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How the founder of the Saint Javelin charity brand worn by Zelenskyy plans to help rebuild Ukraine

Christian Borys launched Saint Javelin stickers and t-shirts before Putin's invasion, and has gone on to raise more than $1 million for charity. Christian Borys (right) founded Saint Javelin before the war started, with a t-shirt making its way to President Zelenskyy.Viktor Kvashenko Charity brand Saint Javelin was launched by former journalist Christian Borys before the war. Borys wants nearly all the company's production to come from Ukrainians within the next few months. One of their Ukrainian producers, The Sewing Brothers, is making Saint Javelin tracksuits. It has been about five months since Christian Borys, a former journalist, started a charity effort by producing $10 stickers based on a meme amid mounting evidence of Russian troops mobilizing on the border of Ukraine. Now, with 41,000 orders in 70 countries, $1 million in donations, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's seal of approval, Borys is planning a longer-term push to help rebuild a country that has seen its economy decimated as millions flee and cities are left under siege.Borys provided financial documentation to Insider that verified his claims.$39 t-shirts and a bomb-sniffing dogAccording to KnowYourMeme, the "Saint Javelin" refers to an image of the Virgin Mary holding a Kalashnikov rifle (named Madonna Kalashnikov), which has been replaced with an anti-tank javelin missile, becoming synonymous with Ukrainian demands for Western intervention in the war.Borys was a former Ukrainian correspondent and maintained contact with journalists still in the country, who highlighted the growing inevitability of war in December.   After mulling ways to help, Borys shared the image of Saint Javelin on his Instagram page, asking if anyone was interested in purchasing stickers, raising $1,000 after two days. Soon, $39 t-shirts and $40 hats bearing the symbol circulated, as did those showing the "Ghost of Kyiv" and an image of Patron, the bomb-sniffing dog. Borys said he had been responding to trending topics to maintain brand awareness."People were looking for ways they could immediately support. And not just donate, but cause awareness, support, and we were there," Borys said.In March Borys arranged a meeting with Ukraine's defence minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, who eventually gave a Saint Javelin t-shirt to President Zelenskyy.—Christian Borys (@ItsBorys) April 28, 2022"I still didn't believe it, because this guy obviously has so much that he's working on, and then he messaged me on Facebook a few hours later and said 'hey, the president has your shirt'," Borys said of his exchange with the defence minister. Reznikov wasn't available for comment.With donations sent to companies like Help Us Help and the 2402 fund for journalists, Borys is eyeing a longer-lasting impact, starting with moving production to Ukraine. "My goal over the next few months is for everything we produce, to literally produce all of it in Ukraine," Borys said. "That way we can support factories that have been affected by all of this." 'Go fu*k yourself Russian warship'The first company Borys teamed up with in Ukraine was The Sewing Brothers, which is based in Kyiv. Before the war, it was a high-end fashion retailer designing luxury tracksuits worn by US comedians Bert Krieshchner and Tom Segura of the "2 Bears, 1 Cave." Since Putin ordered troops into the country, stylist Ivan Drachenko and his team have been producing anti-war clothing including the "go fu*k yourself Russian warship" t-shirt while they wrestle with war outside their door. "In October, we understood our business was going to change and instead of beautiful dresses and suits we would be sewing military ones," Drachenko and Tatiana Pankia of the Sewing Brothers told Insider in an emailed statement.—Christian Borys (@ItsBorys) April 28, 2022Borys said Saint Javelin had also ordered hats from a factory in conflict-hit Kharkiv, where he estimates half the staff are fighting between production shifts."I can just see that when we place an order people get really excited," Borys said. "Factories there are mostly able to work, they want to, and they need to." Initially running on volunteers, Saint Javelin has 10 employees as demand grows.Borys said: "I want to reframe it from a charitable project to a social enterprise that could potentially last decades and raise tens of millions of dollars, as opposed to half a million dollars."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 22nd, 2022

18 entrepreneurs who turned their side hustles into a full-time business

From glamping to haircare businesses, these entrepreneurs took their side hustle and turned it into their main source of income. Plant Kween has almost 370,000 followers and collaborates with brands like Spotify.(Courtesy of Christopher Griffin) Americans launched a record number of businesses in 2021. Many started their businesses out of necessity while others wanted to become their own bosses. These 18 entrepreneurs offer a model for launching your dream business from a side hustle. Having your dream career often begins with a side hustle before it blossoms into a full-time gig. In 2021, more than 5 million business applications were filed, according to the US Census Bureau. Some people launched businesses out of necessity after losing their jobs, others left jobs that were causing burnout to become their own bosses. Entrepreneurship hasn't slowed this year. In the first three months of 2022, would-be business owners filed more than 1.26 million applications. For those who want to chase their dreams, these 18 entrepreneurs offer a model for launching a business from a side hustle, from an at-home glamping service to an online clothing store.Dominic-Madori Davis contributed to this article.Author coachingNikkie Pryce is the founder of an author-coaching program.Avalon FotographyWhen Nikkie Pryce was still working her 9 to 5, she had just finished writing her first book. Then, she was fired. However, Pryce considers that day "the best day of her life" because it allowed her to take her publishing full time and start a business coaching other people on how to become authors. Six years after she made her side hustle her full-time work, Pryce has self-published four more books and has taught more than 1,400 women how to publish through her author-coaching program. In 2021, she generated $124,050 in revenue, according to documentation verified by Insider.Read more about Pryce's story and how she spends her day. Graphic designAlyssa Nguyen is the founder of a graphic-design business grown through social media.Matthew MillerAlyssa Nguyen was a student at Princeton University when the pandemic began and her summer marketing internship was cancelled. Left without paid work, she launched a graphic-design business that aimed to work with companies owned by women of color. Before launching the business, Nyguyen did graphic design work on the side and for fun.  Now, she has booked $170,000 in revenue, according to documentation verified by Insider.Learn why she specializes in working with brands owned by women of color and what it took to transform her side gig into her main source of income. Glamping businessKenny Young is the founder of Pitched Glamping.Courtesy of Kenny YoungKenny Young was a youth pastor for his local church until he burned out and got fired. His wife left her job at the same church and the two went on an RV road trip in California. That sparked an idea to start a glamorous camping, or "glamping," business to deliver outdoor activity to people's backyards, complete with the amenities necessary for a family movie night or candlelit anniversary dinner.  In 2020, Young's company, Pitched Glamping, made more than $125,000 in revenue, according to documents reviewed by Insider. It operates in Minnesota and Arizona and employs seven people, including Young's wife. Read more about how he built his glamping business.  Social media marketing and branding freelancerLexi Cherizol is the founder of Pro Luxe Marketing.Courtesy of Lexi CherizolLexi Cherizol worked as a hospital Phlebotomist in Orlando, Florida, until she joined the millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic. She took it as an opportunity to find a new career.She launched Pro Luxe Marketing at the start of 2021 and saw her business take off once she posted marketing tips and advice on TikTok. In her most popular video, which has almost 32,000 likes, Cherizol shared how she planned 30 days' worth of content in under an hour.Learn more about how she built her marketing and branding business. Selling collectibles in live auctionsMiguel Rivera is the owner of Master Poppins, a business that sells FunkoPops.Courtesy of Miguel RiveraMiguel Rivera collects and sells FunkoPop collectibles. In one night hosting livestreamed auctions, he can make between $1,000 to $4,000 and sells an average of 94 pops a show. According to documents reviewed by Insider, since his first auction in December, sales have totaled $40,648.Whatnot, the app Rivera uses to host his shows, is just one of several startups popping up in the US as the live shopping trend becomes more popular. After becoming unemployed last year, Rivera took his business, Master Poppins, full-time.Read about he advises other collectors can turn their hobbies into live-shopping side hustles here.Online clothing sellerTori Gerbig is the cofounder and CEO of Pink Lily, an online shopping site.Courtesy of Pink LilyTori Gerbig started selling clothes on Ebay and Facebook as a side hustle to pay off student loans. In 2014, she and her husband, Chris, launched an online shopping site called Pink Lily with the goal to hit $50,000 by year's end. They met that goal within four years and have been growing ever since. Today their company, based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, employs 300 people, operates a retail store, and has 200,000 square feet of warehouse space. In 2020, the brand made $65 million in revenue, nearly double the previous year's total, according to documentation reviewed by Insider.Read more about how the couple scaled their business and gained a loyal customer base.Plant influencerChristopher Griffin started Plant Kween on Instagram and grew his audience to thousands of followers.(Courtesy of Christopher Griffin)Christopher Griffin's Instagram account, Plant Kween, is devoted to pictures of the 200 plants living in their Brooklyn apartment, tips on caring for the greenery, and other useful botanical knowledge. They started the account in 2016 — as a means of learning about something new after graduate school — and grew it to almost 370,000 followers. They also collaborate with brands like Spotify on curated content.Read more about how Griffin built their Instagram side-hustle. Independent moving companyChuck Kuhn is the CEO and founder of KK Moving Services, the largest independently-owned trucking company.JK Moving ServicesChuck Kuhn founded JK Moving Services as a one-man, one-truck operation in Fairfax County, Virginia, when he was 16. Today, JK Moving Services is the largest independently owned trucking company in the US.In 2021, the company, based in Washington, DC, announced its plans to hire 100 drivers and raise drivers' annual salaries to $100,000 — nearly double the national industry average of $56,483, according to Glassdoor.Read more about Kuhn's plan to raise salaries at his company. Website flipperChelsea Clarke is the founder of Blogs for Sale.(Courtesy of Friday Eve Photo)Chelsea Clarke is the founder of Blogs For Sale, a company that flips little-known websites into desirable online businesses that can generate nearly $17,000 in a year.Clarke said her startup took off in 2020 as more people sought online revenue streams during the pandemic. That year, she earned $127,000 from flipping 13 websites and brokering sales for 50 more sites, documents reviewed by Insider verified. Read more about how Clarke built her website-flipping business. Hair-care brandLulu Cordero is the founder and CEO of Bomba Curls.Courtesy of Bomba CurlsLulu Cordero was a pre-med student when she formulated a homemade remedy for her receding hairline. Her friends and family noticed her hair growing back more lush than ever and soon requested bottles of her blend, which she called Forbidden Oil.That began her hair-care brand, Bomba Curls, which she started out of her kitchen 10 years ago with just $5,000 in savings. She took her side hustle full-time in 2019 and in 2021 she saw 123% revenue growth and amassed a restock waitlist of 2,000 people.Read more about how she started her business here. Quarantine party kitRobbie Zweig and Jared Reichert are the cofounders of Kiki Kit.Courtesy of Kiki KitThe pandemic hit the event industry hard as in-person gatherings largely stopped. In their place, video-conferencing apps like Zoom gave rise to virtual parties. Event planners Jared Reichert and Robbie Zweig saw opportunity within the "Zoom boom" by creating a party-in-a-box.They started their company The Kiki Kit while in quarantine and sold out 18 days after their launch. Within the first five weeks, the cofounders created their online business and generated $32,000 in sales.Read more about how they started their business here. Hand-dyed yarn businessJake Kenyon is the founder of Kenyarn, a hand-dyed yarn business.(Courtesy of Jake Kenyon)In January, Jake Kenyon left his full-time job as a speech pathologist to pursue his side hustle: a hand-dyed yarn business called Kenyarn. The pandemic drove many consumers to take up crafts like knitting and crocheting, which helped boost Kenyon's business.Kenyarn's gross sales jumped from $33,000 in 2019 to $125,000 in 2020, according to documents viewed by Insider. Read more about how Kenyon built his hand-dyed yarn business. Beauty brandStormi Steele is the founder of Canvas Beauty Brand.(Courtesy of Stormi Steele)Stormi Steele used to make hair care products in her kitchen while working in salon in 2012. She'd mix over-the-counter ingredients, such as flaxseed oil and vitamin E, in an effort to create a solution that would help her hair grow. Today, Steele is the founder of Canvas Beauty Brand, which booked nearly $20 million in revenue in 2020, documents reviewed by Insider verified. Read more about how Steele built her hair-care business. Art nonprofitMo Ghoneim is the cofounder of Arts Help.Lane DorseyIn 2013, Mo Ghoneim and his cofounder started Arts Help as just an Instagram page reposting and highlighting the work from lesser-known artists around the globe. As the page became more popular, Ghoneim and his cofounder saw an opportunity to help make a real impact for people.They self-funded and launched it as a nonprofit in 2018. Arts Help since won $5 million in funding from billionaire Chris Larsen to address the climate crisis.Read more about how Mo Ghoneim built his non-profit here.Celeb-loved cakesBrittni Popp is the founder of Betchin Cakes.Brittni PoppBrittni Popp likes to help people commemorate their important life moments, whether that's a bridal party, divorce, or even an expunged DUI. Her business, Betchin Cakes, sells highly customized baked goods that come adorned with decorations like Barbie dolls or empty nips. In the three years since she launched her side hustle, she's landed high-profile customers like Paris Hilton and Khloe Kardashian. Betchin Cakes saw sales more than double from 2020.Read more about how she started her business here.Marketing firmSherane Chen is the founder of a restaurant marketing business.Sherane ChenAt 16, Sherane Chen started her first job at Steak-n-Shake as a waitress. By age 21, she'd launched a business specializing in restaurant marketing. Today her company has 17 clients and generates annual profits of more than six figures, according to documents provided to Insider.Read more about her business and morning routine here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 18th, 2022

