Articles by Todd Stone

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When Merchants Defraud Lenders

April 17, 2019
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Back when lenders used to visit the site of a merchant’s business, a “doctor” once hired actors to play nurses and patients to give the illusion of a thriving medical practice when the lender came to check in on the business before financing it. The doctor’s office looked legitimate, it got funded and the fraudster […]

Online Lenders Square Off, Offer The Kabbage In Brooklyn Food Court

April 10, 2019
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In a fast gentrifying section of Downtown Brooklyn, online lenders are waging a silent turf war. Each day, hungry consumers flock to DeKalb Market, a subterranean hipster food court where lunch and a drink can cost $17. The maze-like space with retro neon signs and rustic wood countertops offers a dizzying array of cuisines, and […]

Marketplace Opens for New Student Financing Investments

April 5, 2019
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Edly, a new online marketplace that connects Income Share Agreement (ISA) investors, announced last week that a prestigious software engineering school in San Francisco listed $2 million in inaugural ISA trades via the Edly marketplace. The school is called Holberton and offers only two payment programs, an ISA or pay it all upfront. LinkedIn CEO […]

Computers Continue to Fine Tune Underwriting

April 5, 2019
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What’s the present role of computers in the underwriting process? “It’s faster and more accurate,” CEO of Kapitus Andy Reiser said of the company’s new AI process. “We get thousands of pages a day of bank statements, and we can digitally read it through [our system] and then manipulate that data and analyze it.” Co-founder […]

Give Up Equity In Your Business?! Try Alternative Funding Instead

April 4, 2019
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Clearbanc photo

One thing you can’t get back is your company. Clearbanc Co-founders Andrew D’Souza and Michele Romanow Michele Romanow, a judge on Dragon’s Den, Canada’s version of Shark Tank, realized from the show that a lot of companies should not be pursuing venture capital at all. She recalled a company that was willing to give an […]

Top Minds in Fintech Came Together in Manhattan Last Night

April 3, 2019
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Fintech Disruption Forum

More than 200 people packed into a Manhattan office last night to hear panelists from top fintech companies discuss everything from Artificial Intelligence (AI) in fintech to U.S. regulations to diversity. The event, called Disruption Forum Fintech NYC, was organized remotely by a Poland-based software and technology consulting company called Netguru. This was their third […]

Will Millennials Bring Non-banks into Their Finances?

April 1, 2019
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social media apps

Following Apple’s announcement last week of its upcoming Apple Credit Card, one question that comes to mind is: Will people, particularly millennials (now roughly 22 to 37 years old), be up for banking with non-bank companies? According to an Accenture survey from five years ago, 34% of millennials said they would bank with Apple if […]

Lyft IPO Follows a Foray into Finance Business

March 29, 2019
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Lyft

Lyft had its IPO today in the same week it announced that it was offering a debit card to its drivers. The company announced the launch of “Lyft Driver Services,” a suite of services for Lyft drivers including Lyft Direct, a no-fee bank account and debit card. The Lyft Direct debit card will allow drivers to […]

Two Cultures Collided, Gently

March 25, 2019
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Daniel Davis Axiom CEO

Daniel Davis, CEO, Axiom Bank Banks are heavily regulated. Factoring companies are not. The two don’t always mix. So it was interesting last July when Axiom Bank, a regional bank in Florida, acquired Allied Affiliated Funding, a factoring company based in Texas. Fast forward nine months and the merger of the two companies has been […]

Undercover in the Underwriting Room

March 22, 2019
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Undercover

Think of the stereotype of a high energy, high testosterone sales floor of men practically shouting on the phone. And then scale it down to a level of about 2 out of 10. That was the environment I stepped into on a recent visit to a room of small business finance underwriters. They let me […]

WeWork, The Home Office of Small Business Finance Startups

March 20, 2019
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wework

Kunal Bhasin, owner of brokerage 1 West Finance, funded three A paper deals for companies that all happened to work out of the same Manhattan office building on the corner of 42nd Street and Third Avenue. It’s actually not as big a coincidence as it sounds because it’s the same building where 1 West Finance […]

How to Turn Your Client List Into a Business Referral Network

March 19, 2019
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Chad Otar with merchant

Left: Chad Otar, Excel Capital. Right: Lori Miller, LGC Interior Design Excel Capital CEO Chad Otar was so impressed by a marketing company he helped obtain funding for that he turned around and emailed his other clients about the potential benefits of their service. As a result Otar said that about five of his clients […]

Can a Merchant’s FICO Score Increase By the End of the Day?

March 16, 2019
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credit scoring

Earlier this week, Alan Hayon had a challenge – to get a merchant above a 500 FICO score in order to make them eligible for small business funding. Within 30 minutes, Hayon increased the merchant’s personal FICO score by 59 points, getting them above 500. And the deal funded the following day. Hayon is the […]

LinkedIn Posts Are Turning Into Deals & Dollars

March 14, 2019
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LinkedIn

On average, I sign up one ISO every time I post a message on LinkedIn, says Jennie Villano, VP of Business Development at Kalamata Capital Group. They don’t all end up submitting business, she adds, but overall it works. It costs her nothing more than her time and it produces results. Villano is among the […]

Competition Steps Up in Canadian Small Business Lending Market

March 11, 2019
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Canada

Last week’s announcement by Funding Circle that it will establish an operation in Canada later this year is part of a trend of large non-Canadian funders entering or expanding into the Canadian market, according to Adam Benaroch, President of CanaCap, a small business funder based in Montreal. Funding Circle started in the UK and expanded […]

Common Mistakes Commercial Tenants Make

March 8, 2019
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Space interior

deBanked recently heard a live presentation given by Dale Willerton, “The Lease Coach.” Willerton is an expert in helping commercial retail tenants to find and negationate spaces. But much of his advice applies to commercial office tenants as well. Below are some common mistakes he urges tenants to avoid: Not Looking at Multiple Spaces Simultaneously […]

The Art of Moving The Deal – When it becomes too high risk for you

February 27, 2019
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garbage removal

OakNorth, a small and medium sized business lender and online bank, has mastered a strategy to avoid merchants from defaulting 100% of the time, according to a story published in Quartz. The strategy: tell the merchants at risk of defaulting to refinance their loans at a competitor. “We’ve said [to merchants], ‘Go renegotiate with another […]

True Story: I Cold Called a Merchant

February 25, 2019
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Todd Stone Makes a Cold Call

While visiting the office of Excel Capital in Manhattan on a reporting assignment, I saw a few open desks. They weren’t exactly empty, just available. There were phones, headsets, and computers all set up, just waiting for a salesperson to sit down and plug in. I pictured the salespeople I’ve previously profiled, smiling & dialing, […]

Elevate Reflects on Success of Fintech in Personal Loans

February 21, 2019
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Jason Harvison - Elevate COO

The unsecured personal loan market hit an all-time high in 2018, jumping 17 percent year-over-year to $138 billion, according to data from TransUnion released today and featured in a CNBC story. “The rapid growth in consumer loans sits squarely on the shoulders of fintechs,” said Jason Laky, senior vice president and leader of TransUnion’s consumer […]

How Should a Funder Market?

February 20, 2019
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brainstorming

Whether it’s marketing to ISOs or for direct leads, funders have different marketing techniques that suit their size and business philosophy. Credibly, a New York-based company of 160 employees, works with LendingTree and uses Google and Facebook for leads. But Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships Jeffrey Bumbales said that advertising on large pay-per-click channels […]