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Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 24th, 2021

Transcript: Steve Fradkin

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust, 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… Read More The post Transcript: Steve Fradkin appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust, 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. His name is Steve Fradkin, and he runs one of the larger pools of assets that you probably had no idea about. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. They run over $350 billion in client assets. They serve some of the wealthiest families in America. One in five wealthy families actually has assets with Northern Trust. They have something like 20 percent of the Forbes 400, just a very interesting perspective on how to manage through periods of uncertainty, changing tax laws, rising inflation. Also, it’s really interesting perspectives. It’s less about predicting the future, Steve tells us, then thinking in terms of planning and probabilities. And I think that was really interesting advice. He — he is about as knowledgeable as anybody is going to get in the – both wealth management business and ultra-high net worth management business. I found the conversation really intriguing, and I think you will also. So, with no further ado, my interview of Steve Fradkin of Northern Trust. VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My special guest this week is Steve Fradkin. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. Running about $355 billion in assets, they serve about one in five of the wealthiest families in America. Previously, Steve ran the Corporate and Institutional Services. He was Head of International Business for Northern Trust, as well as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer. Steve Fradkin, welcome to Bloomberg. FIRRMA Thank you, Barry. Great to be here. RITHOLTZ: So, you spent your entire career at Northern Trust having joined in — in 1985. How do you make the leap from really CFO to President which, to me, I think of President I think of someone who’s running like a CEO, running a — a division? What were the challenges of that transition? FRADKIN: Well, it’s a great question and, you know, careers are mysterious experiences. The — the bigger mystery really, Barry, was the move to CFO. So I joined Northern Trust as a youngster, didn’t know what I wanted to do, worked my way through a variety of entry-level jobs, ultimately culminating at that point in running our growing international business, and loving it, traveling the world to clients in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, you know, really fun and interesting stuff, and was asked, at that point, to serve as CFO, which was the unnatural job. Was not a controller, was not a treasurer, and so serving as CFO of a large public company was — shall we say traumatic when they asked. But did that for six years, including through the global financial crisis. And it was, at that point, I went back to doing what I normally do, which is running businesses. I ran our Corporate and Institutional Services business, and then after that Wealth Management. So — so it wasn’t so much going from CFO to wealth management as it was ending up as CFO, if you will, by accident from my point of view. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. So — so you guys had a pretty good year in 2020. How did that carry over to this year? Is it just more of the same? What were the big success stories relative to all those challenges we soar last year? Well, you know, it’s — it’s really an interesting phenomenon, and it shows you the – in some ways, the unpredictability of what can happen. You know, if you think about COVID-19 and its impact in 2020, and if I said to you, you know, look here’s what’s going to happen, we’re — we’re going to go as a society not just Northern Trust from, you know, we all come in and we work and so forth and so on. And one day, on about the same day worldwide, everyone’s going to start working from home facetiously. What — what do you think is going to happen to the markets? I think most people have said, well, first of all, it could never happen that way. It’s not going to be true that people in Sydney, and London, and New York, and Sao Paulo are all going to be, you know, as much as one can working from home. That’s just impossible. And second of all is that where to happen on a sustained basis. Well, gee, you know, the economy is going to crater because no baseball games, no concerts, no – you know, less use of restaurants, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t think people would have said, you know, the markets would do as well as they’ve done. So look, it’s been an incredible journey. Northern Trust has navigated exceptionally well through it last year and continues to perform well today. And there are a variety of factors in that. But each and every day has been a navigation because we’re still not out of the pandemic and we’re still operating in a hybrid mode. And, you know, balancing safety of our partners, our — our employees, and the needs of our clients is a — a daily — a juggling act that we’re still working through and I suspect will be working through for a while longer here. RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk a little more about how you guys manage doing the pandemic in a bit, but I want to stay with the success of Northern Trust. You’re one of the biggest ultra-high net worth investment managers. But relative to your size, you guys kind of fly under the radar. Why is that? FRADKIN: Well, you know, it’s — it’s an interesting question, Barry. The – so in terms of size, we’re in the top 20 banks in the country as measured by our balance sheet. But really the — the better marker of our size is the assets that we manage and the assets that we administer for clients. And we’re a very quiet company. We don’t do lots of big acquisitions. We do the same thing today that we’ve been doing since 1889, serving the same clientele, and so we’re a very focused institution. A little over half our profits come from the provision of services to wealthy families in America and around the world. And the other half come from essentially providing the same services, but to large global institutional investors, serving wealth funds, pension funds and the like. And so, we’re a quiet company that has been extraordinarily successful and consistently so for many, many years. So, we’re proud of what we’ve got, but we — we — we — we fly under the radar scream — screen intentionally to just keep a low profile and stay focused on our clients. RITHOLTZ: And — and that would make sense given the nature of your clients who are less Instagram stars and more quiet wealth. Is that a — is that a fair way to describe it? FRADKIN: Yeah. Today, we serve little over 30 percent of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans and, obviously, many other affluent families. And interestingly, Barry, you know, sometimes people think of Northern Trust in its wealth management business as focusing on — or serving multigenerational well-healed, you know, families. And that’s true, we certainly serve many of those. But there are many entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, in New York, in Miami, in Dallas, in — all over the country and all over the world. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in being here is that wealth is created in a lot of mysterious ways. And so, your — your reference to Instagram and so forth, I would say our clients are definitely low profile, but where they create their wealth emanates from every segment of the economy. It’s really a — a fascinating part of the privilege of being in this — this kind of role. RITHOLTZ: Let’s stay with that because I was just involved in a conversation recently about the amount of wealth that has been created over the past couple of decades. Wherever you look, especially in the United States, it seems that people are coming up with new ideas, new technologies, new just even business processes that if you go back to the 90’s, I don’t think people could have imagined the sort of things that are generating the massive amounts of wealth that we’ve seen. And — and I’m not even talking about NFTs or things like that, I mean, businesses with clients that are just doing tens of millions of dollars of — of revenue a year. FRADKIN: Well, I think the — the fascinating thing that I think we see is that wealth can be created in a lot of different ways. And I — and I think you’re right that as the world has sped up, the wealth creation has sped up, too. You know, to caricature it, it used to be you would start a business in your garage in Louisiana and, overtime, you would, you know, build a vacuum cleaner, whatever it happened to be. And you would start selling it from a store and, you know, it would — you know, you — you’d have a second store. And — and the next thing you know, you have a — a — a big business that you never envisioned having, and you could sell that company and — and create tremendous amount of wealth. Today, that phenomenon still absolutely happens, but it also happens with the power of the Internet that the pace at which companies in some industries can grow and accelerate has — has really multiplied. So, wealth creation, in some instances, is still a slow laborious step-by-step process. But in others, I don’t want to say it’s overnight, but it happens a lot faster with digitalization in the — the pace at which the world moves today. So, we — we see both phenomena, and that’s part of the fun and excitement of the American economy. And this certainly happens elsewhere in the world as well. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. So, let’s talk about how you guys had to operate during the lockdown. You mentioned this earlier. What were you doing when, you know, it became clear the country was shutting down in March of 2020? FRADKIN: It’s a great question, Barry. Well, we started like many other institutions with the safety of our clients and the safety of our employees. And it all happened relatively quickly in terms of shutting down offices to the bare minimum, getting people home, and making sure that they could function effectively from home. And if you go back to — and — and, by the way, we have 20,000 employees worldwide, so we were doing the same thing in Manila, in the Philippines as we were doing in London, as we were doing in Dublin, as we were doing in Houston, as we were doing in Las Vegas. And so I want you to think about the operational, and logistical, and infrastructural needs of pretty much all at the same time trying to get people out of the office, enable them to function effectively from home, still be able to serve our clients, and all the family and other issues that people were wrestling with. So, I would say the beginning of the pandemic was stressful. You know, we were working 24/7 trying to make sure that technology worked and people could still get cash and all those things. It has gotten to a much better, you know, I’ll call it normalcy in a strange sort of way. But the early days of the pandemic were — were challenging. We navigated through well, but it’s certainly not something that anyone had anticipated. RITHOLTZ: Really quite interesting. So, I’m assuming you guys have your offices, more or less, reopened. What are you going to do going forward? Is it going to be a hybrid model or is everyone back in the office or people working from home? FRADKIN: Our offices are open and — and really to different extents in different geographies, you know, which makes sense. The — the infection rates, hospitalization rates, all the metrics that we track are very different in different cities and countries around the globe. You know, in terms of where it goes in the future, I think the future of work and how people work is forever changed. You know, we always had a pretty flexible workforce and the ability to work from home and, you know, people’s — people’s lives and — personal lives and business lives had crossed over long ago that, as an employer, we had to be flexible. I think that’s going to be even more so coming out of the pandemic. People have gotten used to it. The technology has gotten better. Client expectations are different. And so, I think we will be in a — you know, what we — what we think of today as a hybrid model will be a normal model tomorrow. And that doesn’t mean everyone will work from home, but it certainly means a lot more flexibility for employees to inevitably juggle the — the conflicting needs of family and work life. And we’re well prepared for that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: So as investors, COVID was pretty much an exogenous shock. It — it came out the left field. How did the whole COVID crash and recovery compare to past crises, whether it’s 9/11 or dot-com implosion or the great financial crisis? How do you — how do you wrap your head around this one compared to ones from — from recent past? FRADKIN: You know, it’s — it’s a great question. And I think, Barry, my perspective would be that we often call events like the COVID-19 pandemic tail events or once in a lifetime events. And in some ways, they are and, in some ways, they aren’t. If — if I think about it through the prism of my career experience, we had the crash of October 1987. We’ve seen the collapses of things like Enron and WorldCom. We’ve seen September 11th. We’ve seen Bear Stearns go down. We had the global financial crisis of 2008 and, of course, the pandemic. And each time we call it a tail event, but at some point, we have to admit that there are a lot of tails. So, I want to take you back just to compare and contrast COVID-19 with 2008. I’ll give you this example. I want you to imagine it’s the end of 2007, and you’re presenting the 2008 plan for Northern Trust to our board. And you go to the board and you say, “Look, we expect our revenues to do this and our expenses to do that, and so forth and so on.” And one of the board members raises his or her hand and he says — he or she says, “Barry, that’s — that’s terrific. Sounds like a great plan for 2008.” But I — I — I just want to get your perspective. What happens if Bear Stearns collapses, Freddie, Fannie, Washington Mutual, Wachovia, Merrill Lynch, you know, et cetera, et cetera, Lehman? You know, the whole thing collapses in 2008. How will we perform? I think you’d — you know, I — I think if you had been CFO at that time, you would have said, “Well, you know, that’s just — that’s never going to happen,” but it did. And Northern Trust navigated through that exceptionally well. Not unscarred, but exceptionally well. If you take — if you fast forward from that paradigm to COVID-19, it’s very similar. You know, if — if we had been talking to our board the year before and put forward our plan, I think our board would have said, “Well, okay, you know, that sounds like a great plan. What happens if there’s a global pandemic in every office from which we operate is going to be shut down or substantially shut down? Everyone’s got to work from home on the same day globally.” And, by the way, it’s going to be for a year and a half or more. I’m quite confident you or we would have said, well, that — you know, that’s just not — you know, I don’t know what we’ll do. That’s not going to happen, but it did. And so, I think the — the lesson from these crises is that while they’re different every time, they happen a lot. And so, we have to think about our approach to business, our approach to research, our approach to preparing for the unanticipatable. And as I say, each — each of your examples, September 11th, and COVID, and 2008 are different, but they were all — they all featured substantial disruption, substantial unanticipatable disruption. And at Northern Trust and every other company around the world, you have to be prepared to be agile and adapt quickly. And — and that’s what we’ve been able to do pretty consistently over our 130 plus years of experience. RITHOLTZ: So, given that history and the fact that a big chunk of your clients are ultra-high net worth, how do you think about managing assets compared to what — I don’t know, let’s use the phrase “mass affluent,” that typical approach. Is this more about preserving wealth and it is striking at rich. These folks are, after all, already fairly wealthy. How does this specific demographic change and challenge the way you manage assets for them? FRADKIN: Well, I think, look, wherever one sits on the spectrum of wealth, they generally want to optimize their returns over time. And people have different risk preferences as you would expect. So to caricature it, if you come from nothing and you’ve done exceptionally well financially, you may — not always, but you may have a predisposition to have a stronger defensive component to your portfolio because you don’t want to end up back where you were. You know what it’s like not to have money, you have it, and you want to be defensive. On the other hand, there are people who whether they came from nothing or not, they’ve had tremendous success. They’ve seen the power of capitalism, and they want to not only do as well as they can, but keep going. So, we see things through the eyes of our clients across the continuum. What I would say is people in the ultra net — ultra-high net worth space, at least from my point of view, it’s not so much about they’re more defensive or more offensive. They have more flexibility for choice. They can be defensive because they’ve, you know, so to speak, got more than enough or they can lean in and be more aggressive because they have a bigger cushion than the rest of us. And our clientele is all ends of that spectrum. There’s no — the — the — the notion that some people have, well, once someone’s made a certain amount of money they’re — they’re just trying to preserve it. There are certainly clients that — that exhibit that behavior, but there are an equal number who want to optimize it and aren’t in a completely defensive mindset. So, it depends on the personality type. RITHOLTZ: Very interesting. One of the clichés of the industry is three generations from, you know, short tales to short tales, referring that generational wealth very often gets — I don’t want to say wasted, but frittered away irresponsibly or recklessly. Some people take too much risk. How do you manage around that? Do you — do you ever have families coming to you and say, “Hey, we want to leave money to the next generation, but we want to make sure they get it and that it’s not just, you know, Ferraris and — and weekends in Vegas.” FRADKIN: Yes, all the time. Again, every family is different. Every client is different but, you know, one thing to — one thing that I think is a little bit unfair in — in — not by you, but in the characterization that you refer to is this notion, well, you know, by the third generation it is, you know, frittered away. I think you — you have to remember a couple things. First, when — when we say it’s frittered away, the comparison point is often to someone who did the extraordinary. So if I started from nothing and created $1 billion — $1 billion of wealth, it’s a little unfair to say my kids or my grandkids, you know, they’re not as smart as I am because, you know, they didn’t do it, too. You know, People who have created extraordinary wealth have done so, by definition, it’s — it’s extraordinary, and it’s not reasonable. Even if you have bright, talented, you know, high-functioning kids, it’s not reasonable to assume that each generation is just going to — you know, mom made $1 billion. Mom’s kid made $2 billion and — and mom’s grandkid made — made $4 billion. You know, it’s — mathematically, that’s not a reasonable probability. That’s sad. There is definitely an art to optimizing wealth through the generations. And, of course, it starts in the home and how you raise kids and values and, you know, what you demand of them or not. But a lot of our clients do a great job of trying to steward their wealth, trying to educate their kids, trying to make use of family governance to — to help everyone understand how things work for the family. And so, each client is different, but as with most things, the more you put into it, the more you’re likely to get out of it. And for those who believe it’s an important responsibility to steward that wealth, pass it to future generations, educate those generations, make them or trying to help them be important members of society, they tend to get better outcomes than the rest of us. It’s a — it’s a very — it’s, you know, raising kids and money are two challenging vectors, but we see some great examples of people stewarding wealth through multiple generations not just the — the founder, so to speak. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about what you call Goals Driven Wealth Management. Start out with what — what exactly is that. FRADKIN: Sure. Goals Driven Wealth Management at Northern Trust is the framework that — that we’ve devised to build personalized wealth plans for clients and it focuses on helping them achieve their individual goals with confidence. It provides a big picture of their wealth and transparent steps on how to manage and optimize wealth over time. So, Barry, one way to think about it is — and I’m being a little bit facetious, but just to make the point, it used to be in this industry that the starting point for how money might be managed was a function of your outlook on the market. You think equities are going to go up, et cetera, so you allocate more to equities. Goals Driven Wealth Management comes at investing through a different lens. The starting point is not so much our call on the markets though that will be important at some point. Our starting point in Goals Driven is what are you and your family trying to accomplish. Once we understand what you’re trying to accomplish and the assets you need to accomplish it, we can, in effect, back in to how to deploy those assets — in stocks, bonds, other asset classes — to give you the best probability of achieving your life goals over time. So, it’s really just a different starting point for how to think about creating an asset allocation that is most effective for you and your family. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk about that framework. And again, the question comes back, how different is it for the ultra-high net worth than for the merely wealthy or — or is there a lot of overlapping between the two different types of planning? FRADKIN: The process is really the same no matter where you are on the wealth spectrum. You and your family have goals, and whether you have $1 million, $100 million, $1 billion, $10 billion or whatever the number is, you have something you want to achieve over time. You plan to live to age 90 or 100. This is what you need to live in the style to which you want to be accustomed, and we do a variety of work to figure out, first of all, are you asset-sufficient, meaning under reasonable scenarios, do I have enough if I steward it effectively to live my life the way I want to live it over time? And that happens whether you have, you know — again, whatever the number is, $500,000 or $10 million. The difference, Barry, comes in with the flexibility and options that you have as you create more wealth. So, the starting point is the same: understand your goals, understand your needs, and let’s figure out an asset allocation to give you the best chance to get there. What becomes different for people in the ultra-high net worth space relative to the rest of us is that they can take advantage of more planning techniques. They can take advantage of more techniques to optimize philanthropy. They can take advantage of gifting to future generations and so forth, and so the process is the same. But as you accumulate more money, in general, you have more flexibility on some other things you can do. The ultra-high net worth also have more investment optionality. They have the ability to invest in asset classes like private equity hedge fund and so forth where they may have to trade off some liquidity for a period of time. Those of us who are lower on the spectrum may not be able to endure that in a down market. Those who have more wealth can — can oftentimes weather that storm more. So, the process is the same, but you get more flexibility as your wealth grows. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk more of about alternative investments in a little bit. I want to stick with a couple of interesting things I read in some Northern Trust research. One of the things that I kind of knew, but I didn’t realize it was this intense was the number of clients you see relocating to new states. It’s been a record volume. Some of that is pandemic related, some of it predates the pandemic. How does that challenge the planning process? How different is it from state-to-state when it comes to things like tax planning? You mentioned trust. You mentioned philanthropic issues. What happens when somebody picks up from one state and relocates to another state? FRADKIN: Yeah, it’s an interesting question. Look, clients relocating has always been with us. If you look at Northern Trust history, we are headquartered in Chicago in the middle of the United States. It’s cold here in the winter, lovely city, but it does get rather cold at wintertime. And often times, as people age and, you know, their kids finish school and so forth, they opt for better environments in the wintertime, so they may want to be in Florida or Arizona or Texas or California. So, one phenomenon we’ve always seen is migration from state-to-state. That phenomenon is also impacted by state tax rates, by state tax considerations. And so, both, because of the pandemic and for tax reasons and lifestyle reasons, were continuing to see movement across state lines. And so, you know, I think the — the message to urban planners is taxes do matter to people. It’s not necessarily the only factor, but even affluent people will think through where do they want to be, where do they want to live, what environment to they want to be in, and what’s the tax impact for their clients. And that phenomenon is — is alive and well. It’s always been there, but it — it does seem to be important as different states consider different policies, if you will. People — residents make their choices, and so it’s — it’s — it’s a phenomenon that’s very much at the front of mind for many of our clients. RITHOLTZ: Interesting. You mentioned taxes. There was a new administration came to town this year, and the expectations are there will be some sort of change in tax policy, potentially including increases in capital gains and increases in estate taxes and, in some cases, fairly substantial increases. How do you plan around that? And since nothing is known for certain in advance what an administration is — is going to do, how do you make decisions in — in the face of that uncertainty? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think our starting point on behalf of our clients is to prepare rather than predict. So, let me give you an example that — that you referred to. The newly proposed tax law change would change the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption amount from $11.7 million down to $5 million. And what this means for people that built up substantial wealth is that if the proposal goes forward as — as offered, you have until the end of this year if you want to make a gift to your heirs of — if you can afford to and if you want to, make a gift of $11.7 million. And again, I can’t tell you whether this will happen. But if we just think about the financial impact here, if you have enough capacity to do that and you choose to do it, you can take $11.7 million out of your estate today, get it to your kids, grandkids, whoever it happens to be tax-free as opposed to, on January 1st, if the law goes forward only as — as offered, you can only do $5 million. And what that means is the difference between — sorry to get, you know, numbers all over — but the difference between 11.7 and five, which is $6.7 million will be taxed, you know, when you die at a — at a high rate. And so we have literally thousands of clients all across the country and each one we’re working with individually to evaluate what’s their financial circumstance, what do they want to do, do they want to make the gift. And by the way, this — this — this tax law change may or may not happen, so people have to make a choice without knowing for sure whether it’s going to happen. I think the bottom line though is people are looking at this carefully. They’re studying it and they’re trying to prepare and make judgments about what might happen and what’s best for their individual circumstance. But tax law changes matter and — and we are in the business of helping our clients figure out what’s the best choice for them with the information that we have. RITHOLTZ: Quite, quite interesting. So, we talked a little bit about alternatives earlier. Let’s address that a bit. There seems to be a growing appetite for all manner of — of alternative investments given that stocks and bonds are all a little bit pricey. Let’s start with private equity. What — what sort of demand is there from your clients for private equity. And — and how do you guys respond to the question of potentially better returns in exchange for far less liquidity? FRADKIN: Sure. Look, investment has become much more granular over the decades and again, just to be facetious, you know, large-cap stocks versus high quality bonds, you know, 40 years ago. Today, clients think in terms of small-cap, mid-cap, large-cap, value, international, emerging markets, private equity, and thousands of flavors of private equity; hedge fund the same thing. So, in the quest for optimizing returns, clients and their professional money managers, Northern Trust included, have searched for different asset classes to combine together to give people the best chance to — to achieve their objectives. Private equity clearly has been in the aggregate — there are winners and losers in private equity, but has been a asset class that has done well for many. There are tradeoffs with private equity, particularly in terms of liquidity. But I would say amongst our clientele, the appetite for private equity and private equity, as a more normalized asset class, continues to grow. It’s not the right asset class for every client, but for clients who have the capacity, the risk tolerance and so forth, it — it definitely can play an important role in a client’s portfolio. And increasingly, we’re seeing more use of private equity today than we did say 10 years ago. RITHOLTZ: What about venture capital or hedge funds, two totally different entities from both each other in private equity, what’s the demand like for those products? FRADKIN: Demand exists for venture capital and for hedge funds as well. Again, the devil is in the detail, not all hedge funds are created equally. The — the — the fees that they charge, the performance that they’ve delivered can differ substantially, but there is again this same notion of I want to diversify my portfolio. I want a — a range of options and so-called alternative investments. Whether you call it private equity, venture capital, hedge funds seem to continue to be growing in appeal to our clientele. RITHOLTZ: What about crypto and things like blockchain and Ethereum? There seems to be a lot of real interest in the space. Are — are you finding your client bases crypto-curious? FRADKIN: I would say the demand for crypto is more muted amongst our clientele than some of what you read in the public press. And that doesn’t mean we have examples of clients who have invested in crypto and done exceptionally well in a right time. But I would say, in general, if I had to caricature it, I would say that crypto is still an evolving asset class that is misunderstood by many. And I think most are treating it carefully. And the ones that are making crypto investments are viewing it more as a — more as a roll of the dice than a rational analytical view of what crypto is trading at today and what it’s going to trade it tomorrow. They view it as a bit of a roll the dice. They may jump in a little bit, but they understand that what goes up can also go down. So, I would say amongst our clientele overall, crypto is still not widely in use. RITHOLTZ: So, we mentioned briefly the market is certainly pricier than it was five or 10 years ago. How do you manage around stocks and bonds neither of which are inexpensive? FRADKIN: Yeah, look, I think for many of our clients, the market does go up, the market got does go down. And one of the great features of our — the goals-driven methodology that we use for clients is that we build a portfolio such that after a lot of analytical work to evaluate their goals and so forth that enables them to endure and not have to sell in a down market. We — we create something that’s called a portfolio reserve. I would liken it to the moat around your castle. Some people like a wide deep moat, some people need a narrower and less deep mode, but think of that as a high-quality fixed income. If the stock market goes down, your — your bonds are still fine. You can still pay your mortgage. Life is good. You can wait until the market goes up or — or returns to normal. So, the one thing we know on behalf of our clients is markets go up and down, and so you have to plan and prepare for that. And so, it’s very difficult to know. You know, again using the COVID-19 example, I think they’re a lot of people who might have argued the markets are going to crash, you know, everyone’s working from home and we can’t get the essentials, and people don’t want to go to the grocery store, and yet the market went up dramatically. So, we try and take a long-stewarded view and help our clients plan and prepare themselves so that when the market does go down, they can get through and — and not have to take adverse steps and sell in dire circumstance. And that’s been very helpful for our clients. RITHOLTZ: So, in terms of forward return expectations, does that — and historically low-bond yields, high equity prices tend to suggest low returns going forward, does that work its way into the planning process or is that really more of an academic theory? FRADKIN: No, it absolutely works its way into the planning process because our starting point is what needs does a client have over the near-term for financial resources. We — we got to make sure they can buy their groceries, and pay their mortgage, and we have to deploy assets against those goals. But once, in working with a client, we figured out the right mix of assets to — to enable them to — to afford those goals over a reasonable period of time, we then have to deploy the rest of the portfolio toward so-called risk assets, equities, private equity, hedge funds, venture — whatever the asset class. And in so doing, we have to bring our judgment about risk and return expectations for each of those asset classes. So, our view of asset classes and what they’re likely to bring over the relatively short-term is still an important part of the process. RITHOLTZ: So, what do you tell investors who say, “You know, I’m really not happy with my muni bond portfolio. It’s barely thrown off two or 2.5 percent.” Investors are always seen to be looking for more yield. How do you respond to that group of clients? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think it — my — our response is really you have to remember what you’re trying to do with that muni bond portfolio. No one is saying it’s a great high returning asset class, but that’s not its role. Its role is to be — I’m making this up, Barry, but generally, the role of that muni bond portfolio is to provide you with certainty, security, confidence, and not have to worry about the other part of your portfolio, let’s just call that equities gyrating up and down. So, of course, people want their muni bonds or their high-quality fixed income to return as much as it can, and it’s our job to try and help people achieve that. But I think you always have to come back to what role is this trying to play. And for most clients, it’s trying to play a role of stability, and reliability, and consistency, and that’s the paramount feature. And in providing that consistency and — and stability and predictability, they give up a little bit of return on that asset class, but they’re trying to get that elsewhere with their equities, private equity, and so forth. So, you had — you had discussed previously, hey, you know, it’s up to us to make the most of a low rate environment. What does that mean? Get — how does one make the most of a low rate environment? FRADKIN: Well, I think, you know, low — low rates create — low interest rates create challenges and opportunities. Maybe two simple ways to think about it are, one, on the challenge side, if you’re living on a fixed income as assets reprice to — and you’re reliant on bonds — your bonds to provide income, the lower rates make the yield on those bonds lower, and so that’s bad from, you know, how much cash flow I have to — to fill my needs. The flipside to that is that when rates are very low, if you want to, if it’s appropriate, if it’s thoughtfully done, you can use credit rather than liquidating stocks to — you know, if you want to buy a new toy, so to speak, a boat, whatever it happens to be, one way to do that is to sell stocks in your portfolio and buy the — you know, whatever it is you want to buy. Another way is to let those stocks keep working on your behalf and, because rates are so low, take advantage of credit. Take a loan, buy that boat and — or whatever it happens to be and pay it back over time. So low interest rates, you know, how can have different conflicting phenomenon, opportunities on the credit side and headwinds on the bond investment site. RITHOLTZ: So — so how do you incorporate all this inflation chatter to — to your planning? We’ve started to see rates tick up the 10-year as — as recording this just about 1.5 percent. And I know there’s an irony in saying that rates are all the way up to 1.5 percent, which historically is incredibly low. How do you figure inflation into your modeling and — and thinking about the future? FRADKIN: Yeah, well, we use multi-scenario modeling. The — the reality is no one knows and so you have to, you know, the — the prognosticators will — will have a view. Some — some believe inflation is here and is going to continue. Others argue it’s so-called transitory. And the truth is we don’t know. We’ll — we’ll find that out tomorrow, so to speak. And so as we work through planning with our clients, we generally are running multiple scenarios, low inflation, medium inflation, high inflation. And we’re trying — as we — as we help clients make decisions, we’re trying to make the best judgment we can at a given point in time. But that’s why you — you really have to — be you have to plan for multiple scenarios and bring agility to your process because we don’t know whether the stock market is going up or down. We don’t know whether inflation will be higher or lower. We have a view. We can have probabilities. But as we’ve seen, whether it was with 2008 or COVID, we — everyone can be wrong. And so, you have to plan and adapt and leave yourself a buffer for when you are wrong, and hopefully it’s not — not catastrophic. RITHOLTZ: So, I know I only have you for a little bit of time. Let me jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of my guests, starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days, what’s keeping you entertained at home, either on Netflix or Amazon Prime or — or wherever. FRADKIN: Well, I’ve — I’ve been working hard so I — I can’t say I’ve — I’ve made great use of Netflix. But what I have just started and this will show you, Barry, how far behind I am is I’ve just started Ted Lasso. So I’m behind the rest of the world, but that’s what I’m on right now. RITHOLTZ: All right. Well, well, you’ll — I could tell you this much, you will enjoy it and — and enjoy catching up with us. What about mentors? Who helped to shape your career? FRADKIN: You know, I’ve had a lot of mentors at Northern Trust over the years, people who were senior to me and people who weren’t, but I learned from everyone. I think when I think about mentors, for me, it’s less about people with whom I work and maybe it’s my interest in history. But I try and learn from people who have overcome insurmountable odds, the Mahatma Gandhis, the Martin Luther Kings, the Winston Churchills, the Vaclav Havels, the Abraham Lincoln. And there’s so much wisdom that I see in people like that because they really faced incredible circumstances and worked through them generally to good outcomes. And so there — those great thinkers are probably the people I’ve learned the most from as I wouldn’t call them mentors to me, but I’ve certainly read about all of them and — and learned a lot from each of them. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about books. What are you reading right now and what — what are some of your favorites? FRADKIN: You know, I think in keeping with that theme of mentors over periods of time that interest me, I’ve really enjoyed “The Splendid and the Vile” by Eric Larson, which is about Churchill and the blitz of World War II. And — and again, it — it helps you — it helps me to see just how dire the circumstances were and what he and others had to navigate through. The other book that I’ve dusted off recently, I read some time ago, but I think in view of the pandemic, it seemed interesting to me was “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston, which has nothing to do with the pandemic, but there are parallels to what we’re dealing with, and it was sort of a gripping — a gripping book if you have time for a good read. RITHOLTZ: Sounds interesting. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who is interested in a career in either investment management or finance? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think, Barry, I’d offer a — a — a couple of themes on this. And I — I don’t know that I narrowed these themes to an interest in investments or finance, although I think they do overlap. But I’d start by saying, it probably be easiest place to get my view there would be to go to YouTube and I — I gave a commencement address at the University of Illinois Chicago and tried to formulate those themes for — for young people. But a — but a few that come to mind at least through my lens are comfort is the enemy of accomplishment. If you want to be the best you can be, you can never be satisfied with where you are. You’ve got to push, push, push and make yourself better each and every day in everything you touch. I think a couple of the other themes that would come to me would be in — in the same vein, we see this in Northern Trust all the time. Excellence is not a part-time job. For people who want to be excellent, who want to do the best job for our clients and our shareholders, you can’t be excellent only when it’s convenient, only when you want to do it or only when you feel like it. You’ve — you’ve got to — excellence is an all-in phenomenon. And then probably the — the — the last thing that comes to my mind is persevere beyond your accomplishments. It’s not what you did yesterday, it’s — you can be proud of what you’ve accomplished. But again, you want to be better going forward. And so be proud of who you are, be proud of your grades, and your — your school, and your degrees, and all that sort of stuff, but those are what you did, you know, two years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago whatever it happens to be, keep pushing forward to be the best you can be. So, persevere beyond your accomplishments. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of investing today you wish you knew 35 years ago when you were first starting with Northern Trust? FRADKIN: That is a long list, Barry, but I think what I would say is you don’t have to be right on everything and sometimes being right is more about luck and timing than it is about specific analytical acumen. Uninspiring choices in a bull market can turn out just fine, and well-reasoned ideas in a down market can turn out to be not so good. So, get the direction right more often than not and you’ll be just fine. RITHOLTZ: Really good advice. Thank you, Steve, for being so generous with your time. We’ve been speaking with Steve Fradkin. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure and check out any of the other 388 prior discussions we’ve had over the past seven years. You can find those wherever you normally find your favorite podcast, iTunes, Spotify, wherever. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. You can sign up for my daily suggested reading list at ritholtz.com. Check out my regular column at bloomberg.com/opinion. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack that helps put these conversations together each week. Paris Wald is my Producer. Michael Batnick is my Head of Research. Atika Valbrun is our Project Manager. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: Steve Fradkin appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 29th, 2021

