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Accord Business Funding Makes New Marketing Hire

April 3, 2018
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Aldo CastroHouston-based Accord Business Funding recently hired Aldo Castro to lead its marketing efforts. His title is Vice President of Sales & Marketing.  

“We are excited to have Aldo join our team,” Adam Beebe, co-founder of Accord Business Funding, told deBanked. “Aldo comes to us with over twenty years of experience in business-to-business sales and marketing experience… [and he] will use his experience and feedback from the ISO community to help Accord find new ways of adding value to our partners’ businesses.”

Prior to Accord Business Funding, Castro worked as a strategic marketing consultant and co-founded two digital marketing agencies in Texas. Founded in 2013, Accord is a B paper funder with terms between four to eight months and merchants that include auto dealers and trucking and construction businesses, among others. The company of 20 employees is entirely driven by ISOs.

“Accord offers our ISO associates a unique combination of integrity, speed, and flexibility, helping them close their deals faster and easier,” Beebe said.

Don’t Count Out the Bank When it Comes to Small Business Lending

November 21, 2022
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bank building“So ideally, the best-case scenario for a business owner is always to try and get approved by a bank, it gives them more flexibility, you’re able to build that relationship with the bank,” said Juan Caban, Managing Partner at Financial Lynx.

It’s an old adage that the bank is the best option, but given their historically tough criteria and reputation for sluggishness, the feasibility has long been a question. Caban, however, said that obtaining a bank line of credit is not as daunting as it sounds. Qualifying businesses (TIB 2+ years, 700+ FICO, and favorable industry) can obtain a pre-approval in 24 hours, approval in 7-10 days, and funding in another 2-3 weeks, making the entire process last about 3-4 weeks overall, according to Caban. And brokers can earn a one-time fee of up to 5% as well, he added.

“Bankers tend to be a little old fashioned oftentimes, now some of that’s changing in how they evolve,” said Patrick Reily, co-founder at Uplinq. “We’re dealing with some really interesting progressive banks in the last five years that are thinking about ‘how do we do better and how do we change things,’ but the reality is that they tend to move more slowly.”

Reily’s company, Uplinq, empowers lenders like banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions to approve and manage risks on loans they would have otherwise declined.

“Some of the companies we work for, they’re able to increase the number of people they lend to by 5 to 15 fold,” Reily said. “Think about that. That’s a huge difference.”

Technology, it appears, is widening the approval window, which means business owners shouldn’t count out options they previously thought impossible.

Caban of Financial Lynx, echoed same, explaining that business owners should explore all potential avenues.

“We pride ourselves in knowing the trends and products in banking and can be a great asset for Brokers/ISOs,” Caban said.

“I think it’s smart always to look broadly and understand what your options are, who is best capable to serve you,” said Reily.

First Criminal Charges in MJ Capital Funding Saga

September 6, 2022
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DOJCriminal charges have finally been introduced to the MJ Capital Funding ponzi scheme saga. Last week, 29-year-old Pavel Ramon Ruiz Hernandez was charged by federal prosecutors with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. According to the allegations, Hernandez helped manage the operations of MJ Capital and oversaw significant fundraising efforts for the company while knowing that the business was a ponzi scheme. All told, it’s alleged that he and his co-conspirators defrauded investors out of $42 million.

MJ Capital Funding pretended to be an MCA provider but did not actually operate an MCA business, nor was the company known within the MCA industry.

Much of the investigations have focused on Johanna M. Garcia, the CEO of the company, but to date she has not been criminally charged.

If Ruiz Hernandez is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, the DOJ states. The MJ Capital ponzi scheme is reported to have affected over 9,000 investors.

Funding Circle’s Partnership With Farm Bureau Bank

August 26, 2022
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tractor farm“I think the main thing is that Funding Circle for a long time’s been working with banks and the way we work with Farm Bureau Bank is no different, which is we’re out here to try and put money into the pockets of small businesses,” said Angus Sanders, Chief Revenue Officer & VP Product at Funding Circle, “and Farm Bureau Bank is going to help us to do that.”

According to Sanders, Funding Circle and Farm Bureau Bank have joined forces in delivering quality loans to small business owners. This partnership allows Farm Bureau Bank to purchase loans through Funding Circle in support of the small business community. They even extend a hand to small businesses in rural communities who may not be close to a bank to receive the services they need to grow their business.

“For those customers who are in rural areas, and perhaps can’t travel so easily to a branch, working with Funding Circle and Farm Bureau Bank, they’re able to get a loan much more easily and quickly, typical turnaround, 24 hours to offer and 48 hours to loan, which is very different to your typical small business loan. So, I say those are the primary areas where this helps small businesses,” said Sanders.

With the increase of banks wanting to do more small business lending, sometimes they struggle with finding businesses or being able to process the loans, Sanders explained. Working with organizations like Funding Circle, Farm Bureau can now provide capital faster and fund more small businesses.

