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Meta Platforms delays hiring decisions on summer interns as it adjusts budget priorities

For students and graduates hoping to score an internship at Meta Platforms Inc., they may need to wait a while. That's because the Menlo Park-based parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp has decided to delay hiring decisions for this year's summer internships as it readjusts budget priorities, the company confirmed Friday. The decision comes after Meta last week reported disappointing income and revenue numbers for the second quarter. "Meta interns are crucial in shaping our future,….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsAug 5th, 2022

Meta Platforms delays making job offers to summer interns

The parent company of Facebook and Instagram said it's resetting its recruiting priorities to focus on hiring more experienced workers......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsAug 6th, 2022

BCE reports second quarter 2022 results

This news release contains forward-looking statements. For a description of the related risk factors and assumptions, please see the section entitled "Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" later in this news release. The information contained in this news release is unaudited. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA1 up 4.6% driven by 3.8% service revenue growth Net earnings of $654 million, down 10.9%, with net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $596 million, or $0.66 per common share, down 13.2%; adjusted net earnings1 of $791 million generated adjusted EPS1 of $0.87, up 4.8% Wireless operating momentum continues: 110,761 mobile phone net subscriber activations, up 139.5%; best-ever quarterly postpaid churn2 rate of 0.75%; 3.8% higher mobile phone blended ARPU3; and strong service revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth of 7.8% and 8.3% respectively Next evolution of 5G underway with the launch of mobile 5G+, delivering Bell's fastest mobile speeds ever Retail Internet net activations up 27.9% to 22,620 with 8% residential Internet revenue growth; on track to deliver approximately 900,000 new fibre locations in 2022 Broadband leadership underscored with upcoming launches of 8 Gbps symmetrical pure fibre Internet service in select areas of Toronto with data upload speeds 250 times faster than cable, and Wi-Fi 6E technology; and newly launched Fibe TV service powered by Google Android TV Media revenue up 8.7% with 5.6% adjusted EBITDA growth; digital revenue4 up 55% Reconfirming all 2022 financial guidance targets MONTRÉAL, Aug. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ - BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) (NYSE:BCE) today reported results for the second quarter (Q2) of 2022. "The Bell team continues to deliver for all the stakeholders we serve. Q2 marked another quarter of consistent operational execution, demonstrating that our strategy to reach more Canadians in communities large and small across our footprint with the best network technologies, as well as our efforts to champion the customer experience is the right approach to move us forward," said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.  "We continue to see momentum in wireless with 110,761 mobile phone net subscriber activations and strong service revenue growth. Our retail Internet net activations were also up 27.9% with 8% residential Internet revenue growth. These excellent results are a testament to the significant and unprecedented investments we're making in network connectivity, reliability, and our fibre footprint expansion. In addition, our continued investments in customer experience and digital support options are encouraging customers to stay with Bell, as reflected in a third consecutive quarter of improved churn for our wireless, residential Internet and Fibe TV services. The Bell team continues to be there for our customers with reliable, robust networks and innovative products and services. By the end of the year, we will have invested $14 billion since 2020, including planned capital expenditures of approximately $5 billion for 2022, the highest amount ever by a Canadian telecom company in both a single year and over a three-year cycle. These massive investments are going towards our fibre-to-the-home and 5G wireless core networks, ongoing expansion into rural and remote communities, as well as on boosting capacity and ensuring resiliency. Most importantly, we're investing in our people. We welcomed 570 new grads and interns to our team across the country, and are looking to hire over 1,000 team members with high-tech skills by the end of this year." _________________________ 1 Adjusted EBITDA is a total of segments measure, adjusted net earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure and adjusted EPS is a non-GAAP ratio. Refer to the Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures section in this news release for more information on these measures. 2 Refer to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section in this news release for more information on churn. 3 Mobile phone blended ARPU is calculated by dividing wireless operating service revenues by the average mobile phone subscriber base for the specified period and is expressed as a dollar unit per month. Refer to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section in this news release for more information on blended ARPU. 4 Digital revenues are comprised of advertising revenue from digital platforms including web sites, mobile apps, connected TV apps and OOH digital assets/platforms, as well as advertising procured through Bell digital buying platforms and subscription revenue from direct-to-consumer services and Video on Demand services.   KEY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS Building the Best Networks Bell expanded availability of its 3-gigabit per second symmetrical Internet service to Québec City and announced that 8-gigabit per second symmetrical Internet speeds will be available for customers in the coming months, starting in Toronto this Fall. Bell is also launching Wi-Fi 6E, the fastest Wi-Fi technology available today. Bell expanded pure fibre Internet access to approximately 160,000 additional homes and businesses in London, Ontario; approximately 5,000 in Kingsville, Ontario; and over 20,000 homes and businesses in New Brunswick. Bell continued to work closely with governments on projects to bring broadband access to remote and other hard to serve areas including to the Rural Municipality of Kingston in conjunction with the PEI Broadband Fund and the Municipality of Kingston, and in Northern Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador with the federal Universal Broadband Fund. 5G Leadership and Technology InnovationBell announced the commercial availability of 5G+ in Toronto and parts of Southern Ontario, the next evolution of 5G using the 3500 MHz spectrum obtained in the ISED auction last year. Bell expects to cover approximately 40% of the Canadian population with 5G+ by the end of 2022, including the Greater Toronto Area, Halifax, Nova Scotia, St. John's, Newfoundland and Sherbrooke, Québec. Bell also announced the upcoming rollout of its nationwide 5G standalone core to enable the development and delivery of new and more advanced services with lower latency and greater capacity. Bell continues to work with partners on 5G and network innovations including Numana in Québec on an open quantum telecommunications network and The PIER in Halifax for a 5G-ready wireless private network at its innovation hub. Delivering compelling contentBell Media signed a long-term agreement with the NFL to continue to be the exclusive television broadcast partner of the NFL in Canada with TSN, CTV and RDS airing games across the country. TSN, RDS, CTV and Noovo delivered extensive coverage of the Formula1 Canadian Grand Prix, and TSN and RDS kicked off the CFL 2022 season. Bell Media announced the details of its English and French language Fall 2022 – Winter 2023 slate as part of its Upfront 22 and Futur 22 events, including nearly 100 titles of original programming. The Amazing Race Canada is back after a two-year hiatus with Season 8 on CTV, Crave Original Canada's Drag Race Season Three is now streaming on Crave, and Shoresy was the most-watched Canadian series launch on Crave. Bell kicked off the summer festival season supporting marquee events across the country including an expansion of its sponsorship agreement with evenko as presenting sponsor of Osheaga, îLESONIQ and LASSO Montréal festivals, presenting sponsor of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival in PEI, the Area 506 festival in New Brunswick, and the Bell Grandstand Show at the Calgary Stampede. Bell continues to be a leader in Canada's rapidly growing esports community with the renewal and expansion of its partnership with OverActive Media, a global esports and entertainment organization, and the recent unveiling of the Raptors Uprising gaming hub, the Bell Gaming Centre. Bell Fibe TV customers in Ontario and Québec can now enjoy new capabilities and features including access to the Google Play app catalogue, voice remote powered by Google Assistant, universal search and Cloud PVR, backed by Google Android TV. Bell for Better: Better World, Better Communities, Better WorkplaceBell was the highest ranked telco in the world and #4 overall in Canada on the Best 50 Corporate Citizens list compiled by Corporate Knights. Bell's science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)1. Science-based targets are emissions reduction targets in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Bell achieved ISO 50001 certification of its energy management system for a third consecutive year, and is the first communications company in North America to have its energy management system ISO 50001 certified. IDC Canada once again named Bell as a cybersecurity services leader in their annual Canadian Security Services Vendor Assessment report, the only telecommunications company in Canada to be recognized as a leader five times in a row by IDC. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Bell MTS announced a new grant program to help over 100 youth play football this year. Northwestel sold its fibre-to-the-home assets in Yukon to a group of 13 First Nation development corporations, as part of the Shared Pathways Network partnership with the consortium. Bell welcomed 570 new grads and interns, and we continue to exceed our BIPOC diversity target of 40%. Bell also plans to hire over 1,000 people for highly-skilled technical roles this year including in AI/ML, Cloud, Cybersecurity, 5G and software development. Bell became a member of the Tent Partnership for Refugees to explore hiring and training opportunities for refugees in the private sector. __________________________ 1 For more information about our science-based targets, please refer to page 19 of our BCE's 2021 Annual Information Form dated March 3, 2022   BCE Q2 RESULTS Financial Highlights ($ millions except per share amounts) (unaudited) Q2 2022 Q2 2021 % change BCE Operating revenues 5,861 5,698 2.9 % Net earnings 654 734 (10.9 %) Net earnings attributable to common shareholders 596 685 (13.0 %) Adjusted net earnings 791 751 5.3 % Adjusted EBITDA 2,590 2,476 4.6 % Net earnings per common share (EPS) 0.66 0.76 (13.2 %) Adjusted EPS 0.87 0.83 4.8 % Cash flows from operating activities 2,597 2,499 3.9 % Capital expenditures1 (1,219) (1,210) (0.7 %) Free cash flow1,2 1,333 1,245 7.1 %   __________________________ 1 In Q2 2022, we applied the IFRIC Agenda Decision on Demand Deposits with Restrictions on Use arising from a Contract with a Third Party (IAS 7 – Statement of Cash Flows) retrospectively to each prior period presented. For further details, refer to Note 2, Basis of presentation and significant accounting policies in our Q2 2022 shareholder report. 2 Free cash flow is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to the Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures section in this news release for more information on this measure.   "Bell's Q2 financial results continued to demonstrate our disciplined focus on profitable customer growth and effective management of challenging global macroeconomic conditions, as evidenced by another quarter of healthy consolidated revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow growth that remain in line with our financial guidance targets for 2022, supporting sustainable value creation for all stakeholders," said Glen LeBlanc, Chief Financial Officer for BCE and Bell Canada. "This strong consolidated financial performance was underpinned by standout results across the organization, highlighted by strong wireless service revenue growth of 7.8%, 8% higher residential Internet revenue, an 8.7% increase in total media revenue, and year-over-year increases in adjusted EBITDA at all Bell operating segments. Our balance sheet remains very healthy with availability liquidity1 at the end of Q2 of approximately $3.1 billion, including $596 million in cash, substantial recurring cash flow, a defined benefit plan that is stronger than ever, as well as good predictability over debt service costs given no near-term debt re-financing requirements and a high proportion of fixed-rate debt. Overall, we have the financial strength and flexibility to execute on our strategic priorities and capital markets objectives for 2022." BCE operating revenue increased 2.9% over Q2 2021 to $5,861 million, due to 3.8% higher service revenue of $5,233 million, driven by strong wireless, residential Internet and media growth. Product revenue was down 4.6% to $628 million, largely reflecting lower year-over-year business wireline data equipment sales. Net earnings declined 10.9% to $654 million and net earnings attributable to common shareholders totalled $596 million, or $0.66 per share, down 13.0% and 13.2% respectively. The year-over-year decreases were driven mainly by higher other expense, reflecting net mark-to-market losses on derivatives used to economically hedge equity settled share-based compensation, higher depreciation and amortization expense and increased severance, acquisition and other costs, partly offset by higher adjusted EBITDA, lower year-over-year asset impairment charges and a higher net return on post-employment benefit plans. Adjusted net earnings were up 5.3% to $791 million, delivering a 4.8% increase in adjusted EPS to $0.87. Adjusted EBITDA grew 4.6% to $2,590 million, reflecting year-over-year increases at all Bell operating segments. BCE's consolidated adjusted EBITDA margin2 increased 0.7 percentage points to 44.2% from 43.5% in Q2 2021, due to the flow-through impact of strong service revenue growth and a decline in low-margin product sales. BCE capital expenditures were $1,219 million, up 0.7% from $1,210 million in Q2 2021, corresponding to a capital intensity3 of 20.8%, compared to 21.2% last year. Capital expenditures this quarter were focused on the continued accelerated rollout of Bell's pure fibre and wireless 5G networks. BCE cash flows from operating activities increased 3.9% to $2,597 million compared to Q2 2021, reflecting higher adjusted EBITDA, lower severance and other costs paid and reduced contributions to post-employment benefit plans due to a contribution holiday in 2022, partly offset by lower cash from working capital and higher cash taxes paid. Free cash flow was $1,333 million, up 7.1% from $1,245 million in Q2 2021, as higher cash flows from operating activities, excluding acquisition and other costs paid, was partly offset by increased capital expenditures. __________________________ 1 Available liquidity is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to the Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures section in this news release for more information on this measure. 2 Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA divided by operating revenues. Refer to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section in this news release for more information on adjusted EBITDA margin. 3 Capital intensity is defined as capital expenditures divided by operating revenues. Refer to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section in this news release for more information on capital intensity.   Q2 OPERATING RESULTS BY SEGMENT Bell Wireless Total wireless operating revenue increased 5.5% to $2,246 million. Service revenue grew 7.8% to $1,703 million, driven by larger mobile phone and connected device subscriber bases and higher blended mobile phone ARPU that reflected higher roaming revenue due mainly to higher ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaAug 4th, 2022

