Home » Pros and Cons of Revenue-Based Financing (RBF)

Pros and Cons of Revenue-Based Financing (RBF)

by gaurav gupta

It’s possible to employ revenue-based financing in place of or in addition to traditional loan and equity sources. It’s a wonderful fit for developing firms since it lets founders of startups maintain a larger interest in the company and more say in how it’s run than they would with equity investment. In the ensuing discourse, we shall delve into the merits and demerits of several prevalent avenues for procuring financial resources for nascent enterprises.

The concept of “Revenue-Based Financing”

A revenue-based loan is a financial arrangement wherein the repayment obligation is secured by a predetermined proportion of forthcoming revenues, persisting until a mutually agreed-upon threshold is attained. In its essence, revenue funding pertains to a form of financial allocation wherein resources are derived from the proceeds generated by an entity’s operational activities.

Revenue-Based Financing Advantages

→ The predetermined sum to be repaid is as follows

Revenue-based financing, colloquially known as RBF, denotes a financial arrangement wherein a loan is extended to a borrower, accompanied by a predetermined repayment schedule and a fixed repayment quantum, which is then disbursed over a specified duration of time.

→ Sums that are always reimbursed

Repayment on revenue-based financing is often required to be between 1.5 and 2.5 times the loan’s principal amount.

→ Modifiable conditions of repayment

With revenue-based financing, you may choose to repay the borrowed money as soon as you make some money, or you can extend the repayment period if you need more time.

→ Equity is not diminished in any way

If a business is supported via its income rather than its stocks, its owners may retain full control.

Investors play a smaller role than they would in private equity: When compared to traditional banks, revenue-based financing businesses provide a more personal level of interaction, but they are still less hands-on than private equity investors.

→ Finance firms have a variety of approaches to revenue-based financing.

In the realm of revenue-based finance, it is customary for the repayment quantum to fall within the range of 1.5 to 2.5 times the principal sum of the loan. It would be advantageous for a modest enterprise to establish a quantifiable monetary objective when delineating their operational strategies within their comprehensive business blueprint. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you possess cognizance of the fact that the aforementioned payments shall be deducted from the revenue stream of your esteemed organization, thereby necessitating the undertaking of requisite preparations.

Managing your money well requires you to stick to certain basic budgeting and saving rules, which are good habits to adopt in any case.

→ The Advantages of Debt Financing, Which Is Cheaper Than Equity

Angel investors and venture capitalists will need returns of 10–20 times their original investment if your business is successful, making financing from these sources the priciest choice.

→ Hold on to More of the Profits and Power

Stock purchases by investors are uncommon in revenue-based financing (RBF). The result is that the company’s original founders and early equity investors keep all of their shares. In addition, participants in RBF funds are prohibited from holding board positions or imposing significant financial restrictions on the enterprises in which they invest. The firm’s original founders will continue to have significant say in how the company is run.

→ No individual promises have been made.

Bank loans for new businesses often need personal guarantees from the company’s founders due to the high degree of risk involved. This requires the company’s original investors to put up their own money and maybe their houses or cars as collateral. Founders may now breathe easy under RBF since they won’t have to put up any of their own money as collateral.

→ It is anticipated that no significant disbursements will be made.

The determination of your regular payments is contingent upon a proportional allocation of a percentage derived from your gross monthly earnings. This ensures that in the event of a suboptimal month, the magnitude of your monthly installment shall not be excessively elevated, thereby mitigating the risk of being ensnared in an unmanageable financial obligation.

→ An Agreement to Collaborate Towards Success

Sometimes VCs may pursue a “growth-at-any-cost” approach, which involves pouring so much money into a business that it eventually fails. Investors benefit from RBF’s flexible repayment structure since their returns rise in tandem with the company’s development. This is why both the business owner and the investor should focus on growing their company’s consumer base.

→ Accelerating the Accumulation of Capital

Venture capitalist transactions may take anything from a few months to many years to complete. Since RBF investors do not need hyper-growth or big equity exits from enterprises before investing, lenders may disburse funds in as little as four weeks.

→ Freedom of Choice in Financial Arrangements

One of the primary benefits inherent in revenue-based finance lies in its capacity to enhance the accessibility of conventional forms of capital, thereby facilitating the expansion and establishment of businesses. One of the myriad methods of acquiring financial resources is through:

→ Holding Off On

By delaying the need for venture capital, RBF may help a business stay afloat for longer, and it may also help it achieve higher valuations when it reaches key points in its growth.

 Long-Term Organizational Management Since VCs are risking their own money, they naturally want to see their holdings “exited,” or turned into cash, via a sale of the company. Since RBF investors do not need an exit in order to recoup their investment, since the money is reimbursed over time, founders are free to keep their businesses for as long as they see fit.

→ The potentiality of a divestiture of the corporation

The proprietors of a company may opt to divest themselves of their ownership, conversely. When venture capitalists allocate capital to a company, they possess the authority to exercise veto power over any strategic decisions that may potentially culminate in the company’s acquisition. Insofar as the proprietor of the enterprise has duly repaid the loan, the mechanism of Revenue-Based Financing (RBF) shall grant them the prerogative to divest the company.

Revenue-Based Financing Disadvantages

→ Obtaining the Necessary Amount of

Companies that have yet to generate any revenue are not typically good candidates for this kind of finance. A revenue-based investor would consider metrics like MRR/ARR and expected growth when deciding whether or not to provide credit to a business.

→ Sizes Slightly Below VCs Should Be Checked

Venture capitalists are known for throwing out huge amounts of money to companies without even waiting for a return on their investment. RBF investors will not contribute funding equal to more than three to four months of a company’s MRR. But when a company grows, RBF investors may decide to fund further rounds, giving startups more access to capital.

→ Requirements for Regular Monthly Payments

In contrast to equity financing, regular payment schedules are required for RBF. Since startups sometimes run dry of capital, it’s crucial that they get a sufficient amount of revenue-based funding suitable for their present and future needs.


A business of any size would be wise to weigh the pros and risks of revenue-based financing thoroughly before committing to it.

Revenue-Based Financing FAQs

Q. How does RBF work?

Ans: An investor provides capital to a company in exchange for a percentage of its monthly revenues until a predetermined amount, typically a multiple of the investment, has been repaid. The repayment amount is proportional to the company’s revenue, hence the term “revenue-based.”

Q. What are the typical terms of RBF?

Ans: Terms vary depending on the agreement, but common terms include a repayment percentage ranging from 1% to 10% of monthly revenue, a repayment cap (total amount repaid), and a revenue multiple (e.g., 1.5x to 3x the original investment).

Q. Who is RBF suitable for?

Ans: RBF is suitable for established companies with predictable revenue streams, especially those in software as a service (SaaS), subscription-based models, and other industries with consistent revenue generation.

Q. Is RBF better than equity financing?

Ans: It depends on the company’s goals and circumstances. RBF allows companies to retain ownership and control compared to equity financing, but it may be more expensive in the long run.

Q. How is RBF different from traditional loans?

Ans: Unlike traditional loans with fixed repayment schedules, RBF payments fluctuate based on the company’s revenue. Additionally, RBF investors typically do not have collateral or personal guarantees.

Q. Are there any restrictions on how the funds can be used?

Ans: It depends on the agreement between the company and the investor. Some RBF agreements may impose restrictions on the use of funds, while others provide flexibility.

Q. How can a company qualify for RBF?

Ans: Companies typically need a track record of consistent revenue and a predictable future revenue stream to qualify for RBF. Investors assess the company’s financial performance and growth potential before extending RBF.

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