most about our platform?
The team at Ranqx loves reading Hackernoon. Personally, I really love the content that’s shared through the platform and the detailed industry insights that you provide. Since starting Ranqx, I’ve wanted to be featured on the platform, so this is an exciting opportunity for me!

What advice would you give to the 21-year-old version of yourself?

I would tell the 21-year-old version of me to back myself more, and to confidently bite off more than I can chew. In retrospect, there’s no better age to throw yourself in at the deep end for something you’re passionate about. At the end of the day, you might just find something you like enough to turn into a career.

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