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Baltimore startup that works with barbershops to tackle health disparities raises $3.5M

A Baltimore startup that helps African Americans access health care through barbershops and other community institutions has raised $3.5 million in new funding. Live Chair Health now plans to move into new markets, focusing on the southeastern United States. The company already has a presence in Maryland and Los Angeles but plans to expand into two new states this year. Live Chair's model involves setting up in a community space and offering basic health screenings. After assessing the health….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 23rd, 2022

Top 12 Benefits Of Becoming A Remote Entrepreneur After Retirement

Now that you’re retired, you’re probably thinking, What’s next? You could travel, spend time with family and friends, or take up a new hobby. But what if you’re not ready to give up work just yet? If that’s the case, you should consider becoming a remote entrepreneur. Becoming a remote entrepreneur could be the perfect […] Now that you’re retired, you’re probably thinking, What’s next? You could travel, spend time with family and friends, or take up a new hobby. But what if you’re not ready to give up work just yet? If that’s the case, you should consider becoming a remote entrepreneur. Becoming a remote entrepreneur could be the perfect option for retirees looking for a new adventure. There are many benefits to this type of work, ranging from flexibility and independence to a chance to make new friends all over the world. Read on for our top twelve reasons retirement is the perfect time to start your own remote business. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Remote entrepreneurship after retirement offers many advantages From having your very first business credit card and all the benefits that that entails, to meeting people from all over the world, starting a remote company offers many advantages to retirees. Also, as you can probably imagine, your life experience is a big head start when considering entrepreneurship compared to when you’re young. However, there are many more benefits besides these. We can divide these benefits into two main categories: The benefits that life experience brings to business success The personal benefits retirees get from starting a new remote business The first set of benefits has to do with the pros that being retired brings to your chances of succeeding when launching a remote startup, while the second set covers the benefits that remote entrepreneurship brings to you as a retiree. Keep reading to find out why this is a match made in heaven. Benefits of remote entrepreneurship after retirement from a business success standpoint When it comes to business, the benefits of being a retiree are numerous. With years of experience under your belt, you have a much better understanding of how businesses work and what customers need and want. In addition, you’re likely to have a large network of contacts that you can tap into for advice, mentorship, or even funding. And because a 9-to-5 job no longer ties you down, you have the freedom to work on your business full-time, meaning you can put in the long hours needed to get it off the ground. These and other benefits make it likelier for your remote startup to succeed than if it was a 20-year-old starting a new company. Let’s take a closer look at what these benefits look like. #1 Financial literacy As unfortunate as it is, most people only start worrying about their personal finance when they’re nearing retirement age. Yes, many do start investing early, but it’s not common to see someone in their 20s or early 30s breaking down their expenses into categories, tracking where their money is going every month and figuring out ways to make their resources last for as long as possible and to invest them as effectively as possible. However, once you reach retirement age, you start worrying about where you’ll get your retirement income from, start taking a serious look at your financial health, start budgeting, and start making the decisions you need to make to secure your livelihood during your golden years. In the process, people learn a lot about how money works, taxes, mortgages, assessing risk when investing, keeping healthy credit, controlling debt, and much more. These are all essential financial skills everyone should have and put to use during their life, but they’re particularly important in business. This financial literacy can mean the difference between success and failure for any startup, remote or not. #2 Retirees usually have stronger finances On a related note, another benefit of being a retiree is that you’re likely to have your finances in order. This contrasts with young entrepreneurs who are just starting and are still working on getting their financial lives together. Additionally, if you plan well for retirement, you’ll likely have a good nest egg by the time you retire. You can devote part of that nest egg to your startup, which removes one of the biggest hurdles startup founders have to cope with: raising funds to launch their business. If you’re not keen on giving up all or a part of your savings, your nest egg can still serve as a safety net that can get you out of trouble fast if you need an important amount of money for any unforeseeable expense. This takes away a big part of the risk of failure from starting a new company. #3 You have plenty of experience in your niche When you’re young, you can be a successful entrepreneur in many industries because you have the time and energy to learn everything there is to know about the business you’re in. However, as you get older, it becomes harder and harder to switch industries or learn new things because you don’t have the time or patience for it. However, this can be a good thing when starting a new business. If you’re starting a business in an industry you already know well, you have a big advantage over younger entrepreneurs. You know the ropes, what customers want and need, you know the competition, and you likely have a network of contacts that can help you get your business off the ground. Not all businesses can be run remotely; there are some in which in-person human interaction is essential. However, for those that you can run from home or a virtual office, having experience in your niche can give you a strategic advantage over younger entrepreneurs allowing you to grow much faster since you can avoid going through so much trial and error (you already learned from plenty of trial and errors when you were employed). #4 You have a broader professional network Your professional network is usually limited to your immediate circle of friends, classmates, and colleagues when you’re young. However, as you get older and move up the corporate ladder, you have the opportunity to meet more people in your industry and develop a broader professional network. This is important because when you’re starting a new business, it’s all about who you know. The more people you know, the easier it will be to find customers and partners, and the more likely you are to get funding for your business if you need it. Of course, young entrepreneurs can also develop a strong professional network, but it takes time. If you’re starting a business later in life, you likely already have the network you need to get your business off the ground. #5 You can leverage an impressive CV While the previous four benefits are related to entrepreneurship in general, this one is more relevant to remote entrepreneurship. The thing about online businesses is that the lack of in-person interaction leads to a lack of trust from potential partners, backers and customers or leads. But if you retire after a long and successful career in any industry, you’ll have a strong CV that commands confidence. You can use your experience, skills, and accomplishments to give people confidence in your abilities as an entrepreneur and help them understand that you’re not some fly-by-night operator. #6 You have the freedom to travel to other places and meet your remote team Some remote entrepreneurs are tied down to a particular location for different reasons. Some are people who work for another company, either part-time or full-time and decide to launch their remote business to get some extra income. This is not the case with retirees. If you’re starting a remote business after retirement, you have the freedom to travel wherever you want and work from any location. This gives you a big advantage in building your team since you can easily meet face-to-face with potential employees or contractors who live in other parts of the world. Even if you are running a remote business, meeting people face-to-face can seriously change the game and make everything feel more real (not that it’s not). It gives investors, backers and partners more reasons to trust you, and it improves your remote team’s commitment to your company, especially if you happen to be an outgoing, likable type of person. #7 You’re more likely to stick to your plans A great business plan is completely worthless if you don’t stick to it and see it through. When you’re younger, it’s easy to get sidetracked by different things that come up in life. You might meet someone and start dating them, or you might get a great job offer and decide to procrastinate on what needs to be done to grow your business. On the other hand, if you’re retired, you’re more likely to stick to your plans since you don’t have as many distractions. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t face any challenges or obstacles when starting a remote business after retirement. It means that you’re more likely to see your plans through to the end since you don’t have as many things pulling you in different directions. Benefits from a personal standpoint By now, you know that retirement makes it easier to succeed when starting a new online or remote business. However, besides the benefits from a business perspective, there are also many personal benefits of becoming a remote entrepreneur after retirement. #1 You can finally turn your favorite hobby into a business Do you have a hobby that you’re passionate about? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to start a business that your field but never had the time or opportunity to do so. If you’re retired, you finally have the time to turn your passion into a business. And if that passion happens to be related to an industry that can be managed and run remotely, even better. #2 You can spend more time with your family and friends Launching a new business can be very time-consuming, and many retirees worry that it’s simply too much hassle. They prefer spending time at home with their grandkids and sharing the time they have left to live with their spouse or partner. However, one of the best things about being a remote entrepreneur is that you have more control over your schedule, and you get to work from home if you want. This means that you can easily make time for your family and friends instead of losing one or more hours on the commute every day. #3 You can fulfill your dream of traveling the world while making more income One of the most common things people want to do after retirement is travel. They finally have the time to visit all those places they’ve always wanted to see but never had the opportunity to do so. If you’re a remote entrepreneur, you can easily travel and work simultaneously. You can explore new countries, meet new people and have new experiences while still running your business and making money. #4 You’ll feel better and more productive When you’re retired, it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing anything meaningful with your time. This can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. However, if you’re running a business, you’ll always have something to do and something to look forward to. You’ll feel more purposeful and productive, leading to better mental and physical health. #5 It forces you to learn new technologies This can be a benefit or a downside, depending on how you look at it. Successful remote entrepreneurship involves leveraging all the communication and productivity tools you can use. Otherwise, it’ll be very hard to keep track of all the work that needs to be done and the people that need to be doing it. Productivity tools like Slack, AirTable and Asana may be easy-peasy for your average millennial or gen-Z startup founder, but it’s unlikely that retirees are accustomed to working in these interactive online environments. This implies that there will be a learning curve to tackle when starting a remote company, but once you’re up the hill, it’ll all be smooth sailing the rest of the way. Becoming well versed in these new technologies has a strong psychological effect on retirees, who often feel left behind by the speed at which technology advances. Starting a remote business is the perfect excuse if you want to avoid ever feeling outdated. The cons to remote entrepreneurship after retirement Nothing is ever perfect, of course, and remote entrepreneurship does have its downsides. They do not outweigh the pros, but it’s still important to keep them in mind when starting a new business during retirement. #1 You may feel isolated from your peers Most people value meeting their coworkers and chatting with them at the office. For obvious reasons, this is not normally an option if you’re running a remote company so that you may feel isolated from your peers. However, you can avoid this by joining relevant online communities and making an effort to connect with other remote entrepreneurs. Many coworking spaces cater to digital nomads and remote workers, which can be a great way to get out of the house and meet new people while still working on your business. #2 You’ll need to be extra disciplined When you’re working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by things that are not related to work. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and an increase in stress levels. To avoid this, you’ll need to be extra disciplined and make sure that you’re focused on work when you’re supposed to be working. #3 You may have difficulty delegating work to others If you’re used to being in control of everything, a remote business can become a source of stress because it is very hard and time-consuming to be on top of every worker when they’re strewn across the world and working in different time zones. This can sometimes make it difficult to delegate work to others. However, delegation is essential for any business owner, and it’s something that you’ll need to learn how to do if you want your business to be successful. The Bottom Line There are many pros and benefits to starting a remote business after retirement. Perhaps the most important benefit is that you’ll be able to continue making money and contributing to your household income while keeping yourself motivated and with something to look forward to. You’ll also feel better and more productive. However, there are some downsides to consider, such as feeling isolated from your peers and needing to be extra disciplined when working from home. All in all, the pros outweigh the cons for anyone looking to start a remote business during retirement. So start planning your remote business today. Article by Jordan Bishop, Due About the Author Jordan Bishop discovered the power of credit cards at a young age. His first splash into travel hacking came with the wildly viral launch of Yore Oyster, which landed him national media attention and more than a million frequent flyer miles. He leveraged that opportunity to help tens of thousands of people save millions of dollars on flights, all while globetrotting the world.   Updated on Jun 9, 2022, 4:04 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 9th, 2022

59% Of Americans Don’t Believe They Will Have Enough To Retire

Retirement is tricky. Oscar Wilde said it best. “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” Unfortunately, a majority of Americans may not have enough money to live comfortably and enjoy their golden years. According to a MagnifyMoney […] Retirement is tricky. Oscar Wilde said it best. “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” Unfortunately, a majority of Americans may not have enough money to live comfortably and enjoy their golden years. According to a MagnifyMoney poll of more than 2,000 Americans, 59% say they will never be able to save enough for retirement. Additionally, according to a Bankrate survey, 52% of Americans feel they don’t have enough money to fund their retirement. Approximately 16% of respondents are unsure whether they’re on track, but 21% say they’re on track. And, a mere 11% indicated that they were ahead of schedule. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more However, rising debt rates and housing costs already weighed on Americans’ retirement savings. As an example, Gallup reported that 46% of non-retirees said that they won’t be financially comfortable in retirement. Of course, that was before the pandemic. In the aftermath of COVID-19, many people found themselves unable to contribute to their retirement savings because of job losses, higher health care costs, and unexpected family and caregiving responsibilities. For some, withdrawals from retirement savings were necessary. The MagnifyMoney survey found that 48% of those with a retirement savings account had stopped saving or decreased their contributions during the financial crisis. Roughly 1 in 6 have not begun to save again since then. In addition, 39% of respondents drew from their accounts or borrowed money to cover necessities. According to Bankrate, 51% of those with accounts like 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (IRAs) had made an early withdrawal, including 20 percent who did so since the pandemic began in early 2020. No wonder 40% of Americans say it will take a miracle to retire comfortably, according to another survey. Roadblocks to Retirement: Insufficient Income and Overwhelming Debt Keeping your finances on track when you aren’t earning enough or are facing massive student or credit card debt can be challenging — to say the least. In the MagnifyMoney survey, almost 30% of survey participants said they weren’t earning enough money to meet their contribution goals. 15% said debt was holding them back from meeting their contributions. In fact, Americans are awash in debt, with an average of $90,460 in consumer debt. This includes everything from credit cards to mortgages and student loans. Additionally, 11% of respondents had to use their retirement savings to cover emergency expenses, while 8% offered financial assistance to family members during the pandemic. 42% of those affected by Covid lost their income because of Covid, which led to a quarter of survey respondents having to delay retirement. Interestingly, it was the younger generation of savers who said they’ll have to delay retirement the most. Approximately a quarter of Gen Zers and a little less than a third of millennials and Gen Xers (41 to 55) said the crisis would disrupt their plans. Among baby boomers (56 to 75), only 11% agreed. Additional retirement financial risks. Although Covid was a factor, it wasn’t the only one. Two-thirds, or 64%, of respondents, said their retirement funds weren’t where they wanted them to be prior to a pandemic. Other retirement roadblocks include; Longevity. We are living longer than ever, resulting in retirements lasting 25, 30, or even 40 years. When more years are spent in retirement, the more likely it is that other financial detours will occur. Inflation. Inflation, such as we have experienced over the past two decades, can deflate a retiree’s ability to maintain purchasing power in retirement. Sequence of return. In certain retirement assets, market pullbacks can pose a major challenge for money withdrawals. As withdrawals are used for purchases, that money is no longer sitting in the account awaiting a market recovery. Withdrawal rate. Traditionally, it was suggested that retirees could withdraw 4% of their initial savings annually. With historically low-interest rates and bond yields, a lower withdrawal rate may now be needed to help ensure that a retirement nest egg will remain sustainable. Social Security. It is crucial to know when to file for retirement benefits. In many cases, people begin their retirement benefits before they reach full retirement age. Healthcare. A healthy 65-year-old couple can expect to pay $12,052 per year in out-of-pocket medical expenses. Taxation. IRAs and 401(k)s provide most retirement savings. When withdrawn, these funds are taxed. Nevertheless, the after-tax value of those assets may be uncertain since future tax rates may be higher than they are now. How to Get Your Retirement Savings Back on Track Assess your current financial situation. The very first thing you need to do is assess where you are now financially and how much you’ll need for your retirement goal. At the minimum, you need to know how much you currently have in retirement savings and what you’re contributing each month. If you still owe money on your 401(k), make a note of that as well. In order to maximize your retirement savings, you should compare what you have now to how much you expect to need in retirement. To get back on track, increase your contributions to your retirement account. This may not seem possible, but anything you can contribute is better than nothing — even if it’s $50 a month. Consider revising your budget. You should also review your budget at the same time you’re evaluating your retirement plan. Simply examine your recent bank and credit card statements to see where can trim any spending. Hopefully, this will free up some additional money that can be put to good use. “Saving for both emergencies and retirement are vitally important to current and future financial security,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. “Even a modest emergency fund acts as a buffer from early retirement account withdrawals when unplanned expenses arise, allowing the power of compounding to continue to work its magic.” Prioritize debt repayment. It might seem that debt repayment has nothing to do with retirement, but the two are often intertwined. After all, if you get rid of your debt, you won’t have to make those monthly payments. And, that means you can put that money towards your retirement savings. and you can save that money for retirement. Which debt should tackle first? 401(k) loans and high-interest debt should be your top priorities. Besides being costly, if you borrowed from your 401(k), then this could result in your retirement being underfunded. Before you make new contributions to your retirement plan, you may wish to work on paying these back. To help you manage your debt, consider taking out a personal loan or transferring your debt to a credit card. You may also want to consider part-time or freelance work until you’re debt-free. Kick up your savings rate. In terms of retirement savings rates, knowing how much is enough can be a challenge. “We tend to advocate for a 15% deferral rate, and that includes both the employee and the employer contribution,” said Lorie Latham, senior defined contribution strategist at T. Rowe Price, during the firm’s 2022 retirement outlook panel. According to Vanguard, automatic enrollment rates for those covered by those plans can be as low as 3% or less, if they also have automatic annual increases. Contributing enough so that your employer will match at least some of your contributions is generally advisable. It’s important to bear in mind that if you’re also investing for your spouse, you will need to save even more. As you earn raises or promotions, you can increase your retirement savings deferral rates — even if only by a little bit. McBride says this can have a considerable impact over time on your savings total. “The habit of increasing the amount that you’re putting away can go a long way,” McBride said. If your employer doesn’t match your retirement contributions, consider moving on. Ideally, when searching for a job, check the retirement account offered, the company match, and whether there is health insurance or other benefits that can reduce your monthly expenses. Make investing simple. In the absence of a 401(k), or if your contributions are already maxed out, look for other ways to save for retirement. You have plenty of time to incorporate an element of risk into your portfolio, so don’t overthink it. You might want to consider an index fund or robo-advisor to help automate your decisions. With the help of artificial intelligence, these platforms can analyze your financial status and provide you with curated portfolios tailored to your age and financial situation. Typically, you can choose among various tax-advantaged retirement accounts with this investment method, simplifying the investing process. Even if it’s only a few dollars per month, you can automate your contributions to help you stay on track with your savings goals. You could also use a spare-change app like Acorns. The app rounds up every purchase with the linked debit card and deposits the change in your investment or retirement fund when you make a purchase. Contribute to an IRA. An individual retirement account (IRA) allows you to save more money through tax advantages. But, there are two main types of IRAs. You can deduct your contributions to a traditional IRA every year from your taxable income. The withdrawals you make in retirement will be taxed. Roth IRAs are a great retirement investment if you don’t mind lowering your taxable income. As a result, you’ll pay taxes when you make a contribution, but when you retire and withdraw money, you won’t pay taxes. Moreover, any growth you have made in your portfolio is tax-free. Overall, with a balanced portfolio, you’ll be able to save the same amount for retirement while still maximizing your savings. Contributions to all traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs cannot exceed the following amounts for 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019: $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re older than 50), or. You will be taxable if your compensation is less. You can also open a spousal IRA if one spouse works and contributes to the other spouse’s account if you’re married and only one spouse works. Open health savings account (HSA). Another way to accelerate your retirement savings? Use a health savings account. The benefits of HSAs may outweigh contributions to other retirement plan types since they are considered to be ‘triple tax advantaged’ accounts. An individual can set money aside for qualified medical expenses under these accounts. An HSA account allows its participants to invest in mutual funds and stocks tax-free — just as long as the investments remain in the account. You may also contribute to an HSA on a pre-tax basis, lowering your current taxable income and then use the savings to make higher contributions to another retirement account. Employed individuals who contribute to their HSAs on a pretax basis avoid Social Security and Medicare taxes (also called FICA taxes). Additionally, HSAs allow an individual to catch up on contributions as he or she approaches retirement. If you are 55 or older, you can invest an extra $1,000 each year. And, withdrawals made to pay qualified medical expenses during retirement can be accessed tax-free, including any growth that may have accrued. Review your social security strategy. In your retirement plan, Social Security will certainly play a major role. “Unlike the stock market, that part of your income won’t go down and will be adjusted for inflation yearly,” Diane Davis writes for Kiplinger. “That’s why it’s important to consider when you’ll start collecting benefits.” At 62, you can start taking Social Security, but your benefits will be reduced by 30% permanently if you decide you need it. The full retirement age for those born between 1943 and 1954 is 66. People born in 1955 through 1960 are gradually eligible for the age of 67 – and then those born after 1960 will also qualify. “If you can afford it, however, think about waiting until age 70 to claim benefits because they will increase 8% per year if you wait to take them,” advises Davis. Survivor benefits are another thing to consider for married couples. “If the higher-earning spouse dies first, the surviving spouse will be able to take over the deceased spouse’s benefits,” she explains. “So, if the higher-earning spouse delays taking benefits, the surviving spouse will get a larger monthly benefit.” Delay your retirement. Retiring later isn’t the best solution for most people. At the same time, there are no doubts about its effectiveness. Retiring later means you can save for retirement for a longer period of time while reducing your retirement costs. In addition, you have more time to grow your existing savings before you must begin to draw from them. However, this strategy should not be relied upon solely because employees cannot always work as long as they intend. Occasionally, injury or illness force an employee to leave work unexpectedly. Therefore, even if you plan to continue working for the foreseeable future, you should save as much as possible. Frequently Asked Questions About Retiring With Enough Money How much will I need to retire? You will need to determine the lifestyle you plan to have in retirement based on the vision you have for your future. No matter the lifestyle you select, retirement is expensive no matter what you choose. Among retirees, it’s common to need 70 to 90% of their pre-retirement income to maintain their lifestyle. You may consider that figure high, but according to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average retired household (led by someone 65 or older) spends $$48,872 per year. Where will my retirement income come from? Social Security Administration data shows that retirees typically receive income from four primary sources: Personal Savings and Investments Earned Income Company Pension Benefits Social Security Income When should I start saving for retirement? Every penny earned is a penny saved, but a penny saved today could earn more in the future. In other words, if you start investing at a young age this can pay off in the long run. Before I retire, is there a way for me to project my retirement income? There are a number of reasonably accurate financial strategy computer programs available today. You should seek the advice of a retirement planning professional. These include a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Public Accountant, or another professional experienced in retirement planning How can I save for retirement? The most common ways to save for retirement are 401(k) and IRA plans. If a 401(k) is available through work, make sure that you’re taking advantage of the employer match. Once you turn 50 (or are turning 50 by the end of the calendar year in which the plan year ends), the IRS allows you to make annual “catch-up contributions.” However, there are lesser-known options like health savings accounts that can help address future medical expenses. And, if you’ve maxed out your other retirement contributions, you can buy an annuity to provide a guaranteed retirement income stream. Article by Deanna Ritchie, Due About the Author Deanna Ritchie is a financial editor at Due. She has a degree in English Literature. She has written 1000+ articles on getting out of debt and mastering your finances. She has edited over 40,000 articles in her life. She has a passion for helping writers inspire others through their words. Deanna has also been an editor at Entrepreneur Magazine and ReadWrite. Updated on Jun 1, 2022, 12:47 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 1st, 2022

