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07/29/2020Rapid Finance resumes funding
07/01/2019Rapid Finance a top DC workplace
12/04/2017China Rapid Finance spots new opportunity
08/17/2017China Rapid Finance releases Q2 earnings
07/10/2017China Rapid Finance surpasses 20M loans


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Rapid Finance Resumes Funding

July 29, 2020
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Rapid Finance is funding again, according to posts made by the company on social media.

“Now that most states are in the process of beginning to function normally, many small businesses are back in operation and we’re excited to announce that we have resumed accepting NEW financing applications!”

Why RapidAdvance Is Now Rapid Finance

February 7, 2019
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Rapid FinanceRapidAdvance has officially changed its name to Rapid Finance.

“The term ‘advance’ is out of favor these days,” said founder and Chairman of Rapid Finance Jeremy Brown. “It also doesn’t reflect who we are as a company or what our brand is. We put our clients in a variety of different financing solutions including factoring, term loans and equipment leasing. ‘Advance’ is very narrow and old school. ‘Finance’ represents where the company has evolved to and where we’re going.”

The company’s logo is also new, but Brown said that they purposely retained the same color scheme to make the change as seamless as possible.

“Before we had an arrow through the word ‘rapid,’” Brown said. “I think the three squares [in the new logo] represent an arrow head so that there’s continuity with the old logo.”

Consistent with the rationale for the company’s name change, Brown said that their business is about 85% term loans and only 15% merchant cash advance, healthcare cash advance and bridge loans. Through partners, Rapid Finance also provides their customers with access to SBA loans, factoring, asset based loans, commercial real estate and lines of credit. By the second quarter of this year, Brown expects that they will offer their own line of credit product.

Rapid Finance is broadly diversified by business type, according to Brown. He said that no business category accounts for more than 25% of their business. As for acquiring new business, Brown said that 60% comes from partners/brokers and 40% comes from their internal direct marketing efforts.

Brown said that Rapid Finance, which employs about 200 people, has hired about 25 over the last six months. Most of the hires were in the technology and sales departments, both internal sales and sales reps who work with ISO partners. He also said they expect to fund between $550 and $600 million this year.

Founded in 2005, the company’s employees are divided between its headquarters in Bethesda, MD and another office in Detroit, MI, which houses Rapid Finance’s direct sales and marketing teams.

Former CFO of RapidAdvance Moves On to Beyond Finance, Inc.

June 27, 2017
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Rajesh Rao has taken the CFO position at Beyond Finance Inc., according to LinkedIn. He served as RapidAdvance’s CFO and Head of Credit Analytics and Product Strategy from October 2015 to about the end of May of this year.

Rao had come to Rapid after 13 years at Capital One where his last title was Managing Vice President.

Rapid Capital Funding Acquires American Finance Solutions

October 8, 2014
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rapid capital funding acquires american finance solutionsMiami, Florida-based Rapid Capital Funding will acquire Anaheim, California-based American Finance Solutions today in perhaps one of the most significant deals in merchant cash advance history.

Rapid Capital Funding, not to be confused with RapidAdvance, is led by the company’s founder Craig Hecker. Hecker and AFS’s CEO Scott Griest broke the news to me on a call together. “It’s a roll-up,” Griest said. AFS will continue to operate under their brand name for the time being and Griest will remain a leader in the company.

Meanwhile, the operations of the two companies will begin to merge, with Hecker confirming already that their head underwriter, Andrew Hernandez, was in California getting up to speed on AFS’s operations.

The news comes less than five months after American Finance Solutions struck an equity deal with CapFin partners. I am unsure if CapFin is still involved in the company.

mergerGriest and Hecker were both excited about working together. “Griest has done a great job managing the sales partner channel,” Hecker said. Griest will continue to develop those relationships for the company.

This is the first major merger in the industry. Historically, just about all of the equity deals in merchant cash advance have been acquisitions by institutional investment groups. This is a consolidation.

RCF, while based in Miami, has an office in New York City. The AFS deal puts them on the ground in the 3rd major industry hub.

The two executives hinted that this deal was just the beginning.

Consultative Selling in Small Business Finance

October 16, 2019
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consultative

This story appeared in deBanked’s Sept/Oct 2019 magazine issue. To receive copies in print, SUBSCRIBE FREE

consultative sellingIt’s nearly impossible to teach fiscal responsibility to most consumers, according to researchers at universities and nonprofit agencies. But alternative small-business funders and brokers often manage to steer clients toward financial prudence, and imparting pecuniary knowledge can become part of a consultative approach to selling.