50 unique subscription boxes and services that keep on giving month after month

The best subscription services provide unique discoveries and make life easier. We rounded up 50 subscriptions to gift to friends and family. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Earthlove delivers eco-conscious books and sustainably-sourced, ethically-made artisanal products. Earthlove There's a subscription for every interest you can think of, from books to fashion to pets. You don't even need to wrap them yourself, since they're sent directly to your recipient. We discovered 50 of the best subscription boxes, from flavored water to stationary. Although you typically order them for yourself, subscription boxes are also an excellent gift choice because there's one for pretty much every interest and hobby you can think of. It's easy to purchase online and send, too - no pesky gift-wrapping necessary. The best subscription services provide unique discovery opportunities, curate high-quality brands, and automate everyday routines to make life easier. But if you're worried about choosing the right subscription, most sites offer gift cards. Then, they can apply it towards a plan of their choice and personalize the subscription to their own wants and needs. So, even if the actual subscription box doesn't ship in time for the occasion (though no one needs an occasion to celebrate these days), your recipient will still receive notification that it's on its way, so they know you didn't forget about them. Check out 50 great subscription gifts below: Murray's Cheese: an assortment of gourmet cheese to try Murray's cheese Classic Cheese of the Month Club, from $63Whether you're a certified cheese lover or a newcomer, this gourmet collection fits any cheese preference. This cheese subscription gift provides up to four delectable cheese options to snack on each month. Calm: a sleep and meditation app Calm Calm Subscription, from $69.99Help them to unwind by gifting a subscription to Calm, a soothing solution to their stress. Calm is known for helping its app user maintain mindfulness, achieve better sleep, and reduce anxiety. The Criterion Channel: A streaming service for classic and contemporary films the criterion channel The Criterion Channel subscription, $10.99/monthThe Criterion Channel offers a refreshing selection of films to discover, even for the cinephile who believes they've seen everything. The streaming service features a diverse library of hidden gems from classics, independent films, to international discoveries. Scentbird: a monthly perfume and cologne subscription box Scentbird Gift a Scentbird subscription, from $44/3-monthsLet them unwrap the gift they really want – infinite new designer scents and none of the smelly sample strips. They can avoid the commitment to just one bottle and instead find their signature smell. Each month they will get a 30-day supply of the fragrance they want.  Menlo Club: a wardrobe revamp for the person who doesn't have time to shop Menlo Club Give a Menlo Club membership, $153/3-monthsMenlo Club is an affordable men's clothing subscription that will supplement their existing wardrobe with fresh pieces. The membership gives them the opportunity to take a style quiz and receive two to three items from Menlo Club's brands based on their personal style. Senior reporter Amir Ismael tested it out and found it's the easiest way to dress nicely without overspending or going to the store.Read our full Menlo review here. My Garden Box: bonsai and terrariums that satisfy green thumbs My Garden Box My Garden Box, from $35.50/month plus $12.99 shippingTurn their home into their own personal plant nursery with this monthly gardening and crafting package. Each month, they'll get everything from a planter, soil, and living plants, plus gardening tips. Loot Crate: a curated bundle of fan collectibles Loot Crate Loot Crate, from $9.99/monthWhether they are a gamer, anime fan, or pop culture aficionado, there's an exclusive crate for them. Each box is filled with multiple fan collectibles and apparel. Find the box that best aligns with your giftee's interests and get it delivered directly to their door.  Curlbox: products for those with curly hair Curlbox Gift a Curlbox subscription, $25/month Curlbox is the perfect gift for your curly haired family member or friend, with monthly boxes that share four or more hair product samples. It's a first come, first served system, but they could receive products from notable brands like Flawless by Gabrielle Union or Carol's Daughter. Rowan: hypoallergenic earrings for tweens Rowan Gift a Rowan subscription, $25/monthWhile this subscription box is geared towards tweens, the gold vermeil and sterling silver options can really appeal to just about any earring lover. The great thing about this subscription is that the earrings are all hypoallergenic in case the receiver has sensitive ears. Mindfulness cards, stickers, and sometimes surprise accessories also come in the box. Cloth & Paper: stationary and planners for the organization enthusiast Cloth and Paper Gift a Cloth & Paper subscription, $18-$240/1 month-6 monthsThe one who can't stop planning, jotting down notes, and sending cards will appreciate Cloth & Paper's subscriptions. There's a box filled with writing utensils, a box for planning and stationary, and one that merges the two. From brush pens and fineliners to sticky notes and postcards, they'll be planning nonstop.  Hygge Box: Danish coziness in a box Hygge Box Gift a Hygge Box subscription, $36-$49/monthHygge is the Danish concept of coziness, and this subscription brings just that to the table, featuring items like candles, fairy lights, tea, and snacks. The deluxe box also includes home decor, accessories, wellness products, and other full-size treats. They'll be celebrating the comfort and joy in the ordinary when you give this subscription.  Earthlove: earth-friendly home, kitchen, and beauty products Earthbox Gift an Earthlove subscription, $59.95/monthEarthlove delivers eco-conscious books and sustainably-sourced, ethically-made artisanal products. The company is all about the lifestyle and experience, providing a booklet with self-care tips and mindful stories, as well. By gifting this seasonal subscription box, you'll also be supporting a handpicked organization that nurtures the planet.  Winc: full-sized bottles of wine to enjoy Winc/Instagram Gift a Winc gift card, $60-$150Winc is a California-based company that both creates its own wine and curates bottles from top vineyards. It sends three full bottles of wine based on their "Palate Profile," so they'll get something that suits their particular taste. Its community rating system also points them to new names to try. Read our full review of Winc here.  Goldbelly: their favorite food delivered to their door Goldbelly Gift a Goldbelly Subscription, $45-$749You can choose from subscriptions to their favorite food like pizza and BBQ, their favorite cities like NY and New Orleans, or let the editors at Goldbelly curate the month's best sellers for a surprise box. Read our full review of Goldbelly here. Trunk Club: An at-home take on personal styling Trunk Club Gift a Trunk Club Gift Card, choose your amountTrunk Club is Nordstrom's personal styling service. It helps to simplify the often overwhelming online shopping experiencing by curating subscription boxes full of clothing based on personal styles and budgets. They'll only keep what they want to buy, and they can send the rest back. The gift card can be applied to both Trunk Club and all of Nordstrom's site. Read our full review of Trunk Club's masculine styles here. Nest: Beautiful, fragrant candles Nest Nest Candle Subscription, $40/3 monthsNest is known for its unique and innovative fragrances like Black Tulip and Wisteria Blue. The brand's monthly candle subscription delivers a new, expertly chosen scent to the recipient every month, each of which comes in a sleek glass vessel with up to 60 hours of burn time.  BarkBox: toys and treats for their best animal friend Barkbox Gift a BarkBox subscription, from $35/monthThe best way to please a dog owner is to gift not to them, but to their dog. Bark Box's adorable toys and all-natural treats are the highlight of the month for more than two million dogs nationwide. Read our full review of BarkBox here. Date night in box: a custom-curated date night sent right to their door Date night in a box Gift a Date Night in a Box Subscription, from $41.99/monthIf you're shopping for a couple that you know, this will take the stress out of planning date night. Each box is themed and comes with activities, ambiance for the night, and of course, snacks or recipes to make.  Adult and Craft: all that you need to make your Pinterest project dreams come true Cratejoy Gift an Adult and Craft Subscription from Cratejoy, from $31/monthCrafting lovers, rejoice because this box provides you with all you need to make your Pinterest dream projects come true. The box provides you with enough supplies to create the projects which range anywhere from photo transfer to woodworking. Disney Plus: entertainment options for every mood and interest Disney Plus Gift a Disney+ subscription, $79.99/yearThe popular new streaming subscription features unlimited, ad-free access to thousands of movies and series (including original, exclusive programming), and the ability to stream on up to four devices simultaneously and add up to seven profiles. If you know someone who still hasn't subscribed, you can help them tune into all the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars content they've been craving. Read our full review of Disney+ here. Birchbox: beauty and grooming samples tailored to their style and needs Birchbox Gift a Birchbox subscription, $45/3 monthsThe grooming, skincare, and beauty industries couldn't be more packed with products for all types of needs and concerns. Birchbox digs through the clutter for them and picks out five samples each month that they should use. At $15 a month, the value of the service is unparalleled. Read our full review of Birchbox here. Harry's: razors and accessories needed for a close and comfortable shave Harry's Gift a Harry's custom shave plan here, starting at $5 one time payment with a $15 refill every 5 monthsThe gift of a clean, smooth shave is more cherished than you might think. Harry's full line of shaving products work together seamlessly, and you can customize this combination of blades, creams, foaming gels, and post-shave balms to send to your recipient. Read our full review of Harry's here. HelloFresh: convenient, easy-to-cook, and delicious meal kits HelloFresh Gift a HelloFresh subscription, from $70HelloFresh is one of our top meal kit subscription choices because of its tasty dishes, creative features like "Dinner-to-Lunch" recipes, and accompanying wine club. There are plans and menus to suit all types of cooks and family sizes, from vegetarian couples to omnivore families of four. If HelloFresh doesn't look like it'll suit your recipient, check out the gift options from one of these services. Read our full review of HelloFresh here. Atlas Coffee Club: the ability to travel the world, one cup of coffee at a time Atlas Coffee Club Gift an Atlas Coffee Club subscription, from $50/3 monthsMore than one area of the globe boasts amazing coffee, and around-the-world subscription Atlas Coffee Club is out to prove that by sending coffee from a different region every month. Each order includes tailored brewing recommendations and a postcard with information about the country's coffee-growing methods so they'll fully appreciate the flavor and history of each cup. Read our full review of Atlas Coffee Club here. Book of the Month: the perfect gift for people who appreciate the feel of a physical book Book of the Month/Instagram Gift a Book of the Month subscription, $49.99/3 monthsThis national book club is still going strong after more than 90 years. Every month, the bookworm in your life can choose a hardcover from five new titles and settle into a story that, more often than not, goes on to gain national attention and win major literary awards. Read our full review of Book of the Month here. Cairn: outdoor products to get them prepared and excited to explore Cairn/Instagram Gift a Cairn subscription, from $34.99/monthA group of outdoor enthusiasts came together to start Cairn, a subscription box of up to six products to gear anyone up for hikes, camping, and other outdoor activities. Whether they are just starting a new outdoor hobby or have conquered trails across the country, they'll be inspired by the food, gear, and apparel in the box to stop wasting time and get outside. Read our full review of Cairn here. KitNipBox: toys and treats for their other best animal friend KitNipBox Gift a KitNipBox subscription, from $19.99/monthOf course, cats also deserve to be spoiled. The toys will entertain them for hours and the treats will keep their bellies full through lazy afternoon naps. KitNipBox supports more than 100 animal welfare organizations by donating a portion of proceeds and products every month. Read our full review of KitNipBox here. FabFitFun: the seasonal subscription box filled with the best full-sized products FabFitFun/Instagram Gift a FabFitFun gift card, $25-$300Curating eight to 10 full-sized, premium products across beauty, wellness, and fitness for only $49.99, FabFitFun sounds almost too good to be true. Members can customize their boxes and add on other products, enjoy exclusive offers and discounts from brand partners, and access workouts through FabFitFunTV. Read our full review of Fab Fit Fun here. KiwiCo: activity-filled boxes that make kids forget they're even learning Kiwi Co. Gift a Kiwi Crate subscription, $65/3 monthsThis kids' subscription is divided into eight different types of "crates" based on the age group. The Panda Crate (0-24 years old), for example, helps develop their imagination and fine motor skills; the Kiwi Crate (5-8 years old) blends crafts, science, and engineering into hands-on projects; and the Atlas Crate (6-11 years old) explores nature and art. Read our full review of Kiwi Co Panda Crate here. Stance: socks worn by NBA players, skateboarders, and musicians alike Stance/Instagram Gift a Stance subscription, $57/3 monthsAs a kid, no one was ever excited to receive socks, but it's a different story for adults — especially when the socks are as stylish and comfortable as Stance's. With celebrity investors like Will Smith, Dwayne Wade, Nas, and Jay-Z, Stance definitely has an aura of cool that translates into its socks. Read our full review of Stance here. Hint: delicious, healthy waters that kick their soda habit Hint/Facebook Gift the Hint Flavor of the Month Bundle Subscription, from $16.99/monthFans of this flavored water stock it in their pantries by the caseful. The calorie-, sugar-, and GMO-free water comes in refreshing flavors like watermelon and strawberry-kiwi, which they can rotate through with this drink subscription. Anyone who's bored with regular water but wants to stay hydrated and healthy will look forward to each month's delivery. Read our full review of Hint Water here. Causebox: products for the socially and environmentally conscious Julia Guerra/Insider Gift a Alltrue membership, $199.80/yearCausebox curates ethically made, vegan, and charitable products from the top socially conscious brands in beauty, fashion, wellness, home, and art. Each quarterly box has a retail value of more than $250 but only costs $49.95 and has the added benefit of doing good — for artisans, the environment, and your body. Read our full review of Alltrue here. The Sill: low-maintenance plants for budding green thumbs The Sill Gift The Sill's Plants for Beginners Subscription, $60/monthEven those with terrible histories of tending to plants can build a thriving garden with The Sill. Each month, the houseplant subscription delivers a hand-potted plant in a gorgeous earthenware planter in one of four colors of their choosing. Read our full review of The Sill here. Rent the Runway: designer clothing rentals for less Rent the Runway Gift a Rent the Runway membership, $69/monthRent the Runway's innovative model means they no longer have to waste money on clothes they'll wear once or twice. Another clothing subscription to consider is competing rental service Stitch Fix, which caters to personal styles and budgets. Read our full review of Rent the Runway here. Mouth: gourmet treats from makers you've never heard of Mouth Gift a Mouth subscription, from $47.75/monthGourmet PopTarts, single-origin chocolate, and unusual chips made in small batches by independent American makers fill the boxes from this elevated snack company. There are seven different subscriptions to choose from, including a Best of Mouth tasting sampler and the hyper-specific Pickles assortment. Vinyl Me, Please: exclusive vinyl records to build their collection Vinyl Me, Please/Instagram Gift a Vinyl Me, Please membership, $119/3 monthsAdding to their vinyl collection isn't difficult when they can choose one exclusive LP each month from a collection of Essentials, Classics, and Rap and Hip Hop. The three-month gift membership includes one bonus record, while the six- and 12-month ones include two bonus records.Read our full review of Vinyl Me, Please here. ArtSnacks: supplies for artists of all levels ArtSnacks Gift an ArtSnacks subscription, from $24/monthPart of the fun of being an artist is trying out new products and techniques. ArtSnacks' collection of four to five premium, limited-edition art products (brushes, pens, paint, paper) encourages artists to incorporate supplies and techniques they might not use otherwise. They can join in on the #artsnackschallenge by using only that month's products to create and share a work of art.  Goby: the first electric toothbrush they'll be excited to receive Goby/Instagram Gift a Goby gift card, $50-$100The gift of good oral care is both thoughtful and useful. The Goby electric toothbrush is vigorously thorough, with the ability to be switched between sensitive and standard modes. Choose the eye-catching monochrome or metallic style, and throw in the brush head subscription so they always have an effective brush head. Read our full review of Goby here. Next Big Idea Club: the best nonfiction books, as recommended by bestselling authors Next Big Idea Club/Facebook Gift a Next Big Idea Club Hardcover Book subscription, from $249/yearThe book selections from Next Big Idea Club are curated by some of the biggest names in business and psychology non-fiction. Your recipient will read only the books that really matter, receive course materials that delve deeper into the content, access exclusive interviews, and discuss learnings with fellow members. Read our full review of Next Big Idea here. Frank And Oak: stylish yet composed closet basics Frank & Oak/Instagram Gift a Frank And Oak Style Plan gift card, $25-$500Canadian clothing startup Frank And Oak offers Style Plans for both men and women who are looking to build the foundation of their closet with long-lasting, versatile basics. The box contains items like simple crew necks and button-downs they can't go wrong with, plus they're all ethically sourced and sustainably made. Read our full review of Frank and Oak here. Carnivore Club: cured meats to snack on Carnivore Club/Instagram Gift a Carnivore Club gift card, $25-$100Hopefully they'll invite you to the picnic after they receive a box of delicious, handcrafted cured meats from Carnivore Club. The local salami, prosciutto, pancetta, and other cured meats taste far better than the kind they get from the grocery store. The price ranges from $29.99 per box, and each contains four to six meats.  The Bouqs Co.: flower bouquets every week or every month, just because Bouqs Co. Gift a Bouqs Co. subscription, $40-$65/monthWe would never turn down a regular shipment of beautiful flowers to adorn our desks or tabletops. With a subscription, you can save 30% on bouquets, enjoy free delivery, and set customizable dates for your lucky recipient.  Daily Harvest: the easiest way to eat and drink healthy Daily Harvest Gift a Daily Harvest gift card, $50-$200From breakfast to dinner, Daily Harvest is the purveyor of all things healthy. Its pre-portioned smoothies, harvest bowls, lattes, soups, parfaits, and overnight oats are far from rabbit food and will actually fill them up with the nutrients to attack the day. Read our full review of Daily Harvest here. Bokksu: authentic snacks from Japanese makers Bokksu Gift a Bokksu subscription, from $39.95/monthExperience the creative snack culture of Japan through Bokksu, the subscription where they won't know which one to tear open first. Think: Kit Kat flavors they can't find in the US, shiitake mushroom chips, kabocha bread, and citrus shortbread cookies. The themed boxes contain 20 to 24 snacks and a tea pairing. Read our full review of Bokksu Club here. Universal Yums: snacks from a different country each month Universal Yums Gift a Universal Yums subscription, from $25/monthAnother delicious snack box option from Universal Yums, this one spotlights treats from a different country each month. Each box contains at 10-12 unique snacks, plus a guidebook with trivia and games from the country. Past boxes have featured snacks from Spain, Greece, Indonesia, and Israel. Read our full review of Universal Yums here. Facetory: the best Korean sheet masks Facetory/Facebook Gift a Facetory subscription, from $19.90/monthSoothing sheet masks are essential to an at-home spa day. Facetory sends high-quality Korean sheet masks for half their retail price. Made from unique ingredients like banana milk, yogurt, marine collagen, and 24 karat gold extract, they address a range of skin concerns and simply feel great on their skin. Read our full review of Facetory here. Breo Box: high-end and boutique brand name products Breo Box/Facebook Gift a Breo Box subscription, from $159/seasonPast boxes from Breo Box have included TRX fitness accessories, smart home devices and smartwatches, and Bluetooth headphones. The high-end products aren't geared toward any gender — as long as they appreciate quality everyday essentials, fitness and health gear, and tech, they'll love Breo Box. Read our full review of Breo Box here. Stitch Fix: an inclusive and personalized styling experience Stich Fix Gift a Stitch Fix gift card, $20-$1,000Stitch Fix offers the most styling options for different ages and body types: men, women, kids, plus size, maternity, and petite. The average price for men's and women's items is $55, but they can set their own budget to receive clothes they're comfortable with, and you can give a gift card in amounts up to $1,000. Read our full review of Stitch Fix here. Tippsy: premium Japanese sake from top breweries Tippsy Gift a Tippsy subscription, from $93/boxWhile you have plenty of wine clubs to choose from, other types of alcohol are quietly waiting in the background for their moment to shine. Sake is one example — it's harder and more expensive to find, and it lacks the mainstream education afforded to beer and wine. Tippsy sources its sake directly from the best Japanese breweries for a more affordable price and teaches your recipient everything they need to know to become a sake expert. Read our full review of Tippsy here. Candy Club: curated treats to satisfy a sweet tooth Candy Club Gift a Candy Club subscription, $29.99/monthGiftees with a hankering for something sweet will appreciate receiving a Fun Box with six 6-ounce candy cups. The brand partners with smaller artisans as well as famed candy shops for a curated selection of delicious treats every month based on a personalized flavor profile.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 10th, 2021

