ORBIAN, A HIDDEN CHAMPION IN SUPPLY CHAIN FINANCE
In 2022, Orbian was once again recognized as “Best Global Supply Chain Finance Provider (Non-Bank)” (Global Finance Magazine), for the eleventh time. Fintechs in Supply Chain Finance (SCF) come and go. Orbian, however, has been around for over 20 years. Established in 1999 as a joint venture between Citibank and SAP, Orbian has been privately held since 2003 under the leadership of Orbian’s Chairman, Thomas Dunn. Orbian has since evolved from a technology provider to a financial services provider with its own SCF platform. Today we speak to Markus Schiffers, Orbian’s Managing Director for EMEA business.
Orbian has been in business for more than 20 years and received a large number of awards, however Orbian is not very well known in Germany. How do you explain that, Mr. Schiffers?
We probably have to increase the marketing budget for our Munich office. [laughs] More seriously, we focus exclusively on SCF and do not do any capital rounds that fintechs use to raise the capital they need, but of course also to gain media presence. Nevertheless, Orbian is already known to every expert in the field of SCF. When we were the first company to set up a bank-independent program in Germany in 2008, awareness was significantly lower, and our awareness increases with the awareness of SCF in Germany. But it is more important to us that our German customers and everyone else who has trusted in our competence for many years can continue to rely on us 100%. Not only do they appreciate our unique financing model.
Financing model? Can you tell us a bit more about that?
MS: Gladly. Our SCF programs do not depend on a single funding partner. Many financing partners can participate in a program; this creates prices in line with the market. In addition, a change in financing partners has no impact on the supplier or our customer. This is particularly important in times of crisis on the financial markets.
How does this work?
MS: For each SCF program, Orbian establishes an independent special purpose vehicle that conducts all transactions with the customer, suppliers and financing partners. No expert will seriously doubt the superiority of this structure. Nevertheless, other providers shy away from the effort, especially for smaller customers. But since we want our programs to be successful for many years, we choose the best structure for our customers and their suppliers from the start.
Understood. What else can Orbian do to convince?
MS: Express SCF. We launched our Express-SCF product in 2018, in the US first. Express-SCF is clearly superior to traditional SCF solutions in terms of supplier onboarding. It benefits from the highest supplier acceptance in the market especially because the suppliers do not have to sign a contract to participate. With this solution, we can serve suppliers in over 150 countries – including highly regulated ones. Our customer benefits directly from this.
Mr. Schiffers, what is a current trend for SCF?
MS: There is a lot of talk at the moment about financing sustainable supply chains. Suppliers should be given incentives to improve ESG performance. With Sustainable SCF, for example, suppliers who comply with defined environmental, social and governance criteria can receive better conditions. Orbian supports the development of such programs.
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