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IOU Financial Inc Surpasses $US 1 Billion in Loan Originations and Establishes All-time Record in Quarterly Loan Originations

November 2, 2021
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Company celebrates major milestone
in its 12-year history of funding small business growth in North America

Atlanta, November 2, 2021 – IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSX-V: IOU), a leading online lender to small businesses (, announced today that it has surpassed US$1B in total loan originations.

“This is a major milestone for all IOU team members, partners and stakeholders,” said Robert Gloer, President and CEO. “In 12 years, the company has grown but our values have not changed: now more than ever we are committed to exceeding the expectations of our broker partners and the small business owners across North America who rely on our funding solutions to drive their growth plans.”

In addition, IOU announced today that its loan originations for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 surpassed all previous records. The company originated over US$52 million in small business loans in Q3, a new high-water mark in the 12-year history of the company, representing a sequential growth of 51.5% vs. Q2 2021, and 183.1% over Q3 2020.

“We are thrilled to surpass pre-pandemic loan origination numbers and start setting new all-time records for IOU Financial,” said Robert Gloer, President and CEO. “We remain cautiously optimistic that the economic recovery will continue despite the lingering potential macroeconomic and public health risks.”

IOU Financial originated its first loan in December 2009 and quickly positioned itself as a trusted alternative to banks by helping small business owners get fast and easy access to funding visa its proprietary IOU360 technology platform. The Company continued funding small businesses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and has subsequently introduced the industry-first IOU Financial Cash Back Loan and announced an-all-time record in monthly loan originations.

“We faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with the same entrepreneurial spirit that drove us to launch IOU Financial on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis – and both experiences have reinforced the importance of helping small businesses adapt to new challenges and grow” added Gloer. “Here’s to the next 12 years of small business growth!”

The Company is due to share its Q3 Financial Results in the coming weeks.

About IOU Financial Inc.

IOU Financial Inc. is a wholesale lender that provides quick and easy access to growth capital to small businesses through a network of preferred brokers across the US and Canada. Built on its proprietary IOU360 technology platform that connects underwriters, merchants and brokers in real time, IOU Financial has become a trusted alternative to banks by underwriting over $984 million as of September 20,2021 in loans to fund small business growth since 2009. IOU trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol IOU (TSXV: IOU), and on the US OTC markets as IOUFF. To learn more about IOU Financial’s corporate history, financial products, or to join our broker network please visit

Forward Looking Statements

Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of IOU including, but not limited to, the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, dependence upon regulatory and shareholder approvals, the execution of definitive documentation and the uncertainty of obtaining additional financing. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. IOU does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

For more information, please contact:

Robert Gloer, Chief Executive Officer, 866-217-8564 ext.308
David Kennedy, Chief Financial Officer, 514-789-0694 ext. 278
Carl Brabander, EVP of Strategy, 866-217-8564 ext. 4378

Forward Financing Reaches $1 Billion in Funding to Underserved Small Business

March 1, 2021
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Boston-based Fintech Company Expands Main Street’s Access to Capital During Pandemic, Achieves Major Growth Milestone

Boston, Mass., March 1, 2021 – Forward Financing, a financial technology company that provides flexible revenue-based financing to small businesses, today announced that they have provided $1 billion in funding since their inception in 2012. The majority of this funding has gone to underserved small businesses nationwide; those that are unable to obtain financing through traditional sources like banks or the Small Business Administration.

“Nine years ago, we started this company upon the realization that so many small businesses lacked access to working capital,” said Forward Financing co-founder and CEO Justin Bakes. “As we look ahead to our next $1 billion milestone, we will continue to focus on providing best-in-class customer service and on helping our small business customers reach their full potential, no matter what challenges may arise.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the U.S. economy and many small businesses have needed additional financial resources to get by. Despite over $600 billion in loans provided through the Payroll Protection Program, this alone has been insufficient in fulfilling the need for capital. As a result, many small business owners have turned to funders like Forward Financing for support.

Forward Financing is uniquely suited to help small businesses during this economic downturn because it offers financing that is based on revenue, and is not a loan. Therefore, small business customers who may be experiencing a revenue slowdown can reduce their payments proportionately.

“Forward Financing has helped me grow my business and take advantage of opportunities,” a retail business owner recently said. “Their service has been excellent and when COVID hit, they easily and efficiently helped me adjust my payment schedule so I remained current and my business was not interrupted. I will use them again and again in the future!”

Over the past six months, Forward Financing has grown daily funding volume at an average rate of 17% per month as they continue to help small businesses navigate the pandemic economy. In order to help meet rapidly growing demand, they are currently expanding headcount in Boston by 20%.

