At least three federal lawsuits have been filed against the directors of OnDeck relating to the announcement that the company is being acquired by Enova. These suits allege securities act violations with regards to how the technical aspects of the deal were disclosed while the initially reported action in the Delaware Court of Chancery alleged a breach of fiduciary duty.
The federal securities lawsuits are:
Daniel Senteno v. On Deck Capital, Inc. et al – Case 1:20-cv-01179-MN
Eric Sabatini (on behalf of a class) v On Deck Capital, Inc et al – Case 1:20-cv-01166-MN
Mohamed Aboubih v On Deck Capital, Inc. et al – Case 1:20-cv-07319-Vm
LendingPoint announced this week that it is partnering with the online marketplace eBay to provide funding to sellers on its platform. Titled eBay Seller Capital, the program will offer terms of up to 48 months, with no origination or early payback fees, and which will be capped at $25,000 during its pilot program.
“We’re committed to empowering entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality, and we are continuing to partner with our sellers to provide them with the tools they need to thrive, eBay’s VP of Global Payments Alyssa Cutright said in a statement. “We’re excited to make flexible financing options available that are integrated with our new payments experience. The program with LendingPoint will enable critical funding opportunities for eBay sellers, especially during this time of economic uncertainty.”
In its early stages now, eBay Seller Capital will only be available for selected sellers, with the plan being for it to be made available to all eligible sellers in the US later this year. Beyond the program, LendingPoint has made clear in its statement that it aims to “expand their offering to provide eBay sellers with more tools to help run their businesses,” however, when asked, CEO and Co-Founder Tom Burnside did not give details of these future plans.
“I don’t want to leave the proverbial cat out of the bag yet with that,” Burnside commented in a call, “but what I will tell you is that I think when we are done eBay will be able to offer best-of-class seller financing.”
Square Capital, the small business lending division of Square, resumed offers for its “core flex loans” in late July, the company announced. However, there will be “stricter eligibility criteria.”
Square Capital made no core flex loans in Q2, having paused in mid-March on news of the impending crisis.
The company pivoted to PPP lending in Q2 in the interim and through this program managed to fund over 80,000 small businesses for a grand total of $873 million. The average came out to approximately $11,000 per loan.
Square says that in PPP they “expanded awareness of Square Capital as 60% of [their] PPP borrowers had never before received a loan through Square.”
Loss rates during Q2 were about 2.5x prev-COVID levels, a range they accurately predicted might happen at the end of Q1.
ZenBusiness, the Austin-based business formation services company, recently announced that it reached an agreement to acquire Joust for an undisclosed amount. Offering financing options to freelancers and entrepreneurs, Joust services, like PayArmour, will continue under its new ownership, rebranded as ZenBusiness Money when it relaunches in October.
“The acquisition of Joust and upcoming launch of ZenBusiness Money furthers our mission to provide the nation’s 57 million micro businesses with exceptional and friendly tools that simplify the process of forming and running their business,” ZenBusiness CEO and Co-founder Ross Buhrdorf noted in a statement. “We are excited to welcome the world-class fintech experience the entire Joust team brings to the ZenBusiness family as we continue to grow the features of our platform.”
With there still being an urge to work from home, all of ZenBusiness’s newly acquired employees will work remotely. Given the oddness of being bought in the middle of a global pandemic, Buhrdorf explained in a call how while covid-19’s economic impacts have led to an increased interest in their product, this uptick is not something new, but rather an inevitability.
“There’s no denying our businesses have accelerated as a result of covid-19. I don’t want to get carried away there because this was a growing trend before this. Lots of companies were turning employees into contractors, and so this was a growing trend. I think that the pandemic accelerated that, either out of necessity or it was, ‘hey, the world’s a changed place, I need to start up a side gig.’”
Joust CEO Lamine Zarrad followed up on this point by mentioning that this pattern is linked to why ZenBusiness is a B Corp, with the hope being that they will be able to provide support to Americans as they encounter new financial challenges.
“We are now a public benefit corporation, and Joust’s missions has always been oriented towards social good. And we’re excited to help these individuals who are now becoming entrepreneurs and wading into these waters that are completely uncharted.”
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!”
Shopify had a monster 2nd quarter. The e-commerce giant generated $36M in profit on $714.3M in revenue. As part of that the company originated $153 million worth of loans and merchant cash advances, only slightly down from the $162.4M in Q1. Still that figure was up by 65% year-over-year (and was more than 2x the volume originated by OnDeck).
The company has offered capital to its US merchants since 2016 and recently begun doing the same with its UK and Canadian merchants starting this past March and April respectively, the company revealed.