Gap (GPS) Declines on CEO Departure, Issues Muted Q2 View

Gap (GPS) announces the departure of president and CEO Sonia Syngal and the appointment of Horacio Barbeito as the new CEO of Old Navy. It also issues a dull Q2 view. Shares of The Gap Inc. GPS fell 5% at the close of the trading session on Jul 12. The stock’s dismal run on the bourses came after the exit of its president and chief executive officer (CEO), Sonia Syngal. In her brief stint as a CEO, she introduced inclusivity in the Old Navy brand, expanded curbside pickup service, launched the Yeezy line with Kanye West, and partnered with Walmart Inc. for a home decor brand and with other franchisees to run stores in Europe.However, sluggishness in its Old Navy brand, which accounts for more than half of the company's sales, supply-chain disruption, inflation, social unrest and economic instability acted as deterrents. Speaking of Old Navy, too much of plus-size women’s apparel backfired due to an imbalance in size assortment. This led to a rise in inventory levels.For the time being, the board has appointed the current executive chairman, Bob Martin, as the interim CEO. The company also announced that Horacio "Haio" Barbeito would serve as the president and CEO of Old Navy from Aug 1.Prior to this, the retail industry witnessed a string of departures in the chief executive role.Bed Bath & Beyond BBBY made significant changes in its senior leadership by appointing Sue Gove, an independent director of its board and chair of the board's strategy committee, as its interim CEO. The move comes after the exit of ex-president and CEO Mark Tritton.Earlier, under Tritton’s leadership, the company undertook a transformation strategy to stay afloat. As part of it, BBBY divested its non-core assets, invested in technology, infrastructure and digital capabilities, and launched Owned Brands.Under Armour’s UAA Patrik Frisk also stepped down as the president and CEO from June 1. Frisk will serve as an advisor through Sep 1 to support the transition process.Until then, the company’s chief operating officer, Colin Browne, will act as the interim president and CEO.The RealReal’s REAL founder and CEO, Julie Wainwright, also exited the firm after 11 years. REAL operates an online marketplace for consigned luxury goods. It offers resale product categories, including women's, men's, kids', jewelry and watches, as well as home and art products.Currently, Rati Sahi Levesque, the company’s president and chief operating officer, as well as Robert Julian, its chief financial officer, are serving as co-interim CEOs.Coming back to Gap, management issued a dull second-quarter fiscal 2022 view. The company continues to expect sales decline in the high-single digit range, in-line with its prior guidance. It anticipated transitory air freight expense of $50 million, inflationary costs on raw materials and freight to hurt margins in the said quarter. Also, increased promotional activity to attain assortment balance is likely to hurt gross margins. Adjusted operating margin is forecasted to be zero to slightly negative.According to sources, there might be a possibility of the divestiture of one of Gap’s brands or a significant SG&A cost cut. Earlier, the company dismissed plans to spin off Old Navy in 2020 due to increased costs and complexity. Although its Banana Republic chain showed signs of recovery last quarter, it wasn’t enough to overcome the drab performance of the other divisions.Gap is currently struggling to keep pace with the rapid shift from comfortable clothes to work attire as offices reopen due to late-arriving inventory stemming from global supply-chain issues. This has affected the company at a time when one of the biggest shopping times of the year, the back-to-school season, is nearby. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research We note that this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) stock has plunged 42.4% year to date compared with the industry’s decline of 26.5%.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>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 The Gap, Inc. (GPS): Free Stock Analysis Report Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY): Free Stock Analysis Report Under Armour, Inc. (UAA): Free Stock Analysis Report The RealReal, Inc. (REAL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 13th, 2022

Bill Gates says his pledge to give away his wealth will erase him from list of the world"s wealthiest people

Billionaire Bill Gates announced Wednesday a $20 billion to his charity foundation. He plans to give all his wealth away in the future. Bill Gates at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 2, 2021Jeff J Mitchell/Pool/Getty Images Bill Gates said he will one day be knocked off the list of the world's richest people. The billionaire said he plans to give away "virtually" all of his wealth to his charity foundation. Gates tweeted that he's giving $20 billion to the foundation this month. Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said Wednesday that he plans to give all of his wealth to his and his ex-wife's philanthropic organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.In a Twitter thread, the Microsoft co-founder announced he was transferring $20 billion to the foundation's endowment this month to increase spending to $9 billion per year by 2026, citing the setbacks caused by the pandemic, the war on Ukraine, and other factors."As I look to the future, I plan to give virtually all of my wealth to the foundation," Gates said. "I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world's richest people."He also thanked famed billionaire investor Warren Buffet for his longtime contribution to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and said his "incredible generosity is a huge reason why the foundation has been able to be so ambitious."Buffett, Gates, and Melinda French Gates founded an initiative called The Giving Pledge in 2010 as a "movement of philanthropists who commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills." Its garnered signatures from over 200 billionaires across the world."I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for reducing suffering and improving lives," Gates wrote. "And I hope others in positions of great wealth and privilege will step up in this moment too."Gates has long been vocal about the need to give his wealth away, citing a lifelong belief in addressing global issues like climate change. He has even said his wealth won't pass to his children to become billionaires since he's giving so much of it away.He has a current net worth of $114 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 13th, 2022

Google will slow hiring for the third quarter, company insiders say

The biggest story in tech right now is Google's decision to scale back hiring for the third quarter of 2022. Hello and welcome to this newsletter. I'm Jordan Parker Erb, and you, dear reader, are about to get a heaped serving of news: From Google's hiring slowdown, to Twitter's lawsuit against Elon Musk, to Amazon Prime Day's ongoing deals — it's a big day in tech.Before we get started: We're taking nominations for Insider's 100 People Transforming Business series. Nominate someone here.Now, without further ado…If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Beck Diefenbach/Reuters1. Google is pulling back on hiring. Two senior employees told Insider that while the company was still hiring for roles, it would be slowing down hiring across some of its divisions for the third quarter of 2022.Managers were informed of the hiring slowdowns last month. One person familiar with the plans said company leadership directed some managers to give back a percentage of their headcount grants for the third quarter.The move is not a hiring freeze, one person said, but is likely to slow progress across some projects.After Insider reported on the growth slowdown, CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to employees confirming the hiring cuts, saying: "Moving forward, we need to be more entrepreneurial, working with greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we've shown on sunnier days." Read our exclusive report and Pichai's full email here.In other news:The James Webb Space Telescope's first deep field infrared image, released July 11, 2022.NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI2. NASA's first full-color image from the James Webb Space Telescope reveals 13 billion years of galaxies. It's the highest-resolution infrared image ever captured — and side-by-side photos show how much more powerful the telescope is than Hubble. Get a look at the spectacular photo.3. Meta is facing a reckoning. For the first time ever, advertisers are slashing spending and abandoning the platform — and it's bringing Facebook-parent Meta down to Earth after years of explosive growth. Inside the problem Meta may not recover from.4. Twitter sued Elon Musk. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, lawyers for Twitter accused Musk of "refusing to honor his obligations" after he backed out of his $44 billion agreement to buy the company. The lawsuit is full of fiery accusations against Musk — here are the six best lines from the complaint. Meanwhile, Musk appeared to respond to the latest development with a short tweet. 5. Lush quit Instagram and Facebook — and is instead using five alternative marketing strategies. To advocate for mental health, the $943 million cosmetics brand dropped the apps, along with Snap and TikTok, and has turned to its podcast and app to bring in customers. See how else it's connecting with consumers.6. Apple ended its consulting agreement with its former chief designer Jony Ive. As per the New York Times, Ive – the famed designer who gave the world candy-colored computers – will no longer be working with Apple, despite Ive previously saying he looked forward to working with the company "for many years to come."7. Struggling EV startup Canoo just inked a major deal with Walmart. Walmart agreed to buy at least 4,500 of Canoo's electric delivery vehicles. And while the deal could provide a much-needed lifeline for Canoo, experts and insiders aren't sure the startup has enough cash on hand to fill the order.8. Medium founder and CEO Evan Williams is stepping down. Williams, the tech entrepreneur who co-founded Twitter, will be replaced by Tony Stubblebine. As per TechCrunch, skeptics have long wondered if the platform can survive without the founder at the helm, but Williams insists: "Medium's story is far from over."Odds and ends:The 2022 BMW 3 Series sedan.BMW9. Your next monthly subscription could be heated seats. In some countries, BMW is charging an $18-per-month fee for heated seats — and owners who don't pay up won't get access. Here's where the subscription fees are in effect.10. We outlined the hybrid cars with the best mileage. With gas prices hovering near $5 per gallon, many Americans are looking into more efficient cars — so we listed the ones with the best gas mileage ratings, from the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to the Hyundai Ioniq. These 15 models have the best mileage.What we're watching today:A supermoon will be visible tonight. It's one of two supermoons appearing in 2022.Delta and others are reporting earnings. Keep up with earnings here.Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 13th, 2022

We"ve got nearly 50 pitch decks that helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

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

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 11th, 2022

Elon Musk says he"s terminating Twitter deal but questions remain over the social media platform"s leadership