25 HR leaders building the world"s most innovative, inclusive workplaces amid upheaval in corporate America

Meet the human-resources managers helping employees learn critical job skills, develop into effective leaders, and advance quickly in their careers. Kazi Awal/InsiderInsider compiled its third annual "HR Innovators" list of 25 prominent figures. Some of this year's most innovative HR leaders (shown above, starting from the left) are Sara Cooper, Karsten Vagner, Shirley J. Knowles, and Elaine Mak.Rachel Mendelson/Insider The "Great Resignation" and the transition to hybrid work have put tremendous pressure on HR. Insider put out an open call for talent heads who are leading successfully during the pandemic. Our list spans industries and includes human-resources leaders from Cisco, Maven, and Wiley. Insider recently undertook a search for human-resources leaders executing the most creative and ambitious plans for their companies.For a third year in a row, we asked our readers to tell us about HR stars. Then, we picked 25 who really impressed us. We looked for execs who bettered their companies through new policies regarding worker safety and wellness amid the pandemic, the "Great Resignation," and louder calls for diversity and inclusion. These talent professionals work across industries and at organizations of all sizes, including Cisco, Meta, and Wiley.Women hold most HR positions, and our list reflects that, with Insider featuring only a handful of people who are men or nonbinary. This was unintentional but not surprising.With workplace dynamics in flux, these executives are shaping the future of corporate America. They're building long-term policies around flexible work, finding new ways to attract talent, and addressing inequities that leave certain demographics at a disadvantage.Their accomplishments include promoting 30% of the workforce in one year, building early-career programs for underrepresented talent, and helping employees find programs to meet their educational goals. Cassie Whitlock, BambooHR's director of HR, said, "The pandemic elevated core 'human' needs that have always existed in business but were, for some, easy to ignore."In no particular order, here are the top 25 innovators in HR and their exclusive insights on reimagining work. These responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.Shirley J. Knowles, chief inclusion and diversity officer at Progress SoftwareShirley J. Knowles.Courtesy of Shirley J KnowlesCompany: Progress is a software company that offers custom software for creating and deploying business applications.Skills they've used to be successful in HR: Authenticity is an important core value. In conversations about diversity and inclusion, I use real-world scenarios — including my own experiences — to illustrate why this work is essential. I don't use buzzwords that many people are unclear of. I talk about things in a way that anyone can understand.How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: I have taken a particular interest in the well-being of our employees, specifically their mental and emotional health. We offer fitness classes, meditation sessions, and mental-health training led by a Harvard professor who is also a licensed mental-health counselor.By offering exercises that focus on burnout, avoiding isolation, and finding meaning in work and one's personal life, I am helping employees find balance while trying to navigate through the ongoing pandemic.Francine Katsoudas, executive vice president and chief people, policy, and purpose officer at CiscoFrancine Katsoudas.Courtesy of Francine KatsoudasCompany: Cisco develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, telecom equipment, and other IT services and products.How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: In early 2020, right before the pandemic, we established our Social Justice Beliefs and Actions at Cisco outlining our ambitious goals for addressing injustice and establishing a framework to hold the company accountable to its commitments.Although we didn't know it at the time, this blueprint would guide our approach to social-justice issues that arose over the course of the pandemic. While these beliefs and actions were first focused on supporting the Black community, they have become an invaluable working guide to how we as a company respond to injustice and address inequities overall.Initiatives they've taken to address the effects of the Great Resignation: Every quarter, we conduct "engagement pulses" to check in with employees about top-of-mind issues and concerns. We've found that employees who aren't invited to participate in an engagement-pulse meeting are 21 times as likely to leave Cisco than their invited counterparts.We've also done more work to understand people's career trajectories within Cisco, examining the velocity of promotions for groups and individuals. As a result, we're proud to have promoted 30% of our workforce over the past 12 months.Books, podcasts, shows, or movies that inspire them: I'm reading "Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph'' by Chad Sanders, who is powerful and inspiring. It was recommended to me by a leader here at Cisco. He said that it reminded him of his experience in corporate America. So by reading it, I have gotten to feel more proximate to his experience and journey, and that has been a wonderful gift.McKensie Mack, CEO at MMGMcKensie Mack.Courtesy of McKensie MackCompany: McKensie Mack Group is a research- and change-management firm that centers on racial and social justice.What initiatives they have taken to address the Great Resignation: Last year, in collaboration with Project Include, we published research on the impact of COVID-19 on remote workers. We developed and shared resources and guiding principles for leaders looking for support and education in reframing how they think about work, benefits, and productivity. Skills they've used to be successful in HR: My training and education as a transformative justice facilitator help me bring a restorative framework to the ways I work with people, de-escalate when situations get tense or uncomfortable, and seek noncarceral and nonpunitive approaches to working with people who make mistakes or cause harm.My knowledge of power, privilege, and positionality has been valuable in HR.Cassie Whitlock, director of HR at BambooHRCassie Whitlock.Courtesy of Cassie WhitlockCompany: BambooHR provides HR software for businesses. Skills they've used to be successful in HR: Understanding data and analysis has been essential in elevating my impact across the organization. Using data has helped me identify and solve complex challenges around screening and hiring, role progression, designing department structures, employee engagement, and retention. Data is the language of business, and it's critical in HR. How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: Diversity starts with hiring practices. We had already implemented essential diversity, equity, and inclusion hiring practices like gender decoding on our job ads, diversity representation in the screening process, scorecards for consistent and equitable screening criteria, and antibias training for all hiring managers and interviewers. We also looked at internal diversity to understand how to best support employees. We adapted some roles to help working parents juggle remote work and homeschooling. We offered paid time off for employees who contracted COVID-19 or had to provide care for a family member with the virus. It was also essential to create income stability for employees with personal or family health risk factors.Sara Cooper, chief people officer at JobberSara Cooper.Courtesy of Sara CooperCompany: Jobber provides job tracking and customer-management software for home-service businesses.How the events of the pandemic affected their view of HR's role: The pandemic required HR leaders to be very quick on their feet, to make fast decisions often with little information and in an environment changing by the day. There was no pandemic playbook.The most successful companies did this by creating plans that took into account the evolving information almost daily and listening to their employees and customers. How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: We realized early in the pandemic that performance during this time had to be approached in a very different way.For example, we implemented "wellness Fridays" in the summers of 2020 and 2021, which provided employees with Fridays off to focus on self-care. In addition, we offered various programs for folks who needed to reduce their hours or take job-protected leaves to focus on themselves or their families. When we eventually reopen our offices, we will be moving to a hybrid structure.I realized early on that there's no single solution for every company but that the key to creating a thriving hybrid environment requires the input of the company's most important stakeholders: its employees.Danielle McMahan, chief people and business-operations officer at WileyDanielle McMahan.WileyCompany: Wiley is a global leader in scientific research and career-connected education.Initiatives they've taken to address the effects of the Great Resignation: We offer employees over 1,000 flexible and affordable degree and nondegree programs, including bachelor's and master's programs. As a global leader in research and education, we practice what we preach to unlock potential and support lifelong learning.How the events of the pandemic affected their view of HR's role: We transformed our department to become more people-centric: focusing on people rather than processes. To formally acknowledge this shift, we said goodbye to "human resources" and renamed our department the People Organization. Our employees are at the center of all that we do.Their favorite interview question: "Tell me your story." I love to hear people's career journeys, and it allows the candidate to reflect on what roles they've held in the past and how those roles inform the type of job they're looking for today.Through these stories, I also typically get to know the candidate personally. I am able to learn what is important to them and what they value. Susan LaMonica, chief human-resources officer, head of corporate social responsibility at Citizens Financial GroupSusan LaMonica.Courtesy of Susan LaMonicaCompany: Citizens Financial Group is one of the nation's oldest and largest financial institutions offering a wide variety of retail and commercial banking products.How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: I've played a role in introducing initiatives such as the TalentUp program, which aims to reshape Citizens' workforce and prepare it for continual innovation focused on talent acquisition, reskilling and upskilling, mobility, and redeployment, partnerships, and expanding the talent pipeline.As a result of the program, in 2020, there were nearly 100 new hires sourced directly from early-career programs, with a significant segment identifying as women and people of color. With my main focus being democratization, I have ensured managers have the training and resources available to create equitable and inclusive environments for all colleagues. My team also began tying accountability goals to performance reviews to ensure managers prioritize democratization within their teams while understanding and working to eliminate biases at work.Books, podcasts, shows, or movies that inspire them: "How I Built This" with Guy Raz on NPR is my favorite podcast. Each episode highlights a well-known entrepreneur and their journey. I enjoy learning about the people and the journey behind many successful companies and brands. I'm inspired by the vision and tenacity of these entrepreneurs, many of whom had repeated failures.Ashley Alexander, head of people at FrontAshley Alexander.Front via InkHouseCompany: Front is a software company that develops a shared email inbox and calendar product. How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Once we made the decision to transition to remote work, my mission was to ensure that our employees felt supported and connected. We doubled down on activities that fostered a sense of community, like our weekly all-hands meetings on Zoom, ask-me-anything sessions with our executives, and virtual companywide off-site activities.Why they pursued a career in HR: I got into HR because I wanted to help people, but throughout the course of my career, this idea has dramatically expanded. I now view my role as an employee advocate. I strive to demystify why things happen at a company the way they happen. I've found that even if they aren't happy with everything that happens in a company, if they understand our choices, ultimately, they can respect them.Lori Goler, head of people at MetaLori Goler.Courtesy of Lori GolerWhat their company does: Meta is the parent company of Facebook.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: We were the first tech company to shut down our offices, and employees began to work from home. We established an emergency-paid-leave program designed to give people time off for "in the moment emergencies," including eldercare, childcare, and school closures. We developed and executed a global return-to-office health strategy across 60 sites to enable a safe transition for those coming back to the office and created an office-deferral program for those who were not yet ready to return.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: Meta committed publicly to have at least 50% of our workforce composed of underrepresented groups by 2024 and to increase the number of US-based leaders who are people of color by 30%. We announced in our eighth annual diversity report that in 2021, we increased representation of women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities and veterans to 45.6% of our workforce. This will continue to be a focus for us.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: This year, we introduced a number of new benefits, including a wellness-reimbursement benefit of up to $3,000 annually that people can use for expenses like financial planning, tuition reimbursement, fitness equipment and services, childcare for children over the age of 5, and eldercare. We also launched "choice days," which gives people an additional two days off per year to use however they choose, and we increased our 401(k)-match program to help people save more for retirement.Kali Beyah, global chief talent officer at HugeKali Beyah.HugeWhat their company does: Huge is a digital design and marketing agency. Clients include Google, Coca-Cola, and Unilever.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: Whether giving mental-health days, reimagining our return to the office, extending summer Fridays, flexing for childcare, shifting to "no-meeting Fridays," or continuing to invest in development, transparency, wellness workshops/resources, and DEI — we've taken a holistic and evolving approach.The constant as we evolve is that we listen to our people regularly, and we are authentic in our responses.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We are reimagining the future of work as the world not only encounters the "Great Resignation" but also the "Great Reevaluation." Our reimagining includes things such as "Huge holidays" (closure and collective recharging three weeks a year), "Huge summer" (work from anywhere in July), "no-meeting Fridays," and summer Fridays.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: We have an opportunity to reimagine work and the role it plays in people's lives — and we have an exciting opportunity to debunk false binaries and prove that people and businesses can both thrive.Lauren Nuttall, vice president of people at Boulevard LabsLauren Nuttall.Courtesy of Lauren NuttallCompany: Boulevard is a client-experience platform built for appointment-based self-care businesses.How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: I opted to take Boulevard 100% remote early on in the pandemic in March 2020. However, as the pandemic persisted into 2021, I realized that with the significant paradigm shift around the viability of remote work, coupled with the growing employee (and candidate) interest in staying fully remote, we needed to deepen our commitment.That meant giving up our physical office space altogether and allowing all employees to move wherever they want in the US without it negatively impacting their existing compensation package. Additionally, the need for better virtual access to mental health and high-quality medical care prompted the decision to bring on One Medical to provide complimentary subscriptions to all employees and their dependents.How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: One of the programs that I'm most proud of was a virtual-speaker series where we sought to highlight and amplify underrepresented voices within the beauty and wellness industry.We invited a massage-business owner that catered specifically to LGBTQIA+ clientele for one of the sessions. This created a dialogue around how even limited pronoun options within a booking workflow can be harmful and resulted in us making actual changes to our product to better represent our customers and their clients. Surfacing these opportunities to educate and create dialogue can have incredible ripple effects.Tanya Reu-Narvaez, executive vice president and chief people officer at RealogyTanya Reu-Narvaez.Courtesy of Tanya Reu-NarvaezWhat their company does: Realogy is a real-estate-services firm that owns brokerages including Century 21, Sotheby's International Realty, and Corcoran. How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: To help increase representation in the industry, we established a new partnership with the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America and expanded the Inclusive Ownership program, an industry-first initiative designed to attract brokerage owners from underrepresented communities to launch their own franchise businesses.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We have a Go Further Today program where we've made small but impactful changes that decrease meeting and email fatigue and increase efficiency by working smarter.We have no internal meetings on Fridays, encourage employees to make smart decisions about whether to accept or decline meetings, and embrace an "exhale, then email" philosophy to help mitigate the pressure of email overload we're all facing. These are small but mighty changes that make a significant difference for our teams.Noa Geller, vice president of HR at Papaya GlobalNoa Geller.Eyal TouegWhat their company does: Papaya Global is a cloud-based payroll platform. How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We added a learning and development budget for every employee to choose the development course that is meaningful and impactful to them. Driven from our employee-engagement survey, we took initiatives to support work-life balance, such as a work-from-anywhere benefit, allowing our employees to work up to one month per year outside of their home region.Also driven from our engagement survey, we are implementing more trainings around best practices and tools to ease the burnout that is a part of a hypergrowth company during COVID times.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: During the pandemic, the HR role became an even more crucial role within every organization. We were proactively working to support COVID policies and work-from-home best practices, and many of these things were unprecedented.HR managers really had to be innovative and creative — and in a very short amount of time. We have supported managers in learning how to manage remotely, how to navigate illnesses and emotional distress among their employees, as well as help employees remain connected to their teams and the company, while not only fully remote but often completely isolated.Tara Ataya, chief people and diversity officer at HootsuiteTara Ataya.HootsuiteWhat their company does: Hootsuite is a social-media-management platform whose clients include Ikea and Costco.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: We restructured the global offices to be used as creative hubs, built for collaboration and social connection, with a special focus on health and mental wellness.In addition, employees were granted the autonomy and benefits they needed to reshape their work environment to choose what works best for them by restructuring our workplace policy so every employee can choose if they wish to work full time in office, remote, or take a hybrid approach.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: During the pandemic, we built on our partnership with the Black Professionals in Tech Network in Canada to help end systemic racism in the technology sector by providing Black professionals with equal access to opportunities in tech, an expanded peer network, and support in accelerating career growth.This helped foster a stronger sense of belonging in the workplace by joining an allyship training with the Black Professionals in Tech Network, along with 125 Hootsuite employees, including all members of the executive team, about best practices for sourcing Black talent.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: The pandemic shifted HR teams from being the best-kept secret superpower to the front-and-center compass for navigating through the most difficult time many organizations and generations have ever faced. The role of HR is one of strategy, that is adept at navigating uncertainty with agility and enables the business to drive meaningful business results with people in mind.Félix Manuel Chinea, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging manager at DoximityFélix Manuel Chinea.Courtesy of Félix Manuel ChineaWhat their company does: Doximity is a professional medical network for physicians. The company went public in June.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: My focus during the pandemic has been to make DEI initiatives at Doximity meaningful, impactful, and tangible across the whole organization.By aligning DEI with our company mission and values, we are able to both directly support our employees and empower them to make a meaningful impact in their communities during and beyond the pandemic.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: The Great Resignation has given us an opportunity to reflect on what makes working at our company fulfilling. Our organizational purpose at Doximity is to connect medical professionals and build clinical tools that will ultimately impact patient care. Amid a global pandemic and demand for racial justice, I believe our purpose allows us the opportunity to both attract and retain top talent and make a meaningful impact on health equity across historically marginalized communities.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: Both the pandemic and recent demands for racial justice have highlighted the long-standing need for all leaders to develop solutions and cultures that recognize the full humanity of employees.While every person is responsible for fostering an equitable and inclusive culture, DEI leaders must develop a strategic understanding of how to integrate these concepts into their company's organizational structure.Gloria Chen, chief people officer at AdobeGloria Chen.Courtesy of Gloria ChenWhat their company does: Adobe is a global software company. How they've supported employees during the pandemic: What I am most proud of during the pandemic is not what the company has done for our employees but what our employees have done for each other.When India was overcome by the Delta surge, and our employees and their families were ravaged by COVID, our employees created a phone tree to locate hospital beds, located oxygen to bring to hospitals, and cooked and delivered meals to families in quarantine. Our employees were truly our heroes.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: In 2020, our diversity and inclusion team and our Black Employee Network launched the Taking Action Initiative task force to explore and drive actions we could take to make meaningful change internally and externally to the company.The effort led to strategic partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and a sponsorship program to support career advancement for underrepresented individuals.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: Having stepped into the role of chief people officer in February 2020, my entire HR experience has been shaped by the pandemic.I learned that the basics of human needs — physical and mental health, a sense of security, and connectedness — cannot be taken for granted in a professional setting. During the pandemic, we lost one of our beloved cofounders. That gave me a tremendous sense of responsibility as a longtime Adobe employee to carry the torch for the values that they instilled in us.Kim Seymour, chief people officer at WW InternationalKim Seymour.WWWhat their company does: WW International (formerly known as Weight Watchers) offers a program for weight loss and wellness.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts during the pandemic: WW recently released an extensive report titled "Black Women & Wellness" to shed light on the disparities and biases that Black women face within the healthcare system today.The report showcases what is being done by changemakers within their communities to create safe spaces, better access to healthcare, and underscore why Black women deserve health, wellness, and quality healthcare.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: Some of our most recent investments to address potential employee burnout include offering Sibly for resilience, One Medical for convenient medical care, and ClassPass for fitness goals. All of our employees at WW are also members and have access to the WW program.In addition to a personal-well-being allowance of $1,000 per employee, my team also created "flex Fridays," which allows employees to start their weekend early by redistributing the hours they work the remainder of that week, whether that's a Zoom-free Friday afternoon or signing off early.Manish Mehta, global head of human resources at BlackRockManish Mehta.Courtesy of Manish MehtaWhat their company does: BlackRock is a global investment manager that employs 16,000 people and manages more than $10 trillion in assets.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: We are fortunate to have over 80% of our employees participate in one of our 15 global employee, professional, and social impact networks.Each network is sponsored by one or more of our Global Executive Committee members who engage with them to help navigate important cultural and strategic topics. I am a sponsor of our Asian and Middle Eastern Professionals network, which was formally launched in 2021.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We supported and enabled managers through training modules on delivering feedback, effectively setting objectives and managing performance, motivating and managing teams, and having productive conversations on returning our people to the office.We sustained our focus on career development. This includes career pathing in areas like technology, development programs for our emerging vice-president leaders, and our Black and Latinx managing directors and directors, and increasing our sponsorship programs.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: I have seen the difference HR can make in people's lives. Helping people navigate the loss of a loved one or a colleague, supporting the family of an employee we've lost, recognizing and helping those suffering from mental-health challenges, being there to listen and act when an employee does not feel like they belong, growing our benefits to respond to what employees are dealing with in their lives — these are just some of the things that HR does that are not always seen.Karsten Vagner, senior vice president of people at Maven ClinicKarsten Vagner.Courtesy of Karsten VagnerWhat their company does: Maven Clinic is a virtual platform that provides support across fertility, pregnancy, adoption, parenting, and pediatrics.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Some of the companywide initiatives and programs included Donut, a Slack-integrated app, to help employees maintain that serendipitous connection they've all come to love at the office.We also experimented with other virtual events, like weekly "coffeehouse cabaret" sessions with Broadway talent over Google Hangouts, cooking challenges, a companywide talent show, Halloween in April for employees' children, and more. How they've supported their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: Working with Maven's people team, the company created employee working groups devoted to getting feedback about various aspects of Maven's business. While it was rewarding to see employee feedback come to life, what I'm most proud of is the fact that neither I nor the executive team did this work in a silo.Our DEI program was completely ground up and centered on employee needs. And it continues to be to this day. The work our organization has done — in recruiting, partnerships, volunteering, product— it's all been led by our employees.How they've supported their employees during the Great Resignation: To combat work-related stress, Maven introduced new programs to support employees' mental health, including group sessions with Maven's mental-health providers and career coaches, mandatory mental-health days, twice-a-week no-meeting blocks, and several weeks where employees had time to recharge and unwind.Elaine Mak, chief people officer at ValimailElaine Mak.Courtesy of Elaine MakWhat their company does: Valimail is a cloud-native platform for validating and authenticating sender identity to avoid phishing, spoofing, and brand hijacking.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: As the pandemic unfolded, it was an opportunity to lay a strategic foundation on Valimail's organizational design to serve a dual purpose: Drive talent acquisition and retention and seat people at the table to become an integral voice in making decisions that affect them.In 18 months, my team has refreshed Valimail's company mission, values, and strategy to explicitly prioritize and resource people and DEI efforts. My team has also pivoted the leadership model to a cross-functional structure that distributes power, agency, and autonomy of decision-makers across levels.I've also led the people team to expand and diversify the leadership team at Valimail to ensure appropriate voices and perspectives have a seat at the table to inform strategic decisions. How they've supported their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: We empowered a DEI committee resourced with an executive sponsor and budget focused on wellness initially to address burnout. Along with other company efforts, we have the foundation to execute a strategic road map on DEI education and development and further cement DEI at the heart of our business and people strategy.Lastly, our efforts in people and DEI culminated in an employer-brand makeover that authentically reflects a day-to-day reality where people-first is core to our culture.Kerris Hougardy, vice president of people at AdaKerris Hougardy.AdaWhat their company does: Ada is an automation platform that powers brand interactions between companies and their customers.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Ada's first priority during the pandemic was to assess the health and safety of its employees and to implement an immediate change to the work environment.The transition to a full-remote, digital-first culture required Ada to ensure its employees could work and communicate effectively.Our employee-relations team is on hand to support anyone going through work or personal issues. We have a wellness fund for each employee to get access to support — mental health and physical, access to ClassPass, and lunch and learns where they can listen to speakers around burnout and resiliency.How have the events of the pandemic affected your view of HR's role? HR is no longer only about hiring and firing employees, but about supporting and engaging with employees as whole humans.People should be able to show up authentically and do their best work, to feel acceptance and belonging, and to feel supported with life's ups and downs.Cheryl Johnson, chief human-resources officer at PaylocityCheryl Johnson.Courtesy of Cheryl JohnsonWhat their company does: Paylocity provides cloud-based payroll- and human-capital-management software.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: My HR leaders collaborated with Paylocity's Diversity Leadership Council to ensure that company benefits intentionally built an inclusive and equitable culture for current and future employees and their families.The group also confirmed that medical plans aligned with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People.For financial flexibility, we rolled out a loan program, offering interest-free loans to any employees in need, along with on-demand payment for early access to earned wages if needed. At the same time, we introduced voluntary furloughs for up to 90 days and implemented an international work program to allow employees to work abroad for up to 90 days.How they've supported their employees during the Great Resignation: We formed task forces to understand why people were leaving but, more importantly, why people were staying. Recently our HR team has found success socializing "stay interviews," which help managers to improve their direct-report relationships, keep at-risk talent, and provide broader insights to build culture and connection.Giving employees greater transparency helps them spot career opportunities and paths to growth. Our HR team is implementing succession planning efforts to identify and develop key talent and give employees more freedom to impact how, where, and when they work. Dave Carhart, vice president of people at LatticeDave Carhart.Courtesy of Dave CarhartWhat their company does: Lattice is a people-management platform that helps leaders build engaged, high-performing teams.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Work was stressful in "normal" pre-COVID times, but the pandemic has created new levels of burnout and exhaustion.Recognizing this, in 2020, I oversaw the rollout of Lattice "recharge days," a number of designated days where the entire company is off on the same day with the explicit goal of stepping away from work mentally. The recharge days has since been made permanent, with six annual recharge days added to our annual calendar on top of national holidays and flexible PTO. How have the events of the pandemic affected your view of HR's role? It's reminded us how critical it is to lead with empathy and represent a very human voice within our workplaces. We are asking people to bring their whole selves and all of their energy and commitment.With that will also come their personal passions, their family commitments, and the individual challenges that they are facing. We need to embrace all of that and come with support for the whole person and their family, too.Marlee Raber Proukou, director of people operations at JetsonMarlee Raber Proukou.Courtesy of Marlee ProukouWhat their company does: Jetson is a personal-mobility-devices company that sells electric bikes, electric scooters, and hoverboards.How they've supported their employees during the Great Resignation: In addition to navigating a global pandemic, our employees have had to adjust to the company's rapid growth, resulting in many being spread thin and approaching burnout.We've tried to address this two ways — focusing on both recruitment and employee appreciation. We built a larger people-operations team to increase our recruitment efforts, bringing in much needed full-time and contract hires to assist with our ever-increasing workload so our employees can enjoy more of a balance.Through bigger efforts, like rewarding our employees with promotions, bonuses, and raises to smaller changes like our new "all-star award" — a peer-nominated cash award presented monthly to an employee who is impacting their teammates — we continuously try to let our employees know we are grateful for them.How have the events of the pandemic affected your view of HR's role? The role has evolved from what many people thought of as traditional HR functions, like payroll and benefits administration, to encompass more people-centric priorities like supporting employees' work-life balance, ensuring a work environment that is both productive and safe, and creating an increasingly diverse workforce.In today's world, a successful HR team is quick-thinking, strategic, and empathetic. Most importantly, we are working to understand and support our employee's personal and professional experiences in what has been an extremely turbulent two years.Karen Craggs-Milne, vice president of ESG at ThoughtExchangeKaren Craggs-Milne.Courtesy of Karen Craggs-MilneWhat their company does: ThoughtExchange is a patented antibias enterprise tool that leaders use to gain insights that inform decision-making.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: With the pandemic causing a global shift to remote work, and recognizing the diverse circumstances of the company's employee base, we brought an equity lens to the people team's COVID-response initiatives.By asking diverse employees what they needed most to navigate the pandemic and how to best support employee well-being across different employee populations, we helped ThoughtExchange identify tailored solutions that made a big difference to employees.Listening to its employees, we offered financial support during school closures so parents could hire tutors, purchase memberships to educational sites or resources, and continue to ensure their children's educational needs were met.What are the skills you have used to be successful in HR? Empathy and patience are arguably the two most important characteristics to grasp when being a leader in HR.Employees want to feel heard and recognized during their time at an organization, and leveraging the ability to understand where all opinions are coming from, and then negotiating the best collective outcomes, is key to maintaining top talent that feels safe and valued within their work environment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 18th, 2022

