A SaaS Lending Story:

Banyan Technology

Cleveland based Banyan Technology is North America’s leading provider of live carrier and API connectivity for transportation management. The company’s software provides shippers, third-party logistics (3PL) companies and carriers with access to live data for rating, booking and managing their shipments.

Banyan Technology logo

Learn more about Banyan Technology

With more than 2,000 TL, LTL, Local and Parcel carrier connections and 34,000 client locations accessing the application, Banyan Technology provides commercial shippers, brokers, and 3PLs with unparalleled access to carrier data. These connections boost efficiency, improve visibility and deliver permanent reductions in shipping costs.

Banyan Technology has used both equity and debt financing–including debt-financing from River SaaS Capital–to fund their company, so they are a great resource for SaaS companies looking to understand the pluses and minuses of each funding type. We recently sat down with CEO Brian Smith to learn more about Banyan’s growth story.

What made you decide to pursue both debt and equity financing instead of one or the other?

We used debt-financing because we wanted the ability to add equity financing more strategically down the line as we grew. Most recently, we combined both debt and equity in our recent $7M round.

It’s really all about preserving equity, which is one of your most valuable assets and only gets more valuable as you grow. When you have a product you know is working and you see the industry is embracing it, debt-financing is a great alternative because it preserves more of your equity. That’s important when you consider that we’ve recently seen people adjacent to us in the market sell for 8X revenue.

“It’s really all about preserving equity, which is one of your most valuable assets and only gets more valuable as you grow.”

What made you choose River SaaS Capital as your lender?

There are plenty of funds out there where you spend lots of time answering questions and, in the end, they ravage the structure of your company. I love the product that River SaaS offers as it is not off the shelf but can be customized to meet companies where they are in terms of funding sought. Additionally, they provided an ROI calculation for us on interest payments vs. sacrificed equity. At that point, it was a no-brainer for us.

They are also basically hands-off when it comes to letting you run your business. They take an interest and share their opinions, but they aren’t always looking over your shoulder and they didn’t require a board seat to fund us, which others often do.

They also worked very well with equity investors, who are very sophisticated and ultimately appreciated not having to give up equity, so long that we had a product that was solid, we knew the target audience and were having success reaching them. That’s the key; the long-term value has to be there. If it is, then the debt-financing makes sense.

How would you describe the due diligence and documentation process working with a lender such as River SaaS Capital when compared to an equity investor?

Our due diligence with River SaaS Capital was a thorough process, which of course is necessary anytime lending money is involved. But it’s nowhere near as long or time-consuming a process as the one we went through to get equity funding.

The documents for River SaaS were far easier for us than documents in equity funding. I estimate all fundraising paperwork in inches, so I’d guess that I have a ½ inch thick manila folder for our lending documents. For our equity raise, I have a 2-inch binder prepared by lawyers. That’s just the nature of the game when you’re talking about giving up a stake in your company. My legal bills for equity financing were $30K. We probably spent $5k for the initial River SaaS deal.

Looking for Growth Capital?

If your company is considering its growth capital options and can relate to the scenario in this case study, we’d enjoy an opportunity to speak with you and learn more about your SaaS platform. Contact us today to learn more about our funding solutions.

Ready to learn more about how River SaaS Capital can help you grow your business? Let’s talk.

Michael Kennedy

Chief Executive Officer, TruWest Companies

Mike Kennedy is CEO of TruWest Companies, the parent organization of River Capital Finance, River SaaS Capital, TRG and MRK Technologies. He began his business career with the Burroughs Corporation (now Unisys), before co-founding L.D.I. Corporation, a computer distributor and leasing company that grew to $75 million in sales by 1987, when it went public.

Under Mike’s leadership as President and COO, L.D.I. increased sales to $350 million by 1994, when it was acquired by NationsBank. Prior to the sale, he led a management buyout of several company divisions to form a new company called MRK Technologies. In 2000, Mike expanded again with the formation of MRK Leasing, later rebranding as River Capital Finance.

Matthew Kennedy

Co-Managing Member, TruWest Companies

Matt is president of River SaaS Capital’s parent company, River Capital Finance and Co-Managing Member of TruWest Companies, the parent organization of River Capital Finance. In these roles, he is responsible for the development and implementation of high-level strategic sales plans to drive revenue and ultimately increase market share.

Matt founded River SaaS Capital to help founders grow their dreams while protecting their ownership.

Sean Kennedy

Co-Managing Member, TruWest Companies

Sean Kennedy is a Co-Managing Member of TruWest Companies, the parent organization of River Capital Finance, River SaaS Capital, TRG and MRK Technologies.

Sean began his career with MRK Technologies and in 2004, founded TRG, then a provider of refurbished equipment to the AIDC and mobile technology market. He has since transformed TRG into one of the largest hardware, software and solutions providers in the mobile computing, barcode, POS and payment processing industries. Sean is a 2002 graduate of Ohio University with a B.A. in Communications.

Wendy Jarchow

Chief Investment Officer, River SaaS Capital

Wendy is Chief Investment Officer of River SaaS Capital. She leads the company’s due diligence and lending activities to help growing SaaS businesses fund their growth plans with non-dilutive capital and manages the company’s portfolio of loans.

Wendy has over 20 years of experience working at large financial institutions and venture funds where she has held diverse business roles, including business development, risk management, access to capital through venture investing, and strategic planning and implementation. Prior to joining River SaaS Capital in June 2016, Wendy was a Venture Partner at JumpStart, a Northeast Ohio Venture Development Organization where she assisted client companies with developing funding strategies and secured capital for both start-ups and scaleup businesses.

Joe Granzier

Chief Development Officer, River SaaS Capital

Joe is Chief Development Officer of River SaaS Capital. He manages River SaaS Capital’s investor relations and devises strategies for fund growth.

Before joining River SaaS, Joe spent over 30 years in high-net worth portfolio management, corporate retirement plan consulting and education funding strategies. He has worked for both public financial conglomerates as well as smaller boutique investment firms and has been a participant in the esteemed Securities Institute Association (SIA) at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Joe holds multiple industry licenses (6, 66, 7, life, health, LTC) and is a certified Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF).

Chris Free

Chief Financial Officer, TruWest Companies

Chris Free is Chief Financial Officer of TruWest Companies, the parent organization of River Capital Finance, River SaaS Capital, TRG and MRK Technologies. Chris joined TruWest in 2018 with over 14 years of experience in financial management, mostly recently serving as Chief Financial Officer at Sandridge Foods, a family-owned leader in the fresh food manufacturing industry. Chris has also served as Group Controller and Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis at Nordson Corporation and has experience in a variety of roles at Ernst & Young LLP. Chris earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in accounting from Miami University.

Joseph Yanoska

Chief Information Officer, TruWest Companies

Joseph Yanoska is Chief Information Officer of TruWest Companies, the parent organization of River Capital Finance, River SaaS Capital, TRG Solutions, MRK Technologies and Sibling Revelry Brewing. He is a technology veteran with a background in the online social expression and banking industries. Joe helps our portfolio investments as a technology mentor. He strategizes along with your team on development roadmaps and security assessments. He would love to help you scale your technology to grow with your business.

Tara Lavelle

VP of Marketing

Tara Lavelle leads marketing for River SaaS Capital, MRK Tech, and River Capital Finance since 2020. Most recently Tara lead marketing at CardinalCommerce, a high growth Fintech SaaS business culminating in the sale to Visa.

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