This month, Franklin Capital Group was acquired by Wing Lake Capital Partners with the help of Rocky Mountain Bank. Franklin Capital will change its name and add funding capability- but the entire team will stay on. CEO Shaya Baum was happy to announce the deal, explaining that the firm would use acquisition funds to create more deals and continue to grow.
“It gives us the ability to fund many deals that are outside of our box previously,” Baum said. “We’re going to be launching a couple of sister funds alongside what we currently have and scale the business.”
Franklin Capital was founded in 2012 as an equity fund for companies in financial trouble during, before, or post-bankruptcy. The firm discovered a market for refinancing MCA advances, finding companies that should have never obtained cash advances in the first place. Franklin Capital began offering a product to refinance cash advances through traditional loans.
“We buy out the cash advance deals,” Baum said. “In fact, most if not all of our deals come from brokers in the cash advance industry saying ‘Hey can you get us out of these deals?'”
Baum said that his firm had seen a continually growing demand for capital this year.
“I know the cash advance companies have gotten killed, but we’ve actually had the opposite problem,” Baum said. “We don’t do one-off restaurant [advances.] We’re dealing with companies that are larger, more established: they’ve all pivoted into industries that have grown during this period of time.”
Last month, a group of fintech companies christened the Fintech Equality Coalition. Dedicated to ensuring racial equality is a right extended to everyone, the group pledges to focus on enhancing access to financial services for the underrepresented- particularly within the black community.
The coalition comes at a pivotal time for fintech, currently facing the challenges created by the 2020 pandemic.
In August, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a study into the distribution of PPP and how the funds affected black communities. The institution found that the number of small business owners fell by 22% from February to April- the largest drop on record. But the closure of businesses was not felt equally.
“Black businesses experienced the most acute decline, with a 41 percent drop,” The study said. “Latinx business owners fell by 32 percent, and Asian business owners dropped by 26 percent. In contrast, the number of white business owners fell by 17 percent.”
The study also showed that forty percent of Black-owned businesses are concentrated in 30 counties across the country. 19 out of 30 of these counties were the hardest hit by COVID 19 in the nation.
Unfortunately, other studies have shown that the PPP did not accurately get funds to areas hit by the virus. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) published in July, found that companies more negatively affected by COVID were less likely to be approved.
This may explain why the Small Business Majority study into PPP found that while 63% of Black and Latino small business owners applied, less than two-thirds received funding.
The Fintech Equality Coaltion’s pledge is overall a promise to do more for minority communities, stating:
- Because the Black community is underserved by financial services
- Because there are Black voices and issues in our industry that should be but are not currently amplified
- Because Black employees and Black-owned businesses are underrepresented in the tech community, including at many of our companies
- Because the Black community is underrepresented in leadership roles, including at many of our companies
- Because these promises are meaningless without accountability
The coalition is a pledge to host and sponsor events like forums that feature black speakers. The pledge is also a recognition that the black community has been underserved by financial services in the past, and the signers aim to incorporate more black-owned businesses than before.
News from North Texas this month as Dallas-based Sprout Funding announced its acquisition of Jet Capital. The move comes as Sprout seeks to expand its technical operations.
“Sprout built a reputation as a group that funds a lot of its own internal deals, and Jet had spent a lot of time, energy, and money on their tech platforms,” Sprout’s CEO and Founder Brad Woy told deBanked. “So while we were really good on the sales and marketing side, they seemed to be a little bit more advanced in their tech and reporting, and we brought those two things together.”
Almost all of Jet’s employees will be joining Sprout, with the exception of one person who chose to go their separate way following the merger.
Jet’s COO Allan Thompson spoke kindly of the purchase, saying in a statement that “There is a great cultural alignment in addition to the obvious benefits of combining our technology, processes and people. The result will provide increased capabilities for Sprout and opportunity for all of our customers and partners.”
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
A study conducted by Square Capital and the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, pulled back the curtain on small businesses and the financing process.
Notably, the #1 reason that businesses said they had been declined for funding (regardless of the source) wasn’t credit, it was that they hadn’t been in business long enough.
#2 was (ironically) a lack of cash in the bank.
#3 was insufficient collateral.
Personal credit worthiness and business credit worthiness ranked #4 and #6 respectively.
These findings were one of many in the report published by Square last week. Among other key details were that healthcare & fitness businesses were the most likely to receive all the funding they sought whereas leisure & entertainment businesses were the least likely to receive all the funding they sought.
Black/African American business owners were more likely to apply for financing in the last 12 months than any other ethnic/racial group. A chart in the report shows that they were more than twice as likely to apply to an online lender or credit union than white business owners.
While holidays, including New Year’s Eve, are usually slow days for funding, for some brokers this year, New Year’s Eve was a strong day.