BCE reports second quarter 2022 results

This news release contains forward-looking statements. For a description of the related risk factors and assumptions, please see the section entitled "Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" later in this news release. The information contained in this news release is unaudited. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA1 up 4.6% driven by 3.8% service revenue growth Net earnings of $654 million, down 10.9%, with net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $596 million, or $0.66 per common share, down 13.2%; adjusted net earnings1 of $791 million generated adjusted EPS1 of $0.87, up 4.8% Wireless operating momentum continues: 110,761 mobile phone net subscriber activations, up 139.5%; best-ever quarterly postpaid churn2 rate of 0.75%; 3.8% higher mobile phone blended ARPU3; and strong service revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth of 7.8% and 8.3% respectively Next evolution of 5G underway with the launch of mobile 5G+, delivering Bell's fastest mobile speeds ever Retail Internet net activations up 27.9% to 22,620 with 8% residential Internet revenue growth; on track to deliver approximately 900,000 new fibre locations in 2022 Broadband leadership underscored with upcoming launches of 8 Gbps symmetrical pure fibre Internet service in select areas of Toronto with data upload speeds 250 times faster than cable, and Wi-Fi 6E technology; and newly launched Fibe TV service powered by Google Android TV Media revenue up 8.7% with 5.6% adjusted EBITDA growth; digital revenue4 up 55% Reconfirming all 2022 financial guidance targets MONTRÉAL, Aug. 4, 2022 /CNW/ - BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) (NYSE:BCE) today reported results for the second quarter (Q2) of 2022. "The Bell team continues to deliver for all the stakeholders we serve. Q2 marked another quarter of consistent operational execution, demonstrating that our strategy to reach more Canadians in communities large and small across our footprint with the best network technologies, as well as our efforts to champion the customer experience is the right approach to move us forward," said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.  "We continue to see momentum in wireless with 110,761 mobile phone net subscriber activations and strong service revenue growth. Our retail Internet net activations were also up 27.9% with 8% residential Internet revenue growth. These excellent results are a testament to the significant and unprecedented investments we're making in network connectivity, reliability, and our fibre footprint expansion. In addition, our continued investments in customer experience and digital support options are encouraging customers to stay with Bell, as reflected in a third consecutive quarter of improved churn for our wireless, residential Internet and Fibe TV services. The Bell team continues to be there for our customers with reliable, robust networks and innovative products and services. By the end of the year, we will have invested $14 billion since 2020, including planned capital expenditures of approximately $5 billion for 2022, the highest amount ever by a Canadian telecom company in both a single year and over a three-year cycle. These massive investments are going towards our fibre-to-the-home and 5G wireless core networks, ongoing expansion into rural and remote communities, as well as on boosting capacity and ensuring resiliency. Most importantly, we're investing in our people. We welcomed 570 new grads and interns to our team across the country, and are looking to hire over 1,000 team members with high-tech skills by the end of this year." _________________________ 1 Adjusted EBITDA is a total of segments measure, adjusted net earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure and adjusted EPS is a non-GAAP ratio. Refer to the Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures section in this news release for more information on these measures. 2 Refer to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section in this news release for more information on churn. 3 Mobile phone blended ARPU is calculated by dividing wireless operating service revenues by the average mobile phone subscriber base for the specified period and is expressed as a dollar unit per month. Refer to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section in this news release for more information on blended ARPU. 4 Digital revenues are comprised of advertising revenue from digital platforms including web sites, mobile apps, connected TV apps and OOH digital assets/platforms, as well as advertising procured through Bell digital buying platforms and subscription revenue from direct-to-consumer services and Video on Demand services.   KEY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS Building the Best Networks Bell expanded availability of its 3-gigabit per second symmetrical Internet service to Québec City and announced that 8-gigabit per second symmetrical Internet speeds will be available for customers in the coming months, starting in Toronto this Fall. Bell is also launching Wi-Fi 6E, the fastest Wi-Fi technology available today. Bell expanded pure fibre Internet access to approximately 160,000 additional homes and businesses in London, Ontario; approximately 5,000 in Kingsville, Ontario; and over 20,000 homes and businesses in New Brunswick. Bell continued to work closely with governments on projects to bring broadband access to remote and other hard to serve areas including to the Rural Municipality of Kingston in conjunction with the PEI Broadband Fund and the Municipality of Kingston, and in Northern Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador with the federal Universal Broadband Fund. 5G Leadership and Technology InnovationBell announced the commercial availability of 5G+ in Toronto and parts of Southern Ontario, the next evolution of 5G using the 3500 MHz spectrum obtained in the ISED auction last year. Bell expects to cover approximately 40% of the Canadian population with 5G+ by the end of 2022, including the Greater Toronto Area, Halifax, Nova Scotia, St. John's, Newfoundland and Sherbrooke, Québec. Bell also announced the upcoming rollout of its nationwide 5G standalone core to enable the development and delivery of new and more advanced services with lower latency and greater capacity. Bell continues to work with partners on 5G and network innovations including Numana in Québec on an open quantum telecommunications network and The PIER in Halifax for a 5G-ready wireless private network at its innovation hub. Delivering compelling contentBell Media signed a long-term agreement with the NFL to continue to be the exclusive television broadcast partner of the NFL in Canada with TSN, CTV and RDS airing games across the country. TSN, RDS, CTV and Noovo delivered extensive coverage of the Formula1 Canadian Grand Prix, and TSN and RDS kicked off the CFL 2022 season. Bell Media announced the details of its English and French language Fall 2022 – Winter 2023 slate as part of its Upfront 22 and Futur 22 events, including nearly 100 titles of original programming. The Amazing Race Canada is back after a two-year hiatus with Season 8 on CTV, Crave Original Canada's Drag Race Season Three is now streaming on Crave, and Shoresy was the most-watched Canadian series launch on Crave. Bell kicked off the summer festival season supporting marquee events across the country including an expansion of its sponsorship agreement with evenko as presenting sponsor of Osheaga, îLESONIQ and LASSO Montréal festivals, presenting sponsor of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival in PEI, the Area 506 festival in New Brunswick, and the Bell Grandstand Show at the Calgary Stampede. Bell continues to be a leader in Canada's rapidly growing esports community with the renewal and expansion of its partnership with OverActive Media, a global esports and entertainment organization, and the recent unveiling of the Raptors Uprising gaming hub, the Bell Gaming Centre. Bell Fibe TV customers in Ontario and Québec can now enjoy new capabilities and features including access to the Google Play app catalogue, voice remote powered by Google Assistant, universal search and Cloud PVR, backed by Google Android TV. Bell for Better: Better World, Better Communities, Better WorkplaceBell was the highest ranked telco in the world and #4 overall in Canada on the Best 50 Corporate Citizens list compiled by Corporate Knights. Bell's science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)1. Science-based targets are emissions reduction targets in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Bell achieved ISO 50001 certification of its energy management system for a third consecutive year, and is the first communications company in North America to have its energy management system ISO 50001 certified. IDC Canada once again named Bell as a cybersecurity services leader in their annual Canadian Security Services Vendor Assessment report, the only telecommunications company in Canada to be recognized as a leader five times in a row by IDC. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Bell MTS announced a new grant program to help over 100 youth play football this year. Northwestel sold its fibre-to-the-home assets in Yukon to a group of 13 First Nation development corporations, as part of the Shared Pathways Network partnership with the consortium. Bell welcomed 570 new grads and interns, and we continue to exceed our BIPOC diversity target of 40%. Bell also plans to hire over 1,000 people for highly-skilled technical roles this year including in AI/ML, Cloud, Cybersecurity, 5G and software development. Bell became a member of the Tent Partnership for Refugees to explore hiring and training opportunities for refugees in the private sector. __________________________ 1 For more information about our science-based targets, please refer to page 19 of our BCE's 2021 Annual Information Form dated March 3, 2022   BCE Q2 RESULTS Financial Highlights ($ millions except per share amounts) (unaudited) Q2 2022 Q2 2021 % change BCE Operating revenues 5,861 5,698 2.9 % Net earnings 654 734 (10.9 %) Net earnings attributable to common shareholders 596 685 (13.0 %) Adjusted net earnings 791 751 5.3 % Adjusted EBITDA 2,590 2,476 4.6 % Net earnings per common share (EPS) 0.66 0.76 (13.2 %) Adjusted EPS 0.87 0.83 4.8 % Cash flows from operating activities 2,597 2,499 3.9 % Capital expenditures1 (1,219) (1,210) (0.7 %) Free cash flow1,2 1,333 1,245 7.1 %   __________________________ 1 In Q2 2022, we applied the IFRIC Agenda Decision on Demand Deposits with Restrictions on Use arising from a Contract with a Third Party (IAS 7 – Statement of Cash Flows) retrospectively to each prior period presented. For further details, refer to Note 2, Basis of presentation and significant accounting policies in our Q2 2022 shareholder report. 2 Free cash flow is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to the Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures section in this news release for more information on this measure.   "Bell's Q2 financial results continued to demonstrate our disciplined focus on profitable customer growth and effective management of challenging global macroeconomic conditions, as evidenced by another quarter of healthy consolidated revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow growth that remain in line with our financial guidance targets for 2022, supporting sustainable value creation for all stakeholders," said Glen LeBlanc, Chief Financial Officer for BCE and Bell Canada. "This strong consolidated financial performance was underpinned by standout results across the organization, highlighted by strong wireless service revenue growth of 7.8%, 8% higher residential Internet revenue, an 8.7% increase in total media revenue, and year-over-year increases in adjusted EBITDA at all Bell operating segments. Our balance sheet remains very healthy with availability liquidity1 at the end of Q2 of approximately $3.1 billion, including $596 million in cash, substantial recurring cash flow, a defined benefit plan that is stronger than ever, as well as good predictability over debt service costs given no near-term debt re-financing requirements and a high proportion of fixed-rate debt. Overall, we have the financial strength and flexibility to execute on our strategic priorities and capital markets objectives for 2022." BCE operating revenue increased 2.9% over Q2 2021 to $5,861 million, due to 3.8% higher service revenue of $5,233 million, driven by strong wireless, residential Internet and media growth. Product revenue was down 4.6% to $628 million, largely reflecting lower year-over-year business wireline data equipment sales. Net earnings declined 10.9% to $654 million and net earnings attributable to common shareholders totalled $596 million, or $0.66 per share, down 13.0% and 13.2% respectively. The year-over-year decreases were driven mainly by higher other expense, reflecting net mark-to-market losses on derivatives used to economically hedge equity settled share-based compensation, higher depreciation and amortization expense and increased severance, acquisition and other costs, partly offset by higher adjusted EBITDA, lower year-over-year asset impairment charges and a higher net return on post-employment benefit plans. Adjusted net earnings were up 5.3% to $791 million, delivering a 4.8% increase in adjusted EPS to $0.87. Adjusted EBITDA grew 4.6% to $2,590 million, reflecting year-over-year increases at all Bell operating segments. BCE's consolidated adjusted EBITDA margin2 increased 0.7 percentage points to 44.2% from 43.5% in Q2 2021, due to the flow-through impact of strong service revenue growth and a decline in low-margin product sales. BCE capital expenditures were $1,219 million, up 0.7% from $1,210 million in Q2 2021, corresponding to a capital intensity3 of 20.8%, compared to 21.2% last year. Capital expenditures this quarter were focused on the continued accelerated rollout of Bell's pure fibre and wireless 5G networks. BCE cash flows from operating activities increased 3.9% to $2,597 million compared to Q2 2021, reflecting higher adjusted EBITDA, lower severance and other costs paid and reduced contributions to post-employment benefit plans due to a contribution holiday in 2022, partly offset by lower cash from working capital and higher cash taxes paid. Free cash flow was $1,333 million, up 7.1% from $1,245 million in Q2 2021, as higher cash flows from operating activities, excluding acquisition and other costs paid, was partly offset by increased capital expenditures. __________________________ 1 Available liquidity is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to the Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures section in this news release for more information on this measure. 2 Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA divided by operating revenues. Refer to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section in this news release for more information on adjusted EBITDA margin. 3 Capital intensity is defined as capital expenditures divided by operating revenues. Refer to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section in this news release for more information on capital intensity.   Q2 OPERATING RESULTS BY SEGMENT Bell Wireless Total wireless operating revenue increased 5.5% to $2,246 million. Service revenue grew 7.8% to $1,703 million, driven by larger mobile phone and connected device subscriber bases and higher blended mobile phone ARPU that reflected higher roaming revenue due mainly to higher international travel volumes with the easing of COVID-related ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaAug 4th, 2022

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

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

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 1st, 2022

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

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

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 18th, 2022

How Migrant Surge At The Border Fuels Massive American OD"s From Tiny Grains of This Killer Drug

