The Swiss sports food manufacturer Nutriathletic is on a steep path to success – no bullshit! And that brings us straight to the claim of the company, which was created 3 years ago from the merger of two ETH spin-offs.
The company’s business model is innovative in every respect. Why? The company has focused on the production of foods that are optimally attuned to the physiological processes in the body. The founder, Dr. Piero Fontana, not only attaches importance to the highest quality, but above all to scientific findings.
“We work very closely with universities, colleges, doctors and a broad network of athletes. This strictly scientific approach is unique in the field of sports nutrition,” he explains.
And that is also the reason why many top athletes rely on the products of Wollerau to optimise their training performance. Full throttle is the motto – and some even go one step further. Last year, for example, two top athletes – ski world champion and Olympic champion Wendy Holdener and Olympic champion skier Michelle Gisin – joined Nutriathletic as shareholders and partners. “Since my injury last late summer, I have relied intensively on the product know-how of NA®,” Wendy Holdener explains her motivation to support product development with her experience and expertise in the future. “This is not a sponsorship deal, not a bought-in testimonial…” adds Piero Fontana happily and with a twinkle in his eye, emphasising again how important the quality of the athletes’ nutrition is to him and the entire team. “No bullshit, for us that means that physiology is the strict basis of product development. Which nutrient combinations trigger which effects – that’s what concerns us. And we are real and honest about that. We keep our promise in terms of quality and brand values.”
Year founded: 2018
Financing: Private equity, equity capital, A.B.S. Factoring, quickpaid
Factoring category: Production of consumer goods
But it is not only the products themselves that are innovative and constantly being optimised, the company structure is also constantly changing – for the better. “We are completely digital,” Fontana reports. “We have outsourced all tasks that are not part of the core business.” To this end, the founder and his wife have helped set up a start-up environment in the sense of a business incubator that provides all administrative tasks – from sales, R+D, accounting and communication to financing. Nutriathletic AG was the first of several companies of the smart founding couple to be integrated backwards into this structure. And with success! But the entrepreneurial duo is not stopping there: the goal now is to grow beyond the Swiss market into a global food brand. The Asia-Pacific market in particular is of interest to the founder.
The company thinks ahead and has positioned itself broadly: In addition to house bank and equity capital, Nutriathletic relies on financing products from A.B.S. Factoring: full-service factoring and the purchase financing quickpaid. Dr Piero Fontana, CEO of Nutrathletic AG, tells us what prompted him to make this decision:
We quote Dr. Piero Fontana, CEO Nutriathletic AG
The outsourcing of administrative activities
“Factoring helps us to focus on what we are good at – and that is brand building,” Dr. Fontana explains his motives. “We consistently outsource administrative activities. With factoring, we hand over accounts receivable management and collection to A.B.S. Factoring. That was central to our decision.”
The liquidity advantage
“Liquidity bottlenecks that occurred due to the lockdown when our customers, the fitness studios, were closed, we were able to bridge them well with factoring.”
The predictability of cash flow
Another reason for choosing factoring was the predictability of cash flow. “We have a rapid growth. Our goal is therefore not to pay our supplier invoices until the customer has already paid. With factoring, we don’t experience any surprises, because the money is reliably in our account two days after the invoice is submitted. This enables us to plan our finances closely and to have a positive cash flow at all times.
The good cooperation with A.B.S. Factoring
“Our cooperation with A.B.S. is very straightforward. Marc Meier and his team are always available; the decision-making processes are short. We are very satisfied.”
The high level of acceptance among debtors
And how have Nutriathletic’s customers reacted to the cooperation with A.B.S. Factoring? “Of course, there was a certain start-up process until all payments were switched to the new account, but now everything is going very well. We get neutral feedback from our customers, and the acceptance among major customers is also very good.”
Complementary to A.B.S. Factoring, Nutriathletic also relies on innovative financing on the purchasing side to cushion peaks and intelligently distribute payment terms for preliminary products.
“The volumes we have produced are often at the minimum limit of our suppliers and yet already quite high for SMEs like Nutriathletic. Therefore, we receive relatively large invoices, which often also have relatively poor payment terms for companies that are still young. This is where quickpaid helps us to spread our suppliers’ invoices better – for example, we can pay bars out of cash flow, while extending the payment term for drinks via quickpaid.”
“Focus on your core competence! Everything else should be outsourced to specialists.” If you want to follow this advice, Dr. Fontana Lab GmbH is a start-up ecosystem that already has good experience with this philosophy.
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