During the pre and post-pandemic era, Sanders said he believes that fintech has evolved and will only continue to do so. And with fintech on the rise, Sanders said that other products like Lending as a Service, will continue to be a key growth area in the coming months.

“Farm Bureau Bank is starting with financing and we hope someday they’ll refer deals to us, […] but what this really shows is the deepening focus on partnerships between fintechs and banks, and particularly this emergent Lending as a Service product, which within Funding Circle sort of takes the lead on but lots of other fintechs go into and I think you’ll see, you’ll see more about that in the coming months,” said Sanders.

The Real Small Business Funding Demand Has Yet to Kick In

May 26, 2022
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Now that small and medium sized businesses received crucial PPP and EIDL funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have become more familiar with other options to obtain capital.

“…they’re learning that they can borrow money based on their revenue, not based on their credit and assets,” stated Sean Feighan, Co-founder and President of Cash Buoy. Feighan explained that the exercise of obtaining capital during Covid to stay in business created or further developed an appetite for small businesses to borrow money in general.

As these businesses are still utilizing the remaining government aid, the real demand has not truly begun, according to Dylan J Howell, CEO of Liquidibee. “…we have yet to see the real big demand that’s about to kick in, in my opinion, over the next six to twelve months, I believe that a lot more demand will come in,” Howell said. “A lot of companies received a good injection of government stimulus. And they’ve enjoyed that over the last year, year and a half. And as that comes to an end, companies are always looking for additional capital, whether it be to grow or foster future growth of their company.”

“I think we’re beginning now to see a new phase within small business,” said Avi Wernick, VP of Partnerships at FinTap. Because of the money that’s still lingering from the stimulus efforts, he thinks that alternative finance companies will soon see more demand in the coming months. But at the same time, those finance companies will have to determine if they’re even a good fit for their products. “I think some businesses will be more adversely affected. I think it depends a lot on the nature of the business owners, you know there are better business owners out there that are able to manage [their] finances more responsibly, and there are others that are kind of just more reactive.”

Erez Stamler, CEO and Managing Director of Fresh Funding, echoed a similar sentiment. He said that increased risk factors of a business coming out of Covid can make it harder to get them approved. Besides, a business now predisposed to forgivable funding or ultra long terms at very low interest may not necessarily demand other products in the market.

“So you will see demand, but you might not see increased amount of views or volume of deals, because you can’t replace SBA loans with MCA,” Stamler said.

Tomorrow’s Broker/Funder Relationship, According to Funders

February 23, 2022
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Looking out at the future“In the end, we all press zero to talk to someone.”

The conversation about what characteristics will make up tomorrow’s loan brokers is surrounded with ideas latched in fintech, social media, and more. Brokers from around North America have been showcasing these new strategies on social media or in chats with deBanked, which sparked the question — what do the funders think of all of this?

Efraim Kandinov, CEO of FundFi Merchant Funding, has a lot of ideas about how brokers should function in a constantly changing financial landscape. According to him, it’s not the style of funding or modernization of business logistics that will make tomorrow’s broker, but it’s leveraging ethics with both merchants and funders to preserve future business down the line.

“I believe more and more merchants look for the digital aspect and remove the broker because of the dishonesty that we usually uncover and want something clean without interpretation. Many issues with merchants in my opinion [stem] from being misled by the broker, promising something after to just take this deal or promising to get payments lowered and take an overleveraged position.”

Other funders think much differently, identifying a sense of community being brought about by tech, having a ‘we’re in this together’ type of mantra to hold the legacy industry up.

“There’s a sense of familiarity when dealing with my brokers,” said Amanda Schuster, CEO and President of Fundhouse LLC. “We’re your friends, we get you, we get your business.”

 

“AT THE END OF THE DAY, BUSINESS IS ALWAYS ABOUT THE PEOPLE”

 

Schuster believes that relationships between funders, brokers and merchants alike will help them weather the storm of tech’s emergence into their industry.” We are your business and it’s just as important to us that you succeed,” she said. “I have business owners that I still speak to this day, that I funded over five years ago.”

Schuster dismissed companies like PayPal, Square, and Shopify’s takeover of small business lending, circling back to the interpersonal value that a broker provides as a face to a financial product.

“At the end of the day, business is always about the people,” she said. It’s about creating a need and filling it. You can’t do that on a website.”

When asked about the value of this happy-go-lucky community of brokers, funders and merchants, Kandinov brought up how some brokers have found ways around the ‘repeat business’ model of funding deals, thus making relationships between brokers and merchants pointless.

“I think brokers are less caring of repeat business because they have discovered a short term model of stack, stack, stack, and then put in a reverse. This front loads commission. I believe a broker has a huge advantage in creating the relationship. [This] unfortunately is starting to take a back seat to a new way to score big commissions.”

 

“I DO NOT BELIEVE FINTECH ALONE IS ADVANTAGEOUS, JUST IN SPEED AND CLARITY”

 

Kandinov spoke about brokers who will say anything to make a sale carelessly shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to forming a book of business. By saying whatever they need to get paid now, merchants are either going straight to the funders to big tech for their next source of funding.