How Migrant Surge At The Border Fuels Massive American OD's From Tiny Grains of This Killer Drug By Vince Bielski, published originally in RealClearInvestigations.com On a September afternoon, Allyssia Solorio wondered why her energetic young brother hadn’t emerged from his bedroom in their Sacramento, Calif., home. When she opened his door, she saw 23-year-old Mikael leaning back on his bed with his legs dangling over the side. She rushed to her brother and shook him, but to no avail. He was dead. A counterfeit pharmaceutical pill laced with illicit fentanyl had killed him. Mikael Tirado was one of an estimated 93,331 overdose fatalities in the United States last year – an all-time high. Nearly five times the murder rate, the deadly overdose toll was primarily caused by fentanyl, a highly lethal synthetic opioid. It’s manufactured mostly by Mexican cartels with ingredients imported from China, and then smuggled over the southwestern U.S. border. Fentanyl has been arriving in larger quantities each year since at least 2016. The cartels are taking advantage of law enforcement weaknesses and policy failures to smuggle record amounts of the lethal drug into the United States, according to interviews with half a dozen current and former drug and immigration agents. While a lack of screening technology to find contraband at ports of entry and an inept U.S-Mexico campaign to cripple the cartels are longstanding issues, there’s also a new one: the flood of migrants across the border that the Biden administration has done little to stop. Former law enforcement officials say the cartels are orchestrating the surge, overwhelming the capacity of agents to pursue drug smugglers. They can freely enter Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California carrying fentanyl while agents are diverted to the time-consuming duty of apprehending and processing migrants. Frustrated border agents and their union have been calling on Congress to send reinforcements. But help is not on the way. The administration’s upcoming budget request doesn’t include funding for more Customs and Border Protection agents. In September, tensions boiled over after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris lashed out at agents on horseback in response to videos showing them blocking Haitians crossing the border. Harris compared the incident to the mistreatment of slaves, an inflammatory accusation that the union strongly denied, saying no migrants were hit or hurt. The administration is pivoting away from law enforcement and embracing a public health approach to the fentanyl crisis. It has proposed spending $11.2 billion – a huge increase over last year – to expand substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services. Fewer addicts would mean fewer deaths from fentanyl. But curbing opioid addiction is very challenging. The vast majority of substance abusers avoid treatment, according to researchers, and only about one-third of those receiving long-term medical care fully recover. These success stories, however, will be offset if the supply of fentanyl continues to boom and fuel more addiction. “Drug treatment is very important, but you can’t treat someone in the morgue who just died from fentanyl poisoning. It’s too late,” says Derek Maltz, the former director of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special operations division, which primarily targets cartels. “We have to vigorously attack the production labs in Mexico and increase border security on our side.” Cartels have turned to fentanyl because the super-potent powder is cheap to produce, making it more profitable than heroin, says Eric Triana, an assistant special agent in charge at the DEA division in New York. Two of Mexico’s most powerful crime groups – the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels – manufacture the synthetic drug in rustic clandestine labs. In the U.S., the powder is mixed with heroin to stretch supplies. To boost sales, cartels have more recently increased production of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. They are made with fentanyl but labeled to look exactly like legitimate medications such as Percocet, Vicodin and Xanax. Cartels are increasing production of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Above, a seized pill press. Flickr/DEA The fake pills, which are promoted and sold on social media platforms as real pharmaceuticals, are priced to sell at a discounted rate of about $20 each. They have brought the dangers of fentanyl to mainstream America, with victims belonging to every age, class and racial group. Nationwide, DEA agents seized an unprecedented 9.5 million fake pills -- some portion of that total in every U.S. state in the first nine months of 2021, or more than the last two years combined. That prompted the agency to issue a rare public safety alert in September. Fentanyl’s potency – at 50 times the strength of heroin – is what makes it so deadly. Two milligrams, which can fit on the tip of a pencil, can kill. But cartels don’t take precautions to make sure the pills aren’t lethal. DEA analysis found that 40% of the seized pills had a potentially deadly dose. “I saw the devastation that heroin brought to Baltimore as a young police officer,” Triana says. “But fentanyl is a more potent deadly threat. It’s frightening.” Crime groups have gained complete control of the Mexican side of the 1,950-mile border, directing the flow of both migrants and drugs. The Gulf Cartel runs the region around Brownsville, Texas, and moving west to California, the Cartel of the Northeast, Juarez Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel have staked out turf, says Victor Avila, a former supervisory special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement who specialized in human and narcotics trafficking. Diversion Game at the Border They operate openly as if they were the Mexican military. Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which has recently expanded operations, even slaps a “CJNG” logo in big letters on its military-style trucks and uniforms as part of a show of force. The Jalisco cartel increasingly operates like a military force. (Above, a purported convoy.)  Twitter/@jaeson_jones The surge of migrants that began in 2019 and accelerated after Biden took office has been a boon to these violent enterprises. The migrants are coming from Eastern Europe and Africa as well as Central and South America, lured partly by the administration’s policy that allows unaccompanied children and families to stay in the states while they apply for asylum, according to border agents who have interviewed them. In addition to paying cartels between about $2,000 and $9,000 each to cross, migrants are also used as decoys in drug smuggling operations. Equipped with encrypted communications and satellite technologies, crime organizations are precisely orchestrating the timing and location of the border crossings of large migrant groups as part of a diversion tactic, several officers say. Dozens of agents are forced to leave their posts guarding many miles of the border and at checkpoints on roads to assist with apprehensions of the groups. The cartels work with spotters in the Halcon network to identify these wide security gaps along the border and send drug smugglers on foot through them undetected. A Call for More Agents “The illegal alien flows are so big that the Border Patrol has to leave hundreds of miles of border unprotected,” says Avila. “This absolutely means more fentanyl has been entering the country in the last few years.” The smugglers make their way across tough terrain to one of hundreds of stash houses located near roads in the border region. The drugs are then placed in cars and driven through often unguarded checkpoints and across the country. Rather than pursue these smugglers, many Border Patrol agents are handling the crush of migrants entering the U.S. They apprehended more than 1.7 million this fiscal year, or six times the 2017 number. (That doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands who got away, according to Border Patrol estimates.) Agents deport most of the single adults. But they have to assist in transporting, processing, housing and feeding the unaccompanied children and families who are placed in border patrol facilities for weeks before they are released into the U.S. to pursue asylum claims. In the busiest border areas, such as Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio, as many as 30% of agents are pulled from the frontlines to deal with the migrant overflow, says Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council. Texas is trying to fill the security void by deploying hundreds of state troopers and the National Guard in Operation Lonestar, a $1.8 billion effort. They have seized 127 pounds of fentanyl this year through early September. The Trump administration was able to tamp down the number of migrants crossing the border by forcing them to remain in Mexico while they applied for asylum. Biden ended that program, calling it inhumane, and the administration is now fighting a court order to reinstate it. Judd says as long as Biden’s asylum policy is in place, the Border Patrol, which has about 14,000 field agents covering both coasts and both land borders, needs thousands more to help secure the Southwest flank. Pleas to congressional leaders for help, made by Judd’s union and former Border Patrol chiefs, have gone unheeded.   “If you are not going to change the policy, then give me more manpower to stop the drugs,” Judd says. “But Democrats control Congress, and while some of them are fairly good on border security, it isn’t a priority for a majority of them.” So far this year, CBP has redeployed 400 agents from the northern and coastal areas to the southern border – not nearly enough to fill the gaps, Judd says. In a statement to RealClearInvestigations, a CBP spokesperson said the agency continues to evaluate the need for more agents and pointed to drug busts as evidence of strong enforcement. Border and customs agents seized 10,000 pounds of fentanyl this fiscal year, according to agency data. That’s five times the catch in 2018. But agents say more seizures actually indicates that more of the deadly drug is entering the country since they have only been capturing an estimated 10% to 15% of the total. Most of the fentanyl is pouring over the Southwest border at the U.S. ports of entry, particularly in California, a favorite route for smugglers. The challenge for customs agents at the controlled inspection ports in four states is very different than the cat-and-mouse pursuits of the Border Patrol: How to find illegal contraband in vehicles without slowing trade with Mexico worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year. The San Ysidro port in California between San Diego and Tijuana is the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere. The 70,000 vehicle passengers headed north every day through the port have to wait in long lines of traffic for an hour, on average. Nearby, the thousands of commercial trucks that go through the Otay Mesa port daily have even longer waits. Legal trade and travel occupy patrols at ports of entry like San Ysidro (above), which smugglers exploit. AP Photo/Gregory Bull Customs agents are in a fix. They are under pressure to efficiently clear trucks from Mexico carrying fruits, vegetables, electronics and other goods for entry into the U.S. But that priority to avoid costly commercial delays is in constant conflict with the need to stop and search the vehicles for illicit goods. More often than not, smugglers get waved through without a search. “Transnational criminal organizations take advantage of the chaos and clutter at the ports of entry that are dealing with so much legitimate trade and travel,” says Victor Manjarrez, a former Border Patrol supervisor and now a security expert at the University of Texas at El Paso. Cartels have the confidence to go big at the border. In August, a Mexican tractor-trailer driver attempted to cross at Otay Mesa with 2.8 tons of methamphetamine and fentanyl hidden among plastic household goods. Agents scanned the cargo using an X-ray-like machine and saw what they described as “anomalies” inside the trailer. Then a canine team sniffed out narcotics worth $13 million. It was the largest ever meth bust along the border. Customs agents would arrest more smugglers if they were equipped with basic scanning technology used in the huge Otay Mesa seizure. It helps them quickly make better decisions about which vehicles to inspect manually, a process that can take hours. CBP says it has been deploying more large-scale scanners at ports of entry in the last two years. Remarkably, only 15% of trucks were scanned at Southwest ports of entry in 2019, according to a CBP report. And less than half of them received any formal inspection because customs agents have to move too rapidly through the snarl of waiting traffic, says Manjarrez. Many of the 328 U.S. ports also need to be expanded and modernized to reduce wait times to allow for more inspections. The Biden administration is asking Congress for $660 million for upgrades, or enough to improve only a handful of the old ports. Otay Mesa’s $144 million expansion plan alone would absorb almost a quarter of this new funding. “It’s really only a down payment for what is needed,” Manjarrez says. ‘Hugs, Not Bullets’ in Mexico More agents and technology would “absolutely make a bigger dent” in the flow of fentanyl over the border, Manjarrez says, but not stop it. Agents say Mexico also has to begin targeting the hundreds of cartel production labs to further cut the supply. “Destroying the labs has to be a top priority because, without them, the cartels can’t continue to kill our kids,” says Maltz, the former DEA organized crime specialist. But President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ended Mexico’s military campaign against cartel leaders two years ago. Soldiers captured and killed many kingpins, but the crackdown also unleashed a reign of violence that Lopez Obrador pledged to blunt. The populist president is pushing his “hugs, not bullets” agenda to reduce poverty in the hope that it will eventually curb the appeal of drug smuggling. Meanwhile, the cartels, facing little government resistance, have continued to expand their hold on territory and corrupt lawmakers, according to Vanda Felbab-Brown, a scholar focusing on nonstate armed actors at the Brookings Institution. The clout of the cartels was made clear in 2020 when U.S. agents arrested a former Mexican defense secretary for taking bribes to protect the ultraviolent H-2 Cartel. Outraged officials pressured the U.S. to return Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda to Mexico where prosecutors promptly exonerated him. The more lasting damage to drug enforcement came when Mexico passed a law in response to Cienfuegos’ arrest. Maltz says it froze DEA’s operations in Mexico by requiring agents to pass sensitive intelligence through a central foreign affairs office that they believe is corrupt.   “The cartels control Mexico. All of it,” says Avila, the former ICE agent who survived gunshot wounds in an ambush with a cartel. “They are running a parallel government.” The U.S. Plays Nice With the U.S. drug enforcement imperiled, Felbab-Brown has called on the Biden administration to “get tough” with Mexico. In January she urged the administration to use financial support as leverage to compel Mexico to target mid-level cartel operatives and their corrupt government protectors to avoid the bloodshed that comes with taking down bosses. But the State Department is taking a conciliatory position, essentially backing Lopez Obrador’s economic development strategy in an agreement between the two countries announced in early October. The Biden administration has been conciliatory toward Mexico, but not its own mounted agents. AP Photo/Felix Marquez At a joint press conference, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the countries had relied too much on security forces to try to weaken the cartels. Over the past decade the U.S. has spent $3 billion to arm and train the Mexican military and police as part of the Merida Initiative. During that time, drug trafficking into the U.S. increased. A new agreement will replace Merida, making job creation in poor communities and drug treatment and prevention top priorities, Blinken said. The countries did agree to pursue the cartels, particularly by curtailing the illegal supply of U.S. arms into Mexico and money laundering activities. But the prosecution of cartel members isn’t the priority. Mexico Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the success of the agreement won’t be measured by how many drug lords go to jail.   The administration’s strategy has plenty of backers in the criminal justice and public health professions. “I'm sympathetic to the argument that Mexico is on the border with the largest consumer of fentanyl and cocaine in the world,” says Bryce Pardo, a drug policy specialist at Rand Corp. “We could do more to reduce our insatiable appetite for drugs.” In the meantime, more fentanyl smuggled into the U.S. means more deaths. Triana, the DEA special agent, estimates that the number of overdose fatalities this year will either be on par with or exceed 2020’s. Allyssia Solorio, the sister of the Sacramento man who died from fentanyl, has become an activist to raise awareness of the dangers of the illicit drug. The former postal worker says law enforcement must play a larger role. “President Biden can do a lot more to shut down the smuggling of fentanyl over the Mexican border,” she says. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 23:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

33 books that made it to #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list this year (so far)