Health monitoring and coaching startup raises $4M, valued at $100M

BioCoach, a diagnostic testing service, announced Wednesday it raised $4 million in seed funding. The funds from Minneapolis-based SecretLab LLC value the company at $100 million. BioCoach said the money will go towards scaling its new digital health platform. Minneapolis-based BioCoach has received FDA 510(k) clearance for its glucose- and ketone-monitoring system. The company's at-home health-management system works by pairing subscribers with an app and coach along with a bluetooth glucose….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMar 16th, 2022

Transcript: Maureen Farrell

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Maureen Farrell on the Cult of We is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.   ~~~   RITHOLTZ: This… Read More The post Transcript: Maureen Farrell appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Maureen Farrell on the Cult of We is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.   ~~~   RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast, I have a special guest. Her name is Maureen Farrell, and she is the co-author of the book, “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.” I read this book a couple of weeks ago and just plowed through it. It’s a lot of fun. Everything you think about WeWork is actually even crazier, and more insane, and more delusional than you would’ve guessed. All the venture capitalists and — and big investors not really doing the appropriate due diligence, relying on each other, and nobody really looking at the numbers, which kind of revealed that this was a giant money-losing, fast-growing startup that really was a real estate play pretending to be a tech play. You know, tech gets one sort of multiple, real estate gets a much lower multiple, and Neumann was able to convince a lot of people that this was a tech startup and, therefore, worthy of, you know, $1 billion and then multibillion-dollar valuation. It’s fascinating the — it’s deeply, deeply reported. There is just an incredible series of vignettes, and stories, and reveals that they’re just shocking what Neumann and company were able to — to fob off on their investors. Everything from ridiculous self-dealing to crazy valuations, to lackluster due diligence, and then just the craziest most egregious golden parachute in the history of corporate America. I found the book to be just fascinating and as well as my conversation with Maureen. So, with no further ado, my conversation with Maureen Farrell, co-author of “The Cult of We.” VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My special guest this week is Maureen Farrell. She is the co-author of a new book, “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.” The book has been nominated for a Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. Previously, she worked at the Wall Street Journal since 2013. Currently, she is a reporter, investigative reporter for The New York Times. Maureen Farrell, welcome to Bloomberg. FARRELL: Thank you so much for having me. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s start a little bit with your background and history. You — you covered capital markets and IPOs at the Wall Street Journal. What led you and your co-author Eliot Brown to this story because this was really a venture capital and a startup story for most of the 2010s, right? FARRELL: Exactly. And for me, personally, I was covering the IPO market and — and capital markets the sort of explosion of private capital. So, I was looking at WeWork from both angles, basically, you know, in the small cohort of the most interesting companies that were going to go public, along with Uber, Airbnb, Lyft. And it was also part of this group that had raised more capital than anyone ever before. I was looking at SoftBank and its vision fund a lot. And then — I mean, take within this cohort, there were some pretty interesting companies, but I mean, just along the way kept on hearing, you know, Adam Neumann stood out. That’s like a little bit of a different entrepreneur that the — the stories you would just hear over time just became more and more interesting a little and vain. RITHOLTZ: So when did you decide, hey, this is more than just a recurring series of — of articles? When did you say this is a book? We have to write a book about this? FARRELL: So, we were — around August 2019, by then we were writing more and more about the company as it was clear that it was, you know, made it known that it was going to go public. Suddenly, it’s S-1, the — the regulatory documents you file publicly to go public were out there, and they were completely bonkers. They sort of captivated, I think, the imagination of the business reading public. But then over the next few weeks, WeWork was on its way to finally doing this IPO. And my co-author Eliot and I who had been cover — he had covering the company long before me. He’s a real estate. He had been covering them since 2013, then he was out in San Francisco covering venture capital. And it just became the most insane story either one of us had ever reported, like day by day there’s a playbook for IPOs. And they — you know, things are different, but they sort of follow a formula and nothing was making sense. And it just was getting more and more insane until this IPO was eventually called off. And Adam Neumann, the founder and CEO was pushed out of the company for all sorts of crazy things that were given to. RITHOLTZ: So, we’re going to — we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about that. But you hinted at something I — I have to mention. Your co-author covered real estate. Hey, I was told WeWork was a tech startup, and an A.I. company, and everything else but a real estate arbitrage play. How did they manage to convince so many people that they weren’t a Regis. The CEO of Regis very famously said, “How was what they do any different than what we do?” FARRELL: Well, they tried to convince Eliot Brown, my co-author, of the same thing. He — he had heard about Adam Neumann and his company. He started seeing the valuation. Back then I think it was $1 billion, $1.5 billion, and he was … RITHOLTZ: Right. When that became a unicorn, suddenly it was like, “Wait, this is just a real estate play.” FARRELL: Exactly. And he was covering other commercial real estate companies like Regis. And he had followed them and he was like, “Wait, they only have a couple of locations even still at that point.” So, he went in to meet Adam Neumann for the first time, and he’s got great stories. But as part of it, Adam was like really horrified. He was, you know, very nice, his charming self, but also saying, “Hey, you’re a real estate reporter … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … for the Wall Street Journal. You’re the last person who should be covering this company. Do you have someone who covers like community companies?” RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: And Eliot said, “No, and I’ll be following you from here on out.” RITHOLTZ: We’ll — we’ll talk about community-adjusted EBITDA a little later also. But — but let’s talk about the genesis of this because Neumann and his partner McKelvey had a — a legit business Greendesk, the — was the predecessor to WeWork. It was sold. I don’t know what the dollar amount was. Was that ever disclosed? FARRELL: Ah. RITHOLTZ: But — but it was not — nothing. It was real. And the two of them rolled that money plus a third partner who is also — Joel Schreiber is a real estate developer in New York, not coincidently. And in 2010, they launched WeWork with the first site in SoHo. So why is this real estate assign long-term leases and sell shorter-term leases at a significant markup? How is this not possibly a real estate concern? How? What was — what was the argument they were making to people that, “Hey, we’re a tech company and we deserve tech company valuations.” FARRELL: Sure. So exactly as you said, they have this Brooklyn business that was the genesis of WeWork. It was — it had a lot of that business, and it was what they took to make WeWork. It has a lot of innovation to it in terms of architecturally the aesthetic of it. I mean, we probably all have been to WeWork. They’re just — they’re beautiful buildings. RITHOLTZ: Funky, fun … FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … open … FARRELL: Light coming through … RITHOLTZ: … with a beer tap and lots of glass. FARRELL: … we had light streaming through the windows. You put — you pack people very close together. So, something they started in Brooklyn, it took off, but then their — the landlord there didn’t want to grow it, so they — they split up, they moved on. Adam and his — his co-founder Miguel McKelvey. And from the very beginning, the idea was something so much bigger. They say they created — they like sketched out something and it was like essentially WeWorld. It would be, you know, schools, and apartments, and this whole universe of we. But basically, as you said, I mean, throughout for the most part, it was this like arbitrage building, arbitrage company in terms of getting long-term leases and splitting it up. RITHOLTZ: All right. So, by 2014, they have a pretty substantial investor list, J.P. Morgan Chase, T. Rowe Price, Wellington, Goldman, Harvard Endowment, Benchmark Capital, Mort Zuckerman. Was this still a rational investment in 2014 or when did things kind of go off the rails? FARRELL: By then it still seemed like the valuation was really getting ahead of itself, and it was very much predicated on this idea that you said being a tech company. And I mean, at Adam Neumann’s genius was in marketing and fund raising. And what he had the ability to do really each step of the way and it’s — it’s masterful was sort of take — take the zeitgeist, like the big business idea of the moment that was captivating investors and put that on top of WeWork. So, he’s very into — a little bit before this like sort of acquainting it to Facebook. You know, Facebook was the social network. This is like a social network in person. RITHOLTZ: In real life, right. FARRELL: In — yeah, real life social network. And he didn’t manage to kind of convince people bit by bit. I mean, it’s interesting, Benchmark, you know, as you know, is like one of the top … RITHOLTZ: Legit — right, top shelf V.C., absolutely. FARRELL: Yeah, that’s been some — behind some of the biggest tech companies. RITHOLTZ: Bill Gurley, Uber, go down the list of just incredible … FARRELL: Snap. RITHOLTZ: … yeah, amazing. FARRELL: eBay. Yeah, they’ve had — through — for decades, they’ve been behind some of the biggest companies. So, they were willing to take a gamble on them, and then they saw red flags, but just decided to jump in anyway. But for Benchmark, I mean, we see and they ultimately — they get in at such a low valuation, it’s … RITHOLTZ: Doesn’t matter. FARRELL: … exactly like — you know, they want their homeruns. And I mean, it’s still — they still ultimately got out at a pretty good — really incredible return, but it’s … RITHOLTZ: Right, $600 million to $10 billion, something like that, something (inaudible). FARRELL: Yeah, something like that. RITHOLTZ: So — so just to clarify because I — I’m — I’m going to be trashing WeWork for the next hour, but this wasn’t a Theranos situation or a Bernie Madoff, this is not an issue of fraud or anything illegal or unlawful. Fees just were insane valuations. Somebody did a great job selling investors on the potential for WeWork, and it didn’t work out. FARRELL: I’m glad you brought that up because a lot of people do ask about the differences and the parallels between Elizabeth Holmes and Adam Neumann. And I — I mean, I almost think the story, in some ways, is more interesting. I mean, the Theranos story is, obviously, the craziest and — and horrifying in so many ways. But with Adam Neumann, on the margins, there are questions about, you know, some of them (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: They’re self-dealing and there’s some — a lot of avarice. And he just cashed out way, way early, so you could criticize his behavior. But, you know, you end up with the VCs and the outside investors either looking the other way or turning a blind eye. It’s not like the stuff wasn’t disclosed or anything, he was very out front. No, I need — I need a private jet because we’re opening up WeWorks in China and in 100 other countries, and I have to join around the world. FARRELL: Yeah, and maybe you (inaudible) thing. RITHOLTZ: Now, you need a $65 million (inaudible) is a different question. But, you know, there — they didn’t hide this. They were like proud of it. FARRELL: No, and I think it is every step of the way, you see. I mean, the investors and these were some of the most sophisticated investors in the world and some of the — you know, they are thought of as the smartest investors. They saw the numbers that WeWork was putting forth and they were real, real numbers. They also saw their projections and the projections were mythical, and they never quite reached them. But you could see, if you are going to invest in any round of WeWork, you could see what their prior projections were, how they failed to hit them. But instead, the thing that we saw time and time again to this point was, very often, Adam Neumann would meet the head of an investment company, whether it’s Benchmark or SoftBank or T. Rowe Price, like the — the main decision-maker totally captivate this person. You know, it’s usually a man. The man would become kind of smitten with Adam and all his ideas and what he was going to do, totally believing it. The underlings would look at the numbers, raise all these red flags, point them out. And then the decision-maker would say … RITHOLTZ: Do it anyway. FARRELL: … yeah, he’s amazing. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: So I want to talk about the rapid rise of WeWork and their — their really fast growth path, but I have to ask, what sort of access did you have to the main characters in the book? Were people forthcoming? I have to imagine there were some people who had grudges and were happy to speak. What — what about the — some of the original founders, Adam and his wife Rebekah? Who — who did you have access to? FARRELL: Sure. So, you know, in the interest of privacy, I can’t get into specifics. But what I will say, the interesting thing was, I mean, when we really got access for hours and hours to the vast majority of players at every step of the way in this book. And the — one of the funny things was, I mean, the pandemic really started right as Eliot and I took book leave. We started a book leave in late February 2020. And we had both planned to sort of be and all around the world, meeting people in person. Eliot had moved to New York to meet a lot of the players in person. Obviously, the world shut down and, you know, was kind of nervous about what that would mean in terms of conversations. And the funny thing was I think people are home, bored, feeling pretty reflective. So, there are a number of people that said … RITHOLTZ: What the hell. FARRELL: … I didn’t know if I wanted to talk to you and … RITHOLTZ: But what the hell. FARRELL: … these — some of these people I probably had like 10 conversations … RITHOLTZ: Really? FARRELL: … for hours with. RITHOLTZ: And — and there are 40 something pages of endnotes. It’s — I’m not suggesting that this isn’t deeply researched because a lot of these conversations that you report on like you’re fly on the wall. Clearly, it can only be one of two or three people. So, it looks like you had a ton of access to a lot of senior people and I guess, we’ll just leave it at that. So — so let’s talk about that early rise in the beginning. They were really ramping up very rapidly. I mean, you could see how somebody interested in investing in a potential unicorn in 2012, ’13, ’14 coming out of the financial crisis. Hey, the idea of all these startups just leaving a little bit of space and not a long-term lease, it looks very attractive. It looks like, hey, you could put WeWorks wherever there’s a tech community, and they should do really well there. FARRELL: Yeah, there — and it was — the marketing was — it was very viral at that point. It was, you know, people would tell their friends about it, and they would fill up very rapidly. And they were building more and more. I mean — and this is one of the — you know, as part of the genius of Adam Neumann was, you know, he was telling people from day one they were really struggling to even secure the lease on the first building. And he was like, oh, we’re going to be global, we’re going to be international. He would set these goals of how many buildings they would open and people internally, and even investors, would say, “Oh, this is impossible.” RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: And he would — and he would hit that. He kept on sort of defying gravity, defying disbelief or questions. So, the growth was incredible and they were filling them up. We could talk about, you know, the lack of the cost of doing so. RITHOLTZ: Right. They — they were paying double to — to real estate agents when everybody else was paying. They were going to competitors and saying, “We’re going to reach out to your tenants, and we’re going to offer them free rent for a year.” I mean, they were really sharp elbowed and very aggressive. FARRELL: Especially as time went on. We did find that there is one year we got all their financials. We — you know, we got our hands on a vast trove of documents, but there was one year — I think it was 2011 — that they, I think, made $2 million in profit. RITHOLTZ: Wow. FARRELL: We were — we were kind of shocked to see that. We don’t think they had ever made a profit. And then from there, they did not, and the billions and billions just added up in terms of losses. RITHOLTZ: So — so the rapid rise, we — we mentioned, they peaked in 2019 at more than $47 billion. Neumann recently did a interview with your fellow Times correspondent Adam (sic) Ross Sorkin, and he was somewhat contrite. He — he had admitted that all the venture money and all the high valuations had — went to his head, quote, “You lose focus on really the core of the business and why the business is meant to be that way. It had a corrosive effect on my thinking.” That’s kind of a surprising admission from him. FARRELL: It was. Yeah, I mean, his mea culpa is very interesting. And I mean, one of the things that people said along the way was, you know, the — the higher the valuation, the more out of touch she became. I mean, he — he had a narcissist. And I don’t know what you want to call it, but … RITHOLTZ: Socio-pathological narcissistic personality disorder? I’m just — I’m not a psychologist, I’m just guessing, or a really successful salesman/CEO. There’s like a thin line between the two sometimes, it seems. FARRELL: And some of it — I mean, it seems insane. It was like, oh, he thought of himself in this like same — like with along with world leaders, but world leaders were really sort of … RITHOLTZ: Tailing him. FARRELL: … really wanted to meet him. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. FARRELL: Yeah. And he was like — we have a scene in the book that he was debating whether or not he was going to cancel on Theresa May because he had promised his wife that he would teach a class on entrepreneurship to their new school, so it was like a few of their kids and a few of their kids’ friends were in the school. RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: And they’re about five years old, five or six. And he had promised — and his wife … RITHOLTZ: Prime Minister, a five-year-old, that’s it. So, when you talk about losing touch with reality, some of the M&A that the startup did. Wavegarden or wave machine was a — like a surf wave machine, meetup.com, Conductor, they ended up dumping these for a fraction of what they paid for them. But what’s the thought process we’re going to become a technology conglomerate? I don’t — I don’t really follow the thinking other than will it be fun to have a wave machine at our buildings, like what’s the rationale there? FARRELL: OK. So, there were — there were two parts to that, and part of it was like it was the world was Adam Neumann’s playground, and he loves surfing, and he thought that — you know, that he found out this company has wave-making mission. They would make waves. So, him and his team went to Spain to surf on them and test them out, but he could basically convince his board, in general … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … who had to approve these that anything made sense, whether it’s the jet, the wave pool company or friends of his. I mean, Laird Hamilton, the famous surfer … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … was a friend of his. They invested like in his coffee creamer company. But then the second — so it was so many unseen investments that I really didn’t necessarily make any sense. But then on the other side, one of the things that we thought was interesting, he had this deal with Masa who — Masayoshi Son. He’s the CEO of SoftBank, became WeWork’s biggest investor, biggest enabler, you might say. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. FARRELL: And one of the — they were going to do this huge deal that would have actually kept WeWork private forever. It never came to pass, and that’s why it was sort of the beginning of the end when this deal fell apart. But as part of it, a lot of the deal is predicated on growing revenue. So, Adam also became obsessed with acquisitions like whatever they could possibly do to add more revenue to the company. I mean, he was talking about buying Sweet Cream, and he had like got pretty far along in the salad company … RITHOLTZ: Yeah, amazing. FARRELL: … in conversations with them. So, it was this idea of like let’s just throw in anything, we have money, and let’s just grow our top line. Who cares about anything else? RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about Rebekah Neumann. She was Adam Neumann’s wife. What — what what’s her role in WeWork? How important was she? FARRELL: Her role is just so fascinating throughout. So, I mean, he — he met her right as he was starting Greendesk. And I think she just sort of opened his eyes. She’d grown up very wealthy. She’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s cousin. She had always ties to Hollywood. She gave him a loan early on, a high interest loan, I think even after they were married that we report about in the book. But as time went on, she — she really want a career in Hollywood, decides to — at one point, she — she was trying to be an actress and she tells someone that she’s done with Hollywood. She’s producing babies now. They’ve gone on to have six kids. But she sort of always kind of dabbled in the company, and they retroactively made her a co-founder. RITHOLTZ: Right, she wasn’t there from day one. It was only later she got pretty active. FARRELL: Yeah, she told people like giving tours early on that she help pick out the coffee in the — in the early WeWorks. But — so she became more active, but she was sort of jumped in and out. And it was by the — one of the things that she had a big focus on their kids were growing up, she didn’t really like their choices of private or public schools, so she decided to start — she helmed sort of the education initiative that’s something … RITHOLTZ: And she was deeply qualified for this because she — she was a certified yoga instructor, right? FARRELL: Yeah, she had been. RITHOLTZ: And — and I know she went to Cornell, which is certainly a good school. What bona fide does she bring to technology, real estate, education, like I’m trying to figure it out. And in the book, you don’t really go into any details that she’s qualified to do any of these things. FARRELL: I mean, especially with — with education, it’s like she didn’t — she want this — essentially she wanted a school for her children, and she wanted very specific things in that school. And once again, they decided that that would be the next like frontier for WeWork. They’re always adding different things. But no one really — then they let them do this. They started this school in New York in the headquarters, and they were going to teach the next-generation of entrepreneurs. And … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … I mean, they — one of the things — I mean, it was the education arm more than — as much or more than other parts of it is just so tragic because they had a lot of money. She’s — she, like Adam, can just speak like — speak so — like eloquently and with this vision. So, she attracted all these very talented teachers. She sort of wooed them from the schools that they were in before and told them that they were going to start this, you know, new enterprise and change education forever. And it’s just really devolved so quickly. It became very like kind of petty. I mean, if you pull so they have PTSD from her like obsession with like the rugs like … RITHOLTZ: Right, just … FARRELL: … it was a Montessori-type school. And yeah, she obsessed over like the color of white of the rugs and made them like send back 20 rugs. RITHOLTZ: What was the most shocking thing you found out about him or her or both? FARRELL: So, one — one of these was — I mean, there is a lot of the — their personal lives, as we said, whether it was a school or other — other things where their kids are educated in, just the way in which the personal entanglements, you know, small and huge levels, but I’ll give two examples. I mean, one of the things that people said in the school, so within the WeWork headquarters was a whole … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … floor and it’s beautiful if you see pictures of it, like it just this – like really incredible school. RITHOLTZ: Money was no object. FARRELL: Yeah. And they had Bjarke Ingels, this famous architect designed the school. And — but they basically, on Friday nights, would have dinners with their friends there. And according to many people would — the team would come in Monday morning … RITHOLTZ: It’d be a disaster. FARRELL: … it will be a complete … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … disaster. So, it was like really on so many levels like everything was their personal … RITHOLTZ: So, entitled. FARRELL: Yeah. And the second thing that really shocked us was she was very — she had a lot of kind of like phobias around like health and wellness. And she says — I mean, she had a — a real tragedy in her family. Her brother died from cancer, and so she was always — she’s very focused on and she said it as much in podcasts and things. But she was very fixated on 5G. And she’s worried about vaccines for their kids. And — but the 5G of like what that could do for — you know, these signals. She wouldn’t let them have printers on the floor, like any printers on — wireless printers on the floor of the school. But there is a — they bought this … RITHOLTZ: Can you — can you even by 5G printers today? What — what was the … FARRELL: Oh, no, it’s a wireless. RITHOLTZ: … yeah, just Wi-Fi? FARRELL: Yeah, the wireless like freaked her out, so the teachers of that are like run up and downstairs to just print everything. It seems ridiculous. But the 5G towers, there was one, either being built or built right near there, across the Beam Park. RITHOLTZ: (Inaudible) City Park. FARRELL: Yeah, right nearby. So, she was so obsessed with it. She didn’t want to move in there. They had bought like six apartments in this building that she — the CFO — this is around the time they’re preparing for the IPO. I used to work at Time Warner Cable, who is the CFO of Time Warner Cable. So, she said, “Can you, Artie Minson, help us get rid of the 5G tower and have it moved?” And basically, he deputized another aide who used to work for Cuomo and worked for Governor Christie, the — both former governors. And they — like that was something they — they actually worked on. So, the — yeah, that interplay was just kind of insane. RITHOLTZ: Seems rational. There was a Vanity Fair article, “How Rebekah Neumann Put the Woo-Woo in WeWork,” and — and what you’re describing very much is — is along the lines of that. I’ve seen Neumann described as a visionary, as a crackpot, as — as a grifter, but he thinks he’s going to become the world’s first trillionaire, and — and WeWork the first $10 trillion company. Is — is any realistic scenario where that happens or is he just completely delusional? FARRELL: I mean, it seems insane and like he seems completely delusional, but he had a lot of people going along with him, including the man with one of the biggest checkbooks in the world who is Masayoshi Son, the CEO and Founder of SoftBank, who had just — I mean, the timing of the story, it’s like there’s so many things that happened at the first enrollment. RITHOLTZ: Saudi Arabia wanting to diversify, giving a ton of money. You — you call Son the enabler-in-chief. He — he put more than $10 billion of capital showered on — on to WeWork. How much do you blame Son for all of this mayhem at least in the last couple of years of WeWork’s run as a private company? FARRELL: It seems like he was the main — you know, the main person kind of pushing all of this. And when you talk to a lot of people around Adam, they just said they were just such a dicey match like that Adam was crazy to begin with. Everyone thought that. You know, it can go both ways, but … RITHOLTZ: Yeah, but people drank the Kool-Aid. It — it reminded me — you don’t mention Steve Jobs in the book, but very much the reality distortion field that Jobs was famous for, I very much got the sense Neumann was creating something like that. How did he get everybody to drink the Kool-Aid? Was he just that charismatic and that good of a salesman? FARRELL: I think so. And it was just he could talk about things and make you feel like the reality was there, this reality of distortion field. He was — he was masterful in that. Yet the thing that he did was he always found new pots of money … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … all over the world. I mean, it was the time — it was the time when the private capital markets were getting deeper and deeper, the Fidelitys and the T. Rowe that like normally kind of sober mutual funds … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … were jumping into startups. And they — they were — we call one of the chapters FOMO. It was like the … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … fun FOMO. They were fearful of missing out on the next big thing. So that we’re sort of in this climate where there is an appetite to go after, to just take a chance for the chance of getting the next like maybe not trillion-dollar company, maybe no one but him and Masa believe that, the next big thing. RITHOLTZ: But the next 100X — right. And that’s really — you know, it’s always interesting when you see these stayed, old mutual fund companies that have literally no experience in venture capital or tech startups, but happy to plow into it because they — they — they want to be part of it. And maybe that’s how we end up with community-adjusted EBITDA. Can — can you explain to us what that phrase means? I don’t even know what else to call it. FARRELL: Sure. So WeWork was losing every — every step of the way. They were growing revenue more than doubling it. You know, they’re expanding all around the world. And with that, they were losing just as much, if not more every single year than they were taking in. So, they had this brilliant idea, really a lot stemming from the CFO and Adam Neumann love the CFO’s creation. His name is Artie Minson, the CFO. And it was this idea that you essentially strip out a lot of the costs of kind of creating all the — building out all the WeWorks and, you know, marketing and opening up new buildings. You strip it out, and then you’re suddenly a profitable company. It’s like the magic. RITHOLTZ: Wait, let me — let me make sure I understand this. So, if you eliminate the cost of generating that profit, you suddenly become profitable. How come nobody else thought of this sooner? It seems like a genius idea. FARRELL: Oh. RITHOLTZ: Just don’t — it’s profits, expenses. It’s fantastic. FARRELL: And the — the conviction with which certain people inside, especially on the finance team, believe this. I mean, they were saying throughout that like, oh, we will be a profitable company if we — the idea was if we just stop growing, we could be profitable right now. We take in more per building. