The drone industry is new, and by any measure, still in a growth phase. While the hype cycle might well be over, investment isn’t. DRONELIFE interviewed Mark Guida, Vice President-Sales at Ascentium Capital, to discuss what type of clients they work with – and what the financing process looks like.
Mark has served in the equipment leasing and finance industry for over 25 years with extensive experience across multiple equipment lines. He specializes in the UAV industry by designing and implementing strategic end-user financing programs for commercial and municipal UAV manufacturers, distributors, and dealers.
DRONELIFE (DL): Tell us a little about Ascentium Capital.
Mark Guida: “Ascentium Capital is an award-winning commercial lender that specializes in financing for the drone industry. Ascentium works with small business owners to help grow their business. Ascentium’s proprietary finance platform, combined with exceptional customer service, paves the way for fast, flexible financing for virtually any business need. Ascentium is focused on helping businesses succeed with a variety of customized financing solutions.
Ascentium Capital, a subsidiary of Regions Bank, provides a broad range of business equipment financing and leasing options across the United States. The Company’s offering is designed to benefit equipment manufacturers and distributors as well as direct to businesses nationwide.”
DL: Why you have entered the drone space?
Mark Guida: “Since 2011, Ascentium has continued to seek new and evolving commercial markets. Ascentium’s industry focus, platform, expertise, and resources give us a strong position in the commercial UAV financial services industry.
There are numerous studies suggesting the drone, or the UAV industry, is expected to grow significantly over the coming years. Like any new industry, it will have its challenges, however there are strong indicators that suggest this will be a sustainable growth industry. Ascentium has the expertise and financing products to help small business owners in the drone industry expand and grow their business.”
DL: What type of client are you able to help?
Mark Guida: “Ascentium provides financing to small, mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies and municipalities. Specific to the Drone space, this includes commercial pilots.
Business owners many be looking to add or update drone equipment, technology, or other items. The need to upgrade technology to stay competitive is critical in the age of COVID – 19 and many industries are adapting – using drone technology in new ways. Finding a commercial lender that can finance bundled hardware and software can benefit the business owner.”
DL: What does the process look like?
Mark Guida: “Whether the customer is a manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or end-user, the financing processes at Ascentium are designed with the customer in mind. Our customized online tools and technology solutions enhance the financing experience, enabling the customer to be in control.”
DL: What are Ascentium’s financial product offerings?
Mark Guida: “There are two critical ways the Drone Industry uses financing:
- Acquire equipment technology: drones, cameras, sensors, software and other items
- Access to cash for working capital: pay for marketing, unexpected business expenses, taxes, and other business items.
Ascentium Capital specializes in flexible financing solutions that benefit equipment providers in the drone industry and their clients nationwide. Business owners can take advantage of customized financing up to $2 million, terms up to 84 months and custom payments structures. Working capital/small business loans up to $250,000 can assist with inventory, marketing, business expenses and more. Ascentium offers a streamlined process with access to 100% financing: simple application, fast app-only credit decisions for up to $250,000 and deferred payment options.
Ascentium can bundle drone, payload, software, accessories, and services, making the financing experience fast, easy and convenient. Working Capital or short-term business loans can provide critical cash to run your business and give the ability to take advantage of last-minute opportunities. This is especially helpful during the recent months when dealing with the COVID-19 situation.”
DL: Any interesting use cases that you could share with our readers?
Mark Guida: “We have provided financing to commercial pilots, small, medium and large companies as well as to municipalities. What’s been interesting is in several cases the customer chose to increase the order since the acquisitions cost was spread out over time. Additionally, this can help customers reach an acceptable ROI faster.”
DL: What is one important thing about Ascentium Capital that one might not get from reading your website?
Mark Guida: “Financing drones is becoming an important part of the sales process as the acquisition cost continues to increase. While the industry is moving past the proof of concept stage, customers still require ROI justification before making the purchase. Financing can be an effective means of helping reduce the upfront cost and more quickly achieving the desired ROI. Current business shows that the initial order size is increasing because the acquisition cost is spread over the term, not upfront. Ascentium customers are very busy growing their businesses, so providing a comprehensive one-stop, or bundled solution has proven to be very helpful for the small business owner.”
Mark Guida is Vice President-Sales at Ascentium Capital. He has served in the equipment leasing and finance industry for over 25 years. Mark has extensive experience across multiple equipment lines. He specializes in the UAV industry by designing and implementing strategic end-user financing programs for commercial and municipal UAV manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. To contact Mark call 281.883.5067 or email M[email protected]