Elon Musk's decision to back out of his $44 billion deal leaves even more questions about the future leadership at the social media platform. Elon Musk has said he's a free-speech absolutist.Jae C. Hong/AP Following an unconventional takeover bid, Elon Musk is backing out of the Twitter deal. The acquisition would have placed the world's richest man atop one of the most powerful platforms. The $44 billion deal had sparked speculation about the future of leadership at Twitter. Elon Musk's disclosure that he plans to walk away from his acquisition of Twitter raises new questions about the fate of the social media platform's management structure, which was set for a shakeup had the brash CEO completed his acquisition. The founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday that he planned to abandon the $44 billion deal. The acquisition would have placed the world's richest man at the helm of one of the most powerful social platforms.The takeover bid had sparked immediate speculation about the future of leadership at Twitter and whether Parag Agrawal, the company's CEO, would remain in the role or see the end of his short tenure. Reports had said Musk would serve as temporary CEO of the company. Musk could face a prolonged legal battle and hefty fine if he does walk away from the deal. The prospect of Musk running yet another company raised questions among Twitter users and staffers alike. Known for his visionary leadership and out-of-the-box thinking, Musk took Tesla from a fringe brand to the world's most valuable car company and ealier this year sent a four-person civilian crew into orbit in a SpaceX spaceship.Experts who spoke with Insider prior to Musk's decision to scuttle the deal said it was tough to predict the moves of such a characteristically unpredictable figure. "It's impossible to know what Elon Musk will do next," said Richard Levick, the chair and CEO of Levick, a crisis-public-relations firm.Levick's firm has represented Musk's private spaceflight company, so Levick has firsthand knowledge of Musk's penchant for unpredictability."I remember one night in particular he called at 6 or 7 o'clock at night and said, 'I'm flying into Washington. Can we do a press conference at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning?'" Levick said. "We pulled it off, and the press conference was a success, but I share that story because I think it's indicative of no one knows what Elon Musk is thinking, and sometimes not even Elon Musk."Insider spoke with experts including Levick; a reputation-management consultant; and a CEO consultant about how Twitter's executive leadership could have changed under Musk. Their two biggest predictions were that changes were imminent and that a CEO swap was likely.Change on the horizonMusk has been public about his grievances with Twitter's leadership. Musk, who has 100 million followers on the platform, posted a barrage of tweets in April criticizing two of the company's top executives.Jim Baker, a deputy general counsel for Twitter, faced trolling after Musk affirmed a tweet by the right-wing activist Mike Cernovich accusing Baker of committing fraud as a general counsel for the FBI. Twitter's policy and legal head, Vijaya Gadde, also faced online harassment after Musk described her decision to restrict a news story on the platform as "incredibly inappropriate."Experts argued that Musk's rifts with top executives were clear indicators that Twitter's leadership would change under his watch."I think you're going to see a painful cascade of carnage," Eric Schiffer, the chair and CEO of Reputation Management Consultants, said when the acquisition still appeared on track. "It will be an emotional whiplash to many of the executives who had a comfortable position."Musk had also made clear early on that he had intended to transform Twitter into a bulwark of free speech. In response to a tweet criticizing "the extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech," he said: "By 'free speech,' I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law."Twitter has taken steps to remove some content it deems to be in violation of its terms. Most notably, it removed then-President Donald Trump from the platform following the January 6 insurrection. The company cited the possibility that the outgoing president could foment further political violence. Levick questioned whether Musk would have been able to establish the kind of free-speech rights he envisioned globally across the platform. "They don't have the First Amendment in China," he said. "European regulators are way out in front of the Americans in terms of regulating the internet. How will he handle the Digital Services Act that the EU recently passed?"Going private would have meant Twitter would be freed from issuing quarterly financial statements. Jay Baer, a digital-marketing consultant, suggested that not being bound by such restrictions would have made it easier to implement sweeping changes to the company's leadership and revenue model.Last year, Twitter reported revenue of about $5 billion. "I think he truly believes that with some changes, there could be a colossal midterm increase in revenues and profits," Baer said of Musk. "Ultimately, I don't think he makes a move like this unless he sees financial upside."While some observers have lauded Musk as a decisive leader, his moves are often confounding to those who follow his companies. "I think it's very hard to interpret what he's doing and his intentions. I think we are wrong to assume that he will necessarily get deeply involved in the day-to-day operations," Tom Goodwin, a CEO consultant, said of the potential takeover. Musk as Twitter CEO Agrawal, who replaced Twitter's founder Jack Dorsey as CEO last year, took the helm at a critical point as the platform introduced revenue-producing features such as its Blue subscription product and Ticketed Spaces, which allows creators to charge for exclusive access to their content.Following Dorsey's announcement of Agrawal's appointment, Musk posted a meme of Agrawal's head atop the body of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader known for his strict censorship. In an SEC filing in April, Musk said he did not "have confidence in management." Given Musk's vehement criticisms of Agrawal, removing the current CEO would not have come as a surprise to experts. In a companywide town hall following the announcement of Musk's acquisition, Agrawal told employees that the future of Twitter under Musk was uncertain, Reuters reported. Baer said at the time that Agrawal's then-predicted expulsion shouldn't have been seen as a result of incompetent leadership."Given the amount of tumult internally and globally during his short tenure, I don't see too many ways he could have done better," Baer said. "The platform is as vital as ever as a cultural touchstone, globally."Musk's tendency toward brashness and off-the-cuff tweets posed questions about his approach to free speech and his ability as Twitter's would-be owner and CEO to use the platform as his personal megaphone. And the experts who spoke with Insider said that while Musk had demonstrated success as a leader, it was anyone's guess what he'd do next.This article was originally published on May 3.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 8th, 2022

The 47 best things we bought on Amazon under $25, from a mini waffle maker to a TikTok-famous ring light

