|01/10/2023||Bluevine moves HQ to Jersey City|
|07/12/2022||New accountant solution from Bluevine|
|07/03/2022||Why Bluevine exited its original biz|
|02/23/2022||BlueVine announces new features|
|02/04/2022||BlueVine doubles revolving credit facility|
The FundThrough/BlueVine Factoring Merger
“I know it might seem sudden for you, but we’ve been engaged in discussions since the Summer, and [BlueVine] has been in discussions internally for certainly longer than that.”
FundThrough announced their acquisition of the factoring division of BlueVine on Thursday. A deal that has been long in the works will make the Canadian factoring company’s American portfolio 80 percent of their business.
“From FundThrough’s perspective, we’ve always had BlueVine’s factoring business on our radar,” said FundThrough’s Co-founder and CEO Steven Uster, exclusively to deBanked. “We started around the same time, they grew their business nicely, and then they started to branch out to other products.”
Uster spoke about BlueVine outgrowing their factoring business, while FundThrough was growing enough to acquire it. “From the outside looking in, it looked like this might’ve been turning into a non-core asset for them, but yet very core for us.”
For FundThrough, the move is substantial. The company has acquired their largest competitor’s inaugural product. According to Uster, the move brings two companies together who are starkly similar in more ways than just the product they sell.
“We share similar cultures, we’re much smaller obviously as a whole, but our factoring business is bigger,” he said. “We share a similar mindset, we’re also a technology based business, our systems are quite similar, so the move [will] be an easier, elegant transition.”
“We determined that FundThrough is perfectly positioned to serve our factoring clients with the care and individual attention they need and deserve,” said Eyal Lifshitz, Co-founder and CEO of BlueVine. “Our factoring clients will be in great hands with FundThrough.”
Lifshitz spoke on his company’s growth, and how the move will allow the company to focus on better serving their existing customers. “Since launching BlueVine, we’ve been focused on the financial needs of small businesses and are very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. As we evolve our products and services, we continuously examine how we can better serve our customers at scale.”
According to Uster, fintech-inspired invoice factoring has sparked unprecedented interest in the financial world lately. While he is unsure of the reason, the engagement and inquiries FundThrough has received prior to the acquisition have been significantly higher than in the past.
“Something shifted over the last twelve months,” Uster said. “All of the sudden, without much branding, we have been getting a bunch of inquiries about partnering and providing this embedded invoice factoring solution.”
With their acquisition comes confidence, and it sounds like FundThrough is ready to be on the forefront of tech-infused financing. “[The acquisition] provides us the scale to be the partner of choice. We are now the players in the market,” Uster said.
“If you want to offer tech enabled instant funding on invoices in your B2B marketplace, FundThrough is now the solution.”
BlueVine CEO Eyal Lifshitz took to twitter last night to update customers on the status of this PPP round. Word from around the industry has suggested that approvals have been slower and that in certain situations, additional documentation is being asked for because of the SBA’s heightened scrutiny.
Below is Lifshitz’s consolidated twitter thread.
As a third-generation entrepreneur, my decision to build BlueVine was personal—I believe in and have dedicated myself to small businesses. To the customers reaching out for Paycheck Protection Program support, know that I’ve read your messages and want to update you directly.
When the latest Paycheck Protection Program was announced, we knew we had to step up again and help small businesses. Though the cause was close to our mission, we had to refocus our business completely. If you feel this program has been slower, it has. But for good reasons.
Waiting is frustrating, especially if these funds will make or break your business. There are explanations for the longer wait times, which can actually mean GOOD news for your business. Let me break this down.
The SBA’s program changes were significant, adding Second Draws and other improvements. Every change requires an additional product build and support team training, ensuring we’re compliant and provide the most efficient and effective application process.
The program’s adjustments include serving the hardest-hit businesses (and not large well-known companies). This extra due-diligence means additional documentation and information for us to review. It also means that smaller businesses may have a greater share of the funds.
The previous PPP round was impacted by some fraudulent actors. To prevent funds from getting in the wrong hands, the SBA added more robust requirements. While this added protection is more work and slows things down, it ensures funding remains for those that need it most.
We know the process of reviewing and approving PPP loans was slow at first, but we wanted to ensure we got it right before automating. Since we started, our throughput has more than tripled. If you’re in review, be patient. We haven’t forgotten about you!
I want to emphasize that BlueVine, and me personally, are committed to serving small businesses. We’ve more than doubled our customer support team to better assist you during what I can only imagine has been a brutal year. We see you and are doing everything we can to help.
