Archive for 2021

NY Legalizes Pot, Immediately

March 31, 2021
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Cannabis BillboardNew York City is going to be blazing this weekend.

Apparently, the Northeast has had nothing to do but sit inside and smoke weed or eat edibles for more than a year, and the laws finally caught up.

New York lawmakers passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in the state Senate on Tuesday. Twelve hours later Governor Cuomo signed the bill, ensuring adults over 21 will be able to toke freely in N.Y.

Effective immediately, adults can carry three ounces of cannabis, store five pounds of the stuff at home, and grow up to six plants per person for personal use. The law creates the Office of Cannabis Management to oversee the markets, setting a sales tax of 13%- 9% state 4% county and municipal on the kush. There will also be a tax on THC content and layers of sales taxes that could bring the total above 20%.

Just like in the N.J. legalization- cops can’t stop a car because it smells like skunk. The new regulatory office will be set up over the next six months. Expungement of past convictions will be made easier: two years after the law goes into effect on Wednesday.

In the bill, specific language aims 40% of the new industry’s tax proceeds toward minority communities disproportionately affected by the state’s drug laws.

“By directing new tax revenues to communities like the ones I represent; easing the pathway to enter this business for new and small companies, and ensuring qualified applicants of color have prioritized access, this bill paves the way for a brighter future” 20th district, Brooklyn State Senator Zellnor Myrie said in a statement. “New York’s marijuana legalization framework can be an equitable, responsible, and growth-oriented model for the rest of the country.”

Now, two-thirds of the Northeast’s 56 million residents live in states that have legalized recreational cannabis.

Governor Cuomo, recently under calls to resign for allegations of sexual assault and harassment, said in a statement that it is a historic day for New York. According to the statement, the legislation could create up to 60,000 jobs and generate $350 million in annual tax revenue for the state. Based on the markets’ size in states that have already legalized pot, the N.Y. weed industry could be a $4 billion cash cow.

Some lawmakers were unhappy with the passage of the bill. State Senator George Borrello voted no and said in a statement that the state’s one-party rule was more concerned with appeasing special interests than creating responsible policies. He and other naysayers cited concerns about driving under the influence of marijuana.

“While I am personally opposed to legalization if New York is determined to head down this path,” Borrello said. “I believe we have a responsibility to craft a law that mitigates the risks to New Yorkers to the greatest extent possible, with no loopholes or gray areas. Regrettably, this bill doesn’t meet that standard.”

Tune in Today Live: debanked.com/tv

March 31, 2021
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Update: The recording is here


deBanked will be streaming live today at approximately 12:15 with special guest Jennie Villano of NewCo Capital Group. She will be joined by host Sean Murray in the studio. This is not a Zoom or virtual discussion. There is no need to register. Anyone can tune in free at debanked.com/tv or debanked.tv

Live With Jennie Villano

PayPal Enables Purchasing With Bitcoin

March 30, 2021
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paypal buildingPayPal launched Checkout with Crypto, allowing users to use Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash to checkout at more than 29 million PayPal merchants.

“As the use of digital payments and digital currencies accelerates, the introduction of Checkout with Crypto continues our focus on driving mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies,” CEO and President Dan Schulman said. “Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies.”

The transactions will be settled in cash by PayPal automatically, and the firm said it does not plan on holding the coins and will likely sell the balance off. PayPal had previously offered to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies on their platform through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company.

PayPal said it added crypto purchasing to engage more customers with online merchants and make their purchasing platform more accessible.

How will the transactions be taxed? The terms and conditions state that PayPal will provide 1099 forms and report to the IRS, but “it is your responsibility to determine what taxes, if any, apply to transactions you make.”

A lot of Crypto news happened at once. Yesterday, Visa announced a USD Coin program, aiming to allow transactions to be settled through a stable coin backed by the USD.

Facebook Ads Don’t Work For Finance?

March 29, 2021
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facebook adsIn an op-ed by Brittney Holcomb in Leasing News, Holcomb wrote that “when it comes to developing lead generation, social networks are not the answer.”