About Forward Financing

Forward Financing is a Boston-based financial technology company that provides fast, flexible working capital to small businesses nationwide. Their dedicated account representatives and advanced proprietary technology help customers spend less time finding capital and more time growing their business. With a simple, secure online application, business owners can trust that Forward Financing works to get them approvals within minutes, funding within hours, and personalized support when they need it most.

Since 2012, Forward Financing has expanded Main Street’s access to capital by providing over $1 billion in funding to nearly 30,000 small businesses. The company is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and ‘Excellent / 4.9 stars’ on Forward Financing was named a Best Place To Work by both

the Boston Business Journal and Built In Boston, and has been named by both Inc. Magazine and the Boston Business Journal as one of Massachusetts’ fastest-growing companies each year since 2017. Forward Financing is committed to helping more small business owners succeed and achieve their full potential. To learn more, visit

Media Contact
Lauren Groccia

2M7 Financial Solutions and the State of Alternative Funding in Canada

July 1, 2019
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Canada Finance“What’s a cash advance?”

This is how Avi Bernstein, CEO of 2M7 Financial Solutions, recalled a typical conversation in 2008, when his company was founded in the Canadian market. According to him, customer knowledge of alternative financing methods was dismal, partly due to a handful of homogenous banks dominating the scene as well as a void of funders in the country.

Flash forward to 2019 and 2M7 is operating within a Canadian market that is much more trusting and knowledgeable of merchant cash advances, although it is not yet at the levels witnessed in the U.S.

“Low hanging fruit,” is how Bernstein describes the industry now, as small and medium-sized businesses are flocking to 2M7 and its contemporaries, which offer higher approval ratings and faster confirmation of funding than their more traditional counterparts. In fact, according to a 2018 study conducted by Smarter Loans, 24% of those Canadians surveyed stated that they sought their first loan with an alternative lender that year. As well as this, only 29% reported that they pursued funding from more established, traditional financial institutions and 85% of those that received financing confirmed their satisfaction.

Figures like these help to explain why the Canadian market has seen a rise in interest from foreign businesses in the previous five years. Greenbox Capital, First Down Funding, and Funding Circle are examples of those companies who have successfully implanted themselves within the market, a feat that Bernstein claims isn’t easy.

2m7 logo“It’s a different business,” he notes when comparing the market to that of the U.S. Listing the dissimilarities in market maturity levels, sales tactics, processing channels, and collection styles, as well as the currency exchange rate that’s to be considered, Bernstein says that he’s found those American funders who come to Canada unprepared never stay long enough to become a fixture of the industry.

Warning against half measures, Bernstein explains that “You’ve gotta put boots on the ground” if you want to succeed in Canada. Giving the impression that unless you’re willing to learn the rules applied in the market, hire people, and house them in an office north of the American border, Bernstein is keen to highlight what’s required of foreign companies looking with interest at Canada.

But it’s a risk-reward situation. The market is opening up as more funders enter it, and with the arrival of larger companies, such as OnDeck Capital, more resources are being devoted to raising awareness of alternative financing amongst Canadians.

Meanwhile, homogenous firms like 2M7 are continuing to grow in this developing market. Receiving an average of 200-300 applications for funds per month, 2M7 is capitalizing off opportunities by proving themselves to be open to a wider range of applications. Bernstein asserts that “we try to fund everything,” and that they keep an “open mind to every opportunity” that lands on their desk. Perhaps this is a mindset not shared by more conservative of funders in the industry, but, as Bernstein says, “we’re here, we’re funding, and we’re ready to rock n’ roll.”

You can meet Avi Bernstein and 2M7 at deBanked CONNECT Toronto on July 25th.

Fora Financial & Expansion Capital Group Partner with Ocrolus to Automate Underwriting Legwork

October 8, 2018
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Ocrolus Builds Team with FinTech Lending Experience

New York, NY — Ocrolus, the emerging leader in analyzing loan documents, today announced integrations with Fora Financial and Expansion Capital Group, two of the fastest-growing online small business lenders. Enabling quicker and more precise loan decisions, Ocrolus has seen rapid adoption since its debut in the small business lending world with flagship customer Strategic Funding Source in May 2017. Following its Series A round highlighted by QED Investors, Ocrolus is quickly growing its customer base and team with laser-focus on the lending space.

Ocrolus employs crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence to drive efficiencies in the origination process, from document collection to calculating credit model inputs. The Company’s simple API ingests and analyzes bank statements and other loan files, returning actionable data and risk analytics, with 99+% accuracy.

