Revenue-Based Financing (RBF) vs. Asset-Based Financing (ABF): Choosing the Right Path for Your Business Growth

Last Modified : Mar 20, 2024

Reviewed by: Bruce Sayer

In the diverse landscape of business financing, understanding the nuances between different funding options can be the key to unlocking strategic growth. Two popular methods that offer alternative routes to traditional bank loans are Revenue-Based Financing (RBF) and Asset-Based Financing (ABF). Each has its unique features, benefits, and considerations. This article will delve into the distinctions between RBF and ABF, helping you navigate which option might be the best fit for your business.

What is Revenue-Based Financing (RBF)?

Revenue-Based Financing is a type of funding where companies receive capital in exchange for a percentage of their ongoing gross revenues. The repayment terms typically involve paying back the principal amount plus a fee, based on a fixed percentage of monthly sales. This method is attractive to businesses with strong revenue streams but perhaps not enough hard assets to qualify for traditional loans or asset-based financing.

Pros of RBF:

  • Flexibility in Repayment: Payments adjust according to your revenue, making it easier to manage during slower business periods.
  • No Collateral Required: Unlike ABF, RBF does not require physical assets as collateral.
  • Quick Access to Capital: The approval process can be faster than traditional loans, providing swift financial support.

Cons of RBF:

  • Cost of Capital: RBF can be more expensive over the long term than other financing types.
  • Revenue Commitment: A portion of your revenue is committed to repayment, which could impact cash flow.

How does revenue-based financing work?

Revenue-based financing operates by first establishing an initial investment amount from the lender to the business. The total amount to be repaid is determined by a repayment cap, which acts much like a factoring rate in place of traditional interest. This cap typically ranges from 1.5 to 4.5, and it’s used to calculate the total amount owed by multiplying it with the initial investment. For instance, a $1,000,000 investment with a repayment cap of 1.7 would result in a total repayment of $1,700,000.

Following this, a fixed percentage of the company’s monthly revenue, generally between 3% to 6%, is earmarked for repayment each month. This percentage is variable, reflecting the fluctuating nature of monthly revenue, and is calculated based on projected revenues and necessary expenses. Unlike traditional loans with fixed terms, the repayment period for revenue-based financing can vary due to these fluctuations.

What is Asset-Based Financing (ABF)?

Asset-based Financing allows businesses to borrow against the value of their assets, such as inventory, accounts receivable, equipment, or real estate. The loan amount is typically a percentage of the appraised value of these assets. ABF is particularly suited for businesses that have significant physical assets but may not have the steady revenue streams that RBF requires. Asset-based Financing is an umbrella term for as many as 14 difference types of financial solutions, each structured a little differently.

Pros of ABF:

  • Leverage Existing Assets: Utilizes assets you already own to secure funding.
  • Potential for Higher Loan Amounts: Depending on your assets’ value, you might access more capital than through RBF.
  • Flexibility: Can be used for a variety of purposes, from managing cash flow to financing growth.

Cons of ABF:

  • Risk of Asset Loss: If you cannot repay the loan, the lender can seize the collateral assets.
  • Requires Valuable Assets: Without significant assets, you may not qualify for ABF.

Real-World Example

Imagine a tech startup, “Tech Innovate,” that has developed a groundbreaking software platform. With steady monthly revenues but minimal physical assets, Tech Innovate opts for RBF to fuel its growth. The capital injection supports marketing efforts and further product development, with repayment scaling in line with their increasing sales.

Conversely, a manufacturing company, “Quality Manufacture,” with substantial machinery and inventory but facing seasonal revenue fluctuations, finds ABF a better fit. ABF provides the necessary capital to smooth out cash flow dips without tying repayment to the fluctuating monthly revenue.

Choosing Between RBF and ABF

The choice between RBF and ABF hinges on several factors:

  • Asset Profile: Companies with significant physical assets may find ABF more advantageous, while those with strong revenue streams but fewer assets might prefer RBF.
  • Cash Flow Stability: RBF offers repayment terms that fluctuate with your revenue, potentially offering more breathing room during lean periods.
  • Growth Stage and Purpose: Consider what you need the capital for and how quickly you need it. RBF can be ideal for scaling operations rapidly, whereas ABF might support broader financial structuring and stability.


Both Revenue-Based Financing and Asset-Based Financing offer valuable alternatives to traditional funding methods, each with its distinct advantages depending on your business’s assets, revenue, and growth objectives. By carefully assessing your financial situation and strategic goals, you can select the financing path that aligns with your vision for business expansion and success.


ABOUT eCapital

Since 2006, eCapital has been on a mission to change the way small to medium sized businesses access the funding they need to reach their goals. We know that to survive and thrive, businesses need financial flexibility to quickly respond to challenges and take advantage of opportunities, all in real time. Companies today need innovation guided by experience to unlock the potential of their assets to give better, faster access to the capital they require.

We’ve answered the call and have built a team of over 600 experts in asset evaluation, batch processing, customer support and fintech solutions. Together, we have created a funding model that features rapid approvals and processing, 24/7 access to funds and the freedom to use the money wherever and whenever it’s needed. This is the future of business funding, and it’s available today, at eCapital.

James Poston

James is an experienced product expert in receivables financing, trade finance including purchase order financing, and asset-based lending. In his role, he oversees eCapital’s sales strategy by driving business development and creating unified revenue generation processes across our organization. Utilizing his experience in developing strategic relationships and nurturing strong networks, James is positioned to expand our company’s market footprint and industry associations.

Prior to joining the eCapital organization, James served as Executive Vice President and Sales Director for Bibby Financial Services Canada. During that time, he participated in all aspects of the organization including operations, credit and finally business development where he was named a 40 under 40 Award recipient by Secured Finance Network.

James is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Management Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Economics degree with concentrations in international relations and political economy from McGill University.

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