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) FARRELL: Then we spend on it. But, you know, that never was the case. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s stick with the delusion concept. We talked about WeGrow, and we talked about WeLive a little bit, crazy stuff. What made this guy think he can help colonize Mars? Right, you’re laughing. You wrote it yourself, and it’s still funny. FARRELL: It is still … RITHOLTZ: By the way, I found a lot of the book very amusing, like very dry, like you guys didn’t try and crack jokes. But clearly, a lot of the stuff was just so insane. You read it, you start to laugh out loud. FARRELL: I’m — I’m glad to hear that because I think that we would joke that like every day. I mean, we’re in different places writing it. We are on calls constantly, and we would call each other. And it was often multiple times a day we would call each other and say, “You will never ever believe what I just heard.” And we would crack up, and we — we had a lot of fun writing it because it’s just — it was — the truth of the story was like more insane than … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … anything we could have made up ever. RITHOLTZ: That’s the joke that, you know, the difference between truth and — and fiction is fiction has to make sense, and truth is under no such obligation. So, let’s talk about Neumann colonizing Mars. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: I mean, was that a serious thing or was he just, you know, on one of his insane (inaudible) and everybody comes along? FARRELL: There — there — speaking of fine lines, I mean, he just — I think he — he started to believe more and more of like these delusions. And so, I think he really did, and yeah, he got this — he secured a meeting with Elon Musk, and he – Elon Musk — he always — Adam was always late to every meeting, would make people wait for hours, like even like the bankers in the IPO would just sit around. There’ll be rooms of like dozens of people waiting for Adam, and he’d show up like two hours late. But Elon Musk made him wait for this meeting. They sat and sat and sat, and then he told Elon Musk that getting — that he thought — like building a community on Mars is what he would do and he would help him with. And he said, you know, “Getting — getting to Mars is the easy part. Building a community is the hard part.” RITHOLTZ: Right. Because, you know, it’s very hard to get those beer taps to work in a … FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … low-gravity, zero atmosphere environment. It’s a challenge, only WeWork could accomplish that. FARRELL: The – the fruit water. RITHOLTZ: Right. So — so I want to talk about the IPO, but before I get to that, I — I have to ask about the corporate offsites, the summer camp, which were described as three-day global summits of drinking and drug consumption. It was like a Woodstock event, not like a corporate retreat. How did these come about? FARRELL: So, Adam would say that he never — he grew up in Israel and he moved to the U.S. He lived for a little while the U.S., but move later in life. So, you said he never got to go to American summer camp, so he was going to recreate summer — American summer camp literally. They started at his wife’s family’s had a summer camp in upstate New York. That’s where they started. They just got bigger and bigger, eventually going to England and taking over this like huge like field — this huge estate there and bringing every single member of the company flying them from all over the world. RITHOLTZ: And there were thousands of employees? FARRELL: Thousands upon thousands, and the cost was unbelievable of every piece of it. I mean, every year, they just got bigger and bigger. I mean, the flew at the height of his fame not that he’s far off of it, but Lin-Manuel Miranda like, at the height of Hamilton, they flew him on a private jet. He — he performed on stage. The Roots came, and — and they would pay these people like … RITHOLTZ: Million dollars, right. FARRELL: … a million dollars, yeah. So, the money is no object. RITHOLTZ: That’s a good gig for an afternoon. FARRELL: Yeah, exactly. And they were — you know, especially at the beginning, it was like a younger group of people, in general. And — I mean, these — these were crazy. There’s tons of alcohol sanctioned by the company, handed out by the company. Drugs were in — you know, in supply not handed out by the company, but they were everywhere and … RITHOLTZ: And he talks about drugs. He says, “Well, we — it’s not really drugs, just, you know … FARRELL: He — so yeah, I think it — it got to a point and it was also mandatory to come to these events. So, I mean, the — they were … RITHOLTZ: And they were like meetings where there are shots, everybody has to do shots. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: This — this wasn’t just at these retreats, like hard partying was pretty common throughout the company or anywhere Neumann seemed to have touched. When — when he was there, everybody was expected to step-up and — and party hard. FARRELL: Including the investors. I mean, you’d walk into the office at 10 A.M., according to so many different people. And he’d insist on taking tequila shots with you in the morning in his office. And … RITHOLTZ: You didn’t have a shot before this? You — don’t you … FARRELL: Right. RITHOLTZ: … isn’t that — isn’t how every meeting begins? FARRELL: The breakfast … RITHOLTZ: Right? FARRELL: … of champions. RITHOLTZ: That’s — that’s right. So — so I got the sense from the book that they always seemed to be on the edge of running out of money, and they would always find another source, but it was all leading towards the IPO, but the S-1 one filing, the disclosures that go with an IPO filing, that seemed to be that they’re undoing the — the public just — investing public just torn apart. FARRELL: Exactly. I mean, the interesting piece of that, as you said, it was there’s always a new pool of capital like just when he thought that he was going to have to go public. And the board — and the board — I mean, one of the things we found time and time again was the board would say, you know, he’s really like crazy, things are getting out of hand. But like we won’t say no to him, but eventually he’s going to have to go public. This was back in like 2016-2017. RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: We thought he was going to run out of money, the only place to go because they’re burning so much cash with the public markets. And the public markets will take care of it, which — that kind of floored us each step of the way. But yes, as you said, he — he — he knew how to captivate on — in one-on-one or bigger meetings to convince you of this future to tell you we always describe him kind of as a magician and think of him like this, like don’t look here, look here, like the sleight of hand. He could — then this S-1 came out. It was a regulatory document. You have to follow rules. RITHOLTZ: There’s no sleight of hand in S-1 filing. FARRELL: No, like you have to see. And people suddenly saw the — the broad public the revenue, the losses of a lot, not even all of these, you know, the questionable corporate governance, I mean, the — the … RITHOLTZ: The self-dealing. FARRELL: … the self-dealing, only pieces of that were even in it because the jet wasn’t in the S-1. They didn’t have to disclose it. The — and the interesting thing about this, I think there’s always like this distinction that people try to make between like, oh, the smart money and the dumb money. And it’s like the smart money is like the Fidelitys and the T. Rowes, and the SoftBanks. And then the dumb money, you know, it’s like — or the, you know, the average retail investor. And so, it’s just so interesting that like he — he captivated the — the quote-unquote, “smart money.” And then the minute this was all made public, everything was there, the world saw it and just said like what is — like this is insane. RITHOLTZ: I’m nursing a pet theory that it was Twitter that demolished him because people just had a — I remember the day of this filing, Twitter just blew up with — like a — a million people are taking an S-1 apart sentence by sentence and the most outrageous things bubbled up to the top of Twitter. And it was very clear that they were dead in the water. There was going to be no IPO, and the dreams of these crazy valuations seemed to crash and burn with the — the IPO filing, which — which kind of raises a question about, you know, how was all of this corporate governance so amiss. All the self-dealings that were allowed, so my — my favorite one was he personally trademarked the word We and then charged the company $6 million to use it. Again, he — he’s given these sort of crazy disclosure explanations. Hey, I’m only allowed to say this. But it seems he bought a bunch of buildings in order to flip them to WeWork at a profit. I don’t understand how the board — we mentioned Theranos — here’s the parallel. How did the board tolerate just the most egregious, avarice, lack of interest in the company and only enrichment of oneself? How does the board of directors tolerate that? FARRELL: I know that was — I think, if anything, from this whole story that just floored us was exactly that this board, I mean, it was a — it was a real like heavy-hitting board of directors. They’re not — and all financial people as opposed to Theranos, you know, it was like people who didn’t really know … RITHOLTZ: Politics and generals, and … FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … secretaries of states, right? It was a — and a lot of elderly men who were smitten with her. I mean, like men in — what was Kissinger on the board? He was 90 something. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: So — so with this though, the other thing that’s shocking is, you know, most founders of a successful company, they live a — a reasonably comfortable lifestyle, but the thought process is, hey, one day we’ll go public and my gravy train will come in, and I’ll have a — a high, you know, eight, nine, 10-figure net worth. Early in this time line, he was paying himself cashing out stock worth tens of millions, in some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars way, way early in — in — the company was five years old and he was worth a couple 100 million liquid, and god knows how much on paper. Again, how — how does the board allow that to take place? FARRELL: Yeah, that was — and a board, investors kind of signing off on this were jumping into it, I mean, seeing that he’s going to sell a lot of stock each round. I mean, now there does seem to be a shift and it’s kind of a scary one that this is like more private companies, the founders are selling more and more. But back then, you didn’t really see this very much. And one of the things I find very interesting is he was very much following the Travis Kalanick that — for Uber CEO’s playbook, and literally like following it that like going after the same investors, going around the world. Travis had raised more money than anyone before. Travis, every step of the way, made a huge point of, “I’m all-in. I’m never selling any stock” … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … until he was kicked out of the company basically. So, Adam followed his playbook, but each step of the way was — said he took money out and was like prepare about it. RITHOLTZ: I mean, he was very wealthy for a — a scrappy startup founder, 14, 15, 16. You would think, hey, he’s — maybe he’s making a decent living, but not hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s kind of amazing. FARRELL: Or like having many, many, many houses. RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: And they were like he didn’t hide the way in which he was living, having houses all over the world, jet setting all over the world. You know, and, in fact, he almost like, you know, wanted everyone to know that was part of his like a lure. RITHOLTZ: So, when the IPO filing in 2019, when — when that blows up, it seems to have a real impact on Silicon Valley for a while. Suddenly, high-spending, fast-growing, profitless companies looked bad, and now we’re back to we want profit growth and revenue, but that really didn’t last all that long, did it? FARRELL: No, it was unbelievable. I mean, we also — Eliot and I joked that we rewrote the epilogue like five times because, at first, we wrote it saying like this is the fallout. RITHOLTZ: Oh, look at the impact, right. FARRELL: Yeah, and it was — I mean, Masayoshi Son had his own mea culpa like, you know, I believe in Adam, I shouldn’t have, I made mistakes. But also, I want my companies to be profitable now … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … like I’m going to invest in these companies or the companies have invested already, they should be profitable. IPO investors, public market investors were totally spooled by money-losing companies. Then — you know, then came the pandemic, then came the Fed pumping money into the system. And then, you know, now, in some ways, it’s like, wow, WeWork always like made — generated revenue and losses. It’s like now today we have Rivian … RITHOLTZ: Right, Rivian and … FARRELL: … pre-revenue … RITHOLTZ: … Lucid and, you know, it’s all potential. Maybe it works out, maybe Amazon buys 100,000 trucks from them, but that’s kind of — that’s a possibility. And, you know, more — more than just the Fed, you had the CARES Act, you had a ton of money flow into the system, but it doesn’t necessarily flow to venture-funded outfits, it’s just a lot of cash sloshing around. Is that — is that a fair statement? FARRELL: Oh, completely. RITHOLTZ: So how quickly were the lessons of WeWork forgotten? FARRELL: Incredibly quickly. I mean, it felt like it had — it like it changed everything for a few months. I mean, the other part of it was Masayoshi Son had — had raised a $100 billion fund, biggest fund ever to invest in tech companies. He was literally about to close his second fund. It was … RITHOLTZ: $108 billion, right? FARRELL: Yeah, another $100 billion fund to just go and like pour into companies. RITHOLTZ: More, right. FARRELL: And then I mean, we’ve heard from all these people who are out meeting sovereign wealth funds, Saudi Arabia, and they were just like every meeting, it was like what about WeWork. And, you know, one of the things we’ve heard was he was pushing for it to just go public, you know, or to — or not to — to not go public because he didn’t want to take the mark. He didn’t want to make … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … all of this public. And we have a scene in the book about this that Masa tries to tell him to call off the IPO and tried to force his hand, and Adam is kind of like … RITHOLTZ: Confuses. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Right. It’s — it’s — it’s really quite — it’s really quite astounding that we end up with — what did he burn through, $20 billion, $30 billion? FARRELL: More than $10 billion, I think. RITHOLTZ: Wow. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: That — that’s a lot of cash. FARRELL: Towards him essentially. RITHOLTZ: So — so here’s the curveball question to ask you. So, you’re now a business reporter at the Times. WeWork obviously isn’t the only company led by an eccentric leader. What are you reporting on now? What’s the next potential WeWork out there? FARRELL: You know, I’m — I’m just getting started. This is just a couple of weeks in, but — so it’s — I don’t quite know what the next WeWork is. I almost feel like there’s a lot of mini WeWorks out there, whether it’s — you know, the company is in the SPAC market. Some of these unicorns, I mean, there’s so many — so many red flags around these companies like I was saying before like if founders taking money out very early and, you know, investors are not really caring and just wanting to get into them, getting these massive packages — pay packages, compensation. So, I think there’s — there’s so many different places to look. I don’t get the sense that there’s one company now that’s sort of — of size of Adam Neumann. I think there are just a lot of many ones. I mean, he was a pretty like captivating and just insane in so many — larger than life in so many ways. But I have no doubt we’re going to find one of them fairly soon. There’ll be more. RITHOLTZ: And — and what do you think the future holds for Adam Neumann himself? He — we — we have to talk about the golden parachute, so not only does SoftBank refinance a couple hundred million dollars in loans that he has outstanding, they give him $183 million package and essentially purchased $1 billion of his stock, so he leaves WeWork as a billionaire. FARRELL: Yeah, it was — I mean, it was just an incredible thing. And I mean, then he got this pay package that they agreed to as part of the bailout. I mean, WeWork, once the IPO was called off, was on the verge of bankruptcy. They were going to run out of money in a couple of months so they had to do this very quickly. They were laid off thousands upon thousands of people. But basically, as part of the negotiations to get Adam Neumann to give up his super voting shares, these potent shares that would have let him continue to keep control of the company to do that, they struck this pay package. And I mean, it’s kind of interesting when we talk about the power founders right now that it wasn’t a wakeup call for Silicon Valley to be more wary of giving this power to founders, like when you saw the price tag that Adam Neumann extracted the cost of pushing out a founder who’s kind of a disastrous founder at some point. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. I — I remember reading that and thinking Son played it terribly. He could’ve said, “Hey, listen, I got $100 billion worth of other investments. If I take a $10 billion write-down, it’ll hurt, but I still have plenty of other money. If this goes belly up, you’re broke, you’re a disaster except I’ll give you $50 million or else you’re just impoverished. Good luck finding the lawsuits for the rest of your life.” That would have been the play, but he didn’t — I guess, it was the other second fund he didn’t want to put at risk. Why — why didn’t he hardball Neumann because I thought Son had all the leverage in that negotiation? FARRELL: That was one of the — like the enduring mysteries, I think, of this whole story because all the things you said are right, plus Adam had taken out so much money in terms. He had so much lent against his stock at $47 billion. I mean … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … J.P. Morgan, UBS, Credit Suisse, they have lent him hundreds of millions of dollars, and he would have gotten to default. He like didn’t necessarily have the liquidity to pay back everything … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … he had borrowed. So, it was — I mean, it’s kind of amazing in terms of his negotiating skills that Masa and SoftBank. It was led by Marcelo Claure who’s now the WeWork Executive Chairman. They blinked first. RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: They gave Adam a lot. And I totally agree with you, one of the things I’ve heard it was just like the interest of time. They just wanted it done $10 billion or whatever. It doesn’t mean that much. They want to just keep on moving, keep on … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … spending, not distract too much and just get this done, but it’s crazy. I mean, the … RITHOLTZ: So … FARRELL: … the time value of money … RITHOLTZ: … could be the greatest golden parachute in the history of corporate America. I mean, I — I’m hard pressed to think of anybody who, on the way out of a — a failing company, and it was a failing company at that moment, squeeze more money out of — out of their board. FARRELL: And just to say, I mean, Andrew Ross Sorkin at — in this first big interview with Adam that he gave was — I mean, Adam defended it in different ways. I mean, Andrew very much pushed him on like why that was okay and … RITHOLTZ: Very aggressively. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: That was early November. And he was sort of contrite and, you know, a little shifty, but for the most part surprisingly transparent. I was — when I was prepping for this, I watched this and, you know, you could see how he constructs that, you know, reality distortion field. But there was definitely more humility than we have seen previously. I don’t want to say humble, but just closer on that spectrum. Clearly, he wants to have a future in — in business, and he needs to offer a few mea culpas of his own. FARRELL: It does feel like this is the first step on the come back toward … RITHOLTZ: Yeah. FARRELL: … Adam Neumann. RITHOLTZ: I think that’s going to be a pretty big uphill battle. That’s going to be quite the Kilimanjaro to — to — to mount given what a debacle … FARRELL: The interesting thing just so in terms of his next step is I — I agree with you, there’s an uphill battle in terms of maybe getting people to — to give him money, but he now has a lot of money and from … RITHOLTZ: Family office, yeah. FARRELL: Exactly. Anecdotally, it sounds like a lot of people are very happy to take his money. So, to begin, that’s, you know, he’s seeding a lot of things that you — who knows where they’re going to go. RITHOLTZ: Interesting. So, I only have you for a limited amount of time. Let me jump to our favorite questions we ask all of our guests starting with, you spend a lot of time researching and writing during the lockdown. Did you have any time to stream anything on Netflix or Amazon Prime? FARRELL: There — I mean, there’s still a lot of like downtime. I — I probably watched not much. You know, there — there was downtime, and I did have a few shows that were … RITHOLTZ: Give us one or two favorites. FARRELL: … Little Fires Everywhere. I really liked Never Have I Ever. RITHOLTZ: I just started watching the last week, it’s quite charming. FARRELL: Yeah, it’s really good. RITHOLTZ: Anything Mindy Kaling does is quite amusing. FARRELL: She is amazing. Schitt’s Creek, we got through the whole — that was with my favorite pandemic. RITHOLTZ: So, the — the funny thing about that is the first episode, too, were like – it’s like — it’s like succession. You don’t like any of these people. The difference being in Schitt’s Creek, you quickly start to warm up to them and they start to reveal their own path to rehabilitation of — of themselves. FARRELL: It just gets better like ever — and then it’s so devastating at the end. RITHOLTZ: So, it was really great, right? That – that was one of my favorites. Let’s talk about your mentors, who helped shape your career as a business journalist. FARRELL: I guess, my earliest mentor as a journalist, in general, was in college, I’d always thought about journalism, and I got an internship with then, I think, a septuagenarian journalist. He — his name was Gabe Pressman. I grew up in New York. He was an NBC … RITHOLTZ: Sure. FARRELL: … journalist. This is sort of the political head honcho of local journalism. I worked for him for a summer. He was in his, I think, late 70s. And he was just the most energetic, passionate journalist I’ve ever met. He was still like chasing after mayors, grilling them. It was — with the Senate race it was Hillary in the Senate race. And it was like the most fun summer I’ve ever had and seeing his energy. And — and he — he passed away a few years ago, but literally, he started blogging into his 90s. And he would joke. He would say, “You know, my wife really wants me to like take a step back and work and teach at Columbia Journalism School,” where he had gone. And he was like, “I’m just not ready like, at some point, like scale back, and he never really did. So, he — I would say he was my first mentor. Just seeing like that, it is the most fun job in the world. He just was seeing that day in and day out. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about books. What are some of your favorites and — and what are you reading right now? FARRELL: Sure. I’ll start, you know, I always wish I read more fiction, but it’s like I always get pulled in, especially the business, genre. RITHOLTZ: Sure. FARRELL: So right at this minute, I’m reading “Trillions” by Robbin Wigglesworth. It’s really good. It’s about like index funds, sort of I’m learning a lot from it, the rise of Vanguard. RITHOLTZ: He was my guest last week just so you know … FARRELL: Oh, awesome. RITHOLTZ: … or two weeks ago. FARRELL: I’m midway through, but I’m, yeah, learning … RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. FARRELL: … a ton from it. I just read Anderson Cooper’s book about the Vanderbilts. It’s — I thought it was really great and it’s so interesting. You know, he talks — it starts like the Gilded Age. And you just see so many like eerie and kind of parallels between our age right now and just like the level of like wealth creation and what it leads to. So, I really enjoyed that. I read — this is a little bit dated, but “Say Nothing” by Patrick Radden Keefe. It’s about the troubles in Northern Ireland. It is — I mean, it’s — it’s very sad, but I — and it’s pretty long, and I just could not put it down. It’s … RITHOLTZ: Really? FARRELL: … so great. Yeah, I can’t recommend that one highly enough. RITHOLTZ: Quite, quite interesting. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who was interested in a career in either journalism or — or business? FARRELL: In terms of journalism, I would just say jump in. I mean, it’s such a — as opposed to business, I felt like when I graduated from college, you know, so many people had jobs that they were going to make, you know, a decent amount of money. And with the journalism, you just have to find your way in and a lot of its internships. And it just — the path is hard. There’s no straight line. So, I would just say for journalism, it really helps to just jump into the first job you can get. Work really hard in it. And you just always have to keep — there’s no straight line, but jump and learn from it, meet people, find your mentors everywhere you go, and just keep going. You learn so much on the job. I went to Journalism School at Columbia. It was a super fun year, but it’s like within two days of working as a journalist, you just learn so much you can never learn in school. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of IPOs, capital market, business journalism today that you didn’t know 15, 20 years ago when you were first starting out? FARRELL: Okay. What I think have learned and probably the most in writing this book is you think people are rational players, and you think that titans of business are supposed to behave in sort of a rational way, and that these, you know, these checkmarks, these — like a T. Rowe Price or something or Fidelity that they’re going to do a certain amount of work looking at things. And I think the level of irrationality in business of just relationships of people, sort of not necessarily making rational decisions and just going with their gut and going with the people they like, I think, are cool like that that overrides a lot of things. I think it’s just so much less rational than you think it would be. And sometimes the things that are on their face seem really crazy and insane, maybe are. RITHOLTZ: Quite, quite fascinating. We have been speaking with Maureen Farrell. She is the co-author of “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.” If you enjoyed this conversation, well, be sure to check out any of our previous 400 interviews. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, wherever your podcasts from. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. You can sign up for my daily reads at ritholtz.com. I would be remiss if I did not thank the team that helps put together these conversations each week. Charlie Vollmer is my Audio Engineer. Atika Valbrun is our Project Manager. Michael Batnick is my Director of Research. Paris Wald is my Producer. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: Maureen Farrell appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureDec 15th, 2021

