|02/22/2022||Bitty Advance's new suite|
|02/20/2020||Bitty Advance has a new major partner|
|09/04/2018||Bitty Advance sponsors deBanked CONNECT|
Bitty Advance hopes that an enticing in-person environment will bring people back to the office. As part of that, the company recently moved into a new space.
“We want to give our team both the flexibility of working from home and having a premier office space for collaboration,” Bitty Principal and CEO Craig Hecker told deBanked. “…making our space open and dynamic, with comfortable couches, TVs, and relaxed meeting areas was important, we are also incorporating fun things like resting areas and table tennis to promote wellness and engagement.”
The new office is immediately adjacent to Dania Pointe, a 102-acre premier mixed-use development with almost one million square feet of retail and restaurants, luxury offices, hotels, luxury apartments, and public event space.
Bitty is seeking to acquire tech talent in many areas as they expand platform offerings for their white-label application intake process, affiliate online checkout referral page, payment processing & management interface, and self-service customer portal.
“Bitty is a tech company first. All of our focus is on utilizing technology to revolutionize the MCA space,” said Hecker.
There’s new management over at Bitty Advance. The Fort Lauderdale-based funding company has been acquired by long-time industry veteran Craig Hecker. Hecker, who years ago founded, grew, and sold Rapid Capital Funding had originally acquired a stake in Bitty earlier this year, but in the following months purchased the remainder of the business from founders Eddie Siegel and Lenny Duvdivani.
Hecker told deBanked that under his management Bitty has committed capital that will allow the business to fund up to $10 million per month.
“I’m very excited to take my industry experience and knowledge and apply it to this segment of the MCA space,” he says.
As part of the takeover, Hecker says that he has “re-assembled his dream team of technologists and ops” that have been part of his inner-circle for nearly a decade and “were critical in building out the platform” that had made Rapid Capital Funding successful.
Bitty has historically focused on micro-advances and the company plans to really scale up its efforts in the $2,500 – $12,500 small merchant market segment with the aid of automated technology. In addition to this, Bitty has launched a new sales partner portal for ISOs. “That way [ISOs] will always know what’s going on with merchant applications,” hecker said.
Craig Hecker, who founded and sold Rapid Capital Funding, has acquired a stake in Bitty Advance. According to the press release, Hecker and Bitty Advance CEO Edward Siegel first met more than ten years ago when Siegel had just entered the merchant cash advance industry at Rapid Capital Funding.
Bitty has been on the move. The company has been a regular participant in the networking conferences that deBanked puts on each year.
Siegel says of Hecker in the announcement that “I am thrilled to bring on Craig with all of his MCA experience and his creative thinking to help scale Bitty’s growth.”
The newly-made partners told deBanked that they believe this deal will enable Bitty Advance to leap forward to the next level by adding technology to fund faster and create an industry changing awesome customer experience.
Fort Lauderdale FL – February 21, 2020: Craig Hecker has acquired an equity stake in Bitty Advance.
Hecker is a pioneer and leader in the merchant cash advance industry who founded, grew, and sold Rapid Capital Funding.
Bitty Advance CEO Edward Siegel first crossed paths with Hecker in 2009 when Siegel was employed by Rapid Capital Funding. Siegel since then went on to launch Bitty Advance in 2017 to cater exclusively to small businesses that generate less than $100,000 in annual revenue.
Hecker will be providing valuable thought leadership and capital to help Bitty continue to grow and become the leader in the space.
“I am thrilled to bring on Craig with all of his MCA experience and his creative thinking to help scale Bitty’s growth,” Siegel says.
The start of the partnership was memorialized with a video, attached below.
About Bitty Advance
Bitty Advance was founded in 2017 and is based in Fort Lauderdale, FL. To reach the company, call 800-324-3863 or email email@example.com.
Bitty Advance has expanded to midtown Manhattan. The company’s first location, in Fort Lauderdale, FL, will remain intact as the corporate office.
“We wanted to have a New York presence to hire sales talent, underwriters and, of course, raise more capital because obviously this is the mecca for finance,” said CEO of Bitty Advance Edward Siegel.