Still, nobody says it’s easy to convince the public or merchants to handle cash, credit and debt wisely and responsibly. Consider the consumer research cited by Mariel Beasley, principal at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University and co-director of the Common Cents Lab, which works to improve the financial behavior of low- and moderate-income households.

“For the last 30 years in the U.S. there has been a huge emphasis on increasing financial education, financial literacy,” Beasley says. But it hasn’t really worked. “Content-based financial education classes only accounted for .1 percent variation in financial behavior,” she continues. “We like to joke that it’s not zero but it’s very, very close.” And that’s the average. Online and classroom financial education influences lower-income people even less.

The problem stems from trying to teach financial responsibility too late in life, says Noah Grayson, president and founder of Norwalk, Conn.-based South End Capital. He advocates introducing young people to finance at the same time they’re learning history, algebra and other standard subjects in school.

Yet Grayson and others contend that it’s never too late for motivated entrepreneurs to pick up the basics. Even novice small-business owners tend to possess a little more financial acumen than the average person, they say. That makes entrepreneurs easier to teach than the general public but still in need of coaching in the basics of handling money.

Take the example of a shopkeeper who grabs an offer of $50,000 with no idea how he’ll use the funds to grow the business or how he’ll pay the money back, suggests Cheryl Tibbs, general manager of One Stop Commercial Capital, Douglasville, Ga. “The easy access to credit blinds a lot of merchants,” she notes.

entrepreneur multitaskingEntrepreneurs often make bad decisions simply because they don’t have a background in business, according to Jared Weitz, CEO of New York based United Capital Source. “Many of the people who come to us are trying their hardest,” he observes.

Weitz offers the example of his own close relative who’s a veterinarian. That profession attracts some of the brainiest high-school valedictorians but doesn’t mean they know business. “He’s the best doctor ever and he’s not a great businessman because he doesn’t think about those things first. What he thinks about is helping people. That’s why he got into his profession.”

Entrepreneurs often devote themselves to a vision that isn’t businesses-oriented. “They start a business because they have a great idea or a great product, and that’s what excites them,” Grayson says. “They jump in with both feet and don’t think much about the business side.” The business side isn’t as much fun.

Merchants also attend to so many aspects of an enterprise—everything from sales, production and distribution to hiring, payroll and training—that they can’t afford to devote too much time to any single facet, notes Joe Fiorella, principal at Kansas City, Mo.-based Central Funding. Business owners respond to what’s most urgent, not necessarily what’s most important.

For whatever reason, some business owners spiral downward into financial ruin, bouncing checks, stacking merchant cash advances and continually seeking yet another merchant cash advance to bail them out of a precarious situation, says Jeremy Brown, chairman of Bethesda, Md.-based Rapid Advance.

consultation

Weitz advises sitting down with those clients and coming to an understanding of the situation. In some cases, enough cash might be coming in but the incoming autopayments aren’t timed to cover the outgoing autopayments, he says by way of example.

Informing clients of such problems makes a demonstrable difference. “We can see that it works because we have clients renewing with us,” says Weitz. “We’re able to swim them upstream to different products” as their finances gradually improve, he says.

The products in that stream begin with relatively higher-cost vehicles like merchant cash advances and proceed to other less-expensive instruments with better terms, says Brown. Those include term loans, Small Business Administration loans, equipment leasing, receivables factoring and, ultimately the goal for any well-capitalized small business—a relationship with the local bank.

Failing to consider those options and instead simply abetting stackers to make a quick buck can give the industry a “black eye,” and it benefits none of the parties involved, Tibbs observes. But merchants deserve as much blame as funders and brokers, she maintains.

Prospective clients who stack MCAs, don’t care about their credit rating and simply want to staunch their financial bleeding probably account for 35 percent to 40 percent of the applicants Tibbs encounters, she says.

Just the same, alt-funders continue to urge clients to hire accountants, consult attorneys, employ helpful software, shore up credit ratings, keep tabs on cash flow, calculate margins, improve distribution chains and outline plans for growth. It’s what helps the industry rise above the “get-money quick” image that it’s outgrowing, Weitz, says. Many funders and brokers consider providing financial advice an essential aspect of consultative selling. It’s an approach that begins with making sure applicants understand the debt they’re taking on, the terms of the payback and how their businesses will benefit from the influx of capital. It continues with a commitment to helping clients not just with funding but also with other types of business consultation.

“IT’S NOT SO MUCH SELLING AS BUILDING A RAPPORT WITH CLIENTS”

“It’s not so much selling as building a rapport with clients—serving as a strategic advisor or financial resource for them, identifying their needs and directing them to the right loan product to meet those needs,” says Grayson. “They should feel they can call you about anything specific to their business, not just their loan requests.” He also cautions against providing information the client will not absorb or will find offensive.