16 B Corps making products we love that you can feel good about buying

B Corporations are businesses that get voluntarily graded by the nonprofit B Lab on everything from worker health to environmental impact. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.United by Blue B Corps are businesses graded on their efforts to create an inclusive, sustainable economy. These companies treat "good business" as an idea that includes both profit and purpose.  Below, we rounded up the B Corps we love shopping at most, including Patagonia, Allbirds, and Prose. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyAs history can attest, nonprofits aren't enough to single-handedly eradicate poverty and inequality and infuse the workplace with jobs that make workers feel dignified and purposeful.To pitch in, some companies are willing to bet on a different conceptualization of "good business." Perhaps most impressive of this group are B Corps — businesses that nonprofit B Lab grade each year to ensure they're meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Companies awarded B Corp status have committed to using their businesses to work toward a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They strive to reduce inequality; lower poverty levels; and create a healthier environment, stronger communities, and purposeful jobs.They leverage their resources to pay into a better world, creating a definition of success that includes commonwealth and positive impact as necessary aspects of sustainable consumerism. It's not charity; it's better business, and the point is to move the needle on "better practices" further from extra credit and closer to universal compliance.We rounded up 16 companies we love to shop from that also happen to be certified B Corps, helping drive a global movement that uses business as a force for good. Check out 16 B-Corps brands we love to shop from:LeesaLeesaLeesa is best-known for being one of the forerunners in the increasingly crowded direct-to-consumer mattress space. Its Leesa Mattress has over 20,000 five-star reviews, and its Hybrid is one of the picks in our best mattress guide.The company also has a strong social impact: giving one mattress for every ten sold and devoting resources to national and local organizations. Despite the startup's accomplishments in a crowded space, Leesa's Head of Social Impact, Jen-Ai Notman, told Insider the social mission would be likely to still rank as the overwhelming incentive for working at the company.Overall, Leesa has donated more than 37,000 mattresses to those in need and makes a point to provide the opportunity for employees to feel invested in their own backyards with local volunteer opportunities.Shop Leesa here.The Body ShopThe Body Shop/FacebookYou may know The Body Shop from frequent trips to the mall, but the retailer has attracted a dedicated customer base for its social responsibility and wide array of ethically sourced bodycare products. In 2019, the company became a certified B Corp.Since opening its doors in 1976, The Body Shop has launched a series of activism campaigns, even becoming the first international cosmetics brand recognized under the Humane Cosmetics Standard.The Body Shop has also launched a Community Trade partnership with The Tungteiya Women's Association in northern Ghana. Through the partnership, over 640 women help source the high-quality shea butter used in The Body Shop's products, like the shea butter shampoo and conditioner, which is former senior reporter Connie Chen's go-to haircare set.The Coconut Body Butter is one of our favorite bodycare products, and we ranked its Tea Tree Oil as the best tea tree oil we've tried. Shop The Body Shop here.ProseProseProse is a trailblazer for custom haircare and is one of the most personalized beauty brands on the market.Launched in 2017 and added to the B Corp list in 2019, Prose creates complete customized haircare products that cater to the specific needs and goals of each individual's hair and scalp. Prose founders used their experiences in marketing, digital strategy, and R&D roles at consumer product companies like Procter & Gamble and L'Oréal to help define Prose's data-driven and ingredient-centric business model.Because of this technology-driven approach mixed with an apothecary-style concept, Prose's made-to-order products offer the highest quality of clean, sustainably sourced ingredients.Read our entire Prose review here.Shop Prose here.AllbirdsAllbirds/InstagramAllbirds are often referred to as the "world's most comfortable shoes," and we'd be inclined to agree. We also love that each collection seems to get even better at optimizing natural materials without raising prices or diminishing quality.Allbirds' classic sneakers and loungers are made from moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating, odor-resistant merino wool that is ZQ-certified (meaning it meets stringent standards for sustainable farming and animal welfare) and uses 60% less energy than synthetics.Their second collection was comprised of sneakers and skippers made from cooling, eco-friendly eucalyptus pulp. Both collections are ultra-comfortable, low-maintenance, made from sustainable materials, and cost $95 for a pair. Shop Allbirds here.PatagoniaPatagoniaPatagonia is a beloved outdoors company for many reasons: its superior products and the environmental efforts that led to it being named a UN Champion of the Earth in 2019, the UN's top environmental honor.You can read more on how Patagonia walks the walk here. A few of our favorite examples include being the first California company to sign up for B certification in 2012; imposing an earth tax on itself; and giving 100% (yes, 100%) of their profits from Black Friday in the past directly to grassroots nonprofits working to protect air, water, and soil quality for future generations. Since 1985, the company has donated over $89 million to environmental work.It also bucks corporate trends by not being afraid to get political. It's led boycotts and sued the United States government after the former Trump administration proposed reducing two national monuments by up to 85%.The company also revised its mission statement from "build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis" to the simpler, more urgent "we're in business to save our home planet."Shop Patagonia here.CotopaxiCotopaxiCotopaxi is an outdoors brand with social purpose built into its DNA. Its gear is superior (I count their 35L and 42L travel pack as among my all-time best finds). But, somehow, it's almost more exciting to talk about the work the company is doing outside of its retail line. From its inception, Cotopaxi has been founded upon the idea that the interests of profit and people could not only coexist but should and already do enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship.The B Corp values can be found at all levels of operation. Employees spend 10% of their work time in their local communities, adventuring outdoors, or doing service. The company donates 1% of its yearly revenue to ending poverty by funding local organizations working on sustainable solutions. Cotopaxi also puts out a Repurposed Collection of limited-edition gear made out of product scraps. The company has also created a skills-based volunteering initiative that leverages the time and talent of employees to respond to community needs, such as a card-writing program that provides a paid first job for refugees in Salt Lake City. The program provides youth with professional development, work experience, a competitive wage, and the opportunity to practice their English language skills. This is one company whose "Do Good" products actually feel authentic. Shop Cotopaxi here.Frank and OakFrank And OakFrank and Oak is a Canadian apparel company dedicated to making modern, high-quality essentials with sustainable materials and production methods.The company has winter boots made from coffee waste, recycled rubber, and plant-dyed leather, as well as circular denim made from post-consumer waste in a way that uses 79% less energy, 50% fewer chemicals, and 95% less water than the standard.About 50% of the retailer's products are made with minimal-impact processes and materials. Its shipping boxes are 100% recycled and recyclable, and its bags are biodegradable. What's more, its Canadian stores were built with recycled materials. It also keeps a lean supply of products on hand to avoid surplus, which makes nearly every collection limited-edition. Shop Frank and Oak.BombasBombasBombas is another company that was founded with the primary directive of giving back to the community, with its actual product idea coming second. But Bombas are still the best pair of socks we've ever tried.Founders David Heath and Randy Goldberg told Insider the now cult-favorite company began as a way to address the fact that homeless shelters have a great shortage of sock donations. And after noticing that consumers didn't have a great option between high-end niche technical socks and a six-pack at Target, Heath and Goldberg spent two years obsessively re-inventing the wheel.Bombas socks have blister tabs, a reinforced footbed, targeted areas of tension, "stay-up technology," and contoured seaming like a Y-stitched heel to minimize bunching, sliding, and sticking.Since 2013, the company has also donated more than 48,000,000 million items to homeless shelters thanks to its "buy one, give one" model for its socks and tees.And the socks and clothes Bombas does donate have been designed in conjunction with their giving partners to cater specifically to the needs of its recipients, who may not have access to the luxury of putting on clean clothes every day. For instance, the socks come in darker colors to avoid visible wear and tear, added anti-microbial treatment to prevent odor or bacteria if they can't be washed as frequently, and reinforced seams for durability. Shop Bombas here.BeautycounterBeautycounterBeautycounter, a skincare and makeup brand, has become synonymous with the clean beauty movement. Since its founding in 2013, the company has had what it calls The Never List — a laundry list of 1,800 questionable or harmful chemicals that are never used in its products, including the 1,400 banned or restricted by the EU. (The US bans just 30.)It's also involved in advocacy for better, healthier legal regulation in the US and Canada. Its makeup is solid, but it has some of the best skincare products around — and all blessedly sans harmful chemicals.Read our entire Beautycounter review here.Shop Beautycounter here.TentreeTentreeTentree is an outdoor company that essentially thinks of itself as a forestry program that ended up selling clothes. For every product you buy, the company plants 10 trees through thoughtful programs that reforest the earth and help rebuild communities around sustainable local economies. Since its inception, Tentree has planted over 57 million new trees on earth. By 2030, the company's goal is 1 billion. The brand's clothes mostly consist of comfy, unassuming sweatshirts, shirts, leggings, and other basic apparel sold at a reasonable price. It's also fostered a lively online community and lays claim to one of the most-liked Instagram posts of all time.Shop Tentree here.United by BlueUnited By BlueUnited by Blue, an outdoor apparel and accessories brand, was founded first and foremost to preserve and protect the places in which explorers go to play. That means its top-notch gear goes hand-in-hand with conservation work.The company utilizes inventive, sustainable materials and removes 1 pound of trash from the world's oceans and waterways for every product sold. It's working to ban single-use plastic from its business operations. You can also join them in a cleanup. We're particularly big fans of their flannel shirts as well as their jackets and socks that utilize bison down — a surprisingly sustainable material that packs a lot of warmth. Shop United by Blue here.EthiqueEthiqueEthique is helping tackle plastic waste by developing solid bars made for beauty, body, and haircare needs.Founded by a female biologist, the company formulates over 30 solid beauty bars that work as shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, self-tanners, and body washes, and they work well. Every bar is vegan, sustainably sourced, naturally derived, and comes in biodegradable packaging. They also last two to five times longer than bottled options since they're so concentrated (since about 70% of bottled shampoo is water), meaning you save money and contribute a smaller carbon footprint since you're ordering less frequently. To date, the company has prevented the making of more than 11 million plastic bottles.Ethique (French for "ethical") is certified climate-neutral and cruelty-free and donates 20% of its profit to charity.In 2015, the company was recognized as New Zealand's most sustainable business with the Best in B award. In its early stages, the company also attracted the highest number of female investors in PledgeMe history. (PledgeMe is New Zealand's crowdfunding platform.)Shop Ethique here. (Its Amazon orders are fulfilled by Pharmapacks.)AthletaAthletaSan Francisco-based Athleta makes relatively affordable but premium performance clothing designed by women athletes, and it focuses most of its philanthropy on empowering girls and women. Through the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program and Fair Trade U.S.A., the label supports programs impacting the lives of the majority-female workers that create its apparel and has run empowerment-focused campaigns such as "Power of She." The company also offers thousands of free fitness and wellness events each year.  In 2021, it's diverted 74% of shipping waste from landfills, and 71% of its materials are made from sustainable fibers.Shop Athleta here.Uncommon GoodsUncommonGoodsUncommonGoods is a marketplace of creative craft-esque inventions, like long-distance friendship lamps, that make great gifts. The site feels like a clean, navigable Etsy with fewer products and a more distinct thesis: utilitarian but "unique." It's unusual to see a diverse aggregator like UncommonGoods as a B Corp (Etsy gave up the distinction in 2017), but the company has been one since 2007. UncommonGoods works with its artists to use sustainable or recycled materials when possible, chooses environmentally friendlier packing materials, and prints its catalog on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified and recycled paper. They also founded "Better to Give," which allows customers to choose a nonprofit partner for the company to donate $1 to with every order. For UncommonGoods, the "business for good" model is working, with the company growing steadily from five employees to over 200 year-round. As part of their approach to business, their lowest-paid hourly seasonal worker makes double the federal minimum wage. They've also advocated for higher minimum wage and paid family leave in New York and other states. The company partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and created the Uncommon Scholars program, which creates internship and scholarship opportunities for students enrolled at historically Black colleges and universities.Shop UncommonGoods here.MPOWERDAmazonNYC-based MPOWERD makes affordable, innovative products that help make clean energy accessible. Its best-known product is the Luci, an inflatable solar light. Particularly well-loved for its versatile applications for campers and hikers, MPOWERD is an increasingly recognizable name in the outdoors genre.Its big sales drive down costs, and those savings are passed on to MPOWERD's clients in developing economies.Through this process and a myriad of others, the company delivers affordable, life-changing solar lights to off-the-grid communities around the world. It has over 700 strategic nonprofit partnerships worldwide, emergency relief sales, and a customer-driven Give Luci program that encourages shoppers to purchase units for their global nonprofit partners. Shop MPOWERD here.Eileen FisherEileen FisherEileen Fisher has been a B-Corp since 2015 and has incorporated conscious practices into most of its supply chain, including "green initiatives" at its headquarters, stores, and distribution centers, along with volunteer work.The company has been involved in some meaningful policy engagement in the past, and it has designed a grant program that supports women involved in environmental justice. Shop Eileen Fisher.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 17th, 2021