“Jaded merchants then look to only speak to the funding house in the future and stay or just prefer the direct to consumer model of fintech,” said Kandinov.

Despite these feelings, Kandinov does believe that there’s a bright outlook on the future of the broker/funder relationship if some change occurs.

“[Brokers] deserve their high commissions as they do a lot of work. I think funding houses have much less overhead with the broker model, but lately with the broker behavior it is almost pushing themselves out if it continues. I do not believe fintech alone is advantageous, just in speed and clarity. It’s a byproduct of poor behavior.”

Enova and Nav Partner Up, Leveraging Data for Instant Funding

February 9, 2022
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Enova - NavIntelligent financing platform Nav has announced an expanded partnership with small business lender Enova, bringing a mass amount of data to the X’s and O’s of small business financing approvals and funding processes of companies like OnDeck and Headway Capital, subsidiaries of Enova.

According to a joint press release, the move will create the first two-sided open marketplace in small business lending.

“Two-sided means we are bringing together both the demand and the supply,” said Greg Ott, CEO of Nav. [Nav] is the platform in the middle which allows small businesses to compare their options using the real data that the supplier, say lenders like Enova, use so that the small business owner can understand what they qualify for before they apply.”

As the head of a company that uses the value of data as a business model, Ott spoke about the harvesting of such data in ways that’s mutually benefits all parties.

“It’s all permissible, part of the desire for a lot of companies to get more data is you have to have a value proposition for small business owners to share their data,” said Ott. “Because Nav allows you to compare your options, we connect three commercial bureaus, we connect two personal bureaus, and then we connect the bank accounts so we can see the cash flow data. In certain cases, we may connect with merchant processing data, accounting data, and other data sets that the small business owners connect into our platform.”

While data will provide the merchant with options on different types of financing, the lenders also have a benefit in leveraging data provided by merchants to Nav from a marketing perspective. By having merchants input their own information, Enova and its subsidiaries like OnDeck and Headway Capital can offer those potential borrowers ‘instant funding’.

“I think [instant funding] is something that Enova has tried to do for a long time,” said Jim Granat, Head of Enova SMB. We’re trying to make things where the access to capital is as effortless as possible for the hard working Americans or business owners. We try really hard to take that approach in the way we design our product because in today’s world of ‘always online’ expectations for business owners, we want to provide the type of experience that allows them to have certainty, if it’s at all possible, as fast as they can.”

Granat stressed that effortless access to capital for merchants is the best way to differentiate one funder from another when trying to lend a small business money.

“An effortless experience allows [merchants] to know what they can do for their business as well [lenders] being able to capture the different business owners’ attention at the moment that they need it.”

Funding Circle Partners With Nationwide in Mutual Referral Program

February 1, 2022
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Funding Circle WebDenver-based small business lender Funding Circle announced a partnership with Nationwide Insurance, in a move designed to improve access to capital for businesses that use Nationwide as their insurance providers. The move is a continued trend in the small business financing industry to create access to resources surrounding business financing in places that merchants are interacting with on a daily basis.

“Funding Circle is thrilled to partner with Nationwide to offer essential resources that seamlessly supplement our customers’ business needs and set them up for success in a competitive market,” said Vipul Chhabra, Managing Director of Funding Circle US.

“This first-of-its-kind partnership with one of the country’s leading insurance and financial services providers embodies our core values,” said Chhabra. “[Our values are] to truly support American small business owners in accomplishing their goals, especially among underserved populations that banks typically are not incentivized to reach.”

On top of access to funding, the partnership offers access to resources surrounding small business financing to Nationwide customers. According to a press release by the companies, this is the first merger of a top insurance company with an online lending platform. 

“Today’s hardworking business owners have a variety of insurance and financial needs. They are looking for innovative ways to have those needs met so they can focus on running their companies,” said Kasey Ketcham, Associate Vice President of Commercial Digital Enablement at Nationwide. 

“This partnership with Funding Circle is another example of Nationwide’s commitment to addressing the challenges small business owners are facing,” said Ketcham. “[Nationwide is] offering expert guidance and comprehensive insurance and lending resources hand-in-hand to help them make informed decisions to fortify their business and livelihoods.”

According to Nationwide, the partnership will be a mutual referral program, where Funding Circle customers will be exposed to Nationwide products, and Nationwide customers will be exposed to Funding Circle products. Nationwide representatives explained the partnership exclusivley to deBanked. 

“Exactly what is provided through Nationwide.com or the app is a link to Funding Circle,” said a Nationwide representative. “Once there, the user can complete an application for loan coverage, but are not granted special exception because they came from Nationwide.”

“They would still go through the loan application and underwriting for funds and vice versa,” said the representative. “The Funding Circle website/app is providing a link to Nationwide that the user can ‘learn more’ through the Coverage Assistant page, or “get a quote” using Nationwide Business Express.”

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07-31-2018

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