Shopify CFO Amy Shapero said that company had maintained loss ratios “in line with historical periods,” despite COVID. “Access to capital is even tougher in times like these, which makes it even more important to continue lowering this barrier by making it quick and easy so merchants can focus on growing their business,” Shapero stated.
Enova CEO David Fisher kicked off his company’s 2nd quarter earnings call on Tuesday and one could tell from the pitch in his voice that he was excited. And why shouldn’t he be? Despite the catastrophe that gripped the nation over the months of April, May and June, Enova still manages to report a consolidated net PROFIT of $48 million.
But that’s not even it. After a long introduction about a major acquisition, a rather familiar voice is asked to deliver some prepared remarks.
“Thanks David, I am equally excited…”
It’s Noah Breslow, the CEO of OnDeck. Less than an hour earlier it was revealed that Enova had bought 100% of OnDeck’s outstanding shares for $90 million in a deal paid for almost entirely with stock. And now suddenly he’s here on this call talking about how great it is that the companies are combining forces.
“Following an extensive review of our strategic options, we believe this is the right path forward for our customers, employees, and shareholders,” Breslow says.
That OnDeck has been acquired is no surprise. The devastating impact of COVID in Q1 reveals weaknesses in the company’s business model and the share price drops by 80% from the period of February to July. This all while two of their competitors in the small business lending space, Square and PayPal, experience enormous gains of more than 40%.
In May, Forbes reported grim news, that OnDeck is being shopped around in “what amounts to a fire sale.”
The rumor creates further despair in an industry that is preoccupied with survival. If this can happen to OnDeck, then…?
The truth is, OnDeck’s momentum had stalled long before COVID. The company walked away from a sale to Wonga in 2012 that had valued them at $250 million and they went on to have a successful IPO in 2014 at a value of $1.32 billion on the selling point that they were a tech company.
But by mid-February of this year, the company’s market cap is down to less than $250 million, turning the clock backwards by about eight years. After losing the partnership with Chase in 2019, OnDeck seemed to have lost its swagger and direction. They planned to pursue a bank charter and do a stock buyback. Then the news pretty much stops.
COVID happens and it hits them hard. The company stopped lending entirely, although they still recorded originations of $66 million in Q2.
As a standalone entity, OnDeck’s upside had greatly diminished. Getting back to where it was pre-COVID may not have been an entirely enticing prospect for investors. Its market cap recently plummeted to less than $50 million and so by the time the Enova price of $90 million is announced, it sounds almost generous. (Knight Capital sold for $27.8M in November).
Enova says that the acquisition increases their concentration in small business lending from 15% to 60%. That puts consumer lending, their historical core business, now in the minority. This is not by accident. On the earnings call, Enova executives say that they believe that “there will be strong demand for capital from small businesses as the economy begins to open back up.” They even believe the opportunity is better than the consumer lending market right now, particularly from a regulatory perspective, they say. Therefore it makes sense to “double down or triple down” on the small business side, they contend.
Enova’s small business lending business was largely spared by COVID. Unlike OnDeck’s brutal Q1, Enova had reported something “very much manageable” thanks to not having “large exposures to entertainment, hospitality and restaurants.”
“Our portfolio has been extremely stable,” Enova says on the call. With the acquisition of OnDeck, the company appears to be gearing up for the opportunity they believe awaits in small business lending right around the corner.
New York State Legislature Passes Law That Requires APR Disclosure On Small Business Finance Contracts (Even If They’re Not Loans)July 24, 2020
Factoring companies and merchant cash advance providers may be in for a rude awakening in New York. The legislature there, in a matter of days, has rammed through a new law that requires APRs and other uniform disclosures be presented on commercial finance contracts… even if the agreements are not loans and even if one cannot be mathematically ascertained.
The law also makes New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) the overseer and regulatory authority of all such finance agreements. DFS can impose penalties for violations of the law, the language says.
The bill was passed through so quickly that unusual jargon remained in the final version, increasing the likelihood that there will be confusion during the roll-out. One such issue raised is the requirement that a capital provider disclose whether or not there is any “double dipping” going on in the transaction. The term led to a rather interesting debate on the Senate Floor where Senator George Borrello expounded that double dipping might be well understood at a party where potato chips are available but that it did not formally exist in finance and made little sense to have it written into law.
Senator Kevin Thomas, the senate sponsor of the bill, admitted that there was opposition to the “technicalities” of it by some industry groups like the Small Business Finance Association and that PayPal was one such particular company that had opposed it on that basis. Senator Borello raised the concern that a similar law had already been passed in California and that even with all of their best minds, the state regulatory authorities had been unable to come up with a mutually agreed upon way to calculate APR for products in which there is no absolute time-frame. Thomas, acknowledging that, hoped that DFS would be able to come up with their own math.