Justin Bakes, CEO of Boston-based Forward Financing also advocates consultative selling. “It’s all about questions and getting information on what’s driving the business owner,” he says. “It’s a process.”

Consultative sales hinges on knowing the customer, agrees Jason Solomon, Forward Financing vice president of sales. “Businesses are never similar in the mind of the business owner,” he notes. “To effectively structure a program best-suited to the merchant’s long-time business needs and set a proper path forward to better and better financial products, you need to know who the business owner is and what his long term goals are.”

“I LIKE TO TEACH NEW REPS TO THINK OF IT AS IF YOU WERE A DOCTOR”

“It’s taking an approach of actually being a consultant as opposed to a $7 an hour order taker,” Tibbs says of consultative selling. “I like to teach new reps to think of it as if you were a doctor. Doctors ask questions to arrive at a final diagnosis. So if you’re asking your prospective customer questions about their business, about their cash flow, about their intentions of how they’re planning to get back on track.”

Learning about the clients’ business helps brokers recommend the least-expensive funding instrument, Tibbs says. “I really hate to see someone with a 700 credit score come in to get a merchant cash advance,” she maintains. The consultative approach requires knowing the funding products, knowing how to listen to the customer and combining those two elements to make an informed decision on which product to recommend, she notes.

coachingConsultative sales can greatly benefit clients, Weitz maintains. If a pizzeria proprietor asks for an expensive $50,000 cash advance to buy a new oven, a responsible broker may find the applicant qualifies for an equipment loan with single-digit interest and monthly payments over a five-year period that puts less pressure on daily cash flow.

It’s also about pointing out errors. Brokers and funders see common mistakes when they look at tax returns and financial records, says Brown. “The biggest issue is that small-business owners—because they work so hard— make a profit of X amount of money and then take that out of the business,” he notes. Instead, he advises reinvesting a portion of those funds so that they can build equity in the business and avoid the need to seek outside capital at high rates.

Another common error occurs when entrepreneurs take a short-term approach to their businesses instead of making longer-term plans, Brown says. That longer-term vision includes learning what it takes to improve their businesses enough to qualify for lower-cost financing.

Sometimes, small merchants also make the mistake of blending their personal finances and their business dealings. Some do it out of necessity because they’re launching an enterprise on their personal credit cards, and others act of ignorance. “They don’t necessarily know they’re doing something wrong,” Grayson observes. “There are tax ramifications.”

Some just don’t look at their businesses objectively. Take the example of a company that approached Central Funding for capital to buy inventory in Asia. Fiorella studied the numbers and then informed the merchant that it wasn’t a money problem—it was a margins problem. “You could sell three times what you’re wanting to buy, and you still won’t get to where you want to be,” he reports telling the potential customer.

Consultative selling also means establishing a long-term relationship. Forward Financing uses technology to keep in contact with clients regularly, not just when clients need capital, Bakes notes. That cultivates long-lasting relationships and shows the company cares. As the relationship matures it becomes easier to maintain because the customers want to talk to the company. “They’re running to pick up the phone.”

The conversations that don’t hinge on funding usually center on Forward Financing learning more about the customer’s business, says Solomon. That include the client’s needs and how they’ve used the capital they’ve received.

“We have our own internal cadence and guidelines for when we reach out and how often and what happens,” says Solomon. Customer relationship management technology provides triggers when it’s time for the sales team or the account-servicing team to contact clients by phone or email.

Do small-business owners take advice on their finances? Some need a steady infusion of capital at increasingly higher cost and simply won’t heed the best tips, says Solomon. “It’s certainly a mix,” he says. “Not everybody is going to listen.”

Paradoxically, the business owners most open to advice already have the best-run companies, says Fiorella. Those who are closed to counseling often need it the most, he declares.

“NEW BROKERS ARE SO EXCITED TO GET A COMMISSION CHECK THEY THROW THE CONSULTATIVE APPROACH OUT THE WINDOW”

Moreover, not everybody is taking the consultative approach. “New brokers are so excited to get a commission check they throw the consultative approach out the window,” Tibbs says.

Yet many alt-funders bring consultative experience from other professions into their work with providing funds to small business. Tibbs, for example, previously helped home buyers find the best mortgage.

Consultative selling came naturally to Central Funding because the company started as a business and analytics consultancy called Blue Sea Services and then transformed itself into an alternative funding firm, says Fiorella. Central Funding reviews clients’ financial statements and operations between rounds of funding, he notes.