We compiled a list of our favorite budget gifts and things to buy on Amazon under $25, including handy kitchen tools, beauty products, and more. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.We compiled a list of our favorite budget gifts and things to buy on Amazon under $25, including handy kitchen tools, beauty products, and more.Amazon;Jacqueline Saguin/InsiderAmazon has not only become a one-stop shop for its variety of products, but it's also where many shoppers go for affordable household items and gifts. The retailer has a huge selection of household names, low prices, and plenty of things that qualify for Prime's handy two-day (or two-hour) shipping.But such a huge selection can make it time-consuming to root out what's really worth spending your money on. The best loophole is to seek out recommendations from people you trust. Our colleagues at Insider Reviews research and test thousands of products to recommend to you. We asked them for the best things they've bought on Amazon for under $25, from incredibly useful kitchen gadgets and tech devices to creative gifts that don't break the bank.Below are the 47 best things we bought on Amazon that cost us less than $25:A set of silk pillowcasesAmazonBedsure Standard Satin Pillowcases (Set of 2), $9.99Silk pillowcases are game-changing products for your beauty sleep. They offer premium care as silk pillowcases leave skin hydrated and hair undamaged. Better yet, silk pillowcases feature a soft texture and elevate any bedroom decor toward an elegant taste. —Taylor JeffriesA mini waffle-maker that gets the job done and takes up minimal countertop spaceAmazonDash Mini Waffle Maker, $13.59This teeny-tiny waffle maker is a small but mighty gift. For those rare instances when I'm craving a waffle or two, this very small appliance easily gets the job done and stays out of the way when it's stored. It's very easy to use and clean; just plug in and wait for the light, add your batter and close the iron. To clean, wait for the iron to cool down, then wipe with a damp cloth and you're done. — Melanie Winer A stylish and comfortable knit beanieAmazon/Business InsiderCarhartt Acrylic Watch Hat, $19.99I've noticed Carhartt beanies have become increasingly popular and I finally jumped on the bandwagon. This beanie is cute, comfortable, and super warm. I got it in black so it would go with almost anything and I've been wearing it nonstop since I got it. —Victoria GracieA cult-famous natural clay maskJacqueline Saguin/InsiderAztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, $14.95This mask, as seen on Insider, transformed my skin and is probably my most recommended product to gift this season. The best part? It's $15! — Chelsey HoffmanHangers that actually keep your clothes hung upJacqueline Saguin/InsiderAmazon Basics Velvet Non-Slip Suit Hangers (30 pack), $20.99Clothes falling off hangers are a thing of the past once you gift these grippy velvet hangers to upgrade their closet. — Ellen Hoffman A pair of $15 earbuds that sound like they'd cost way moreAmazonPanasonic ErgoFit Earbuds, $14.97These Panasonic earbuds were easily the best $8.25 [price at the time] I ever spent on Amazon. The sound quality is fantastic and they're incredibly comfortable. I'm not someone who would ever spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of over-the-ear headphones, so these are exactly a budget-friendly gift. — Andrew MeolaA plastic bath drain coverAmazonSlipX Solutions Bottomless Bath Overflow Drain Cover, $7.99Ok, I know everyone and their mother raves about this, but it's the only thing allowing me to take baths in my current apartment. Our clawfoot tub is from the early 20th century and if I don't cover the overflow drain, my bathtub only accommodates enough water to barely reach the top of my thighs before it starts draining — not a very pleasant or relaxing bath. This little plastic overflow drain cover lets me soak deeply and comfortably in my tub. —Lauren SavoiePimple patches that suck the gunk right out of your poresLeft: Mighty Patch Original. Right: Invisible+ Mighty Patch.Mara Leighton/InsiderHero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Original (36-count), $12.99If you look at my Amazon history, these pimple patches are the only thing I consistently order. They're super effective at drawing out fluids from pimples and helping them deflate, and as small, virtually clear stickers, they're hardly noticeable by other people. Within a few hours, you can expect them to noticeably improve the look and swelling of your pimple — they're that reliable. — Connie ChenA two-in-one workout bra tankJacqueline Saguin/InsiderLemedy Padded Sports Bra Tank Top, $18,99I've found some of my favorite workout pieces from Amazon. This two-in-one sports bra tank has a smoothing material that rivals luxury activewear fabrics that you may gift this season. Its cropped cut meets high-waisted leggings for a flattering fit. Plus, it comes in 19 fun colors. —Jacqueline SaguinA rapid egg cooking machine that's completely foolproofAmazonDash Rapid Egg Cooker, $19.95After I read Jen Gushue's review of this under-$20 rapid egg cooking gadget, I was fully influenced to buy it. It makes hard-boiled eggs in half the time of traditional methods with absolutely no guesswork, saving me a good chunk of time during the week and ensuring I actually eat breakfast on busy mornings. — Ellen HoffmanSpiral hair ties that won't breakKitschKitsch Spiral Hair Ties, $7.19After using elastic hair ties for so long, I got tired of pulling out my hair, getting headaches, and snapping scrunchies. I had seen spiral hair ties before but assumed they wouldn't hold well. However, these ones from Kitsch really do the trick. They keep their shape, are comfortable, and avoid long-lasting ponytail bumps. I wear these with high ponytails, low ponytails, and even braids. —Katie Decker-JacobyA convenient Bluetooth charging port for your carAmazonAnker Roav Bluetooth FM Transmitter, $16.99My car is from 2005, long before Bluetooth connectivity in cars was standard. This little transmitter instantly brought my car up to present-day standards, letting me stream music and directions from my phone via an open radio channel. It plugs into the cigarette lighter and even has two USB ports so my husband and I can both charge our phones on long rides. It cost less than $15 and gifting this device will make your driving experience infinitely more enjoyable. —Lauren SavoieA milk frother for homemade treatsAmazonPowerLix MilkPro Milk Frother, $15.95This gift is the BOMB. So easy to use and clean, and to spice up my weekend coffees/matcha drinks at home, allowing me to live my best bougie life. — Kirstie JiongcoA little 'Tub Shroom' that catches your hair before it clogs the drainAmazonTubShroom Revolutionary Tub Drain Protector, $12.99Between her curly red hair and my long brown hair, my roommate and I shed a lot. Our tub doesn't have a drain catch and after a particularly effortful session with a plastic drain cleaner, I decided it was finally time to try this viral hair catcher out. This small silicone tool fits into most standard tub drains and collects all the hair before it washes down and clogs your drain. Take it out, remove the hair with a piece of toilet paper, and it's ready for the next shower."  — Connie Chen A ring light that pulls out all the stopsJacqueline Saguin/InsiderAIXPI 10-inch LED Ring Light, $17.99I took a cue from our Insider Reviews team by gifting myself its pick for the best budget ring light. It has made my job on the style and beauty reviews team much easier, drastically cutting down on my photo-taking time. When I test makeup and clothing, I can set this up anywhere and adjust it to the angle I need in order to do my products justice. I love changing between its three different light settings: white, warm yellow, and warm white, to find the perfect glow. —Jacqueline SaguinA set of durable hair clipsAmazonTOCESS Big Hair Claw Clips, $11.99I have really long hair and most clips can't hold it all back when I'm washing my face. These oversized clips are so great that I gifted the other three in this set to friends with crazy curly hair. All four of the matte colors are very lowkey and match everything. I've dropped mine at least two dozen times, and it has yet to break. —Rachael SchultzDelicious coffee groundsSally Kaplan/InsiderCafe Du Monde Coffee Chicory, $8.12I usually abide by a time-consuming pour-over routine that involves grinding my own beans every morning, but when I'm short on time (and honestly, even when I'm not), I've come to rely heavily on this Cafe Du Monde chicory coffee. Most pre-ground coffee is flavorless and brews a weak cup, but this stuff is strong, rich, and delicious. Ten out of ten, highly recommend gifting this to a coffee lover! —Sally KaplanA ring that holds your nail polishAmazonTweexy Wearable Nail Polish Holder Ring, $9.99For the manicure-obsessed friend, this nail care gift is something they'll absolutely need. The wearable nail polish holder allows you to flawlessly polish your nails without bothersome spills. —Taylor JeffriesA cheesy powder that takes popcorn to the next levelSally Kaplan/InsiderHoosier Hill Farm Cheddar Cheese Powder,$14.99I generally eat pretty healthy, but I think I'm in love with this tub of powdered cheese. It's so good on popcorn, in mac and cheese, and sprinkled on any other sort of cracker, chip, etc. It's a supremely cheesy and salty and delicious treat to gift! This is honestly one of the best Amazon purchases I've made in years. —Sally KaplanA hairbrush that won't break after a few monthsWetWet Brush Rubberized Wet Detangle Shower Brush, $6.50My thick hair has a long history of eating brushes, but the Wet Brush finally put a stop to that! It painlessly smooths out tangles and the bristles are tough enough that I only have to buy a new one every year or so. Before, my brushes only ever made it a few months. — Ashley PhillipsA sweet-smelling scrub for sensitive skinJacqueline Saguin/InsiderBrooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Body Scrub, $13.99Face and body scrubs make me nervous because of my sensitive skin, but this brown sugar exfoliator combines natural ingredients like sweet almond oil that are nourishing and gentler than other formulas. I typically use it on my body before I shave or before I apply self-tanner. It's comforting knowing that whenever I run out I can get it in just a couple of days. —Jacqueline SaguinIngredients for a favorite recipeAmazonNatierra Nature's Organic Freeze-Dried Strawberries, $10.93I buy a lot of recipe ingredients, spices, and hot sauces on Amazon that I'm less likely to find in stores near me, like these freeze-dried strawberries. They are the star ingredient in my Berry Crinkle Cookies recipe; I use one whole package per batch. — Ellen Hoffman No-slip gel gripped socksAmazonPeds Microfiber Liner Socks, $10.09These PEDS socks are the only ones I use, and I wear sneakers almost every day. The no-slip gel grips on the heel keep them from falling off and bunching up. — Sally KaplanAn iPad case that is multi-functionalAmazonESR Rebound Pencil Case, $17.99I needed a simple case for my new iPad Air 4 but was shocked by how much Apple charges for one of its cases. This option from ESR is a fraction of Apple's Smart Cover, and while it doesn't have as nice of a build as the Smart Cover, the ESR case is well-made nonetheless. It has a magnetic closure to wake the iPad's screen or put it to sleep, the cover folds into a stand, and there's a convenient slot for an Apple Pencil. My only complaint is that the case makes it hard to use the Touch ID sensor, but I'm quite satisfied given the price and overall usability. —Les ShuA handy dough scraperAmazonLasenersm Two-Piece Dough Scraper, $5.99If they bake a lot, do them a favor and gift a pack of these plastic bench scrapers. They're great for scraping dough out of bowls or off the counter — I can't tell you how handy they are! —Sally KaplanFuzzy slippers to complete your work-from-home lookJacqueline Saguin/InsiderEhoomely Womens Fuzzy Slippers, $6.64I've been hearing about these Amazon slippers for months — from TikTok, Instagram, and podcasts I listen to — so I had to give them a try. These slippers are comfy, just warm enough, and a perfect gift for working from home. The quality is also great for being under $20. An added bonus is that they come in almost any color you can imagine! —Victoria GracieA PopSocket to make gripping a large iPhone less strenuous on your fingersJacqueline Saguin/InsiderPopSockets PopGrip, from $9.49When I got my iPhone X, I also picked up a PopSocket grip to make it easier to hold my phone without straining my fingers. I love it as a gift because it's practical, keeps one's phone secure, and lets me express my crazy cat lady side. — Malarie GokeyA liquid cleanser that works as a gentle hand soap for sensitive skinAmazonFree & Clear Liquid Cleanser, $7.99I bought this as an alternative to my household's Bath & Body Works hand soap stock. Its fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and dermatologist-tested formula please my sensitive skin. This straightforward cleanser gift never causes redness or irritation for frequent hand washers like me. I pour the liquid into a decorative holder so it matches my bathroom. — Jacqueline SaguinA bright collar for nighttime dog walkersAmazonMASBRILL Light Up Dog Collar, $16.99During evening adventures with my pups, this LED collar from Masbrill makes it simple to keep track of my pets. Whether out camping or just trying to spot my dog out of dozens at the park, this light-up collar is highly visible in the dark, making my job a lot easier. —Sarah SarilA satisfying foot peel maskAmazonCÉLOR Foot Peel Mask, $9.97Ok, I know these things are all over the internet, but this winter is the perfect time to gift one of these viral foot peels. It took about five days for my feet to start peeling after using it, but it was so satisfying in a really gross, but fascinating sort of way. The end result was that my feet looked and felt softer, but I have to say that the process was all part of the fun. —Lauren SavoieA deck of tarot cardsLauren Savoie/InsiderDa Brigh Original Tarot Cards Deck, $19.95I'm not into the occult, but this deck of tarot cards has bought me endless hours of fun with my friends and insights for journaling. On days I don't feel inspired to write in my journal, I pull a card and reflect on whatever feelings it brings up. —Lauren SavoieA quick-drying styling brushJacqueline Saguin/InsiderWet Volume & Body Round Brush, $14.64Some may think a blow dryer does all the work, but a round brush makes all the difference. Replacing the $5 styling brush I've owned far past its use, the Wet Round Brush completely revived my hair routine. It grips onto large hair sections and helps dry my entire head in 10 minutes, making it a great haircare product to gift. Knowing it's on Amazon, I'll definitely be gifting myself this brush more frequently. —Jacqueline SaguinThis handy water bottle that takes the guesswork out of hydrationAmazonCactaki 32 oz Water Bottle with Time Marker, $19.95This water bottle comes with me everywhere I go. The secure lid ensures no spillage in my bag and the removable strap adds versatility in transportation. The printed tracking is the main selling point as a quick glance can let me know how I am doing with my daily water intake and if needed motivate me to ensure I am drinking at least 64oz of water per day. In a sense, this water bottle has gamified drinking water and that's fun for a gift! — Frank MassaroEspresso capsules that satisfy your coffee fixAmazonilly Coffee iperEspresso Capsule (Classico), $18.49The majority of my Amazon order history is made up of these illy espresso capsules, and the orders have even been way more frequent since I started working from home. You'll need one of the illy pod machines to use them (I have the X7) but the investment is 110% worth it in my opinion.I can whip up an Italian espresso in under a minute, and it tastes so much better than the coffee from the Nespresso and Keurig machines I previously owned. Being able to buy the pods off of Amazon means my caffeine supply is always well-stocked, and if I ever do run out, I know I can get more in just two days max. —Ashley PhillipsA wash and stain bar that will keep your shirt collars looking nicer for longerAmazonThe Laundress Wash & Stain Bar, $6.18No $6 has had a more positive impact on my effort to preserve my clothing than the $6 I spent on this bar by The Laundress. I learned about this product from editor-in-chief Ellen Hoffman and I can honestly say it's the best thing I've done for my dress shirts. One bar has lasted me well over a year, and I just need to wet my shirt collar and rub the bar back and forth a few times before washing. It gets rid of all of the grime and oil from my collars. I was able to rehab shirts that were ready to go to charity or become rags. — Breton FischettiAn inexpensive, well-designed measuring cupAmazonOXO Good Grips 3-Piece Angled Measuring Cup Set, $23.95OXO is my go-to kitchen brand for cheap, well-designed tools. This measuring cup set has an angled surface that allows you to see measurement markings from above as you're pouring, so you can better measure ingredients without bending or lifting the cup to eye level. I also highly recommend gifting OXO's silicone baking mat for creating a non-stick surface that makes for easier cleanups and this cookie scoop for scooping out balls of dough that are all the same size. — Ellen Hoffman Comfortable, public-friendly sweatpantsAmazonSweatyRocks Women's Drawstring Striped Joggers, $12.99As work from home continues, I've been looking for more sweatpants that I can comfortably work in that are also appropriate for walks and socially distant plans. These sweats are affordable to gift, have sustained washes and all-day wear, and the rainbow stripe down the side adds a bit of fun. — Emily HeinA low-profile whiteboard for your fridgeAmazonOfficeline Dry Erase Board, $14.99I was looking for a solid whiteboard to use for shopping lists, chores, and meal planning in my kitchen. The Officeline Dry Erase Board keeps it simple: it's thin, securely attaches, and wipes clean as promised. It comes with a set of markers and a small eraser too, so your giftee won't need any extra items to get started. —Sarah SarilA three-photo picture frameAmazonThree-Photo Collage Frame, $15.95I bought a set of three 4x6 "realistic bird" prints and they fit into this three-photo frame perfectly. It's the finest art I own. — Julia PugachevskyEarring organization that protects them from dust and looks cuteAmazonAutoark Ice Velvet Earring Organizer, $18.99I wear a lot of studs, and it's hard to find cute display storage for my earrings. Not only is the Autoark Ice Velvet Earring Organizer good at storing my jewelry, but it's also nice to keep on display. It's low profile too, so it sits pleasantly on any vanity or dresser. —Sarah SarilA cute tea infuserAmazonGenuine Fred Duck Drink Tea Infuser, $13.60Tea time becomes a whimsical affair with this charming tea infuser. The duck-shaped infuser is a perfect gift for the tea lover looking for an additional delight. —Taylor JeffriesAffordable jewelry that lets you save up for an investment pieceAmazonBBTO Layered Choker Necklace (9-piece set), $11.59I love chokers and layering different necklaces together, but I have a short attention span when it comes to jewelry. I tend to lean more towards affordable jewelry that I can experiment with on different looks before committing to staple pieces that I know I'll wear forever. This choker set was a great addition to my summer looks, and now I have more of an idea of what I'm looking for when I eventually take the plunge on long-wear jewelry. — Emily HeinA hair mask that restores moisture to your scalpAmazonShiseido Tsubaki Premium Repair Hair Mask, $15.68I was looking for hair masks because my hair tends to get really dry in the wintertime. I bought this hair mask after doing some research on Asian hair products, and I'm so glad I did. My hair feels soft and moisturized after I use it, even if I just use it as a normal conditioner. It works even better as a leave-in deep conditioner, and I highly recommend gifting it to anyone who wants to add moisture to their hair. Bonus: It also smells amazing. —Allison JiangA decorative antique tray that shows off and stores your beauty productsAmazonZosenley Polyresin Ellipse Antique Decorative Mirror Tray, $13.99This tray is an aesthetically pleasing stage that doubles as decor and a proud home for my cosmetics. I use it in my bathroom, storing the skincare products and perfume I reach for every day. I've seen people using it on TikTok as a jewelry vanity to display their favorite pieces. —Jacqueline SaguinA punny dog toyAmazonBark Bros Hot Sauce Bottle Dog Toy, $14.99My friends recently adopted a dog named Pepper, so a hot sauce-themed toy seemed like a mandatory gift. I liked the Cholulua pun (other strong contenders were "Tabarkso" and "Bark BQ Sauce") and the toy even comes with a little squeaker inside. Apparently, it's become a favorite of Pepper's! — Julia PugachevskyA practical but chic wine holderAmazonUrban Deco Honeycomb Wine Rack, $25.99I wanted a non-bulky wine rack to sit on my kitchen counter, and I love the simple style of this one. This honeycomb design holds seven bottles officially, but nine if you add two on top — and if you need more storage, you can buy two and stack them. —Rachael SchultzAn elegant scented candleAmazonVoluspa Nissho Soleil Candle, $24I love Voluspa candles, from their balanced scents themselves to the packaging. I sent one of these to a friend for her birthday recently and it conveniently arrived a few days earlier (I didn't know she was going out of town to celebrate, so it was nice that she was still able to get it in time). — Julia PugachevskyRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 5th, 2022

A European hospitality startup using tiny homes as boutique remote hotel rooms is seeing huge success — see inside its cabins

