June 2018

As producers and sales companies across a constantly shifting landscape keep a keen eye out for more flexible and attractive channels of financial support, a gap in the market looks set to be filled with the arrival of ARC LDN, a brand new media fund spearheaded by young entrepreneur and fast emerging finance expert, Aamar Aslam,  whose Funding Invoice – a successful fintech start-up conceived while still at university – has already been helping ambitious UK based SME’s build their businesses since 2015.  

Internationally focused, ultimately keeping a global audience in its sights, ARC LDN provides a range of financial services to attract commercially minded producers, sales companies and distributors across all platforms. Cash flowing pre-sales and commission agreements, as well as supporting post-production and international delivery, the media fund also offers a full and competitive CAM Management service. While investments are determined on a project by project basis, ARC LDN is looking to fund £3m in its first year.

Aslam himself has been drawing the attention of the wider business community, with industry commentators such as online magazine, Startups, among those impressed by the Warwick University graduate’s ambitious entrepreneurial skills. A brief scan through his CV, and it’s not hard to see why. Setting up his first enterprise – a corporate chauffeur service -  in between studying for his Economics degree, he experienced, first hand, the challenges faced by so many SME’s up and down the country, finding himself caught between the rock of unwilling, unhelpful banks and the hard place of essential cash-flow needs.

Eventually raising capital through a private investor, whom he was able to reimburse once his clients’ payments started coming through, Aslam recognised the exciting – almost obvious - potential for an investment scheme that allows independent businesses to borrow against invoices on terms more flexible than those offered by the banks; thus, in 2015 immediately after graduating, he launched Funding Invoice, so far supporting over 100 small to medium sized companies, and currently providing £3m every month to facilitate their growth. With over half that sum invested in the creative sector, Aslam has already become an established presence in the fashion industry, co-founding holding company, the Lacuna Collection, in 2017.  

ARC LDN represents Aslam’s latest entrepreneurial venture, a media fund which, while already offering a range of competitive financial services, stands out in the sector by entering a space which, until now, has been largely overlooked - namely, the final stretch before a production’s completion. For many independent producers, as well as the sales companies and worldwide distributors working with them, this can be a fraught period where cash strapped post production often finds itself struggling to meet the demands of full international delivery. Advising ARC LDN are two industry stalwarts: Starline Entertainment Co-founder, Carey Fitzgerald, and Schedule 2 Managing Director and CEO, Rebecca Hawkes, whose own companies stand at the coal face of global sales and technical delivery respectively. 

Speaking about what drove him to found ARC LDN, Aslam commented: "I’m consistently inspired by the sheer ambition and tireless commitment of business owners across the independent creative sector and the media industry is certainly no exception.”

And for anyone curious to know how Aslam did on his degree, in between launching his first business? He scored an honours degree. ”I probably spent more time at university working on Funding Invoice than I should have,” Aamar admits, “but fortunately my studies weren’t affected too badly! The company’s mission is so rewarding as we are constantly fuelling the lifeblood of the UK economy: SMEs!”

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