Articles by deBanked Staff
Miami-based Greenbox Capital, a small business finance provider, has acquired Level Up Funding.
Level Up, which focuses on small business lines of credit, was co-founded in 2019 by industry veterans Maciej Bykowski, once the Director of Sales for OnDeck, and Drew Batiato, the former Chief Credit Officer of Idea Financial. Level Up was based in Denver and relocated to Miami, nearby to where Greenbox is.
In an official announcement, Greenbox Capital CEO Jordan Fein, said “We are thrilled to have Level Up Funding join our organization. Their founders and key staff are a wealth of industry knowledge. The acquisition will immediately impact growth and the unique selling proposition that we offer our clients.”
Fein says to expect more such deals in the future:
“We’ll continue to make strategic moves to scale, which includes synergistic acquisitions to further distance ourselves from our competitors,” he said. “Level Up is the first of many to come.”
Bykowski of Level Up said, “Our mission has always been driven by a consumer first perspective. Having a shared vision for the future of alternative lending, we are excited to work together to leverage technology to enhance Greenbox Capital’s product offering and create a seamless customer experience.”
“We’re very excited for our future here at Greenbox. We will have the opportunity to develop new products that will aid clients across the US and abroad with their business growth,” said Level Up’s Drew Batiato.
For businesses that have held on into 2021, it’s possible that even more free money might still be available. The SBA’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, rolled out in April, was received by the general public with a collective meh, but eligible businesses can get a grant equal to 45% of their entire gross earned annual revenue in 2019. That’s nearly half a company’s annual revenue given to them for free.
Eligible entities include:
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Museum operators
- Motion picture theater operators (including owners)
- Talent representatives
More than 10,000 businesses have already been funded a total of $7.5 billion through the program, despite an initial rocky rollout. Another $8.5 billion still remains available to apply for.
Lenders and brokers eager to provide value to their small business customers might want to consider sending them the application link.
“After making improvements to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, the SBA is now delivering money quickly, efficiently and fairly to highly-impacted small businesses and venue operators that are critical to America’s cultural fabric and local economies,” SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman said. “When I began my tenure at the SBA, this first-of-its-kind SVOG program was not where I wanted it to be. I’m proud that, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our talented team, we have turned the ship around. America’s small businesses can rest assured that the SBA will continue to work around the clock to provide the relief that is needed to revitalize local economies and build back better from the pandemic and economic crisis.”
Little has changed in the PAR Funding case since the last update. PAR’s assets are being handily liquidated by the Receiver while the defendants maintain that the Receiver intentionally destroyed a well-run business. Most recently, the defendants have asked the judge to “discharge” the Receiver.
It has been a year since the Philadelphia-based company was suddenly shuttered as word of an SEC case filed under seal became public. Attorneys for the SEC took issue with the way PAR kept its books and how it marketed itself to potential investors. From the start, the defendants strongly disagreed with the plaintiff’s assertions. After an independent Receiver was appointed, the judge has repeatedly deferred to his assessments and PAR’s business has been systematically dismantled in the process.
Anyone can access the ongoing court battle on the Receivership’s official website.
The online lending community that once offered borrowers the opportunity to “bypass the banks and get better rates” is now technically the best online bank. Radius Bank, awarded best online bank of 2020, fully merged itself into LendingClub this month following the acquisition earlier this year. Radius bank’s website now points to bank.lendingclub.com.
It may be a bit jarring to those who remember Lending Club as a peer-to-peer lending platform, to see the FDIC-insurance guaranty at the bottom alongside offerings like a checking account. Bankrate.com added LendingClub to its rankings this weekend. It gives the company a score of 4.3, a good number of notches below the top score held by Ally Bank at 4.9.
LendingClub is just one of several fintech lenders that are fully transitioning to banks. Square flexed its new banking status starting this month, while Kabbage, under the American Express umbrella, has been pushing business checking accounts pretty hard.
deBanked TV surpassed 400 total videos this week in its free library of content. More than 40 such videos contain basic tutorials and terminology definitions for folks in the SMB lending and MCA industries.
“The content is highly focused,” deBanked President Sean Murray said. “It’s small business lending, real estate, MCA, etc. There’s content for newbies and seasoned veterans aimed at brokers, lenders, and more.”
deBanked has produced more than a dozen original videos as part of an industry docu-series that began in 2020.
Murray also airs live on deBanked TV every Monday and Wednesday at 12:15pm ET where he discusses industry news and offers informative advice.
Both Tether’s CTO and General Counsel went live on CNBC earlier this week in an attempt to push back against critics challenging their business model. The company recently revealed that less than 3% of its digital currency was backed by US dollars after a settlement with the NY Attorney General compelled some disclosures.
The US government has since been sounding the alarms that its collapse could disrupt the short term credit markets.
Tether is no small player, having issued nearly $62 billion worth of its digital currency, an amount so large that it’s widely thought to have played a role in previous Bitcoin bull runs.
The Tether interview can be watched below:
Square Capital has been reduced to just one of several banking products under the Square Financial Services umbrella. That’s one result of Square successfully becoming a bank earlier this year.
Loans will be one product offered alongside checking accounts, savings accounts, and debit cards.
Just as before, Square’s loans will be repaid by diverting a percentage of a business’s card sales. The methodology is derived from its merchant cash advance roots, but what’s different is that a Square loan has a fixed repayment term.
“Pay it back automatically,” Square says of its loan product. “You won’t have to schedule any payments. We just ask that you meet your minimum every 60 days.”
Square has originated more than $9 billion in small business loans since inception and is one of the largest small business lenders in the country.
deBanked met with Kurtavious Ball, a physician assistant and savvy real estate estate investor in Philadelphia. Ball started small, risking about $30,000 he had set aside for a startup venture. If it didn’t work out, Ball said he was still young enough and capitalized enough to weather the loss. After doing a lot of reading and listening to gurus, Ball said the best course of action was to just plow forward and give it a try. He’s happy he did.
deBanked’s interview with Ball is part of a nationwide docuseries with business finance and real estate professionals.