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MCA Funding Statistics for New York in October 2010

August 23, 2011
Article by:

From New York Secretary of State from 10/1/2010 through 10/31/2010

Number of deals funded:

AdvanceMe                                    18

Merchant Cash and Capital            15

First Funds                                     12

Merchants Capital Access              11

Capital For Merchants                     9

1st Merchant Funding                      7

Max Advance                                   4

Strategic Funding Source                4

AmeriMerchant                                2

Snap Advances                               2

EZ Business Cash Advance            2    

Business Financial Services            1

Greystone Business Resource        1

RapidAdvance                                  1 (don’t always file UCCs)

American Finance Solutions            1

Bankcard Funding                            1

Merchant Capital Source                 0

GRP Funding                                   0 (don’t always file UCCs)

The Business Backer                       0

Merchant Cash Group                      0



Georgia Funding Statistics – November 2010

August 23, 2011
Article by:

The below is the number of advances made per funding source in Georgia for the month of November, 2010:

AdvanceMe                                16

Merchant Cash and Capital         8

Merchants Capital Access           6

1st Merchant Funding                  5

Strategic Funding Source            4

Merchant Capital Source             4

On Deck Capital                           2

First Funds                                   2

Max Advance                               2

RapidAdvance                             2

AmeriMerchant                            2

Snap Advances                           1

Business Financial Services        1

American Finance Solutions        1

Bankcard Funding                        1

The Business Backer                   1

Merchant Cash Group                  0

Capital For Merchants                  0

Greystone Business Resources   0

EZ Business Cash Advance         0

GRP Funding                                0

New York Funding Statistics – November 2010

August 23, 2011
Article by:

New York Funding Statistics – November 2010
Posted on December 4, 2010 at 3:38 PM

The amount of deals funded per funding source for November 2010:

AdvanceMe 26

1st Merchant Funding 9

First Funds 9

Merchant Cash and Capital 8

Strategic Funding Source 7

On Deck Capital 7

Max Advance 7

RapidAdvance 5

Snap Advances 3

EZ Business Cash Advance 3

American Finance Solutions 3

Business Financial Services 2

Merchants Capital Access 2

Bancard Funding 1

The Business Backer 1

GRP Funding 1

Merchant Advance Funding LP 1

Business Consulting Options 1

AmeriMerchant 1

Happy Rock Merchant Solutions 1

Merchant Cash Group 0

Capital For Merchants 0

Greystone Business Resources 0

Merchant Capital Source 0

New York Funding Race 2010

October 8, 2010
Article by:

New York State ranks in the top 5 for Merchant Cash Advance volume. We checked with the Secretary of state to find out just how many deals had been done in NY this year so far. Here is what we found:

1/1/2010 through 9/30/2010

  1. AdvanceMe                                          163 deals
  2. Merchant Cash and Capital                 144 deals
  3. First Funds                                           120 deals
  4. Strategic Funding Source                      50 deals
  5. 1st Merchant Funding                            40 deals
  6. Merchants Capital Access                     36 deals
  7. Business Financial Services                  31 deals
  8. AmeriMerchant                                      31 deals
  9. Max Advance                                         21 deals
  10. Capital For Merchants                           20 deals
  11. RapidAdvance                                       17 deals   (don’t always file UCCs)
  12. Snap Advances                                     14 deals
  13. Sterling Funding                                     13 deals
  14. Greystone Business Resources             12 deals
  15. American Finance Solutions                   12 deals
  16. Bankcard Funding                                  10 deals
  17. GRP Funding                                           9 deals   (don’t always file UCCs)
  18. Merchant Capital Source                         7 deals
  19. Centerboard Funding                               2 deals
  20. The Business Backer                               0 deals

Georgia Funding Race 2010

October 6, 2010
Article by:

Of the 20 major Direct Funding firms, who are the real players? Where do small businesses in Georgia have the best odds of obtaining capital? We checked with the Georgia Secretary of State to find out just how many deals each of these funders have done this year so far. Here is what we found:

From 1/1/2010 through 9/30/2010

  1. AdvanceMe                                    114 deals
  2. Merchant Cash and Capital             81 deals
  3. First Funds                                       35 deals
  4. Business Financial Services            34 deals
  5. 1st Merchant Funding                      25 deals
  6. Greystone Business Resources      18 deals
  7. Capital For Merchants                     17 deals
  8. Strategic Funding Source                15 deals
  9. RapidAdvance                                 14 deals (don’t always file UCCs)
  10. Max Advance                                   13 deals     
  11. Merchants Capital Access               12 deals       
  12. Merchant Capital Source                   9 deals
  13. GRP Funding                                     9 deals (don’t always file UCCs)
  14. AmeriMerchant                                  7 deals
  15. Snap Advances                                 5 deals
  16. American Finance Solutions              4 deals
  17. Sterling Funding                                 4 deals    
  18. Bankcard Funding                              4 deals
  19. The Business Backer                         3 deals
  20. Centerboard Funding                         0 deals  

It’s Here: Artificial Intelligence Changes MCA Broker’s Business, Improves Bank Underwriting and Debt Collection

November 22, 2016

In this age of man versus the machine, the case for artificial intelligence and machine learning does not need many vociferous advocates.