Holcomb breaks down her reasoning, explaining that Likes do not equal leads. It’s worth a read if you have advertised or have thought about advertising on Facebook, but I will respectfully disagree with her on the basis of her arguments.

“People don’t log on to social networks to search for products or services,” she writes, “They use social media to communicate with their friends and family.”

Perhaps so, but there are many different ways in which to approach Facebook advertising, and I say this as someone who has had success advertising in the B2B universe on the platform. Users weren’t searching for my product or service either and I wasn’t advertising for the sake of branding, something I personally do not even consider doing.

You can use social networks like Facebook to convert a lead you almost got or lost. For example, not everybody that comes to your website ends up completing a form and for those that do, fewer yet will end up signing a contract.

What happens is your prospects get distracted, decide to do more research, or get wooed by a competitor. Maybe they just weren’t convinced the timing was right. This is where social network advertising comes into play because you can relay that website visitor data or unclosed leads to Facebook and serve ads ONLY to those prospects. By knowing exactly where your prospect left off with you, you can set your campaigns to target them with the most appropriate advertising. That prospect might not be searching for your product on Facebook (just as Holcomb suggests), but you can appear right there like magic in their feed to remind them of exactly where they left off last time they engaged with you.

You can pretty much do anything you want especially if you’re actively managing and monitoring your web traffic and analytics.

Maybe you only want to serve ads to visitors who didn’t fill anything out on your website but clicked around for more than 2 minutes. Worth a shot, perhaps?

Consider the person shopping around who spent a few minutes researching a financial solution on three different company websites. They don’t fill anything out but instead resolve to make a decision on where to apply in the next couple days. That night and each night thereafter, one of those companies appears in their Facebook feed constantly, telling them why they’re better than the competition or that they’re the goto-brand. It’s an ad, yes, but it creates the impression that this company is everywhere and can place them top of mind when it’s time to decide. That can be money well-spent. It’s also the fundamental way in how social media advertising works these days, which is why we sometimes get creeped out by how well ads seem to know us. Anyone can do this.

Admittedly, one might not have any leads to target on social media if they don’t have website visitors to begin with, hence why paid search would be a better medium to choose if given the option between one versus the other.

I believe the two are not mutually exclusive, however. First get the prospects to your website (be that through paid search or organic means or whatever), and then close those prospects through social network advertising. Your competitors are already doing it and that’s why some of them are doing so well.

Facebook Ads Can Work For Finance. They just have to be properly tailored. And once you get it right, you’ll be kicking yourself for not having taken advantage of it for so many years.

Northteq Announces Partnership with Syndifi to Enable Seamless Syndication with Salesforce

March 29, 2021
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Salesforce Integration will Benefit Customer Experience and Simplify the Deal Lifecycle

Northteq LogoMinneapolis, Minn. – Northteq, a leading software solutions provider for the commercial lending and equipment finance industries, has announced its partnership with syndication software provider, Syndifi. Northteq will enable Syndifi’s online syndication platform to integrate with Salesforce.com, a cloud computing service as a software (SaaS) company that specializes in customer relationship management. The integration will accelerate and automate the user experience for Syndifi clients.

“Salesforce has become a leading origination platform for the equipment finance industry. Enabling Syndifi clients to create and send deals to our platform from Salesforce automatically will produce a seamless syndication experience.” Dan Michalek, CEO, Syndifi.

The first phase of the multi-layered integration will allow the Sellers using Syndifi’s platform to transfer deal information and data from Salesforce to Syndifi without having to manually rekey information. The integration will share status updates on both platforms.

“Our goal is to simplify lending. As such, we need to create a frictionless process for lenders to syndicate deals. Enabling our clients to send deals via a button click to the Syndifi platform creates this seamless user experience.” Kristian Dolan, CEO, Northteq.

About Northteq
Northteq is about enabling their clients to achieve fully integrated, automated origination solutions. They partner with several FinTech and lending service providers to bring the latest technologies to the equipment finance and commercial lending industries on the Salesforce platform. They also build vendor and customer portals to give their client’s customer’s an amazing customer experience. Northteq is headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please email info@northteq.com.

