IQ Blog with Gaurav Genani from Skelex
Can you tell us something about your company
Skelex is a company based in Rotterdam that develops exoskeletons for industrial applications. Our products empower workers in aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding and construction sectors to be more productive, while minimizing the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
Skelex 360 – a Red Dot and iF award winning product – is one of the most widely used upperbody exoskeletons in Europe. Several major corporations such as Airbus, AUDI, Dutch Ministry of Defense, use our technology for evaluating the impact of exoskeletons for their workforce, which has garnered worldwide attention such as CNET and Yahoo Finance.
Skelex aims to continue developing simple wearable solutions to augment physical abilities of those involved in manual work and help them become their Ultimate!
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Gaurav Genani, and I am the Founder & CEO of Skelex.
What was the first noticeable impact of Covid19?
It started in the beginning of 2020 with delays in the supply chain for certain components to be received from China. Because of this, we could not commit delivery dates to our key customers. Shortly thereafter, we were informed about closure of all factories across Europe in March 2020. Our sales team was unable to visit any customers, which is crucial for our business that relies on technical consulting and subjective perception of the product with end users. As a result, we observed a severe decline in new orders, as well as delays in delivering existing orders.
Why did you choose COL?
The COL fund was recommended by our financing partner ABN AMRO. This is because being a relatively new company with only a limited financial history, it is difficult for a bank to allocate further loans, especially in these uncertain times. Our shareholder, VenturesOne, also provided financing to bridge this period.
Where is the granted loan initially used for?
Skelex is in the middle of a scale up; a lot of cash is reserved to finance the working capital which in turn would allow us to deliver more and more products to our customers. The COL funds will be used to partially finance the delay in the cash conversion cycle, which is unusually long as all commercial activities came to a halt in Q2.
Do you have any tips for other entrepreneurs?
Patience is key during periods of uncertainty. Hold on to your cash. Extend your runway. Rethink your plans. Surviving this period will make you stronger and more prepared for success.