APR as defined under Federal “Regulation Z”, which the New York law points to for its definition, does not permit any room for imprecision. The issue calls to mind a consent order that an online consumer lender (LendUp) entered into with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2016 after the agency accused the lender of understating its APR by only 1/10th of 1%. The penalty to LendUp was $1.8 million.
Providers of small business loans, MCAs, factoring and other types of commercial financing in New York would probably be well advised to consult an attorney for a legal analysis and plan of action for compliance with this law. The governor still needs to sign the bill and New York’s DFS still has to prepare for its new oversight role.
Passage of the law was celebrated by Funding Circle on social media and retweeted by Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski who sponsored the bill. The Responsible Business Lending Coalition simultaneously published a statement.
There’s new management over at Bitty Advance. The Fort Lauderdale-based funding company has been acquired by long-time industry veteran Craig Hecker. Hecker, who years ago founded, grew, and sold Rapid Capital Funding had originally acquired a stake in Bitty earlier this year, but in the following months purchased the remainder of the business from founders Eddie Siegel and Lenny Duvdivani.
Hecker told deBanked that under his management Bitty has committed capital that will allow the business to fund up to $10 million per month.
“I’m very excited to take my industry experience and knowledge and apply it to this segment of the MCA space,” he says.
As part of the takeover, Hecker says that he has “re-assembled his dream team of technologists and ops” that have been part of his inner-circle for nearly a decade and “were critical in building out the platform” that had made Rapid Capital Funding successful.
Bitty has historically focused on micro-advances and the company plans to really scale up its efforts in the $2,500 – $12,500 small merchant market segment with the aid of automated technology. In addition to this, Bitty has launched a new sales partner portal for ISOs. “That way [ISOs] will always know what’s going on with merchant applications,” hecker said.
Ascentium Capital announced it has reached $2.5 billion in managed assets, a new record for the Kingswood, Texas-based alternative funder. The news comes after the firm finished Q2 of 2020 with a funding volume of $225 million. Being a subsidy of Regions Bank, Ascentium has been funding businesses since 2011.
“Ascentium’s executive team has successfully weathered several periods of economic uncertainty and we are leveraging this to respond to the current situation as the US faces unexpected uncertainty for an unexpected duration,” Executive Vice President Tom Depping noted in a statement. “Our specialized finance platform incorporates process flexibility which enables us to adjust quickly. We have a strong team in place that is dedicated to meet market demands while managing risk.”
Today Kabbage announced the launch of its latest service, business checking accounts. Targeting small-sized businesses and offering no monthly fees, 1.10% APY, and a Kabbage debit card; Kabbage Checking is available now and is part of an effort by Kabbage to transition from being a pure SMB-funding company into a cash-flow management company.
“Kabbage is a full financial services platform that’s focused on solving on cash-flow management for small businesses.” President Kathryn Petralia explained in an email. “A business checking account is a core function of how they manage their money, and we saw an opportunity to build them a solution specifically designed for them – while simultaneously reducing their costs and increasing their yield.”
Launched in the wake of a study which reports that over 40% of small businesses are looking to change their bank following struggles with their Paycheck Protection Program applications, Kabbage is optimistic that fintechs an online lenders will benefit from a wave of interest following the failures of financial institutions in the face of the coronavirus.
“Amidst one of the largest financial crises in history, we helped over 225,000 small businesses access services many of their long-time bank partners would only provide to their largest customers,” the President said in a statement. “We believe in the businesses too often left out, overlooked, and underestimated. Kabbage Checking is a new banking service built to give those small businesses an upper hand to earn more, save more, and grow their business faster without sacrificing anything they expect from a bank.”
A bill (A10118A / S5470B) intended to create uniform disclosures for comparison purposes while also placing control of the commercial finance industry under the purview of the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, is moving forward.
The March 2020 initiative was picked back up this week by members of the Assembly where it passed the banking committee and codes committee on a unanimous and bipartisan basis.
“When enacted, this bill will become the strongest commercial lending disclosure law in the country that covers all commercial financing products,” wrote Ryan Metcalf, Head of US Regulatory Affairs and Social Impact at Funding Circle, on LinkedIn. “It includes strong provisions that ensures enforcement and eliminates loopholes that will prevent gaming & abuse, & requires APR to be disclosed for all products.”
Metcalf further wrote that they and the Responsible Business Lending Coalition (RBLC) have been working diligently with NY state legislators for the last year or so to craft this bill. Among RBLC’s membership is Fundera, Nav, Lendistry, LendingClub and about 4 dozen other companies.
