What is a "merchant bank"?

Merchant banks are financial firms that serve private companies and help with securing capital and providing advice. The term merchant bank dates back to the Middle Ages, when Italian merchants began extending loans to, and taking stakes in, other business ventures. Over time, merchant banking split into several streams. The largest merchant banks became almost indistinguishable from investment banks; the smaller ones tended to be creative, adaptable and bespoke.

What will I get in working with Windigo Bay?

First, you get an expert in how to creatively finance your business: whom to approach, what can be raised, and how to raise it. Every financing is a puzzle. Our job is to solve it.

Second, you'll save time and preserve your sales. Raising capital is time-consuming, and without help your sales will drop and your business will slow down as you spend time seeking money on your own.

Third, you get our network, our advice, and our wisdom.

Fourth, you get an ardent advocate for your interests. Our job is to structure a deal that achieves your real goals and protects your interests.

Is Windigo Bay an investor?

Windigo Bay is a specialist in structuring and raising capital. We know the sources that fit different kinds of situations. We know how to assess a business, and how to present it to financiers. Windigo Bay does not directly invest in its clients as a rule.

How is Windigo Bay compensated?

Depending on the project, it's a combination of fees and contingent compensation.

What's a typical client for Windigo Bay?

Generally our clients are below $10 million in revenues. They are are based in Canada or the U.S. (but we've served clients in other parts of the world too). Generally our clients have operating businesses with at least $1 mm in revenues, and typically growing at a good rate.

What's your working style?

We always work with the CEO, and also with other members of the exec team as appropriate. We are focussed on the vital essentials of the project. Our style is blunt and candid. We ask lots of questions. Our goal is to get a result that is good today, and that still proves to have been wise three years from now.

Do you help early-stage startups raise money?

No.

Our business is in a difficult spot. How can you help us?

We have advised clients facing turnaround situations. The more difficult the business problem, the more creative we must be.

Are you always successful in raising capital for clients?

Nobody is. Ultimately whether a business can raise money is a bit like an individual qualifying for a big loan: many factors come into it. Each business is unique. And the capital market ebbs and flows; some types of businesses just have an easier time getting funding at any given time.

What we find is that almost every business has at least one path to getting more capital. It may be a different amount that the business owner wishes it to have been—but it can still be plenty to achieve the goals.