Fora Financial, one of the most prominent New York City-based online lenders, has partnered with Ocrolus to automate bank statement reviews, resulting in a faster, more accurate end-to-end underwriting workflow. The benefits of automation have become increasingly important as Fora Financial accelerated growth after its June 2018 acquisition of US Business Funding. Leveraging Ocrolus to parallelize underwriting tasks, Fora Financial is poised to eclipse $400 million in annual originations over the next year.

“We are excited to automate an additional step in our underwriting process that has historically been very laborious, requiring additional staffing as we grew originations,” said Dan Smith, Co-founder and President of Fora Financial. “As a tech-enabled SMB lender, we rely on our technology to achieve scale while delivering a frictionless process for small businesses to access capital.” 

Expansion Capital Group (ECG), recently honored on the 2018 Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, has also partnered with Ocrolus to enhance its underwriting process. ECG sought a loan automation partner to facilitate ambitious growth objectives while improving risk management capabilities. With Ocrolus now handling its document analysis work, ECG, who has grown 627% over the past three years, looks forward to scaling its operation to new heights, thanks to its leaner, technology-enabled infrastructure.

Herk Christie, Head of Operations at ECG says, “Using Ocrolus solutions, we have been able to create a lean, smart and tech-enabled underwriting infrastructure that focuses on quality without sacrificing speed. The level of data Ocrolus provides will continue to feed the growth of our statistical models, further benefiting our clients and partners alike.”

Growing beyond online small business lending, into online personal lending and traditional banking, Ocrolus has added a couple of prominent lending executives to its team. Matt Burton, former CEO of Orchard Platform has joined Ocrolus as a Board Advisor. Kevin Bailey, former Senior Advisor at the US Department of Treasury, has joined Ocrolus as Head of Growth.

As CEO of Orchard Platform (acquired by Kabbage), Matt Burton became a cornerstone of the online lending community. Orchard’s Online Lending Meetup events regularly brought together industry thought leaders from all over the world, helping to shape the next generation of financial services. As an Advisor to Ocrolus, Mr. Burton is continuing his mission to grow online lending into an efficient, transparent, and global financial market.

A former White House and Treasury official, Kevin Bailey brings more than fifteen years of experience as a financial services and public policy professional. Prior to joining Ocrolus, Kevin was the Director of Business Development & Capital Markets at CommonBond, a leading marketplace student lender. Mr. Bailey is a graduate of Rice University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. At Ocrolus, Mr. Bailey is leading growth efforts as the Company expands beyond its core online small business lending market, into online personal lending and traditional banking.

Visit for more information.

About Ocrolus

Ocrolus is a RegTech company that automates data verification and analysis for bank statements and other loan documents. The Company analyzes e-statements, scans, and cell phone images of documents from any financial institution with over 99% accuracy, and rigorous process documentation. By replacing tedious, imperfect human audits with sharp, AI-driven analyses, Ocrolus modernizes financial review processes in lending with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

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November 7, 2017
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Bill Donnelly, a 30-year consumer credit veteran, joins as LendUp’s first CFO; Chief Data Scientist and General Manager of Loans also join Company’s innovative products have saved customers $150M and delivered 1.7M education courses

San Francisco, November 8, 2017 LendUp, a socially responsible fintech company for the emerging middle class, today announced that Bill Donnelly, former VP of Global Financial Services for Tesla, has joined as its first CFO. The company further strengthened its leadership team with the addition of a General Manager for its loans business and a Chief Data Scientist.

“Our strengthened leadership team, from some of the world’s fastest-growing and most impactful companies, will help LendUp accelerate our efforts to build a lasting, iconic company that will be a category leader for years to come,” said Orloff.

LendUp Bill DonnellyDonnelly is a 30-year consumer credit veteran with extensive experience in credit cards and loans products. Donnelly spent the last four years with Tesla as VP of Global Financial Services, responsible for providing financing solutions for Tesla’s customers across 29 countries. He also served as President of Tesla’s captive finance company, Tesla Finance LLC, which offered an industry-leading leasing program innovative for its consumer-friendly agreement and for being the first end-to-end electronic lease with the ability to execute contracts on a vehicle’s touchscreen.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have an executive of Bill’s caliber join our quickly expanding team,” said Sasha Orloff, co-founder and CEO of LendUp. “Tesla is one of the most innovative companies in the world, and completely disrupted the sleepy auto industry. Bill’s experience leading complex global financing programs, and building first-of-their-kind, mobile-first platforms, will be invaluable to us as we continue to build out our product ecosystem and be on the forefront of serving more Americans in need of better financial services options.”

