I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Planit, Founder & Principal of Planit Capital.
Michael is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years of business development and marketing experience. He conceived, built, and sold successful businesses in the consumer product and manufacturing sectors and is also an investor and advisor to various businesses including, Consumer Products, Services, and Technology. Michael has a solid record of success in identifying and capitalizing on market opportunities resulting in over $300 million in sales in the last several years.
Michael grew up in New York and went to college at Northeastern University where he graduated with a BS with a dual major in Finance and Marketing. I asked Michael to share what he does today given his education, business acumen, and retaining the business lessons learned on his journey. “Many years back, having consulted with an investment bank and private equity company on assessing market viability and prospects of target companies for those groups and after many years of entrepreneurial success as an operator, I then established Planit Capital; a private investment and an industry agnostic lender/facilitator. We have provided more than $150m in growth capital and finance facilities for companies in the field of healthcare, financial and business services, real estate, start-up technology, construction, oil & gas, and my favorite; consumer products/services. I also serve as an investor, senior advisor, and board member to businesses across various market sectors including consumer products and technology, and entertainment.”
Planit Capital focuses on short-term investments and lending fledgling companies, with a preference for consumer-facing companies, be it technology or product. Their “sweet spot” is facilitating funding between $2m and $25m and can place funding on progress payments for construction companies. At the end of the day, they like growth-oriented companies that have cash-flow or other assets they can get behind, but they do shy away from anything speculative. Michael likes to say, “If it’s something we can sink our teeth into asset-wise, we can fund it.”
I was curious to hear about this seasoned entrepreneur day to day. “Typically, I start my day with a quick view of emails, then make/return calls that are time sensitive. Then back to emails with more focus, put out a few fires (there’s always something it seems), speak with principals from our portfolio companies on the week’s strategy, and then some research on new opportunities that have been presented. I try to keep up on the news in-between and attend some zoom networking or in-person meetings every couple of weeks.”
Speaking of networking, I asked Michael how he potentially finds his next deal. “It’s mostly referral through contacts over the years, and some networking through 1 or 2 industry organizations focused on Investment Bankers, PE, and other lenders. For the deals themselves, it’s all about the people running the business and their ability to execute. If I’m not comfortable with the people involved in any part of the deal, we then take a “hard pass” – for those that make us comfortable, it’s the fundamentals of the economics…then the ability to execute, recoup investment, and then profit.”
The type of business Michael is involved is competitive as well as risky at times. His success is astounding especially during these uncertain times. I asked Michael to share some of the work he has done for his clients. “One of our tougher deals was a multi-million+ power plant acquisition. The deal had many hurdles due to the nature of the industry, mostly regulatory. But the other factor was the group acquiring the business was seeking 100% financing for acquisition, in addition to working capital. In the end, we overcame the many hurdles with our lending partner and were able to facilitate full funding, inclusive of the w/c they needed.
Another deal worth mentioning was more fun for us. We did a short-term investment in a company that manufactured small electronic items. They had secured a purchase order with a major national retailer for which they required financing against that order to manufacture the product and additional funds to carry them until paid by their customer. This deal had gone side-ways. After becoming directly involved with their customer and supply-chain operations I was able to negotiate a deal not only keeping the product in-store, but also providing for the expansion of the program into other national retailers. This hands-on approach provided for not only the recoupment of capital and profitability, but also provided the client to continue and grow their company into other products with a broader customer reach.”
Now time to talk about the market/recession effecting your company. “There are more opportunities considering the current economic conditions in the market. We are seeing more deals referred to us for lending opportunities and more short-term investment opportunities. I would not say we are in a recession, but certainly the inflationary realities are taking their toll. The landscape is more competitive for lending, as there are still comparatively inexpensive options out there for borrowing. As we focus on non-bank lending our cost of money may be higher in the short run, but the ability to lend and our speed to close certainly provides a tremendous benefit.”
Now let’s talk about your ideal introductions because hey, you never know who is reading this interview. “We are very open to deals, industry agnostic and deal opportunistic. The ideal intro is a company that has the assets, strong revenue base but cash-flow timing is tough. They are strong operators with great growth potential but simply need the cash and are not able to qualify for bank financing currently.”
I personally find Michael to be an extremely intelligent, focused, and genuine businessman and I have enjoyed interviewing him. He shared that he is a resident of NYC for more than 20 years, was an adjunct professor at NYU teaching the marketing course, Mastering Product and Service development, and is an author of the book Operators are Standing By published by McGraw-Hill. He is community oriented and very family centric father of 3.
I’m wondering who he would like to meet given the opportunity. “Ken Griffin, Founder Citadel, Larry Fink, Founder BlackRock, and Elon Musk. Also, Angela Merkel who was considered at one time to be the most powerful woman in the world. It would be more than fascinating to meet her. Leonardo Da Vinci – to know the mind of a visionary genius, and Albert Einstein – to know genius.”
In closing, Michael is very hands-on and takes a personalized approach with his clients and potential clients and is results driven. “If we can’t get it done, we won’t take it on and are happy to direct them to others that maybe can. To me, it’s all about the people – great begets great!”
To learn more about Planit Capital, please visit https://www.planitcapital.com.