19 pitch decks that startups used to raise millions to disrupt media and advertising

They're pitching solutions to automate ad creation, simplify market research, and more. Toch.ai Investors are pouring money into advertising, media, and marketing startups. These startups are trying to capitalize on changing consumer habits, automate and simplify ad creation, and more. Check out these 19 pitches to see how these startups sold their visions to VCs and other investors. See more stories on Insider's business page. Investors are pouring money into startups that are trying to disrupt advertising, media, and marketing.Insider has been tracking these startups that are using tech to capitalize on changing consumer media habits and marketers' desire to reach new audiences and ensure their ads are working.Check out these pitch decks that they've used to sell their vision and raise millions from PE and VC investors.They range from tools that measure digital ad performance to platforms for people seeking out online entertainment.Audio adsUK-based adtech firm AudioMob offers audio ads that appear in mobile games. It pitches the ads as "non-intrusive" because they don't interrupt the gameplay, the ads only play if a user's device is set to a certain volume, and they don't rely on hypertargeted tracking techniques.It just raised a $14 million Series A round from investors including Makers Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Google, to grow its team and expand to new products.See the pitch deck that helped audio ads firm AudioMob raise $14 million from investors including Makers Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and GoogleVideo editingToch.ai is an India-based startup that aims to democratize video editing, arguing that the technologies to produce and distribute videos require time-consuming, manual processes, and existing video editing software can be pricey.Toch.ai has raised $11.75 million in Series A funding led by Moneta Ventures to support an expansion into bigger markets like the US.See the pitch deck that helped a video-editing startup raise $12 million to take on Adobe and expand into the USContextual advertisingContextual advertising has become a buzzy area in adtech as the sector shifts away from the precision-targeting and tracking of individual users. Founded seven years ago by two former Googlers, Seedtag specializes in contextual advertising - using data and artificial intelligence to place ads within relevant publisher content that users should be more likely to interact with. Seedtag just raised a $40 million funding round, led by Oakley Capital. See the pitch deck that helped contextual advertising firm Seedtag raise $40 million. The European adtech company now plans a US expansion.Ad automationDan Pantelo started a performance marketing agency in college and pivoted to software after discovering that creative testing was the most important and time-consuming part of making ads.Today, his marketing technology startup Marpipe claims to help advertisers figure out which ads perform best by automatically testing hundreds of variations.Marpipe just raised $8 million in Series A for a total of $10 million raised to date.The key pitch deck slides that helped an ad automation startup raise $10 millionFreelance consulting Catalant CEO Patrick Petitti. Catalant Technologies Investors are pouring millions into platforms like Catalant Technologies that connect companies to independent advertising and consulting professionals, a need that's growing as people quit in the pandemic.Catalant has raised more than $100 million by pitching itself as an alternative to consulting giants like McKinsey.See the key slides a staffing platform used to raise more than $100 million from investors like Morningside CEO Gerald ChanMarketing strategyAd agency vets Grant McDougall, Liza Nebel, and Matt Gross started BlueOcean in 2019, when they saw an opening to use machine learning to simplify market research and tell marketers how they and their competitors were performing. Now, they count Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Bloomingdale's, and Diageo as clients.The software-as-a-service startup just raised $15 million in Series A funding from private equity firm Insight Partners.Pitch deck reveals how an AI startup that helps brands like Google and Microsoft plan their marketing raised $15 millionData management toolsGoogle and Apple's moves to clamp down on third-party cookies and the rise of online shopping have advertisers clamoring for help managing all their customer data so they can effectively market to them.One such company is 4-year-old Amperity, which sells software that clients like Starbucks, Patagonia, and Crocs use to manage stats from sales, email, e-commerce, and loyalty card programs.Amperity has raised $100 million in its Series D from existing investors including Tiger Global Management, Declaration Partners, and Madrona Venture Group, for a total of $187 million.Here's the pitch deck that helped a marketing tech startup raise $100 million at a $1 billion valuation to help brands manage their dataOut-of-home advertising platformOutdoor advertising is coming back after being crushed during the pandemic, and adtech startup OneScreen.ai is hoping to cash in with a platform for brands to search, buy, run and measure their out-of-home ad campaigns.OneScreen just raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by Florida-based fund TechFarms Capital with other investors including HubSpot cofounders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, Wayfair's alumni fund Wayfund, Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe, and BuySellAds.com CEO Todd Garland.See the pitch deck that Google, Hubspot and Wayfair alums used to raise $1.2 million to build the 'Amazon of out-of-home advertising'Consumer data-collectionTracer started in 2015 as a unit of Gary Vaynerchuk's ad agency VaynerMedia that automatically collects and organize data that isn't personally identifiable. Led by Tracer co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Nicholson, it also offers free consulting services. It started by helping VaynerMedia oversee hundreds of millions in ad buys for clients like Oreo maker Mondelez; today, clients include other ad agencies like Labelium; Condé Nast; and pharma giant Sanofi.Tracer recently raised $9.9 million in seed funding led by big names like former Walmart and Amazon exec Marc Lore and NBA star Kevin Durant's firm Thirty Five Ventures.Read the pitch deck a Gary Vaynerchuk-backed data startup used to raise $10 million from investors like Walmart's ex-ecommerce CEOBuilding lifetime customersAs people do more of their shopping online, marketers are trying to get them to become repeat customers.Former Paypal and Facebook product and data analytics manager Emad Hasan says his startup Retina helps brands like Dollar Shave Club and Madison Reed acquire and keep customers by building lookalike audiences based on companies' order history and shopper attributes.It just raised $8 million in Series A funding from Alpha Intelligence Capital, Vertical Venture Partners, and others. This investor deck helped a former Facebook product manager raise $8 million to help brands boost customers' long-term valueData-buying toolsNick Jordan founded 5-year-old Narrative to let advertisers buy data without the need for data brokers like Epsilon and Acxiom that can be known for not disclosing their data sources or what cut they take.The marketing-tech firm makes money by taking a cut of data sales and through larger software as a Service (or SaaS) contracts where marketers pay monthly fees for data.Narrative in September raised $8.5 million in a Series A funding round led by G20 Ventures and which included Glasswing Ventures and MathCapital, bringing its total funding to $14 million.Here's the investor deck that helped startup Narrative raise $8.5 million to help marketers buy data safelySupport for online sellersAdtech vet Paul Palmieri joined Tradeswell as CEO based on his experience as a VC investor, where he saw dozens of DTC companies whose businesses weren't scalable.Tradeswell is a SaaS platform that consolidates brands' marketing, retail, inventory, logistics, forecasting, lifetime value and financial information. Its pitch is that it gives brands insights so they know what to sell to whom, where, and at what price.US e-commerce is set to be worth $1 trillion by 2023, according to a recent report by Insider Intelligence's eMarketer, and Tradeswell says it can help traditional and DTC brands save millions of dollars in outsourced contracts and boost their sales.Tradeswell recently raised $3.3 million in seed round funding from Signalfire and Construct Capital.This investor deck helped an entrepreneur raise $3.3 million to build 'the Bloomberg terminal' for online sellers Ad performance tools BrandTotal BrandTotal is a marketing analytics company that pitches advertisers on the premise that most digital and social media ads are now "dark," or visible only to the people they're targeting. It joins other businesses that promise greater visibility into digital advertising such as Pathmatics, which measures how much brands spend on Facebook and other platforms.BrandTotal co-founder Alon Leibovich said the company uses AI to track ads and help advertisers understand their competitors' strategies. This pitch has helped BrandTotal win business from big brands like L'Oréal and raise $12 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to $20 million. Canada's INcapital Ventures led the latest round along with Maor Investments, Glilot Capital Partners, Flint Capital, KDC Media Fund, and FJ Labs.This investor deck helped startup BrandTotal raise $20 million to date to help advertisers like L'Oréal see how their digital ads are workingE-commerce advertising servicesBrands are increasingly becoming advertising platforms, giving rise to a cottage industry of adtech companies that help marketers build their own ad businesses.One such firm is 9-year-old adtech firm Adzerk, which is rebranding as Kevel. EMarketer reports that e-commerce advertising will be a $17 billion market this year. Retailers like Walgreens, Walmart, and Instacart have led the charge, but Kevel sees an opportunity for other types of brands to build ad businesses of their own.In December, Kevel raised $11 million in a Series A round led by Fulcrum Equity with Commerce Ventures, MathCapital and Food Retail Ventures also participating.A digital ad firm just raised $11 million to help brands like United Airlines and Ticketmaster build their own ad businessesTargeted ad tools ID5 Google's and Apple's moves to clamp down on privacy and digital-ad targeting have been a boon for startups trying to find workarounds like identity solutions.One such firm is ID5, a European startup that helps advertisers find audiences to target and make sure people don't repeatedly see the same ads. It makes money from licensing its ID to adtech companies for a monthly fee that ranges from $5,000 to $30,000, CEO Mathieu Roche said. The company gives away its technology to publishers to grow adoption of the ID.ID5 closed a $6 million Series A funding round in March from Alliance Entreprendre, Progress Ventures, and 360 Capital Partners. The 4-year-old company has raised a total of $7.5 million.Read the pitch deck that a startup used to raise $6 million to save targeted advertisingPrivacy compliance helpNew privacy regulations are springing up around the globe, and publishers and marketers are turning to technology companies to stay on the right side of these laws and avoid huge fines.One of the companies capitalizing on the increased focus on data privacy is Sourcepoint. Founded by adtech vets Ben Barokas and Brian Kane, the US-based technology company has a platform that lets publishers and advertisers get legal consent from people to use their data.Sourcepoint recently raised $17 million in additional funding, led by new investor Arrowroot Capital, bringing its total funding to $47.8 million since it launched in 2015.The pitch deck used to raise $17 million for a startup that helps advertisers and publishers comply with privacy lawsReal-time market research Matt Britton Agency veteran Matt Britton pitches his consumer intelligence startup Suzy as an always-on digital assistant like Siri or Alexa for marketers. It has a consumer panel that lets marketers conduct surveys and research on subjects like product development and ad effectiveness testing.He just raised $50 million in Series D after closing a $34 million Series C last year, bringing its total raised to $100 million.H.I.G. Growth Partners, an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, led the round, with Rho Capital Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Foundry Group, and Triangle Peak Partners also participating.See the pitch deck a market research startup that's trying to rival Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey used to raise $50 millionLivestreaming tools for creatorsLivestreaming startup Restream was founded in 2015 to help gaming content creators grow their reach by livestreaming to Twitch and YouTube at the same time.It's since expanded to serve musicians, politicians, influencers, publishers, non-profit organizations, and other businesses and says its goal is to democratize broadcasting. Restream said half its 2.5 million users are now non-gamers. Most of its users are nonpaying, but it sells subscriptions from $19 to $299 per month that come with features like the ability to record streams and access to more customer support.Restream announced in August that it had raised $50 million in fresh funding from investors including Sapphire Ventures and Insight Partners.Read the 14-slide pitch deck that helped livestreaming startup Restream raise $50 million amid the pandemic Video streaming subscriptionsCuriosityStream is a 5-year-old streaming service founded by former Discovery Communications founder John Hendricks. It went public in fall 2020 through a reverse merger with Software Acquisition Group, a SPAC led by Jonathan Huberman, who formerly led video adtech firm Ooyala.CuriosityStream is differentiated from other streaming services in that it focuses on factual content like documentaries and features, with more than 3,100 titles available. It reported 13 million paying subscribers buying monthly and yearly subscriptions ranging from $3 a month to $70 a year.The deal with Software Acquisition Group gave CuriosityStream $180 million in cash.The investor deck that CuriosityStream used to secure $180 million to take on rival video streaming servicesReaching online sports fans Overtime Overtime wants to be the next ESPN, but for social media.It started 2016 by Endeavor vets Dan Porter and Zack Weiner with a focus on high-school sports and athletes and has expanded into areas including esports. Overtime captures game highlights through people it pays to film events and also creates original programming and events. It distributes content mainly on social platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Its core business is making money from ads, sponsorships, and merchandise, and projects making $200 million in annual revenue by 2024.It recently raised $80 million from investors including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, rapper Drake, and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, The Wall Street Journal recently reported.Leaked pitch deck shows how sports-media startup Overtime plans to reach $200 million in revenue by 2024Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 9th, 2021

Check out 25 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt trading, banking, and lending used to raise millions

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 VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals. 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. Real-estate management made easy Agora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO. Agora For 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 roundCheckout made easy Bolt's Ryan Breslow. Ryan Breslow Amazon 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 DHelping small banks lend CollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO. CollateralEdge For 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 round Quantum computing made easy QC Ware CEO Matt Johnson. QC Ware Even 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 models Kirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders. Beacon A 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 PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBs Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders. Now About 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 millionInsurance goes digital Jamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder. Ladder Fintechs 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 millionEmbedded payments for SMBs The Highnote team. Highnote Branded 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 fundingAn alternative auto lender Daniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor. Tricolor An 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 investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team. TomoCredit Kristy 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 AAn IRA for alternatives Henry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar. Rocket Dollar Fintech 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 millionConnecting startups and investors Hum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg. Hum Capital Blair 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.Payments infrastructure for fintechs Qolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi. Qolo Three 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 ASoftware for managing freelancers Worksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen. Worksome The 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 freelancersPersonal finance is only a text away Yinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert. Albert The 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 CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of Relief Relief For 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 roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize. Securitize Securitize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business banking Michael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo. Kristelle Boulos Photography Business 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 ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs. Spring Labs A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancers JGalione/Getty Images Lance 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 BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisors Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist Altruist Jason 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 InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon. HoneyBook While 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 GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurers Fiordaliso/Getty Images Onboarding 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 Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot. Fakespot Marketplaces 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 ANew twists on digital banking Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley HMBradley Consumers 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 ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 3rd, 2021

Check out 24 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt trading, banking, and lending used to raise millions

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 VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals. 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. Checkout made easy Bolt's Ryan Breslow. Ryan Breslow Amazon 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 DHelping small banks lend CollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO. CollateralEdge For 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 round Quantum computing made easy QC Ware CEO Matt Johnson. QC Ware Even 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 models Kirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders. Beacon A 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 PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBs Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders. Now About 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 millionInsurance goes digital Jamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder. Ladder Fintechs 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 millionEmbedded payments for SMBs The Highnote team. Highnote Branded 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 fundingAn alternative auto lender Daniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor. Tricolor An 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 investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team. TomoCredit Kristy 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 AAn IRA for alternatives Henry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar. Rocket Dollar Fintech 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 millionConnecting startups and investors Hum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg. Hum Capital Blair 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.Payments infrastructure for fintechs Qolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi. Qolo Three 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 ASoftware for managing freelancers Worksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen. Worksome The 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 freelancersPersonal finance is only a text away Yinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert. Albert The 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 CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of Relief Relief For 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 roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize. Securitize Securitize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business banking Michael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo. Kristelle Boulos Photography Business 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 ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs. Spring Labs A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancers JGalione/Getty Images Lance 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 BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisors Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist Altruist Jason 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 InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon. HoneyBook While 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 GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurers Fiordaliso/Getty Images Onboarding 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 Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot. Fakespot Marketplaces 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 ANew twists on digital banking Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley HMBradley Consumers 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 ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 1st, 2021

Mandarin Oriental is building ultra luxurious homes in Los Angeles starting at $3.6 million - see inside

The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles is just one of the brand's 17 upcoming residential projects. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX Mandarin Oriental will open 54 luxury condominiums in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles next year. This will be the brand's "first residential-only project" on the West Coast, according to a press release. The homes will range from $3.6 million to $40 million, Helena Madden reported for Robb Report. Mandarin Oriental is expanding its residential portfolio in Los Angeles with plans to open and manage 54 condominiums at the upcoming Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX Other luxury hotel brands like Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf Astoria already have a stake in the branded condominium business. The Ritz-Carlton Tower. John Edward Linden/Getty Images But for Mandarin Oriental - which already has branded condos in cities like Boston, London, and Taipei - this Beverly Hills project will be the group's "first residential-only project on the US west coast," according to a press release. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX Source: Mandarin Oriental The Los Angeles homes will be one of the brand's 17 upcoming planned residences. Besides Beverly Hills, future Mandarin Oriental condominiums will also be built in Honolulu, Dallas, and Boca Raton, Florida. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX To create the development, the brand is working with real estate developer SHVO and Deutsche Finance America. The former will also help create Mandarin Oriental's upcoming New York residences, which will debut next year. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX In true luxury fashion, the Beverly Hills condos will be about half a mile away from the iconic Rodeo Drive, the city's upscale shopping hotspot. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. Mandarin Oriental Residences, Beverly Hills A condominium development with a flashy name will, of course, have ultra-luxe amenities. This includes a concierge team and valet parking for the residences' vehicles. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX All of the condos will have outdoor spaces, but only some will have their own bonsai garden. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX The building will also have amenities like a gym, spa, salon, library, and meeting room ... The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. Mandarin Oriental Residences, Beverly Hills … as well as a rooftop pool with cabanas and a bar and lounge. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX In typical Los Angeles wellness fashion, the building will also have yoga and meditation rooms. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX And the first-floor restaurant - which will be open to non-residents - and the rooftop bar and lounge will have food from Daniel Boulud, a Michelin-starred chef. Like Mandarin Oriental, this will be Boulud's first venture on the West Coast. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX If you're looking to move here, you better start saving up now. The 54 homes will open in 2022, and prices will range from $3.6 million for a 1,200-square-foot condo to $40 million for a penthouse, Helena Madden reported for Robb Report. The Mandarin Oriental Residences in Beverly Hills, California. DBOX Source: Robb Report   Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 31st, 2021