Donnelly previously spent a decade with BMW. As CFO and then President of its industrial bank, he led BMW’s credit card program and was awarded a patent for a new credit card product. In addition, Donnelly’s background includes more than 15 years with the credit card, installment loan, and automotive finance divisions of JPMorgan Chase. He was also President and CEO of retail card issuer First Electronic Bank, where he led the bank’s turnaround and achieved record profits.

“I have long admired LendUp for the important work the company is doing to expand credit access and help people improve their financial health,” said Donnelly. “At Tesla I witnessed how a strong sense of mission combined with a talented, passionate team can lead to incredible success and to overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges. I have found that same sense of mission among LendUp’s amazingly talented and passionate team. I look forward to leading our finance organization and serving as a strategic partner to the entire team as we continue building innovative and mobile-first financial services products. Together, I can’t wait to achieve extraordinary success — for our customers and for our investors.”

In addition to Donnelly, Anu Shultes has joined as General Manager of the company’s loans business, which recently surpassed $1.25 billion in originations. Shultes has 25 years of experience in financial services across lending and credit card products, primarily focused on underserved consumers. Shultes is passionate about financial inclusion, and has managed multi-billion-dollar loan portfolios and built $1B businesses from product launch to widespread adoption. Shultes most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of mobile-first global gifting platform Swych, and before that served in senior leadership roles at Blackhawk Network, AccountNow, National City Bank, and Providian Financial.

Dr. Leonard Roseman has joined LendUp as Chief Data Scientist, to lead a growing team that uses Machine Learning to improve financial inclusion through expanded credit access and lowering the cost of credit to borrowers. Dr. Roseman has 30 years of experience in modeling credit risk, pricing, and model risk capital. He has worked with a variety of companies as a statistician, technical consultant, and strategy consultant focused on experimental design, predictive modeling, and strategic analysis. Roseman most recently served as Head of Group Decision Sciences at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and before that served as Deputy Chief Model Risk Officer at Capital One.

LendUp is also announcing a number of significant growth and social impact milestones. The company has now saved its borrowers $150 million in fees and interest through use of its credit card and loan products. These savings have helped close the gap caused by poor credit, which costs Americans roughly $250,000 more over the course of their lifetimes. Additionally, consumers have taken LendUp’s free online financial education courses more than 1.7 million times. Finally, the company launched one of the most innovative credit cards out of beta at the beginning of 2017.

About LendUp
LendUp is a socially responsible fintech company on a mission to redefine financial services for the emerging middle class—the 56% of Americans shut out of mainstream banking due to poor credit or income volatility. LendUp builds tech-enabled loans and credit cards paired with educational experiences to help people save money and get on a path to better financial health.

Follow LendUp
Twitter: @LendUpCredit

Merchant Cash Advance | A Look Back and Plan Forward

November 29, 2015
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looking into the futureMerchant Cash Advance is still a relatively unknown term and product to the masses, but amongst most of its target customer base, it definitely has a stigma that is rightly deserved in some ways, but I believe that it is also misunderstood in many other ways. Having been in the industry for nearly 10 years, I can say that I have seen my fair share of positive and negative events as they relate to the industry, but I believe that it has all been for its betterment and growth. Furthermore, by having been on the underwriting side for a majority of that time, I can say with great certainty that I have seen this product help several small business owners over the years, and it will continue to do so as the stigma fades away and acceptance increases.

For those of us working in this industry now, let’s face it – most small business owners that have taken a merchant cash advance or have been solicited for the product would much rather go to their bank for the money. The problem, as many merchants have come to realize in recent years, is that lending in general essentially dried up after the recession. The faucet is now running again, but small businesses were all but forgotten. Only the most well qualified borrowers are able to obtain the desired amount of capital needed at a reasonable cost through traditional bank loans. In addition to meeting all of the necessary criteria for a bank loan or line of credit, a borrower must also be prepared to wait months for the process to be finalized.

The days of a small business owner being able to go down to his or her community bank or local branch for a quick cash injection are long gone, but that’s where we come in. We are catering to a customer base that has been left out to dry. We are dealing in a marketplace that is grossly underserved by the larger financial institutions. We are charging a premium for taking on risk that most cannot stomach. We are keeping America running. That might sound ambitious, but is realistic when you put things in perspective.

SBA and IDC data show that small businesses employ at least half of the US workforce and produce anywhere from 60% – 80% of the new jobs annually while also accounting for nearly half of total US private payroll. As if that weren’t enough, small businesses also produce six trillion dollars or over 50% of all non-farm GDP in the US. When looking at additional SBA data which also states that more than 80% of all small businesses need to use some sort of financing to grow their business, it’s perplexing as to why banks have turned their backs on the people that have put America on their very own backs.