Siegel said he is currently hiring salespeople and experienced underwriters for the New York office. There were about 10 well-dressed salespeople at the spacious Bitty Advance office in New York this morning, and Siegel said he plans to grow the office to about 20. He said there are 30 employees in Florida, none of whom moved to the New York office. The New York office does sales and underwriting, while the corporate office in Florida also handles sales and underwriting and houses the customer service and executive teams.
“We also wanted to have a presence in New York for our partners,” Siegel said.
Siegel’s partners include ISOs and other funders that don’t fund the smaller deals that Bitty Advance specializes in. Bitty Advance provides “micro advances” (from $2,000 to $10,000) to merchants doing less than $100,000 in revenue.
Siegel has another Florida-based funding company called Fundzio, and Bitty Advance launched in 2017 when Siegel recognized that almost 50% of online applications to Fundzio were coming from merchants doing less than $100,000 in revenue.
“I realized that the only proper way to do this was to create another company, carve out a niche, and build a team that was just focused on micro advances,” Siegel said.
Bitty Advance is a sponsor of deBanked CONNECT San Diego. The half-day event for funders, lenders, brokers and industry professionals is being held at the Andaz on October 4th!
Last month, an anonymous bidder paid $12.6M for a 1952 mint condition Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card, the highest amount ever fetched for a piece of sports memorabilia at an auction. Understandably, the news electrified a fast growing market of collectors, traders, and financiers that predicted the next big asset class wasn’t just going to be real estate or crypto or NFTs, but physical sports trading cards.
The value of the Mantle sale came as no surprise to one budding entrepreneur in South Florida. On Instagram, he’d been talking about Mantle cards for weeks, even going so far as to hold up another ’52 Topps Mantle card to the camera to promote what his company can do, which is provide quick cash advances to owners of valuable sports cards.
The entrepreneur’s name is Edward Siegel, CEO of Card Fi. Siegel’s no stranger to the alternative finance space because he spent about a decade in the MCA industry, most recently as the founder of Bitty Advance, which he sold in 2020. Since then, Siegel returned to his roots and early passion of his youth.
“I had a background in sports cards as a collector, you know as a kid, but then in my early twenties, I was promoting card shows at malls,” Siegel said. “I was heavily into the hobby, setting up the card shows and promoting them and doing player appearances where players come in and do an autograph appearance.”
That was back in the late 80s, early 90s, according to Siegel.
When Covid hit and he exited his most recent company, he noticed a massive resurgence in the sports trading card market. His next business ultimately became Card Fi, a company that will evaluate the market value of a card and make an advance against it. There’s obviously risk involved so they take possession of the card for the duration.
“We have to get a hold of these cards and we’re responsible for them and then we vault them in our in-house bank vault,” Siegel said. The cards are stored in a highly secure climate controlled environment. Card Fi shows the vault off frequently in its Instagram videos.
Such a business requires large amounts of capital so Siegel went searching for investors, a pursuit that led him to a unique place, an Instagram Live pitch competition hosted by famed CEO and reality TV star Marcus Lemonis. Siegel entered himself in as a contestant, knowing full well that the odds of even being chosen to present his business to Lemonis were about a million-to-one.
Somehow, he was called up to pitch.
“So [businesses] went on there during the quarantine and you pitched your business,” Siegel explained. “I went on there and I pitched it […] And he understood it and he thought it made sense.”
The moment eventually led to a deal with Lemonis’ company and Card Fi was on its way.
Siegel, meanwhile, dispels the notion that the burgeoning trading card industry or his business hinges upon old vintage cards or that it’s a baseball-card-centric universe.
“If we look at it, there’s two different markets, you have the modern card market [where] I would say it’s basketball [that leads the pack],” he said. “For the vintage card market it’s baseball.”
Football is huge as well, he explained. A Patrick Mahomes rookie card, for example, an NFL Quarterback that’s still currently playing, recently fetched $861,000. There are only one of five like it in the world, the scarcity playing a major role in the value. Meanwhile, a Justin Herbert rookie card, an NFL Quarterback who’s only in his third year was already receiving bids above $1 million at the time this story was being written.