According to the New York Times Best Seller list, these are the bestselling books of 2022 by authors like Amanda Gorman, James Patterson, and more. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.According to the New York Times Best Seller list, these are the bestselling books of 2022 by authors like Amanda Gorman, James Patterson, and more.Amazon; Savanna Durr/Insider The New York Times Bestseller List shows the bestselling fiction and nonfiction books of the week. On top of new releases, old favorites continue to make the list, sometimes years after publication. We've collected some of the best fiction and nonfiction books that held the #1 spot in 2022 so far. There are so many ways to discover a great book, but the New York Times Best Sellers list has compiled the most popular fiction, nonfiction, and children's books from vendors across the country for almost a century and has become a measure of success for writers everywhere. Titles that reach the coveted #1 spot are usually highly anticipated releases from beloved authors, sequels to which readers have been counting down, or juicy celebrity memoirs. But with the rise of influencer recommendations on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, books published years prior still make appearances again and again, like "It Ends With Us", which was published in 2016 but has been a #1 New York Times Bestseller for nine weeks so far in 2022. The full list is posted weekly on the New York Times website, but we collected some of the best new fiction and nonfiction books to hold the #1 spot so far in 2022. 33 books that ended up as #1 bestsellers on the New York Times Best Sellers list in 2022 so far:Fiction and poetryNonfictionFiction and poetry"Dream Town" by David BaldacciAmazon"Dream Town" by David Baldacci, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.50"Dream Town" is the third book in David Baldacci's "Archer" series but can be read as a standalone. As private investigator and World War II veteran Archer plans to celebrate the New Year with a friend, Eleanor Lamb, a screenwriter, feels her life is in danger and hires him to investigate. When a body is found in Eleanor's home and she suddenly disappears, Archer winds through the glamor of 1950s Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Hollywood in a suspenseful and exciting series of events to find Eleanor and the murderer in this noir crime thriller. "Book Lovers" by Emily HenryBookshop"Book Lovers" by Emily Henry, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.58Nora Stephens is a literary agent who is ready to become the heroine of her own story when her sister, Libby, invites her on a trip away from the city to the little town of Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. Though Nora is expecting a month of romance novel-like meet-cutes and bookshop days, she continually runs into Charlie Lastra, a book editor from the city with whom she has a deep-seated rivalry. "Book Lovers" is one of our favorite romance reads of the summer — check out our full review here. "House of Sky and Breath" by Sarah J. MaasAmazon"House of Sky and Breath" by Sarah J. Maas, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.74The highly anticipated sequel to Sarah J. Maas' "House of Earth and Blood" hit shelves in February 2022 and quickly rose to the top of the bestseller list. Readers follow Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar on their search for normalcy after saving Crescent City, but as oppression grows around them, the duo knows they must continue to fight for what's right in this incredible fantasy novel with a deeply satisfying conclusion."In the Blood" by Jack CarrAmazon"In the Blood" by Jack Carr, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49As former Navy SEAL James Reece watches the news from his Montana home, he sees a name he recognizes from his time in Iraq listed as a victim of a missile attack on a passenger aircraft in Burkina Faso, Africa. With ties to the intelligence services in two nations, James is sure her death is no accident and enlists old and new friends on his mission to track down her killer, unaware of the dangers that may await him. "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia OwensAmazon"Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.98Readers still can't get enough of this 2018 Reese's Book Club pick as it continues to outshine new releases for the top spot on the New York Times Best Seller list, four years after its original publication. In this historical fiction read, Kya Clark is known as the "Marsh Girl," who learns and lives from the land until a popular boy is found dead and her community immediately suspects her as the murderer."Nightwork" by Nora RobertsAmazon"Nightwork" by Nora Roberts, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99"Nightwork" blends romance and suspense as Harry Booth leaves Chicago, continuing his work as a subtle thief-for-hire after his mother's death. Though his work requires him to remain unattached, he finds his resolve softening as he grows nearer to Miranda Emerson until his past catches up to him and casts a dark shadow over his life once more. "It Ends with Us" by Colleen HooverAmazon"It Ends with Us" by Colleen Hoover, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.17This 2016 Colleen Hoover novel continues to reach the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller list due to its huge popularity on BookTok. "It Ends with Us" is a fast-paced contemporary romance novel about Lily, who dives heart-first into a relationship with the almost-too-good-to-be-true neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid. When a past love and life resurface, her relationship with Ryle becomes threatened. "Sparring Partners" by John GrishamAmazon"Sparring Partners" by John Grisham, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.47Josh Grisham is a bestselling author of legal thrillers like "A Time to Kill" and "The Pelican Brief." His new collection, "Sparring Partners," consists of three novellas, one starring his beloved character Jake Brigance, another featuring a death row inmate three hours before execution, and the final story following two feuding brothers who inherited a law firm when their father went to prison. You can find more of John Grisham's best books here."Call Us What We Carry" by Amanda GormanAmazon"Call Us What We Carry" by Amanda Gorman, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.802021 Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman's latest collection, "Call Us What We Carry," was the first read to top the New York Times Bestseller List in 2022, praised by readers for Gorman's insightful and profound views. These poems include brilliant reflections upon history, society, and the human experience including painful memories of the COVID-19 pandemic and hopeful dedications to the future. "Run, Rose, Run" by Dolly Parton and James PattersonAmazon"Run, Rose, Run" by Dolly Parton and James Patterson, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.00 Written by a beloved music legend and the bestselling author of all time, "Run Rose Run" is an entertaining and suspenseful James Patterson mystery about a young woman running both from her past and towards a promising future in the music industry. As AnnieLee Keys lands in Nashville, she still finds herself constantly looking over her shoulder as her past and secrets lurk ever nearer. "The Paris Apartment" by Lucy FoleyAmazon"The Paris Apartment" by Lucy Foley, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $25.98When Jes moves into her half-brother's Parisian apartment in search of a fresh start, she's not only surprised by his apparent wealth but his sudden disappearance. As she begins to dig into his situation in an effort to find him, Jes's worry grows and her brother's peculiar and unfriendly neighbors each emerge as suspects. "Abandoned in Death" by J.D. RobbAmazon"Abandoned in Death" by J.D. Robb, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.34J.D. Robb is the pseudonym under which Nora Roberts publishes her "in Death" series, with "Abandoned in Death" as the 54th installment. In this latest mystery novel, detective Eve Dallas begins to investigate the peculiar homicide of a woman found neatly arranged on a New York City playground bench, with a fatal wound hidden beneath a ribbon on her neck and an ominous note reading "Bad Mommy." As Eve investigates a clearly troubled killer, other similar disappearances emerge and intensify the urgency of the case. "The Hotel Nantucket" by Elin HilderbrandAmazon"The Hotel Nantucket" by Elin Hilderbrand, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.99When billionaire Xavier Darling purchases The Hotel Nantucket, he renovates and revitalizes the abandoned lodge that was once popular until a 1922 fire killed a young girl. As the hotel's new general manager, Lizbet, pulls together a passionate staff, they fight against the hotel's bad reputation, the lingering ghost, and each other to change fate and find a brighter future. "The Match" by Harlan CobenAmazon"The Match" by Harlan Coben, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.37This action-packed sequel to "The Boy from the Woods" follows Wilde as he discovers the identity of his father through a DNA genealogy website and a second match that pulls him into a secret community of online doxxers. As the story unfolds through murder, scandal, and gripping suspense, it seems a serial killer is targeting the online community — and Wilde might be poised as the next target."Hook, Line, and Sinker" by Tessa BaileyAmazon"Hook, Line, and Sinker" by Tessa Bailey, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.38"Hook, Line, and Sinker" is a swoon-worthy contemporary romance about Fox Thornton, a notorious charmer, and Hannah Bellinger, who's in town for work, staying in Fox's spare bedroom, and completely immune to his charming ways. Though Hannah initially has her eye on a coworker, she can't seem to resist slowly falling for Fox as they spend more and more time together as he tries to prove he's not interested in another temporary fling."The Investigator" by John SandfordAmazon"The Investigator" by John Sandford, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.64Letty Davenport is bored at her desk job when her boss, Senator Colles, offers her an investigative role with the Department of Homeland Security to uncover a series of reported crude oil thefts, possibly part of something much larger and more sinister. As Letty and her partner head to Texas, they soon find a far deadlier and more dangerous situation than they could have imagined."The Judge's List" by John GrishamAmazon"The Judge's List" by John Grisham, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.94"The Judge's List" is John Grisham's sequel to his 2016 thriller, "The Whistler," and continues Lacy Stoltz's story three years later as she uncovers a startling case — that of a Florida judge turned serial killer. As the judge stays one step ahead of the law and continues to hunt down those who have wronged him, Lacy must end his murderous crusade before she becomes the next name on his list. Nonfiction"Finding Me" by Viola DavisAmazon"Finding Me" by Viola Davis, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.53This honest and unforgettable memoir is Viola Davis' reflection upon her journey to self-love by facing herself and her past. From poverty and bullying to systemic racism in Hollywood, Davis recounts the challenges she faced during childhood, her rise into stardom, and those she continues to face today.  "The Office BFFs" by Jenna Fischer and Angela KinseyAmazon"The Office BFFs" by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.18"The Office" characters Pam Beesley and Angela Martin have little in common, but the actresses that brought them to life bonded from the first days on set. "The Office BFFs" is a dual memoir of Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey's experiences as they made memories with the cast, walked their first red carpet, became moms, and created a lifelong friendship that continues to this day. "Happy-Go-Lucky" by David SedarisAmazon"Happy-Go-Lucky" by David Sedaris, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.79"Happy-Go-Lucky" is a collection of funny personal essays about how David Sedaris' life changed during the COVID-19 lockdown and continues to change as the world adjusts to a new normal. In these essays, Sedaris captures the humor and irony of these experiences and the ultimate desire for connection that drives our society. "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der KolkAmazon"The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.40Written by a trauma expert with over 30 years of experience working with trauma survivors, "The Body Keeps the Score" is a psychology book about how traumatic stress "rewires" our brains. As an alternative to drugs or talk therapy, Dr. van der Kolk asserts how we can reactivate many trauma-affected areas of our brains through innovative treatments and therapies. "Tanqueray" by Stephanie Johnson and Brandon StantonAmazon"Tanqueray" by Stephanie Johnson and Brandon Stanton, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.49In 2019, Stephanie Johnson was featured in a "Humans of New York" story, capturing the attention of millions of readers as they learned of her rise from a brutal childhood to becoming one of the best-known burlesque dancers in New York City known as Tanqueray. Written alongside Brandon Stanton, the author of "Humans of New York," "Tanqueray" tells Stephanie Johnson's full story, including all the challenges and triumphs that led to her success and fame. "Bittersweet" by Susan CainAmazon"Bittersweet" by Susan Cain, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.48Bittersweetness is often thought of as a moment or feeling where something good and bad intersect, but in this psychology read, Susan Cain demonstrates how embracing a "bittersweet" state of mind can help us connect to ourselves and each other. Already known for her heartfelt and enlightening writing style in her other bestseller, "Quiet," this nonfiction book uses bittersweetness to teach readers about our relationships with creativity, compassion, leadership, longing, and love. "The Storyteller" by Dave GrohlBookshop"The Storyteller" by Dave Grohl, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.99Dave Grohl has become internationally renowned as the drummer for Nirvana and the Foo Fighters and in this memoir, he details the incredible musical and personal experiences that made him the man he is today. Grohl's personality naturally shines through his writing and is further brought to life in his audiobook narration."The 1619 Project," edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman, and Jake SilversteinAmazon"The 1619 Project," edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman, and Jake Silverstein, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.80In 1619, a cargo ship of 20-30 enslaved people from Africa arrived on the shores of Virginia, igniting a system of brutal slavery and racism that would span centuries. Originally published in The New York Times as a collection of 18 essays and 36 poems and works of fiction, "The 1619 Project" demonstrates how this often-buried history radiates through contemporary American society and offers a new origin story for the United States."Unthinkable" by Jamie RaskinAmazon"Unthinkable" by Jamie Raskin, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.59"Unthinkable" is a new memoir by Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin whose life permanently changed at the beginning of 2021 as he mourned his son's sudden and tragic passing, lived through the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, and led the impeachment efforts against President Trump for inciting violence. This read recounts these painful events by intertwining personal and professional narratives into a single vivid memoir."James Patterson" by James PattersonAmazon"James Patterson" by James Patterson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.50James Patterson is one of the world's most successful writers and his memoir is a collection of interesting and remarkable stories from his life. Written with a comfortable and casual tone, Patterson explains how he developed a love of reading as an adult, met famous musicians and actors before he made a name of his own, and even wrote the famous "Toys 'R Us" jingle while working in advertising. You can find some of James Patterson's best books here."Enough Already" by Valerie BertinelliAmazon"Enough Already" by Valerie Bertinelli, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.29Valerie Bertinelli is an award-winning actress whose new memoir uses personal and relatable stories to offer readers advice on how to achieve a healthier and happier outlook on life. Bertinelli shares her struggles with harsh personal criticism and the journey on which she embarked to transcend our need for perfectionism and reach, instead, for joy. "From Strength to Strength" by Arthur C. BrooksAmazon"From Strength to Strength" by Arthur C. Brooks, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.99This self-help read identifies how many people, including the author himself, struggle to find purpose and success as they age, often feeling as though they may be "declining" as a sense of professional or social irrelevance emerges with age. In "From Strength to Strength," Arthur C. Brooks demonstrates how readers can refocus their priorities and habits in order to make their older years equally full of happiness, purpose, and success."One Damn Thing After Another" by William P. BarrAmazon"One Damn Thing After Another" by William P. Barr, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $21.91William P. Barr was the attorney general during two different presidential administrations — President George H.W. Bush and President Donald Trump. This memoir traverses the most memorable and affecting events Barr faced in his years as attorney general while comparing the vast similarities and differences between the Bush and Trump presidential legacies. "Freezing Order" by Bill BrowderAmazon"Freezing Order" by Bill Browder, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.80After Bill Browder's lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was beaten to death in a Moscow jail, Browder set out to uncover why Magnitsky was killed and bring the killers to justice. In his investigation, Browder followed a trail beyond a tax refund scheme, through Russian government involvement, and to the corruption that runs far deeper than he could have imagined. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider15 hr. 33 min. ago