Some predict that revenues from fintech startups using AI and predictive models is set to jump by 960 percent or to $17 billion by 2021. We might be closer to that number than we think, considering 140+ AI startups raised a total of $958M in funding in Q3’16, alone.

While healthcare, cybersecurity and advertising are frontiers of AI innovation, the growth and momentum of big data in finance (spurred by online lending) is fast bringing fintech to the forefront. In lending, specifically, data has become the new currency. It’s not so much that lenders didn’t use data for decision making earlier, but the data available then, wasn’t as rich or as extensive. A loan approval decision that just required a decent FICO score and assessment of character has expanded to include data points like a business’ social media presence, reviews, and owners’ background history.

Today, artificial intelligence in fintech has grown to tackle cybersecurity threats, act as a personal assistant, track credit scores and perform sentiment analysis to predict risk — making automated underwriting just the tip of the iceberg for what artificial intelligence and machine learning can do for the financial services industry. deBanked spoke to three fintech upstarts that have taken AI beyond underwriting.

AI Assist

AI AssistWhen Roman Vinfield started his ISO, Assure Funding in early 2015 with 16 openers, five chasers and three closers, little did he know that a business intelligence software would replace 85 percent of his staff for the same productivity. He stumbled onto Conversica, a AI-powered virtual sales assistant and was convinced to give it a try.

“I hadn’t heard anything like an artificial-intelligence sales assistant,” said Vinfield. “The results we got within a month of using it were unbelievable.” Within the first month, Vinfield made $35,000 in revenues by spending just $4,000 and eventually reduced his staff of 24 to 4 people. He was so sold on its potential for the merchant cash advance industry that after prolonged negotiations, he secured the rights to be the exclusive reseller of the software, and called it AI Assist. The software is now used by leading MCA companies like Yellowstone, Bizbloom and GRP Funding.

While Conversica’s clientele includes auto and tech giants like Oracle, Fiat, Chrysler and IBM, for the financial services industry, it’s marketed and sold to MCA and lending companies through AI Assist. It integrates easily with CRM software like Salesforce and creates a virtual sales assistant avatar that tracks old leads and reestablishes engagement. In the lead generation race, where a 3-5 percent response rate could be considered good, the response rate for Conversica has been 38 percent.

Designed to be akin to a human sales assistant, Conversica’s technology can determine a lead’s interest based on the response and set up a conversation with the sales department to follow up. “Your Conversica virtual assistant is an extremely consistent, personable and tireless worker. She doesn’t get sick and never needs a break. She never gets discouraged, and she improves with each engagement,” says the AI Assist website.

State of Debt CollectionTrue Accord

Personal chat assistants for money management and sales is one of the popular modes of AI implementation in fintech, given it’s scalability in lending for functions like debt collection. One company that does this, is True Accord. True Accord, similar to AI Assist uses automation software to schedule and send messages to customers by the company’s “Automated Staff

The San Francisco-based company was founded by Ohad Samet who has over 11 years of machine learning experience in finance. The idea came to Samet while he was working as a chief risk officer at payments and e-commerce company Klarna, underwriting loans worth $2 billion. “While working at Klarna, I realized how big a piece debt collection is and I did not like the way it was done,” said Samet. “I needed machine learning to change it.”

Samet founded True Accord in 2013 to develop a debt collection AI assistant and today the company works with leading banks, credit card companies and food delivery services and has collected over half a billion dollars. It establishes targeted communication with the customer less frequently than traditional collection agencies and allows customers to pay their dues over mobile, which accounts for 35 percent of collections for the company.

“We humans don’t want to accept it but the reality is that, when it comes to scale, machines make better decisions than humans,” said Samet. “Machines are consistent, they are not tired, not angry, don’t fight with the significant other and all of this makes for better accuracy, better cost structure and better returns of scale.” While this might be true, building an efficient, compatible and compliant model is harder than it might seem.


James.FinanceSince AI tools do not come in a one-size-fits-all package, its application can be as varied as the range of companies that use it. Building an AI framework that aligns with a company’s targets while being compliant to regulatory mandates can be an uphill task.

