Dr. Natasha Sharpe on marketing tools critical to secure financing today

October 22, 2015 — In the recent Global Technology Metals Market Summit hosted by InvestorIntel last week in the panel titled “The Debt, M&A and Creative Capital Financing Era” hosted by Peter Clausi, Sr. Editor for InvestorIntel, the audience was quite receptive to the commentary by Dr. Natasha Sharpe, CEO & CIO of Bridging Finance Inc. Dr. Sharpe had the audience all sit up when she pointed out marketing advantages critical to secure financing today. Seated next to Darren Townsend, Managing Director of Peak Resources Limited who secured over $25 million this summer, she commented that “people are much more sophisticated today than they were 15 years ago. If you want to get funding you really have to change the pitch from the 1985 version…” and proceeded to be quoted throughout the day by other moderators which we are presently editing for publication.

Peter Clausi, InvestorIntel: On your desk every day are new deals. What? 50 a week? Are you seeing any old concepts that are being repackaged specifically for your lending mechanism?

Dr. Natasha Sharpe: Oh sure. I mean, at the end of the day if you’re in alternative lending and people know that you have capital to deploy in the hundreds of millions you get everything across your desk. I see everything from please finance my condominium to please finance my ice breaker to please finance my helicopter, et cetera. There’s certainly no shortage of people who are looking for money. The issue honestly is to start sorting through the wheat from the chaff. Especially on the resource side, I think that what’s old is the way that people are presenting their pitches.

Peter Clausi, InvestorIntel: PowerPoint presentation reduced to PDF?

Dr. Natasha Sharpe: Honestly horrendous. I think, in our office anyway, we play mining bingo and the square in the middle is its close to the surface — everything is close to the surface.

Peter Clausi, InvestorIntel: Low cost of production?

Dr. Natasha Sharpe: Oh absolutely.

Peter Clausi, InvestorIntel: Infrastructure?

Dr. Natasha Sharpe: And there’s no information in the pitch. At the end of the day that simply won’t cut it anymore. I mean, people are much more sophisticated today I think than they were 15 years ago. If you want to get funding you really have to change the pitch from the 1985 version of the deck and I have not seen that. I find that interesting because literally every other sector except for this one, it’s gotten a lot better.

Moderator: What are you seeing then in other sectors then that we can learn?

Sharpe-NatashaDr. Natasha Sharpe: I honestly believe that it’s the quality of consultants in this space that’s a bit lacking. I think that if you’re resource focused and you’re management focused you simply don’t have the time and the expertise to be able to do this for yourself. The smaller firms I think don’t necessarily have access to the investment banking who can put together their pitch books for them, but they certainly do have access to consultants who should be able to “steal” from the majors and bring that information down into depths that can be presented to alternative lenders. At the end of the day, I think it’s a question of recognizing what doesn’t work. If you’ve taken the same pitch book around to 20 odd people and everybody’s turned you down there’s probably a reason for it. Maybe you should go back and retool your presentation. Because I agree, there is no pitch that comes across my desk that isn’t, “this is the better mouse trap” and “this is going to revolutionize XYZ”.  And the things that I’m interested in are the meat and the potatoes. How much does it cost you to extract? Do you have an offtake contract? If not, why not? Where’s it coming from? If you’re located in provinces, because we’re very Canadian focused, they tend to have heavy investment from their own province, why aren’t you getting provincial funding? The obvious questions make it easier for me and then I can make it easy for you. Honestly, in many cases I see a pitch come across my desk that is so horrendous it’s simply not worth my time to look at it so you throw it in the garbage and you go on to the next one regardless of whether or not there’s something there or not…to access the complete panel excerpt from the recent Global Technology Metals Market Summit, click here  

Natasha Sharpe on bridging the capital needs between banks and distressed lenders

August 27, 2015 — In a special InvestorIntel interview, Publisher Tracy Weslosky speaks with Natasha Sharpe CEO of Bridging Finance Inc. about present market challenges for companies seeking to secure capital needs through alternative or debt financing to avoid dilution. Natasha describes how it works at Bridging Finance, a company that is seeking to arrange financing for companies that are strong, growing, or with promising potential that are in the Canadian mid-market.

Tracy Weslosky: I am absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to talk to you about one of the topics that we discuss a lot in InvestorIntel, which is debt financing. Can you give us an overview about what Bridging Finance does?

Natasha Sharpe: Bridging Finance is one of the few players in the Canadian space that is between the banks on the one hand and distressed lenders on the other. We’re playing in a very broad non-sector specific space where what we’re looking for are good companies that need a bridge. That’s why we call ourselves Bridging.

Tracy Weslosky: Okay. Say I’m a company. We have a lot of companies out there seeking capital the resource sector, the technology metals market, technology; many of the sectors have been hard hit since 2008. It’s my understanding, of course that debt financing you’re not diluting your company so it makes a great option. Can you tell us what your ideal candidate looks like?

Natasha Sharpe: Sure. Well, we’re indifferent as to the size of the company that we deal with. We can do factoring of accounts receivable for as little as $100,000 all the way up to loans of $40 million plus. We service the Canadian midmarket. That covers a huge amount of ground. Again, we’re not interested in the distress space. What we’re looking for are companies that are strong companies, they’re growing companies, they’re up-and-coming companies or alternatively they just have a bank that’s not moving fast enough for them to grab an opportunity that they see in front of them.

Tracy Weslosky: Can you give us an example of a client that you’ve worked with that you’re really pleased with their progress or why you were attracted to them so that everybody doesn’t start calling me asking me to give you your telephone number?

Natasha Sharpe: Well, because we are diversified and we service the diversified Canadian midmarket, we cover a huge amount of ground. We’ve done backing of LCs for companies that were doing acquisitions in the U.S. as an example. We’ve done financing of icebreakers as a bridge to a Canadian schedule A bank. We’ve done inventory financing for tomato growers. We cover a massive amount. The fortunate thing is if you’re a company that’s got a very specific need, because we’re a bridge to something, not a bridge to nowhere, as we like to call it, and you have the assets to support a loan and you believe in your company to the point where you don’t want to take on an equity investor, then we’re probably a good person to talk to…to access the complete interview, click here