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Aqiok, a managed B2B platform for prestige cosmetics distribution in key global markets, and Anglo-Canadian asset-based lender DND Finance, have announced a multi-year agreement to develop a new app to provide lease financing to cosmetics manufacturers and brands in North America and Europe.

The agreement provides Aqiok with the financial service infrastructure that draws on DND’s nearly 20-years of operations to deploy a new app in its Omni Channel Platform (OCP) and app Product Line.

From its operations in London, UK, DND will back-end service the origination of new financing requirements from Aqiok customers, whilst Aqiok aims to ensure a superior customer experience (CX) for cosmetics manufacturers and brands.

Matthew Keddy, chief executive officer of Aqiok, said: "In the cosmetics space nearly 80% of producers are classified as small to medium size enterprises (SME). Utilizing our managed platform, we are in a unique position to introduce a new marketplace lending app with DND to meet that operational and growth needs of our customers.”

Operational needs

Rev. Dr. Bill Dost (pictured), group chief executive officer of DND Finance, said: “We are pleased that we can bring our almost two decades of SME finance expertise in North America and Europe to this new partnership.

“Having implemented numerous contracts for clients and brokers successfully, we are confident we can meet or exceed the operational needs of Aqiok’s new lending app.”

British Business Bank in its 2017/18 ‘Small Business Finance Markets’ report, notes that:

  • Marketplace lending, usually online, that links lenders and borrowers, continues to grow and according to AltFi Data, total lending in 2017 exceeded £5 billion (CAD$8.2 billion) in the UK, an increase of 45% year-on-year;
  • Marketplace lending represents 15% of the overall asset-based finance market, which reached a record level of £32 billion (CAD$52 billion) for 2018, in the market’s seventh year of consecutive growth;
  • A recent report from Euler Hermes notes a broader demand for lease financing, as “SMEs in Europe lack an estimated €400 billion (CAD$587 billion) of bank-financing.” Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden account for 78% of the European SME leasing market, and according to Leaseurope, nearly half of all SMEs utilize lease financing and leasing is used by more SMEs than bank loans.

Keddy added: “Ensuring each customer has an individualized cross channel strategy that spans our platform combined with new growth financing options is a key part of customer experience (CX) focus. At scale internationally, the relationship with DND ensures we are delivering new apps in our product line that are high impact.”

Aqiok is a Vancouver-based managed platform company targeting prestige cosmetics manufacturers and brands in key global markets. The Company’s Omni Channel Platform, with 52,000 retail Point-of-Sale (POS) in over 30 countries and apps Product Line are disrupting distribution in the $20B luxury cosmetics market.