However, I do not want to go into great detail or make any assumptions on why “big banks” are not lending to small businesses. Rather, I would like to take some time to focus on how we can continue to support the growth of small businesses across America. The MCA product in particular has evolved quite a bit over the past 10 years, but a lot of that development has taken place in the past 3-5 years, and the industry has grown leaps and bounds as a result. When I started working as an underwriter several years ago, there were less than 10 lenders and 50 brokers operating within the space. Nowadays, there are hundreds on both sides of the fence, and there are multiple new entrants every day – senior guys starting their own operations, one man rogues from the insurance and mortgage businesses, consumer payday lenders, et cetera. – all looking for our piece of the pie, but who out there is really looking to improve upon and grow the product for the better?

small business financing growthI suppose therein lies the problem. Unfortunately, the tremendous growth we have recently witnessed also comes with a flood of unqualified and unknowledgeable management and staff that are simply following the direction of their unqualified and unknowledgeable employers. As an industry, if we expect to continue making headway in the small business lending environment, we must first better ourselves by taking the time to learn and understand the product in order to better educate our customers. If you know me, you have heard me say on a few occasions that it is easy to put the money on the streets, but the problem for most people is getting it back.

As with anything in life, you cannot jump into something and expect to master it. Over time, you get a grip of what you are doing, and you begin to build on that understanding. Therefore, no one should enter the market expecting to make huge returns without learning the ins and outs of the business. I, along with several of my peers, have seen plenty of well-intentioned but aggressive entrants “lose their shirts,” so to speak, because they did not do the proper diligence on the industry or the actual diligence required to operate within the space. Lending money with only a UCC-1 in place only on future receivables or sometimes no collateral at all is risky business as it is, but not taking the necessary steps to mitigate that risk is only asking for a rough road ahead – not only for the lender itself, but also for their potential clients, brokers, other lenders, and the industry as a whole.

Our underwriters and sales people, in addition to management, should have a solid understanding of the product they are working on. They should be able to educate customers as well as their peers. Transparency throughout the process is key for maintaining a long and mutually benefiting relationship with the client. By having this firm grip and understanding of the product, we reduce the risk of an unsatisfied customer. As with the mortgage and insurance industries, sales and underwriting must work together to determine the best possible result for both the client and the company. This is definitely a challenge for most groups due to the amount of balancing required to meet the needs of the company, but by establishing best practices and procedures in both the sales and underwriting processes, we can begin to think and work within separate verticals and group goals but streamline the process to achieve the agenda of alternative small business lending which should be to help provide small business owners with the fast and efficient capital they need.

Whether you have been in the industry for years, you have just joined this year, or you are considering taking the dive now, it’s only fitting that at this time of year we give thanks to those small business owners and celebrate their entrepreneurial spirits because they are the reason we, ourselves, are currently employed. But more importantly, they are setting us up for quite an adventure which will change the landscape of small business lending for good. I, personally, cannot wait for the next 3-5 years of continued growth because I can only see a bright future if we are able to collectively educate ourselves and pass that knowledge along to our clients. As long as the proper steps to learn have been taken, the competition from new entrants mentioned previously is also welcomed because this further drives new ideas and developments within the space – new financial products to offer clients, lower costs, and most importantly easier and efficient access to quick capital for the busy small business owners constantly on the go in an effort to grow their business while putting the rest of us on their backs.

Meet the Source: How Jared Weitz and United Capital Source became one of the industry’s fastest growing shops

October 23, 2015
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This article is from deBanked’s September/October magazine issue. To receive copies in print, SUBSCRIBE FREE

Jared Weitz came from humble beginnings and nearly settled for a humble fate. But associates say an ordinary, uneventful life wouldn’t have suited him – he works too hard and figures things out too quickly.

Almost ten years ago Weitz, 33, was parking cars to earn money for community college. After finishing at St. Johns University, he almost made plumbing his career. But now he’s CEO of United Capital Source LLC, an alternative-finance brokerage with deal flow of between $9 million and $10 million a month and an annual growth rate of over 65 percent.

Business associates, former bosses and his small cadre of employees all seem to revere Weitz for his honesty and straightforwardness. They consider him a personal friend. They say he continues to grow as a businessman and as a human being while taking pleasure in helping others do the same.

Jared Weitz United Capital Source deBanked Magazine

Geographically, Weitz has the good fortune to know where he belongs – the city of New York is in his DNA. “Every time I fly back,” he said, “I’m so happy to land.”