Futures, Oil Fall As Searing Rally Wobbles

Futures, Oil Fall As Searing Rally Wobbles While European and Asian stocks have extended the blistering July rally to start August, US futures remain have traded in the red in the overnight session, if only modestly, which is to be expected after the best month for US markets since November 2020. Contracts on both the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 were lower by about 0.1%, alongside a drop in oil, the dollar and crypto, as investors assessed recession risks against the latest remarks from Neel Kashkari over the weekend and Bill Dudley this morning that higher interest rates are needed to bring inflation under control. The Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.2%, led by banks, as HSBC Holdings Plc posted better-than-estimated profits. 10Y yields dipped to 2.64%. Oil declined after poor Chinese economic data added to concerns that a global slowdown may sap demand. West Texas Intermediate dropped below $97 a barrel after sinking almost 7% in July in the first back-to-back monthly loss since late 2020. In thin premarket trading, bank stocks were lower as investors remain on edge over recession risks. In corporate news, Global Payments agreed to buy Evo Payments for $34 per share in cash. Meanwhile, HSBC delivered better-than-estimated profits and pledged to return to paying quarterly dividends next year as it seeks to head off a call by its largest shareholder to split up. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Siga Technologies (SIGA US) shares are set to rebound on Monday after the stock sank in the previous session following an FDA update on monkeypox. Shares of other companies making vaccines and antiviral products tied to the disease were also higher in premarket trading. Mobile Global Esports (MGAM US) shares surge as much as 76%, set for another day of gains, following the esports platform’s initial public offering on Friday when it jumped 180%. Cryptocurrency-linked stocks fall as Bitcoin slips following its best month since October 2021, with traders assessing the strength of a recovery from the market’s worst levels. Coinbase (COIN US) down 2%, Marathon Digital (MARA US) falls 4.2%. Comcast (CMCSA US) and Charter Communications (CHTR US) both downgraded at Barclays which said it sees the cable companies as “likely past peak growth.” Comcast shares down 0.1%. Bumble (BMBL US) is cut to hold at Jefferies, with the broker citing incremental FX headwinds and a valuation that is not “compelling.” PubMatic (PUBM US) and Taboola (TBLA US) both cut to sector weight at KeyBanc as the broker anticipates “disparate” 2Q results from the adtech sector. Prefers overweight-rated TradeDesk (TTD US). Traders have been speculating the Federal Reserve will tone down its anti-inflation campaign and opt for a slower path of rate hikes after data showed the US economy shrank a second quarter. While that sentiment drove July’s market turnaround after historic first-half losses, over the weekend some Fed officials - such as Kashkari and Dudley - sought to reinforce the message that higher rates are needed to stamp out price pressures and downplayed recession risks. "The fact that a very weak run of data is seen as equity bullish just purely on the basis of lower rates speaks to just how utterly dominant Fed policy has become in driving investor behavior,” said James Athey, investment director at abrdn. "Unless the Fed pulls off a miracle I am afraid the bear market is absolutely not over." Investors are also monitoring US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Asia. A statement from her office skipped any mention of a possible stopover in Taiwan. A visit may stoke US-China tension over the island. Here are a handful of related headlines: US House Speaker Pelosi’s official itinerary for her trip to Asia was released which did not mention Taiwan, while Radio France Internationale’s Chinese website quoted sources that stated Pelosi will fly to Taiwan via Clark Air Base in the Philippines on August 4th, according to Dimsum Daily HK. China held live-fire drills off the coast opposite Taiwan and its air force said it will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity regarding Taiwan, according to Associated Press and Chinese state media. A senior official in Beijing said the atmosphere of last week’s Biden-Xi telephone conversation was the worst among the five talks between the leaders and President Xi was said to have showed the toughest attitude he has ever shown to any world leader, while the most important topic in the conversation was China-US relations especially the 'Taiwan Question'. Furthermore, the official believes the probability of US House Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is low, as President Xi’s tough position on Taiwan will push President Biden to put more pressure on Pelosi to bypass Taiwan on this trip and the official warned that an accidental military conflict around the island of Taiwan cannot be ruled out if Pelosi insists on visiting Taiwan, according to SGH Macro Advisors. European stocks climb as earnings continue to buoy risk sentiment, while US futures slide, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 down 0.4%. Euro Stoxx 50 rises 0.3%. FTSE MIB outperforms peers, adding 0.9%, Stoxx 600 lags, adding 0.2%. Banks, telecoms and autos are the strongest-performing sectors. Here are the other notable European movers: HSBC jumps as much as 7%, the most since January 2021, after the lender reported interim results. Analysts were impressed with second-quarter pretax profit coming in ahead of consensus. Pearson shares rise as much as 10% after first-half sales beat analyst estimates, with weakness in the higher education segment more than offset by strong growth in other divisions. EssilorLuxottica shares climb as much as 4.2% after CEO Francesco Milleri told Les Echos he’s bullish about the eyewear giant’s outlook. Analysts also are positive about its prospects. Deutsche Telekom shares rise after Kepler Cheuvreux re-initiated coverage with buy, saying its free cash flow yield is set to rise to over 13% by 2024 from about 8% in 2022. Air- France KLM shares gain as much as 6.1% after being upgraded to buy at HSBC and to outperform at Oddo BHF, with the latter noting that the effects of the airline’s restructuring seem to be underestimated. Quilter shares gain as much as 18% amid a report that NatWest is considering a bid for the wealth management firm. The article said several other private equity firms are also considering an offer. Spectris drops as much as 8.2%, the most since Feb. 28, after the precision instrumentation and controls supplier reported half-year results. Jefferies said the interims were a “touch light.” Heineken shares fall as much as 3.5% after the company reported strong 1H results, with investors focusing on the cautious outlook and tweaked 2023 guidance. Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden shares plunged after a fresh sell rating by Goldman Sachs, which downgraded the landlord, saying it’s overleveraged as financing costs continue to surge. Varta fell the most since November 2021 after the German battery maker cut its full-year forecast for sales and earnings over headwinds including rising raw materials and energy costs. CEZ shares fell the most in a month as investors in the Czech power utility digested mounting signals that the government was ready to impose a windfall tax on the most profitable companies. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose as investors bet corporate earnings will support market valuations and as weak economic data from China spurred hopes for more stimulus.   The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.8% with Toyota boosting the measure the most ahead of its earnings release later this week. Industrials led gains among the sectoral gauges as Mitsubishi jumped ahead of its quarterly report. Benchmarks in Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand outperformed.  Hong Kong and mainland China indexes reversed their earlier losses, buoyed by prospects that weak factory data increases the likelihood of fresh policy support from Beijing. China’s factory activity unexpectedly contracted in July while property sales continued to shrink, data over the weekend showed. Some investors said the weak figures have already been priced into last month’s losses in Chinese markets.  “Expecting more stimulus is reasonable, although the market feels the GDP target is no longer a hard target,” said Steven Leung, an executive director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong. “Weak economy means more policies needed to achieve their target, or get closer to their target.” Asian stocks have been on a downtrend despite Monday’s pending gain, with the regional benchmark down almost 30% from its February 2021 high. The gauge has underperformed US peers so far this year as Covid woes continue in China, along with the nation’s property crisis, while ongoing earnings reports in the region are being closely watched.  Japanese equities erased earlier losses to end higher as better-than-expected domestic corporate earnings boosted sentiment. The Topix Index rose 1% to 1,960.11 as of the close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei advanced 0.7% to 27,993.35. Toyota Motor Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index’s gain, increasing 3.5%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,706 rose and 395 fell, while 69 were unchanged. Earnings are “fairly good,” said Hiroshi Namioka, chief strategist and fund manager at T&D Asset Management. “The numbers coming out are clearly positive compared to the previous quarter especially in terms of profit growth.” In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7% to close at 6,993.00, the highest since June 9, boosted by gains across mining, healthcare and energy shares. A subgauge of miners climbed for a third session, closing the highest since June 29. Investors await the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision due Tuesday, with it expected to lift the key interest rate by 50 basis points to 1.85%.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3% to 11,525.87 In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is down about 0.4%; NOK and CAD are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, NZD and JPY outperform. Yen trades at 132.33/USD. The yen climbed as much as 1% against the greenback to 131.89, rising a fourth day in its longest-winning streak since February. While the gains were initially spurred by signs the Federal Reserve will rein back rate hikes, an Asia-based FX trader said Monday that the yen is increasingly seen as a haven play. The euro edged up 0.4%, bolstered by dollar weakness; Goldman Sachs strategists have revised down their three- and six-month forecasts for EUR/USD to 0.99 and 1.02 (from 1.05 and 1.10 previously), citing the shifting European growth outlook. In rates, Treasuries bear-flatten, with the 10-year rate at 2.64%, well down from June’s peak near 3.50%, after hawkish comments from Kashkari and Bostic. Bund 10-year yields rose about 5 bps, after German and Euro Area PMIs were revised higher, while the yield on 10-year gilts climbs about 4 bps to 1.91%. Italian bonds rallied, sending the 10-year yield below 3% for the first time since May, as investors bet that a new government will stick to commitments needed to unlock about 200 billion euros ($205 billion) of European Union funds. In commodities, WTI drifted 2.2% lower to trade at around $96. Base metals are mixed; LME aluminum falls 1.8% while LME nickel gains 4.4%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,766/oz.  Bitcoin declined after reaching the highest levels since mid-June on Saturday amid optimism that the market may have recovered from its worst levels. Looking at today's calendar, we get the July ISM index and June Construction Spending data, Japan July vehicle sales, Eurozone June unemployment rate, Italy July PMI, budget balance, new car registrations, June unemployment rate. We also get earnings from Devon Energy, Activision Blizzard. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,123.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 439.12 MXAP up 0.7% to 161.54 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 523.50 Nikkei up 0.7% to 27,993.35 Topix up 1.0% to 1,960.11 Hang Seng Index little changed at 20,165.84 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,259.96 Sensex up 0.8% to 58,043.18 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 6,992.97 Kospi little changed at 2,452.25 Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,766.44 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.26% to 105.63 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.87% Euro up 0.2% to $1.0241 Brent Futures down 1.2% to $102.77/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg European stocks climb as earnings continue to buoy risk sentiment, while US futures slide, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 down 0.3%. Stoxx 600 rises 0.1% with banks, telecoms and autos the strongest-performing sectors. In fixed income, Bund 10-year yield rises about 5 bps, after German and Euro Area PMIs were revised higher, while the yield on 10-year gilts climbs about 4 bps to 1.91%. Italian bonds hold gains, with the 10-year yield falling below 3% for the first time since May. European factory activity plunged and Asian manufacturing output continued to weaken in July amid lingering supply-chain complications and a slowing global economy. Natural gas prices in Europe rose, after posting the biggest weekly gain in more than a month, as Russia’s tightening grip over supply rips through the economy and heightens concerns about shortages in the winter. The US Treasury is expected to make its fourth straight reduction in a quarterly sale of longer-term debt this month, with most dealers predicting extra cutbacks for the 20-year bond. China’s massive trade surplus helped to offset capital outflows in the first half of the year, anchoring its balance of payments even as the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes fuel outflows from developed and emerging markets alike. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were choppy as momentum from last week’s earnings-inspired euphoria on Wall St was partially offset by disappointing Chinese PMI data and cautiousness ahead of upcoming risk events including central bank rate decisions, NFP jobs data and US House Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Asia. ASX 200 was kept afloat by strength in energy and utilities after the competition regulator’s interim gas report forecast Australia’s east coast could face a shortfall of 56PJ in 2023, while the latest domestic manufacturing PMI data remained in expansion territory. Nikkei 225 was also positive with the biggest movers driven by recent earnings releases and reports also noted that Japan’s panel is expected to seek a record increase of at least JPY 30 to minimum wages. