Regional Performance Indicates Resiliency in Europe, But Liquidity is Still Critical

In March and April, I published two blogs examining China’s trade activity, also known as purchasing volume, on PrimeRevenue’s platform to determine what we can expect to see moving forward. The first post showcased early indications that China may be coming back online; the second hypothesized what stabilization in China trade activity could mean for the rest of the world.

Since then, we’ve analyzed additional regional and industry trends. My colleague Nathan Feather reported that while no industry has been able to escape the impact of the global health crisis, the pandemic’s effects vary widely between different industries and sectors within the same industry. Because of this, each sector has different liquidity needs to overcome industry-specific challenges today and tomorrow.

Our data tells a similar story among various regions in the world. As we continue analyzing trade activity, we see a clearer potential timeline to “getting back to business” and how this compares to individual regional performances.

Across all regions, purchasing volume is consistently increasing from the lows we saw at the beginning of the pandemic. At its lowest point in early February, China’s trade activity on our platform, heavily weighted with manufacturing companies, was down 62% year-over-year compared to 2019. Four months later, it’s now down only 18%.

Throughout Europe, volume seems to be on an even quicker road to recovery. In only a month, volume is only 13% below 2019 volumes, up from its low point of 32% below 2019 in April. A preliminary analysis of U.S. purchasing volume shows a 41% drop in purchasing volume in April that is recovering at a much slower rate. Today, though, I’d like to break down what we’ve seen in Europe – both as a whole and regionally across the continent.

Data Shows Steady Increases in European Trade Activity

The graph below shows the 10-day moving average of purchasing volume from European businesses in 2019 and 2020. We’ve also overlaid a trend line of Europe’s stringency indexwhich considers policies such as school closures and travel bans, to monitor the intensity of lock downs and restrictions across Europe as a whole.

Stringency index trend line data courtesy of Hale, Thomas, Sam Webster, Anna Petherick, Toby Phillips, and Beatriz Kira (2020). Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, Blavatnik School of Government. Data use policy: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY standard

As you can see, purchasing volume began to decline drastically when government regulations and business closures were the most prominent between early April and early May. Our customers were responding in a number of ways: self-imposed employee safety measures, government-mandated shutdowns of non-essential industries, or simply the external effects of changing consumer demand as a result of social distancing.

We can see though that since these restrictions eased in May, European countries’ purchasing volume has returned closer to pre-COVID levels. We expect volumes to continue rising as consumer demand crawls back. However, returning to a “new normal” doesn’t guarantee purchasing will return to 2019 levels anytime soon.

Our funding TEAM assessed Europe’s economic outlook and told me they expect the region’s recession to continue until 2021 or later. While they have a solid track record on their assessments, it would be refreshing to see this theory disproved by seeing significant strides in our customer data resuming to pre-COVID and pre-recession levels earlier than expected. Nevertheless, today it is good news that this data indicates the economic side-effects of the global pandemic didn’t have as large or as sustained an effect on Europe as what we saw in China.

Notable regions where our clients are showing particularly strong resiliency are the UK and Ireland, France and Benelux, Southern Europe, and DACH. This may be for a variety of reasons:

For example, PrimeRevenue partners with a large portion of food retailers in the UK and Ireland. Further, the region shows the least amount of volatility in the charts above.

In DACH, purchasing volume remained steady compared to other regions in Europe. Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been praised for their early response to COVID-19, and they were some of the first European countries to ease restrictions. Therefore, consistent performance in the region makes sense. However, while volatility is less than other regions, trading volume is still drastically lower than 2019 over a longer period of time than what we see in other regions.

The Nordics region entails the best macro-economic representation because it has the widest variety of industries in our portfolio. While Sweden has the most relaxed restrictions in the region, Finland, Denmark, and Norway did have school closures, bans on large gatherings, and restrictions or closings of restaurants and bars. This may have had an effect on the dip in April.

Regardless of Region, European Companies Need Access to Cash

As we’ve pointed out, trade activity between buyers and suppliers continues to vary by industry and region. But one constant exists – the demand for liquidity is unprecedented.

Companies and their suppliers are using supply chain finance to broaden liquidity options and sustain themselves during disruption. Especially now, everyone needs access to cash and supply chain finance is one of the most economical means to get it compared to other options.

Mandy Earle of NAS Recruitment echoes this sentiment. The UK-based provider of recruitment services participates in DHL’s PrimeRevenue-led supply chain finance program to accelerate invoice payment:

“Good cash flow is especially important right now as our clients respond to the COVID-19 crisis,” she said. “Faster cash flow gives us the flexibility to meet changing client requirements.”

The road to recovery will not be easy. Companies need working capital to survive the current downturn and jumpstart production as business rebounds. For some, the recovery period will be longer than others, and having numerous liquidity options available is paramount.

Heading into the summer months, PrimeRevenue will continue to keep an eye on both trade activity and suppliers’ hunger for early payment. As we collect additional regional data, we will identify long-term trends across China, the broader APAC region, Europe and soon, the U.S. – all with the goal of helping businesses make more informed decisions today and tomorrow.

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Stephanie Wargo

VP, Global Head of Marketing

Stephanie joined PrimeRevenue in 2015 and oversees the company’s global marketing team and strategy. With a data-driven approach, Stephanie focuses on demand generation and thought leadership to drive brand awareness, strengthen client/partner relationships, and generate new sales opportunities. Stephanie has guided PrimeRevenue through new technology releases and an evolving FinTech landscape. In addition to leading PrimeRevenue’s internal and external communications, she implemented innovative demand generation and marketing strategies to enhance the company’s overall sales pipeline.