Black and Hispanic mothers face dangerous hurdles during pregnancy - the CEO of a $1 billion startup is on a mission to change that

In the latest Equity Talk, the billion-dollar startup founder Kate Ryder said she wanted to reimagine healthcare. Samantha Lee/Insider Maven CEO and founder Kate Ryder built a healthcare startup valued at over $1 billion. Maven In an Equity Talk, Maven CEO Kate Ryder shared a vision for a more equitable women's health system. Maven recently secured $110 million in funding, bringing the company's valuation to $1 billion. Ryder is focused on expanding health services for women of color and women who receive Medicaid. See more stories on Insider's business page. In 2012, Kate Ryder closed the book on a journalism career and joined the world of venture capital. The then-30-year-old started thinking about the problems she could solve through startups. Talking with her friends brought up a big one. Like many women, Ryder's friends shouldered the brunt of child-rearing responsibilities before, during, and after their 9-to-5s. Navigating the healthcare system, they said, was a nightmare. So in 2014, Ryder founded Maven, a virtual health clinic for women and families that's now valued at over $1 billion. Her mission was and is to make the healthcare system easier for women and families to navigate. Things changed in 2020 after she saw COVID-19's outsize influence on Black and brown women and the civil-rights reckoning of the summer. These events changed Ryder's perspective on her calling. What was a company for families more broadly would need to more closely center the experiences of marginalized ones. "George Floyd's murder opened up my eyes to things that I didn't know," she said. "I want to help create a more equitable world through healthcare." To be sure, the company has always strived to be inclusive. Maven provides parents (including queer and single parents) with fertility, pregnancy, adoption, parenting, and pediatric services. It's also funded by a powerful group of women investors.But now, Ryder is honing her focus on creating better healthcare solutions for mothers and parents from marginalized communities. The company is building products and services for parents who utilize Medicaid. The healthcare system is especially difficult for women of color to navigate: Medical research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found they often must advocate for themselves more than white women to receive adequate treatment, as Serena Williams' near-death birthing experience made clear for many. Maven pairs every user with a patient advocate who helps connect them with the right providers, schedule appointments, and find additional resources. It also lists providers who have experience with certain communities to better tailor the health journey to the patient."I want to change the health of the world, one woman and one family at a time, and really provide more access to care," she told Insider. "My goal is to fill the gaps in care with a reimagined care model for women and families." In an Equity Talk, Insider's new series featuring executives discussing their work to advance social justice, Ryder shared her vision for the company and how she was strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for customers and employees.This interview has been edited for length and clarity. In August, you raised over $110 million, bringing the total amount of funding to over $200 million. What are you focused on building right now? One of the big things we're going to be focusing on is further personalization across all the journeys our members go through. There's a first-time mom's journey and a third-time mom's journey. There's the IVF journey versus the surrogacy journey. We're also deeply concerned about health equity.There's the journey of the single mom who works an hourly job. How do we make sure our model and technology is compatible with the pain points and needs she has? We put the chief medical officer for the home, whoever that is, at the center of our platform. Internally, we're going to continue to focus on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. How are you advancing DEI internally at Maven?One thing we're really proud of is we offer unlimited vacation, flexible working options, and 14 weeks of paid parental leave. I think it's really important when you're looking at DEI to actually be very principled in your approach. What are the principles? What are the problems you're trying to solve for? And then build that into your KPIs and policies. We treat DEI like any other business goal, just like revenue or sales. So that ensures we're creating positive change. We wanted to ensure that a mom, a parent, has enough bonding time with their child in those first crucial months. I also want to create an environment where there's room to be your whole self, and that includes if you're a parent. That has to be modeled from the top. My son will show up in Zoom calls. I'll talk about my kids in meetings. We have lactation rooms in our office. I want to create that space for employees to be their whole selves. You mentioned you treat DEI goals like you do marketing goals or hiring goals. Can you show me how you do that? We publish our workforce statistics on our website. So it's very transparent to everybody what the racial and gender makeup of our employees is. I think you can't make things better unless you're actually honest about your data. So you can see that on our website.Last June, after George Floyd was murdered, and there was a lot of conversation around how to solve the problems of racism at your own companies, we built these DEI groups. One group is focused on improving the company's hiring process. One is focused on the product representation, meaning do we have diverse representation in our product? We're improving our company that way.But DEI goes beyond race and gender. One group we realized we did not represent well enough was people with disabilities. And so we put more of that in our product visuals and goals. We're trying to go beyond just checking a box. It's a business priority in and of itself.As a leader, how were you changed by George Floyd's murder and the summer of 2020? A few years ago, during the height of the #MeToo movement, there was a point where some of my male friends said, "Wow, I didn't realize when you walk home at night, you might worry about all these things." I think with George Floyd, I was having those kinds of realizations. So I think it was a good wake-up call for everybody to really look at our representation across society and at our own companies and think, "How can we do better?" Because it's not acceptable where we are today. What's your next big diversity or inclusion project you're focused on over the next year?We're launching products for our first Medicaid customers next year. I think in this healthcare environment, where COVID-19 has laid bare around the racial disparities in care, but to really walk the walk around health equity, you have to serve the population that accounts for almost half the births that are on Medicaid plans. So from a product standpoint, we're genuinely going after diversity and inclusion. So you're really pushing health equity and making it central to your business model. Yeah. We're doing it not only because it's really critical to our mission, but it's like half of the population. So from a market standpoint, too, you're just missing a lot if you don't do that.I think we've learned a ton because we've always had diverse providers in our community, and we've always done cultural care matching. So we have a lot of learnings that we're leveraging as we continue to build out this product. I really think creating an equitable health system starts with bringing diverse experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives together.In your opinion, what role does a CEO play in society? It's changing a lot. I think that in the past, it was, of course, a CEO's job was to maximize shareholder value. I think that given that, you know, there hasn't been as much leadership at the government level, I think people are looking for more meaning and guidance by the leaders that they see in their day-to-day lives, including in the workplace.I think CEOs of companies are stepping up to fill some of these voids. So, for instance, with George Floyd's murder, I don't think 20 years ago you would have seen companies donate to charities or make investments as a reaction. But we made that choice to do so because we felt it was really important. Everyone at Maven wants a better world right now, so how do we do our part? We have to compete in the marketplace and be an operationally excellent business not only because that's how you win and how you scale, but it allows us to do a lot of these DEI initiatives and apply that same operational rigor to them so we can actually move the needle on some of these issues. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 6th, 2021

The salary journeys of employees across every industry: from the administrative assistant making $16.50 an hour to the pharmaceutical exec making $200,000+ a year

From marketing directors to software engineers, Insider's "Salary Journeys" series gives job seekers more info so they can advocate for fair wages. Alyssa Powell/Insider "Salary Journeys" is a series that reveals what people have made over the course of their careers. The goal is to increase salary transparency and empower people to achieve a fairer wage. Each salary journey spotlights a different person's path and the relationship they have to money. With predictions that skyrocketing prices aren't cooling off soon, US job seekers may be contemplating switching jobs, asking for the raise they've been dreaming of, or even changing industries entirely. Insider's "Salary Journeys" careers series, showcases how employees have navigated these types of transitions — from the data architect making $150,000 a year who loves getting to spend time with his family to the clinical psychologist making $72,000 who feels underpaid."If I'm being honest, I've come to understand that while my salary is important to me, my worth is more than the money I make," said one lawyer, who makes $154,000 a year. "I want to feel valued."The goal of "Salary Journeys" is to create more transparency for job seekers who want to make sure they are paid a fair wage. One Glassdoor study found 70% of employees across seven countries said they believed salary transparency is good for employee satisfaction. An even more sizable portion, 72% of respondents, thought it was good for business.Each salary journey, while anonymized, is an effort to provide a fuller picture of where opportunities lie and which career paths may intertwine in unexpected ways. If you are interested in submitting your salary journey, please email salaryjourneys@insider.com. All submissions are kept confidential.Data architect, $150,000 a yearEven though he knows he could make more elsewhere, a father of two in the South explains the trade off he makes to keep his work-life balance. He says the job isn't grueling, and it allows him to spend time with his wife and kids. "The work is interesting, my colleagues are smart, and this company is committed to its workers and its workers' families," he said. "If I ever need to leave work in the middle of the day to pick up my children, my manager or coworkers cover me."Read more: I'm a data architect in my 40s earning roughly $150,000 a year. I could make more money, but I know that comes with trade-offs.Social media editor, $70,000 a yearCurrently, in her second job, a 24-year-old white woman at a major media company believes she's underpaid by 20-30%. She's currently pulling double duty as an editor and show host for the brand, and says she's built much of the company's social following herself. "I'm in the process of drafting something telling my company that I need a raise to $85,000 or $90,000, or I'm going to look elsewhere," she said. "Even though I like my job, if another offer came my way that offered better opportunities, I'd take it without hesitation.Read more: I'm a 24-year-old social media editor making $70,000. I'm learning to ask for a salary that matches my worth.Associate director, $170,000 a year plus a 15% end-of-year bonusThis 42-year-old associate director loves her job working at a biotech company with oncology patients — she's passionate about her work, makes a high salary, and operates remotely. However, as a woman working in STEM, she has had to be bold about asking for what she wants. "There's more money on the table, and you just need to know how to ask for it," she said. "It doesn't come naturally — it's not a thing that women are socialized to do, but men do it all the time."Read more: I'm a 42-year-old woman researcher in biotech making $170,000 a year plus bonus. I've never been afraid to ask for a raise because 'there's more money on the table.'IT manager, $67,000 a yearA 30-year-old white man started working at his current employer in 2010, and made about $32,240 a year. Today, he earns around $67,000, but based on listings for similar jobs, he thinks he should be making closer to $85,000 or $95,000."I know that changing jobs is typically the most effective way to increase your salary," he said, "but I have a lot of anxiety about the idea of switching jobs." Growing up, his father bounced between many jobs after leaving the military, creating a feeling of instability. Read more: I'm a 30-year-old IT manager making $67,000. I've had one employer for 12 years, but I'm too anxious to leave.Marketing director, $125,000 a yearA 30-year-old Asian American woman who works with influencers says she owes a vote of thanks to social media for her own salary journey.After realizing she was the lowest-paid director on the team at a former job, she vowed to do her research and make the case at her current company that she deserved more."I had heard mention of 'salary adjustments' on TikTok and looked into that," she said. "They're not annual raises but out-of-cycle pay increases that get you where you need to be based on your role and responsibilities."Read more: I'm a 30-year-old influencer-marketing director making $125,000 at my dream job. TikTok helped me negotiate my salary.HR professional, $81,000 a yearFor over a decade, a 32-year-old white woman in human resources felt hamstrung by the Great Recession's effects on her compensation. She tried negotiating and asking for more responsibilities, but in the end, the only thing that worked was finding a new job.Now, she says, her employer pays her fairly and she feels valued by her manager. "It's clear that the job market is very different from when I first started," she said. "I'm glad to finally be making what I'm worth, with a work-life balance that is comfortable for me."Read more: I'm a 32-year-old HR professional making $81,000 a year. Job-hopping was the only way to make what I'm worth.Head of employee relations, $170,775 a year plus a $20,000 signing bonus and 25% target bonusA 31-year-old Black human-resources manager is a proponent of job-hopping, having benefited from the practice herself —today, she's with her fifth employer and earning $212,000 a year. Since she works in HR, she has a transparent view of salary dynamics and how pay works. She also believes most employees will only see an annual raise of 3% or 5%. The only way to get a significant salary increase is to take a new job, she added. "Some of my more traditional colleagues look down on job-hoppers and see them as less committed to their organizations," she said. "I don't look at how long candidates stayed in jobs. Instead, I ask: What did they accomplish?" Read more: I'm a 31-year-old Black woman in HR who makes over $200,000 a year. Job-hopping gets a bad rap, but it's always helped me make what I'm worth.Telecoms sales, $7,000 a monthAfter an early stint as an ad executive in radio broadcasting, a 26-year-old Black man living in the South moved into telecommunications sales as an hourly employee.He is the sole breadwinner for his family, so he was determined to achieve a managerial role within the first year. As it turned out, his dedication and willingness to take advantage of opportunities that came his way led to a promotion offer within the first six months, taking his income to $3,500 a month, plus an average of $3,500 a month in commission.Read more: I'm a 26-year-old in telecommunications sales making $7,000 a month. Hard work and clever planning helped me negotiate a life-changing promotion.Clinical psychologist, $72,000 a yearThe COVID-19 pandemic has made this 59-year-old white woman's job as a clinical psychologist even more challenging. She's been working with patients with severe and persistent mental illness for 14 years, and while she loves her work, she feels underpaid and has $32,000 in debt."It's really unfortunate because, especially over the past two years of the pandemic, it seems as though everyone has a mental-health problem," she said. "But mental-health providers can't take any more clients." Read more: I'm a 59-year-old psychologist who used to be a private chef. I make the same salary as I did 20 years ago, but now have $32,000 in student-loan debt.Software engineer, $183,000 per yearGrowing up with two engineer parents and a strong understanding of finance, a 32-year-old white man living on the West Coast talked about feeling underpaid relative to his peers in Big Tech. "I know I'm incredibly lucky and privileged," he said. "Still, given my field, when I apply for a job, I'm probably not going to settle for less than $220,000 a year, which is closer to what I believe other people in my position are making."Read more: I'm a 32-year-old software engineer at a Big Tech company making $183,000. I know I've been incredibly lucky, but I'm still underpaid.Lawyer, $154,000 per yearFeeling valued at work was never part of the equation for a 36-year-old white male lawyer, until he began making more and noticed it was coming with a cost.His current job — in-house counsel for an environmental-markets company — has been a radical shift from his grueling prior roles. He described the culture and atmosphere as "life-changing." "My boss treats me well," he said. "And my colleagues take an interest in me, getting to know my wife's name and asking about my kids' T-ball team."Read more: I'm a 36-year-old lawyer making $154,000. My salary journey over 7 years is a story of learning my self-worth.Accounting specialist, $50,000 a yearThis 59-year old woman found herself unemployed in August of 2021. Even with more than two decades of experience under her belt, she struggled to find a job that would compensate her fairly or offer her a flexible working environment. She finally found a hybrid role and will be making $50,000 annually. "In the midst of the Great Resignation, I seem to be left sorting through the scraps of jobs that no one else wants," she said. "The places that would give me more money were places I didn't want to work — they didn't offer remote work."Read more: I'm a 59-year-old whose accounting job was eliminated after 20 years. Finding something new felt like 'sorting through the scraps' of bad jobs.Administrative assistant, $16.50 an hourCOVID-19 was devastating for this 37-year-old white woman working in the Midwest. She was jobless for nine months and said she didn't receive unemployment for half that time.Today, she works in a role that she loves and looks back at the experience as a learning opportunity. "I know how to ask for a raise and adjust to a pay cut," she said. "And I've learned to look out for myself and keep an eye on potential opportunities."Read more: I'm a 37-year-old administrative assistant making $16.50 an hour, and I've never been happier. Here's my salary journey over 4 jobs.Editor, $46,000 per yearNegotiations have never come easy to this Latina editor in the Southeast, and she fears it could be having a negative effect on her overall career trajectory.As a result, the 27-year-old said she's never had a negotiation go well and has settled for what she's been offered."Working closely with my higher-ups has taught me how replaceable we are to them," she said. "I'm nervous that if I push too hard, I will be out of a job."Read more: I'm a 27-year-old editor earning up to $46,000 a year. I have a hard time negotiating and don't know what it will mean for my career.Pharmaceutical executive, $203,000 per yearThe 25-year salary journey of a white male pharma executive is one of slow and steady increases. Starting as a contractor 16 years ago, he worked his way up the ladder. Today, he makes $203,000 in salary plus bonus, and an additional $25,000 in stock options."I'm never going to be a millionaire," he said. "But I think I'm well-compensated and that I make a fair wage for the kind of work I do. At this point, I'd have to be offered an exorbitant amount of money to jump ship to a new company."Read more: I'm a 46-year-old pharma exec making over $200,000 a year. I had no idea the industry would be this lucrative.Property-management sales, $125,000 a year, plus a $75,000 commissionThis 38-year-old Black man found himself struggling to build his career in interior sales after signing a non-compete contract with a former employer. The multiple lawsuits he faced from his former employee were anxiety-inducing at the time, but they eventually led him to real estate—a field he really connects with and loves. "My parents' generation was staunchly loyal to employers," he said. "As a millennial, I feel a little differently: I feel like I have to do what's best for me, my mental health, and my career path."Read more: I'm a 38-year-old Black man making $200,000 in real-estate sales. I finally feel like I'm making what I'm worth.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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These 46 pitch decks helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOSussing out bad actorsFrom left to right: Cofounders CTO David Movshovitz, CEO Doron Hendler, and chief architect Adi DeGaniRevealSecurityAn encounter with an impersonation hacker led Doron Hendler to found RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity startup that monitors for insider threats.Two years ago, a woman impersonating an insurance-agency representative called Hendler and convinced him that he made a mistake with his recent health insurance policy upgrade. She got him to share his login information for his insurer's website, even getting him to give the one-time passcode sent to his phone. Once the hacker got what she needed, she disconnected the call, prompting Hendler to call back. When no one picked up the phone, he realized he had been conned.He immediately called his insurance company to check on his account. Nothing seemed out of place to the representative. But Hendler, who was previously a vice president of a software company, suspected something intangible could have been collected, so he reset his credentials."The chief of information security, who was on the call, he asked me, 'So, how do you want me to identify you? You gave your credentials; you gave your ID; you gave the one time password. How the hell can I identify that it's not you?' And I told him, 'But I never behave like this,'" Hendler recalled of the conversation.RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cyber startup that tracks user behavior for abnormalities, used this 27-page deck to raise its Series AA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AHelping fintechs manage dataProper Finance co-founders Travis Gibson (left) and Kyle MaloneyProper FinanceAs the flow of data becomes evermore crucial for fintechs, from the strappy startup to the established powerhouse, a thorny issue in the back office is becoming increasingly complex.Even though fintechs are known for their sleek front ends, the back end is often quite the opposite. Behind that streamlined interface can be a mosaic of different partner integrations — be it with banks, payments players and networks, or software vendors — with a channel of data running between them. Two people who know that better than the average are Kyle Maloney and Travis Gibson, two former employees of Marqeta, a fintech that provides other fintechs with payments processing and card issuance. "Take an established neobank for example. They'll likely have one or two card issuers, two to three bank partners, ACH processing for direct deposits and payouts, mobile check deposits, peer-to-peer payments, and lending," Gibson told Insider. Here's the 12-page pitch deck a startup helping fintechs manage their data used to score a $4.3 million seed from investors like Redpoint Ventures and Y CombinatorE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Branded cards for SMBsJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym.TandymJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is no stranger to the private-label credit-card business. As a former Capital One exec, she worked in both the card giant's co-brand partnerships division and its tech organization during her seven years at the company.Now, Glaspie-Lundstrom is hoping to use that experience to innovate a sector that was initially created in malls decades ago.Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym, which offers private-label digital credit cards to merchants. Store and private-label credit cards aren't a new concept, but Tandym is targeting small- and medium-sized merchants with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Glaspie-Lundstrom said that group often struggles to offer private-label credit due to the expense of working with legacy players."What you have is this example of a very valuable product type that merchants love and their customers love, but a huge, untapped market that has heretofore been unserved, and so that's what we're doing with Tandym," Glaspi-Lundstrom told Insider.A former Capital One exec used this deck to raise $60 million for a startup helping SMBs launch their own branded credit cardsCatering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingSpeeding up loans for government contractors OppZo cofounders Warren Reed and Randy GarrettOppZoThe massive market for federal government contracts approached $700 billion in 2020, and it's likely to grow as spending accelerates amid an ongoing push for investment in the nation's infrastructure. Many of those dollars flow to small-and-medium sized businesses, even though larger corporations are awarded the bulk of contracts by volume. Of the roughly $680 billion in federal contracts awarded in 2020, roughly a quarter, according to federal guidelines, or some $146 billion that year, went to smaller businesses.But peeking under the hood of the procurement process, the cofounders of OppZo — Randy Garrett and Warren Reed — saw an opportunity to streamline how smaller-sized businesses can leverage those contracts to tap in to capital.  Securing a deal is "a government contractor's best day and their worst day," as Garrett, OppZo's president, likes to put it."At that point they need to pay vendors and hire folks to start the contract. And they may not get their first contract payment from the government for as long as 120 days," Reed, the startup's CEO,  told Insider. Check out the 12-page pitch deck OppZo, a fintech that has figured out how to speed up loans to small government contractors, used to raise $260 million in equity and debtHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersAutomating accounting ops for SMBsDecimal CEO Matt Tait.DecimalSmall- and medium-sized businesses can rely on any number of payroll, expense management, bill pay, and corporate-card startups promising to automate parts of their financial workflow. Smaller firms have adopted this corporate-financial software en masse, boosting growth throughout the pandemic for relatively new entrants like Ramp and massive, industry stalwarts like Intuit. But it's no easy task to connect all of those tools into one, seamless process. And while accounting operations might be far from where many startup founders want to focus their time, having efficient back-end finances does mean time — and capital — freed up to spend elsewhere. For Decimal CEO Matt Tait, there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff you have to do to survive as a company," he told Insider. Launched in 2020, Decimal provides a back-end tech layer that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to integrate their accounting and business-management software tools in one place.On Wednesday, Decimal announced a $9 million seed fundraising round led by Minneapolis-based Arthur Ventures, alongside Service Providers Capital and other angel investors. See the 13-page pitch deck for Decimal, a startup automating accounting ops for small businessesInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider4 hr. 4 min. ago