His love affair with the city began in Brooklyn. He was born there and raised in a Brighton Beach apartment in the shadow of Coney Island. When he was 16, the family moved to Oceanside on Long Island.

As the second of six children, Weitz had to come up with the money for college on his own. “My older sister and I had to pay our way,” he said. “Everybody else, my dad was able to cover.” He started school at Nassau Community College, selling cell phones and parking cars at night.

brighton beach brookynBut then came an abrupt change. Once Weitz saved enough money, he transferred to Tulane University in New Orleans to pursue a relationship with a woman who was finishing her studies there. He attended classes part-time, worked as the athletic director at the Jewish Community Center, tended bar in a Mexican restaurant and served summonses for a law firm.

The relationship with the woman fizzled, but Weitz made lasting friendships during his days down south. His old roommate in New Orleans, who now practices law in Atlanta, serves as counsel for United Capital Source.

When Weitz had been in New Orleans for two years, Hurricane Katrina struck. He evacuated to Houston, where he stayed in a Holiday Inn for two weeks before realizing he wouldn’t be able to return to southern Louisiana anytime soon. The magnitude of the devastation was just too great.

Shouldering the duffel bag of belongings he had managed to pack on his back during the evacuation, he returned to New York, enrolled in St. John’s University and began working in sales for Honda Financial Services and parking cars.

Weitz had started school expecting to become a teacher. He had grown up with younger siblings and liked leadership roles, which convinced him teaching would be a good fit.

Still, many of his college jobs had required him to sell. As a bartender, for example, he promoted drink specials. As an athletic director he convinced people to sign up for classes. “Everything that I took to naturally wound up being in the sales, marketing and finance arena,” Weitz observed.

When he was nearly finished at St. John’s, Weitz was parking a car for an acquaintance who offered him a job as a union plumber. Suddenly, he was making $27 an hour and had health benefits. “It was a big breather for me,” Weitz recalled.

He quit his three jobs and labored as a plumber from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. School started at 3:30 p.m. for him and stretched into the evening. But when he finished his degree, working as a teacher for $35,000 to $40,000 a year no longer seemed attractive.

Besides, his plumbing work didn’t center on toilets. On typical commercial plumbing jobs he did things like install air, medical and gas lines in hospitals. He was reading blueprints and bidding for jobs. A promotion to foreman didn’t seem that far off.

At about the same time, near the end of 2006, a friend, Mike Caronna, landed a job at Bizfi, formerly known as Merchant Cash and Capital (MCC), The company, which had just started and had only a few employees, was looking for underwriters.

New York City

As fate would have it, Weitz fell into a conversation with a fellow union plumber, one who had been on the job for 30 years. The older man reminded him that his wages would never climb much higher than they were right now. The veteran plumber then showed the younger man his hands, bent from decades of holding tools. “That got me thinking,” Weitz said.

He asked his friend Caronna to arrange a job interview at MCC. He got an offer and took a 90-day leave from his plumbing job to give the world of finance a try. “After about two weeks, I knew it was for me,” he said of the alternative-finance industry. It was by then the beginning of 2007.

Weitz excelled as an underwriter, and the company CEO, Stephen Sheinbaum, picked him and four others for a sales contest. Sheinbaum gave them some leads and turned them loose. Weitz won the competition but asked his boss to help him gain experience in business development and operations before taking on a sales position.

Sheinbaum was happy to comply. “He is one of the best and the brightest in the space,” he said of Weitz.

So, at age 25, Weitz found himself building a business development department by cultivating relationships with ISOs and persuading them to send business to MCC. “It was amazing,” he said of those days. “That was a big opportunity.”


Weitz learned the mechanics of the business. He found that the right ISO can originate good deals and a bad ISO can ruin deals. He learned the politics of when to talk, when to remain silent and when to let someone vent.

Then Weitz and a good friend at MCC, Anthony Giuliano – who’s now managing partner of Sure Payment Solutions – worked out how they could improve the MCC sales effort. They pitched Sheinbaum on the idea of having a second internal sale force, and that led to the birth of Next Level Funding (NLF), a division of MCC.

Weitz and Giuliano each owned 10 percent of NLF, and MCC owned 80 percent. “I’m 26, about to be 27, and I’m like, ‘You did it, Man,’” Weitz said as he looked back.

After about four months, NLF absorbed MCC’s original sales division. Next, Giuliano and another executive, Paul Giuffrida, decided to leave MCC. Weitz felt torn. He felt an allegiance to Giuliano and respected Giuliano’s knowledge of programming – a subject that was alien to him. Yet Sheinbaum had provided Weitz a series of opportunities.