Stephanie has extensive experience in marketing and customer success. She previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at BitPay and Vice President of Client Relations and Marketing at FirstView Financial. Stephanie earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Brian Medley

VP, Global Head of Sales

Brian joined PrimeRevenue in early 2012, after more than 20 years of sales leadership, executive-level consultant and business growth experience. As VP, Global Head of Sales, Brian leads a growing team of fintech sales professionals with a focus on developing strong customer relationships, improving sales predictability and helping PrimeRevenue enter the lucrative mid-market.

Prior to PrimeRevenue, Brian honed his enterprise software sales leadership skills at Clarus Corporation. He also served as an operations and IT management consultant for Kurt Salmon Associates. In addition to his sales and consulting background, Brian has deep experience in the financial industry having founded a successful residential mortgage broker and lending business. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology having earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Economics and M.B.A. in Global Business.

Jason Green

SVP, Global Customer Success

Jason joined PrimeRevenue in 2021 following more than two decades in the fintech/financial services industry. He brings a strong background is sales leadership due to his impressive relationship building capability as well as a successful track record in creating structure and process improvements. In his role, Jason uses his keen attention to detail to strengthen the customer experience and enhance the company’s solutions to deliver more value to clients.

Prior to joining the company, Jason held several senior level and executive roles with a focus on building and scaling sales and support organizations at both large and small companies. Jason graduated from Murray State University with a B.S in Marketing.

Matt Ford

SVP, Global Product Innovation

Matt joined PrimeRevenue in early 2015 and is responsible for overseeing all commercial, strategic and operational aspects of PrimeRevenue’s supply chain finance offerings throughout EMEA, based in Prague. He has been instrumental in gaining global alignment and developing supplier enablement processes for the region.

Matt joined PrimeRevenue following a 15-year career at Morgan Stanley, where he worked in fixed income operations covering debt syndication through bonds, EMTNS, corporate loans and other debt securitization. Notably, he set up non-core location operations in Europe (Budapest) and all lending operations in Baltimore from scratch.

Matt, who was born and raised in South East England, earned a B.S. in Sports Science at University of Teesside where he mastered the art of TEAM development and accountability as a youth international rugby player.

Dominic Capolongo

EVP, Global Head of Funding

Dominic joined PrimeRevenue in 2016, and is responsible for leading our bank and capital markets funding strategies and execution. He focuses on building global, scalable and highly efficient funding structures that maximize options for supporting PrimeRevenue’s programs. Dominic began his career as an attorney and was a partner with Kaye Scholer before joining DLJ as a senior banker. Dominic brings tremendous strategic and capital markets experience in all areas of finance having held senior positions at, among others, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets in addition to DLJ. Dominic earned a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BA from SUNY Binghamton.

Gavin Cicchinelli

Chief Operating Officer

Gavin joined PrimeRevenue as Chief Operating Officer in 2021. With more than two decades of leadership and executive experience along with a deep understanding of the payments space, Gavin provides a unique focus on improving and strengthening operational strategies and implementing GTM growth execution. He is responsible for leading transformation across corporate and operational strategies as well as building a repeatable and scalable commercial growth strategy that aligns with PrimeRevenue’s core business while delivering key adjacent growth opportunities.

Prior to joining PrimeRevenue, Gavin served as President and Chief Revenue Officer of Integrated Solutions at TSYS, a global payment processing services company acquired by Global Payments (NYSE:GPN). There, he also served as Head of Product and divisional COO. Throughout his career, Gavin has held multiple leadership positions including VP of Sales, SVP of Business Development, and President of Financial Institutions. Gavin graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.

David Quillian

Chief Legal Officer

David joined PrimeRevenue as General Counsel in 2007. He and his team have been instrumental in successfully creating the unique legal structures that support PrimeRevenue’s multi-funder model and global funding capabilities. David is also the lead named inventor on PrimeRevenue’s two patents for Electronic Time Drafts, which allow PrimeRevenue to manage supply chain finance programs using electronic negotiable instruments as opposed to accounts receivable. Prior to PrimeRevenue, David was General Counsel at Harbor Payments, which was acquired by American Express (AXP) in 2006, and Magnet Communications, which was acquired by Digital Insight (DGIN) in 2003. He holds degrees in Economics and History from Duke University, and Juris Doctor and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Georgia.

Nathan Feather


Nathan has successfully ushered PrimeRevenue from our very early days as a visionary startup, through the financial crisis to today’s position as a thriving mid-sized leader in the cloud-enabled supply chain finance marketplace since joining PrimeRevenue in January 2006. He was instrumental in recapitalizing the company with an $80M investment led by BBH Capital Partners in 2015. Prior to PrimeRevenue, he held various financial management roles with Ariba, Freemarkets and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Nathan holds a BS in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

PJ Bain


PJ has an impressive and accomplished track record as an enterprise software entrepreneur and executive. PJ has built a solid record of success with PrimeRevenue since being appointed Chief Executive Officer in July of 2009. The company has received numerous awards for growth, customer service, innovation, along with being recognized as a top employer.

PJ is a life-long software and technology entrepreneur having been involved in numerous firms in the roles of founder, executive, advisor and investor. Immediately prior to PrimeRevenue, PJ was the VP and General Manager of Exact Holding N.V. (NYSE/AMS: EXACT), a leading global provider of business software solutions. He was previously Founder and CEO of Inspired Solutions, an Atlanta-based, B2B software and services firm that grew to be the largest reseller of Exact Software in North America, later acquired by Exact. PJ holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.