Recognizing this opportunity, James.Finance, a Portugal-based startup is using artificial intelligence to help financial institutions like banks build their own credit scoring models. Founder and CEO Pedro Fonseca, describes James as a “narrow AI” for a specific purpose of guiding risk officers to build machine learning models that follow regulatory compliance.

The startup works with consulting agencies or partners to reach out to banks. It offers a trial run of the software, which it calls a ‘jumpstart,’ where a risk officer is provided with James’ technology and in 24 hours, he or she will have to beat it with their in-house AI software.

“And we are consistently able to beat the models,” said Fonseca. The company won the startup pitch at Money 20/20 in Copenhagen earlier this year after receiving an uproarious response in Europe. Fonseca wants to divert his attention to the US’s fragmented banking market, which is dotted with smaller banks and credit unions. “The US is a perfect target for us. We are looking to work with local consultancies that know the problems of a bank intimately.”

As these entrepreneurs vouch for it, the current state of AI use in fintech is just the tip of the iceberg. And anything man can do, machines can do faster and better, right?

Remember When? Funders Talk About Their First Deals

October 14, 2016

old main street

It’s hard to forget the firsts, especially first deals — they set precedents, lay down the groundwork for policies and establish a starting point for legacy.

For funders and lenders, their first deal can be significant in establishing client relations, setting priorities for credit policies and as we found out, teaching them valuable lessons.

old careFirst Steps..Baby Steps

John D’Amico’s first bet was a small cafe in Carmel, Indiana that his company GRP Funding advanced $25,000 to, eight years ago. Reviewed on credit card sales, GRP looked at the business’ cash flow and deemed it a good risk to take, D’Amico recollected.

“That business model seems so far and long ago,” he said. “OnDeck was not a company at that point and loan products were not talked about. It was only advances.”

Would he still feel confident doing the same deal today? “Yes, that deal is still there to be had today. But you want to make sure that you’re not stacked.”

#LifeLessons: Don’t get comfortable, stay updated with the times and evolve and keep the credit risk policies fresh.

african artSmall Can Be Significant

The first check, Jersey City-based World Business Leaders cut was for $7,000, back in 2011.

Chief revenue officer, Alex Gemici recalled that it was an African arts store run by a woman in Virginia Beach who paid back the loan in full and came back three months later for an additional loan of $12,000.

“We believed her story and went by our lending policy and the deal fit the bill.”

#LifeLessons: We could make a big difference even with a small loan.

car dealershipNot All Firsts Are Good

But not everyone has a smooth start. For New York City-based company, Cardinal Equity, the first deal was a bump on the road.

The auto dealership in New Jersey that it advanced $250,000 to in 2011 defaulted on the second renewal. Although Arty Bujan, managing member at Cardinal Equity still thinks auto dealerships are a “nightmare,” his company still funds them but with very strict scrutiny, looking for ones with a steady revenue stream and a good amount of time in the business.

#LifeLessons: There’s always risk


Industry Trade Group Coming of Age: The SBFA is Becoming More Political

February 1, 2016
Article by:

This story appeared in deBanked’s Jan/Feb 2016 magazine issue. To receive copies in print, SUBSCRIBE FREE

By hiring an executive director, the Small Business Finance Association hopes to achieve at least two goals – taking a step toward becoming a full-service trade group and providing a public voice for the alternative finance industry.

Stephen Denis, formerly deputy staff director of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, went to work in the new role in mid-December, setting up shop with his cell phone and laptop in a Washington, DC, area coffee emporium. He’s the SBFA’s first full-time employee.

Hiring Denis, who also has association experience, represents “the next evolution” of the trade group, according to David Goldin, SBFA president and Capify’s founder, president and CEO.

Stephen Denis Small Business Finance AssociationThe SBFA, which got its start in 2008 as the North American Merchant Advance Association, changed its name last year because members have added small-business loans to the their merchant cash advance offerings. Although the trade group’s not exactly new, it has plenty of room to grow and its leadership and members seem open to change.

“The goal is to start from scratch and take a look at everything the association is doing,” Denis told deBanked, “and to really build this out to a robust group that represents the interests of small businesses.”

Denis appears optimistic about pursuing that goal. He’s a native of the Boston area and a Harvard University graduate whose first job out of school was as an aide to Republican Sen. John E. Sununu of New Hampshire. After three years in that position, he took a job for two years with a UK-based trade association, traveling frequently to London to inform the group of Congressional action in the United States.

From there, Denis went on to become director of government affairs and economic development for the Cincinnati Business Committee, a regional association that included Fortune 500 companies among its members. After two years in that role, Denis joined the staff of Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, moving back to Washington and serving as the congressman’s deputy chief of staff during a five-year stint that ended when he joined the SBFA.