How DreaMed’s Recent AI Innovation Is Revolutionising Diabetes Care

Top US children’s hospital is utilising DreaMed’s FDA-approved AI platform to provide millions with access to sequestered diabetes staff and endocrinologists An Israeli biotech startup, DreaMed, has developed an AI system that has the potential to completely renovate the way in which the healthcare industry approaches the treatment of diabetes. Under the current system, the […] Top US children’s hospital is utilising DreaMed’s FDA-approved AI platform to provide millions with access to sequestered diabetes staff and endocrinologists An Israeli biotech startup, DreaMed, has developed an AI system that has the potential to completely renovate the way in which the healthcare industry approaches the treatment of diabetes. Under the current system, the ratio of endocrinologists to cases is 1:41,000; as a consequence, over half of recorded diabetic cases result in medical mismanagement. Since over 460 million people are affected by diabetes globally, according to the WHO, DreaMed’s solution presents significant benefits. Successful implementation would reduce administration costs associated with fewer clinical visits, an effort that could save the US billions of dollars per year. With the development of its artificial intelligence-utilising system, Advisor Pro, DreaMed has situated itself at the precipice of the healthcare industry’s revolution in attempting to rectify the holistic and systemic mismanagement of diabetes cases that is occuring on a massive scale in the US’s healthcare system. Advisor Pro’s focus has been guided towards helping those seek treatment for the ailment of Type 1 diabetes since 2018, when it was initially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Its expertise is based on over a decade of clinical research and data from hundreds of people suffering from diabetes, setting it apart from any other vendor in the diabetic digital healthcare industry. A New, Groundbreaking Approach Since its first authorisation by the FDA, Advisor Pro’s recent progressions have driven it to new heights; namely, the unique medical equipment’s capabilities were extended to include individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes now as well due to discoveries by the scientific team of DreaMed. All patients are different, so they are granted an exclusive profile in order to monitor their unique diabetic status and insulin levels. In order to manage the treatment of such highly variable conditions optimally, an acutely tailored and customised treatment plan, along with extensive supervision would normally be required. However, as a result of DreaMed’s innovative product, each patient’s data from their CGM, SMBG and insulin pump is stored in their platform; this data is then used by an AI system designed by leading clinicians and endocrinologists to generate a treatment plan that is just as helpful to the patient, yet infinitely simpler in its process. A simpler, more efficient process requires less clinical visits, which reduces the administrative costs associated with treatment (equating to billions of dollars a year alone). Therefore, DreaMed presents an opportunity to such healthcare providers, as well as the industry as a whole, the chance at a substantial financial advantage. Why This Is Special The benefits of DreaMed’s product are not limited to the financial realm, and actually include tangible benefits for the receivers of treatment as well. Moreover, leading pediatricians have gone on record to state that the Advisor Pro has been improving patient quality of life since the clinical trials phase. On top of this, the treatment will be significantly less financially intrusive for the patient as a result of the reduced clinical appointments that will be required when the most efficient treatment plan is assigned from the start through the use of DreaMed’s MD Logic-based algorithm. The plan that it develops eloquently and seamlessly elucidates the monitoring process of treatment, from the perspective of both the patient and the healthcare provider. This breakthrough is so incredibly important because its applicability is so widespread. Furthermore, it will connect millions of patients suffering from diabetes with lifesaving treatment that they might not otherwise have been under the old system. Given the scale of diabetes’s impact (around 460 million currently, and nearly 700 million by 2045), this generational leap has been innovated at the perfect time to counter one of the World Health Organisation’s most widespread, chronic diseases from around the world. Closing Remarks On balance, the breakthroughs that DreaMed have made with its innovative Advisor Pro system undoubtedly present a meaningful solution to one of the most inefficient treatments of a massively widespread disease. In doing so, it provides a better quality of life for the patients, alongside financial benefits for both patients and providers as a result of a more efficient treatment plan and the reduced number of clinical appointments this entails. It is no surprise that this company has developed such significant professional validation for the use of its AI algorithms to treat a plethora of chronic diseases. Clinical centres with a global reputation are so positively outspoken about this product, including Medtronic Diabetes, Yale-New Haven, Glooko and DexCom. With all that being said, there are still more improvements to be made. Whilst FDA approval and the consequential partnerships this have caused enable DreaMed to potentially benefit thousands of lives, their system is still faced with a myriad of obstacles if it hopes to offer advice that is comparable to the comprehensiveness and all overarching opinions of a human endocrinologist. Updated on Oct 29, 2021, 7:48 am (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: valuewalkOct 29th, 2021

Katie Finnegan Named First CEO of RealSure Joint Venture

Realogy Holdings Corp. recently announced the appointment of Katie Finnegan as chief executive officer of RealSure®, the company’s iBuyer arm. Finnegan will work to accelerate growth and enhance RealSure’s residential real estate transaction solutions. In her new role, Finnegan will be responsible for developing and marketing RealSure’s consumer solution. Central to Finnegan’s work will be the objective of […] The post Katie Finnegan Named First CEO of RealSure Joint Venture appeared first on RISMedia. Realogy Holdings Corp. recently announced the appointment of Katie Finnegan as chief executive officer of RealSure®, the company’s iBuyer arm. Finnegan will work to accelerate growth and enhance RealSure’s residential real estate transaction solutions. In her new role, Finnegan will be responsible for developing and marketing RealSure’s consumer solution. Central to Finnegan’s work will be the objective of simplifying the consumer experience without removing the personal relationship with an agent. “Realogy continues to invest in RealSure as a strategic growth priority and competitive advantage, helping us win more listings and drive incremental business for affiliated agents and franchise owners,” said Ryan Schneider, chief executive officer and president of Realogy, in a statement. “We believe Katie’s dynamic leadership, deep understanding of today’s consumer, and impressive track record of developing and scaling transformative businesses, will help accelerate growth for RealSure as we work together with expert agents to bring a differentiated home selling and buying experience to more consumers.” “Home Partners of America’s fundamental mission is to make homeownership accessible for more people. The consumer solutions that RealSure provides are an excellent way to build on that goal,” said Bill Young, chief executive officer of Home Partners of America, in a statement. “With Katie’s leadership and laser focus on consumer needs, we are excited for what the future of home selling and buying will become.” Named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People, Finnegan’s track record across six startup companies she has co-founded and launched over the span of a decade has demonstrated a passion for building, scaling and disrupting the consumer experience. She was most recently chief consumer and e-commerce officer of Rite Aid and was previously the founder and principal of Store No 8, Walmart’s business incubation arm dedicated to transforming the future of commerce. Finnegan joined Walmart as a “key employee” in Walmart’s $3.3 billion acquisition of Jet.com, where she was the Head of Corporate Development, Strategy and Investor Relations. Finnegan joined Jet in 2014 with the acquisition of Hukkster, the retail tech start-up she co-founded in 2012. “Adding to the value RealSure has already established over the past two years for agents and consumers, I believe that RealSure has all the pieces in place to have an even greater positive impact on the consumer experience and residential real estate transaction,” said Finnegan in a statement. “Bringing forth the joy in buying and selling homes while reducing stress and friction for consumers will not only place RealSure at the forefront of Realogy’s affiliated agents’ work, it will also add unmatched value to the current generation of buyers and sellers, giving them a fair shot at competing in today’s high-demand, low supply market.” Currently live in 24 major U.S. cities, RealSure is available to more than 30,000 real estate agents across Realogy’s Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Corcoran®, ERA®, and Sotheby’s International Realty® brands and the clients they serve.  that helps consumers sell and buy their home with confidence. For more information, please visit www.RealSure.com. The post Katie Finnegan Named First CEO of RealSure Joint Venture appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaOct 27th, 2021

What the Labor Movement Needs to Keep ‘Striketober’ Going, According to New AFL-CIO Leader Liz Shuler

(To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) As a burgeoning labor shortage precipitated 10 million job openings and millions of Americans voluntarily leaving their jobs in August, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler was handed an extraordinary job at the nation’s largest labor union federation: Running it. She… (To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) As a burgeoning labor shortage precipitated 10 million job openings and millions of Americans voluntarily leaving their jobs in August, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler was handed an extraordinary job at the nation’s largest labor union federation: Running it. She was elected to fill the shoes of former AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, a beloved third-generation coal miner who cemented strong ties with the last two Democratic Presidents and with the federation’s roughly 12.5 million members between 2009 and his unexpected death from a heart attack in August. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Shuler wasn’t merely taking the reins during a once-in-a-century pandemic, but also in the midst of a revolutionary inflection point, where workers are emboldened by nationwide labor shortages to exact better wages, hours and general working conditions from their employers. As a record-breaking 4.3 million laborers voluntarily quit, swaths more decided not to resign for better opportunities elsewhere—but to strike for them at their current jobs. Tens of thousands of cameramen, makeup artists, lighting technicians and other behind-the-scenes television show professionals represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) have threatened to strike for bigger profit shares from the streaming boom and more humane hours, in an effort that could result in the largest coordinated labor action in Hollywood since World War II. More than 10,000 United Auto Workers members from 14 John Deere facilities have walked off their job sites after rejecting the agricultural behemoth’s latest union contract offer. Over 14,000 workers from cereal giant Kellogg’s have been picketing for weeks over what they call an unfair, two-tier system of benefits. Meanwhile, more than 20,000 Kaiser Permanente employees authorized a strike earlier this month, and thousands more Nabisco workers recently returned to work after successfully striking for higher pay. “They’ve had enough,” Shuler says of the season, which many have dubbed “Striketober.” But as ripe as the current labor market conditions are for successful strikes, the current moment is also a critical juncture for the future existence of the very labor unions that make such revolts possible. Private sector union membership has fallen from roughly 32% in 1960 to 6% today, and stands to decline even more as older generations—who are more likely than younger ones to be in unions—near retirement age. “This is the challenge of our time. Something like 10,000 people a day are retiring,” Shuler says, “and that silver tsunami is about to hit us.” Shuler spoke with TIME about what the workers participating in this historic wave of strikes are fighting for, how union membership can help them get it, and what the AFL-CIO is doing to bolster its ranks—especially with young people—to preserve its collective bargaining power in the decades to come. (This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.) It’s Striketober! Tens of thousands of workers have voted to authorize strikes in recent weeks, building on a year of extraordinary labor activism. A strike database from Cornell University shows more than 250 strikes have taken place since the start of this year. As the brand new chief of one of the biggest unions in the country, how do you capitalize on this momentum? I’m glad you actually started from the beginning, because this is a moment in time, but it’s been building for a while. And everywhere we go, every person we talk to on those picket lines are just fed up. I think if you could sum it up, it’s just that they’ve had enough. We have over 30 strikes happening right now. Around 100,000 workers are either on strike or have authorized a strike at this moment, and so it’s the culmination of going through this pandemic, where workers were told they were essential, and now are being treated as expendable. They’ve sacrificed so much, and then now are faced with takeaways, and a basic lack of respect and recognition. And so it’s both economic forces at play here with a broken economic system—wages have been flat for so long—and the growing gulf that we’re seeing in the economy, but also just the recognition, the basic respect of being able to come to a workplace, have a decent paying job, have safety protections from a pandemic, and be able to return home safely at night back to their families. But at the same time, overall union membership is still roughly half of what it was in the 1980s. Do you think that this current wave of labor activism marks an inflection point of a possible union resurgence? Yes, the answer is absolutely yes. And if anything, working people in the country are now seeing the labor movement in a different way, we’re more relevant than we’ve ever been before. We’re more popular than we’ve ever been. You probably have seen the recent polling—68% of the public supports unions, 77% of young people [do]. They see unions fighting for change, and they see us out there fighting for better jobs. And so we do believe this is a moment where working people are feeling their power, and they’re ready to take risks and stand up more than ever before, because they’ve been the victims of a broken economic system for far too long. And we do have a shortage of good paying sustainable jobs that give people a fair share of the wealth that they’re helping create. They’re seeing CEOs being paid, like, 351 times what the average worker is making in the economy today. We just had a meeting this morning to talk about what we can do as a labor movement to bring more solidarity and support and unity to these fights, and the full breadth and power of labor movements to bear here because this is about our future. This is about preserving the middle class, and fighting back against rollbacks that are taking us back to times where we were fighting for the weekend. And in fact, in 2021, you saw the IATSE that was about to go on strike, they were fighting for meal and rest breaks, to not have to go to work after clocking out on a Friday night and then returning to work Saturday morning, less than eight hours later. So these are basic things that we’ve been fighting for for decades, that we should be far beyond in the year 2021. Read more: U.S. Workers Are Realizing It’s the Perfect Time to Go on Strike It’s also quite a moment for you individually. What has the transition to President of AFL-CIO been like for you in the wake of Richard Trumka’s unexpected death? It’s been exactly 60 days since I was elected. And it has been quite a responsibility to both step into some big shoes and to really keep this labor movement moving forward. Because we have such an opportunity in front of us, we can’t miss a beat. We’ve got this opportunity in Congress with all the investment that is poised to pass and create millions of good, well-paying jobs. And we have workers out in the streets, taking risks and looking for change, looking for hope. And the public sentiment is with us. I think that the labor movement can be the place where working people chart a path for a new future. A bold, dynamic, inclusive labor movement is going to be the path to that change. So we want to show every working person that they have a place in the labor movement, and that we are dynamic and relevant and are ready to meet the moment for this very diverse and changing work workforce, but also the economy that’s changing around us. When you were elected to replace Trumka, you said you were “humbled, honored and ready to guide this federation forward.” What does moving the union forward mean in real terms? Is it about becoming more accessible to young people, or ramping up social media outreach more? All of those things, yes. Of course, appealing to that next generation to show them that they can see themselves in our labor movement and rising into leadership, making the change that they want in their workplaces and using the labor movement as a vehicle for that change. To show women and people of color, who were in the emerging sectors of the economy that are growing that the labor movement is a place for them and that we make the difference in workplaces and close pay gaps for women and for people of color. And that as technology is changing our workplaces and disrupting the business model, we would be the place to have a voice and a seat at the table for working people to negotiate that change, and to not be sitting back waiting for it to happen. So we think the labor movement is the place where [we can manage] the big workplace changes that are on the horizon, but also the policy changes on Capitol Hill, and then to unleash unprecedented organizing, because the bottom line is we need to grow the labor movement, and represent more people to have more strength and to make that voice even louder. And especially with young people, the marquee of millennials and Gen Z is collaboration—they’re very civic-minded. They’re used to coming together and working in teams. That just naturally translates to the labor movement. We’ve seen some extraordinary grassroots movements take center stage in recent years, such as the global school strikes led by Greta Thunberg for climate activism and the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests after George Floyd’s murder. Is AFL-CIO taking inspiration from those movements? Are there any other movements that AFL-CIO is learning from? Yes, and in fact, many of our members are either at the front leading or very much active in those movements. Our headquarters is on what’s now called Black Lives Matter Plaza. And I remember coming down many times to join those protests and walk the streets, not only in DC, but in different parts of the country. And so we are learning from those movements, because they’re very dynamic. They’re led by young people, and we have so much in common, so it makes sense for us to be joining forces. In the labor movement, we have a network of state AFL-CIO [and] city level AFL-CIO bodies in over 400 cities that can actually make activism happen. Often, we work collaboratively with these various movements and partners and allies to make the change that so many of us are hungry for. We saw the Netflix walkout. And in the past, Google walkouts over sexual harassment. These are all workplace issues. Our job is to connect the dots—the change that people are hungry for can happen more effectively through the labor movement, because we have a permanence about our structure that really doesn’t happen anywhere else. When you walk out for a day, and then you go back to work the next day, it becomes very clear that it’s not sustainable unless you have a union that gives you the legal standing to sit across a table from the employers and demand change and actually have a mechanism to enforce the policies and bargain the change that you want to see. We’re seeing a lot of young people that are using collective bargaining as a tool for non-traditional subjects of bargaining, like the carbon footprint: You raised Greta. This is something that the labor movement has front and center where there are workers who are sitting down at the table saying, ‘What can we do as an organization as a company to address climate change more forcefully as an organization?’ A lot of people don’t understand collective bargaining. It is essentially that give-and-take process with an employer to negotiate, of course, better pay and benefits and working conditions, but also some of the social issues, [such as] civil and human rights; diversity, equity, inclusion; climate change and sexual harassment. These are some of the things that folks in our society and our economy care deeply about, but they don’t necessarily see unions as the path forward. That’s our challenge is to make that case to more working people outside of unions to see us as the path forward. Union membership rates continue to be highest among workers who are 45 to 64, and much lower among the younger generations. What can AFL-CIO—and unions more generally—do to recruit and retain the younger Americans? This is the challenge of our time, something like 10,000 people a day are retiring. And that silver tsunami is about to hit us. We are very much being intentional about engaging our young members. I think having young people in leadership helps show other young people that this labor movement is modern, and dynamic, and is interested in caring about the things they care about. When I first came to the AFL-CIO, we launched our Next Step program, which is our young worker program, and put together a pretty bold initiative to address economic issues that matter to young people. We [also] created a network of young worker organizations across the country at every central labor council in our network, so that young unionists could work with young activists on the ground in their communities to fight for change. We also started young worker groups at our affiliate unions so that within each union, they are looking at investing in young people, leadership training, making sure that we’re not just waiting around for years and years so that leaders are paying their dues and [saying], ‘You can’t lead until you’ve been here for 10 or 15 years.’ That’s not the case. Most of the young leaders that we have invested in during our Next Step program are actually now either on executive boards of their unions or running for political office, running for union office. That investment pays off because you invest early and then certainly those young people will be landing in positions of authority and power. We need to make sure that we’re doing the succession planning for our movement. Age aside, private sector union membership is still at its slowest rate in a century. The PRO Act, while it passed in the House with a little bit of Republican support, doesn’t seem likely to pass in the Senate, and some of the country’s largest companies—especially Amazon—continue to successfully squash unionization attempts. Despite these challenges, what is giving you hope that this is a potential turning point? When I walk the picket line with bakery workers and I see their determination, their tenacity, their courage, that’s what gives me hope. This is a moment. I think the PRO Act, of course, is very much needed legislation, because our labor laws are so broken in this country that it takes an act of absolute heroism to stand up and face down Goliath. That these companies are so powerful, they’ll throw millions of dollars to bust the unions, hire union busting consultants, they actually have a playbook that they operate from. And you saw it alive and well at Amazon, where they would go to no end to intimidate, harass, discriminate [against], bully, [and] fire workers who want to form a union. So we’re going to keep fighting for the PRO Act. But we’re also going to look for opportunities to get meaningful reforms in other vehicles that are moving. We want to make sure that the penalties for employers who break the law are meaningful. We’re working to try to make sure that gets passed in reconciliation. Read more: How Amazon Won the Preliminary Union Vote in Alabama A striking Kellogg’s employee of local 50G in Omaha likened Striketober to a second industrial revolution, citing record profits some companies are seeing but not passing down to their employees and the increasing wealth gap. Would you agree with his assessment? There’s no doubt that our economy is broken. He is absolutely right, that this is our chance to get it right—to invest in workers and to right the ship. This is unsustainable. Wages have been flat for over 30 years. Costs continue to go up. Health care gets more expensive. People have barely any retirement savings to rely on. The only way we can remedy that is to make a choice as a country that we are going to invest in the people that make this country hum. Certainly the essential workers throughout this pandemic are Exhibit A for why that’s important. Only by coming together collectively can we balance the scales of the economy and fight for the dignity and respect that we need on the job in addition to the pay and the benefits and the working conditions that are just absolute basic necessities for most working people. That’s all they want. They want to be treated fairly......»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 24th, 2021

Developers begin transforming NYCHA parking lot into senior housing

Ground has been broken for a 204-unit senior housing property on a former NYCHA parking lot in the Bronx. Casa Celina, located on NYCHA’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor campus in the Soundview neighborhood, will be a 100 percent affordable project developed under the city’s Senior First Program which allocates under-used NYCHA... The post Developers begin transforming NYCHA parking lot into senior housing appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Ground has been broken for a 204-unit senior housing property on a former NYCHA parking lot in the Bronx. Casa Celina, located on NYCHA’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor campus in the Soundview neighborhood, will be a 100 percent affordable project developed under the city’s Senior First Program which allocates under-used NYCHA sites for development and finances the work through HPD’s Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) Program. A development team led by ELH Mgmt. LLC; The Kretchmer Companies; Xenolith Partners and JASA, an agency serving older New Yorkers, won an RFP to develop the site on the corner of Watson and Thieriot Avenue. The team gathered with representatives from HPD, HDC, and NYCHA to celebrate the groundbreaking earlier this week. “This construction start is the beginning of an impactful project that demonstrates the vision of the agencies’ Seniors First program and their ongoing commitment to providing high-quality, sustainable and elegant affordable housing for seniors,” said Andrea Kretchmer, principal of Xenolith Partners. “Our joint venture team of veteran developers …  is excited to continue our work with the resident and community leadership at Sotomayor Houses as construction gets underway. Crucial services for seniors provided by our partner JASA will be complemented by new landscaping, improved drainage, and playground upgrades, features that will benefit all Sotomayor residents.” The site was formerly a parking lot on the corner of Watson and Thieriot. The 204 senior-led households consist of 46 one-bedrooms and 158 studios; NYCHA’s Leased Housing Department provided the project-based vouchers for all 204 units. The apartments are reserved for individuals and families making up to 50% AMI, or $47,750 for a family of two. The building will set aside 62 of the units, or 30%, for formerly homeless older adults and one superintendent’s unit. JASA, the largest nonprofit manager of senior housing in New York City, will manage the property and provide supportive services and programming for older adults.  The building has been designed to support the needs of senior residents with open and outdoor space for socializing and onsite support from JASA. The building will also offer a range of amenities, including a 1,725 square-foot community senior space staffed by JASA with support from DFTA, a fitness room, laundry room, lounge spaces on each floor for residents, and a landscaped roof terrace where yoga classes and gardening will be available. Designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning, Casa Celina is built to support strong mental health with expansive windows throughout the apartments and common areas to offer abundant natural light. Additionally, bright resident lounges on each floor create a vertical network of social spaces, conducive for social interaction and helping to prevent isolation for residents living alone. The development team gathered with representatives from HPD, HDC, and NYCHA to celebrate the groundbreaking earlier this week. The post Developers begin transforming NYCHA parking lot into senior housing appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyOct 21st, 2021