Drugs, blood, confetti, and broken glass: Atlantic City housekeepers share what they wish guests knew — and why they need a raise

Housekeepers said they make $16.25 an hour or less to clean casino hotel rooms that have gotten much filthier since the pandemic started. Service workers and their employers are negotiating a new contract at Caesars Atlantic City.Charles Davis/Insider Atlantic City housekeepers say the hotel rooms they clean are dirtier than ever. Staff told Insider they had just 30 minutes to clean rooms that have been completely trashed. Workers are threatening to strike if they don't receive raises before the July 4 weekend. ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — Ana Maldonado was animated when she described how the job she'd been performing for 18 years was worse than ever.Originally from Honduras, the mother of four moved to the East Coast's oceanfront gambling mecca — a modest answer to Las Vegas, with the advantage of a boardwalk and a beach — to clean rooms in casino hotels, persevering through multiple recessions, natural disasters, and the outbreak of a novel coronavirus.In the best of times, which may well have been decades ago, a resort city that formally billed itself as "always turned on" was not associated with dignity and class. Atlantic City was where people went to engage in sin, of the legally permissible variety or otherwise. But 2 1/2 years of COVID-19, labor shortages, and inflation have made life less bearable for the workers who make possible the overindulgence of others."It's not a job that's really valued, by society or by the companies," Maldonado told Insider, speaking rapidly in Spanish outside a ballroom in Caesars Atlantic City, where employees like her are engaged in negotiations for a new contract. That was true before 2020, but workers like her now feel they are being asked to do more for even less money and respect."Since the pandemic, everything changed," she said.For one, fewer people are willing to scrub floors and bathroom tiles for little more than New Jersey's $13 minimum wage. But Maldonado said the rooms themselves are also being left more disgusting than they used to be, making an already unpleasant job that much more difficult."The day these people leave," Maldonado said, "the rooms are three times as dirty."Seven workers at Atlantic City casinos told Insider they're struggling to make ends meet cleaning rooms they say are filthier than ever. They described rooms full of shattered glass and linens, stained with bodily fluids from intravenous drug use, and carpets caked in food waste and confetti or soiled by dogs and cats that are practically impossible to sanitize in the 30 minutes or less that workers have to prepare rooms for the next guest.Maldonado, who works at Tropicana Atlantic City, said she regularly encountered cockroaches and ants swarming over the remains of food, with some guests turning their rooms into makeshift kitchens to avoid the rising costs of eating out. She said she's also been yelled at for trying to clean rooms where guests don't want to be caught taking "all kinds of drugs," though they leave behind both syringes and blood."This creates a personal risk for us," she said, adding that she and other housekeepers who spoke with Insider — mostly women of color, many of them immigrants, and all working for $16.25 an hour or less — were being asked to enter these sometimes occupied rooms alone.A receptionist at the Golden Nugget told Insider that rooms were cleaned every other day on average.Charles Davis/InsiderGuests declining cleaning services actually leads to more workIn Atlantic City, and elsewhere, hotels have been encouraging guests to decline daily cleaning services, citing concern for the environment, the threat of COVID-19, and, more recently, staff shortages.In a recent report, Unite Here Local 54, the union that represents housekeepers and other casino service workers, highlighted a photo of a sign in the lobby of the Golden Nugget that told guests: "Daily Housekeeping services are unavailable at this time."When Insider visited the Golden Nugget, there was no sign in the lobby. But when asked how often guests could expect rooms to be cleaned, an employee at reception said: "Usually every other day."Legally, that's not supposed to be the case. In June 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Democrat, signed into law a measure that required occupied hotel rooms to be "cleaned and sanitized every day."Lisa M. Ryan, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, said the state has sent letters to hotels informing them of their obligations under the law. "Complaints will be investigated by [the department's] inspection staff," she added.Golden Nugget did not respond to Insider's request for comment.Laws aside, guests may believe they're being more considerate by not insisting on daily cleaning. It's less work for others, right? And those sheets can last another day. But the workers interviewed for this story don't see it like that.Ronette Lark, a mother of two who's worked at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City for 24 years, handles room deliveries. Before the pandemic, that meant an extra towel or pillow. Now it's the whole shebang: blankets, sheets, and whatever else guests need to essentially clean their rooms themselves.By declining or not requesting daily cleaning services, Lark said, "you think you're doing me a favor, but you're not — you're just offloading more work."And that's more work for not much more money — indeed, for less money these days, considering inflation and the rising cost of everything. Outside a recent $0.25 hike in her hourly rate, bringing her up to $16.25, "I hadn't seen a raise since probably, like, Sandy came," Lark said, referring to the destructive 2012 hurricane.Not counting overtime, a $16.25 an hour wage translates to less than $32,000 a year in a region where, according to MIT's Living Wage Calculator, an adult with no children needs more than $37,000 to cover the annual cost of food, housing, and healthcare while maintaining a decent standard of life.Atlantic City offers one of few beaches in New Jersey where visitors do not need to pay a fee.Charles Davis/Insider'It's just terrible'Guests often do not clean rooms to which they have no long-term attachment, even if they're trying to be polite.Most leave their room worse than they found it — and many are not trying to do any work when they're on vacation and paying for the privilege of not caring."Now we have a situation where there are people not requesting service for two or three or four days a week, and when they leave, the work is much harder," Teresa Lopez, who has worked at Caesars for 20 years after moving from Puerto Rico, said in Spanish."When people don't want service, they throw their food, mixing everything together on the floor," she said, referring to sheets, towels, and other things in the room. "They even fight. There is even blood."Iris Sanchez, a mother of three and nine-year veteran of Caesars, said she regularly encountered the aftermath of hotel brawls."Glass all over the floor," she said. "They break stuff. They throw stuff. It's just terrible."The partiers aren't much better."There's 10 people where there should only be two people," she said.Sometimes because they don't want to get caught, these large groups often refuse daily service — leaving poorly ventilated showers covered in mold, Sanchez said."You throw water and just black stuff comes down," she said. And then there's the confetti that sticks to everything. "To vacuum that? Oh, my God, it's terrible," she added.And because guests aren't regularly having their rooms cleaned, they often aren't tipping, either."I could do 14 checkouts, and I'm lucky if I take home $20. That's how bad it is," Sanchez said.Mercedes Cuadros, an immigrant from Mexico who makes $16 an hour after 11 years as a housekeeper at Caesars, said she now has to work six days a week to make ends meet, at the expense of time with her two children."I would like to rest for two days because I have grandchildren. I have children, but I need to work," she said.In addition to her employer hiring more staff, she wants the state government to enforce daily cleaning requirements, saying that guests have been blaming — and verbally abusing — housekeepers like her when they're surprised to find their rooms have not been cleaned."I don't know much English," she said, "but I understand the curse words."Caesars Entertainment operates three of the casino hotels in Atlantic City: its namesake, Harrah's, and Tropicana.Charles Davis/InsiderWorkers threaten to strikeHousekeepers aren't just complaining.On June 15, a supermajority of unionized service staff at five Atlantic City casinos — Caesars, Tropicana, and Harrah's, which are operated by the same company, as well as the Borgata and Hard Rock — voted to authorize a strike if their negotiating committee failed to reach a new agreement with their employers ahead of the July 4 weekend. Unite Here said that in a survey of more than 1,900 of its members, 61% reported struggling to pay the cost of housing, with nearly one-third saying they struggled to pay for food.All of the casinos involved didn't respond to Insider's email requests for comment.Workers believe their employers have the money. Revenues have rebounded since the pandemic started, with Atlantic City casinos posting higher gambling wins than they did before COVID-19 — its best month in nearly a decade was May, according to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission."Over the years, casino workers have sacrificed wage increases for the health of the industry," Unite Here Local 54, which represents about 10,000 employees in Atlantic City, said in a statement. "Workers have persevered through casino closures, Hurricane Sandy, and a global pandemic. Now, they're falling behind. As industry's profits and gaming revenues surpass pre-pandemic levels, wages for Atlantic City's casino workers have not kept pace.""It's not enough," Rodney Mills, who fields guests' room requests at Tropicana for $16.25 an hour, said in an interview.The single father of three spent the first 17 months of the pandemic laid off from his job as a casino buffet server. He wants a livable wage, he said, without being required to work mandatory overtime because no one else wants to do the job for the advertised rate."We want to be treated as human beings," he said.Luana Molley, a grandmother with three kids of her own, described her work as "more dirty" and "more hazardous" than ever. She's spent 11 years working as a housekeeper at Harrah's and now makes $16.25 an hour. She said the current workload is affecting her quality of life."It's harder for me to help with the homework. It's harder for me to walk the dog. It's harder to spend time with my grandbaby. It's just harder," she said.But she was defiant when asked if that hardship would ever lead her to give up on life in the city where she was born."I will never be pushed out of my home. This is my hometown. This is where my sand is in my shoes, and I'm not letting anybody take that from me," she said. "I will do what I have to do. And if that's striking, then we will strike."Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider5 hr. 20 min. ago

New Corporate Policies on Abortion Travel Spark Worries About Employees’ Privacy

More than 25 companies, including Disney, Meta and Dick's Sporting Goods, announced that they would cover employees who need to travel to receive abortion care In the hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion, several major U.S. corporations announced they would cover travel expenses for employees who had to cross state lines to obtain an abortion. Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would provide up to $4,000 in travel expense reimbursement to employees who live in states with abortion restrictions, so they “can access the same health care options, regardless of where they live, and choose what is best for them,” CEO Lauren Hobart said in a LinkedIn post. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said it would offer travel expense reimbursements “to the extent permitted by law” for employees who need to access reproductive care in another state. “We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved,” a Meta spokesperson said. Disney told employees that a benefit offering them access to care in other states extends to “family planning (including pregnancy termination),” according to a company spokesperson. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] They’re among more than 25 companies—many of them household names—that announced such policies in the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision or after the official ruling on Friday. But as the dust settles in a post-Roe America, companies’ involvement in their employees’ abortion care also raises a host of new legal and privacy issues. And abortion-rights advocates are frustrated that people who become pregnant in states where abortion is illegal or heavily restricted will have to depend on their employer as they navigate complex health decisions. “Certainly women who have to access care are not overjoyed that this is where we find ourselves. This is a policy failure. This is a systemic failure,” says Erika Seth Davies, CEO of Rhia Ventures, a fund focused on reproductive health care that has encouraged companies to improve access to abortion. “And now we’re having to look to the private sector to just see to it that people can get what they need, and that’s a very precarious position.” Kayte Spector-Bagdady, a lawyer and bioethicist at the University of Michigan who focuses on health data, says she appreciates companies that are making well-intentioned efforts to support employees’ access to abortion. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty regarding what these policies will actually mean for employees; whether the benefits will be managed by health insurance providers, supervisors, or a human resources department; whether employees can use their health savings accounts for abortion care; and how employees’ privacy will be protected. Read More: What Abortion Providers in Anti-Abortion States Will Do Post-Roe “People think of health information as being protected because it’s about your health, and that’s not accurate,” she says. “I have a lot of concerns regarding the legality of the way they arrange this funding for travel, as well as the kinds of privacy protections that are in existence to protect the kind of information being generated in these relationships.” She acknowledges that company reimbursements are a valuable resource for people who could otherwise not afford to travel for abortion care, but sharing that kind of personal information with an employer poses additional challenges. “It’s a terrible position to put people into,” she says. The end of Roe v. Wade has given rise to new concerns about how sensitive abortion data—including period-tracking apps or internet searches for abortion-inducing medication—could be exploited amid efforts to criminalize abortion and potentially penalize people who have an abortion and those who help them. Read More: Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers Are Collecting Troves of Data That Could Be Weaponized Against Women So far, no states have criminal penalties for people who seek abortions—but there are signs that such laws may be coming. Texas and Oklahoma passed laws allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers and others who help someone get an abortion. It’s not yet clear if companies paying for employees’ abortion-related travel could also be liable, though a group of Republican lawmakers in Texas pledged to introduce legislation that would stop corporations from doing business in the state if they pay for abortions in other states, the Texas Tribune reported. And earlier this year, a Republican in Louisiana introduced a bill that would classify abortion as homicide and would allow prosecutors to criminally charge abortion patients. The bill was withdrawn after criticism, but it alarmed abortion-rights advocates. Roughly half of Americans receive health insurance through an employer—and experts note that employers have previously had access to other sensitive health information for their employees, which is often protected by federal health data privacy laws. But it’s not yet clear how every company will handle their new abortion-access policies—especially if threatened with legal or financial penalties. “When we’re talking about telling your employer that you’re going to get an abortion and the employer giving you cash to support that decision, that is far outside any scope of protected health data,” Spector-Bagdady says. “And also, I fear, opens women up to additional layers of potential discrimination.” She says companies need to prioritize data privacy to protect employee information as much as possible, while they roll out new policies supporting abortion access, “both to protect the company itself, but also in some states, the woman from criminal liability.” Read More: What to Know About Abortion Pills Post-Roe So far, no states have passed laws restricting patients’ ability to travel out of state for an abortion. But reproductive rights advocates worry that anti-abortion lawmakers could also pursue that in the future. “Employers should make sure that in providing these payment systems, they are standing in the shoes of the employee for a moment and thinking, ‘You know, what protections are necessary to ensure that employees can be comfortable taking advantage of them?’” says Liz Brown, an associate professor of business law and ethics at Bentley University in Massachusetts. One of the most important protections, she says, is confidentiality, “so that an employee doesn’t have to, for example, ask their boss or have their boss know.” With Roe overturned, 26 states are likely to ban abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that advocates for abortion rights. And low-income people and women of color are likely to be most heavily affected by lack of access to abortion, further exacerbating racial disparities in healthcare. Brown says it’s important for companies to keep that in mind and extend abortion-access policies to all front-line retail or service workers, not just employees in corporate offices. “I would strongly encourage employers to broaden access to this particular benefit as much as possible, considering the racial imbalance in the population that’s going to be most affected by these restrictions,” Brown says. So far, many large retailers have remained silent on this issue. That’s also why United for Respect, a nonprofit advocating for retail workers, has called on Walmart to follow other companies and enact a similar abortion-access policy for retail employees. (A spokesperson for Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.) “With a heavy concentration of retail locations in the south—where several states have abortion trigger laws in place—Walmart has an opportunity and a duty to step up and ensure its associates are supported in decisions they make about their own bodies,” Bianca Agustin, corporate accountability director at United for Respect, said in a statement. “As the largest private employer in the nation, Walmart executives can set the standard for other companies by supporting their associates and providing adequate maternity leave, paid sick leave, and covering the cost of expenses for associates who need to travel across state lines to access abortion services.” And many advocates for reproductive rights have called on companies to do more than offer health benefits, but to stop donating to legislators who have supported anti-abortion legislation. “We should have never gotten here—to this point where corporations are reactively—and falsely —committing to fighting for abortion access,” UltraViolet, an organization that advocates for gender equality and reproductive health, said in a tweet. The group says that corporations have donated more than $195 million collectively to anti-abortion lawmakers since 2020. Davies thinks that companies’ abortion-access policies represent a step in the right direction, but it’s only a start. She would like to see more companies lobby Congress for federal policies that support reproductive health care and protect abortion access. “We don’t have to be in this position of having to, again, look to the private sector for this coverage and this access,” she says. “How are companies leveraging their political spending? Is it in alignment with the values that they espouse? And if it’s not, then it should be.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeJun 29th, 2022

Supreme Court strikes down century-old New York law, dramatically expanding Second Amendment rights to carry guns outside the home

The landmark decision is expected to loosen gun restrictions in several states amid an uptick in gun violence nationwide. The gun-control activist David Hogg at a rally outside the US Supreme Court on November 3.AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a century-old New York gun law. The ruling expands Second Amendment rights, alarming gun-control advocates. The decision was 6-3. The court's three liberal justices dissented. The Supreme Court on Thursday declared that the US Constitution protects an individual's right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense purposes, a 6-3 decision that dramatically expands Second Amendment rights.The court struck down a century-old gun-permit law in New York that required people seeking a license to carry a gun outside their homes to demonstrate a "proper cause," or a special reason, for doing so.In an opinion delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas, the court's conservative majority supported the view that New York's rule violated the Constitution."We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need," Thomas wrote. "That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant's right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self defense."The court's three liberal justices — Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — dissented."Many States have tried to address some of the dangers of gun violence just described by passing laws that limit, invarious ways, who may purchase, carry, or use firearms of different kinds. The Court today severely burdens States' efforts to do so," Breyer wrote in a dissenting opinion. The move delivers a major win to gun-rights activists and a blow to gun-safety advocates, who had advocated for the court to uphold the New York statute as the US experiences an uptick in gun violence. The landmark decision comes 14 years after the nation's top court last significantly expanded gun rights. In that 2008 ruling, District of Columbia v. Heller, the majority decided individuals had the right to own a gun for personal use in the home, rejecting the decades-old interpretation of the Second Amendment as a collective right to "keep and bear arms" for a "well regulated militia.""The argument for the gun-rights advocates is this: The Second Amendment protects a right to keep and bear arms. Heller was about keeping arms. And this is a case about bearing them. Both those words are in the Amendment, so they both got to have some meaning," Joseph Blocher, a professor at the Duke University School of Law who is a codirector of the school's Center for Firearms Law, told Insider ahead of the decision. The current case was brought by two New York men who applied for state permits to carry a concealed gun in public for self-defense and were denied. Their challenge, backed by the National Rifle Association, claimed the New York law infringed on the Second Amendment. The court heard arguments in the case in November. At the time, the conservative justices appeared open to tossing out the law, which had been upheld by lower courts. Legal experts say the ruling is likely to bring more guns into public spaces. Besides New York, at least seven other states — California, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Hawaii — have similar concealed-carry licensing rules. Those states together are home to about 73 million people.Supporters of gun rights argue the decision will allow more people to protect themselves."Opponents would say the sky's going to fall, there's going to be all this crime in the streets," said Stephen P. Halbrook, a senior fellow at the Independent Institute, adding that the people who seek permits to carry "don't have criminal backgrounds.""The impact on public safety, if anything I would think, would be positive because then you could have people who are law-abiding with the ability to protect themselves from criminal predators," Halbrook, author of "The Right to Bear Arms," told Insider before the ruling.Though the decision alters gun laws across the country, numerous legislative actions might be taken in response, according to legal experts. For instance, states could start to pass more "place-based restrictions" on concealed carry in large public areas such as college campuses and sports stadiums along with smaller settings like bars, Blocher said.A recent string of deadly mass shootings across the country has prompted congressional Democrats and Republicans to draft legislation that would combat gun violence after years of inaction. The bipartisan bill falls short of what President Joe Biden and Democrats have proposed, but offers the most significant gun regulations in decades, including tightened background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21, investments in mental health, funds for states to enact "red flag" laws, which grants authorities the power to temporarily confiscate a gun from an individual deemed to pose a threat, and closing the so-called boyfriend loophole by putting convicted domestic abusers in a national criminal background check system. In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision, gun-control activists are widely expected to put more pressure on state and national lawmakers to tackle the crisis. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 23rd, 2022

These 44 pitch decks helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AHelping fintechs manage dataProper Finance co-founders Travis Gibson (left) and Kyle MaloneyProper FinanceAs the flow of data becomes evermore crucial for fintechs, from the strappy startup to the established powerhouse, a thorny issue in the back office is becoming increasingly complex.Even though fintechs are known for their sleek front ends, the back end is often quite the opposite. Behind that streamlined interface can be a mosaic of different partner integrations — be it with banks, payments players and networks, or software vendors — with a channel of data running between them. Two people who know that better than the average are Kyle Maloney and Travis Gibson, two former employees of Marqeta, a fintech that provides other fintechs with payments processing and card issuance. "Take an established neobank for example. They'll likely have one or two card issuers, two to three bank partners, ACH processing for direct deposits and payouts, mobile check deposits, peer-to-peer payments, and lending," Gibson told Insider. Here's the 12-page pitch deck a startup helping fintechs manage their data used to score a $4.3 million seed from investors like Redpoint Ventures and Y CombinatorE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Branded cards for SMBsJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym.TandymJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is no stranger to the private-label credit-card business. As a former Capital One exec, she worked in both the card giant's co-brand partnerships division and its tech organization during her seven years at the company.Now, Glaspie-Lundstrom is hoping to use that experience to innovate a sector that was initially created in malls decades ago.Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym, which offers private-label digital credit cards to merchants. Store and private-label credit cards aren't a new concept, but Tandym is targeting small- and medium-sized merchants with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Glaspie-Lundstrom said that group often struggles to offer private-label credit due to the expense of working with legacy players."What you have is this example of a very valuable product type that merchants love and their customers love, but a huge, untapped market that has heretofore been unserved, and so that's what we're doing with Tandym," Glaspi-Lundstrom told Insider.A former Capital One exec used this deck to raise $60 million for a startup helping SMBs launch their own branded credit cardsCatering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersAutomating accounting ops for SMBsDecimal CEO Matt Tait.DecimalSmall- and medium-sized businesses can rely on any number of payroll, expense management, bill pay, and corporate-card startups promising to automate parts of their financial workflow. Smaller firms have adopted this corporate-financial software en masse, boosting growth throughout the pandemic for relatively new entrants like Ramp and massive, industry stalwarts like Intuit. But it's no easy task to connect all of those tools into one, seamless process. And while accounting operations might be far from where many startup founders want to focus their time, having efficient back-end finances does mean time — and capital — freed up to spend elsewhere. For Decimal CEO Matt Tait, there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff you have to do to survive as a company," he told Insider. Launched in 2020, Decimal provides a back-end tech layer that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to integrate their accounting and business-management software tools in one place.On Wednesday, Decimal announced a $9 million seed fundraising round led by Minneapolis-based Arthur Ventures, alongside Service Providers Capital and other angel investors. See the 13-page pitch deck for Decimal, a startup automating accounting ops for small businessesInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 22nd, 2022

DermaSensor raises additional $10M ahead of US launch

DermaSensor, a Miami startup that wants to make it easier for primary care physicians to detect skin cancer, received a $10 million capital injection to fund its U.S. launch. The company's device will be the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved automatic skin cancer detection tool on the market that uses imaging or optical technology. "This could provide major public health benefits since skin cancer is the most common cancer and there are more primary care physicians than any other….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 17th, 2022

Nurse-staffing levels in NY nursing homes rank among the worst in the country, report finds

Plus: Midtown AI health solutions startup raises $110M St. Charles Hospital in Suffolk County plans $5.7M ED expansion Northwell breaks ground on $10M women’s surgical center at Glen... To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkJun 17th, 2022

Sana Benefits raises $60M to help small companies with health insurance

As the economy drags through a period of uncertainty, many small businesses might be looking for savings on their health insurance plans. That's where Austin's Sana Benefits Inc. hopes to gain additional traction with its employer-sponsored health plans. The startup, founded in 2017, says it has already grown its customer base by 200% over the past year, and announced June 15 it has raised millions to accelerate its expansion into new states......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 15th, 2022

A wave of layoffs is sweeping the US. Here are firms that have announced cuts so far, from Compass to Coinbase.