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were initially pressured after Chinese PMI data missed expectations in which the official manufacturing reading printed at a surprise contraction, with sentiment also not helped by US-China tensions as the world second-guesses whether or not US House Speaker Pelosi will defy China’s warnings regarding visiting Taiwan during her Asia trip. However, the mood in Chinese stocks gradually improved and retraced the majority of losses. Top Asian News US House Speaker Pelosi’s official itinerary for her trip to Asia was released which did not mention Taiwan, while Radio France Internationale’s Chinese website quoted sources that stated Pelosi will fly to Taiwan via Clark Air Base in the Philippines on August 4th, according to Dimsum Daily HK. China held live-fire drills off the coast opposite Taiwan and its air force said it will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity regarding Taiwan, according to Associated Press and Chinese state media. A senior official in Beijing said the atmosphere of last week’s Biden-Xi telephone conversation was the worst among the five talks between the leaders and President Xi was said to have showed the toughest attitude he has ever shown to any world leader, while the most important topic in the conversation was China-US relations especially the 'Taiwan Question'. Furthermore, the official believes the probability of US House Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is low, as President Xi’s tough position on Taiwan will push President Biden to put more pressure on Pelosi to bypass Taiwan on this trip and the official warned that an accidental military conflict around the island of Taiwan cannot be ruled out if Pelosi insists on visiting Taiwan, according to SGH Macro Advisors. Macau is to permit dine-in services and will reopen gyms, bars and beauty parlours beginning this Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. US, South Korea and Japan will begin joint ballistic missile defence exercises in waters off Hawaii this week, according to Yonhap. "China is willing to boost China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership to yield more results based on the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit while appropriately handling differences," according to the Chinese Foreign Minister via Global Times. European bourses remain firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%, as the region shrugs-off Final Manufacturing PMIs and a mixed APAC handover given Friday's strong Wall St. performance. However, US futures are underpressure in a continuation of downbeat APAC trade amid poor Chinese PMIs and with multiple key risk events looming for the week, ES -0.2%. In Europe, sectors are mixed with the breadth of performance narrow ex-banks given pronounced upside in HSBC, +6.0%, post-earnings; note, HSBC accounts for 18% of the Europe Stoxx 600 Banking sector. Top European News HSBC Shares Jump After Profit Rise and Vow to Restore Dividends Ukraine Latest: First Grain Ship Since Start of War Leaves Odesa Marex Agrees to Buy ED&F Man Brokerage in Global Expansion Italy 10-Year Yield Falls Below 3% for the First Time Since May Quilter Gains; Potential NatWest Deal Has Clear Logic: Investec Vinci Agrees Deal for 30% Stake in Mexico Airport Operator OMA FX DXY down to deeper cycle low sub-105.500 as Yen revival continues and activity currencies climb, USD/JPY retesting underlying bids and support into 132.00 including next layer of Japanese importer buying interest. Aussie up in anticipation of RBA and Kiwi ahead of NZ jobs data, AUD/NZD and NZD/USD firmly back above 0.7000 and 0.6300 respectively. Euro eyes recent peaks and Sterling probes stops around last Friday’s high, EUR/USD touches 1.0270 and Cable tops 1.2250 . Yuan softer in wake of weaker than expected Chinese PMIs, but Rand remains bid irrespective of inflation contractionary SA PMI as Gold underpins, USD/CNH and USD/CNY 6.7600+ and 6.7500+, USD/ZAR under 16.5000. Fixed Income Debt continues to consolidate and retrace from new corrective peaks, but curves remain steeper. Bunds and Gilts sub-par within 157.74-156.74 and 118.22-117.72 respective ranges, T-notes flattish between 121-07+/120-28 parameters. BTPs bid and sharply outperform ahead of Italy's snap elections and into month bereft of issuance. 10 year bond tops 127.50 from 126.40 low just 7 ticks above prior close. Commodities Crude benchmarks are pressured in a resumption of Friday's action after modest overnight consolidation as the complex looks towards OPEC+. Currently, benchmarks are firmer by over USD 1.50/bbl; while Dutch TTF remains around the EUR 200/MWh mark as Russia put the onus on others re. Nord Stream 1. Spot gold is firmer, deriving upside from the pressure seen in the USD though the magnitude of the yellow metal's move perhaps capped by the generally constructive European tone. OPEC Secretary General Al-Ghais said OPEC is not in competition with Russia and that Russia is a big main player in the world energy map with its membership in OPEC+ vital for the success of the agreement. Al-Ghais added OPEC doesn’t control oil prices but practices tuning markets in terms of supply and demand, while he added that the recent rise in prices is not just related to the Ukraine crisis but is also due to lack of spare production capacity. Furthermore, he said the current state of the global oil market is very volatile and that the most important factor to affect oil prices by year-end is the lack of investments in the sector, according to an interview with Al Rai newspaper cited by Reuters. Libya’s Unity government oil minister said oil production is at 1.2mln bpd, according to Reuters. Gazprom said it is halting gas supplies to Latvia and accused it of violating conditions, while Latvia said that it doesn’t expect Gazprom’s decision to have any major impact, according to Reuters. European governments have eased back on efforts to curb trade in Russian oil in which they are delaying a plan to shut Moscow out of the vital Lloyd’s of London maritime insurance market and will permit some international shipments amid fears of rising crude prices and tighter global energy supplies, according to FT. The first ship with grain left the port of Odessa, according to CNN Türk; subsequently, Ukrainian Infrastructure minister says if the grain deal works in full, they will start consultations to open the port of Mykolaiv, via Reuters. Part of the damaged Beirut port silos collapsed following a weeks-long fire, according to Al Jazeera US Event Calendar 10:00: June Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.2%, prior -0.1% 10:00: July ISM Manufacturing, est. 52.0, prior 53.0 Employment, est. 48.2, prior 47.3 New Orders, est. 49.0, prior 49.2 Prices Paid, est. 73.5, prior 78.5 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap The 2023 global II survey opens in 11 months' time. If you are likely to value our work in the next year please ...... ah ok, I did promise not to mention it again. Thanks for all the support and we'll see how we do in October or November when the results drop. Talking of results, congratulations to the England women's football team for winning the Euros. After years of watching the men's team lose time and time again in important moments it was strange watching them win, especially against Germany. First second place in the Eurovision Song Contest and now this. The world order is being turned upside down! Anyway, welcome to August and a spectacular start to H2 for markets with the S&P 500 in July (+9.1%) seeing its best month since November 2020 and 10yr US Treasuries (-37bps and +1.7%) seeing their best performance since March 2020. This follows the worst H1 since 1962 and 1788 respectively. A stunning comeback for 60/40, 50/50 or whatever ratio you chose to allocate. See our monthly performance review, out soon after this mail, for all the details. It's a complicated outlook at the moment as we don't think the US is in a typical recession yet but will almost certainly be within a few quarters. That delay is supportive for markets relative to what was priced a few weeks ago but it's hard to say the outlook is positive. However the market has more rallied on lower expected terminal rates and the move to price rate cut probabilities within 6 months. We don't think either will come to pass but my rates colleague Francis Yared always tells me not to fight bullish fixed income markets in the summer. Indeed the CoTD on Friday (link here) showed that August is by far and away the best month of the year for bonds. Interestingly Larry Summers had some harsh words over the weekend suggesting the Fed is engaging in "wishful thinking" in what it will take to tame inflation and that “Jay Powell said things that, to be blunt, were analytically indefensible ...." and that “...there is no conceivable way that a 2.5% interest rate, in an economy inflating like this, is anywhere near neutral.” So this debate will rage on but the winner in August may not be the winner by year end. Markets haven't had a chance to wind down for summer yet and maybe they won't get the chance with US payrolls on Friday, followed by CPI on Wednesday 10th. If nothing out of the ordinary occurs in these two prints though maybe we can have a quiet two or three weeks. However if payrolls are far from consensus and/or CPI is strong then we may have some fun and games in August. It’s a month of low liquidity and if something big happens it can be multiplied in such thin trading. Outside of payrolls, the other most important events this week include the manufacturing PMIs and ISM today, the RBA decision and US JOLTS tomorrow, services PMIs and ISM Wednesday, and the likely biggest hike from the BoE for 27 years alongside the increasingly important US jobless claims data on Thursday. Apart from that, earnings are still coming from all directions, but we are past halfway in the US with over 260 companies having reported. It’s 232 in the Stoxx 600. It might be hard to eclipse the big US tech week last week though. The other thing to look out for is whether US House Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan this week on her Asian trip. It could set off a major geopolitical incident if she does and domestic accusations of backing down to China if she doesn't given she'd previously said she would visit. The full day by day week ahead is at the end as usual on a Monday but let's preview the main highlights in detail with the big one being payrolls of course. Our US economists expect a 250k reading for nonfarm payrolls (down from 372k in June with consensus also at 250k) and for the unemployment rate to slightly decline to 3.5% from 3.6% (consensus 3.6%). Our economists think the gradual increase in continuing claims since last month is enough to slow the pace of job growth. Remember we did a CoTD on payrolls day last month showing that the first month of a recession on average has a negative payroll print whereas the months leading up to it don't (including R-1). See here for a reminder. This is one of the main reasons we don't think we're there yet in terms of a recession. Our favoured measure of the strength of the labour market has been the JOLTS data which next comes out tomorrow for June. The problem is that it is always one month behind other data. However it gives us a decent if slightly rear-view mirror look at job openings and labour market tightness. Moving on, the BoE's decision on Thursday will be a big event with our UK economists and consensus expecting a +50bps move, which will take the Bank Rate to 1.75% and become the largest single increase since 1995. It will likely also be accompanied by somewhat hawkish economic forecasts from the Bank. The team's full preview, including expectations on forward guidance and QT, can be found here. Before the BoE, our economists expect the RBA to also hike +50bps tomorrow. Regarding policy guidance, they expect the central bank to reiterate the need for higher interest rates, which would implicitly keep another +50bps hike in September among the options. Turning to corporate earnings, this week's line-up will feature a number of important commodities companies, including BP, Occidental Petroleum (tomorrow), ConocoPhillips and Glencore (Thursday). Travel & leisure firms like Marriott, Airbnb (tomorrow) and Booking (Wednesday) will be in the spotlight as well to assess trends in consumer spending on services. Notable carmakers reporting results will include Toyota (Thursday), BMW (Wednesday) and Ferrari (tomorrow). In healthcare, investors will be focused on Regeneron, Moderna (Wednesday), Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Bayer (Thursday). Other notable reporters will include Advanced Micro Devices, PayPal (tomorrow), Maersk (Wednesday) and Alibaba (Thursday). Asian equities are quiet at the start of the week but with China’s disappointing economic data pointing to further weakness in the world’s second biggest economy (more below). As I type, the Nikkei (+0.47%), Shanghai Composite (+0.15%), the CSI and the Kospi (+0.10%) are holding on to their gains helped by a strong US session on Friday. Elsewhere, the Hang Seng (-0.25%) is lower. Outside of Asia, DM stock futures are weaker with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.50%), NASDAQ 100 (-0.45%) and DAX (-0.25%) edging lower. Oil prices are around -1.5% lower post China data and uncertainty over the OPEC+ meeting this week. Separately, yields on 10yr USTs (-2.0bps) have moved lower, trading at 2.67%, as we go to press. Onto that China data, and factory activity expanded at a slower pace with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI for July easing to 50.4 from 51.7 in June, below analysts’ expectations for a slight dip to 51.5 as growth momentum softened in output, new orders and employment. Over the weekend, China’s factory activity contracted unexpectedly in July with the official reading falling to 49.0 (50.3 expected) from 50.2 in June, underscoring the extent of the uncertainty around growth stemming from fresh virus flare-ups, declining global demand and property market risks. Onto last week now, the FOMC raised rates a super-charged 75bps for the second consecutive meeting, yet financial conditions eased as the market latched onto comments that the hiking cycle would slow at some point and that the Committee was paying heed to slowing activity data. On that news, the splashiest data of the week was the Q2 US GDP which showed the second consecutive quarter of contraction, spurring endless debates as to what constitutes a recession. In Europe, lower Nord Stream capacity continues to ratchet energy pressure higher. The perceived pivot in Fed communications along with slowing activity data drove a shallower pricing of global monetary policy, and thus a rally in global sovereign yields. 10yr Treasuries were -10.2bps lower (-2.7bps Friday), led by a -30.8bp decline in real yields, while 2yr Treasuries were -8.6bps lower on the week (+2.2bps Friday). Not to be outdone, 10yr bunds fell even more, declining -21.4bps (-0.9bp Friday), as the continent looks exposed to even larger potential external shocks. With less aggressive tightening expected, 10yr BTPs tightened -8.1bps versus bunds, -14.3bps of which came on Friday as the main populist far-right party Brothers of Italy, who are polling very strongly, were reported to be likely to adhere to EU budget rules if elected. The easing of expected tightening was a boon to equity markets, which staged big gains across the Atlantic. The S&P 500 was +4.26% higher (+1.42% on Friday) while the NASDAQ picked up +4.70% (+1.88%). Many of the mega cap tech companies reported this week in the US to mixed results. Advertising revenue was sluggish, but supply chain pressures seemed to ease which helped those facing retail customers. Across the board, it seemed like hiring was either slowing or plans were in place to start reducing hiring. European equities also enjoyed some respite from global policy tightening, with the STOXX 600 picking up +2.96% (+1.28% Friday), the DAX +1.74% (+1.52% Friday), and the CAC higher by +3.73% (+1.72% Friday). Despite slowing activity data, oil prices showed no signs of a demand slowdown, with Brent futures climbing +6.60% over the week (+2.68% Friday). On Friday’s data, the US Employment Cost Index increased +1.3%, above 1.2% expectations but a marginal deceleration from 1Q’s 1.4%. The final University of Michigan Sentiment reading was 51.5, versus 51.1 expectations, while year-ahead inflation expectations stayed at 5.2% even if longer term ones edged back up a tenth to 2.9%. Tyler Durden Mon, 08/01/2022 - 07:56.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 1st, 2022