Transcript: Soraya Darabi

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Soraya Darabi, TMV, 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. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This… Read More The post Transcript: Soraya Darabi appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Soraya Darabi, TMV, 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. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have an extra special guest. Her name is Soraya Darabi. She is a venture capital and impact investor who has an absolutely fascinating background working for, first with the New York Times Social Media Group then with a startup that eventually gets purchased by OpenTable, and then becoming a venture investor that focuses on women and people of color-led startups which is not merely a way to, quote-unquote, “do good” but it’s a broad area that is wildly underserved by the venture community and therefore is very inefficient. Meaning, there’s a lot of upside in this. You can both do well and do good by investing in these areas. I found this to be absolutely fascinating and I think you will also, if you’re at all interested in entrepreneurship, social media startups, deal flow, how funds identify who they want to invest in, what it’s like to actually experience an exit as an entrepreneur, I think you’ll find this to be quite fascinating. So with no further ado, my conversation with TMV’s Soraya Darabi. VOICEOVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. My special guest this week is Soraya Darabi. She is the Co-Founder and General Partner of TMV, a venture capital firm that has had a number of that exits despite being relatively young, 65 percent of TMV’s startups are led by women or people of color. Previously, she was the cofounder of Foodspotting, an app named App of the Year by Apple and Wire that was eventually purchased by OpenTable. Soraya Darabi, welcome to Bloomberg. SORAYA DARABI; GENERAL PARTNER & FOUNDER; TMV: My goodness, Barry, thank you for having me. RITHOLTZ: I’ve been looking forward to this conversation since our previous discussion. We were on a Zoom call with a number of people discussing blockchain and crypto when it was really quite fascinating and I thought you had such an unusual and interesting background, I thought you would make a perfect guest for the show. Let’s start with your Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media at the “New York Times” when social media was really just ramping up. Tell us about what that was like. Tell us what you did in the late aughts at The Times. DARABI: Absolutely. I was fresh faced out of a university. I had recently graduated with mostly a journalism concentration from Georgetown and did a small stint in Condé Nast right around the time they acquired Reddit for what will soon be nothing because Reddit’s expecting to IPO at around 15 billion. And that experience at Reddit really offered me a deep understanding of convergence, what was happening to digital media properties as they partnered for the first time when nascent but scaling social media platforms. And so the “New York Times” generously offered me a role that was originally called manager of buzz marketing. I think that’s what they called social media in 2006 and then that eventually evolved into manager of digital partnerships and social media which, in essence, meant that we were aiming to be the first media property in the world to partner with companies that are household names today but back in the they were fairly unbalanced to Facebook and Twitters, of course, but also platforms that really took off for a while and then plateaued potentially. The Tumblers of the world. And it was responsibility to understand how we could effectively generate an understanding of the burgeoning demographics of this platform and how we could potentially bring income into The Times for working with them, but more importantly have a journalist that could authentically represent themselves on new media. And so, that was a really wonderful role to have directly out of University and then introduce me to folks with whom I still work today. DARABI: That’s quite interesting. So when you’re looking at a lot of these companies, you mentioned Facebook and Twitter and Tumbler, how do you know if something’s going to be a Facebook or a MySpace, so Twitter or a Tumbler, what’s going to survive or not, when you’re cutting deals with these companies on behalf of The Times, are you thinking in terms of hey, who’s going to stick around, wasn’t that much earlier that the dot-com implosion took place prior to you starting with The Times? DARABI: It’s true, although I don’t remember the dot-com implosion. So, maybe that naivete helped because all I had was enthusiasm, unbridled enthusiasm for these new companies and I operated then and now still with a beta approach to business. Testing out new platforms and trying to track the data, what’s scaling, what velocity is this platform scaling and can we hitch a ride on the rochet ship if they will so allow. But a lot of our partnerships then and now, as an investor, are predicated upon relationships. And so, as most, I think terrific investors that I listen to, who I listen to in your show, at least, will talk to you about the importance of believing and the founder and the founder’s vision and that was the case back then and remains the case today. RITHOLTZ: So, when you were at The Times, your tenure there very much overlapped the great financial crisis. You’re looking at social media, how did that manifest the world of social media when it looked like the world of finance was imploding at that time? DARABI: Well, it was a very interesting time. I remember having, quite literally, 30-second meetings with Sorkin as he would run upstairs to my floor, in the eighth floor, to talk about a deal book app that we wanted to launch and then he’d ran back down to his desk to do much more important work, I think, and — between the financial crisis to the world. So, 30-second meetings aside, it was considered to be, in some ways, a great awakening for the Web 2.0 era as the economy was bottoming out, like a recession, it also offered a really interesting opportunity for entrepreneurs, many of whom had just been laid off or we’re looking at this as a sizeable moment to begin to work on a side hustle or a life pursuit. And so, there’s — it’s unsettling, of course, any recession or any great awakening, but lemonade-lemons, when the opening door closing, there was a — there was a true opportunity as well for social media founders, founders focusing on convergence in any industry, really, many of which are predicated in New York. But again, tinkering on an idea that could ultimately become quite powerful because if you’re in the earliest stage of the riskiest asset class, big venture, there’s always going to be seed funding for a great founder with a great idea. And so, I think some of the smartest people I’d ever met in my life, I met at the onset of the aftermath of that particular era in time. RITHOLTZ: So you mentioned side hustle. Let’s talk a little bit about Foodspotting which is described as a visual geolocal guide to dishes instead of restaurants which sounds appealing to me. And it was named App of the Year by both Apple and Wired. How do you go from working at a giant organization like The Times to a startup with you and a cofounder and a handful of other coders working with you? DARABI: Well, five to six nights a week after my day job at the “New York Times,” I would go to networking events with technologists and entrepreneurs after hours. I saw that a priority to be able to partner from the earliest infancy with interesting companies for that media entity. I need to at least know who these founders were in New York and Silicon Valley. And so, without a true agenda other than keen curiosity to learn what this business were all about, I would go to New York tech meetup which Scott Heiferman of meetup.com who’s now in charge LP in my fund would create. And back then, the New York Tech Meetup was fewer than 40 people. I believe it’s been the tens of thousands now. RITHOLTZ: Wow, that’s … DARABI: In New York City alone. And so, it was there that I met some really brilliant people. And in particular, a gentleman my age who’s building a cloud-computing company that was essentially arbitraging AWS to repopulate consumer-facing cloud data services for enterprises, B2B2C play. And we all thought it would be Dropbox. The company ultimately wasn’t, but I will tell you the people with whom I worked with that startup because I left the “New York Times” to join that startup, to this day remain some of the most successful people in Silicon Valley and Alley. And actually, one of those persons is a partner at our firm now, Darshan. He was the cofounder of that particular company which is called drop.io. but I stayed there very quickly. I was there for about six months. But at that startup, I observed how a young person my age could build a business, raise VC, he was the son of a VC and so he was exceptionally attuned to the changing landscape of venture and how to position the company so that it would be attractive to the RREs of the world and then the DFJs. And I … RITHOLTZ: Define those for us. RREs and BFJs. DARABI: Sorry. Still, today, very relevant and very successful venture capital firms. And in particular, they were backing a lot of the most interesting ideas in Web 2.0 era when I joined this particular startup in 2010. Well, that startup was acquired by Facebook and I often say, no, thanks to me. But the mafia that left that particular startup continues to this day to coinvest with one another and help one another’s ideas to exceed. And it was there that I began to build the confidence, I think, that I really needed to explore my own entrepreneurial ideas or to help accelerate ideas. And Foodspotting was a company that I was advising while at that particular startup, that was really taking off. This was in the early days of when Instagram was still in beta and we observed that the most commonly posted photos on Instagram were of food. And so, by following that lead, we basically built an app as well that activity that continues to take place every single day. I still see food photos on Twitter every time I open up my stream. And decided to match that with an algorithm that showed folks wherever they were in the world, say in Greece, that might want spanakopita or if I’m in Japan, Okinawa, we help people to discover not just the Michelin-rated restaurants or the most popular local hunt in New York but rather what’s the dish that they should be ordering. And then the app was extremely good was populating beautiful photos of that particular dish and then mirroring them with accredited reviews from the Zagats of the world but also popular celebrity shots like Marcus Samuelsson in New York. And that’s why we took off because it was a cult-beloved app of its time back when there were only three geolocation apps in the iTunes apparently store. It was we and Twitter and Foursquare. So, there was a first-mover advantage. Looking back in hindsight, I think we sold that company too soon. OpenTable bought the business. A year and a half later, Priceline bought OpenTable. Both were generous liquidity events for the founders that enabled us to become angel investors. But sometimes I wish that that app still existed today because I could see it being still incredibly handy in my day-to-day life. RITHOLTZ: To say the least. So did you have to raise money for Foodspotting or did you just bootstrapped it and how did that experience compare with what that exit was like? DARABI: We did. We raised from tremendous investors like Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures whom I think of as being one of the best angel investors of the world. He was on the board. But we didn’t raise that much capital before the business is ultimately sold and what I learned in some of those early conversations, I would say, that may have ultimately led to LOIs and term sheets was that so much of M&As about wining and dining and as a young person, particularly for me, you and I discussed before the show, Barry, we’re both from New York, I’m not from a business-oriented family to say the least. My mom’s an academic, my father was a cab driver in New York City. And so, there are certain elements of this game, raising venture and ultimately trying to exit your company, that you don’t learn from a business book. And I think navigating that as a young person was complicated if I had to speak economically. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. What is purposeful change? DARABI: Well, the world purpose, I suppose, especially in the VC game could come across as somewhat of a cliché. But we try to be as specific as possible when we allude to the impact that our investment could potentially make. And so, specifically, we invest in five verticals at our early stage New York City-based venture fund. We invest in what we call the care economy, just companies making all forms of care, elder care to pet care to health care, more accessible and equitable. We invest in financial inclusion. So this is a spin on fintech. These are companies enabling wealth creation, education, and most importantly literacy for all, that I think is really important to democratization of finance. We invest in the future of work which are companies creating better outcomes for workers and employees alike. We invest in the future of work which are companies creating better outcomes for workers and employers alike. We invest in purpose as it pertains to transportation. So, not immediately intuitive but companies creating transparency and efficiency around global supply chain and mobility. I’m going to talk about why we pick that category in a bit. And sustainability. So, tech-enabled sustainable solutions. These are companies optimizing for sustainability from process to product. With these five verticals combined, we have a subspecies which is that diverse founders and diverse employee bases and diverse cap table. It is not charity, it’s simply good for business. And so, in addition to being hyper specific about the impact in which we invest, we also make it a priority and a mandate at our firm to invest in the way the world truly look. And when we say that on our website, we link to census data. And so, we invest in man and women equally. We invest in diverse founders, almost all of the time. And we track this with data and precious to make sure that our investments reflect not just one zip code in California but rather America at large. RITHOLTZ: And you have described this as non-obvious founders. Tell us a little bit about that phrase. DARABI: Well, not obvious is a term you hear a lot when you go out to Silicon Valley. And I don’t know, I think it was coined by a well-known early PayPal employee turned billionaire turned investor who actually have a conference centered around non-obvious ideas. And I love the phrase. I love thinking about investment PC that are contrary because we have a contrary point of view, contrarian point of view, you often have outlier results because if you’re right, you’re taking the risk and your capturing the reward. When you’re investing in non-obvious founders, it should be that is the exact same outcome. And so, it almost sort of befuddled me as a person with a hard to pronounce name in Silicon Valley, why it was that we’re an industry that prides itself on investing in innovation and groundbreaking ideas and the next frontier of X, Y, and Z and yet all of those founders in which we were investing, collectively, tended to kind of look the same. They were coming from the same schools and the same types of families. And so, to me, there was nothing innovative at all about backing that Wharton, PSB, HBS guy who is second or third-generation finance. And what really excites me about venture is capturing a moment in time that’s young but also the energy is palpable around not only the idea in which the founder is building but the categories of which they’re tackling and that sounded big. I’ll be a little bit more speficic. And so, at TMV, we tried to see things before they’re even coming around the bend. For instance, we were early investors in a company called Cityblock Health which is offering best in class health care specifically for low income Americans. So they focus on the most vulnerable population which are underserved with health care and they’re offering them best in class health care access at affordable pricing because it’s predominantly covered through a payer relationship. And this company is so powerful to us for three reasons because it’s not simply offering health care to the elite. It’s democratizing access to care which I think is absolutely necessary in term out for success of any kind. We thought this was profoundly interesting because the population which they serve is also incredibly diverse. And so when you look at that investment over, say, a comparable company, I won’t name names, that offers for-profit health care, out-of-pocket, you can see why this is an opportunity that excites us as impact investors but we don’t see the diversity of the team it’s impact. We actually see that as their unfair advantage because they are accessing a population authentically that others might ignore. RITHOLTZ: Let me see if I understand this correctly. When you talk about non-obvious find — founders and spaces like this, what I’m hearing from you is you’re looking at areas where the market has been very inefficient with how it allocates capital … DARABI: Yes. RITHOLTZ: … that these areas are just overlooked and ignored, hey, if you want to go on to silicon valley and compete with everybody else and pay up for what looks like the same old startup, maybe it will successful and maybe it won’t, that’s hypercompetitive and hyper efficient, these are areas that are just overlooked and there is — this is more than just do-goodery for lack of a better word. There are genuine economic opportunities here with lots of potential upside. DARABI: Absolutely. So, my business partner and I, she and I found each other 20 years ago as undergrads at Georgetown but we went in to business after she was successful and being one of the only women in the world to take a shipping business public with her family, and we got together and we said we have a really unique access, she and I. And the first SPV that we collaborated on back in 2016 was a young business at the time, started by two women, that was focused on medical apparel predominantly for nurses. Now it’s nurses and doctors. And they were offering a solution to make medical apparel, so scrubs, more comfortable and more fashionable for nurses. I happen to have nurses and doctors in my family so doing due diligence for this business is relatively simple. I called my aunt who’s a nurse practitioner, a nurse her life, and she said, absolutely. When you’re working in a uniform at the hospital, you want something comfortable with extra pockets that makes you look and feel good. The VCs that they spoke to at the time, and they’ve been very public about this, in the beginning, anyway, were less excited because they correlated this particular business for the fashion company. But if you look back at our original memo which I saved, it says, FIGS, now public on the New York Stock Exchange is a utility business. It’s a uniform company that can verticalize beyond just medical apparel. And so, we helped value that company at 15 million back in 2016. And this year, in 2021, they went public at a $7 billion market cap. RITHOLTZ: Wow. DARABI: And so, what is particularly exciting for us going back to that conversation on non-obvious founders is that particular business, FIGS, was the first company in history to have two female co-founders go public. And when we think of success at TMV, we don’t just think about financial success and IRR and cash on cash return for our LPs, of course we think about that. But we also think who are we cheerleading and with whom do we want to go into business. I went to the story on the other side of the fence that we want to help and we measure non-obvious not just based on gender or race because I think that’s a little too precise in some ways. Sometimes, for us non-obvious, is around geography, I would say. I’m calling you from Athens, as you know, and in Greece, yesterday, I got together with a fund manager. I’m lucky enough to be an LP in her fund and she was talking about the average size of a seed round in Silicon Valley these days, hovering around 30 million. And I was scratching my head because at our fund, TMV, we don’t see that. We’re investing in Baltimore, Maryland, and in Austin, Texas and the average price for us to invest in the seed round is closer to 5 million or 6 million. And so, we actually can capture larger ownership of the pie early on and then develop a very close-knit relationship with these founders but might not be as networked in the Valley where there’s 30 VC funds to everyone that exist in Austin, Texas. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And so, yes, I think you’re right to say that it’s about inefficiencies in market but also just around — about being persistent and looking where others are not. RITHOLTZ: That’s quite intriguing. Your team is female-led. You have a portfolio of companies that’s about 65 percent women and people of color. Tell us how you go about finding these non-obvious startups? DARABI: It’s a good question. TMV celebrates its five-year anniversary this year. So the way we go about funding companies now is a bit different than the way we began five years ago. Now, it’s systematic. We collectively, as a partnership, there are many of us take over 50 calls a month with Tier 1 venture capital firms that have known us for a while like the work that we do, believe in our value-add because the partnership comprised of four more operators. So, we really roll up our sleeves to help. And when you’ve invested at this firms, enough time, they will write to you and say I found a company that’s a little too early for us, for XYZ reason, but it resonates and I think it might be for you. So we found some of our best deals that way. But other times, we found our deal flow through building our own communities. And so, when I first started visit as an EM, an emerging manager of a VC firm. And roughly 30 percent of LP capital goes to EM each year but that’s sort of an outsized percentage because when you think about the w-fix-solve (ph) addition capital, taking 1.3 billion of that pie, then you recognize the definition of emerging manager might need to change a bit. So, when I was starting as an EM, I recognize that the landscape wasn’t necessarily leveled. If you weren’t, what’s called the spinout, somebody that has spent a few years at a traditional established blue-chip firm, then it’s harder to develop and cultivate relationships with institutional LPs who will give you a shot even though the data absolutely points to there being a real opportunity in capturing lightning in a bottle if you find a right EM with the right idea in the right market conditions which is certainly what we’re in right now. And so, I decided to start a network specifically tailored around helping women fund managers, connecting one another and it began as a WhatsApp group and a weekly Google Meet that has now blown into something that requires a lot of dedicated time. And so we’re hiring an executive director for this group. They’re called Transact Global, 250 women ex-fund managers globally, from Hong Kong, to Luxembourg, to Venezuela, Canada, Nigeria, you name it. There are women fund managers in our group and we have one of the most active deal flow channels in the world. And so two of our TMV deals over the last year, a fintech combatting student debt and helping young Americans save for retirement at the same time, as an example, came from this WhatsApp deal flow channel. So, I think creating the community, being the change, so to speak, has been incredibly effective for us a proprietary deal flow mechanism. And then last but not least, I think that having some sort of media presence really has helped. And so, I’ve hosted a podcast and I’ve worked on building up what I think to be a fairly organic Twitter following over the years and we surprise ourselves by getting some really exceptional founders cold pitching us on LinkedIn and on Twitter because we make ourselves available as next gen EMs. So, that’s a sort of long-winded answer to your question. But it’s not the traditional means by any means. RITHOLTZ: To say the least. Are you — the companies you’re investing in, are they — and I’ll try and keep this simple for people who are not all that well-versed in the world of venture, is it seed stage, is it the A round, the B round? How far into their growth process do you put money in? DARABI: So it is a predominantly seed fund. We call our investments core investments. So, these are checks that average, 1 and 1.5 million. So for about 1.25 million, on average, we’re capturing 10-15% of a cap payable. And in this area, that’s called a seed round. It will probably be called a Series A 10 years ago. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And then we follow on through the Series A and it max around, I think, our pro rata at the B. So, our goal via Series B is to have, on average, 10% by the cap. And then we give ourselves a little bit of wiggle room with our modeling. We take mars and moonshot investments with smaller checks so we call these initial interest checks. And initial interest means I’m interested but your idea is still audacious, they won’t prove itself out for three or four years or to be very honest, we weren’t the first to get into this cap or you’re picking Sequoia over us, so we understand but let’s see if we can just promise you a bit of value add to edge our way into your business. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And oftentimes, when you speak as a former founder yourself with a high level of compassion and you promise with integrity that you’re going to work very hard for that company, they will increase the size of their round and they will carve out space for you. And so, we do those types of investments rarely, 10 times, in any given portfolio. But what’s interesting in looking back at some of our outliers from found one, it came from those initial interest checks. So that’s our model in a nutshell. We’re pretty transparent about it. What we like about this model is that it doesn’t make us tigers, we’re off the board by the B, so we’re still owning enough of the cap table to be a meaningful presence in the founder’s lives and in their business and it allows us to feel like we’re not spraying and praying. RITHOLTZ: Spraying and praying is an amusing term but I’m kind of intrigued by the fact that we use to call it smart money but you’re really describing it as value-added capital when a founder takes money from TMV, they’re getting more than just a check, they’re getting the involvement from entrepreneurs who have been through the process from startup to capital raise to exit, tell us a li bit about how that works its way into the deals you end up doing, who you look at, and what the sort of deal flow you see is like. DARABI: Well, years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a world-class advertiser and I was at his incredibly fancy office down in Wall Street, his ad agency. And he described to me with pride how he basically bartered his marketing services for one percent of a unicorn. And he was sort of showing off of it about how, from very little time and effort, a few months, he walked away with a relatively large portion of a business. And I thought, yes, that’s clever. But for the founder, they gave up too much of their business too soon. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And I came up with an idea that I floated by Marina back in the day where our original for TMV Fund I began with the slide marketing as the future of venture and venture is the future of marketing. Meaning, it’s a VC fund where the position itself more like an ad agency but rather than charging for its services, it’s go-to-market services. You offer them free of charge but then you were paid in equity and you could quantify the value that you were offering to these businesses. And back then, people laughed us even though all around New York City, ad agencies were really doing incredible work and benefiting from the startups in that ecosystem. And so, we sort of changed the positioning a bit. And now, we say to our LPs and to our founders, your both clients of our firm. So, we do think of ourselves as an agency. But one set of our marketplace, you have LPs and what they want is crystal clear. The value that they derive from us is through a community and connectivity and co-investment and that’s it. It’s pretty kind of dry. Call me up once a year where you have an exceptional opportunity. Let me invest alongside you. Invite me to dinners four times a year, give me some information and a point of view that I can’t get elsewhere. Thank you for your time. And I love that. It’s a great relationship to have with incredibly smart people. It’s cut and dry but it’s so different. What founders want is something more like family. They want a VC on their board that they can turn to during critical moments. Two a.m. on a Saturday is not an uncommon time for me to get a text message from a founder saying what do I do. So what they want is more like 24/7 services for a period of time. And they want to know when that relationship should start and finish. So it’s sort of the Montessori approach to venture. We’re going to tell them what we’re going to tell them. Tell them what they’re telling them. Tell them what we told them. We say to founders with a reverse pitch deck. So we pitch them as they’re pitching us. Here’s what we promise to deliver for you for the first — each of the 24 months of your infancy and then we promise you we’ll mostly get lost. You can come back to use when your business is growing if you want to do it tender and we’ll operate an SPV for you for you or if you simply want advice, we’re never going to ignore you but our specialty, our black belt, if you will, Barry, is in those first 24 months of your business, that go-to-market. And so, we staffed up TMV to include, well, it’s punching above our weight but the cofounder of an exceptionally successful consumer marketing business, a gross marketer, a recruiter who helps one of our portfolio companies hire 40 of their earliest employees. We have a PR woman. You’ve met Viyash (ph), she’s exceptional with whom, I don’t know, how we would function sometimes because she’s constantly writing and re-editing press releases for the founders with which we work. And then Anna, our copywriter who came from IAC and Sean, our creative director, used to be the design director for Rolling Stone, and I can go on and on. So, some firms called us a platform team but we call it the go-to-market team. And then we promise a set number of hours for ever company that we invest into. RITHOLTZ: That’s … DARABI: And then the results — go ahead. RITHOLTZ: No, that’s just — I’m completely fascinated by that. But I have to ask maybe this is an obvious question or maybe it’s not, so you — you sound very much like a non-traditional venture capital firm. DARABI: Yes. RITHOLTZ: Who are your limited partners, who are your clients, and what motivates them to be involved with TMV because it sounds so different than what has been a pretty standard model in the world of venture, one that’s been tremendous successful for the top-tier firms? DARABI: Our LP set is crafted with intention. And so, 50% of our investors are institutional. This concludes institutional-sized family offices and family offices in a multibillions. We work with three major banks, Fortune 500 banks. We work with a couple of corporate Fortune 500 as investors or LPs and a couple of fund to funds. So that’s really run of the mill. But 50 percent of our investors and that’s why I’m in Athens today are family offices, global family offices, that I think are reinventing with ventures like, to look like in the future because wealth has never been greater globally. There’s a trillion dollars of assets that are passing to the hands of one generation to the next and what’s super interesting to me, as a woman, is that historically, a lot of that asset transferred was from father to son, but actually, for the first time in history, over 50 percent, so 51% of those asset inheritors are actually women. And so, as my business partner could tell because she herself is a next gen, in prior generations, women were encouraged to go into the philanthropic or nonprofit side of the family business … RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And the sons were expected to take over the business or the family office and all of that is completely turned around in the last 10 years. And so, my anchor investor is actually a young woman. She’s under the age of 35. There’s a little bit of our firm that’s in the rocks because we’re not playing by the same rules that the establishment has played by. But certainly, we’re posturing ourselves to be able to grow in to a blue-chip firm which is why we want to maintain that balance, so 50 percent institutional and 50 percent, I would call it bespoke capital. And so, the LPs that are bespoke, we work at an Australian family office and Venezuelan family office and the Chilean family office and the Mexican family office and so on. For those family offices, we come to them, we invite them to events in New York City, we give them personalized introductions to our founders and we get on the phone with them. Whenever they’d like, we host Zooms. We call them the future of everything series. They can learn from us. And we get to know them as human beings and I think that there’s a reason why two thirds of our Fund I LPs converted over into Fund II because they like that level of access, it’s what the modern LP is really looking for. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about some of the areas that you find intriguing. What sectors are really capturing your attention these days? What are you most excited about? DARABI: Well, Barry, I’m most excited about five categories for which we’ve been investing for quite some time, but they’re really being accelerated due to the 2020 pandemic and a looming recession. And so, we’re particularly fascinated by not just health care investing as has been called in the past but rather the care economy. I’m not a huge fan of the term femtech, it always sounds like fembot to me. But care as it pertains to women alone is a multitrillion dollar opportunity. And so, when we think of the care economy, we think of health care, pet care, elder care, community care, personal care as it pertains to young people, old people, men, women, children, we bifurcate and we look for interesting opportunities that don’t exist because they’ve been undercapitalized, undervalued for so long. Case in point, we were early investors Kindbody, a reproductive health care company focused on women who want to preserve their fertility because if you look at 2010 census data, you can see that the data has been there for some time that women, in particular, were delaying marriage and childbirth and there are a lot of world-famous economists who will tell you this, the global population will decline because we’re aging and we’re not necessarily having as many children as we would have in the past plus it’s expensive. And so, we saw that as investors as a really interesting opportunity and jumped on the chance to ask Gina Bartasi who’s incredible when she came to us with a way to make fertility preservation plus expenses. So she followed the B2C playbook and she started with the mobile clinic that helps women freeze their eggs extensively. That company has gone on to raise hundreds — pardon me — and that company is now valued in the hundreds of million and for us, it was as simple as following our intuition as women fund managers, we know what our peers are thinking about because we talk to them all the time and I think the fact that we’re bringing a new perspective to venture means that we’re also bringing a new perspective to what has previously been called femtech. We invest in financial inclusion. Everyone in the world that’s investing fintech, the self-directed financial mobile apps are always going to be capitalized especially in a post Robin Hood era but we’re specifically interested in the democratization of access to financial information and we’re specifically interested in student debt and alleviating student debt in America because not only is it going to be one of the greatest challenges our generation will have to overcome, but it’s also prohibiting us from living out the American dream, $1.7 trillion of student debt in America that needs to be alleviated. And then we’re interested in the future of work, and long have been, that certainly was very much accelerated during the pandemic but we’ve been investing in the 1099 and remote work for quite some time. And so, really proud to have been the first check into a company called Bravely which is an HR chatbot that helps employees inside of a company chat a anonymously with HR representatives outside of that company, that’s 1099. That issue is like DEI, an inclusion and upward mobility and culture setting and what to do when you’re all of a sudden working for home. So that’s an example of a future of work business. And then in the tech-enabled sustainable solutions category, it’s a mouthful, let’s call that sustainability, we are proud to have been early investors of a company called Ridwell, out of Seattle Washington, focused on not just private — privatized recycling but upcycling and reconnaissance. Where are our things going when we recycle them? For me, it always been a pretty big question. And so, Ridwell allows you to re and upcycle things that are hard to get rid of out of your home like children’s eyeglasses and paints and battery, single-use plastic. And it shows you where those things are going which I think is super cool and there’s good reason why it has one of the highest NPS scores, Net Promoter Scores, of any company I’ve ever worked with. People are craving this kind of modern solution. And last but not least, we invest in transportation and part because of the unfair advantage my partner, Marina, brings to TMV as she comes from a maritime family. And so, we can pile it, transportation technology, within her own ecosystem. That’s pretty great. But also, because we’re just fascinated by the fact that 90 percent of the world commodities move on ship and the biggest contributor to emissions in the world outside of corporate is coming from transportation. SO, if we can sort of figure out this industry, we can solve a lot of the problems that our generation are inheriting. Now, these categories might sound massive and we do consider ourselves a generalist firm but we stick to five-course sectors that we truly believe in and we give ourselves room to kick out a sector or to add a new one with any given new fund. For the most part, we haven’t needed to because this remain the categories that are not only most appealing to us as investors but I think paramount to our generation. RITHOLTZ: That’s really intriguing. Give us an example of moonshot or what you called earlier, a Mars shot technology or a company that can really be a gamechanger but may not pay off for quite a while. DARABI: We’ve just backed a company that is focusing on food science. Gosh, I can’t give away too much because they haven’t truly launched in the U.S. But maybe I’ll kind of allude to it. They use crushed produce, like, crush potato skins to make plastic but biodegrades. And so, it’s a Mars shot because it’s a materials business and it’s a food science business rolled off into both the CPG business and an enterprise business. This particular material can wrap itself around industrial pellets. Even though it’s audacious, it’s not really a Mars shot when you think about the way the world is headed. Everybody wants to figure out how do we consume less plastic and recycle plastic better. And so, if there are new materials out there that will not only disintegrate but also, in some ways, feed the environment, it will be a no-brainer and then if you add to the equation the fact that it could be maybe not less expensive but of comparable pricing to the alternative, I can’t think of a company in the world that wouldn’t switch to this solution. RITHOLTZ: Right. So this is plastic that you don’t throw away. You just toss in the garden and it becomes compost? DARABI: Yes, exactly. Exactly. It should help your garden grow. So, yes, so that’s what I would call a Mars shot in some ways. But in other ways, it’s just common sense, right? RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about your investment vehicles. You guys run, I want to make sure I get this right, two funds and three vehicles, is that right? DARABI: We have two funds. They’re both considered micro funds because they’re both under 100 million and then we operate in parallel for SPVs that are relatively evergreen and they serve as opportunistic investments to continue to double down on our winners. RITHOLTZ: SPV is special purpose investment … DARABI: Vehicles. Yes. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And the PE world, they’re called sidecars. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. So how do these gets structured? Does everything look very similar when you have a fund? How quickly do you deploy the capital and typically how long you locked for or investors locked up for? DARABI: Well investors are usually in private equity are VC funds locked up for 10 years. That’s not usual. We have shown liquidity faster, certainly, for Fund I. It’s well in the black and it’s only five years old less, four and a half years old. So, how do we make money? We charge standard fees, 2 on 20 is the rubric of it, we operate by. And then lesser fees for sidecars or direct investments. So that’s kind of how we stay on business. When you think about an emerging manager starting their first fund, management fees are certainly not so we can live a lavish rock and roll life on a $10 million fund with a two percent management fee, we’re talking about 200K for the entire business to operate. RITHOLTZ: Wow. DARABI: So Marina and I, not only anchored our first fund with their own capital but we didn’t pay ourselves for four years. It’s not glamorous. I mean, there’s some friends of mine that thing the venture capital life is glam and it is if you’re on Sand Hill Road. But if you’re an EM, it’s a lot more like a startup where you’re burning the midnight oil, you are bartering favors with your friends, and you are begging the smartest people you know to take a chance on you to invite you on to their cap table. But it somehow works out because we do put in that extra effort, I think, the metrics, certainly for Fund I have shown us that we’re in this for the long haul now. RITHOLTZ: So your fund 1 and Fund 2, are there any plans of launching Fund III? DARABI: Yes. I think that given the proof points between Fund I and Fund II and a conversation that my partner and I recently had, five years out, are we in this? Do we love this? We do. OK. This is our life’s work. So you can see larger and more demonstrable sized funds but not in an outsized way, not just because we can raise more capital now but because we want to build out a partnership and the kind of culture that we always dreamed of working for back when we were employees, so we have a very diverse set of colleagues with whom we couldn’t operate and we’ll be adding to the partnership in the next two or three years which is really exciting to say. So, yes, the TMV will be around for a while. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. I want to ask you the question I ask any venture capitalist that I interview. Tell us about your best and worst investments and what did you pass on that perhaps you wish you didn’t? DARABI: Gosh. The FOMO list is so long and so embarrassing. Let me start with what I passed on that I regret. Well, I don’t know she really would have invited me to invest, but certainly, I had a wonderful conversation a peer from high school, Katrina Lake, when she was in beta mode for Stitch Fix. I think she was still at HBS at the time or had just recently graduated from Harvard. When Katrina and I had coffee in Minneapolis were we went to high school and she was telling me about the Netflix for clothing that she was building and certainly I regret not really picking up on the clues that she was offering in that conversation. Stitch Fix had an incredible IPO and I’m a proud shareholder today. And similarly, when my friend for starting Cloudflare which luckily they did bring me in to pre-IPO and I’m grateful for that, but when they were starting Cloudflare, I really should have jumped on that moment or when my buddy Ryan Graves whom I still chat with pretty frequently was starting out Uber in beta with Travis and Garrett, that’s another opportunity that I definitely missed. I was in Ireland when the Series A term sheet assigned. So there’s such a long laundry list of namedropped, namedropped, missed, missed, missed. But in terms of what I’m proud of, I’d say far more. I don’t like Sophie’s Choice. I don’t like to cherry pick the certain investments to just brag about them. But we’ve talked about someone to call today, I’d rather kind of shine a light — look at my track record, right? There’s a large realized IRR that I’m very proud of. But more on the opportunity of the companies that we more recently backed that prevent damages (ph) of CRM for oncology patient that help them navigate through the most strenuous time of their life. And by doing so, get better access to health care. And we get to wrote that check a couple of months ago. But already, it’s becoming a company that I couldn’t be more excited about because if they execute the way I think Shirley and Victor will, that has the power to help so many people in a profound way, not just in the Silicon Valley cliché way of this could change the world but this could actually help people receive better care. So, yes, I’m proud of having been an early investor in the Caspers of the world. Certainly, we’re all getting better sleep. There’s no shame there. But I’m really excited now today at investing in financial inclusion in the care economy and so on. RITHOLTZ: And let’s talk a little bit about impactful companies. Is there any different when you’re making a seed stage investment in a potentially impactful company versus traditional startup investing? DARABI: Well, pre-seed and seed investing isn’t a science and it’s certainly not a science that anyone has perfected. There are people who are incredibly good at it because they have a combination of luck and access. But if you’re a disciplined investor in any asset class and I talk to my friends who run hedge funds and work for hedge funds about 10 bets that they take a day and I think that’s a lot trickier than what I do because our do due diligence process, on average, takes an entire quarter of the year. We’re not making that many investments each year. So even though it sounds sort of fruity, when you look at a Y Combinator Demo Day, Y Comb is the biggest accelerator in Silicon Valley and they produce over 300 companies, three or four times a year. When you look at the outsized valuations coming out of Y Comb, it’s easy to think that starting company is as simple as sort of downloading a company in a Box Excel and running with it. But from where we sit, we’re scorching the earth for really compelling ideas in areas that have yet to converge and we’re looking for businesses that may have never pitched the VC before. Maybe they’re not even seeking capital. Maybe it’s a company that isn’t so interested in raising a penny eventually because they don’t need to. They’re profitable from day one. Those are the companies that we find most exciting because as former operators, we know how to appeal to them and then we also know how to work with them. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. Before I get to my favorite question, let me just throw you’re a curveball, tell me a little bit about Business Schooled, the podcast you hosted for quite a while. DARABI: So, Synchrony, Sync, came to me a few years ago with a very compelling and exciting opportunity to host a podcast with them that allowed me a fortunate opportunity to travel the country and I went to just under a dozen cities to meet with founders who have persevered past their startup phase. And what I loved about the concept of business school is that the cities that I hosted were really focused on founders who didn’t have access to VC capital, they put money on credit card. So I took SBA loans or asked friends and family to give them starter capital and then they made their business work through trying times and when you pass the five-year mark for any business, I’m passing it right now for TMV, there’s a moment of reflection where you can say, wow, I did it. it’s incredibly difficult to be a startup founder, more than 60 percent of companies fail and probably for good reason. And so, yes, I hosted business school, Seasons 2 and 3 and potentially there will be more seasons and I’m very proud of the fact that at one point we cracked the top 20 business podcasts and people seem to be really entertained through these conversations with insightful founders who are vulnerable with me about what it was like to build their business and I like to think they were vulnerable because I have a good amount of compassion for the experience of being founder and also because I’m a New Yorker and I just like to talk. RITHOLTZ: You’re also a founder so there’s going to be some empathy that’s genuine. You went through what they’re going through. DARABI: Exactly. Exactly. And so, what you do, Barry, is quite similar. You’re — you host an exceptionally successful business podcast and you’re also an allocator. You know that it’s interesting to do both because I think that being an investor is a lot like being a journalist. In both professions, you won’t succeed unless you are constantly curious and if you are having conversations to listen more than you speak. DARABI: Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret since it’s so late in the podcast and fewer people will be hearing this, the people I invite on the show are essentially just conversations I want to have. If other people come along and listen, that’s fantastic. But honestly, it’s for an audience of one, namely me, the reason I wanted to have you on is because I’m intrigued by the world of venture and alternatives and impact. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people have been somewhat disappointed in the results of ESG investing and impact investing that for — it’s captured a lot more mindshare than it has captured capital although we’re seeing signs that’s starting to shift. But then the real question becomes, all right, so I’m investing less in oil companies and more in other companies that just happen to consume fossil fuels, what’s the genuine impact of my ESG investing? It feels like it’s sort of de minimis whereas what you do really feels like it has a major impact for people who are interested in having their capital make a positive difference. DARABI: Thank you for saying that. And I will return the compliment by saying that I really enjoyed getting to know you on our one key economist Zoom and I think that you’re right. I think that ESG investing, certainly in the public markets has had diminished returns historically because the definition has been so bizarre and so all over the place. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And I read incredible books from people like Antony Bugg-Levine who helps coin the term the Rockefeller Foundation, who originally coined the term you read about, mortgage, IRR and IRS plus measurement and it’s so hard to have just standardization of what it means to be an impact investor and so it can be bothered but we bother. Rather, we kind of come up with our own subjective point of view of the world and we say what does impact mean to us? Certainly, it means not investing in sin stocks but then those sin stocks have to begin somewhere, has to begin with an idea that somebody had once upon a time. And so, whether we are investing in the way the world should look from our perspective. And with that in mind, it doesn’t have to be impact by your grandpa’s VC, it can be impact from modern generation but simply things that behave differently. Some folks with their dollars. People often say, well, my ESG portfolio is underperforming. But then if you dig in to the specifics, are you investing in Tesla? It’s not a pretty good year. Did you back Beyond Meat? Had a great year. And so, when you kind of redefine the public market not by a sleeve and a bank’s version of a portfolio, but rather by company that you think are making demonstrable change in the world, then you can walk away, realizing had I only invested in these companies that are purpose driven, I would have had outsized returns and that’s what we’re trying to deliver on at TMV. That’s the promise. RITHOLTZ: Really, really very, very intriguing. I know I only have you for a few minutes so let’s jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of our guests starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days. Give us your favorite, Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any podcast that are keeping you entertained during the pandemic. DARABI: Well, my family has been binging on 100 Foot Wave on HBO Max which is the story of big wave surfer Garrett McNamara who is constantly surfing the world’s largest waves and I’m fascinated by people who have a mission that’s sort of bigger than success or fame but they’re driven by something and part of that something is curiosity and part of it is insanity. And so not only is it visually stunning to kind of watch these big wave surfers in Portugal, but it’s also a mind trip. What motivates them to get out of bed every day and potentially risk their lives doing something so dangerous and so bananas but also at the same time so brave and heroic. So, highly recommend. I am listening to too many podcasts. I listen to, I don’t know, a stream of things. I’m a Kara Swisher fan, Ezra Klein fan, so they’re both part of the “New York Times” these days. And of course, your podcast, Barry. RITHOLTZ: Well, thank you so much. Well, thank you so much. Let’s talk a little bit about who your early mentors were and who helped shape you career? DARABI: It’s going to sound ungrateful but I don’t think, in like a post lean in definition of the word, I ever truly had a mentor or a sponsor. Now, having said that, I’ve had people who really looked at for me and been incredibly gracious with their time and capital. And so, I would absolutely like to acknowledge that first and foremost. I think about how generous Adam Grant has been with his time and his investments for TMV in Fund I and Fund II and he’s a best-selling author and worked on highest-rated business school professor. So shout out to Adam, if he’s listening or Beth Comstock, the former Vice Chair of GE who has been instrumental in my career for about a decade and a half now. And she is also really leaning in to the TMV portfolio and has become a patient of Parsley Health, an early investment of ours and also an official adviser to the business. So, people like Adam and Beth certainly come to mind. But I don’t know, I just — I’m not sure mentors really exist outside of corporate America anymore and part of the reason why we started Transact Global is to kind of foster the concept of the peer mentor, people who are going through the same thing as you at the same time and allowing that hive mentality with an abundance mentality to catalyze people to kind of go further and faster. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about some of your favorite books and what you might reading right now. DARABI: OK, so in the biz book world, because I know your listeners as craving, I’m a big fan of “Negotiation Genius.” I took a crash course with one of the authors, Max Bazerman at the Kennedy School and it was illuminating. I mean, he’s one of the most captivating professors I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing lecture and this book has really helped me understand the concept of the ZOPA, the Zone of Possible Agreement, and how to really negotiate well. And then for Adam whom I just referenced, of all of his incredible books, my favorite is Give and Take because I try to operate with that approach of business. Give more than you take and maybe in the short term, you’ll feel depleted but in the long term, karma pays off. But mostly, Barry, I read fiction. I think the most interesting people in the world or at least the most entertaining at dinner parties are all avoid readers of fiction and history. So I recently reread, for instance, all of my favorite short stories from college, from Dostoyevsky’s “A Gentle Creature” to “Drown” Junot Diaz. “Passing” by Nella Larsen, “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” by Fitzgerald. Those are some of my very favorite stories of all time. And my retirement dream is to write a book of short stories. RITHOLTZ: Really, really quite intriguing. Are they all available in a single collection or these just, going back to your favorites and just plowing through them for fun? DARABI: Those are just going back to my favorites. I try to re-read “Passing” every few years which is somehow seems to be more and more relevant as I get older and Junot Diaz has become so incredibly famous when I first read “Drown” about 20 years ago which is an original collection of short stories that broadened my perspective of why it’s important to think about a broader definition of America, I guess. And, yes, no, that’s just — that was just sort of off the top of my head as the offering of a few stories that I really love, no collection. RITHOLTZ: That’s a good collection. And we’re down to our final two questions. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who was interested in a career in either venture capital or entrepreneurship? DARABI: Venture capital or entrepreneurship. Well, I would say, learn as early as possible how to trust your gut. So, this could mean a myriad of things. As an entrepreneur, it could mean under the halo effect of an institution, university or high school or maybe having a comfortable day job, tinker with ideas, get feedback on that idea, don’t be afraid of looking or sounding dumb and build that peer network that I described. People who are rooting you on and are also insatiably curious about wonky things. And I would say that for venture capital, similar play on the same theme, but whether it’s putting small amounts of money into new concept, blockchain investing, or whether it’s meeting with entrepreneurs and saying maybe I only have $3,000 save up but I believe in you enough to bet amongst friends in Brooklyn on your concept if you’ll have me as an investor. So, play with your own money because what it’s really teaching you in return is how to follow instincts and to base pattern recognition off your own judgement. And if you do that early on, overtime, these all become datapoints that you can point to and these are lessons that you can glean while not taking the risk of portfolio management. So, I guess the real advice to your listeners is more action, please. RITHOLTZ: Really very, very intriguing. And our final question, what do you know about the world of venture investing today that you wish you knew 15 or 20 years ago when you first getting started? DARABI: Twenty years ago, I was a bit of a Pollyanna and I thought every wonderful idea that simply is built by smart people and has timed the market correctly will work out. And I will say that I’m slightly more jaded today because of the capital structure that is systematically allowing the biggest firms in the world to kind of eat up a generous portion of, let’s call it the LP pie, which leaves less capital available to the young upstart VC firms, and of course I’m biased because I run one, that are taking outsized risks on those non-obvious ideas that we referenced. And so, what I wish for the future is that institutional capital kind of reprioritizes what it’s looking for. And in addition to having a bottom line of reliable and demonstrable return on any given investment, there are new standards put into play saying we want to make sure that a portion of our portfolio goes to diverse managers. Because in turn, we recognize that they are three times more likely to invest in diverse founders or we believe in impact investing can be broader than the ESG definitely of a decade ago, so we’re coming up with our own way to measure on sustainability or what impact means to us. And if they go through those exercises which I know is hard because, certainly, I’m not trying to add work to anyone’s plate, I do think that the results will more than make up for it. RITHOLTZ: Quite intriguing. Thank you, Soraya, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with Soraya Darabi who is the Co-Founder and General Partner at TMV Investments. If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure and check out any of the prior 376 conversations we’ve had before. You can find those at iTunes or Spotify, wherever you buy your favorite podcast. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at MIB podcast@bloomberg.net. You can sign up for my daily reads at ritholtz.com. Check out my weekly column at bloomberg.com/opinion. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack team that helps me put these conversations together each week. Tim Harrow is my audio engineer. Paris Walt (ph) is my producer. Atika Valbrun is our project manager, Michael Batnick is my head of research. I’m Barry Ritholtz, you’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~     The post Transcript: Soraya Darabi appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureOct 20th, 2021