Raus hasn't been in operation for a full year but the startup is already seeing near full occupancy, its cofounder told Insider. Noel Richter German hospitality startup Raus is putting tiny home cabins in remote destinations near Berlin. Raus has a roughly 2,600-person waitlist and plans to open in 50 locations by the end of 2022. Its most recent cabin was fully booked within 48 hours. Why stay in a five-star hotel surrounded by other guests when you can vacation in a tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere?Noel RichterIf you've been asking yourself this since the start of the summer travel boom, you're not alone.Noel RichterIn October 2021, German hospitality startup Raus began placing cabin rentals in remote locations near Belin, giving city dwellers a nearby reprieve.Noel RichterRaus hasn't been in operation for a full year yet, but the company is already seeing wild demand and thousands of people on its waitlist, Julian Trautwein, Raus' co-founder, told Insider.Noel RichterOperating tiny homes in off-grid locations isn't a new hospitality concept.Noel RichterIn the US, companies like Getaway House and Moliving are doing just that, appealing to travelers who are tired of standard hotels and craving a break from cities.A Moliving unit.David MitchellAnd like other startups thriving in the tiny cabin-turned-boutique hotel space, Raus is seeing plenty of success in Germany.Noel RichterThe rise in local but isolated unique stays is the result of three emerging travel trends: the desire for off-grid, sustainable, and nearby vacations, according to Trautwein.Noel RichterDuring COVID-19, more travelers began seeking remote vacations to recharge and unplug from crowded cities.Noel RichterAt the same time, eco-friendly vacations have steadily risen in popularity amid our ongoing climate crisis.Noel RichterSource: Travel PulseAnd let's not forget about everyone's favorite topic: money.Noel RichterInflation and the rising costs of both air travel and gas have recently pushed more travelers to consider nearby destinations.Noel RichterSo it should be no surprise Raus' 10 locations have seen smashing success and nearly nonstop business.Noel RichterThe first cabin was designed in-house and set up in October 2021.Noel RichterShortly after, Raus was "overrun" with public interest, Trautwein said.Noel RichterAll of its units have hit over 95% occupancy levels since the rollout of Raus' first cabin.Noel RichterWhen the company opened bookings through October for one of its newest builds, travelers booked the cabin out in 48 hours.Noel RichterAnd Raus now has an almost 2,600-person waitlist, Trautwein said. Insider verified the waitlist.Noel RichterTo generate all of this hype, the brand relies on two cabin models.Noel RichterThe first accommodates up to two people, while the second — designed with an architecture firm — can fit up to four guests.Noel RichterNo matter the model, all of Raus' tiny homes are based on wheels …Noel Richter… which decreases the units' impact on the environment and allows the cabins to be moved according to the company's needs.Noel RichterRaus knows many of its guests are looking to unplug from big cities, which is why its locations are denoted by the level of remoteness and "on-grid" versus "off-grid" on its website.Noel RichterSource: Raus "We wanted to create spaces for people to take time off to and take care of themselves," Trautwein said.Noel RichterThe cabins, which are each sustainability built in six weeks, were designed to have a boutique hotel room feel to make a stay "feel like an experience," he said.Noel RichterThe cabins start at €160 (about $167) per night with a minimum two-night stay.Noel RichterInside, there are amenities like a queen bed …Noel Richter… expansive windows for views of nature …Noel Richter… a kitchen with two stove tops, a refrigerator, and kitchen tools …Noel Richter… and bathroom with a shower and composting toilet.Noel RichterIf you plan on working remotely during the duration of your stay, the cabin also has a small desk space.Noel RichterFor summertime vacations, there's a terrace for an afternoon bask under the sun.Noel RichterBut when it's winter, vacationers can use the fireplace instead.Noel RichterTo support all of these amenities off-grid, the cabin relies on solar panels and fresh water tanks.Noel RichterLike New York-based Moliving, Raus' partners with local landowners to open new locations.Noel RichterSource: InsiderIn one cabin, you might wake up to views of roaming animals.Noel RichterSource: RausIn another, you'll have an expansive view of giant lush trees.Noel RichterThere's obviously a big emphasis on off-grid vacationing, but this doesn't mean the units are difficult to access.Noel RichterMost of Raus' cabins are under two hours from Berlin, making them the perfect vacation destination for city dwellers craving an escape.Noel RichterLooking ahead, the company already has plans to expand, which was inevitable for a young but thriving hospitality startup that now has minimal availability and a deep waitlist.Noel Richter"So many people are looking for this new type of travel that is a bit closer to home, mindful, and very sustainable," Trautwein said. "We [thought we] should try to expand it, and that's what we've been doing."Noel RichterRaus wants to operate in 50 locations by the end of 2022, a massive growth from the 10 units it is currently operating.Noel RichterBeyond that, it's also considering expanding into nearby countries following an abundance of international interest …Noel Richter… and is considering the possibility of rolling out more "unique stays" besides cabins.Noel Richter"We're building a platform that is not only about accommodations, but also about products and services that provide you with a more immersive experience in nature," Trautwein said.Noel RichterRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 3rd, 2022

I flew on Breeze"s Embraer 190 aircraft from Charleston to Hartford and the product proved that low-cost does not mean sacrificing comfort

Breeze's Embraer aircraft feature things like inflight entertainment and reclining seats, easily outshining competitors like Spirit and Frontier. Taylor Rains/Insider, Thomas Pallini/Insider Low-cost carrier Breeze Airways flew its first flight in May 2021 using an Embraer 195 aircraft. The airline has updated the interiors of its fleet since that inaugural flight with new seats and amenities. I flew on one of Breeze's Embraer 190 jets from Charleston to Hartford and see how low-cost does not have to mean poor comfort. Breeze Airways is one of the US's newest low-cost carriers.Breeze Airways A220.Breeze AirwaysThe airline was founded by airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue Airways; Brazil-based Azul; Canadian budget carrier WestJet; and Morris, which merged with Southwest Airlines.JetBlue A321neo.Business WireNeeleman's vision for Breeze is to offer low fares and connect medium-sized markets that do not currently have nonstop service.Breeze counter in Hartford on its first day of operations.Taylor Rains/Insider"We can get you there twice as fast for half the price," the CEO likes to say.The inaugural flight of David Neeleman's Breeze Airways.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe carrier launched its maiden flight on May 27, 2021, ferrying passengers from Tampa to Charleston using an all-economy Embraer 195 aircraft. The company also flies Embraer 190s.Breeze CEO David Neeleman with an Embraer jet during the inaugural flight in May 2021.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew on JetBlue founder's David Neeleman's new airline and saw how it's nothing like his old one — but it isn't supposed to beInsider was on the inaugural flight and experienced the fleet's original product, which featured large plush seats but not much else.The inaugural flight of David Neeleman's Breeze Airways.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI flew on Breeze, the 'tech company that happens to fly airplanes' from JetBlue founder David Neeleman, and found it surprisingly low-techSince then, the carrier has improved its fleet by retrofitting its Embraer jets with new interiors and even adding a new plane type — the Airbus A220, which it flies on transcontinental routes.Breeze's A220 after flying from Richmond to San Francisco.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter being on the company's first-ever flight and being slightly underwhelmed at the product, I was eager to see if the new cabin was any better. So, I booked a ticket from Charleston to Hartford to see the changes — here's what it was like.Taylor Rains/InsiderMy flight to Connecticut started at 7:30 a.m. at Charleston International Airport. Because I was flying home from Las Vegas via Charleston, I did not have to visit the ticket counter or clear security.University of College/ShutterstockAfter deplaning my inbound flight, which was on the carrier's swanky new Airbus A220, I had about three hours to kill and decided to spend it at the Priority Pass lounge. I enjoyed several cups of coffee and a free breakfast before making my way to the gate.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew on Breeze's brand new Airbus A220 from Richmond to San Francisco in first class and it completely exceeded my expectationsAt the gate, I learned the flight was delayed about an hour, which was starting to become a theme with Breeze. My previous flight was also delayed but by about 10 hours.Breeze gate in Las Vegas where I was delayed.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew on Breeze's new A220 jet from Las Vegas to Charleston in economy and it was nothing like flying on a typical low-cost carrierDespite the frustration, I knew that summer travel is going to be hectic for all airlines this year, but I hope Breeze does more to keep its flights running on schedule. My delays were due to maintenance and staffing, which are in the carrier's control.The inbound flight to Las Vegas was delayed due to staffing, then had another delay in Vegas due to maintenance.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter the one-hour delay, we started boarding zone by zone. I was in Zone 1, so I was one of the first people on the plane.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe first thing I noticed when I boarded was the 2x2 configuration, meaning no one would be stuck in the dreaded middle seat.Taylor Rains/InsiderI made my way to seat 9F, which was a window seat in the "Nicer" section. Nicer seats are Breeze's extra-legroom offering, boasting 32+ inches of pitch.Taylor Rains/InsiderI could easily fit in the seat with plenty of room to spare. I'm only 5'3" and on the smaller side, so I fit in most airline seats, but even taller and larger passengers should still be comfortable.Taylor Rains/InsiderBreeze also offers "Nice" seats that are standard economy rows with 30 inches of pitch. This is more than competing airlines like Spirit and Frontier, which only offer 28-29 inches.Breeze "Nice" seats.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew in the regular economy seat on the way to Charleston and found it perfectly roomy as well, but suggest taller passengers upgrade to an extra-legroom seat if possible.Taylor Rains/InsiderBreeze's A220 planes also offer first class, which is a large lounger that has a leg rest and deep recline, but the seat isn't available on its Embraer aircraft.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile I did have a Nicer seat, I only purchased a Nice fare, which includes a personal item, but no free snack, assigned seat, or carry-on.Breeze fares.Breeze AirwaysHowever, Breeze allows customers to pay extra for amenities they want, so I upgraded the seat. The fee to book an assigned seat on the Embraer jet ranges from $10-$30 depending on the route and sectionTaylor Rains/InsiderEmbraer's seat sections were completely different from the original product. Not only were they slimmer, but also they were color-coded — red for Nicer and yellow for Nice.Taylor Rains/InsiderI missed the old plush seats from the inaugural, but was very impressed with the improved amenities, like a large tray table…Taylor Rains/Insider…good recline…Taylor Rains/Insider…big seatback pockets…Taylor Rains/Insider…and a place to prop a smartphone or tablet on the seatback. This is perfect for streaming entertainment, and I appreciate being able to look forward at a screen rather than down at a laptop.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile customers can come prepared with their own pre-downloaded content, Breeze's Embraer jets have a free onboard portal available for travelers to stream TV shows, like "Bob's Burgers" or "Modern Family."Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter takeoff, the flight attendants started the inflight service. Having a Nice fare meant I did not get any complimentary snacks or drinks, but I brought my own water for the 90-minute flight.Taylor Rains/InsiderNicer fares do come with a complimentary snack and drink. There are also options available to buy onboard, like Pringles and alcohol.Taylor Rains/InsiderHalfway through the flight, I made my way to the lavatory, which was a good size for the plane. It actually felt bigger than the one on United's Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe bathroom was clean and had a changing table for families.Taylor Rains/InsiderI spent the rest of the journey enjoying the inflight entertainment before landing in Hartford around 1 p.m., which was about 45 minutes later than scheduled.Taylor Rains/InsiderDespite the delay, I really enjoyed Breeze's Embraer product. The recline and inflight entertainment alone make the cabin easily outshine competitors'.Breeze's inflight portal.Taylor Rains/InsiderNeither Spirit nor Allegiant offer reclining seats, much less free streaming. Customers will only get a small tray table and seatback pocket. Frontier has a few rows of reclining seats for an extra fee.Spirit Airlines economy seat.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBreeze, however, did not have WiFi available onboard, which is something Spirit has added to its planes, to its credit. Granted, it took years to finally install.Spirit's plans include browsing for $3.99 and streaming for $6.99.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile Breeze's Embraers will likely never get WiFi installed, the A220s should be equipped in the future, which is perfect for business travelers on the go.Breeze Airways' inaugural A220 taking off from Richmond.Breeze AirwaysRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 2nd, 2022

Boxer Mike Tyson"s cannabis company gets venture financing

Private cannabis company Tyson 2.0 said Thursday it closed an oversubscribed, $9 million round of Series A financing led by JW Asset Management, with investments from K2, Ambria Capital, Tress Capital, and Patrick Carroll. The investment round for the cannabis company named after widely known boxing champ Mike Tyson comes after its launch last year. Tyson 2.0 now sells cannabis in 20 U.S. states and Canada and is led by co-founder, president, CEO and chairman Chad Bronstein. Tyson 2.0 plans to use its fresh capital to buy celebrity intellectual property, grow its brand lineup and increase its marketing and distribution efforts. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchJul 1st, 2022

