The Vancouver-based company has partnered with UK finance leasing firm DND Finance to co-develop the lending app. Once developed, the app will be integrated into Aqiok’s omni-channel platform for prestige beauty brands, designed to provide simple and streamlined online support on B2B sales, marketing and logistics and detailed omni channel analysis.
Already made up of several apps, including one for shipping and another for processing transactions in multiple currencies, Aqiok’s cloud-based platform provided beauty brands with 52,000 points of sale in over 30 countries. The lending app would therefore add a means for start-up prestige beauty brands to secure the finances necessary to grow.
‘Well-needed lease financing’
The multi-year agreement to develop the app would provide “well-needed lease financing” to cosmetics manufacturers and brands in Europe and North America, Aqiok said.
DND Finance, it said, would provide the “back-end service” to source and supply new financing requirements from Aqiok customers while Aqiok would focus on “superior customer experience” of the app.
“Ensuring each customer has an individualised cross channel strategy that spans our platform, combined with new growth financing options, is a key part of customer experience focus,” said Matthew Keddy, CEO of Aqiok.
Keddy said this was important given almost 80% of producers in the cosmetics space were classified as small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
“Utilizing our managed platform, we are in a unique position to introduce a new marketplace lending app with DND to meet that operational and growth need of our customers,” he said.
Leasing popular in Europe, finance the challenge in beauty
According to a report from credit insurance firm Euler Hermes, European start-ups were typically short of an estimated €400bn of bank-financing and the European Federation of Leasing Company Associations (Leaseurope) said most European SMEs opted for lease financing and leasing instead of bank loans.
Group CEO of DND Finance Rev. Dr. Dost said the company was confident it could “meet or exceed” the operational needs of Aqiok’s lending app to assist cosmetic SMEs.
Raquel Wing, founder and MD of Indie Brand accelerator specialist The Clean Hub, previously told CosmeticsDesign-Europe finance was one of the biggest hurdles for Indie cosmetic brands, alongside marketing and strategy.
Wing said seeking outside investment to grow required careful thinking and organisation and tended to be a “very time-consuming process”.