Fairstead investors pump $500M into next growth spurt

New York-based affordable housing investor, Fairstead, has announced a new $500 million equity commitment from investors to expand the company’s operations. Since its founding in 2014, Fairstead has acquired or developed more than $4 billion of multi-family properties and is currently working on a pipeline of $2.3 billion in new... The post Fairstead investors pump $500M into next growth spurt appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. New York-based affordable housing investor, Fairstead, has announced a new $500 million equity commitment from investors to expand the company’s operations. Since its founding in 2014, Fairstead has acquired or developed more than $4 billion of multi-family properties and is currently working on a pipeline of $2.3 billion in new acquisitions across the country including Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. The new capital will fund an expansion on its multi-family portfolio and enhance the firm’s prop tech, sustainability, and community impact programming for its affordable, workforce and market rate housing residents across the country. Fairstead CEO Jeff Goldberg said the equity – from the firm’s “key investors”- comes as federal legislators continue to debate the need for investments in housing to combat the national affordability crisis. JEFF GOLDBERG “The lack of quality housing is one of the most important issues facing our nation today,” said Goldberg. “Those of us at the forefront of this crisis recognize that expanding capacity is only part of the solution. We must commit the financial resources to create sustainable housing, invest in prop tech solutions to future proof our industry, and collaborate with our community and government leaders to develop impactful programming that will strengthen our neighborhoods and revitalize our cities.” The company has hired former Citibank director Tricia Yarger to head up its capital markets team. The investment banking veteran will manage all of the firm’s debt and equity relationships while helping outside capital partners direct their investments into Fairstead properties. It is also amping up its proptech portfolio with its venture capital arm looking for “synergistic partnerships … that will help cities become more sustainable and resilient.” Earlier this month, Fairstead made an investment in Enviro Power, an energy tech company focused on transforming existing heating infrastructure into an energy platform with its SmartWatt Boiler technology, a boiler that generates onsite electricity at nearly zero-cost and provides backup power.  In addition to funding this technology and sitting on Enviro Power’s board of directors, Fairstead is evaluating the deployment of the systems at select properties throughout its portfolio. The post Fairstead investors pump $500M into next growth spurt appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyOct 20th, 2021