BlueVine, a leading small business lender, has resumed its normal services after generating $4.5 billion in PPP loans to more than 155,000 businesses. The company had continued to offer its normal lending products even while others in the industry paused completely, the company says. Herman Man, the chief product officer, said that BlueVine has also fully launched a small business checking account platform.
“Our goal always was to be that small business banking platform,” Man said. “Last year at Money 20/20 we announced we were going to build a small business checking account. Recently, we launched it post-COVID, derailing our plans. We have a breadth of offerings now, and we are that small business platform.”
BlueVine also released a survey this week of more than 800 small business owners to learn what they need most in an ever-changing market. Their findings supported their online product offering. Distressed by COVID-19, the respondents reported an overwhelming interest in reliable customer service, day to day support, and fee-less transactions.
77% of small business owners surveyed reported demand for direct guidance in day-to-day accounting. In the face of an emergency, many respondents noted that banks were more interested in new customers than servicing current customers.
Following this emergency support trend, nearly nine out of ten or 87% of small business owners said access to emergency credit was necessary from the same bank providing them regular service. Accessing credit from the same provider was not just important, but over half or 64% reported it was exceptionally so.
Finally, 58% of business owners reported that a lack of overdraft, monthly, or maintenance fees were the essential features a business checking accounts could offer.
With the launch of a checking account platform, BlueVine can service the needs of these businesses, offering one common platform that connects factoring services, payments services, and now credit and banking services.
“If a small business wanted to take a line of credit and do it on a Friday night, using our algorithm and things that are automated, it could run through our system; if they get approved, money would be transferred into their checking account instantaneously,” Man said. “This isn’t something they have to wait until Monday morning. It will land immediately, so that’s a huge game-changer.”
This week BlueVine announced that since partnering with the food delivery service DoorDash in late April, over 180 businesses have received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program via said partnership. Totaling over $6 million, the partnership exclusively served restaurants on DoorDash’s platform, offering them a PPP pathway through BlueVine in email correspondence as well as the DoorDash merchant portal.
“DoorDash saw a need within their merchant partner base to be able to quickly apply for and receive a PPP loan – something many were not able to do through traditional banking services – and was looking to solve the accessibility factor with a partnership,” BlueVine CCO Brad Brodigan said in an email. “Small restaurants in particular were unable to access funds they needed to stay in business and navigate through this uncertain time, and the hope was that information from a trusted source like DoorDash would help them look for solutions if their bank was unable to help them.”
The $6 million funded is part of the larger $3.5 billion in PPP money that BlueVine claims to have funded to +100,000 businesses. According to Brodigan, the median loan size for the DoorDash deals was $16,000; with the median employees on payroll being five. DoorDash will be donating all referral fees from the program to the CRA Restaurants Care Covid-19 Grant as well as the Small Business Relief Fund.
BlueVine Capital, the Redwood City-based alternative funder, has announced today that it will launch its BlueVine Business Banking product in 2020, which will offer checking accounts that come with debit Mastercards, checks, and ATM access exclusively to small businesses. And just like many of the new competitors in the banking space, BlueVine Business Banking will be app-based, with access also being available through an online dashboard.
With the financial infrastructure and regulatory framework being provided by The Bancorp Bank, BlueVine is the next alternative finance company to look toward becoming a bank, a move which has proven difficult for companies who already tried, such as SoFi and Square.
“Historically, banks have under-invested in small businesses and as a result, small businesses have been left with products and services that don’t meet their needs,” said BlueVine CEO and Co-founder Eyal Lifshitz in a press release that claims only 9% of small businesses believe their banks meet all of their needs. “Credit is a core part of banking and with the addition of checking accounts to our existing suite of financing products, customers can have a truly seamless banking experience.”
Such seamlessness spawns from BlueVine’s goal to promote an integrated and instant banking model, Lifshitz told me. “No more waiting for ACH for two days, or for wires to come in. You press a button, you draw from your line of credit, and magically it’s in your checking account … It’s the way that we believe it should be. The fact that it’s not currently like this is incredible in our eyes. This is what we believe the future looks like.”
BlueVine Business Banking will offer customers 1.00% interest rates on their savings and aims to cut out many of the fees associated with checking accounts, as Lifshitz explained that there will be no monthly, excess, or ACH charges; and that wire fees will be a fraction of what they cost with traditional banks.
“We feel we have the ability to build a true small business bank. Finally, one that is built and designed for small businesses rather than one that is having them as the third or fourth priority on the list, which many of the larger banks do … We believe the reason we’re here providing alternative finance is because banking is broken, and our goal is to build better banking, not just financing, but overall better banking.”
