UK Export Finance has helped aviation data software provider, Snowflake Software, access the finance it needed to grow its business abroad.
Snowflake Software is a provider of cloud and on-premise software solutions that make aviation data available and easy to use. Its Laminar Data Platform gathers and aggregates aviation data, such as flight, weather and aeronautical information, for customers including airlines, airports, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and other companies in the aviation supply chain.
Established in 2001, Snowflake initially specialised in mapping software, and its customers were primarily in the UK. Since developing its aviation products, however, it has grown rapidly – 30% year-on-year organic growth for the last three years – and acquired customers around the world. In addition to sales in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, it has opened an office in Washington to support its sales in the Americas.
When Snowflake won a multi-million pound contract with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority to provide a bespoke on-premise solution, the success created funding constraints. As part of the terms of the contract, the buyer required a performance bond of 10% from Snowflake’s bank. In turn, the bank required a cash deposit to issue the bond, which would have restricted the working capital available to fulfil the order and continue investing in the growth of the business.
UKEF was able to provide a solution. By giving the bank a guarantee under its bond support scheme, it reduced the size of the deposit required, freeing up the cashflow to fulfil the contract.
Greg Hands, UK Minister for International Trade, said: “Snowflake Software is a highly innovative company with a product for which there is significant global demand, and this Government is committed to ensuring that businesses like these can realise the world of opportunity out there. I am delighted that UK Export Finance was on hand to ensure that Snowflake was able to achieve this major export success.”
Lisa Church, Finance Director at Snowflake Software, said: “UKEF’s support meant that we were able to release cash back into the business to maintain our focus on delivering a world class product to the customer and expand our business activities elsewhere. With our plans for further international growth, partnering with UKEF in future will give us the confidence that we can continue to realise the opportunities presented by this huge global industry.”Date: April 13, 2017