Check out 9 pitch decks that legal-tech startups used to raise millions

Real examples of legal tech pitch decks that startup founders used to nab VC funding. See decks from Contractbook, Evisort, Disco and more. The legal-tech space has raised more than $1 billion in funding so far this year. Samantha Lee/Insider Funding for legal-tech has surprassed $1 billion for 2021 so far. VC firms, private equity, and even traditional law players are pouring money in. Check out these 9 pitch decks for examples of how legal-tech startup founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. As law firms and their clients seek to digitize and streamline work, VCs have been opening their wallets to the growing legal-tech space. The total value of deals in the global legal-tech market through the end of the third quarter clocks in at $1.47 billion - far surpassing the $607 million figure from all of 2020, according to data from PitchBook.Private equity firms are also increasingly eyeing legal tech, investing more than $3.6 billion in Q1 of 2021 alone, according to market intelligence platform Bodhala.Here's a look at our legal-tech pitch deck collection.Malbek Hemanth Puttaswamy, CEO and co-founder of Malbek. Malbek Malbek, which helps companies' legal, sales, and finance teams manage and analyze their contracts, announced in September that it raised $15.3 million for its Series A.Contract lifecycle management, or CLM, has been red-hot in the legal-tech space. Of the $1.4 billion invested in legal-tech during the first half of 2021, almost a quarter was snapped up by six contract companies, including Ironclad, Contractbook, and Icertis. SoftBank recently led the $115 million Series C for ContractPodAi, another CLM company.Founded in 2017, Malbek helps these departments through the entire contracting process, from drafting contracts with optimal terms through tracking contractual obligations after they're signed.The Series A was led by Atlanta-based Noro-Moseley Partners, which invests in early-growth tech and healthcare companies. TDF Ventures and Osage Venture Partners also participated in the round.This 11-page pitch deck scored a contract-management startup $15.3 million for its Series AContractPodAi SoftBank founder Masa Son. Reuters/Issei Kato A startup looking to streamline how companies handle contracts nabbed an investment from one of the world's most high-profile investors in a nod to the rising interest in legal tech. ContractPodAi, which helps in-house legal teams automate and manage their contracts, raised a $115 million Series C in late September led by SoftBank. The round quintupled ContractPodAi's valuation since its last funding round in 2019, though the company declined to disclose specific valuation numbers.The investment came from SoftBank's Vision Fund 2. Its predecessor, the original $100 billion megafund Vision Fund, has invested in dozens of household names including WeWork, Uber, and DoorDash. While some of the fund's bets were wildly successful, others fell short of expectations.ContractPodAi is the first legal-tech investment by either of SoftBank's Vision Funds.Here's the 7-page pitch deck that legal-tech startup ContractPodAi used to convince SoftBank's Masa Son to lead its $115 million Series CJus Mundi Jean-Rémi de Maistre, CEO and co-founder of Jus Mundi. Jus Mundi Jus Mundi, an AI-powered legal search engine for international law and arbitration, snapped up $10 million for its Series A in September 2021.In 2019, Jean-Rémi de Maistre, a former lawyer at the International Court of Justice, co-launched the company after realizing how hard it was to conduct research for cross-border legal cases.Paris-based Jus Mundi raised a €1 million ($1.17 USD) seed round in March 2020, spurring a fivefold growth in annual recurring revenue over the span of 2020, according to the company. Its most recent $10 million Series A was led by C4 Ventures, a European VC firm founded by Pascal Cagni, a former head of Apple Europe. The VC firm has also invested in hot-ticket companies like Foursquare, Nest, and Via.Here's the 16-page pitch deck that landed legal research company Jus Mundi a $10 million Series ALawVu LawVu co-founders Tim Boyne and Sam Kidd. LawVu LawVu, an end-to-end software platform for in-house legal teams, snapped up a $17 million Series A in August.Founded in 2015, the New Zealand-based startup enables companies' in-house lawyers to manage contracts, documents, billing, and more on one platform. The funding round was led by the private-equity firm Insight Partners, which has invested in other legal-tech companies like DocuSign, Kira Systems, and ContractPodAI, as well as big-ticket businesses like Twitter, Shopify, and Hello Fresh. AirTree Ventures, an Australia-based venture-capital firm, co-led the Series A.See the 12-page pitch deck that LawVu, a startup that wants to be Salesforce for lawyers, used to nab $17 million from investors like Insight PartnersAthennian Athennian's CEO and founder, Adrian Camara. Athennian Athennian, which helps law firms and legal departments manage data and workflow around legal entities, raised a $7 million CAD (more than $5.5 million USD) Series A extension in the beginning of March, nearly doubling its initial $8 million Series A round last year. Athennian's revenue and headcount more than doubled since the original Series A, according to founder and CEO Adrian Camara. He declined to disclose revenue numbers, but said that the sales and marketing team grew from 35 people in September to around 70 in March.Launched in 2017, Athennian is used by nearly 200 legal departments and law firms, including Dentons, Fastkind, and Paul Hastings, to automate documents like board minutes, stock certificates, and shareholder consents. The Series A extension was led by Arthur Ventures. New investors Touchdown Ventures and Clio's CEO, Jack Newton, also participated in the round, alongside Round13 Capital and other existing investors. To date, Athennian has raised $17 million CAD, or around $14 million USD, in venture capital funding, per Pitchbook.Here's the small but mighty pitch deck that nearly doubled legal tech Athennian's Series A to $12 million.Evisort Evisort's CEO and co-founder Jerry Ting. (Courtesy of Jerry Ting) Contract tech is the frontrunner in the legal tech space, as companies across industries seek to streamline their contract creation, negotiation, and management processes.Evisort, a contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform, raised $35 million in its Series B announced late February, bringing total funding to $55.5 million. The private equity firm General Atlantic led its latest funding round, with participation from existing investors Amity Ventures, Microsoft's venture firm M12, and Vertex Ventures.Founded in 2016, Evisort uses artificial intelligence to help businesses categorize, search, and act on documents.Its CEO Jerry Ting founded Evisort while he was still attending Harvard Law School. He spent one summer working at Fried Frank, but soon realized that he didn't want to be a lawyer because he didn't want to spend excruciating hours manually reading fifty-page contracts. He did, however, recognize how important they are to corporations, and co-founded Evisort as a tool to locate and track valuable information like a contract's expiration date and obligations like payment dates.Evisort's CEO walks through the 11-page pitch deck that the contract software startup used to nab $35 million from investors like General Atlantic - and lays out its path to an IPOContractbook Niels Brøchner, Jarek Owczarek, and Viktor Heide founded Contractbook to offer a client-centric tool to manage contracts, Contractbook Try to imagine the contracts negotiation process, and one might conjure up a scene where a sheaf of papers, tucked discreetly into a manila folder, is shuttled from one law office to the mahogany table of another. With a stroke of a fountain pen, the deal is sealed.Those old-school methods have long been replaced with the adoption of PDFs, redlined versions of which zip from email inbox to inbox. Now, contracting is undergoing another digital shift that will streamline the process as companies are becoming more comfortable with tech and are seeking greater efficiencies - and investors are taking note.Contractbook, a Denmark-based contract lifecycle management platform, late last year raised $9.4 million in its Series A investment round, led by venture capital titan Bessemer Venture Partners. In November 2019, Gradient Ventures, Google's AI-focused venture fund, led Contractbook's $3.9 million seed round.Founded in Copenhagen in 2017, Contractbook uses data to automate documents, offering an end-to-end contracts platform for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Niels Brøchner, the company's CEO and co-founder, said that Contractbook was born out of the notion that existing contract solutions failed to use a document's data - from names of parties to the folder the document is stored in - to automate the process and drive workflow.Here's the 13-page pitch deck that Contractbook, which wants to take on legal tech giants like DocuSign, used to raise $9.4 million from investors like Bessemer VenturesDisco Kiwi Camara, CEO and cofounder of Disco. DISCO Cloud-based technology is having its moment, especially in the legal industry.As attorneys have been propelled to work remotely amid the pandemic, data security and streamlined work processes are top-of-mind for law firms, leading them to adopt cloud technology. Investors are taking note. Disco, a cloud-based ediscovery platform that uses artificial intelligence to streamline the litigation process, snapped up $60 million in equity financing in October.Its Series F, led by Georgian Partners and also backed by VC titans like Bessemer Venture Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners, brings total investment to $195 million, valuing the company at $785 million.Launched in Houston in 2012, Disco offers AI-fueled products geared towards helping lawyers review and analyze vast quantities of documents, allowing them to more efficiently determine which ones are relevant to a case.The CEO of Disco, a legal tech that sells cloud-based discovery software, walked us through a 20-page pitch deck the startup used to nab $60 millionBlackBoiler Dan Broderick, cofounder and CEO of BlackBoiler. BlackBoiler BlackBoiler is an automated contract markup software that's used by Am Law 25 firms and several Fortune 1000 companies.The software uses machine learning to automate the process of reviewing and revising documents in "track changes." This saves attorneys the time they would typically spend marking up contracts that often use standard boilerplate language.As a pre-execution software used in the negotiation and markup stage of the contracts process, BlackBoiler has carved out a unique space in the $35 billion contracts industry, said Dan Broderick, a lawyer who co-founded the company in 2015 and is now its CEO. Broderick walked Insider through the pitch deck the company used to attract funding from investors, including DocuSign as well as 10 attorneys that run the gamut from Am Law 50 partners to general counsel at large corporations.Check out the 14-page pitch deck that contract-editing startup BlackBoiler used to nab $3.2 million from investors including DocuSignRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 20th, 2021

Check out 22 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt trading, banking, and lending used to raise millions

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 VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals. 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. Quantum computing made easy QC Ware CEO Matt Johnson. QC Ware Even 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 models Kirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders. Beacon A 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 PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBs Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders. Now About 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 millionInsurance goes digital Jamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder. Ladder Fintechs 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 millionEmbedded payments for SMBs The Highnote team. Highnote Branded 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 fundingAn alternative auto lender Daniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor. Tricolor An 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 investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team. TomoCredit Kristy 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 AAn IRA for alternatives Henry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar. Rocket Dollar Fintech 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 millionConnecting startups and investors Hum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg. Hum Capital Blair 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.Payments infrastructure for fintechs Qolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi. Qolo Three 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 ASoftware for managing freelancers Worksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen. Worksome The 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 freelancersPersonal finance is only a text away Yinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert. Albert The 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 CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of Relief Relief For 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 roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize. Securitize Securitize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business banking Michael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo. Kristelle Boulos Photography Business 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 ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs. Spring Labs A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancers JGalione/Getty Images Lance 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 BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisors Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist Altruist Jason 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 InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon. HoneyBook While 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 GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurers Fiordaliso/Getty Images Onboarding 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 Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot. Fakespot Marketplaces 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 ANew twists on digital banking Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley HMBradley Consumers 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 ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

33 startup companies that are currently hiring remote workers

From meal delivery service Daily Harvest to video-sharing platform Cameo, more companies are offering positions with remote work flexibility. In amidst of The Great Resignation, 33 companies are rising as the top startups to work for remotely Jessie Casson/Getty Images More people are looking for jobs with flexibility to work from home amid the 'Great Resignation.' LinkedIn recently released its 2021 Top Startups list featuring businesses that are hiring remotely. From Daily Harvet to Cameo, here are 33 companies hiring with remote work availability. Looking for a new gig? You're not alone. 55% of us are planning to find a new job this year, according to a recent Bankrate survey, and the phenomenon even has a name: The Great Resignation. One big reason why many employees are looking to make a change is the need for flexibility - both in terms of hours and working location. Remote jobs typically offer both in spades, and who doesn't love being able to put on a load of laundry between conference calls? LinkedIn just released its 2021 Top Startups list, ranking companies that are providing the benefits and perks employees want most now."In addition to remote and hybrid models, many of the companies are supporting their workers with WFH stipends, increased mental health benefits, virtual trainings, and upskilling opportunities to help people succeed in this new normal," said LinkedIn Senior Editor at Large Jessi Hempel. The majority of the startups listed are embracing remote and hybrid roles. Of the 50 startups, 33 are actively hiring remote roles, and some companies have quite a few jobs available. One of them is Gemini, a next-generation cryptocurrency platform currently hiring more than 325 remote roles. "We see hiring remote employees as an opportunity not only to expand our talent pool but also to expand diversity of background in the crypto industry as a whole," said Gemini's Director of Talent Acquisition Jonathan Tamblyn. "By hiring for skills, knowledge, and potential first rather than geography, we are able to hire employees that represent the populations we want to empower through crypto - particularly women and minorities - who have traditionally been underrepresented in the industry."Another company is Gong, a revenue intelligence platform based in Palo Alto, California, that has more than 425 remote roles open now. "Hiring remotely has enabled our team composition to reflect the diversity of our customers and hire in communities where talented residents want more opportunities to shine professionally," said Sandi Kochhar, chief people officer at Gong. Here's a look at all of the companies from the recent LinkedIn Top Startups list that are hiring remote positions. Good luck! You got this! BetterBetter is a fintech company located in New York City aiming to improve the home buying and financing process. Remote jobs available include mortgage underwriter, senior UX writer, and creative designer.GlossierGlossier is a makeup and skincare company based in New York City that was started by beauty editors and is primarily direct-to-consumer but has a growing physical footprint. Remote jobs include lead front end engineer and creative operations project manager.BrexBrex is aiming to be the "all-in-one" finance option for businesses - offering high-limit credit cards, business accounts, a rewards program, expense tracking, and more. Small office hubs are located in San Francisco, New York City, Salt Lake City, and Vancouver, B.C. Remote jobs include art director and manager of social and community support.AttentiveAttentive is a personalized text messaging platform built for innovative e-commerce brands based in New York City. Remote jobs include mid-market sales manager and web marketing manager.OutreachOutreach is an integrated business-to-business platform helping companies drive sales based in Seattle. Remote jobs include corporate counsel, and product and senior email deliverability specialists. GongGong is a revenue intelligence platform based in Palo Alto, with more than 425 active remote roles. Remote jobs include senior user researcher and in-house counsel. MikMakBased in New York City, MikMak is a digital platform for consumer product companies that enables multi-retailer checkout by shoppers and insights solutions to help brands better understand customer behavior. Remote jobs include VP of sales operations and director of product marketing.GravyLocated in Alpharetta, Georgia, Gravy is a "virtual retention" startup helping subscription-based businesses retain their customers through remedying failed payments. Remote jobs include account manager and sales development representative. Daily HarvestDaily Harvest is a plant-based meal delivery service providing a range of smoothies, flatbreads, desserts, snacks, and more through a subscription-based model. (You may have seen their mouthwatering ads on Instagram recently!) The company is based in New York City. Remote jobs include software engineering manager and senior strategic analytics associate. CameoBased in Chicago, Cameo is a video-sharing platform where celebrities and public figures send personalized video messages to fans. Remote jobs include QA automation engineer and lifecycle marketing lead. TherabodyA tech wellness company in Los Angeles, Therabody is best known for the "Theragun," a popular massage-therapy device intended to reduce muscle tension and accelerate recovery. Remote jobs include a quality manager and a copywriter. RampRamp is a corporate credit card company based in New York City that helps business owners save money via expense management, savings opportunities, receipt matching, and other services. Remote jobs include demand generation lead and product and regulatory counsel. GitLabGitLab, a DevOps platform, helps companies deliver software faster and more efficiently from its headquarters in San Francisco. Remote jobs include backend engineering manager, pipeline execution, and senior technical content editor. MedableBased in Palo Alto, Medable is a global platform aiming to get effective therapies to patients quickly, minimizing the need for in-person clinical visits. Remote jobs include HR systems manager and android developer.Guild Education Based out of Denver, Colorado, Guild Education works with employers to help them provide strategic education and upskilling programs for employees. Remote jobs include vice president of operations and technical marketing operations manager. DriftDrift is a conversational marketing platform based in Boston that is designed to enhance the digital buying experience, including features like an AI-powered chatbot and customizable live chat widgets. Remote jobs include onboarding manager and manager of conversation design.RoHeadquartered in New York City, Ro is a health care company that provides virtual primary care services by connecting telehealth, diagnostics, and pharmacy delivery. Remote jobs include associate director of member experience, systems and platforms, and associate manager of offline marketing.BlockFi BlockFi is a financial services company where clients can buy, sell and earn cryptocurrency, based in Jersey City, New Jersey. Remote jobs include manager of retention and loyalty marketing and director of program management. Scale AIScale Al, which is based in San Francisco, is a platform that helps machine learning teams process their data faster and accurately and helps companies supercharge their artificial intelligence efforts. Remote jobs include an IT operations manager.Hawke MediaHawke Media is a marketing consultancy working to grow brands of all sizes, industries, and business models in Santa Monica, California. Remote jobs include content editor, social media, and influencer marketing manager. Boom SupersonicBased in Denver, Boom Supersonic is developing a high-speed airliner built to transport passengers at twice the speed of traditional planes. Remote jobs include senior creative director and recruiter. DutchieFrom Bend, Oregon, dutchie is a technology platform that enables cannabis dispensaries to set up e-commerce operations. Remote jobs include strategic finance associate and manager of database reliability.Lyra HealthLyra Health is an online mental health counseling platform based out of Burlingame, California, that provides therapy and mental health services. Remote jobs include event marketing coordinator and product design manager.GetawayGetaway is a hospitality company in Brooklyn that offers modern cabin rentals that are two hours from major urban centers. Remote jobs include reservations manager and head of growth. Catalyst SoftwareBased out of New York City, Catalyst Software helps sales and customer teams connect the various tools they use into a centralized data-driven view of how a client is doing. Remote jobs include engineering manager on the customer success intelligence team and sales development representative. RubrikRubrik is a cloud-based platform based in Palo Alto that helps companies with data management. Remote jobs include professional services consultants. GeminiGemini is a cryptocurrency exchange in New York City, that enables users to buy, sell and store digital assets. The more than 325 remote jobs available include engineering manager for credit cards, associate director of technical accounting, and senior software engineer. ClickUpClickUp's app combines task management, goal setting, calendars, to-do lists, and an inbox so that teams can be more productive. Headquartered in San Diego, remote jobs include program coaches and professional services consultants. SUPERHUMANSuperhuman, out of San Francisco, wants you to have a better, faster email experience, and they are "re-imagining the inbox" to make it more efficient. Remote jobs include senior mobile engineer and product marketing manager.InnovaccerBased in San Francisco, Innovaccer curates the world's health care information to make it more accessible and useful for providers and organizations. Remote jobs include platform data architect and senior director of healthcare AI.FlowcodeFlowcode allows users to create customized, advanced Quick Response (QR) codes that never expire, making it easier for companies to directly connect their customers to digital resources. Based in New York City, the company is hiring for a remote product analyst.JerryBased in Palo Alto, Jerry helps car owners save money on vehicle insurance. Remote jobs include associate editor and writer/editor.OneTrustHeadquartered in Atlanta and London, OneTrust helps companies manage privacy, security, and governance requirements through its compliance software. Remote jobs include UI architects.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Check out 8 pitch decks that legal-tech startups used to raise millions

Real examples of legal tech pitch decks that startup founders used to nab VC funding. See decks from Contractbook, Evisort, Disco and more. The legal-tech space has raised more than $1 billion in funding so far this year. Samantha Lee/Insider Funding for legal-tech has surprassed $1 billion for 2021 so far. VC firms, private equity, and even traditional law players are pouring money in. Check out these 8 pitch decks for examples of how legal-tech startup founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. As law firms and their clients seek to digitize and streamline work, VCs have been opening their wallets to the growing legal-tech space. The total value of deals in the global legal-tech market through the end of the third quarter clocks in at $1.47 billion - far surpassing the $607 million figure from all of 2020, according to data from PitchBook.Private equity firms are also increasingly eyeing legal tech, investing more than $3.6 billion in Q1 of 2021 alone, according to market intelligence platform Bodhala.Here's a look at our legal-tech pitch deck collection.ContractPodAi SoftBank founder Masa Son. Reuters/Issei Kato A startup looking to streamline how companies handle contracts nabbed an investment from one of the world's most high-profile investors in a nod to the rising interest in legal tech. ContractPodAi, which helps in-house legal teams automate and manage their contracts, raised a $115 million Series C in late September led by SoftBank. The round quintupled ContractPodAi's valuation since its last funding round in 2019, though the company declined to disclose specific valuation numbers.The investment came from SoftBank's Vision Fund 2. Its predecessor, the original $100 billion megafund Vision Fund, has invested in dozens of household names including WeWork, Uber, and DoorDash. While some of the fund's bets were wildly successful, others fell short of expectations.ContractPodAi is the first legal-tech investment by either of SoftBank's Vision Funds.Here's the 7-page pitch deck that legal-tech startup ContractPodAi used to convince SoftBank's Masa Son to lead its $115 million Series CJus Mundi Jean-Rémi de Maistre, CEO and co-founder of Jus Mundi. Jus Mundi Jus Mundi, an AI-powered legal search engine for international law and arbitration, snapped up $10 million for its Series A in September 2021.In 2019, Jean-Rémi de Maistre, a former lawyer at the International Court of Justice, co-launched the company after realizing how hard it was to conduct research for cross-border legal cases.Paris-based Jus Mundi raised a €1 million ($1.17 USD) seed round in March 2020, spurring a fivefold growth in annual recurring revenue over the span of 2020, according to the company. Its most recent $10 million Series A was led by C4 Ventures, a European VC firm founded by Pascal Cagni, a former head of Apple Europe. The VC firm has also invested in hot-ticket companies like Foursquare, Nest, and Via.Here's the 16-page pitch deck that landed legal research company Jus Mundi a $10 million Series ALawVu LawVu co-founders Tim Boyne and Sam Kidd. LawVu LawVu, an end-to-end software platform for in-house legal teams, snapped up a $17 million Series A in August.Founded in 2015, the New Zealand-based startup enables companies' in-house lawyers to manage contracts, documents, billing, and more on one platform. The funding round was led by the private-equity firm Insight Partners, which has invested in other legal-tech companies like DocuSign, Kira Systems, and ContractPodAI, as well as big-ticket businesses like Twitter, Shopify, and Hello Fresh. AirTree Ventures, an Australia-based venture-capital firm, co-led the Series A.See the 12-page pitch deck that LawVu, a startup that wants to be Salesforce for lawyers, used to nab $17 million from investors like Insight PartnersAthennian Athennian's CEO and founder, Adrian Camara. Athennian Athennian, which helps law firms and legal departments manage data and workflow around legal entities, raised a $7 million CAD (more than $5.5 million USD) Series A extension in the beginning of March, nearly doubling its initial $8 million Series A round last year. Athennian's revenue and headcount more than doubled since the original Series A, according to founder and CEO Adrian Camara. He declined to disclose revenue numbers, but said that the sales and marketing team grew from 35 people in September to around 70 in March.Launched in 2017, Athennian is used by nearly 200 legal departments and law firms, including Dentons, Fastkind, and Paul Hastings, to automate documents like board minutes, stock certificates, and shareholder consents. The Series A extension was led by Arthur Ventures. New investors Touchdown Ventures and Clio's CEO, Jack Newton, also participated in the round, alongside Round13 Capital and other existing investors. To date, Athennian has raised $17 million CAD, or around $14 million USD, in venture capital funding, per Pitchbook.Here's the small but mighty pitch deck that nearly doubled legal tech Athennian's Series A to $12 million.Evisort Evisort's CEO and co-founder Jerry Ting. (Courtesy of Jerry Ting) Contract tech is the frontrunner in the legal tech space, as companies across industries seek to streamline their contract creation, negotiation, and management processes.Evisort, a contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform, raised $35 million in its Series B announced late February, bringing total funding to $55.5 million. The private equity firm General Atlantic led its latest funding round, with participation from existing investors Amity Ventures, Microsoft's venture firm M12, and Vertex Ventures.Founded in 2016, Evisort uses artificial intelligence to help businesses categorize, search, and act on documents.Its CEO Jerry Ting founded Evisort while he was still attending Harvard Law School. He spent one summer working at Fried Frank, but soon realized that he didn't want to be a lawyer because he didn't want to spend excruciating hours manually reading fifty-page contracts. He did, however, recognize how important they are to corporations, and co-founded Evisort as a tool to locate and track valuable information like a contract's expiration date and obligations like payment dates.Evisort's CEO walks through the 11-page pitch deck that the contract software startup used to nab $35 million from investors like General Atlantic - and lays out its path to an IPOContractbook Niels Brøchner, Jarek Owczarek, and Viktor Heide founded Contractbook to offer a client-centric tool to manage contracts, Contractbook Try to imagine the contracts negotiation process, and one might conjure up a scene where a sheaf of papers, tucked discreetly into a manila folder, is shuttled from one law office to the mahogany table of another. With a stroke of a fountain pen, the deal is sealed.Those old-school methods have long been replaced with the adoption of PDFs, redlined versions of which zip from email inbox to inbox. Now, contracting is undergoing another digital shift that will streamline the process as companies are becoming more comfortable with tech and are seeking greater efficiencies - and investors are taking note.Contractbook, a Denmark-based contract lifecycle management platform, late last year raised $9.4 million in its Series A investment round, led by venture capital titan Bessemer Venture Partners. In November 2019, Gradient Ventures, Google's AI-focused venture fund, led Contractbook's $3.9 million seed round.Founded in Copenhagen in 2017, Contractbook uses data to automate documents, offering an end-to-end contracts platform for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Niels Brøchner, the company's CEO and co-founder, said that Contractbook was born out of the notion that existing contract solutions failed to use a document's data - from names of parties to the folder the document is stored in - to automate the process and drive workflow.Here's the 13-page pitch deck that Contractbook, which wants to take on legal tech giants like DocuSign, used to raise $9.4 million from investors like Bessemer VenturesDisco Kiwi Camara, CEO and cofounder of Disco. DISCO Cloud-based technology is having its moment, especially in the legal industry.As attorneys have been propelled to work remotely amid the pandemic, data security and streamlined work processes are top-of-mind for law firms, leading them to adopt cloud technology. Investors are taking note. Disco, a cloud-based ediscovery platform that uses artificial intelligence to streamline the litigation process, snapped up $60 million in equity financing in October.Its Series F, led by Georgian Partners and also backed by VC titans like Bessemer Venture Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners, brings total investment to $195 million, valuing the company at $785 million.Launched in Houston in 2012, Disco offers AI-fueled products geared towards helping lawyers review and analyze vast quantities of documents, allowing them to more efficiently determine which ones are relevant to a case.The CEO of Disco, a legal tech that sells cloud-based discovery software, walked us through a 20-page pitch deck the startup used to nab $60 millionBlackBoiler Dan Broderick, cofounder and CEO of BlackBoiler. BlackBoiler BlackBoiler is an automated contract markup software that's used by Am Law 25 firms and several Fortune 1000 companies.The software uses machine learning to automate the process of reviewing and revising documents in "track changes." This saves attorneys the time they would typically spend marking up contracts that often use standard boilerplate language.As a pre-execution software used in the negotiation and markup stage of the contracts process, BlackBoiler has carved out a unique space in the $35 billion contracts industry, said Dan Broderick, a lawyer who co-founded the company in 2015 and is now its CEO. Broderick walked Insider through the pitch deck the company used to attract funding from investors, including DocuSign as well as 10 attorneys that run the gamut from Am Law 50 partners to general counsel at large corporations.Check out the 14-page pitch deck that contract-editing startup BlackBoiler used to nab $3.2 million from investors including DocuSignRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 13th, 2021