While working for Chabot, Denis also became deputy staff director of the House Committee for Small Business, the No. 2 position there, and he has held that job for the last three years. The committee’s tasks include learning as much as they can about small business, including financing, and using the information to advise members of the House on policy initiatives.

The experience Denis has amassed in government should serve the association well because his duties include briefing federal legislators and regulators on how the alternative-finance business works. With Denis as spokesperson, the industry can speak to government with a single voice, Goldin asserted.

“We are going to be aggressive in our outreach to legislators and regulators as well as be active reaching out to local, state governments,” Denis said. The SBFA will “work with other trade groups and small business groups to promote our mission to ensure small businesses have alternative finance options available to them.”

Capitol Hill

Until now, too many players from the alternative finance industry have been vying for lawmakers’ attention, Goldin said. To make matters worse, some of those seeking to influence government in hearings on Capitol Hill are brokers instead of lenders and thus may not have a perfect understanding of risk and other aspects of the business, he maintained.


“We’re hearing that there are people trying to be the voice of small-business finance that either don’t have a lot of years of experience or they’re not telling the whole story,” Goldin said. “We want to make sure the industry’s represented properly.”

Denis can draw attention away from the “noise” created by unqualified voices and focus on information that Congress needs to make reasonable decisions about the alternative finance business, Goldin maintained.

Besides getting the word out in Washington, the SBFA hopes to convey its message to the general public on “the benefits of alternative financing,” Goldin said. At the same time the group can help make small business owners aware of the finance options, Denis added.

Small Business Finance AssociationAsked whether hiring Denis marks the beginning of an effort to lobby members of Congress for legislation the association deems favorable to the industry, Goldin said only that additional announcements will be forthcoming.

Meanwhile, updated “best practices” guidelines might be in the offing to help industry players navigate the business ethically and efficiently, Goldin said. A set of six best practices the association released in 2011 included clear disclosure of fees, clear disclosure of recourse, sensitivity to a merchants’ cash flow, making sure advances aren’t presented as loans and paying off outstanding balances on previous advances.

Addressing other possible steps in the association’s growth, Goldin said the group doesn’t plan to publish an industry trade magazine or newsletter. However, a trade show or conference might make sense, he noted.

Denis said he and the board had not discussed the possibility of a test, credential or accreditation to certify the expertise of qualified members of the industry. However, associations often establish and monitor such standards, so it would be reasonable for the SBFA to do so, he added.

The association might establish a Washington office, Goldin said. “We’ll look to Steve for his thoughts and guidance on that,” he observed. Denis seems amenable to the idea. “Down the road, we would love to open an office and hire more people,” he said.

In Goldin’s view, all of those moves might help the rest of the world comprehend the industry. Understanding the industry requires taking into account the cost of dealing with risk and business operations, he said.

Placing a $20,000 merchant cash advance, for example, requires a customer-acquisition effort that costs about $3,000 and a write-off of losses and overhead of about $4,000, Goldin said. That’s a total of $27,000 even without the cost of capital, he maintained.


“Most people don’t understand the economics of our business,” Goldin continued. The majority of placements are for less than $25,000, he said, characterizing them as “almost a loss leader when you factor in the acquisition costs.”

While spreading that type of information on the industry’s inner workings, Denis will also conduct the day-to-day for the not-for-profit’s affairs. The association’s board of directors will continue to set policy and objectives.

Members elect the board members to two-year terms. Current board members are Goldin; Jeremy Brown of Rapid Advance, who’s also serving as the group’s vice president; John D’Amico, GRP Funding; Stephen Sheinbaum, Bizfi; and John Snead, Merchants Capital Access.

Member companies include Bizfi, BFS Capital, Capify, Credibly, Elevate Funding, Fora Financial, GRP Funding, Merchant Capital Source, Merchants Capital Access (MCA), Nextwave Funding, NLYH Group LLC, North American Bancard, Principis Capital, Rapid Advance, Strategic Funding Source and Swift Capital.

Companies pay $3,000 in monthly dues, which Denis characterizes as inexpensive for a DC-based trade association.

Membership could spread to other types of businesses, Denis said. “I’d like to expand the tent to other industries,” he noted. “The association is trying to represent the interests of small business and make sure they have every finance option available to them.”

But a key purpose of the trade association is to provide a forum for members to come together as an industry, Denis said. “We’re thinking big,” he admitted. “We hope that all members of the marketplace will want to become a part of it.”

This article is from deBanked’s Jan/Feb 2016 magazine issue. To receive copies in print, SUBSCRIBE FREE

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