Idea Financial’s Co-Founders Weigh In On Their New $84M Credit Facility and Future
Miami-based Idea Financial closed on an $84 million warehouse facility with the Specialty Finance Division of Synovus Bank and Hudson Cove Capital Management. Co-founders Larry Bassuk and Justin Leto said the funds are going right toward financing their pandemic proof SMB line of credit product and supporting their one-of-a-kind litigation insurance and plaintiff-lawyer financing.
“We’re still firing on all cylinders with our flagship line of credit products with small businesses, and Synovus and Hudson Cove are going to allow us to use these facilities to finance the litigation cost finance product,” Leto, who serves as the CEO, said.
The two former lawyers will draw from their experience in insurance, their legal backgrounds, and SMB underwriting to create a product that serves contingency lawyers called Level Esq. Often overlooked, the founders said law firms are just like other small businesses.
“Not only our experience as lawyers but also our experience as fintech lenders; we’re bringing all that expertise to bear here, and this is the culmination of our experience in finance, law, and insurance,” Bassuk, president of Idea Financial said. “Not only is our product going to be revolutionary and the best in market, but the customer experience is going to mirror the experience that our small business customers have.”
They focus on contingency firms — cash-dependent practices where lawyers invest their own money to back plaintiffs in injury and compensation cases. If there is no victory, there is no payout, so their other company, Level Insurance, offered protection for lawyers left holding the bag in the case of failure.
“Larry and I invented a first and only-of-its-kind insurance product that allows plaintiffs lawyers to protect all of their cost investment for their case,” Leto said.
The new brand coming soon, Level Esq., will offer a loan upfront to finance cases, while Level Insurance has lawyers’ backs with insurance if cases fall through.
“We’re providing an actual line of credit, loans, or small business loans for the lawyers themselves, so they finance their case costs. It’s a pretty revolutionary product and we’re doing it the way we financed small businesses,” Leto said. “Lawyers will be able to tap into that fintech side of our business. If it currently takes weeks if not months to get this type of financing, you’ll be able to do it in hours or days.”
In general, Bassuk said the warehouse closing is a sign that the hard work during the pandemic paid off, and Georgia-based Synovus Bank and Jersey-based Hudson Cove noticed.
“Over the last year, 18-months-plus since the beginning of Covid: our underwriting methodologies, our risk management, management strategies, and our operations were validated,” Bassuk said. “And I think that’s also something that Synovus and Hudson Cove noticed is that our business model, our portfolio performed exceptionally well under stress and during Covid, and I think that’s another contributing factor that led us to where we are.”
Leto and Bassuk recently starred in a deBanked TV docuseries about doing business in Miami.Last modified: July 9, 2021