Consultations with borrowers reach an especially deep level at PledgeCap, a Long Island-based asset-based lender, because clients who default have to forfeit the valuables they put up as collateral—anything from a yacht to a bulldozer—says Gene Ayzenberg, PledgeCap’s chief operating officer. Conversations cover the value of the assets and the risk of losing them as well as the reasons for seeking capital, he notes.

No matter how salespeople arrive at their belief in the consultative approach, they last much longer in the business than their competitors who are merely seeking a quick payoff, Tibbs says. Others contend that it’s clearly the best way to operate these days.

“TODAY, EVERYTHING IS ABOUT THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE”

“The consultative approach is the only one that works,” says Weitz. “Today, everything is about the customer experience. People are making more-educated, better informed decisions.” What’s more, with the consultative approach clients just keep getting smarter, he adds.

The days of the hard sell have ended, Grayson agrees. Customers have access to information on the internet, and brokers and funders can prosper by helping customers, he says. “Our compensation doesn’t vary much depending upon which product we put a client in so we can dig deeper into what will fit the client without thinking about what the economic benefit will be to us.”

Even though the public has become familiar with alternative financing in general, most haven’t learned the nuances. That’s where consultative selling can help by outlining the differing products now available for businesses with nearly any type of credit-worthiness. “It’s for everybody,” Weitz says of today’s alternative small business funding, “not just a bank turn-down.”

SecurCapital Acquires Breakout Capital Finance’s Lending Business

July 17, 2019
Article by:

Supply chain and logistics company acquires the lending business of leading fintech small business lender and injects new equity capital

MCLEAN, VA — SecurCapital Corp, an expanding supply chain and financial services provider headquartered in California, today announced the acquisition of the lending business of Breakout Capital Finance, a leading fintech company and nationwide small business lender. SecurCapital is also providing additional equity capital to drive growth in Breakout Capital Finance’s two primary lending products: its highly regarded and innovative term loan product and its FactorAdvantage ® lending solution for small businesses that utilize factoring to finance their business. The acquired lending business assets will be operated by a subsidiary of SecurCapital that will conduct business as Breakout Capital.

Steve Russell, CEO of SecurCapital commented, “We’re delighted to have found a highly respected team and innovative business model in the small business finance space. I share the founder’s vision of the massive potential of the FactorAdvantage lending solution and believe we now have the platform and capital to rapidly grow this industry-changing product. We couldn’t have found a better business to complement SecurCapital’s strategic vision for empowering small businesses.” SecurCapital, through a series of strategic acquisitions, provides supply chain and financial services to small businesses primarily in the logistics industry, including veteran-and minority owned businesses.

Breakout Capital Finance’s Founder, Carl Fairbank added, “After four years as Founder and CEO of Breakout Capital Finance, this transaction begins the next chapter of Breakout Capital’s lending business. SecurCapital is also committed to the proliferation of best practices to drive change in the broader market. I believe Breakout Capital, in partnership with SecurCapital, is now well positioned for substantial growth, especially with its commitment to FactorAdvantage.” Mr. Fairbank will provide strategic guidance during the transition, but has stepped down as CEO of the lending business to focus on driving innovation in advanced technology, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain.

Tim Buzby has been appointed as the new CEO of Breakout Capital. He spent 17 years at Farmer Mac, in executive positions culminating as CEO. Notably, he oversaw a 58% increase in company earnings and an almost 4x increase in stock price and strategically matured the company into an agricultural lending industry leader.

Breakout Capital has also hired McLean Wilson, former CEO of Charleston Capital, an asset manager in the SME space, and former CEO of inFactor, a factoring company, as Chief Credit Officer. Mr. Russell added, “With the appointment of Tim as CEO and the addition of McLean to the management team, we expect Breakout Capital not only to carry forward its role in the industry as product innovator and transparent lender but also to deliver financing solutions to a much broader range of small businesses.” Breakout Capital is committed to maintain the high ethical standards, best practices, APR-based disclosure, and competitive pricing for which it has always been known.

