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Built with Billd: The State of Commercial Construction Loans with Eric White of Dividend Finance

Published: June 15, 2020
Last updated: April 19, 2022
Read time: < 1

Summary: Chris Doyle, CEO of Billd, sat down with the CEO of Dividend Finance, Eric White to discuss the state of construction loans and working capital requirements in growing markets. 

Eric opens by giving listeners a little insight into his background. Eric was an investment banker with Merrill Lynch whose primary focus was energy and power. From there, he entered the private equity arena in which he focused on identifying underserved and undercapitalized markets to deploy more efficient vehicles. 

Many of the companies they invested in during this time served as an inspiration for Dividend. The overall goal was to build a data-driven platform that can aggregate micro infrastructure real assets at a more efficient cost of acquisition. 

After a few months of exploring this, Dividend diverged specifically towards solar due to the lower product cost and high return. Today, Dividend has lent more than $1 billion in funds since its inception and is the leading lender for home solar.

The two then go on to discuss the state of the commercial real estate industry after a year in the COVID crisis as lenders are tightening underwriting standards, imposing more stringent covenants, and reducing the amount of capital they are deploying towards any sort of commercial construction projects. 

“In a rapidly growing industry, if these contractors really want to grow, and satisfy the demand they’re seeing in new markets, they need another [financing] solution, above and beyond the manufacturer and distributor [terms].”Eric White, CEO of Dividend Finance

About Billd: Billd stands alone as a partner that truly champions the subcontractor. Founders Christopher Doyle and Jesse Weissburg, industry veterans in both construction and finance, witnessed the detrimental impact to subcontractors of the longstanding broken payment cycle in construction. Their time in the trades inspired them to launch Billd in 2018, bringing the financial power of Wall Street to the construction job site. Billd's financial and payment products empower subcontractors to bypass project hurdles by providing access to upfront funds to cover their most pressing costs, including materials and labor. Unlike traditional financing outlets, Billd provides flexible lines of credit to accommodate the unpredictability of cash flow in construction, and extends their customers up to 120-day terms to align with industry payment standards. Billd knows traditional credit metrics are poor predictors for risk and has built a variety of industry-specific, proprietary analytic and financing tools to allow subcontractors to stabilize cash flow and more effectively grow their businesses.

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