This morning, OnDeck disclosed that it was still actively engaged in securing workout arrangements with its creditors.
For its corporate debt facility, OnDeck’s lenders consented to an additional two week extension on the increased monthly principal repayments that OnDeck is required to pay as a result of the company’s covid-impacted portfolio triggering a rapid payout event. The circumstances mean that OnDeck has to make millions of dollars in loan payments but temporary workouts like these are enabling the company to slow them down.
OnDeck’s asset-backed revolving debt facility, meanwhile, has been spared the consequences of a borrowing base deficiency under a renewed agreement to suspend any designation of such to at least through August 18th.
Today Clearbanc, the Toronto-based alternative finance company, has launched its latest service, Valuation, allowing founders to gauge their company’s value. Being an extension to Clearbanc’s platform, the service will be free to everyone and promises an estimation within 24 hours that can be checked weekly.
Valuation also offers three options to founders upon receiving their company’s value: the chance to access capital via Clearbanc’s funding channels, connect with investors in order to raise an equity round, and investigate possible acquisition opportunities. For the last two of these options, Clearbanc makes introductions to a selection of venture capital investors that have connected with the program.
As per the requirements, founders will have to connect a selection of private data points. Their business accounts, payment processor, accounting platform, and their admin account will all be required. As well as this, public data is also used to arrive at a valuation, basing the estimations on information specific to the company as well as the industry it is in.
“We think this could be as revolutionary as what Credit Karma did when they launched free credit scores for everyone and gave consumers access to their own information,” explained Clearbanc CEO Michele Romanow. “We’re really excited about this as it represents our first non-capital launch, and we think that it’s part of a much bigger vision of how we help founders win in this environment.”
Maxim Commercial Capital is pleased to report it funded hard asset-secured financings for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) in 30 states across the United States during the second quarter of 2020. After pivoting quickly in March to safer-at-home working conditions for its 30+ team members, Maxim experienced a steady increase in applications from equipment brokers and vendors for their borrowers with challenged credit. Maxim lends $10,000 to $3,000,000 to SMBs nationwide secured by heavy equipment and real estate to facilitate asset purchases, working capital and to refinance expensive short term debt.
“Maxim was founded during the Great Recession of 2008,” noted Behzad Kianmahd, Chairman and CEO. “We are applying our experiences gained during that time to overcome today’s extraordinary economic challenges and long term uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have reaffirmed our commitment to finance SMBs, which are the backbone of our economy, refreshed our underwriting standards, and are continually improving our infrastructure by investing in technology and communication tools for the benefit of our customers, vendors, brokers and team members.”
During the second quarter, Maxim received numerous applications from business owners with strong credit but negative cash flow due to the economic downturn. Funded transactions for such borrowers included $95,000 secured by a 2019 Mack GR64F Tri-Axle Dump Truck for a growing landscaping company in New Jersey; $42,500 for a seasoned contractor’s purchase of a 2014 Caterpillar 312E Hydraulic Excavator; and, $29,000 to enable a business started up by seasoned contractors to purchase a 2020 Reinert ZR Concrete Pump.
Buyers of used class 8 trucks faced numerous challenges during the second quarter, ranging from lenders shutting down without warning to closed DMVs. Maxim successfully funded deals across the country, including $26,500 for a California-based long-haul truck owner-operator to purchase a 2017 Volvo 780; $20,800 for an Ohio-based transportation company to purchase a 2017 Freightliner Cascadia; and, $23,000 for a Texas-based owner-operator to purchase a 2016 Freightliner Cascadia to replace a truck with mechanical issues.
“We are humbled and encouraged by our team’s commitment to positively impact our customers’ future success, and by our customers’ continuous effort to make tough but rational decisions to stay in business during these difficult times,” commented Michael Kianmahd, Executive Vice President. “Based on our experience over the past few months, we are confident that SMBs across the nation will contribute substantially to the nation’s recovery from the biggest economic shock since The Great Depression.”
About Maxim Commercial Capital
Maxim Commercial Capital helps small and mid-sized business owners seize opportunity by providing financing in amounts up to $3,000,000 secured by heavy equipment and real estate. Maxim facilitates equipment purchases, provides working capital and refinances debt for companies across all industries located nationwide. Through Maxim’s tailored financing programs, businesses unlock capital tied up in underleveraged assets, often replacing expensive short-term debt and daily repayment working capital loans with longer term capital. As a leading provider of transportation equipment finance, Maxim funds up to 75% of the acquisition cost of class 8 and class 6 trucks, trailers and reefers for owner-operators and small businesses. Learn more at www.maximcc.com or by calling 877.776.2946.
