When Dutch-born Abhishek “Rip” Pruisken began to make Stroopwafel in his dorm room at Brown University, little did he know that those savory layers of baked dough and caramel syrup filling would be found in all 7,500 Starbucks stores throughout the United States and Canada only several years later. The multi-million dollar venture started as a labor of love for Pruisken, who was unable to find his beloved Dutch stroopwafels anywhere in the United States. After he found that college buddies couldn’t get enough of the treats, Pruisken began to sell them on Brown’s campus and around Providence, RI. His enterprise raised $23,750 through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and won a business design competition at Brown. The following year, he teamed up with fellow classmate and business partner Marco De León, and the partners moved to San Francisco in 2013 to set up Rip Van Wafels Inc. As they’ve watched their company grow from a Mom and Pop stroopwafel shop to a multi-million dollar venture, they cite Funding Gates AR software as a solution that has helped carry their enterprise to the next level.
Managing Exponential Growth with AR Software
“In the beginning we went to coffee shops and grocery stores and other businesses all around San Francisco,” De León said. “We went from one account to 10 accounts to 50 accounts and more.” As the company’s functioning chief operating officer, De León relied on Funding Gates’ AR Software to manage the expansion of new accounts and maintain a healthy cash flow. The ability to compare actual cash results to projected results was crucial as De León and Pruisken approached larger companies.
When Rip Van Wafels first started using the FG Receivables Manager in 2013, 90% of their AR was over 90 days past due. Within the first five months that number dropped to 41%. With consistent follow-up and easy tracking, they improved their seriously delinquent AR by a whopping 54%. Their ability to keep their accounts receivable in the and their cash flow healthy ultimately helped them to approach larger businesses.
“We approached Starbucks about nine months ago,” Pruisken noted. “With large companies there is a long process for testing potential new products, but it went very well for us.” As of January 5, 2016, the coffee retailer began carrying Rip Van Wafels everywhere.
Recognizing their swift growth, Forbes magazine recently recognized De León and Pruisken in its annual “30 under 30” list.
“We’re excited. 2016 is really going to be the year we go from a regional approach to a national approach,” says Pruisken.
“We’re building out our distribution on a different scale.” But as the company grows, one thing is certain: They will continue to rely heavily on Funding Gates’ AR software.
In the next few months, the cofounders plan to expand to different channels both online and in retail stores. Outside of Starbucks, Rip van Wafels are available on Amazon, and Whole foods locations in the Bay area. They are also available at large tech companies, including Yelp, Twitter, and Uber.