“New Year’s Eve was not a slow day here,” said Elana Kemp, a broker at Fundomate, in Los Angeles, who was in the office that day. “It was amusing to see so many people looking for money on the last day of the year. I’m also a procrastinator, so I can relate,” she said.
Zach Ramirez, Founder and Managing Director of ZR Consulting, LLC in Orange County, CA, said that New Year’s Eve was the second biggest funding day for his company in December, despite the fact he told his brokers that it was an optional work day, he said.
At the same time, for many other brokers, business was on the slow side, as expected. John Celifarco of Horizon Financial Group in Brooklyn, said it was a good day to organize and prepare for the new year. Meanwhile, Joe Cohen, of Business Finance Advance in Brooklyn, said he generally doesn’t go to work on major holidays.
“The holidays are to enjoy, regenerate and spend time with the family,” Cohen said. “That’s why you’re working anyway.”
CEDARHURST, NEW YORK—DECEMBER 10,2018–Velocity Capital Group recently secured another $15 million in financing. This will strengthen their ability to provide assistance to more small businesses and organizations. While the name might be new to some, Velocity Capital Group is no stranger to the business world. Servicing small businesses for over 7 years, there have been more than 15,000 clients who’ve received the financial boost they needed due to the available funding from VCG.
CEO/Principle Jay Avigdor couldn’t be happier to reach this point. Jay started the business in a small room of his home with only a laptop, and in just a short period of time has transformed VCG into a large and highly respected financial group that services organizations with speed and dedication. With an aim to merge the finance industry with technology, VCG aims to leave funding at your fingertips. To date, VCG is making strides as one of the fastest growing finance companies in the industry.
When businesses have financial demands, their situation is urgent and must be addressed immediately. Going through a lengthy process that could end up in a loss would be a waste of time, but with Velocity Capital Group, the relationship is taken seriously from the onset. With a staff of over 20 employees, VCG strives to get you what you need when you need it. A few of the industries that Velocity takes pride in assisting include:
- Accounting & Collection Agencies
- Construction, Machinery, Mechanics, & Manufacturing
- Electronic & Media/Entertainment
- Healthcare Services & Rehab Center
- Religious Organizations
- Restaurants & Retail
- Technology & Wireless
- AND MORE!
The $15 million funding access will help VCG build solid foundations and partnerships. With Velocity’s breakdown of available funding ($5mil in series A round & a $10 million line of credit), they’re able to provide more funding for more businesses. In fact, many customers have already stated that the VCG team is “resourceful” and “always available.” Others have even said that they “love the charity aspect” of Velocity, because they give back to aiding organizations monthly. Their attention and consistency prove that they are more than just the average financial group; they’re family! Winston Churchill said it best: “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” Velocity Capital Group takes pride in giving to others so they can ultimately help others make a life.
Companies and small businesses are urged to contact Velocity Capital Group today and see what financial options are available. With urgency and compassion, the knowledgeable staff of Velocity is ready to build your business or brand. The funding is there, the foundation is there; all it takes is one step. That one step can be the greatest decision for success in business.
Velocity Capital Group is ready and able to serve you. For additional information, visit our website at www.velocitycg.com, send an email to email@example.com, or call 833-VCG-FUND (833-824-3863). We’re also available on social media outlets.
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 www.ocrolus.com for more information.
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.
National Funding announced today that Justin Thompson, formerly Executive Vice President of Sales, has been promoted to Chief Revenue Officer of National Funding. The new position is an expanded role that will include Thompson’s previous management of a 100-person sales division that includes Direct Sales, Renewal Sales, Broker Sales, Equipment Financing and the responsibilities of developing the company’s new Strategic Partnership vertical.
“On the heels of our acquisition of QuickBridge, and the explosive profitable growth of National Funding, this is a great time to expand our offerings to clients with new products and solutions,” said Dave Gilbert, National Funding founder and CEO. “Justin has led sales through the biggest growth period in our 20-year history and I am thrilled for him to continue building on this strong record.”
Thompson started working as Director of Sales for National Funding in 2002, according to his LinkedIn profile, and he has remained with the company until now, with the exception of a two year stint at Reliant Services Group working as Director of Sales & Operations.
“I have never been more excited about the future of National Funding as I am now,” said Thompson. “With the acquisition of QuickBridge, expansion of our strategic partnership channel, and the ever-improving performance of National Funding, we have a lot to offer our customers and brokers – making us an important resource for small and medium-sized businesses nationwide.”
National Funding has also made two additions to support the growth of Strategic Partnerships. Jason Osiecki, previously Head of Sales for QuickBridge, has been named Vice President, Strategic Partnership for National Funding. He will be tasked with driving growth opportunities in the merchant processing, leasing, B2C, Lender Decline and other markets. And Kevin Kane has been appointed as Director of Business Alliances. He will manage day-to-day relationships with brokers across the country.
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