Melville, NY – December 16th, 2021 – Velocity Group USA is pleased to announce Keith Nason as the newly appointed President. In conjunction with stepping into the role as President, Nason will continue to hold his position as Chief Operating Officer, building on business development strategies and appointing new members of Velocity Group’s executive team.
“We have undergone many necessary changes over the past year, but the change we are most excited about is appointing Keith Nason as the President of Velocity Group. He has extensive industry experience, as well as the knowledge, innovation and vision to drive growth in 2022. I have no doubt these qualities will help set us apart from our competitors as we continue to expand our business,” said Lisa Gioia, Chief Executive Officer
Nason is an industry veteran with over eight years of experience within the Merchant Cash Advance market, specializing in both top and bottom-line growth, building infrastructure and security, data integrity, risk models, technology, and securing capital through multiple channels.
“Over the last 12 months, we’ve invested a tremendous amount of time, energy, and capital in our team, product, infrastructure and data security, as well as our process. Doing so has positioned us for significant growth in 2022 and beyond,” commented Nason.
He also credited his institutional investors as being a key to success by having faith in the long-term goals of the company, and confidence in the new team to prioritize long-term success over strictly short-term returns. Nason also stated, “It’s a true testament to the team that we were able to completely rebuild our business foundation while still funding over $100MM and producing record returns to our investors.”
With the revamp of the company infrastructure and data security, Velocity Group USA will be launching KapSource within the first quarter of 2022, a “business in a box” model that will allow other members of the industry to use its proprietary technology to increase conversions, alongside a marketplace in which brokers can fund their owns deals and create additional revenue streams through Velocity’s capital sources.
KINGWOOD, Texas – Nov. 2, 2021 – Ascentium Capital LLC, a national commercial lender, announced continued growth during the third quarter of 2021. Financing volume increased $82 million, up 26% from the prior-year period. Strategic execution and ongoing economic recovery resulted in strong performance this quarter.
“Ascentium remains focused on delivering an exceptional customer experience supported by operational efficiencies, service excellence and competitive financing products. These core competencies are resonating with our clients and contributing to our positive momentum going into the fourth quarter,” said Tom Depping, executive vice president and Ascentium group manager.
Ascentium Capital offers specialized equipment financing and business loans to commercial entities nationwide. The company also provides customized finance programs for equipment manufacturers and distributers with simplified application procedures to help businesses in a broad array of industries including commercial vehicles, energy, franchise, healthcare, industrial, and technology.
“Quarter-over-quarter originations growth remains steady as we continue to satisfy our customers’ demands,” added David Lyder, senior vice president of Ascentium Sales and Marketing. “We are recruiting additional sales resources and refining existing products to keep pace with, and anticipate, our customers’ needs. Our top priority is helping our customers grow their businesses.”
About Ascentium Capital LLC
Ascentium Capital LLC, a subsidiary of Regions Bank, specializes in providing a broad range of business equipment financing, leasing, and loans across the United States. The Company’s offering is designed to benefit equipment manufacturers and distributors as well as direct to businesses nationwide. For additional information about Ascentium and its business financing products and services, please visit AscentiumCapital.com.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $156 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates more than 1,300 banking offices and approximately 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.
Christine Kimball, Vice President, Marketing
Ascentium Capital LLC
Ascentium on Twitter: @AscentiumTeam
The Irish government has taken a serious liking to fintech. With a broad history of being active in financial services, the nation believes they can attract companies from around the world to reap the benefits of employing Irish citizens, while also tapping a major source of export revenue through an up-and-coming industry.
With access to capital for small businesses just as difficult here as it is in the US, a new fintech company looking for start-up cash may be able to turn to Dublin to get a major investment, rather than dealing with a retail investor or a venture capital firm here in the states. Enterprise Ireland, the organzation that runs these programs, is trying to tempt fintech companies looking for a fresh start or an international expansion to start that process in Ireland.
“Enterprise Ireland is the trade development and venture capital arm of the Irish Government,” said Claire Verville, Senior Vice President of Fintech and Financial Services at Enterprise Ireland. “We are a semi state agency and our mandate is to help support indigenous Irish enterprise to grow and expand in global markets.”
Just like in the United States, it is extremely difficult for an Irish business to walk into a big bank and get a loan. It’s in these situations where the Irish government has decided to make a direct investment themselves. Through Enterprise Ireland, according to Verville, the Irish government can provide capital to startups across a range of areas, in exchange for things like loan repayment or government equity in the company.
“In addition to the kind of more traditional trade development stuff that you would see from any government promoting their indigenous businesses abroad, we do invest directly in companies through equity and participate directly as a [limited partner] in funds to funds.”
Verville spoke about how the Irish government has been looking to extend funding to fintech startups for some time. “Our fintech portfolio is over 200 companies now, we have been one of the most active investors in Europe in a long time. We are one of the most active global investors across all sectors, and we’re really focused on early stage capital for fintech.”
When asked about the decision making process that goes into Irish investments, Verville portrayed it the same as if it was a private firm making the same move. “We will vet like any other investment, make sure we’re comfortable with it, make sure that the business is verifiable, and that we understand the track record of the team,” she said.
Through investing in fintech, Enterprise Ireland appears to believe they will give their small business owners better access to capital. If the industry can create a Euro-American hub in Ireland, the latest tech and funding innovations will develop there, giving access to that technology to Irish businesses first. If Irish small business lenders can use Irish technology to help an Irish merchant, everyone wins.
With financial innovation in Europe being leaps ahead of the US, Verville believes the Irish employees working in finance would be better suited to deal with some of these new innovations over Americans because of their familiarity with these systems that are already in place. She hinted at things like EMV cards being around in Ireland for years at the consumer level before they ever made it to the United States.
As far as incentive for profit, Enterprise Ireland isn’t concerned with the success of their investment from a financial perspective as other investment groups are. They instead focus on things like employment numbers and longterm sustainability for those jobs acquired through their efforts in investing in industries like fintech.
“Because we are attached to the government, we aren’t a money-making mission as far as venture capitalists go. We are focused on employment in Ireland, which is partly why it’s so important that the companies are founded in Ireland and that they are building their employee base in Ireland, and on export revenue.”
Verville spoke about how only when businesses in Ireland do well, Enterprise Ireland only does well, too. “We do make money off some of our investments, and that’s government money. We get our budget set by the government department every year, just like any other government agency.”
To be eligible for funding from Enterprise Ireland, a business needs to be based in Ireland, have an Irish LLC, and must have a significant amount of Irish employees. According to Verville, the Irish market is ripe for American small businesses, especially alternative finance.
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.”
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