Weitz stayed at MCC but felt he deserved to become chief sales officer. When that didn’t happen, he sold his shares back to the company at a dramatically reduced price to extricate himself from a non-compete clause and set off to start United Capital Source (UCS).

With a five-figure investment, Weitz and his then partner, started UCS in January of 2011 in a 250-square-foot office in Long Beach, L.I. Weitz invested about 90 percent of the money he had saved while working at MCC.

Jared Weitz United Capital SourceJon Baum left NLF with Weitz and became the first UCS employee. Within a week or two, Danielle Rivelli, left NLF to join UCS, and Weitz put the remaining 10 percent of his savings into the business to meet the expanded payroll. Today, Baum and Rivelli are UCS sales managers.

The first month UCS was open, it funded $240,000 in deals. “It just felt good to be on my own and start funding deals,” Weitz said. From the beginning of UCS, he won praise from funders for bringing them the right kind of deals with merchants who were likely to repay.

“He really has the pulse of the marketplace and what a lender is looking for,” said Todd Sherer, who handles business development for Entrepreneur Growth Capital. “He doesn’t waste time giving you transactions that don’t fit in your box.”

That’s because doing things right means a lot to Weitz. “He is one of the most straightforward, honest, high-integrity people I have met in the industry,” said Steven Mandis, adjunct associate professor at the Columbia University Business School and chairman of Kalamata Capital LLC.

He’s won the OnDeck seal of approval. “OnDeck has a rigorous and extensive background check process as part of our broker certification process,” said Paul Rosen, OnDeck’s chief sales officer. “Jared Weitz and United Capital have passed our screens and process and are currently active brokers for OnDeck.”

And with time, Weitz has learned patience. He was sometimes short with funders when he started his company but has matured into a pleasant person to deal with, said Heather Francis, CEO of Elevate Funding. “I’ve seen that growth with him,” she said.

All of those good qualities soon came together to help UCS succeed. Within four months of its launch, the company rented a 1,500-square-foot office in Garden City and hired two more people. Next came a 3,200-square-foot office in Rockville Centre and three more employees.

“The company was growing and gaining traction,” Weitz recalled. “I bought out my original partner.” Since then, Vincent Pappalardo has invested in UCS and become a minority partner.

Meanwhile, the lease was expiring on Long Island, and Weitz felt the time had come to move to Manhattan. That would enable the company to draw employees from throughout the region and not just Long Island.

“We decided to bite the bullet and pay the excess money to move to the city because we believed it would be better for the business,” Weitz said. He added two people and rented a 5,500-square-foot space near Penn Station in the Garment District in September of 2014.

36th and 8th AvenueWithin three months of making the move to Manhattan, business doubled. “Being in a faster-paced environment caused the business to go through another growth phase,” he said. After nine months in the city, UCS is now taking over a whole 8,500-square-foot floor of the same building.

UCS remains a small shop in terms of headcount with 21 people, but the company’s funding numbers equal the output of many brokerages five times its size. Twelve of the UCS employees work in sales, with the others engaged mainly in underwriting, operations and customer service.

Less than 2 percent of UCS’s funding volume comes from broker business. “We self-generate all of our business,” Weitz said, declining to elaborate too much on his company’s marketing efforts.

“My salespeople – bar none – are the best in the industry,” he claimed. “Much like the Navy has the SEALS and the Army has the Rangers, there are groups in the industry that can do triple or quadruple what other people do because that’s just the way they are.” His people fund an average of $750,000 per month per person in new business, while his renewals reps fund well into the 7-figure range per person.

UCS salespeople achieve their results because they have detailed knowledge of the industry, Weitz said. The staff’s understanding of alternative finance doesn’t end with sales but also includes underwriting and finance, he noted. “That’s what makes you a very good and knowledgeable sales rep,” he maintained.

His salespeople don’t just tell a client what he or she wants to hear. They take the time to understand the client’s financial situation. “They know how to read a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet and tax returns,” Weitz said.


While 90% of Weitz’s sales team has a college degree, most of the salespeople have come from outside the industry, he said, noting that one was with Sleepy’s, the mattress company. Another was selling memberships at a gym, one worked for a credit card processing company, two were barbers and one had just graduated from college.

UCS doesn’t make double-digit commissions because the company isn’t over-charging merchants, Weitz maintained. The company does not obtain excess funding that a customer can’t afford or increase the factor rate to dangerous levels, he noted.