“It really depends on the card itself,” Siegel explained. “Some players might be known for having better careers but then you have cards that have more scarcity to them. Something that’s a one of one or maybe a very low populated card and a graded PSA 10 could very well be worth more than a [Michael] Jordan rookie because it has scarcity in it.”
PSA refers to cards that have been verified as authentic and graded on the condition of the card itself. Ten is the highest level a card can receive. Card Fi will only work with graded cards to avoid any funny business when it comes to advancing funds based upon the value.
Siegel explained that Card Fi’s average advance is about $40,000 – $50,000. The max right now is $500,000. There’s a big market for this type of funding it turns out because Card Fi’s much larger rival, PWCC, just raised $175 million to make similar offerings to sports card owners.
“This financing benefits the market as loans and cash advances have become an increasingly asked-for offering among trading card collectors,” said Chad Fister, PWCC’s CFO in a story that originally appeared on Sportico. “Enabling our clients to access liquidity through a menu of capital offerings is key as trading cards continue to prove themselves to be a valuable tangible asset class.”
For Card Fi, customers that take an advance can track everything through an online portal, including details about their cards, payments, and balance.
“We want to note that we built a full-service automated underwriting and collection platform to where, whether it’s the customer or the broker, they can log into our system and put the description of the card into the system and it’s going to automatically underwrite it and price it out,” Siegel said.
That description sounded like something straight out of the fintech industry of his past, especially the component about brokers.
“Just like the MCA space, we have a whole partnership side, a broker side, where brokers can refer us customers just as an affiliate where they just send the info over,” Siegel said. Similarly, they can earn a commission if a transaction is completed, he explained.
In this industry, brands like Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini have become the bread and butter for Card Fi. Even though it’s all business for Siegel these days, he couldn’t help but mention a particular card he had a personal attachment to.
“My personal favorite card in my collection is the 1965 Topps Joe Namath rookie card,” Siegel said. “Of course being a die hard New York Jets fan, that has to be my favorite card.”
deBanked reporter Johny Fernandez flew down to Miami in September to find out how the South Florida non-bank small business finance industry has been getting along since covid. The following are some excerpts of interviews:
Jordan Fein, CEO of Greenbox Capital
“I’d be lying to you if I told you that, well it was fine for us. It wasn’t fine for anybody. We got hit pretty hard. I’d say that anywhere between 20 – 24% of our Canadian and about 25 – 28% of our US market got wiped out. And we shut down funding from mid-March to the end of April and we started funding again in early May. We’ve just increasingly been bringing back people from furlough and getting our legs back under us and now I think we’re really cooking right now.”
Craig Hecker, CEO of Bitty Advance
“So I think [the covid crisis] taught us a lot. And I think that when you face challenges like this pandemic, it really pushes you to reinvent yourself or reinvent certain parts of your business that you never thought were possible. And one of those things that we’ve learned is that we have a lot of folks that prefer to work at home, they’re actually more efficient working from home, they’re not in any hurry to come back into the office setting. Of course, we have certain employees that their jobs require them to kind of be with other employees, etc. but I think it’s really forced us to adapt, and to just embrace the new normal.”
Larry Bassuk, President of Idea Financial
“I think that we’ve been consistent in our risk management approach from the beginning. When we first surveyed the alternative lending space to see where we thought the best opportunity was for Idea Financial, we decided to focus on the higher credit quality segment of the market. our credit standards reflect that, our risk management principles reflect that, and quite frankly, our product reflects that. So during the covid crisis, when it was very acute in March, April, May, we got to see in real time, how our risk mitigation principles were functioning. It was a real test of all the theory that crisis, we got to see things shake out, and we got to see things being proven. A lot of assumptions that we were very strict on, really helped us manage the crisis. Going forward, we see that we’re going to be doubling down on those risk management principles, doubling down on how we underwrite and keeping a very close watch on how the businesses perform pre-covid, during covid, and then hopefully post-covid.”
bitty advance. are they connected in any way?, , mca servicing is bitty advance...
bitty advance. are they connected in any way?...
bitty advance, that accept and work referrals for merchants generating $5000-$10000 in monthly sales?, i don't think bitty has referral options. tried contacting them, no response yet...