Tony Barkett from RBCx and Nudge's Rebecca Skvorc on Using Debt Strategies to Scale Your Startup
One of the most misunderstood calculations a founding team can make is when to exchange equity for capital and when you should turn to Venture Debt. We are a Venture Fund, but we are also partners with our founders, and we know that sometimes the better option is Venture Debt. Today’s guests, Tony Barkett, Managing Director of RBCx and Rebecca Skvorc, CFO and Head of Talent at Nudge, talk through the Venture Debt process and when it works (and when it doesn’t)
About Tony Barkett:
Tony Barkett leads the delivery of industry-tailored capital financing, business advice, and solutions that go beyond traditional banking. And when he isn’t busy supporting the growth of innovative companies in Canada, he’s a sports coach for his two sons and an avid golfer. He started his career at SVB, and did his undergrad at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
About Rebecca Skvorc:
Rebecca has 19 years of progressive and diverse financial experience. Prior to her roles at Nudge, she was an SVP at Wave HQ, she’s been in operations and banking for the last 19 years and has successfully closed US$55m in financing over 5 rounds. She got her bachelor’s at Wilfrid Laurier University.
In this episode we discuss:
01:16 Their journey into the tech eco-system
03:17 What is venture debt and why is it issued
04:38 How Venture Debt has evolved over the last few decades
05:54 Venture Debt from an operator’s perspective
07:51 Timing to take on Venture Debt as a startup
10:41 Incentives for Debt providers to find high-growth companies
11:26 How a company can know its ready for a debt-facility
13:53 How Rebecca knew Venture Debt was the right course for her companies
15:28 The starting points founders should consider when looking at Venture Debt
18:55 Other risks founders should consider when looking at Venture Debt
21:19 How Venture Debt is evolving for later-stage companies
22:47 When should founders look at cleaning up their debt
23:42 Can you use equity to solve a debt problem?
24:38 Lessons Rebecca learned from her time at Wave HQ
25:45 Picking the right lender for you Venture Debt
26:53 How Tony has helped companies survive shit-hitting-the-fan moments
29:19 The importance of honesty and transparency with your bankers and investors
31:00 Exciting things about today’s Canadian tech eco-system
Tony’s Fast Favorites:
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Teach them to fish, don’t give them a fish
Rebecca’s Fast Favorites
All In Pod
Hold your loved ones close
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