The AI-powered startup fighting to ease financial burdens of SMEs

The AI-powered startup fighting to ease financial burdens of SMEs

DebtForce, a new AI-powered debt recovery platform, today announced its nationwide launch with a mission to help businesses ease the financial burden of bad debts; a problem that sees 46 per cent of small businesses fail within their first five years. 

As the brainchild of technology entrepreneur brothers David and Michael Sojevic, and lawyers David Rennex and Anthony Curtin, DebtForce was built to empower SMEs to take control of their finances by simplifying and speeding up the debt recovery process through an intuitive platform. 

Backed by solutions-focused law firm Merton Lawyers, the platform enables creditors to lodge and track outstanding debts. It offers debtors flexible payment options to ensure high rates of recovery while giving both parties a fair go. 

David Rennex, Chief Executive Officer at DebtForce and practising litigation lawyer, said:

“Late payments are an inevitable part of doing business; however, it’s SMEs that suffer most from the compounding financial burdens of bad debts, leading to cashflow bottlenecks, and in many cases, insolvencies.”

He adds: “As a practising litigation lawyer, debt recovery is among the top concerns for SME clients, but it’s often an expensive and timely process.

What does DebtForce aim to achieve?

The vision for DebtForce is to make the debt recovery journey easy to navigate, and accessible to businesses of all sizes; managing claims starting at $500 up to $100,000. There are no upfront fees either, DebtForce only takes a commission if the debt is recovered.”

In Australia, research shows that late payments are a systemic problem, with over half of small business invoices being paid late. Rennex said, “it’s a fine line between late payments and bad debt, but it’s not one that SMEs should have to walk in such tough economic conditions.” 

DebtForce is solving a major problem for business owners; however, Rennex explains that he wants to see more SMEs protect themselves from bad debt in the first place: “When it comes to debt recovery, prevention is the best method.

It’s important to create strong contracts with explicit invoicing terms to make it clear to your customer when a late payment has ticked over into a bad debt. If that happens, you then need to strike while the iron’s hot.

The more proactive you are around chasing debt, the more likely it is to be recovered. That’s where DebtForce can help as a quick and affordable solution.” 

“While our primary focus is recovering debt, we also want to work with people – whatever their circumstances – to make sure both the creditor and debtor get a fair go.

DebtForce offers flexible repayment options such as staggered installments, which has been successful in recovery rates so far, says Rennex. 

DebtForce has already helped many local businesses recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in bad debt, including Tormax, a local automatic door maker operating in the construction industry.

For Michael Vella, Head of Finance at Tormax, the easy-to-use platform has, “provided great support in getting traction with our debtors. As a business in construction, once a project is completed debtors may have very little motivation to pay their debts.

The time it takes to chase these debtors internally is too high.

DebtForce have had an outstanding record of success in collecting these debts, especially when compared to the standard debt recovery process that operates more on a ‘numbers game’ philosophy of hitting the debtor with high frequency contact only.”

He continues: “Tormax had a number of entrenched debtors that simply refused to pay.

Given legal action is limited during COVID, DebtForce were able to mitigate against this and collect these debtors during a period of stress on cash flows [which] enabled Tormax to navigate this period with our receivables ledger in good shape.”