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

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

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 30th, 2022

Bill Gates and George Soros among billionaires denouncing Roe v. Wade decision

Some of the world's best-known business identities have condemned the ruling, while Warren Buffett could donate tens of billions for abortion rights. Bill Gates voiced opposition to the Roe v. Wade decision, while Warren Buffett is reportedly planning a big investment in abortion rights.Spencer Platt/Getty Images The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, stripping back abortion rights nationally. Billionaires including Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, and George Soros tweeted their opposition.  Warren Buffett could huge sums to a foundation funding abortion rights: The Wall Street Journal. Some of America's most prominent billionaires have denounced the overturning of Roe v. Wade, as Warren Buffett reportedly sets in motion plans for big donations to reproductive rights.Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, and George Soros all tweeted their opposition to the Supreme Court decision to roll back abortion rights nationally, overturning a near-50-year precedent. Abortion was automatically banned in 13 states that have trigger laws, while others are expected to follow.Bill Gates tweeted: "This is a sad day. Reversing Roe v. Wade is an unjust and unacceptable setback. And it puts women's lives at risk, especially the most disadvantaged."—Bill Gates (@BillGates) June 24, 2022Gates' ex-wife French Gates, who shares the Gates foundation with the Microsoft co-founder, tweeted: "Today, a government in which women have never had an equal voice reached deep into the most private corners of a woman's life to tell her the choice over what she does with her body is no longer her own. This is America taking a big step backward."She added: "But one court decision was never going to be enough to protect women's equality. And it will not be enough to dismantle it either. Right now, there are people all over the U.S. who are recommitting to the work ahead."—Melinda French Gates (@melindagates) June 24, 2022George Soros, who according to the Bloomberg Billionaires' Index is worth $8.5 billion said: "The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn #RoeVWade ends federal protections for abortion, diminishes human rights, and greatly threatens reproductive care. We have invested in reproductive rights organizations that are fighting back at this moment." —George Soros (@georgesoros) June 24, 2022Other billionaires have joined Soros - who has significantly more wealth tied up in his Open Society foundations - in investing heavily in access to abortion prior to the Supreme Court's decision.Jeff Bezos' ex-wife MacKenzie Scott has been another proponent of reproductive rights, and donated a record $275 million to Planned Parenthood last year. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has planned to invest $1 billion in family planning by 2030.But a reported windfall from Warren Buffett - worth $97 billion - could pump tens of billions of dollars into the ongoing battle. In 2006, Buffett pledged to donate 85% of his shares in Berkshire Hathaway to charity. Most of that has gone to the Gates Foundation. But according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation – named after Buffett's late wife – is preparing for a huge windfall.According to tax filings, the bulk of the Buffett Foundation's funds have gone to abortion and reproductive rights. The Wall Street Journal reported that Buffett could donate in excess of $70 billion to his late wife's foundation, according to filings the paper reviewed.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 25th, 2022

Doodles NFTs hit $500 million in sales and could still weather recession, says CEO who"s tapped Pharrell Williams and Reddit"s Alexis Ohanian to build a Web3 media giant

"We've communicated from the very beginning...that our purpose is to elicit joy," the Doodles CEO told Insider in an exclusive interview at NFT.NYC. Doodles CEO, Julian Holguin in NYC at a Doodles event in June, 2022.Phil Rosen/Insider In an exclusive interview with Insider, the CEO of Doodles broke down why its NFTs could hold value through a recession.  Doodles has cleared over $500,000 in sales volume, hired Pharrell Williams as an exec, and received funding from a VC firm led by Reddit's co-founder.  "We've communicated from the very beginning...that our purpose is to elicit joy," the CEO said.  Since launching last October, Doodles has erupted in popularity to become one of the top non-fungible token collections on the market. Doodles features 10,000 pastel-colored, squiggly drawings living on the ethereum blockchain, with the cheapest one trading at just under $17,000, or about 15 ETH. Newly appointed chief executive Julian Holguin — who just left his post as the president of Billboard — has plans to push the NFTs beyond the $500 million in trading volume they've already seen. "We want to create joyful experiences for people no matter what product we create, whether it's a video game, a profile picture for Instagram, the music you listen to, [or] real-life attractions," Holguin told Insider during an interview at the NFT.NYC conference Wednesday.A screenshot of Doodles NFTs from OpenSea in June 2022.OpenSeaBut it isn't just cute JPEGs Holguin aspires for — his vision is to transform the company into a Web3 multimedia and entertainment brand that features film, music, and animation. The company named musician Pharrell Williams as the chief brand officer this week. "I'm a big fan of the brand," Williams said in a video message at NFT.NYC. "We're going to build from the core community outward and bring Doodles to new heights."On the same day, Doodles announced it had also raised its first funding round led by the venture capital firm Seven Seven Six, a firm helmed by the co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian.Doodles' in-person event during NFT.NYC saw enthusiasts and token holders wait in line for up to three hours to gain access to a colorful, real-life Doodles environment. In the 24 hours leading up to Thursday, which coincided with the event in New York, Doodles' online sales volume surged over 1,000% to surpass $3.2 million, according to Cryptoslam data.NFTs for an economic downturnDespite the breakthrough year NFTs had in 2021, weekly sales have declined by more than 80% from a January peak of almost $1 billion, data from nonfungible.com shows. And the size of the total cryptocurrency market has fallen below $1 trillion dollars this month, after having topped $3 trillion last year.Bitcoin, the most widely traded cryptocurrency, is hovering around $20,000 currently, after hitting a record $69,000 in November. A slowing economy, coupled with rising interest rates and red-hot inflation has turned investors away from riskier assets.Still, Holguin said the upcoming Doodles 2 collection will cost less, which will lower the barrier to entry. —doodles (@doodles) June 22, 2022 "The economy presents a macro challenge right now for everyone," Holguin said. "But we're really diversifying our business so we're not completely tethered to the price of crypto. Plus Doodles 2 is going to be the most easily accessible project from a price perspective."In the event of a recession, Holguin said, the last thing people will get rid of will be something like a Netflix or Spotify account — and those kinds of platforms are exactly what Doodles aims to develop on the blockchain.The line outside the Doodles event in NYC, June 22, 2022.Phil Rosen/Insider"If people are at home, and don't have the means to go out and do the things they'd do if they have more disposable income, they're going to be home engaging with online content," he said. "So they'll be right there engaging with our products because we're creating easier points of entry."He said the current rout in the digital asset market was a sign of a "big maturation process" and echoed the belief of both the founder of NFT.NYC as well as the US CEO of The Sandbox: Stronger projects with supportive communities are going to be the ones that emerge stronger than before. "Yeah, the economy is going through a down period right now, but this isn't going to last forever," Holguin said. "Doodles is here to let everyone channel their inner child, and understand that everything's possible with the power of your imagination. We're as bullish as ever."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 23rd, 2022

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

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

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 22nd, 2022

Inside the "chaos" at New York City"s Eleven Madison Park

Once called the world's best restaurant, Eleven Madison Park relaunched as meat-free in June 2021. Insiders say it's been "chaos" ever since. Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories. Happy Father's Day to those who celebrate. On the agenda today:Eleven Madison Park had long been a hot spot for the rich and powerful. Now, insiders say it's a "shit show."Silicon Slopes stood by as this Utah tech CEO partied nonstop and pushed antisemitic conspiracy theories.Don't move yet — soon there will be brand-new cities built around working from home.Index-rebalance traders have been demolished this month.But first: Today is also Juneteenth, a federal holiday that commemorates the freedom of enslaved African Americans in the US. We'll begin by sharing some important reads.Subscribe to Insider for access to all our investigations and features. New to the newsletter? Sign up here.  Download our app for news on the go – click here for iOS and here for Android.Honoring JuneteenthPeople carry a Juneteenth flag as they march during a Juneteenth reenactment celebration in Galveston, Texas, in 2021.MARK FELIX/Getty ImagesLast year, the US federal government officially recognized Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Many employers — including Insider — observe the day as well. And so, in honor of Juneteenth, here are three vital stories to read:A conversation with Google's head of diversity: Shootings in New York, Texas, and California prompted Google's Melonie Parker, who is Black, to reflect on the company's DEI progress. Read on to find out how Google plans to improve its internal culture.A Texas park founded by formerly enslaved people celebrates Juneteenth: Founded on June 19, 1872, Emancipation Park will hold its 150th anniversary today. Texas residents who lived by the park during the Jim Crow era shared memories with Insider. James Baldwin. Audre Lorde. Ta-Nehisi Coates: These are some of the most prominent Black writers in history. Insider checked in with several Black literary and historical experts to draw up a list of crucial texts about racism, reparations, and racial policies. Here are 14 eye-opening essays from Black writers.With that, let's look at this week's top stories.'Shit show' at NYC's best restaurantReutersEleven Madison Park in Manhattan had been named the best restaurant in the world in 2017 and counted the rich and powerful as fans. But in 2021, chef Daniel Humm reopened the restaurant as meat-free — and insiders say it's been a "shit show" ever since.One former staffer told us that while Humm — who dated Laurene Powell Jobs — describes the restaurant as farm to table, it's actually "farm to trash." Another recalled Chipotle founder Steve Ellis being "insulted" that staffers had to refuse a $1,000 tip. Others spoke of Humm dancing around the kitchen and lighting up a joint with Woody Harrelson.Read the full story here:Eleven Madison Park went vegan. It's been an understaffed, chaotic mess of a year.Who is Entrata CEO Dave Bateman?Excerpts from some of Dave Bateman's posts on social media.Stacie Scott/AP; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderFor many, the proptech founder only came into view this spring when he was ousted from the company for emailing antisemitic conspiracy theories to some of Utah's biggest politicos and tech leaders. But others, including people who have worked with him, say Bateman was a hard-partying CEO who thought he was too big to be stopped. Insider spoke with former Entrata employees who described his erratic behavior as an open secret — and one that no one did anything to address.Read the full story here:A Utah tech CEO partied nonstop and pushed antisemitic conspiracy theories. Silicon Slopes stood by and watched.Don't move just yet…Rebecca Zisser/InsiderThe future of remote work is now — and many Americans could soon work from cities that don't exist yet: WFH-ers may soon see a flourishing of "Remotevilles" created just for them. These "experiments'' will be on the fringe of metropolitan hubs and could have cheaper housing, better schools, and smarter government. So don't move just yet.Read the full story here:Remotevilles will need these three key ingredients before they're built.How the bubble in the index-rebalance trade popped REUTERS/China DailyBetting on the annual rebalancing of stock indexes has been easy money in recent years for many hedge funds, including Ken Griffin's Citadel and Steven Cohen's Point72. The stocks that are widely expected to be added to an index typically climb, while those being cast out, fall.  But a volatile stock market has turned that trade on its head, causing some portfolio managers to face steep losses. For example, the nearly 300 stocks expected to join the Russell 3000 Index later this month tumbled a combined 58% over the first two weeks of June. Alex Morrell explains what went wrong with this popular arbitrage strategy.Read the full story here:The bubble has popped on the mighty index-rebalance trade.This week's quote:Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon MuskREUTERS/Steve Nesius"I'll stop trolling people about aliens because people really think — I've seen no actual evidence for aliens. I get asked that a lot and I'd think I'd know and I've not seen anything. Yet." One of the many major quotes from Elon Musk's first all-hands meeting with Twitter employees. We have the full transcript here — and the 12 biggest takeaways from the meeting here. More of this week's top reads:Tiger Global hacked venture capital — now that strategy is backfiring.How this 30-year-old rakes in about $89,000 a month from two online hustles.Google is going all in on a new internal AI project.Here's the salary breakdown for Harvard's most recent MBA class across industries.Crypto influencers open up about the portfolio wreckage they've suffered.The fracking boom has come to an end — and gas prices aren't immune. This Bolt engineer borrowed $100,000 for stocks, and then he was laid off. Plus: Keep updated with the latest business news throughout the week by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio-news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here tomorrow.Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Lisa Ryan, Sarah Belle Lin, and Jordan Parker Erb. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 19th, 2022

Harry Jowsey wants to be the next Ashton Kutcher, but will he be too hot for startups to handle?