Check out 21 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt trading, banking, and lending used to raise millions

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 VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals. 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. Simplifying quant models Kirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders. Beacon A 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 PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBs Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders. Now About 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 millionInsurance goes digital Jamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder. Ladder Fintechs 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 millionEmbedded payments for SMBs The Highnote team. Highnote Branded 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 fundingAn alternative auto lender Daniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor. Tricolor An 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 investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team. TomoCredit Kristy 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 AAn IRA for alternatives Henry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar. Rocket Dollar Fintech 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 millionConnecting startups and investors Hum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg. Hum Capital Blair 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.Payments infrastructure for fintechs Qolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi. Qolo Three 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 ASoftware for managing freelancers Worksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen. Worksome The 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 freelancersPersonal finance is only a text away Yinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert. Albert The 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 CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of Relief Relief For 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 roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize. Securitize Securitize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business banking Michael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo. Kristelle Boulos Photography Business 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 ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs. Spring Labs A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancers JGalione/Getty Images Lance 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 BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisors Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist Altruist Jason 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 InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon. HoneyBook While 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 GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurers Fiordaliso/Getty Images Onboarding 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 Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot. Fakespot Marketplaces 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 ANew twists on digital banking Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley HMBradley Consumers 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 ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 13th, 2021

America"s Bottom 50% Have Nowhere To Go But Down

America's Bottom 50% Have Nowhere To Go But Down Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, One might anticipate that the bottom 50%'s meager share of the nation's exploding wealth would have increased as smartly as the wealth of the billionaires, but alas, no. America's economy has changed in ways few of the winners seem to notice, as they're too busy cheerleading their own brilliance and success. In the view of the winners, who just so happen to occupy all the seats at the media-punditry-Federal Reserve, etc. table--the rising tide of stock, bond and real estate bubbles are raising all boats. What's left unsaid is except for the 50% of boats with gaping holes below the waterline, i.e. stagnant wages and a fast-rising cost of living. The truth the self-satisfied winners don't include in their self-congratulatory rah-rah is there's no place for the bottom 50% of American households to go but down. All the winnings flow to those who already owned assets back when they were affordable-- the already-wealthy--whose wealth has soared as assets have shot to the moon while the the burdens of inflation and debt service hit the bottom 50% the hardest. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is whining that inflation isn't high enough yet for their refined tastes. Boo-hoo, how sad for the Fed--inflation isn't yet high enough. Oh wait--didn't they each mint millions by front-running their own policies? No wonder they're not worried about inflation. The reality few acknowledge is that globalization and financialization have stripped the American economy of low-skilled jobs that don't demand much of the employee. The reality is that a great many people don't have what it takes to learn high-level skills and work at a demanding pace under constant pressure--the description of the average job in America. There were once millions of low-skill, low-pay jobs for people who for whatever mix of reasons were unable to muster the wherewithal to fulfill the fantasy of working extra hard, going to night school, soaking up high-level skills, moving quickly up the ladder to higher pay, buying the starter home and then moving up the food chain to middle class security from there. The cost of living was low enough that those working these low-skill, low-pay jobs could still have an independent life. There were still low-cost rentals, often derided by the wealthy, in nooks and crannies of even the costliest cities. (I once lived in a room stuffed with old tax records in a poolside shack in an upscale neighborhood. The room had been cleared for a single bed and a path to the decrepit bathroom. Its most important attribute was that I could afford it on my low earnings.) Affordable housing has vanished, eliminated by the financialization of America's economy. Once landlords pay double the price for the property, rents have to double to pay their higher expenses. The apartment didn't double in size or amenities--the rent doubled without any increase in utility to the renter. You get nothing more for double the price--nice. Yes, people could make better choices, and some do. The point here is the game is rigged against those in the lower tier of the economy who can no longer afford a house or other stake in the only winning game in town--speculative asset bubbles. Go ahead and work a second job and go to night school--you'll still be left behind the already-rich. Globalization opened every job in America to global competition via offshoring or the influx of undocumented workers so desperate to support their families back home that no pay was too low and no working condition too wretched to refuse. Many overindulged pundits who never worked an honest day in their lives sneer about burger flippers without realizing how hard those burger flippers have to work. I doubt the well-dressed pundits, snobbish about their university degrees and general brilliance, could manage to work a single day in a demanding fast-food job. As the price of housing and other assets have soared, enriching the already rich, they're out of reach for the bottom 50% who struggle to pay their bills as wages have stagnated and the costs of essentials have skyrocketed. The rising cost of parking tickets, junk fees, user fees, utilities and food don't impact the well-paid top 5% technocrat class, whose stake in the Everything Bubble keeps expanding by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. But for the bottom 50%, those incremental increases are, when added to higher rents, absolutely crushing. As for getting high-quality healthcare that includes mental health support--those are reserved for the rich. But no worries, self-medication is always a "choice." Getting a boost in pay from $12 an hour to $15 an hour is welcome, but that doesn't put the worker any closer to affording a house or equivalent stake in the Everything Bubble. The new feudalism is masked by the glossy SillyCon Valley PR of a gig economy where (per the PR fantasy) bright, shiny and totally independent workers freely choose to serve the winners in the rigged sweepstakes for low pay and zero benefits. In the SillyCon Valley PR, serfs freely choose to serve their noble masters for nothing but survival because they love the "freedom" and "choice" of kissing the nobility's plump derrieres. (After all, there were "choices" even back in the good old days of feudalism--one could join the brigands in the forest, or enlist in a poorly paid mercenary army where the odds of dying were high--you know, "choices" of "gigs.") One might anticipate that the bottom 50%'s meager share of the nation's exploding wealth would have increased as smartly as the wealth of the billionaires, but alas, no--the bottom 50%'s share of stocks (equities) actually plummeted in the the glorious decades of Federal Reserve free money for financiers, stock buy-backs and asset bubbles. All this suits the billionaires and those collecting the crumbs of the Everything Bubble just fine. So what if the bottom 50% have nowhere to go but down? There's plenty of room in the homeless encampment for another broken down station wagon or an old camper. There's lots of "choices." And no consequences for the winners, of course, because The Fed has our backs. *  *  * If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. My recent books: A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF). Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World (Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF). Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF). The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF) Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF). Tyler Durden Tue, 10/12/2021 - 18:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 12th, 2021

18 pitch decks that startups used to raise millions to disrupt media and advertising

They're pitching solutions that claim to help marketers make better ads, plug their labor gaps, and more. Toch.ai Investors are pouring money into advertising, media, and marketing startups. They're trying to capitalize on changing consumer habits, marketers' need to see their ads are working, and more. Check out these 18 pitches to see how these startups sold their visions to VCs and other investors. See more stories on Insider's business page. Investors are pouring money into startups that are trying to disrupt advertising, media, and marketing.Insider has been tracking these startups that are using tech to capitalize on changing consumer media habits and marketers' desire to reach new audiences and ensure their ads are working.Check out these pitch decks that they've used to sell their vision and raise millions from PE and VC investors.They range from tools that measure digital ad performance to platforms for people seeking out online entertainment.Video editingToch.ai is an India-based startup that aims to democratize video editing, arguing that the technologies to produce and distribute videos require time-consuming, manual processes, and existing video editing software can be pricey.Toch.ai has raised $11.75 million in Series A funding led by Moneta Ventures to support an expansion into bigger markets like the US.See the pitch deck that helped a video-editing startup raise $12 million to take on Adobe and expand into the USContextual advertisingContextual advertising has become a buzzy area in adtech as the sector shifts away from the precision-targeting and tracking of individual users. Founded seven years ago by two former Googlers, Seedtag specializes in contextual advertising - using data and artificial intelligence to place ads within relevant publisher content that users should be more likely to interact with. Seedtag just raised a $40 million funding round, led by Oakley Capital. See the pitch deck that helped contextual advertising firm Seedtag raise $40 million. The European adtech company now plans a US expansion.Ad automationDan Pantelo started a performance marketing agency in college and pivoted to software after discovering that creative testing was the most important and time-consuming part of making ads.Today, his marketing technology startup Marpipe claims to help advertisers figure out which ads perform best by automatically testing hundreds of variations.Marpipe just raised $8 million in Series A for a total of $10 million raised to date.The key pitch deck slides that helped an ad automation startup raise $10 millionFreelance consulting Catalant CEO Patrick Petitti. Catalant Technologies Investors are pouring millions into platforms like Catalant Technologies that connect companies to independent advertising and consulting professionals, a need that's growing as people quit in the pandemic.Catalant has raised more than $100 million by pitching itself as an alternative to consulting giants like McKinsey.See the key slides a staffing platform used to raise more than $100 million from investors like Morningside CEO Gerald ChanMarketing strategyAd agency vets Grant McDougall, Liza Nebel, and Matt Gross started BlueOcean in 2019, when they saw an opening to use machine learning to simplify market research and tell marketers how they and their competitors were performing. Now, they count Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Bloomingdale's, and Diageo as clients.The software-as-a-service startup just raised $15 million in Series A funding from private equity firm Insight Partners.Pitch deck reveals how an AI startup that helps brands like Google and Microsoft plan their marketing raised $15 millionData management toolsGoogle and Apple's moves to clamp down on third-party cookies and the rise of online shopping have advertisers clamoring for help managing all their customer data so they can effectively market to them.One such company is 4-year-old Amperity, which sells software that clients like Starbucks, Patagonia, and Crocs use to manage stats from sales, email, e-commerce, and loyalty card programs.Amperity has raised $100 million in its Series D from existing investors including Tiger Global Management, Declaration Partners, and Madrona Venture Group, for a total of $187 million.Here's the pitch deck that helped a marketing tech startup raise $100 million at a $1 billion valuation to help brands manage their dataOut-of-home advertising platformOutdoor advertising is coming back after being crushed during the pandemic, and adtech startup OneScreen.ai is hoping to cash in with a platform for brands to search, buy, run and measure their out-of-home ad campaigns.OneScreen just raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by Florida-based fund TechFarms Capital with other investors including HubSpot cofounders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, Wayfair's alumni fund Wayfund, Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe, and BuySellAds.com CEO Todd Garland.See the pitch deck that Google, Hubspot and Wayfair alums used to raise $1.2 million to build the 'Amazon of out-of-home advertising'Consumer data-collectionTracer started in 2015 as a unit of Gary Vaynerchuk's ad agency VaynerMedia that automatically collects and organize data that isn't personally identifiable. Led by Tracer co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Nicholson, it also offers free consulting services. It started by helping VaynerMedia oversee hundreds of millions in ad buys for clients like Oreo maker Mondelez; today, clients include other ad agencies like Labelium; Condé Nast; and pharma giant Sanofi.Tracer recently raised $9.9 million in seed funding led by big names like former Walmart and Amazon exec Marc Lore and NBA star Kevin Durant's firm Thirty Five Ventures.Read the pitch deck a Gary Vaynerchuk-backed data startup used to raise $10 million from investors like Walmart's ex-ecommerce CEOBuilding lifetime customersAs people do more of their shopping online, marketers are trying to get them to become repeat customers.Former Paypal and Facebook product and data analytics manager Emad Hasan says his startup Retina helps brands like Dollar Shave Club and Madison Reed acquire and keep customers by building lookalike audiences based on companies' order history and shopper attributes.It just raised $8 million in Series A funding from Alpha Intelligence Capital, Vertical Venture Partners, and others. This investor deck helped a former Facebook product manager raise $8 million to help brands boost customers' long-term valueData-buying toolsNick Jordan founded 5-year-old Narrative to let advertisers buy data without the need for data brokers like Epsilon and Acxiom that can be known for not disclosing their data sources or what cut they take.The marketing-tech firm makes money by taking a cut of data sales and through larger software as a Service (or SaaS) contracts where marketers pay monthly fees for data.Narrative in September raised $8.5 million in a Series A funding round led by G20 Ventures and which included Glasswing Ventures and MathCapital, bringing its total funding to $14 million.Here's the investor deck that helped startup Narrative raise $8.5 million to help marketers buy data safelySupport for online sellersAdtech vet Paul Palmieri joined Tradeswell as CEO based on his experience as a VC investor, where he saw dozens of DTC companies whose businesses weren't scalable.Tradeswell is a SaaS platform that consolidates brands' marketing, retail, inventory, logistics, forecasting, lifetime value and financial information. Its pitch is that it gives brands insights so they know what to sell to whom, where, and at what price.US e-commerce is set to be worth $1 trillion by 2023, according to a recent report by Insider Intelligence's eMarketer, and Tradeswell says it can help traditional and DTC brands save millions of dollars in outsourced contracts and boost their sales.Tradeswell recently raised $3.3 million in seed round funding from Signalfire and Construct Capital.This investor deck helped an entrepreneur raise $3.3 million to build 'the Bloomberg terminal' for online sellers Ad performance tools BrandTotal BrandTotal is a marketing analytics company that pitches advertisers on the premise that most digital and social media ads are now "dark," or visible only to the people they're targeting. It joins other businesses that promise greater visibility into digital advertising such as Pathmatics, which measures how much brands spend on Facebook and other platforms.BrandTotal co-founder Alon Leibovich said the company uses AI to track ads and help advertisers understand their competitors' strategies. This pitch has helped BrandTotal win business from big brands like L'Oréal and raise $12 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to $20 million. Canada's INcapital Ventures led the latest round along with Maor Investments, Glilot Capital Partners, Flint Capital, KDC Media Fund, and FJ Labs.This investor deck helped startup BrandTotal raise $20 million to date to help advertisers like L'Oréal see how their digital ads are workingE-commerce advertising servicesBrands are increasingly becoming advertising platforms, giving rise to a cottage industry of adtech companies that help marketers build their own ad businesses.One such firm is 9-year-old adtech firm Adzerk, which is rebranding as Kevel. EMarketer reports that e-commerce advertising will be a $17 billion market this year. Retailers like Walgreens, Walmart, and Instacart have led the charge, but Kevel sees an opportunity for other types of brands to build ad businesses of their own.In December, Kevel raised $11 million in a Series A round led by Fulcrum Equity with Commerce Ventures, MathCapital and Food Retail Ventures also participating.A digital ad firm just raised $11 million to help brands like United Airlines and Ticketmaster build their own ad businessesTargeted ad tools ID5 Google's and Apple's moves to clamp down on privacy and digital-ad targeting have been a boon for startups trying to find workarounds like identity solutions.One such firm is ID5, a European startup that helps advertisers find audiences to target and make sure people don't repeatedly see the same ads. It makes money from licensing its ID to adtech companies for a monthly fee that ranges from $5,000 to $30,000, CEO Mathieu Roche said. The company gives away its technology to publishers to grow adoption of the ID.ID5 closed a $6 million Series A funding round in March from Alliance Entreprendre, Progress Ventures, and 360 Capital Partners. The 4-year-old company has raised a total of $7.5 million.Read the pitch deck that a startup used to raise $6 million to save targeted advertisingPrivacy compliance helpNew privacy regulations are springing up around the globe, and publishers and marketers are turning to technology companies to stay on the right side of these laws and avoid huge fines.One of the companies capitalizing on the increased focus on data privacy is Sourcepoint. Founded by adtech vets Ben Barokas and Brian Kane, the US-based technology company has a platform that lets publishers and advertisers get legal consent from people to use their data.Sourcepoint recently raised $17 million in additional funding, led by new investor Arrowroot Capital, bringing its total funding to $47.8 million since it launched in 2015.The pitch deck used to raise $17 million for a startup that helps advertisers and publishers comply with privacy lawsReal-time market research Matt Britton Agency veteran Matt Britton pitches his consumer intelligence startup Suzy as an always-on digital assistant like Siri or Alexa for marketers. It has a consumer panel that lets marketers conduct surveys and research on subjects like product development and ad effectiveness testing.He just raised $50 million in Series D after closing a $34 million Series C last year, bringing its total raised to $100 million.H.I.G. Growth Partners, an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, led the round, with Rho Capital Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Foundry Group, and Triangle Peak Partners also participating.See the pitch deck a market research startup that's trying to rival Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey used to raise $50 millionLivestreaming tools for creatorsLivestreaming startup Restream was founded in 2015 to help gaming content creators grow their reach by livestreaming to Twitch and YouTube at the same time.It's since expanded to serve musicians, politicians, influencers, publishers, non-profit organizations, and other businesses and says its goal is to democratize broadcasting. Restream said half its 2.5 million users are now non-gamers. Most of its users are nonpaying, but it sells subscriptions from $19 to $299 per month that come with features like the ability to record streams and access to more customer support.Restream announced in August that it had raised $50 million in fresh funding from investors including Sapphire Ventures and Insight Partners.Read the 14-slide pitch deck that helped livestreaming startup Restream raise $50 million amid the pandemic Video streaming subscriptionsCuriosityStream is a 5-year-old streaming service founded by former Discovery Communications founder John Hendricks. It went public in fall 2020 through a reverse merger with Software Acquisition Group, a SPAC led by Jonathan Huberman, who formerly led video adtech firm Ooyala.CuriosityStream is differentiated from other streaming services in that it focuses on factual content like documentaries and features, with more than 3,100 titles available. It reported 13 million paying subscribers buying monthly and yearly subscriptions ranging from $3 a month to $70 a year.The deal with Software Acquisition Group gave CuriosityStream $180 million in cash.The investor deck that CuriosityStream used to secure $180 million to take on rival video streaming servicesReaching online sports fans Overtime Overtime wants to be the next ESPN, but for social media.It started 2016 by Endeavor vets Dan Porter and Zack Weiner with a focus on high-school sports and athletes and has expanded into areas including esports. Overtime captures game highlights through people it pays to film events and also creates original programming and events. It distributes content mainly on social platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Its core business is making money from ads, sponsorships, and merchandise, and projects making $200 million in annual revenue by 2024.It recently raised $80 million from investors including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, rapper Drake, and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, The Wall Street Journal recently reported.Leaked pitch deck shows how sports-media startup Overtime plans to reach $200 million in revenue by 2024Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 12th, 2021

4 Funds to Pick as Edge Computing Gains Traction

Disruptive technologies like edge computing play a crucial role in the fourth industrial revolution and companies investing or providing such technologies are poised to grow. Disruptive technologies are altering ways at workplaces and homes. From disruptive technology’s enormous bucket let’s pick up edge computing today.What is edge computing? It is a transition concerning acquiring, storing, and processing data. Edge computing places the control functions closer to the data source and allows data processing and decision-making functions to happen closer to the source. This disruptive technology is distributed and has an open IT architecture that features decentralized processing power, enabling mobile computing and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. In short, in edge computing, data does not have to be transmitted to a data center rather, it can be processed by the device itself or by a local computer or server.During the pandemic, cloud computing got an enormous boost as businesses were forced to house data and use software services to enable employees to work from home. But, now with edge computing, the time taken to receive information (latency) is reduced and the amount of traffic traveling across the Internet's not-unlimited infrastructure also decreases. And high-end cybersecurity is a bonus, making edge computing potentially a bigger disruptive technology trend than cloud computing.Edge computing companies are helping to build and manage small, localized data centers that enable remote work and e-commerce trends. Moreover, the amalgamation of artificial intelligence (AI) into the edge ecosystem is expected to drive the market further as AI helps to make real-time decisions in a matter of just milliseconds. Hence, precision monitoring and machinery control will become easier. Per a Grand View Research forecast, the global edge computing market size is anticipated to reach $61.14 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 38.4%.4 Fund PicksDisruptive technologies like edge computing play a crucial role in the fourth industrial revolution and companies investing or providing such technologies are poised to grow. Hence, we have shortlisted four mutual funds that carry a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and have significant exposure to edge computing technology.Moreover, these funds have encouraging year-to-date returns. Additionally, the minimum initial investment is within $5000. We expect these funds to outperform peers in the future.The question here is why should investors consider mutual funds? Reduced transaction costs and portfolio diversification without several commission charges associated with stock purchases are primarily why one should be parking money in mutual funds (read more: Mutual Funds: Advantages, Disadvantages, and How They Make Investors Money).Fidelity Select Technology Portfolio FSPTX fund aims for capital appreciation. The fund invests primarily in equity securities, especially common stocks of companies engaged in offering, using, or developing products, processes, or services that will provide or benefit significantly from technological advances and improvements.This Zacks Sector – Tech product has a history of positive total returns for more than 10 years. Specifically, this non-diversified fund has returned 30.7% and 31.8% in the past three and five years, respectively. To see how this fund performed compared to its category, and other 1 and 2 Ranked Mutual Funds, please click here.FSPTX has an annual expense ratio of 0.69% versus the category average of 1.05%.Franklin DynaTech Fund Class A FKDNX aims for capital appreciation. The fund invests primarily in common stocks and the fund manager focuses on companies that are leaders in innovation, take advantage of new technologies, have superior management, and benefit from new industry conditions.This Sector-Tech product has a history of positive total returns for over 10 years. Specifically, FKDNX has returned 28.8% and 29.1% over the past three- and five-year period, respectively. To see how this fund performed compared in its category, and other #1 and #2 Ranked Mutual Funds, please click here.FKDNX has an annual expense ratio of 0.85% versus the category average of 0.99%. Fidelity Select Semiconductors Portfolio FSELX fund aims for capital appreciation. The non-diversified fund invests a majority of assets in securities of companies principally engaged in the design, manufacture, or sale of semiconductors and semiconductor equipment.This Zacks Sector – Tech product has a history of positive total returns for more than 10 years. Specifically, FSELX has returned 34.9% and nearly 32% over the past three and five years, respectively. To see how this fund performed compared to its category, and other 1 and 2 Ranked Mutual Funds, please click here.FSELX has an annual expense ratio of 0.70%, below the category average of 1.05%.Fidelity Select Software & IT Services Portfolio FSCSX aims for capital appreciation. The non-diversified fund invests most assets in common stocks of companies engaged in research, design, production or distribution of products or processes related to software or information-based services.This Zacks Sector – Tech product has a history of positive total returns for more than 10 years. Specifically, FSCSX has returned 27.3% and 28.3% over the past three and five-year period, respectively. To see how this fund performed compared to its category, and other 1 and 2 Ranked Mutual Funds, please click here.FSCSX has an annual expense ratio of 0.70% versus the category average of 1.05%.Want key mutual fund info delivered straight to your inbox?Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing mutual funds, each week.Get it free >> Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Get Your Free (FSPTX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (FSCSX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (FSELX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (FKDNX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 12th, 2021