Peloton laid off nearly 3,000 employees, Better.com slashed 4,000. Now, job cuts are coming for real estate brokerages and crypto firms. Compass A wave of layoffs has swept across American business in the first half of 2022. The cuts stem from slower business growth, paired with rising labor costs. The layoffs span across industries, from mortgage lending to digital-payment processing. Layoffs are sweeping across American businesses in the first half of 2022.Peloton has already laid off thousands of employees this year. Online car dealer Carvana slashed 12% of its workforce. Even traditionally layoff-resistant companies like Netflix are making cuts, and now real estate brokerages are cutting hundreds of jobs.The reason, broadly, is twofold: Business growth is slowing, while labor costs are increasing. The combination is causing American companies across a variety of industries to slash headcount.Here are some of the most notable examples so far: Compass: 450 employeesA house for sale marketed by the real-estate brokerage Compass.Smith Collection/Gado/Getty ImagesReal estate brokerage Compass will lay off about 10% of its workforce, or 450 employees, the company announced in a regulatory filing. The cuts are part of a series of new cost-cutting measures that include pausing expansion, consolidating offices, and halting merger-and-acquisitions, Bloomberg reported.Redfin: About 6% of total employeesRedfin CEO Glenn Kelman.RedfinReal estate brokerage Redfin is also conducting layoffs, a sign that the hot pandemic-era housing market is starting to cool off due to rising interest rates.CEO Glenn Kelman wrote in a blog post that about 6% of the company's total workforce will be laid off, which equates to 470 employees, according to a regulatory filing. "I said we wouldn't lay people off unless we had to. We have to," Kelman wrote. "Mortgage rates increased faster than at any point in history. We could be facing years, not months, of fewer home sales, and Redfin still plans to thrive."Coinbase: About 18% of its workforceCoinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.Patrick T. Fallon / Getty ImagesCrypto exchange platform Coinbase announced it would reduce its staff by 18% "to ensure we stay healthy during this economic downturn." That same day, over 1,000 employees were notified they'd been laid off when they were unable to log into their work email accounts — the company said in a regulatory filing that its workforce will be reduced to about 5,000 employees by the end of the second quarter of 2022.The layoffs come amid a crypto crash that has resulted in traders losing roughly $2 trillion since November, NBC News reported.Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong wrote in a blog post that the layoffs are the result of the company growing too quickly, changing economic conditions, and the need to keep costs low during a downturn. Tesla: Hiring freeze, and potential layoffs reportedly coming to 10% of staffTesla CEO Elon Musk.Yasin Ozturk/Getty ImagesThough Tesla has yet to conduct any mass layoffs, an email reportedly from CEO Elon Musk to his executive staff spelled out his intentions to cut 10% of its workforce — approximately 10,000 people. Reuters obtained an email reportedly from Musk titled "pause all hiring worldwide." In the email, Musk said he has a "super bad feeling" about the economy and is attempting to get ahead of potential problems by enacting these two measures, according to Reuters.Tesla has yet to confirm the report. Musk later seemed to retract some of what he said in the email, tweeting that total headcount at the company would increase.Carvana: About 2,500 peopleErnest Garcia III, CEO of online car dealer Carvana.Brendan McDermid/ReutersCarvana plans to cut 12% of its staff, or about 2,500 employees, the online car dealer announced in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In an email to employees viewed by The Wall Street Journal, CEO Ernest Garcia III said that the company has overestimated growth amid a challenging time in the auto industry.By cutting staff, Carvana aims to find "a better balance between its sales volumes and staffing levels," the company said in the SEC filing. Carvana was founded by Garcia in 2012 as a subsidiary of his father's company, DriveTime Automotive. Carvana's service allows customers buy cars online, which are delivered to customers' doors or picked up at a Carvana vending machine. Both father and son saw their fortunes skyrocket during the pandemic as demand for used cars hit new highs. Carvana said in its SEC filing that executives will forego their salaries for the rest of 2022 to help cover employee severance pay.Reef: About 750 peopleEmployees unload at a Reef location.Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesGhost-kitchens company Reef Technology will cut 5% of its global workforce.The SoftBank-backed startup is laying off about 750 employees as it works toward profitability amid a challenging economic environment, CEO Ari Ojalvo wrote in a memo to staff obtained by Insider.The layoffs come months after Reef said it would pause operations on some of its "underperforming" locations. Current and former employees told Insider in recent weeks that Reef had closed one-third of its kitchens and focused on its partnerships with major chains like Wendy's and Buffalo Wild Wings.Gopuff: More than 400 peopleA delivery driver is shown picking up a Gopuff bagHannah YoonGopuff told staff in March that it would cut 3% of its workforce, or more than 400 workers, Insider reported.The cuts impacted both corporate staff and workers at Gopuff's warehouses, as the company works to enter its "next chapter — with a new global business model and corresponding investment priorities," cofounders Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola wrote in an email to employees. Gopuff was founded in 2013 in Philadelphia with the goal of ultrafast delivery of convenience-store items. Better: About 4,000 peopleVishal Garg is the founder and CEO of Better.com. He was responsible for laying off hundreds of people right before the holidays in 2021.Better.comStarting in late 2021 and continuing through the first several months of 2022, mortgage startup Better.com laid off approximately 4,000 people.The first wave started right before the holiday season in 2021, when CEO Vishal Garg laid off "hundreds" of people.Garg told employees during a Zoom call that the company, "lost $100 million last quarter," which he said, "was my mistake." He then said the layoffs shouldn't have happened right before the holiday, but, "three months ago." Better followed up with another 3,000 layoffs in March, and is now accepting voluntary layoffs in some departments.Noom: 495 peopleSaeju Jeong, cofounder & CEO of Noom.Sam Barnes/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty ImagesThe weight-loss app maker Noom recently laid off hundreds of coaches, Insider reported in April — part of a bigger-picture pivot for the company toward more video-based coaching.The company, through its app of the same name, pairs dieting with personal coaches to achieve weight loss for users. Interactions with those coaches were often through text, which users critiqued as "canned advice." Some coaches told Insider they were responsible for giving advice to hundreds of users at any given time.Going forward, Noom is focusing on offering users scheduled video calls with coaches.Peloton: Over 2,800 peoplePeloton makes a popular treadmill with a subscription service.Peloton / YoutubeIn February, Peloton fired over 2,800 people — including 20% of its corporate workforce — because of an ongoing downturn in the company's business.Peloton faced a major setback after home-fitness products spiked in popularity during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.With gyms reopening as vaccination rates increased, Peloton's business took a huge hit: The company's market value has dropped from $50 billion last year to around $4.4 billion as of early June 2022.Thrasio: Up to 20% of staff, sources sayThrasio founder and CEO Carlos Cashman.ThrasioThrasio, the company known for creating the Amazon aggregator market, is laying off an unknown number of people. Additionally, the company's CEO and founder, Carlos Cashman, is stepping down from leadership. Amazon aggregators work by identifying product leaders on Amazon, then buying the companies that make those products and consolidating them under one umbrella company. In a memo sent to employees, Thrasio leadership said the layoffs were due to the company's "hypergrowth" in acquiring companies. "At times we have been acquiring a new company almost every week," the memo said, "and running hard to build the infrastructure to support this growth."Two sources told Insider the layoffs could impact up to 20% of Thrasio's staff.Robinhood: More than 300 peopleRobinhood CEO Vlad Tenev.AP/David MartinDuring the pandemic, so-called "meme stocks" from GameStop and AMC exploded. Much of that explosion in stock value was driven by accessible trading platforms like Robinhood.And while new users piled in during the pandemic, Robinhood hired rapidly. Between 2020 and 2021, Robinhood staff grew dramatically: from 700 people to around 3,800, according to CEO Vlad Tenev. But that growth was apparently too much and too fast, and Robinhood was forced to slash headcount by 9% — more than 300 people altogether."This rapid headcount growth has led to some duplicate roles and job functions, and more layers and complexity than are optimal," Tenev said in April. "After carefully considering all these factors, we determined that making these reductions to Robinhood's staff is the right decision to improve efficiency, increase our velocity, and ensure that we are responsive to the changing needs of our customers."Wells Fargo: Unknown number of people in mortgage lendingREUTERS/ Shannon StapletonAs mortgage revenues fell at Wells Fargo in the first quarter of 2022, the company began laying off employees in mortgage-related positions, Insider reported in late April.Loan processors and underwriters, among other positions, were reportedly affected by the layoffs. Wells Fargo representatives declined to say how many people were impacted by the cuts, but did confirm the layoffs in an emailed statement."We are carrying out displacements in a transparent and thoughtful manner and providing assistance, such as severance and career counseling. Additionally, we are committed to retaining as many employees as possible and will do everything we can to help them identify other opportunities within Wells Fargo," a Wells Fargo spokesperson said in a statement provided to InsiderCanopy Growth: 250 peopleMaster Grower Ryan Douglas smells a marijuana plant in Smith's Falls, Ontario, on February 20, 2014.Blair Gable/ReutersOne of the world's largest publicly traded cannabis companies, Canopy Growth, slashed 250 jobs in Canada earlier this year as it faces increasing competition in the burgeoning cannabis market.Layoffs are among several cost-cutting measures that Canopy Growth is taking "to ensure the size and scale of our operations reflect current market realities and will support the long-term sustainability of our company," Canopy Growth CEO David Klein said in a statement.Canopy's stock has suffered as a result: It was trading around $6 a share as of early May, down from $9.30 in early January.Food52: About 20 peopleCofounder and CEO of Food52, Amanda Hesser.Food52After raising $80 million from investing firm The Chernin Group last December, the content-creation team at food publication and retailer Food52 was suddenly laid off in early April.About 20 of the company's 200 employees were let go in the layoffs, which came as a major surprise to those affected."Everyone on the team and my immediate boss were gut-punched," one of these employees told Insider. "We all had gotten raises and bonuses just a month prior."Two of the employees who were laid off said Food52 executives told them the company was "pivoting to commerce," and away from the type of content that was created by the affected employees: recipes and other instructional cooking content.Cameo: 87 peopleCameo operates a service where users can pay celebrities to record personalized audio or video clips.CameoCameo is laying off 87 people, CEO Steven Galanis confirmed in early May."Today has been a brutal day at the office," he wrote on Twitter. "I made the painful decision to let go of 87 beloved members of the Cameo Fameo."Through Cameo, people pay celebrities to make personalized audio and video recordings.Galanis described the layoffs as a "course correction" in a statement to Variety. The cuts follow a staffing boom during the pandemic — from around 100 employees before 2020 to about 400 in 2022.  PayPal: 83 peoplePayPal headquarters in San Jose, California, on February 2, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesPayPal quietly laid off 83 people, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing spotted by The Information.The company employs more than 30,000 people worldwide, over a third of whom are based in the United States. The cuts appear to be tied to the company downsizing its presence in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to TechCrunch.Gorillas: 'Nearly 300' peopleGorillas CEO Kagan Sumer.GorillasGerman grocery-delivery company Gorillas announced layoffs of "nearly 300" people around the world in May 2022. The layoffs, the company said, are part of a larger "shift to long-term profitability," which means trimming staff as Gorillas focuses on its five "core" markets: Germany, France, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.Impacted employees, who were mostly corporate staff, were shocked by the sudden layoffs."It's not a secret that the company hasn't been doing well, but I didn't expect to wake up and lose my job," a Berlin-based employee who was laid off by Gorillas told Insider. "My managers weren't even aware or consulted. It's not the laying off that hurts, it's the way it's been done."Netflix: About 150 peopleNetflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings.Getty Images LatamNetflix laid off around 150 people in mid May, its second round of layoffs in 2022.The latest layoffs, which impact "mostly US-based" staff, are due to "slowing revenue growth," according to a statement from a Netflix spokesperson. "These changes are primarily driven by business needs rather than individual performance," the statement said, "which makes them especially tough." Earlier this year, Netflix revealed that it had lost around 200,000 subscribers to its video-streaming service in Q1 — its first subscriber loss in over a decade. And executives warned at the time that further subscriber losses were predicted for the future. They blamed "revenue growth headwinds" in a report to shareholders and said that heavy Netflix use during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic had "obscured the picture until recently."These are not the first layoffs to hit the streaming incumbent this year.After assertively recruiting high-profile writers and editors for its new fan site, Tudum, last year, Netflix laid off nearly a dozen contracted staffers from the editorial project in late April, in addition to about 25 employees in its marketing department.Outside, ClickUp, Zulily, and Latch all laid off peopleA Zulily logo on display at QVC Studio Park in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in 2018.Brendan McDermid/ReutersLayoffs aren't only impacting major corporations — a variety of smaller and lesser known companies are also firing people to save money:Online retailer Zulily laid off "fewer than 100" members of its corporate staff, Geekwire reported earlier this month. "Last week, we announced to our team members some hard choices we have made for our organization to bring our operating expenses in line with our revenue and position our business for future growth," a spokesperson said in a statement.Outside, the magazine conglomerate and publication, laid off 66 people as part of a larger restructuring to make the company a digital-first publishing house, Aspen Public Radio reported this week.ClickUp, a software company that makes a productivity app, cut 7% of its staff, "to ensure ClickUp's profitability and efficiency in the future," the company told Protocol. It's unclear how many people were impacted, but estimates put the company's total staff at over 500.Latch, a company that makes a smart lock, laid off about 130 people last week — 28% of the company's total staff, it said. The layoffs are intended to, "better align staffing and expense levels with current sales volumes and the current macroeconomic environment."Ben Gilbert contributed to an earlier version of this article.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 14th, 2022

BidOut aims to overhaul oil and gas bidding process, raises pre-seed funding

A Houston-based startup wants to digitize procurement and bidding processes at oil and gas companies. Launched in 2021 by co-founders Rodney Giles and Tyler Cherry, BidOut.app works with oil and gas clients, engineers and procurement offices on finding new service providers, soliciting and awarding requests for proposals, and more. The pair wanted to build a product that could enable anybody at the company, from an executive to a worker in the field, to create a formal RFP in 60 seconds or less. "We….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 12th, 2022

A look at major health care bills that passed the state Legislature this session

Plus: BD to acquire pharmacy automation company in $1.5B deal Gramercy drug-discovery startup raises $60M in Series D Round Mount Sinai and Richmond University Medical Center extend... To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkJun 7th, 2022

The 10 best mindfulness books to read in 2022, according to 3 psychologists

We spoke to 3 psychologists to get their recommendations on the best mindfulness books that can help boost your happiness and wellbeing. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.We spoke to 3 psychologists to get their recommendations on the best mindfulness books that can help boost your happiness and wellbeing.iStock; Gilbert Espinoza/Insider Mindfulness is a wellness practice that can boost feelings of happiness, resilience, and purpose. We spoke to 3 psychologists for their best mindfulness book recommendations. Want more books? Check out the best books to read in your 20s or understanding the climate crisis. It can be difficult to try and stay in the moment, acknowledge our negative emotions without letting them control us, and try to relax. This is why mindfulness can be a very important practice to implement in your life, and research has found that it's associated with both higher levels of happiness and a greater purpose in life. With the plethora of self-help books out there, it can be tough to know where to start, especially if you're looking for mindfulness exercises that are rooted in science-based practices. That's why I reached out to psychotherapist Jennifer Coren, Wake Forest University's Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling David A. Johnson, and clinical psychologist Allison Gilson to get their recommendations on books that can teach people about mindfulness, based on what they found helps for their clients. Whether you're looking for effective ways to de-stress or want to just learn more about the science behind mindfulness, these books can be a calming read. If anything, they can help you carve out space for yourself and focus on one thing at a time – which are major mindfulness skills themselves.The 10 best mindfulness books, according to experts:'Wherever You Go, There You Are' by Jon Kabat-ZinnAmazonWhether you're new to mindfulness or need a refresher, this book is an excellent primer of how you can apply mindfulness to your life to help you feel more present as you go through your day. "Kabat-Zinn is well known in the modern-day mindfulness world, as he is viewed as the mindfulness guru and founder of what we know to be mindfulness today," Coren says. "His book explores the core value of concentration, and that can help any beginner along their journey."$9.71 FROM AMAZON$15.64 FROM BOOKSHOPOriginally $17.00 | Save 8%'The Miracle of Mindfulness' by Thich Nhat HanhAmazonWhile washing your dishes may be a mundane task for many, Hanh guides the reader through how small moments like these are perfect times to be more aware of what's going on around you. "This text is a great introduction to mindfulness," Johnson says. "Grounded in Buddhist teachings, Hanh explains mindfulness using everyday examples paired with pragmatic recommendations."$10.99 FROM AMAZON$13.80 FROM BOOKSHOPOriginally $15.00 | Save 8%'Practicing Mindfulness' by Matthew SockolovAmazonOne great thing about mindfulness is that there is not just one way to practice it, and you may find which one works best for you in these 75 exercises. "A collection of 75 simple and brief exercises for practicing meditation, this book will give you a variety of practical ways to practice mindfulness and find the strategies that work for you," Gilson says. "Full of brief, 5- to 15-minute exercises, this book will help you build a sustainable mindfulness practice and tackle some of the common challenges, such as a wandering mind, that beginners often experience."$12.79 FROM AMAZON$15.63 FROM BOOKSHOPOriginally $16.99 | Save 8%'Self-Compassion' by Kristin NeffBookshopIf you tend to be tough on yourself, this book offers action plans for how to deal with issues that may arise in our day-to-day lives, with a focus on being kinder to ourselves. "We all know we're harder on ourselves than we are on others, saying things we'd never say about other people," Gilson says. "In this book, you'll learn to notice and modify your self-critical thoughts, leaving you with more compassion for yourself and better able to treat yourself the way you treat your friends."$15.63 FROM BOOKSHOPOriginally $16.99 | Save 8%$13.19 FROM AMAZON'Unf*ck Your Brain' by Faith G. HarperAmazonStarting something new can be difficult when we're in a bad mental state, but mindfulness may be what we need to address our anxious, depressive, and angry responses to triggers in our lives.  "Dr. Faith dives into how to retrain your brain to respond in ways that are not problematic to your daily life," Coren says. "She helps her readers in understanding mindfulness techniques and the effective way to apply them to their lives."$13.75 FROM BOOKSHOPOriginally $14.95 | Save 8%$13.46 FROM AMAZON'The Mindful Way Workbook' by John Teasdale, Mark Williams, and Zindel V. SegalAmazonIf you're ready to embrace mindfulness but need a plan to get you started, this eight-week plan may be the extra kick that you need to get started. "It will teach you to observe the relationship between your thoughts and your emotions, and make shifts in your thinking to make you less vulnerable to emotional stress," Gilson said. "Broken up into an eight-week plan, the book introduces the basics of mindfulness, and walks you through practicing and reflecting on mindfulness exercises such as slow breathing and mindful self-compassion."$22.95 FROM BOOKSHOPOriginally $24.95 | Save 8%$17.95 FROM AMAZON'How to be an Adult in Relationships' by David RichoAmazonMindfulness practices can also be used to help improve our relationships with others, as outlined in this book by Richo. "Drawing on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, this book explores five hallmarks of mindful loving and how they play an important role in our life, transitional times, and relationships," Coren says. $16.51 FROM BOOKSHOPOriginally $17.95 | Save 8%$15.95 FROM AMAZON'Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence—The Groundbreaking Meditation Practice' by Daniel J. SiegelBookshopFor the skeptics who are interested in how this practice actually works, neuroscientist Siegal writes about the science underlying mindfulness meditation's effects in "Aware." "[Siegal] explains how building focused attention and awareness can literally change how the neurons in our brain interact," Gilson says. "Slightly dense, this is a good book for the interested learner who is willing to take a bit more time to digest the sometimes technical but still useful information contained within." $15.59 FROM BOOKSHOPOriginally $16.95 | Save 8%$4.99 FROM AMAZON'Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness' by Jon Kabat-ZinnAmazon"Full Catastrophe Living' is a great resource for anyone interested in applying mindfulness to their daily lives," Johnson says. By engaging in mindfulness, people's mental health may improve, and physical issues like chronic pain may as well. "It provides clear instructions on multiple mindfulness and meditation practices while also addressing how mindfulness can address physical and emotional pain, as well as everyday stressors such as time, work, and relationships," he added.$13.99 FROM AMAZON'Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body' by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. DavidsonAmazonIf you want to learn more about the history of mindfulness (as well as learn why some assumptions about it are false), this book is for you. "Altered traits is an accessible review of the science of mindfulness and the story of western scientists studying mindfulness," Johnson says. "Readers gain an understanding of not only how concepts grounded in Eastern spiritual practices became the focus of neuroscience, psychology, counseling, and medicine, but also an informed and realistic perspective of the benefits and limitations of mindfulness."$19.47 FROM AMAZON$15.64 FROM BOOKSHOPOriginally $17.00 | Save 8%Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 6th, 2022