The Too Hot to Handle star plan to invest in dating apps, charging ports, and gaming sites, but some question whether they should accept his backing. Harry Jowsey.Tyler Patrick Kenny. Harry Jowsey is an influencer best known for appearing on Netflix's "Too Hot To Handle." He plans to invest in companies behind dating apps, phone charging ports and gaming sites. While some support his strategy, others say startups would be "foolish" to accept his backing.  Harry Jowsey is used to winning, sometimes by flouting the rules.Rising to fame in 2020 on the first season of "Too Hot to Handle", the Netflix game show where physical contact resulted in steep financial penalties, Jowsey made his name burning through the prize money.With more than 9 million fans on social media and a weekly live show on Spotify called Dating Harry Jowsey, he's now branching out into angel investing.Australian-born Jowsey aims to invest in about 10 companies including dating apps and gaming sites. Venture capitalists, though, are divided on how startups should respond to his overtures.Jowsey told Insider he was focused on building his brand and wealth after Too Hot to Handle, urging fellow contestants to make a website to understand who their fans are and how to sell to them.He said: "It's really easy to get a brand deal and to make amazing money – but it's really hard to create a company or something that you're passionate about, and don't mind taking a loss on."A social media extrovert with acting ambitions, Jowsey models himself on Ashton Kutcher, an actor and prankster-turned serial entrepreneur. He has become a successful venture capitalist through his company Sound Ventures, which has backed companies with hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Crunchbase.  'Value-add investor'But becoming the next Ashton Kutcher is easier said than done, venture capitalists told Insider.Like the actor, Jowsey has been backing companies he knows, funding startups linking tech and social media. They include a TikTok-style dating app called Lolly; VersusGame, a betting game backed by Snapchat; a production company; and a phone charging business called ChargeFuze, run by one of his friends."I'm not going to randomly start investing in a hammer company because I don't use hammers," he said of his tendency to back social media-focused companies, where he feels he can offer insights on their marketing and wider direction.Sanjay Wadhwani, founder and CEO of Podium Ventures, who has advised celebrities including pop star Robbie Williams on their investments, told Insider that Jowsey's strategy was not uncommon among influencers."The strategy here seems to be the right one - one where there is the opportunity to be a value-add investor and help grow the business beyond a small capital injection," he said. "In each of the cases the rounds have also been participated in by leading names or VCs, which also de-risks the opportunity."Despite the upheaval in the tech sector, with startups including the Kutcher-backed Bird laying off large swathes of their workforce, Jowsy has not been put off. "One of my friends said when there's blood in the street it's a good time to buy. There's opportunity wherever you look," he said.'Idiot money'This rise of "influencer investing," where schemes are fronted by a celebrity but operated by a team of professionals, can be a minefield.In a withering assessment Iliya Ribchin, a partner at Elixirr Consulting, a management consultancy, said the value an influencer brings to a startup is minimal, and can even damage its reputation. "Frankly, when evaluating a startup it's not as important to look at the startup's technology or business plan to predict success but whether this startup was foolish enough to take an investment from an influencer," Ribchin said, adding he "seriously questions" the business acumen of any founder that accepts an influencer's investment."I would say that when it comes to influencer investors, you can call it 'idiot money' because these vapid youngsters provide absolutely no value to a startup beyond hard abs, great hair, and a pretty smile," Ribchin said.But Mark Peter Davis, founder of VC firm Interplay, said influencers can add value to their investments if they are surrounded by a good team.Jowsey didn't respond to Ribchin's comments and the startups mentioned in this article didn't respond to a request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 19th, 2022

Better Bean is the latest Portland-area brand to embrace small business bonds

In 2017 Better Bean was bought by The Hain Celestial Group. Now, founder Keith Kullberg has bought the brand back and has plans for growth......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 17th, 2022

Tiger Woods is now a billionaire — here"s how he spends his money and lives his life off the course

Tiger Woods is now a billionaire. Tiger Woods celebrates his first win in five years.Tim Bradbury/Getty Images Tiger Woods' career once looked over, but he solidified one of the biggest sports comebacks ever when he won the Masters a fifth time. Because of Woods' play on the course, he has plenty of money to spend on yachts, private jets, mega-mansions, and video games off the course. Woods is one of the highest-paid athletes of all time and according to Forbes, he is now a billionaire. Take a look at how he spends it all. Tony Manfred and Mary Hanbury contributed reporting to a previous version of this article.Tiger Woods has made more than $1.4 billion since turning pro in 1996.David Cannon/Getty ImagesSource: Golf Digest and ForbesMore than $122 million of that came from on-course winnings. He's No. 1 on the all-time money list, by far.Andrew Redington/Getty Images)Read more: The 30 highest-paid golfers of all timeHe won $4.6 million at the Tour Championship alone — $1.6 million for winning the tournament and $3.0 million for his second-place finish in the FedEx Cup — one of his biggest paydays ever in golf.Tiger Woods celebrates his first win in five years.Tim Bradbury/Getty ImagesRoger Federer recently passed Woods as the highest-paid athlete of all time from a non-team sport.Andrew Redington/Getty ImagesRead more: Roger Federer has overtaken Tiger Woods as the top money-maker in individual sports with $110.2 million in earnings »According to Forbes, Woods is now a billionaire, joining LeBron James as the only athletes to achieve the status while still active.Tiger Woods and Arnold PalmerDavid Cannon/Getty ImagesSource: ForbesBut the real money comes from off the course. At his peak in the late 2000s, Woods made $100 million annually off the course. In 2016, he earned more than $45 million in endorsement deals and course-design fees.YouTubeSource: ForbesDespite barely playing in 2017, Woods was still the 16th-highest-paid athlete in the world, according to Forbes, and had an estimated net worth of $740 million in 2016.REUTERS/Aaron JosefczykSource: ForbesWoods has hit other bumps in the road. In 2009, news broke that Woods had been cheating on his wife, Elin Nordegren. Two days later, he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant outside his house.GettySource: Yahoo SportsHe was accused of having an affair with Rachel Uchitel, a New York nightclub manager. Months later, several other women came forward to say they had affairs with Woods.Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesMany of Woods' endorsement partners dropped him over the controversy, including AT&T, Gatorade, Gillette, Golf Digest, and Tag Heuer.Chris O'Meara/APHis biggest partner, Nike, stuck with him.NikeWoods has been with Nike since he turned pro in 1996. In 2013 he signed a $200 million deal with the brand. Nike also stuck with Woods despite his DUI charges in 2017.Richard Heathcote/Getty ImagesSource: ESPN, ABC, Business InsiderThe divorce settlement cost him a reported $100 million in 2010.Elsa/Getty ImagesSource: ForbesAnd his golfing career started to turn sour. Woods hasn't won a major golf championship since 2008 and before the Tour Championship, he had not won on tour win since 2013.Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesSource: TimeHe has also battled various injuries. When Woods was charged with driving under the influence, he blamed an "unexpected reaction to prescribed medications." Woods had recently had a fourth surgery on his back, and police later said he had five different drugs in his system at the time of the arrest.Twitter/Golf_ComSource: Business Insider, New York TimesBut Woods continues to live a lavish lifestyle. After the divorce settlement, there were reports that he considered selling his 155-foot long megayacht, "Privacy," for $25 million. The boat was not sold, however, and Woods now docks it in North Palm Beach, Florida.APSource: Wall Street JournalHe stayed on the yacht on Long Island during the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills.AP ImagesRead more: Tiger Woods has reportedly docked his $20 million, 155-foot yacht in the Hamptons — and he apparently plans to stay there during the US Open »He owns a 10-acre property in Jupiter, Florida, that was built from scratch just for Woods at a cost of $55 million.Courtesy of Jeff RealtySource: Palm Beach PostIt has a pitch-and-putt golf course, as well as a private dock.Google MapsSource: Palm Beach PostGolf isn't his only passion — Woods is really into spearfishing. He learned how to free dive so he could spearfish without an air tank.APSource: Business InsiderHe loves spearfishing so much that he once called in sick to a tune-up tournament before the Open Championship just so he could spend time catching fish.Don ZurbrickRead more: A crazy story about Tiger Woods shows that he was never as obsessed with golfing greatness as everybody thoughtWoods is a die-hard Oakland Raiders fan. He tries to find time to support the silver and black whenever he can.Twitter/Tiger WoodsHe even has a Raiders-themed pool table in his house.Twitter/Tiger WoodsThe 80-time PGA Tour event winner is also a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He turned out for multiple games during the 2017 World Series.Instagram/Tiger WoodsWoods likes tennis as well. He is good friends with Rafael Nadal and has sat in his box for a number of matches.mpi04/MediaPunch/IPxAside from watching sports, Woods also likes to spend his time working out — maybe too much. His old coach Hank Haney once said, "My opinion is he really overdoes that."Abbie Parr/Getty ImagesRead more: Tiger Woods is jacked now, and it could be hurting his golf game »Haney would also suggest that Woods pushed himself physically because he wanted to be viewed as an athlete, saying that Woods viewed injuries as "a way of being accepted into the fraternity of superstars who played more physical sports than golf."Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesRead more: An interesting theory explains why Tiger Woods keeps getting hurtWoods says he likes to practice all day, but when he was recovering from surgery he filled his time by playing "Call of Duty" eight hours a day with a 30-minute lunch break. Despite that, Woods said he was still getting beat by 7-year-olds when he played online.Youtube/The Late ShowRead more: Tiger Woods told Stephen Colbert a great story about how playing "Call of Duty" 8 hours a day humbled him »"He struggles to sleep," Rory McIlroy said of Woods, "which I think is an effect of overtraining, so I tell him to calm down sometimes. He'd be texting me at 4 o'clock in the morning: 'Up lifting. What are you doing?'"Jamie Squire/GettyRead more: Rory McIlroy says Tiger Woods texts him in the middle of the night from the gym because he can't sleep »He even has his own restaurant, called The Woods Jupiter. "After years of meals on the road, he decided to bring his vision of an elevated sports bar to life at home in Jupiter," the website says.Facebook/The Woods JupiterSource: The Woods JupiterEven when he isn't at home in Jupiter, Woods likes to bring a little bit of it with him. He reportedly replaces all the furniture in the houses he rents during tournaments with his own, even if he's only there for a few days.Francois Nel/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHe likes to travel in style and owns a Gulfstream G550 private jet, worth about $54 million.Benjamin Zhang/Business InsiderIn January 2017, for the first time in 10 years, Woods took a commercial flight, from Los Angeles to Dubai.Source: Architectural Digest, GolfweekWoods has also been accused of being cheap. One story told of how Woods wanted to be just one of the guys when he was having lunch with a group of Navy Seals and did not pick up the check.Harry How/Getty ImagesRead more: Tiger Woods once baffled and irritated a group of Navy SEALs when he didn't pick up the check for lunch »He devotes a ton of time and money to his at-risk youth charity, the Tiger Woods Foundation. In 2012, he gave $12 million to the foundation.Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty ImagesSource: PGAAdditionally, he works with kids through the TGR Learning Lab, which provides opportunities for students to explore their passions by combining science with everyday tasks.Twitter/Tiger WoodsWoods doesn't just rely on his golf winnings and endorsements to fund his extravagant lifestyle — he also runs a golf-design business. He opened his first US course in Houston in 2015 and was said to be designing a Trump International Golf Club course in Dubai in 2017.Facebook/TGR VenturesSource: USA TodayHe is also picking up new endorsements. Since Nike got out of the equipment business, Woods has signed with Bridgestone to use its golf balls.Bridgestone GolfRead more: Tiger Woods announces his first major equipment endorsement deal since Nike stopped making golf equipment »He also signed with TaylorMade for its golf clubs. They recently released his first set of signature irons that go for $2,000.via TaylorMadeRead more: Tiger Woods' new TaylorMade clubs are now available for $2,000 after it took 'hundreds of hours' and numerous prototypes to build the originalsWoods was heavily involved in the design of the clubs, with TaylorMade spending "hundreds of hours" on testing and building several prototypes until they got them just right for Tiger.via TaylorMadeRead more: Tiger Woods' new TaylorMade clubs are now available for $2,000 after it took 'hundreds of hours' and numerous prototypes to build the originalsHe's even partnered with President Donald Trump. At the end of 2016, the two played at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida. "What most impressed me was how far he hits the ball at 70 years old," Woods told CNN of Trump.Julio Cortez/APWoods has also played with Barack Obama, George Bush, and Bill Clinton in the past.Source: CNNWhile Woods is still mum about his private life, he is dating again. He spent a lot of time with Erica Herman at the Presidents Cup in 2017. She was the general manager for Woods' restaurant.Rob Carr/Getty ImagesRead more: Everything you need to know about Erica Herman, the former restaurant manager dating Tiger Woods »And she was at the Tour Championship and greeted Tiger after his win.PGA TourIt is Woods' first public relationship since Lindsey Vonn. In 2017, someone hacked and distributed nude photos of the couple.Evan Agostini/Invision/APRead more: Lawyer for Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn vows to pursue legal action 'swiftly and vigorously' against sites publishing their hacked nude photos »We will likely never see Tiger Woods play full-time again, but he is likely to still shoot for wins in the majors.Tiger Woods during his 2019 victory at the Masters.Augusta National via Getty ImagesNow check out the house Michael Jordan can't sell.Concierge Auctions; Stephan Savoia/APHere's Michael Jordan's 56,000-square-foot house in Chicago, and why it's still on the market after 6 yearsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 11th, 2022

Meet Rob Walton, the Walmart heir worth $58 billion who just bought the Denver Broncos in a record-breaking deal