About Syndifi
Syndifi is the only Syndication platform built specifically for the Equipment Finance industry, enabling Buyers and Sellers to transact more securely with their trusted partners in the cloud. They are constantly innovating their customer experience to meet the highest standard of excellence for their clients. Syndifi was founded by Dan Michalek, who also revolutionized and digitized the granting of credit within the Equipment Finance industry with the formation of PayNet (now a division of Equifax). Syndifi is headquartered in Chicago. For more information, please email info@syndifi.com.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kristian Dolan | (612) 483-1210
kdolan@northteq.com

Merchant Cash Advance Facebook Group Hits 1,000 Members

March 26, 2021
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facebookThe Merchant Cash Advance facebook group, a community created and administered by deBanked, has reached 1,000 members. The social media group is a popular place for those in the non-bank business finance community to engage with each other online.

“We’re seeing an uptick in collaborative business development, especially among smaller brokerage organizations and those who work independently on their own,” deBanked President Sean Murray said. “A lot of ideas, motivation, referrals, and deal-making is being conducted online, more-so than before because of the 2020 lockdowns where in-person collaboration slowed to a crawl.”

Separately, deBanked shares common ownership with DailyFunder, the largest b2b finance community on the web.

“We actually witnessed a very insightful trend on DailyFunder,” Murray said. “Approximately 7.5% of the active membership that existed on March of 2020, had left their jobs or closed their business by March of 2021. It sounds troublesome on its face except that we added more members than we lost in that timeframe. More people came in than left, a net increase. I think the data is pointing to the future being very strong!”

Funding Circle US Originated $800M in 2020, More than 90% of Borrowers Were Making Payments

March 26, 2021
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Funding CircleFunding Circle US revealed originations of £581M in 2020, equivalent to about $800M at current exchange rates. More than 90% of the company’s American borrowers were making full regular payments on their loans, Funding Circle reported. Approximately 7% were on a “payment holiday” at year-end or were not paying.

Funding Circle’s US loans generate low annual returns, its highest being a projected return of 4.1% to 4.9% for its 2016 cohort. Its 2020 cohort is projected to generate an annual return of between 1 – 3%.

Overall, Funding Circle reported a total net loss of £108.1M (approx $150M US) on just £103.7M in revenue, a massive loss that stemmed entirely from the first half of the year, attributed mostly to a write-down in “fair value.”

Funding Circle’s primary market is the UK. When comparing the market with the US, the company said that the US is in an earlier stage of development even though the market is 5x larger.

The full report can be viewed here.

Midtown Dead? No, It’s A Good Time to Buy

March 25, 2021
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New York CityWhen it comes to working from home and the flight from midtown Manhattan offices the past year, one expert on commercial real estate said it isn’t the end of the metro area way of life: it’s a great time to buy.

“There’s some great deals. I mean, on both rents, leases, and purchases in many of these markets. So tremendous opportunities, and there’s a lot of power on the sidelines, who is well aware of it,” CEO Anthony Romano of the Commercial Real Estate analytics firm CREtelligent. “In San Francisco, Manhattan, in Dallas in the Miami marketplace, there’s some incredible opportunities that I think people will seize.”

At CREtelligent, Romano helped launch the Radius platform, an all-in-one automated appraisal platform that draws site data for identifying commercial properties. When he joined the firm, he aimed at making the commercial real estate world as seamless as some residential loans.

“Before, during, and after the commercial real estate transaction, it’s super inefficient,” Smith said. “We wanted to say, how do we fix it? A client of ours, an investor, a broker, a bank, or anybody who’s involved in the transaction, can come to the Radius platform and put in an address and APN, and identify their property.”

Instead of ordering 10 or 12 assessments from a handful of sources, a processor must only visit the CREtelligent site. Based on the know-how it took to create the platform, Romano said the trends like the 10 year Treasury return are directing the CRE market on the up and up in the coming months.

Romano said that most commercial properties have a Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio of about 70% in his experience. If a large office building or retail store has a $10 million mortgage keeping it open, it would have to drop by $3 million before the bank starts getting uneasy- a point the market is nowhere near.