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Drawing on earlier e-finance experiences, Justin Brownhill and Nicolas Perkin have come up with a winning online business-to-business idea. Their Receivables Exchange enables small- and medium-size companies to finance accounts receivable at what Perkin terms “21st-century velocity.”

Once a company is registered and approved, which can take a day or two, it can post invoices and obtain working capital in a flash from banks and other investors that have signed on as buyers. That’s quite an improvement on the 30 to 90 days it can take to collect off-line — which amounts to an $18 trillion credit market that Receivables Exchange seeks to liquefy.

Perkin, 39, president of the 70-employee New Orleans–based company, had worked at fixed-income trading systems supplier Kestrel Technologies. Brownhill, 39, the venture’s CEO and a former investment banker, was an executive at Lava Trading, a high-frequency trading platform now owned by Citigroup.

After two years of groundwork, Receivables Exchange went live in November 2008, has raised three rounds of venture capital and reported at the end of the first quarter of this year that volume was rising 66 percent month-over-month, with $14 billion of seller liquidity in the market. Although Receivables Exchange primarily assists smaller enterprises, “with the crisis, more and larger companies need access to a marketplace like ours,” notes Perkin.

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