OnDeck issued a round of layoffs this week, new former employees report.
One said that the company had “made changes needed to navigate these unprecedented times.” The layoffs were announced on Wednesday and appear to span both the company’s New York and Denver offices.
Ironically, when deBanked sent an email to OnDeck’s head of corporate communications to obtain a comment on the news, the message was returned with an auto response that said that he too was no longer with the company.
Breakout Capital never stopped funding. That’s what CEO & President McLean Wilson recently shared with deBanked. The company not only weathered the storm but has come out with expanded access to credit totalling $20MM with Medalist Partners, one a current term loan facility and the other a new term loan facility with “attractive” forward flow features.
The company said in its announcement that these facilities will allow Breakout to increase loan originations across all of its product offerings, including its term-loan product, FactorAdvantage®, and its newest factor product, FactorBridge.
“Small businesses are at the core of our economy and they were, as we were, largely blindsided by recent economic interruptions,” Wilson told deBanked. “We adapted quickly and rolled with the punches and never stopped funding. It is a testament to the resiliency, loyalty and borrower first mentality that Breakout Capital has not only weathered the storm, but has strengthened our company throughout the past few months. We quickly adapted to a new way of thinking, which helped us serve our clients in real time and forge ever closer relationships with our factor partners, lenders, online marketplaces, ISOs and borrowers.”
John Slonieski, Director of Private Credit for Medalist Partners, said in the announcement that “We are pleased to enhance our relationship with Breakout Capital in our asset-based lending strategy. Their high-quality underwriting and SMB-friendly lending solutions, coupled with their talented credit and management team, provide us confidence as we continue working closely with them to successfully scale their lending program.”
MCLEAN, VA / July 8, 2020 / Leading nationwide small business lender Breakout Capital announced today the completion of two senior secured credit facilities, totaling $20MM, with Medalist Partners, expanding and extending a current term loan facility and establishing a new term loan facility with attractive forward flow features with its long-time lending partner. This expansion of its successful ongoing partnership with Medalist further validates Breakout Capital’s vision and growth through product differentiation, innovative responses to small business needs and disciplined, long-term strategy. These facilities will allow Breakout to increase loan originations across all of its product offerings, including its highly regarded term-loan product, FactorAdvantage®, and its newest, well-received factor product, FactorBridge.
“I am pleased to continue our successful relationship with Medalist Partners. Medalist is a disciplined and engaged credit facility provider who shares our vision and believes in the strong value we bring to small businesses across the country,” said McLean Wilson, Breakout Capital’s CEO and Chief Credit Officer. “The expansion of this strategic relationship will accelerate the growth of our “white-hat” brand and the continued introduction of innovative new lending solutions to the market.”
John Slonieski, Director of Private Credit for Medalist Partners, added, “We are pleased to enhance our relationship with Breakout Capital in our asset-based lending strategy. Their high-quality underwriting and SMB-friendly lending solutions, coupled with their talented credit and management team, provide us confidence as we continue working closely with them to successfully scale their lending program.”
Given the deployment of these Medalist facilities and increased market demand from the rollout of FactorBridge and expansion of FactorAdvantage®, Breakout Capital has in parallel raised its loan size up to $1,000,000. It has done so while continuing to offer loan terms of up to 24 months, offering flexibility through FactorBridge to provide shorter-term solutions that bridge to these longer-term Breakout Capital loans.
“The increase in our maximum term loans provides much-needed additional liquidity to small businesses, enabling them to implement critical strategies and capitalize on time-sensitive opportunities during these unprecedented times,” Wilson stated. “It also facilitates powerful dual factoring-loan solutions where we provide critical working capital loans to SMBs in tandem with accounts-receivable based factoring platforms offered by our valued factor partners.”
About Breakout Capital
Breakout Capital, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a leading fintech company, offering innovative small business lending solutions across the country. Breakout Capital is committed to transparent and responsible lending solutions through product innovation, small business borrowing education, and advocacy against predatory lending practices and continues to empower small business through right-sized lending, suitability testing, improving terms and supporting the long-term financing objectives of small businesses.
About Medalist Partners
Medalist Partners is an SEC registered investment manager with approximately $2.4 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2020. The New York based firm manages strategies in asset-based private credit, structured credit, and collateralized loan obligations. The business is led by partners Greg Richter, Brian Herr and Michael Ardisson, who were formerly part of Candlewood Investment Group and prior to that Credit Suisse.
PayPal promoted Jeffrey Karbowski from Global Controller to Chief Accounting Officer. Karbowski is also the company’s vice-president. His new position takes effect on July 31, 2020.
Karbowski has been with the company since 2013.