About Breakout Capital
Breakout Capital, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, has been and will continue to be a leading fintech company, offering innovative small business lending solutions across the country. As part of SecurCapital, Breakout Capital will remain committed to transparent and responsible lending solutions through product innovation, small business borrowing education, and advocacy against predatory lending practices and will continue to empower small business through right-sized lending, suitability testing, improving terms and supporting the long-term financing objectives of small businesses. Breakout Capital has been widely regarded as the “white-hat” lender in the alternative finance space and intends to retain that reputation as part of SecurCapital.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Breakout Capital www.breakoutfinance.com

CONTACT:
Public Relations and Media Contact:
Phone: 703.852.6142
Email: info@breakoutfinance.com

breakout capital

About SecurCapital
SecurCapital is headquartered in greater Los Angeles, California with locations in San Diego, Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington, DC. SecurCapital provides supply chain financial services and proven advisory services to logistics businesses from a seasoned team of logistics and financing professionals. SecurCapital offers mid-tier and startup companies access to working capital, M&A consulting, technology enablement and mission critical services for all their supply chain needs. SecurCapital offers forwarders, truckers, custom brokers, 3PL, wholesalers, 4PL, suppliers, veteran owned small businesses (VOSB), minority owned enterprises and government contractors’ on-line access to a broad range of services.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “ongoing,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time the statements are made and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainty and other factors that may cause our results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from the information expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this press release.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
SecurCapital Corp www.securcapital.com

CONTACT:
Public Relations and Media Contact:
Phone: 619-384-3359
Email: info@securcapital.com

securcapital

Alternative Finance Bar Association Webinar to Be Held on Feb 7th

January 30, 2019
Article by:

AFBA header

The Alternative Finance Bar Association is proud
to announce an upcoming Webinar Event:

Regulatory Developments: In Depth look at Federal and State
initiatives to regulate the Alternative Finance Space


Moderator: Lindsey Rohan, Esq., General Counsel, Platinum Rapid Funding Group Ltd.
Panelists: Catherine Brennan, Partner, Hudson Cook, LLP
Kate Fisher, Partner, Hudson Cook, LLP
Meghan Musselman, Partner, Hudson Cook, LLP
Patrick Siegfried, Assistant General Counsel, RapidAdvance

Please join us as we discuss recent legal developments on both the federal and state level impacting the Alternative Finance Industry. The discussion will include a look at the recently adopted SB 1235 in California, SB 2262 in New Jersey along with proposed legislation in New York to ban the use of Confessions of Judgment. The panel will give insight into what may be coming next and how to prepare.

February 7, 2019
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
A link will be emailed in advance to registered attendees


SPACE IS LIMITED

This event is free for AFBA members and $50.00 for all invited guests.
Please contact Tiffany Diaz at Tiffany@Lrohanlaw.com for information no
later than February 6, 2019

Breakout Capital Finance Acquires HomeZen, Inc. Technology

July 3, 2018
Article by:

Leading small business lender will use HomeZen’s technology to enhance its customer experience

McLean, Va. (July 3, 2018) – Breakout Capital Finance (“Breakout Capital”), a leading technology innovator and small business lending company, announced today that it has acquired HomeZen’s technology. HomeZen is a real estate technology company providing powerful software tools for home sellers using technology to more efficiently and effectively sell their homes.

HomeZen’s innovative core technology enables users to source and evaluate offers in order to achieve the best possible outcome. This technology, which includes calculators and other user tools, will be used by Breakout Capital to empower small businesses searching for working capital solutions. The company plans to unveil a new website incorporating these features later this year.

“Since its inception, Breakout Capital has prioritized being a customer-focused disruptor, seeking out ways to better serve our customers,” said Carl Fairbank, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Breakout Capital. “HomeZen’s technology is incredibly innovative, and it will not only help us improve the way small businesses search and evaluate their options to access working capital, but will also help to empower entrepreneurs to do more with their already limited time.”

“At HomeZen we use technology to empower home sellers with the information and tools they need to easily and cheaply sell their homes,” added Kevin Bennett, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HomeZen. “I’m excited that Breakout Capital will be able to use our technology to simplify what can be a stressful, complicated process for small business owners.”

This is another milestone in the fast growth of Breakout Capital. Throughout 2018, Breakout Capital has rapidly grown loan originations, repeatedly breaking records for new funding volume. In parallel, it has continued to innovate its technology platforms, with notable advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the use of blockchain to support lending operations.

Breakout Capital also recently closed on a substantial new credit facility with Medalist Partners and expanded its headquarters in McLean, Virginia.

About Breakout Capital Finance

Breakout Capital Finance is a leading financial technology company that uses best-in-class technology to provide a wide range of credit solutions to small businesses across the country. Built on the three pillars of transparency, education and advocacy for small business, the company is one of the fastest-growing direct lenders in the space and leads a world-class technology innovation effort. Breakout Capital Finance is a Principal Member of the Innovative Lending Platform Association and is an original advocate for the SmartBoxTM standard for transparency and cost disclosure.

To learn more about Breakout Capital Finance, please visit www.breakoutfinance.com.



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