New SaaS Startup Launches To Help Underserved Businesses Manage Credit Risk. LSS #25: Argos Risk


Argos Risk

With 15 years of collective input and two years of development behind it, Minneapolis-based Argos Risk has officially launched.

At the core, Argos Risk exists to provide businesses of all sizes an easy and affordable tool to assess and monitor the ongoing financial health and potential business credit risk associated with key strategic relationships — whether that be a business’ customers, suppliers or even competitors.

Described as “[a good fit] for growing companies that may be facing the stresses of providing credit,” perhaps through over-extended receivables, Argos Risk has focused on providing an “easy, actionable and affordable” SaaS model to what is typically an expensive and complicated process for many small to middle-market business owners, CFO’s and Controllers.

Starting at $49/month, customers can setup an account and specify the exact organizations they seek to monitor in (near) real-time based on information aggregated from outside (raw) public data sources.  As the financial wherewithal of a monitored company changes, the dashboard will indicate red, yellow or green status updates.  In addition to observing, an actionable “best practices matrix” provides recommendations about how to proceed with the varying changes.  “Beyond a credit monitoring tool, we see Argos Risk as a business survival tool for today’s economic challenges,” says CMO Bill Shell.

In one example cited, a small owner/operator in the outdoor services space with 3-5 employees  and$350k in annual sales uses Argos Risk to monitor the financial health of the individual accounts of the customers the (outdoor services) company extend terms to.  On the higher end, organizations in the $25m-$50m range as well as multinational corporations can leverage the service to meet their needs at a more affordable price than otherwise available.

The venture comes to life through a series of local collaborations and strategic national partnerships.  At conception, the idea stems back 15 years — essentially incubated in part with PrinSource Capital, a Minneapolis-based asset and invoice-based lender Co-founded by Foster . For execution, Argos Risk partnered with eCapital Advisors for the IBM Cognos BI Software integration and Irish Titan for the front end development, UX and e-commerce functionality.   “We’ve been very happy with the value provided by our partners, and the benefit for us being in Minnesota is access to significant resources and talent to help us get to where we are, ” notes CEO Steve Foster.

By signing “specific and complex” licensing agreements with 3rd party data firms such as Dun & Bradstreet and research/ratings agency Moody’s, Argos Risk is able to deliver timely targeted information into it’s customers dashboard; fundamentally, therein lies the real magic in bringing this technology to market.

“Everybody that’s involved with Argos Risk on an executive and investment level are all entrepreneurs — past and present. We’ve all started firms in the past and some of those have worked extremely well and others we’ve learned a lot from.  We believe that we understand the heart of the business owner, the complexities of today’s market, the concerns for business credit risk and what it takes to get paid in today’s business environment.  Argos Risk is here.” – Bill Shell, CMO, Argos Risk.

Listen to the podcast for details…