“You’re not really helping the merchant” by providing too much capital, Weitz asserted. “You’re sucking the blood out of him before he goes away. That’s not why I’m in business.”

A clean record will also prove beneficial when federal regulation comes to the industry, he said. Integrity in the workplace can also spill over into other parts of a person’s life, Weitz believes.

Jared Weitz on Cover of deBanked MagazineAs UCS grew larger and Weitz grew older, he saw his employees rent their first apartments and then buy their first homes. He learned then that he had taken on more responsibility than was apparent to him at first.

To accommodate the employees he added a human relations department and commissioned a company handbook. He’s also started marketing, finance, operations and other departments.

He’s lost only four employees because he pays them well, respects their time and doesn’t view their youth as a liability.

Meanwhile, talking daily to merchants and hearing about their heartaches and triumphs has humbled and matured Weitz. Seeing how the merchants’ choices panned out or fell short also shaped him and helped him grow up a little, he said.

Weitz has found time in his 70-hour workweek to meet his future bride. They’re planning to wed next year, and he plans to invite his entire staff. “It wouldn’t feel right without them,” he said.

Weitz has skipped the Ferrari, Rolls Royce and mansion because he didn’t feel he needed them. But even without those status symbols, it’s clear that Weitz has avoided settling for a humble fate.

As for what comes next, UCS is said to be developing an online marketplace to take their business to the next level, though Weitz declined to provide specific details about how it will work. “We’re on pace to do more than $100 million worth of deals a year,” Weitz said. “And as far as we’ve come, I feel like this is still just the beginning.”

This article is from deBanked’s September/October magazine issue. To receive copies in print, SUBSCRIBE FREE

Palladium Equity Partners Announces Investment in Fora Financial, a Provider of Working Capital Financing to Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

October 14, 2015
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hot dealPalladium Equity Partners, LLC (along with its affiliates, “Palladium”), a private investment firm with over $2.0 billion in assets under management, today announced that one of its affiliates has made a significant investment in partnership with the co-founders and management of Fora Financial LLC (together with its affiliates, “Fora Financial” or the “Company”), a technology-enabled provider of financing to small- and medium-sized businesses nationwide.

Founded in 2008, Fora Financial offers loans and merchant cash advances of between $5,000 and $500,000 to small businesses throughout the country. Since inception, the Company has provided total funding of nearly $400 million to more than 8,000 businesses. It has experienced rapid growth and recently was ranked among the fastest-growing companies in America in the Inc. 5000 list. Fora Financial recently expanded its New York City offices to accommodate its growing roster of over 100 employees as it bolsters key capabilities in analytics and technology and aims to continue to execute on its strategy of delivering capital in a timely and cost effective way.

Fora Financial will continue to be led by its two founders, CEO Jared Feldman and President Dan Smith.

“We believe Fora Financial has developed a highly attractive credit offering and technology platform that have made it a valued provider of financing to thousands of small businesses seeking capital,” said Justin Green, a Principal of Palladium. “My partners and I look forward to supporting Jared, Dan and the Fora Financial management team to continue the strong growth trajectory of the Company, including through new partnerships, expanded product offerings and increased lending capabilities.”

Feldman said, “We are excited to partner with Palladium, a firm with extensive financial services expertise and many years of experience supporting founder-owned businesses.”

Smith added, “With this partnership in place, we are well-capitalized to continue offering the small business community the custom, innovative funding solutions that have enabled us to build this Company into a market leader.”

Terms of the investment were not disclosed. Fora Financial was advised by Raymond James & Associates.

About Fora Financial

Fora Financial offers flexible, working capital solutions to small businesses in need of financing to sustain or grow their enterprise. The Manhattan-based company places a high value on trust and transparency and provides businesses with quick, customized financial solutions utilizing its state-of-the-art technology platforms. Founded in June 2008, Fora Financial has more than 100 employees who have provided nearly $400 million to over 8,000 customers. For additional information, please visit, call (855) 515-2413 or follow Fora Financial on Facebook at

About Palladium Equity Partners, LLC

Palladium is a middle market private equity firm with over $2.0 billion in assets under management. The firm seeks to acquire and grow companies in partnership with founders and experienced management teams by providing capital, strategic guidance and operational oversight. Since its founding in 1997, Palladium has invested over $1.5 billion of capital in more than 25 platform investments and over 50 add-on acquisitions. The firm focuses primarily on buyout equity investments in the range of $50 million to $150 million. The principals of the firm have significant experience in financial services, business services, food, healthcare, industrial and media businesses, with a special focus on companies they believe will benefit from the growth in the U.S. Hispanic population. Palladium is based in New York City. For more information, visit

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