Futures Surge Propelled By Stellar Tech, Energy Earnings

Futures Surge Propelled By Stellar Tech, Energy Earnings US and European stock were set for their best month since November 2020 following blowout earnings from the likes of Amazon and Apple last night, and record profits from energy giants Exxon and Chevron this morning, boosted by expectations of shallower Federal Reserve monetary tightening now that the US is technically in a recession. S&P futures rose 0.6% following yesterday's meltup while Nasdaq 100 futures rose more than 1% after US stocks hit a seven-week high Thursday, as record underinvested hedge funds are forced to chase the move higher now that most downside catalysts (peak inflation, hawkish Fed, earnings disappointment) have been eliminated. The dollar was flat, and 10Y yields rose slightly to 2.70% after plunging as low as 2.65% yesterday after the Q2 GDP print confirmed news of the unofficial US recession. In premarket trading, Amazon soared as much as 13% in premarket trading on Friday, after the e-commerce giant reported better-than-expected 2Q results and gave an upbeat forecast. Apple rose 2.8% after the iPhone maker reported third-quarter revenue that was stronger than expected. US energy giants Exxon and Chevron both rose sharply higher in premarket trading after reporting record profits for Q2. here are some other notable premarket movers: Roku (ROKU US) tumbles 26% after the video-streaming platform company issued a 3Q revenue forecast and reported 2Q results that were weaker than expected, citing a slowdown in TV advertising spending. Intel (INTC US) slumps 9.4% after the chip manufacturer reported lower-than-expected 2Q earnings and cut its full-year forecasts US-listed Chinese stocks fall in premarket trading, following Asian peers lower, amid a lack of new stimulus policies from China’s top leadership. Avantor Inc. (AVTR US) analysts pointed to several factors weighing on the life sciences firm’s results, including its exposure to the European market, forex and Covid. Avantor’s shares slid 11% in US postmarket trading on Thursday. Dexcom Inc. (DXCM US) shares slumped as much as 18% in premarket trading, with analysts pointing to disappointing US growth and a delay to the US launch of the medical device maker’s G7 glucose- monitoring system used by people with diabetes. Analysts said the reaction was overdone and a buying opportunity given the growth outlook. Edwards Life (EW US) down after posting second- quarter results below analyst expectations, as hospital staff shortages and FX headwinds weigh on the medical technology company’s growth. Global shares are set for a second weekly advance, paring this year’s rout. The risk is that the recent bout of optimism eventually gets a reality check if inflation stays stubbornly elevated, leaving interest rates higher than investors would like amid an economic downturn. “At some point, the Fed will pivot policy and that should be better for risk markets, but in the meantime, they’re so bent on quelling inflation that we prefer not to buy the dip here,” Thomas Taw, head of APAC iShares Investment Strategy at BlackRock Inc., said on Bloomberg Radio. Elsewhere, a call between US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping underlined bilateral tension even as the leaders sought an in-person meeting. European stocks also rallied into the month-end after positive earnings buoyed sentiment. The Euro Stoxx 600 rose 0.9%, with Italy's. FTSE MIB outperforms peers, adding 1.6%, FTSE 100 lags, adding 0.6%. Construction, retailers and consumer products are the strongest performing sectors. The banking sector outperformed after a slate of better-than-expected results from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Standard Chartered Plc and BNP Paribas SA. Hermes International rose about 6% after joining LVMH and Kering SA in posting strong results, showing the luxury consumer is resilient so far to high inflation and worries over a potential economic downturn. Here are some other notable European movers: NatWest shares surge as much as 9.5% after the UK lender reported second-quarter earnings that beat estimates, also announcing a special dividend with analysts seeing consensus upgrades ahead. Allfunds jumps as much as 14%, most since May, after reporting adjusted Ebitda ahead of Morgan Stanley’s expectations and providing a “reassuring outlook.” Zalando rises as much as 8.7% alongside other European ecommerce stocks following blowout results from US giant Amazon, which sent its shares surging in premarket trading. Hermes climbs as much as 9.6% to an almost 6-month high after the maker of Kelly handbags reported what Bernstein called a “very strong” beat, with 2Q sales almost 9% ahead. L’Oreal jumps as much as 5.2% after it reported 2Q like-for-like sales that beat estimates, with Jefferies calling the performance “another quarter of gravity- defying growth.” Fluidra gains as much as 12%, the most intraday since October 2020, despite a guidance cut as analysts remain optimistic on longer-term prospects. Kion rises as much as 9.6%, the most since March, bouncing after a post-results decline in the prior session. UBS said it’s positive on the forklift maker’s outlook. Signify slumps as much as 11% after reporting 2Q Ebita below consensus and flagging margin headwinds, which Citi expects will lead to low-single-digit downgrades to full-year estimates. AstraZeneca slides as much as 3.1% on its latest earnings, which exceeded estimates. Analysts say the beat, however, was fueled by one-time items. EssilorLuxottica dips as much as 5.1% after the eyewear firm reported interim results. Jefferies noted the “understandably circumspect” tone of the company’s near-term outlook. Fresenius Medical Care declines as much as 5.7%, extending Thursday’s 14% fall, as the market continued to digest the guidance downgrade. JPMorgan cut its price target by more than 50%. AMS-Osram shares fall as much as 9.7% after its new guidance consensus estimates, with the chipmaker saying production volumes were hit by increasingly unfavorable end markets. Euro-zone GDP rose by more than three times the amount economists expected, putting it on a firmer footing as surging inflation and a possible Russian energy cutoff threaten to tip it into a recession. On the other hand, inflation in the region soared to another all-time high, supporting calls for the European Central Bank to follow up its first interest-rate hike since 2011 with another big move. The tone was more somber in Asia, hampered by a tumble in Chinese tech shares that dragged Hong Kong toward a correction of more than 10% from a June high. Asian stocks slumped as losses in Chinese equities offset gains in the rest of the region, after the nation’s Politburo refrained from announcing new stimulus. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index swung between small gains and losses on Friday. Alibaba and Tencent were among the biggest drags, countering gains in heavyweights including TSMC and Reliance Industries. The Hang Seng Index entered a technical correction, while a gauge of Hong Kong’s tech shares tumbled close to 5%. Sentiment was damped by Chinese leaders’ downbeat assessment of growth and the lack of new measures to boost the economy from a highly anticipated Politburo meeting. Shares of Alibaba tumbled after a report said that Jack Ma was planning to give up control of his fintech unit Ant Group, ahead of the tech giant’s earnings report next week. “We were kind of looking for more policy” from the Chinese government before the National Party Congress later this year, Thomas Taw, head of APAC iShares Investment Strategy at BlackRock Inc., said on Bloomberg Radio. “I think the offshore, foreign sentiment towards China is very, very bearish at the moment.” Investors are also monitoring the latest corporate results while keeping an eye on the property crisis and Covid situation in China. Major overseas earnings before the Asian open were a mixed bag, with strong reports from Apple and Amazon while Intel disappointed. The key Asian stock gauge is still on track for its biggest monthly gain so far in 2022. While stocks in Hong Kong and mainland China are set for a monthly loss, the region’s other markets such as India, Japan and South Korea are poised for their best months of the year. Japanese stocks dipped in afternoon trading as the yen resumed strengthening against the dollar. The Topix fell 0.4% to close at 1,940.31, while the Nikkei was down 0.1% to 27,801.64. Still the Nikkei closed July with a 5.3% gain, its best month since November 2020. The yen rose 0.9% to around 133 per dollar, pushing its three-day advance to 2.8%. Yen Advances to Level That Threatens This Year’s Big FX Short Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix decline, decreasing 2.8% after it missed earnings expectations. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 601 rose and 1,469 fell, while 100 were unchanged. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index falls 0.3%. GBP and CAD are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, JPY continues to outperform, trading at 133.11/USD.   In fixed income, Treasuries were cheaper across the curve with losses led by the long-end, where yields are higher by around 4bp. Wider losses seen across bunds and gilts, weighing on Treasuries as ECB rate-hike premium is added in after a mix of CPI and GDP data out of Eurozone. US 10-year yields around 2.70%, cheaper by 2bp on the day and outperforming bunds and gilts by 3.5bp and 4.5bp in the sector; long-end led losses steepens 2s10s, 5s30s spreads each by around 2bp on the day. IG issuance slate empty so far; four names priced $5.1b Thursday, paying 15bp in concessions on order books that were 3 times oversubscribed.  WTI trades within Thursday’s range, adding 2.1% to trade around $98. Spot gold rises roughly $8 to trade close to $1,765/oz. Most base metals trade in the green; LME zinc rises 3.9%, outperforming peers. Looking to the day ahead, data includes the employment cost index, PCE, income, and spending data in the US, Tokyo CPI, consumer confidence, jobless rate, retail sales, industrial production, and starts in Japan, CPI and GDP in France, GDP in Germany, and GDP in Canada. It’s another full slate of earnings which will include Sony, Exxon, Procter & Gamble, Chevron, AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Colgate-Palmolive, BNP Paribas, Eni, Intesa Sanpaolo, LyondellBasell, Engie, BBVA, NatWest, and Citrix. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,103.00 Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,763.27 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.36% to 105.97   Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Euro-zone inflation climbed to another all-time high, supporting calls for the European Central Bank to follow up its first interest-rate hike since 2011 with another big move The euro-zone economy expanded by more than three times the amount economists expected, putting it on a firmer footing as surging inflation and a possible Russian energy cutoff threaten to tip it into a recession Stocks in Europe and the US are set for their biggest monthly advance since November 2020 on positive earnings and expectations of shallower Federal Reserve monetary tightening China’s top leadership is committing to ample liquidity as the nation contends with a slowdown. So far, a lot of that cash is sitting in the financial system instead of being transmitted to the real economy Biden, Xi Plan In-Person Meet as Taiwan Tensions Intensify Amazon, Apple Poised to Add $230 Billion After Resilient Results Citigroup Drops Some Clients to Boost Trading Returns Credit Suisse Woes Spread to Singapore With $800 Million Trial Bitcoin and Ether Are on Track for Their Best Month Since 2021 Russia Is Wiring Dollars to Turkey for $20 Billion Nuclear Plant Alibaba Slumps as Traders Assess Earnings Risk, Ant Report BofA Says Too Soon for Bull Rally as Investors Pile Into Stocks Singapore, New York Tie for Highest First Half Rental Growth Morgan Stanley Hires Shen as Head of China Onshore Equities Alito Mocks Foreign Leaders Who Attacked His Abortion Opinion A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks traded mixed despite the positive lead from Wall Street, with Chinese markets lagging. ASX 200 was lifted by gold names amid the recent rise in the precious metal. Nikkei 225 saw mild gains throughout the session but eventually fell into the red amid notable JPY strength, whilst Nissan shares fell over 4% at one point after earnings. KOSPI was propelled by its Telecom sector, with Financials and Industrials also aiding. Hang Seng slipped over 2% with Alibaba shedding 6% after WSJ reported that Jack Ma intends to relinquish control of Ant Group. Headlines pointed out the Hang Seng index has fallen 10% from its June peak. Shanghai Comp held a negative bias as traders reacted to the Biden-Xi call, which included no rollback of Trump-era tariffs. Selling thereafter resumed following downbeat commentary from China's MOFCOM, suggesting the outlook for H2 trade growth is not optimistic. Top Asian News China's Commerce Ministry said China's foreign trade faces higher risks; the outlook for China's H2 trade growth is not optimistic, via Bloomberg. MOFCOM said they will study targeted measures for foreign trade, and will step up support for export credit insurance in H2 and expand imports actively and ensure domestic commodity supply, via Reuters. China's Commerce Ministry official said foundation for consumption recovery is not solid yet, more efforts needed to boost consumption, via Reuters. Japanese government decided to tap JPY 257bln in budget reserves to help with rising oil and broader inflation, according to the MoF. PBoC injected CNY 2bln via 7-day reverse repos with the maintained rate of 2.10% for a net drain of CNY 1bln and for a weekly drain of CNY 12bln PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.7437 vs exp. 6.7414 (prev. 6.7411) Japan's Finance Minister Suzuki provides no comment on day-to-day FX moves, closely watching moves with a sense of urgency while working with the BoJ; Japan's MOF said it did not intervene in FX in the June 29th to July 27th period. European bourses are firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%, and are set to post their best monthly performance since Nov'20. Stateside, the NQ continues to outperform, +1.2%, amid after-market earnings from AMZN and AAPL; US PCE Price Index ahead. Top European News Germany Stagnates as Rest of Europe Beats Estimates: GDP Update UK June Mortgage Approvals Fall to 24-Month Low of 63.7k Ukraine Latest: Lavrov in No Rush to Respond to Blinken Request Amundi Defies Gloom Among Managers With $1.8-Billion Inflows Biden, Xi Plan In-Person Meet as Taiwan Tensions Intensify FX Yen recovery momentum gathers pace and extends beyond Dollar pairing to JPY crosses, USD/JPY slides over 2 big figures to test 132.50, EUR/JPY down to 137.56 from 137.32. DXY loses grip of 106.000 post-negative US GDP print and looking for support from PCE, ECI and/or Chicago PMI. Euro fades again irrespective of some encouraging Eurozone data and option expiry interest may be capping, EUR/USD tops out just over 1.0250 yet again and circa 3bln rolling off between 1.2045-50. Rand underpinned by Gold gains and Lira holds above 18.0000 as Turkish trade deficit narrows and Russia transfers funds for a nuclear facility. Sterling fades amidst mixed BoE consumer credit and housing metrics, Cable sub-1.2150 vs 1.2245 at best and EUR/GBP probing 0.8400 vs low around 0.8346 yesterday. Fixed Income Marked debt retracement following run of even more pronounced recovery gains. Bunds fade just shy of 158.00 again and retreat to 156.21, Gilts reverse around 100 ticks from 118.36 and T-note to 120-21+ from 121-08 at best. Stronger than expected Eurozone data also in the mix along with buoyant risk sentiment and firm oil. Bonds braced for busy pm agenda comprising US PCE, ECI and Chicago PMI. Commodities WTI Sep’22 and Brent Oct’22 are posting gains in excess of 2.0% on the session but remain capped by USD 100/bbl and 105/bbl respectively. Dutch TTF Sep’22 has pulled back to modestly below the EUR 200/mWh mark, but remains bid after several sessions of pronounced price action. Spot gold is relatively contained and resides just above the unchanged mark but continues to be dictated by the USD with the JPY-induced pressure lifting the yellow metal briefly overnight. Saudi Energy Minister and Russian Deputy PM Novak met in Riyadh and discussion cooperation between the two nations, according to Twitter, via Reuters. Biden-Xi Call Senior US admin official said US President Biden and China's President Xi discussed face-to-face meeting and directed teams to follow up; did not discuss any potential lifting of US tariffs on Chinese products. White House said presidents Biden and Xi discussed a range of issues important to bilateral relationship and other regional/global issues. Senior US admin official said Biden and Xi had a 'direct and honest' discussion on Taiwan. They discussed areas of cooperation including climate change, health security and counter-narcotics. Biden brought up the long-standing concerns on human rights. Macroeconomic coordination between China and US is of great importance. Biden explained to Xi his core concerns about China's economic practices. China President Xi told US President Biden that the US should abide by the One China principle, and act in line with its words, according to State Media. On the Taiwan issue, Xi told Biden that 'those who play with fire will get burned'. Xi told Biden that China fiercely opposes Taiwan independence and the interference of external forces US President Biden told China President Xi that the US stance on One China policy remains unchanged, according to China's Global Times. Central Banks BoJ Summary of Opinions (Jul meeting): achieving the price stability target in a stable manner is difficult given developments in the output gap and inflation expectations. The recent resurgence of COVID-19 is extremely rapid, and it is necessary to examine how this will affect financial positions, mainly of small and medium-sized firms. The Bank needs to closely monitor the impact that the recent increase in its Japanese government bond (JGB) purchases to contain upward pressure on interest rates has on the functioning of the JGB market. ECB's de Guindos says EUR depreciation has been one of the factors behind high inflation, main factor that guides decisions is the evolution of inflation. HKMA buys around HKD 9.656bln from the market to defend the peg.   US Event Calendar 08:30: 2Q Employment Cost Index, est. 1.2%, prior 1.4% 08:30: June Personal Income, est. 0.5%, prior 0.5% June Personal Spending, est. 0.9%, prior 0.2% June Real Personal Spending, est. 0%, prior -0.4% June PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.9%, prior 0.6%; PCE Deflator YoY, est. 6.8%, prior 6.3% June PCE Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.3%; Core Deflator YoY, est. 4.7%, prior 4.7% 09:45: July MNI Chicago PMI, est. 55.0, prior 56.0 10:00: July U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 51.1, prior 51.1; Expectations, est. 47.5, prior 47.3 Current Conditions, est. 57.1, prior 57.1 1 Yr Inflation, est. 5.2%, prior 5.2%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, est. 2.8%, prior 2.8% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Morning from sunny Frankfurt. Today we wave goodbye to July which after the worst first half returns since 1788 in treasuries and 1962 for the S&P 500, is set to launch us into a very strong start to H2. A reminder that in a chart of the day I did back in June, it showed that the worst 5 H1s for equities all saw a big H2 rebound. However there are five long months to go before we can relax. The key questions from the last 24 hours were 1) Did the Fed pivot on Wednesday? And 2) Is the US in a recession? Treasury markets continued to think the answer to both was yes, which boosted risk sentiment by further capping how far the market thinks the Fed can go. Meanwhile, Presidents Biden and Xi held a phone call, the markets continued to digest the Inflation Reduction Act, the US did see it's second successive quarter of negative growth, German CPI beat expectations and Amazon and Apple impressed the market with earnings after the bell. The main macro driver continued to be the interpretation of the July FOMC. Specifically, that the Chair said at some point in the future it may be appropriate to slow the pace of tightening and that he and the Committee paid heed to slowing activity data (more below). The current interpretation being that factors other than inflation were seeping into the Fed’s reaction function. Global yields rallied hard yesterday. 2yr yields were -13.6bps lower at 2.86% while 10yr Treasuries were -10.9bps lower at 2.68%, their lowest since early April. Notably, real yields drove the decline, falling -13.1bps (-26.2bps lower over the last two days, their largest two-day decline since the invasion in early March), suggesting easier expected policy without an impact on inflation, with breakevens up a modest +2.1bps. This is a market believing the Fed will be forced into a pivot, and that slowing activity figures will soon translate into lower inflation. This morning in Asia, yields on 10yr USTs (-1.80 bps) are extending their decline, trading at 2.66% as I type. Europe outpaced the US with 2yr bunds -18.7bps lower at 0.22%, their lowest since mid-May. 10yr bunds were -11.8bps lower and OATs fell -13.4bps. 10yr BTPs outperformed on the perceived shift in policy tone, down -14.9bps. Regular readers will know we are skeptical things will work out as the market is increasingly pricing in. Real policy rates remain deeply in negative territory despite the Fed believing they are at neutral. Furthermore, policy works on long and variable lags, not only is 5 months (the amount of time until the market is pricing cuts) a very short amount of time for today’s tightening to bring inflation back from 9%, but the very reaction we’re witnessing in markets means financial conditions have actually eased since the June FOMC meeting. So the Fed has instituted back-to-back 75bp hikes and financial conditions haven’t gotten any tighter. DB research has been putting out a number of pieces addressing this of late. Matt Luzzetti and Peter Hooper put out a piece yesterday showing that the Fed is historically more cautious about cutting rates when core PCE is above 4% (see here), while Tim Wessel on my team showed that markets overestimate how large those cuts will be ahead of time when inflation is that high (see here). However, one needs to be wary of summer seasonals, where August is usually the strongest month of the year, when deciding whether to fight the move now or wait until September. Adding to the yield rally justification, advanced US GDP came in at -0.9% in 2Q, that is in negative territory for a second straight quarter. This has driven much hand-wringing about whether or not the US is currently in a recession. We won’t know for a while if the NBER officially calls this a recession, as the growth data will undergo plenty of revisions before we have a final number. Further, the NBER actually doesn’t use GDP as one of their indicators for defining recessions, funnily enough, instead amalgamating personal income, payrolls, real PCE, retail sales, household survey employment, and industrial production (which eventually wind up looking a whole lot like GDP). Some of those underlying figures still look quite strong even if the headline GDP figure is not. In the end, whether or not the NBER decides in the future that we are in recession today is almost beside the point: markets will continue to trade based on their perception of the Fed’s responsiveness to slowing activity weighed against runaway inflation. On that note, the overwhelming perception over the last two days is that slowing activity, will become increasingly more important for policy going forward. This drove risk assets higher for a second straight day across the Atlantic. The S&P 500 increased +1.21% with all but one sector higher, while the NASDAQ was up +1.08%, bringing them +11.06% and +14.24% higher since terminal rates first fell from above 4% in mid-June. In Europe, the STOXX 600 climbed +1.09%, while the DAX and CAC increased +0.88% and +1.30%, respectively. On the earnings front, Mastercard said that card spending and use of its payments infrastructure have picked up in a big way amidst runaway inflation, pushing the company’s revenue forecast for the year higher. Hard to see how inflation slows if consumers are spending like that. After the close Apple and Amazon reported earnings on the stronger side of what we’ve seen for mega-caps so far, with both releases containing optimism around supply chains and consumer spending. Apple’s revenues and earnings figures beat street estimates, despite supply chain disruptions from China covid lockdowns, on the back of stronger-than-expected iPhone and iPad sales, with shares rising around +3% after hours. Amazon shares rose more than +12% in after hours trading after beating revenue estimates and revising forecasts higher. While hiring appears to be slowing, Amazon also looks to be unwinding storage capacity, again another sign that supply chain pressures may be easing, while cutting costs. We got more international data on the great slower activity versus high inflation dichotomy, with German CPI increasing +0.9% MoM versus expectations of +0.6%, bringing YoY to +7.5% versus +7.4% expectations. The EU harmonised measures also beat expectations, climbing +0.8% MoM versus +0.4% expectations while YoY ticked up to +8.5% versus +8.1% expectations. Asian equity markets are mixed this morning with the Hang Seng (-2.19%) sharply lower and with the Shanghai Composite (-0.71%) and CSI (-1.02%) also slipping on rising expectations of China's economic growth outlook remaining subdued in H2 after yesterday’s high-level Communist Party meeting omitted its full-year GDP growth target and will instead strive to achieve the best results for the economy this year. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.46%) and the Kospi (+0.43%) are trading in positive territory and more matching western markets. Talking of which, stock futures in the US are pointing to a strong start with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.57%) and NASDAQ 100 (+1.21%) both higher on the positive earnings from Amazon and Apple. Early morning data showed that Japan’s industrial output jumped +8.9% m/m in June (v/s +4.2% expected) posting the biggest one-month gain in nine years as disruptions due to China's COVID-19 curbs eased. It followed a -7.5% drop last month. But retail sales (-1.4% m/m) unexpectedly contracted in June (v/s +0.2% expected) after an upwardly revised +0.7% increase in May. Separately, July Tokyo CPI advanced to +2.5% y/y in July (v/s +2.4% expected, +2.3% in June) on the back of a hike in utility prices. Meanwhile, labour market conditions in the nation remained relatively healthy as the jobless rate stayed at 2.6% in June (v/s 2.5% market consensus) albeit the job-to-applicants ratio improved to 1.27 in June (v/s 1.25 expected) from 1.24 in May. Elsewhere, Presidents Biden and Xi had a two-hour phone call. The call covered foreign policy issues surrounding Taiwan and Ukraine. The two leaders reportedly covered areas of mutual cooperation, as well, including using their economic might to prevent a global recession and tasking aides to follow up on climate and healthy security issues. Aides have been tasked with setting up a face to face meeting which seems an impressive development even with the tensions there obviously are between the two sides. To the day ahead, data includes the employment cost index, PCE, income, and spending data in the US, Tokyo CPI, consumer confidence, jobless rate, retail sales, industrial production, and starts in Japan, CPI and GDP in France, GDP in Germany, and GDP in Canada. It’s another full slate of earnings which will include Sony, Exxon, Procter & Gamble, Chevron, AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Colgate-Palmolive, BNP Paribas, Eni, Intesa Sanpaolo, LyondellBasell, Engie, BBVA, NatWest, and Citrix. Tyler Durden Fri, 07/29/2022 - 08:16.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJul 29th, 2022