BlueVine announced this week that it closed $60 million in equity funding, the company’s largest funding round to date. The series E round was led by Menlo Ventures and includes new investors, including SVB Capital. All major existing investors also participated.
This new financing will be used to expand the company’s current invoice factoring and business line of credit products, and to develop new products.
“Our vision is to let our customers guide us,” BlueVine Chief Revenue Officer Eric Sager told deBanked, with regard to what products might come next.
BlueVine also plans to use the funding to accelerate R&D hiring. BlueVine’s total funded volume since inception is expected to top $1 billion this year, according to the company’s press release.
“In just four years, BlueVine has scaled two major financing products,” said BlueVine CEO and founder Eyal Lifshitz.
Founded in 2013, the company started with a factoring product and later introduced a line of credit product. BlueVine provides business lines of credit up to $250,000 and invoice factoring lines up to $5 million. These maximum credit lines have been steadily increasing, with the factoring line of credit twice as large as it was at the beginning of the year, according to a deBanked story from February. And its business line of credit was $150,000 at the start of the year.
The company generates its revenue about 50-50 from its factoring and line of credit products, and about 50 percent of its factoring clients also use its line of credit product, Sager said.
This new $60 million investment follows a credit facility of $200 million with Credit Suisse last month.
“BlueVine has continued to impress us since we first invested in 2015,” said Tyler Sosin, a partner at Menlo Ventures, in a written statement. “The company has demonstrated dramatic, sustainable growth and has proven that there is enduring value in developing a comprehensive offering of credit products that small and medium sized businesses can use throughout their lifetimes.”
Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, BlueVine also has offices in New Orleans, Jersey City and Tel Aviv, and employs approximately 200 people.
BlueVine announced today that it has secured a $200 million asset-backed revolving credit facility with Credit Suisse. This will be used to expand its business line of credit product and the company’s customers will now be eligible for a credit line of up to $250,000.
“Capital markets partnerships are critical to our ability to scale and effectively serve our expanding customer base,” said BlueVine CFO Ana Sirbu. “This financing will support our next phase of growth [as] we continue to build a business for the long-term by offering the best working capital financing solutions to business owners.”
The company offers two products – invoice factoring and business lines of credit. The latter was introduced in January 2016 with a maximum credit line of $30,000, Sirbu told deBanked. That maximum soon became $50,000 and has steadily risen. In February, the company increased its business line of credit from $150,000 to $200,000.
Founded in 2013 by CEO Eyal Lifshitz, the company first offered only factoring in March 2014. Now, Sirbu said that the breakdown of its business is about even between its factoring and business line credit offerings.
This is BlueVine’s first facility with Credit Suisse. Not counting this facility, the company had $318 million in funding as of October 2017, according to Crunchbase.
BlueVine is headquartered in Redwood City, CA, with other offices in Jersey City, NJ, New Orleans, LA, and a large office in Tel Aviv, Israel, where most of its Research and Development team is based. Altogether, BlueVine employs about 200 people.
Invoice factoring and small business loan company, BlueVine, recently doubled its credit line size for its invoice factoring product up to $5 million. Simultaneously, it has also increased its business line of credit maximum to $200,000, from $150,000.
“The number one [reason for the expansion] has been an increase in demand from our existing customers,” said BlueVine Chief Revenue Officer Eric Sager.
He said they had granted higher lines of credit to some customers who asked for it, and when BlueVine saw success, it decided to make the higher credit available to all customers.
The Redwood City, CA-based company was founded by Eyal Lifshitz in 2013 as a factoring company, but it has since offered small business loans, which Sager told deBanked now accounts for about half of the company’s revenue.
Last year, BlueVine introduced a 12-month line of credit based on monthly payments. Previously, they had only offered a 6-month business line of credit, called Flex Credit, based on weekly payments. Sager that said that many BlueVine customers use the company’s factoring services as well as its credit line offering.
“The reason why [this increase in credit] is so important is because it allows customers to use our line of credit facility not just for working capital…but now for capital expenditures as well,” Sager said.
Many alternative lending companies boast of using sophisticated technology to almost instantly issue loans or credit lines. While Sager said that BlueVine does use sophisticated technology, he said they also use reliable industry standard technologies and that they have a dedicated account management team that customers can reach out to, particularly large ones.
One of Sager’s favorite slogans that he applies to BlueVine is: “Always available, never needed.”
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