Walmart heir Rob Walton has agreed to buy the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion, becoming the NFL's wealthiest owner. Here's a closer look. Rob Walton, retired chairman of the board of directors of Walmart, attends a company shareholder meeting.Danny Johnston/AP Rob Walton, the oldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, will buy the NFL's Denver Broncos. His ownership group will pay $4.65 billion, breaking a record for pro-team sales in North America. Walton served as the chairman of Walmart's board until 2015 and is worth $58 billion.  Walmart billionaire Rob Walton will add a new title to his resume: owner of the Denver Broncos. Walton, along with an ownership group that includes his daughter and son-in-law, will buy Denver's NFL team for $4.65 billion, the team confirmed Tuesday. The sale breaks a record for the most-expensive professional sports team sale in North America, far eclipsing the sale price of any other NFL team. With a net worth of nearly $58 billion, Walton is among the 25 richest people in the US and one of the heirs to the Walmart empire. Here's what we know about Walton as he prepares to join the elite club of NFL owners — of which he'd be the wealthiest member by far.Rob Walton — whose full name is Samuel Robson Walton — is the oldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, who opened the original Walmart store in 1962.Sam Walton in 1984.Danny Johnston/APSource: InsiderSam Walton made specific plans for the future of the company before he died in 1992. He created a family partnership for his share of Walmart stock, which minimized the estate taxes on his will's beneficiaries. As a result, Rob and his three siblings were each granted 20%, while Sam and his wife, Helen, each held 10%.From left: Jim Walton, Alice Walton, and Rob Walton.April L. Brown/APSource: InsiderJohn, the second-oldest Walton sibling, died in a plane crash in 2005 and left his wealth to charity and to his wife, Christy, and son, Lukas. The other three Walton siblings — Rob, Jim, and Alice — have become some of the wealthiest people in the US. Today, Rob Walton is worth $58 billion, according to Forbes.From left: Jim Walton, Alice Walton, and Rob Walton.Rick Wilking/ReutersSource: Insider, ForbesRob Walton played football in high school — he was all-state his senior year — and spent two years at the College of Wooster in Ohio before transferring to University of Arkansas, where he majored in accounting. He graduated in 1966 then moved to New York City to attend Columbia Law School.Jim Walton, John T. Walton, Rob Walton, and Helen Walton in 1997.Spencer Tirey/APSource: FortuneAfter getting his degree, Walton practiced law at a firm in Tulsa. One of the firm's clients was his dad's company, and Walton helped out when Walmart went public in 1970. But by 1978, Walton was ready to rejoin the family business, so he moved back to Arkansas.Walton in 2008.Jessica Rinaldi/ReutersSource: FortuneWalton joined Walmart as a senior vice president and became a member of Walmart's board. He focused on real estate and expansion, pushing his dad to grow internationally. "Rob has no interest in discussions about whether the Clorox should be on the third shelf. But with real estate and legal and those sorts of areas, his knowledge base and his ability to drill down is remarkable. He also has a photographic memory," former Walmart CEO Lee Scott told Fortune in 2004.Walton in 2015.Danny Johnston/APSource: FortuneIn 1992, a day after his dad's death, Walton was named chairman of Walmart's board, a position he held until 2015.Rick T. Wilking / Stringer / Getty ImagesSource: The New York Times, Walton has been married three times and has three children. His daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, is a board member at the Walton Family Foundation, where she focuses on childhood education — her husband, Greg Penner, currently serves as Walmart's chairman.From left: Greg Penner, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, and Rob Walton.Rick T. Wilking/Getty ImagesSource: The Wall Street Journal, Walton Family FoundationWhile Walton isn't as flashy as other billionaires, he has made some major acquisitions, including a home in Paradise Valley, Arizona; land on Hawaii's Big Island; and a piece of land near Aspen, Colorado, which he recently sold for $30.8 billion.Walton poses with Walmart e-commerce employees at the company's annual shareholders meeting.Rick Wilking/ReutersSource: Insider, The Wall Street Journal, Pacific Business NewsHe also collects vintage cars, and once wrecked his Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe, estimated to be worth $15 million, on a race track.A 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe, though not the one Walton owned.EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty ImagesSource: InsiderIn June 2022, Walton made his biggest purchase to date: the Denver Broncos, an NFL team that has been mired in a messy ownership battle for several years. The new ownership group — which includes Walton, his daughter Carrie Walton Penner, son-in-law and Walmart Chairman Greg Penner, and Ariel Investments co-CEO Mellody Hobson — paid $4.65 billion for the franchise, more than double the price of any other NFL team.Denver Broncos fans at Mile High Stadium.Getty ImagesSource: The Wall Street Journal, Denver Broncos"Having lived and worked in Colorado, we've always admired the Broncos," Walton said in a statement. "Carrie, Greg and I are inspired by the opportunity to steward this great organization in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans."Rick Wilking/ReutersSource: Denver BroncosRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 11th, 2022

Preparing for Retirement When You’ve Gone Through a Divorce

Saving for retirement is complicated enough on its own, but a divorce throws a wrench in the plans and might impact your timeline. As stressful as things might seem, a divorce doesn’t have to put a dent in your savings or delay your retirement. You can prepare as scheduled if you take the right precautions. […] Saving for retirement is complicated enough on its own, but a divorce throws a wrench in the plans and might impact your timeline. As stressful as things might seem, a divorce doesn’t have to put a dent in your savings or delay your retirement. You can prepare as scheduled if you take the right precautions. Here are some tips about preparing for retirement in the midst of a divorce. How Divorce Affects Retirement We won’t beat around the bush: an untimely divorce can devastate someone’s retirement savings. A 2018 study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that divorced households are seven percent more likely to not have enough money for retirement. Wealth and earnings are also typically lower among divorcees than in married couples. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The legal costs of a divorce can take a big chunk out of your retirement savings, and some people have to pay additional spousal support or alimony fees. Those living in community property states have to give up half of their belongings, including half of their savings (unless a prenuptial agreement specifies otherwise). The financial aftermath of a divorce could set back your retirement goals by more than a few years if you don’t make the right recovery moves. No one is prepared for a divorce, but you always need to have flexible pockets in case something goes wrong. Let’s discuss how you can minimize a divorce’s damage and stay on track. Acquire a Qualified Domestic Relations Order If your spouse has an employer-sponsored retirement plan, then a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) could be your saving grace. If you’re not the main beneficiary, it’s the only way to get a payout from a 401(k), pension, or similar plan. The non-participating spouse can send the money they receive to their retirement fund, making back some of the savings they lost in the divorce proceedings. However, these orders take time and strict attention to detail to complete. The retirement plan administrator – your spouse’s employer in this case – may have strict rules. Plus, you have to make sure it complies with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and other state domestic relations laws. Your attorney could draft an order, but it might make more sense to hire an actuary who specializes in QDROs. Know Your Spousal Benefits A divorce does not guarantee you lose your spousal benefits. If both of you are at least 62, were married for 10+ years, and have not remarried since, you and your former spouse are still eligible for one-half of retirement benefits from each other’s Social Security record. The only catch is that you have to wait two years after your divorce to begin receiving payments. Claiming these benefits does not hurt your ex-spouse or their new significant other. It simply guarantees that you don’t miss out on the benefits of a long-standing marriage that ended just before retirement. You were together for a long time, so you’re still entitled to half the benefits. Calculate Your New Retirement Number Even with a QDRO and spousal benefits, your final retirement number will probably look different after a divorce. Consider these factors when calculating your new number: The value of your remaining retirement assets Your current income and expenses Current age and health Your expected post-retirement lifestyle As a general rule, the later your divorce, the greater an impact it will have on your new number. Getting divorced at 35 leaves you time to increase your assets and income and cut back on your expenses, while a divorce at 55 leaves you a smaller window of opportunity. Update Your Timeline The timeline of your original two-person retirement plan also might need updating. If you need to push back your retirement date to reach your new goal, then you have little choice in the matter. If you don’t push back your timeline, something else will get negatively affected. Your post-retirement lifestyle might suffer or you may have to work a part-time job. You must choose between delaying retirement or sacrificing your desired lifestyle. Most people choose the latter. The average retirement age for Americans has been getting older for decades and divorce has been one of the primary contributing factors, along with student loans and a higher cost of living. Increase Retirement Contributions A divorce partly depletes your contributions to your IRA, 401(k), and other pre-income tax savings, so you may have to set aside a larger portion of your income to make up for it. However, your financial situation might not allow you to immediately increase your contributions. Cost of living tends to be higher in single-person households since you need to pay for all the food, utilities, and other expenses. You need to think in terms of dollar-cost averaging to get the most out of your investments and make small contributions. For example, if you add an extra $50 to your retirement savings every month, that’s an extra $600 by the end of the year. Small efforts will help rebuild your savings, not a grand scheme. Just keep chipping away and don’t look too far ahead. Tighten Your Budget Naturally, the most effective way to increase your savings is to tighten your budget. Review your bank statements and recent receipts to identify any expenses you can remove from the picture. There are many creative ways you can consolidate your spending: Lower your electricity usage Buy from cheaper store brands Negotiate your insurance rates, cell phone plans, etc. Take a break from buying non-essentials Eat out less Reduce your TV subscriptions Stop using your credit cards It can be difficult to balance these responsibilities, so you should take advantage of budgeting apps, savings calculators, and other resources to help you stay on track. These measures do not have to be permanent. They’re only necessary as long as you need to set aside more for retirement. Once you regain the ground you lost, everything can go back to normal. Find New Income Sources Sometimes a tighter budget isn’t enough to balance out your finances. You may need to pursue new income sources. Thankfully, today’s fast-paced world provides many additional income options that enable you to choose the hours. Here are some examples: Sell items on eBay and other online forums Have a garage sale Rent a spare bedroom on Airbnb Write an eBook or produce an audiobook Become a freelance writer Drive for a ride-sharing service Deliver for a food delivery app Become a dog-walker, housekeeper, or babysitter You could also get a part-time job with assigned hours, but that might be difficult for those close to retirement who might not have the qualifications for a new job. These roles are less demanding and enable you to be self-employed, so they won’t drastically change your daily schedule. Adjust Your Lifestyle A divorce can force someone to significantly alter their lifestyle – especially if it happens close to retirement. You may have to get a new job, move to a smaller house, and cut back on vacation time, just to name a few big changes. While change is never easy, it’s up to you whether the changes are positive or negative. Many divorcees let their situations get worse by isolating themselves and taking on their problems alone. Don’t be afraid to lean on your friends and family during your difficult time. Any lifestyle changes you have to make will feel more manageable with the right attitude and a strong support system behind you. View this new chapter in your life as an opportunity for growth. Remember Catch-Up Contributions If you’re over 50 years old, the IRS permits you to make a larger annual contribution to your tax-advantaged retirement accounts to “catch up” and make sure you retire on time. With a divorce tightening your finances, you need to take full advantage of these catch-up contributions and set aside more money. All of the efforts discussed above (tighter budget, more income sources, alternative lifestyle choices) will help you add bigger chunks to your retirement savings. You could add as much as $7,000 and $17,000 to your IRA and 401(k), respectively, if you play your cards right. Talk to an Expert A divorce doesn’t guarantee later retirement or major life changes, but it more than likely will delay your plans. If you’ve crunched the numbers and your savings rate won’t do the job, you might have to swallow the pill and push back your retirement date. However, you don’t have to rush to decide one or the other. Talk to a financial advisor and let them provide their perspective on your financial situation. Temporary sacrifices could enable you to retire on time, but you need to get an expert’s honest opinion about your predicament to determine the best course of action. Divorce Doesn’t Have to Spell Doom There’s no such thing as a timely divorce, but it can be especially unfortunate and damaging just before retirement. You may have to change your timeline, save more money, find additional income sources, and alter your lifestyle. However, by taking advantage of the benefits you qualify for and leaning on your loved ones, you can survive the divorce without significantly changing your retirement plans. Divorce doesn’t have to spell doom, but you will only find solutions if you’re willing to put in the recovery work. Article by Devin Partida, Due About the Author Devin Partida grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the booming tech and startup scene nurtured her curiosity. Always an avid writer in her younger years, Devin began covering the tech industry for ReHack in 2019, and has since become the young brand’s Editor-in-Chief. When she isn’t writing, Devin enjoys biking around the Golden Gate Bridge, eating hand-crafted ice creams and listening to true crime podcasts. Updated on Jun 8, 2022, 3:12 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 8th, 2022