Furious Rally Pauses As Sentiment Turns Metaworse Amid Record Earnings Barrage

Furious Rally Pauses As Sentiment Turns Metaworse Amid Record Earnings Barrage One day after the Nasdaq 100 posted its biggest jump since November 2020 when the market exploded higher after it interpreted Powell's forward guidance purge and comment that it is "likely appropriate to slow rate increases at some point" as more dovish than expected, US stocks were set to pull back as downbeat earnings and a dire outlook from bad to Metaworse weighed on demand. Futures contracts on the technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.5% by 7:15 a.m. in New York, after the underlying gauge rallied 4.3% in the previous session. S&P 500 futures were down 0.2% after the benchmark index jumped to its highest level in seven weeks. Treasury yields were little changed and the dollar and bitcoin edged up. In premarket trading, Facebook parent Meta tumbled after it reported its first-ever quarterly sales decline as ad spend by businesses cooled, leading to a far worse than expected forecast. Qualcomm also slipped as it issued a lackluster forecast.  Renewable energy companies soared in Europe and premarket trading following a deal by Democrats and Senator Manchin to advance a bill that will spend hundreds of billions of dollars on energy security and climate change. Vestas Wind Systems A/S surged more than 14% as oil also rose.  Spirit Airlines Inc. rose in premarket on a deal with JetBlue Airways Corp. Among other individual movers, Best Buy dropped in premarket trading as analysts slashed their price targets on the retailer after it cut its profit and sales outlook. Ford Motor on the other hand, jumped after reporting better-than-expected adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Qualcomm (QCOM US) shares fall 4.5% in premarket trading after the chipmaker issued a lackluster forecast for the current quarter as it expects weakening economy to weigh on consumer spending on mobile devices. Watch shares of US chipmakers and semiconductor capital equipment stocks, including Lam Research (LRCX US), Applied Materials (AMAT US), Nvidia (NVDA US), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD US), Intel (INTC US), after Samsung’s quarterly profit missed estimates and Qualcomm’s forecast. Meta Platforms (META US) shares are down 5.9% in premarket trading, after the Facebook parent reported its first- ever quarterly sales decline as ad spend by businesses cooled. Ford (F US) shares jumped as much as 7.7% in US premarket trading after the carmaker’s adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter beat the average analyst estimate. Solar energy and renewables stocks gain in US premarket trading after Senator Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck a deal on a tax and energy policy bill. First Solar (FSLR US) +10%, SunRun (RUN US) +12%, Enphase Energy (ENPH US) +3.6%, SolarEdge (SEDG US) +4.0% Etsy (ETSY US) rises 6.1% in premarket trading on Thursday after the company posted stronger-than-expected second- quarter results, with most analysts seeing the online retailer retaining its market-share gains made during the pandemic ServiceNow (NOW US) shares fall 7.5% in US premarket trading, after the software company cut its full-year revenue forecast due to a stronger dollar and a potential pull back in demand. Spirit Airlines (SAVE US) shares climb 4.5% in premarket trading as JetBlue Airways is said to be close to an agreement to buy the carrier. Best Buy (BBY US) shares drop 4.4% in US premarket trading as analysts slashed their price targets on the retailer after it cut its profit and sales outlook, with brokers blaming the macroeconomic backdrop. Teladoc Health (TDOC US) shares fall about 25% in premarket trading after the virtual- care company’s 3Q Ebitda guidance came in below expectations, with analysts saying the outlook for Teladoc is likely to be revised downward. Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH US) shares plummet 52% in premarket trading after the hospital company reported a surprise loss per share for the second quarter. US stocks have rallied in July, putting the S&P 500 Index on course for its biggest monthly gain since October 2021, as the market finally grasps what we have been saying since January, namely that the weaker macroeconomic will prompt the central bank to "pivot" to easier policy, coupled with bets that much of the bad news was now priced in. It could get even worse, er better, today when the US reports Q2 GDP which may confirm that the world's largest economy is in a technical recession further shortening the Fed tightening phase. To be sure, the knee-jerk relief in markets on possible crumbs of comfort from the Fed outlook echoes a pattern seen after earlier hikes. Those bouts of optimism stumbled on recession risks from a global wave of monetary tightening, Europe’s energy woes and China’s property sector and Covid challenges. “We do feel the hikes are going to slow from these levels,” Laura Fitzsimmons, JPMorgan Australia’s executive director of macro sales, said on Bloomberg Television. But financial-industry participants are skeptical about the pricing indicating Fed rate cuts in 2023, she added. “As the tug-of-war between inflation and recession fears plays out in the second half of the year, we expect to see highly volatile markets,” Richard Flynn, UK Managing Director at Charles Schwab, wrote in a note. All eyes have also been on corporate earnings for signs of resilience in profit margins to surging inflation and weaker sentiment. A record number of US and European firms worth more than $9.4 trillion will report their results on Thursday. Of these $6.8 trillion are 55 S&P500 companies if constituents of the Nasdaq 100 are included. That comes on the heels of the Fed raising rates by 75 basis points for a second month, saying such a move is possible but that the pace of hikes will slow at some point. Chair Jerome Powell said policy will be set meeting-by-meeting as he tries to control rising prices amid signs of an economic slowdown. Big Tech will be a particular focus again with results from Amazon, Apple and Intel. “We see the earning season as a mixed bag and it’s not necessarily very good news looking forward because we have an economic momentum that is this decelerating very fast and we also have central banks all around the world hiking interest rates,” Geraldine Sundstrom, portfolio manager for asset allocation strategies at Pimco, said on Bloomberg TV. “For financial markets, the risk of the Fed taking an overly aggressive stance has eased over the past week due to mixed growth and inflation data,” said Gurpreet Gill, macro strategist of fixed income and liquidity solutions at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. “Growing evidence of slowing demand has curbed the need for speed –- hence the Fed did not provide forward guidance on its policy path.” The dovish Fed euphoria also helped lift European stocks, which initially faded a strong opening bounce only to recover all gains. Euro Stoxx 600 rose 0.5%, with the FTSE MIB outperforming, adding 0.8%, IBEX lags, dropping 1.3%. Telecoms, food & beverages and utilities are the worst-performing sectors. The Stoxx 600 Basic Resources index rose as much as 3.6%, the top-performing sub-index in the benchmark, following well-received results and with metals prices gaining. ArcelorMittal jumped following a cash flow beat and new buyback in its results, while Anglo American gains as its earnings and dividend both topped expectations. Other steel stocks SSAB, Voestalpine higher after ArcelorMittal and after beat from Acerinox. Copper miners KGHM and Antofagasta the biggest gainers with copper price up for fifth day. Here are some of the most notable market movers: Shell rises as much as 2.2% after the company reported what RBC Capital Markets described as strong results and announced that it will repurchase a further $6 billion of shares in the third quarter. Renewable energy companies’ shares soared following a deal by US senators to advance a bill that will spend hundreds of billions of dollars on energy security and climate change. Vestas Wind Systems stock gained as much as 15%, Nordex +12%, Orsted +6.5%, SMA Solar +7.6%, Meyer Burger +9.3% Schneider Electric shares were up as much as 5.2% after it reported a strong set of results; analysts welcome the increased FY growth targets and the company’s ability to pass on inflation. Diageo rises as much as 2.7% after the British distiller’s FY22 organic sales beat estimates. The group reiterated its medium-term guidance even as it expects a challenging environment for FY23. Stellantis shares gain as much as 4.3%, after the carmaker reported 1H results that Jefferies called “impressive and clean.” TotalEnergies declines as much as 3.8%, after its plan to maintain the pace of buybacks disappointed some analysts amid expectations for accelerated share repurchases in the industry. Airbus shares fall as much as 6.6% in Paris after the aircraft maker cut its full-year delivery projections and pushed back ramping up the A320 build rate to 65 a month from summer 2023 until early 2024. Nestle shares drop as much as 2.2% after the company cut its margin outlook for the year. The results are “mixed,” given the sales beat and increased FY organic revenue forecast, but there are questions around margin, according to analysts. Fresenius Medical Care shares slide as much as 15% after the dialysis services firm issued a guidance downgrade that showed significant cost pressures on many fronts, Truist says in a note. Ironically, as Europe edges toward a full-blown energy crisis and recession, its manufacturing giants are raking in the cash. Luxury-car leader Mercedes-Benz joined Europe’s biggest chemicals maker BASF, Swiss building-materials producer Holcim, shipping company Hapag-Lloydand others to report a jump in profit and raise earnings forecasts for the year. The results offered a stark contrast to the wave of grim economic news sweeping across Europe. Confidence in the euro-area fell to the weakest in almost 1 1/2 years as fears of energy shortages haunt consumers and businesses, and the European Central Bank’s first interest-rate increase in a more than decade feeds concerns that a recession is nearing. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks also advanced after the Federal Reserve said it will slow the pace of interest-rate increases at some point. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.1%, driven by gains in material and energy stocks. Equity benchmarks in the Philippines and New Zealand led gains in the region as a weakening dollar boosted risk appetite. “The stock markets may reverse their recent falls” following the Fed’s decision, said Heo Pil-Seok, chief executive officer at Midas International Asset Management in Seoul. “Starting today, we should see if there’s any changes in foreign fund flows, as outflows have somewhat eased recently,” he said, adding however that the stock rally may be short-lived as investors remain cautious on earnings. Gains in Asia were small relative to the rally in US stocks overnight, as investors monitored the latest local earnings along with China’s property crisis and the Covid situation. Asian tech bellwether Samsung Electronics provided a weak demand forecast Thursday, citing uncertainties following a rare earnings miss. Chinese benchmarks were flat amid the Politburo meeting and a possible call between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden. Elsewhere, traders are awaiting a phone call between President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping, which could touch on US tariffs and other points of tension. Japanese equities climbed, following US peers higher on relief after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 75 basis points and indicated that monetary policy tightening will eventually slow down. The Topix rose 0.2% to 1,948.85 as of the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.4% to 27,815.48 as the yen gained against the dollar, weighing on exporters such as Toyota. Recruit Holdings Co. contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 4.4%. Out of 2,169 shares in the index, 1,406 rose and 652 fell, while 111 were unchanged. “It does seem as if the market bottomed out at the end of June,” said Hitoshi Asaoka, a strategist at Asset Management One. “There is a sense that a rise in interest rates is receding worldwide and stocks are also calming down along with that.” Fed Hikes by 75 Basis Points as Powell Sees No US Recession Now In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index revered a drop of 0.6% to trade higher. SEK and DKK are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, JPY maintains outperformance, trading at 135.33/USD.  The yen was around 135.40 per dollar, after strengthening more than 1% to 135.11 in Asia, extending an overnight rise to hit a three-week high. It jumped by a similar amount against the euro and the Australian dollar. In rates, Treasury yields were little changed to 3bps lower in European trading after dropping on Wednesday. The Treasury curve extended Wednesday’s post-FOMC steepening move as short end leads recovery from losses during European morning. Declines followed a large downside options trade, while gilts and bunds have underperformed over the London session. Focal points of US session include first estimate of 2Q GDP and 7-year note auction.US long-end yields remain cheaper by ~2bp while front-end and belly yields are richer on the day, steepening 2s10s by ~2bp, 5s30s by ~3bp; 10-year yields around 2.79% are little changed with bunds cheaper by ~2bp, gilts by ~4bp. Bunds lag following German regional CPI data, with national gauge due at 8am ET. German curve steepens with two-year yields lower after some state inflation gauges slow, while rates at the longer end rise. US 10-year yields are steady at 2.79%. In commodities, WTI drifts 1.7% higher to trade below $99. Spot gold rises roughly $10 to trade near $1,745/oz. Most base metals trade in the green; LME zinc rises 3%, outperforming peers. Looking the day ahead, in addition to the US GDP we get core PCE, consumption, and jobless claims in the US. In Europe, German CPI and France PPI are due with the first German regional numbers out just after we press send this morning. Our economists expect MoM CPI at +0.8% in Germany, and +0.5% on the EU harmonized MoM measure. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,011.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 428.98 MXAP up 1.0% to 160.34 MXAPJ up 0.8% to 524.61 Nikkei up 0.4% to 27,815.48 Topix up 0.2% to 1,948.85 Hang Seng Index down 0.2% to 20,622.68 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,282.58 Sensex up 1.7% to 56,792.04 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.0% to 6,889.75 Kospi up 0.8% to 2,435.27 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.98% Euro little changed at $1.0206 Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,746.23 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.18% to 106.26 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Chair Jerome Powell said the Federal Reserve will press on with the steepest tightening of monetary policy in a generation to curb surging inflation, while handing officials more flexibility on coming moves amid signs of a broadening economic slowdown. The yen catapulted higher against major peers on Thursday as lowered expectations for rate hikes caused hedge funds to cover short bets from one of the biggest global macro trades of the year. US Stocks Set to Dip After Biggest Tech Gain Since November 2020 Meta Disappoints With Forecast Miss, First-Ever Revenue Drop China Leaders Call for ‘Best’ Growth Outcome at Key Meeting US Offers Russia to Swap Jailed Basketball Star for Arms Deale US Aircraft Carrier Enters South China Sea Amid Taiwan Tensions US Offers Russia to Swap Griner and Whelan for Arms Dealer Bout Barclays Latest Bank to Make Provision for US WhatsApp Fine Yen Roars Back as Hedge Funds Cut and Run From Big Macro Short China-US Deal Needed Soon to Avoid Delistings, Gensler Says Alibaba’s Gains From Primary Listing Plan Wiped out in Two Days Samsung’s Profit Is Latest Tech Casualty to Recession Fears Senate Deal Includes EV Tax Credits Sought by Tesla, Toyota Manchin Backs $369 Billion Energy-Climate Plan, Rejects SALT A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks eventually traded higher across the board following the firm lead from Wall Street. ASX 200 saw firm gains across its Tech, Gold, and Mining sectors. Nikkei 225 gained in early trade and briefly topped the 28k mark before recoiling as the JPY saw a sudden bout of strength. KOSPI benefited from Samsung Electronics' rise post-earnings, although the firm echoed recent remarks from SK Hynix regarding weaker H2 memory demand. Hang Seng moved on either side of breakeven but later saw an upside bias as Hong Kong Finance Secretary said Hong Kong's H2 economic performance will be better than H1. Shanghai Comp eventually gained despite the recent cautious commentary from Chinese President Xi. Top Asian News Chinese Politburo says it will keep economic operations in a reasonable range. Australian Treasurer Chalmers said the final budget outcome for 2021/22 likely to show a dramatically better-than-expected outcome. Samsung Electronics (005930 KS) - Q2 2022 (KRW): Revenue 772tln (Co. exp. 77tln); operating profit 14.1tln (exp. 14tln). Net profit 11.1tln (exp. 10.3tln); Chip operating profit 9.98tln (exp. 11.08tln); expects weaker H2 phone/PC memory chip demand. South Korean President Yoon has ordered to take steps against illegal activities regarding stock short selling, via Yonhap. Hong Kong Finance Secretary said Hong Kong's H2 economic performance will be better than H1; property market fundamentals remain sound. Hong Kong Monetary Chief expects overnight and one-month interbank rate to continue to rise at a much faster pace; says HKD has been stable and has been operating in an orderly manner; public should be prepared for interbank rate to climb further, via Reuters. PBoC injected CNY 2bln via 7-day reverse repos with the maintained rate of 2.10% for a net drain of CNY 1bln. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.7411 vs exp. 6.7425 (prev. 6.7731). Japanese government spokesperson says there is currently no plan to impose restrictions on people's movements following increasing COVID cases; Tokyo COVID cases reach 40,406 vs. previous record of 34,995. European bourses are modestly softer, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.10%, but relatively contained now after fading initial gains from the FOMC-inspired upside. Amid numerous earnings updates from Europe & in the US aftermarket. US futures are relatively stable but continue to post modest losses with the NQ -0.8% lagging amid pre-market downside in Meta post-earnings, -6.0%. Meta Platforms Inc (META) Q2 2022 (USD): EPS 2.46 (exp. 2.59), Revenue 28.82bln (exp. 28.95bln), Advertising revenue 28.15bln (exp. 28.53bln). Outlook reflects continuation of weak advertising demand environment it experienced throughout Q2. Guidance assumes FX will be about a 6% headwind to Y/Y total revenue growth in Q3. Co. said the economic downturn will have a broad impact on digital advertising business, says the situation seems worse than it did a quarter ago. -6.0% in the pre-market. Jack Ma intends to relinquish control of Ant Group, via WSJ sources; to transfer some voting power to executives, could push-back IPO timing by over a year. Top European News German consumer energy bill to increase by EUR 1k/year, following a cost shift, via Bloomberg; Effective from October 1st, via Reuters sources; levy will cover 90% of costs. Subsequently, German Economy Minister says the gas level would cost several hundred EURs per household. India to Restart Ukraine Sunflower Oil Imports as Trade Eases Wind, Solar Stocks Surge After US Energy Bill Agreement Vanguard Europe MD Says Climate Is Now ‘the Most Material Risk’ Schroders Up; Jefferies Says Results Show Resilience of Platform EDF Posts $1.3 Billion Loss as State Readies Nationalization Turkey Raises 2022 Inflation Forecast to 60.4% on Imports, Lira Central Banks BoJ Deputy Governor Amamiya said we must not loosen our grip in keeping monetary policy easy as there is no prospect yet of sustainably meeting the 2% inflation target. He added that consumer sentiment has been worsening due to rising energy and food prices. BoJ must be vigilant to financial and forex moves and their impact on economy and prices. ECB's Visco refrains from saying whether markets should expect a 25bps or 50bps hike in September; not prepared to say the ECB would go for 50bps in September in order to reach its target quicker. Adds, the ECB doesn't really know where its target is. BoK to strengthen monitoring of FX and capital flows following the FOMC hike, according to Bloomberg. HKMA raised its base rate by 75bps to 2.75%, as expected, following the earlier Fed rate hike. NBH hikes the one-week deposit rate to 10.75% (prev. 9.75%) at tender. CBRT Governor says the bank has enough FX reserves to meet high energy costs and reserves continue to increase. FX Fed leaves Dollar in limbo with no firm forward guidance and reliant on unfolding macro fundamentals, DXY depressed within 106.580-050 range vs pre-FOMC high of 107.430. Yen outperforms on prospect of less BoJ vs Fed policy divergence, USD/JPY sub-135.50 and key Fib level. Kiwi outpaces Aussie as NZ business outlook and activity turn less downbeat, while Australian retail sales miss consensus and slow to softest pace in 2022 so far; AUD/NZD retreats through 1.1150 as AUD/USD and NZD/USD hover just under 0.7000 and 0.6300 respectively. Pound extends gains against Euro through 0.8400 and chart trend line, but both fade from post-FOMC peaks vs Buck, Cable unable to reach 1.2200 and EUR/USD fails to hold above 1.0200. Lira and Forint flounder irrespective of supportive CBRT rhetoric and NBH raising 1-week deposit rate by 100bp, USD/TRY touches 17.9300 in wake of jump in year end Turkish CPI forecast and EUR/HUF approaches 408.00. Fixed Income Bonds remain volatile post-Fed, but curve steepening the clear trend as markets reset rate expectations to data rather than forward guidance. Bunds choppy within wide 154.75-155.87 extremes, Gilts between 116.70-117.19 parameters and T-note from 119-23+ to 120-08+. US Treasuries also conscious of looming 7 year supply after potentially pivotal Q2 GDP and jobless claims. Commodities WTI and Brent are firmer by over 1.5% on the session after spending much of the European morning relatively contained. European gas prices are significantly more contained when compared to price action earlier in the week but remain at elevated levels comfortably above EUR 200/MWh for TTF. Gazprom continues shipping gas to Europe via Ukraine, Thursday's volume is 42.1MCM (vs Monday's 42.2MCM). Shell (SHEL LN) has cut gas use at the Rotterdam Pernis (404k BPD) facility by 40% and at German sites by ~70%, due to the ongoing gas situation. India's gold demand in H2 is seen falling Y/Y due to lower disposable income; H1 gold demand rose 42% Y/Y, according to World Gold Council. Magnitude 6.3 earthquake hits Tocopilla in Chile, according to the EMS; 5.5 magnitude earthquake occurs near Nicaragua coast, via EMSC. Nornickel Q2 production: Nickel 48k tonnes, Palladium 709/koz, via Reuters. Spot gold is bid by just over USD 10/oz but, again, remains subject to USD action as while the index is bid it has dipped markedly. Amidst the USD’s relative weakness, base metals are similarly supported. US Event Calendar 08:30: 2Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. 0.5%, prior -1.6% Personal Consumption, est. 1.2%, prior 1.8% PCE Core QoQ, est. 4.4%, prior 5.2% GDP Price Index, est. 8.0%, prior 8.2% 08:30: July Initial Jobless Claims, est. 250,000, prior 251,000 Continuing Claims, est. 1.39m, prior 1.38m 11:00: July Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 4, prior 12 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Just before the June FOMC, the surprise last minute leak that the Fed were about to hike rates by 75bps shocked yields much higher and equities much lower. However last night's routine 75bps July FOMC hike was cheered to the rafters by the equity market with yields also falling, especially at the front end. So how times change! Today we could see confirmation of the start of a technical recession in US with Q2 GDP out, and also German CPI which might show some signs of falling before we think it hits new highs again in the autumn. So a busy day. Back to the Fed and the expected 75bps hike brings the rate into territory that some Committee members may deem ‘neutral’ (Our full US econ review, here). The statement maintained guidance that the Committee sees further rate hikes, and thus moves into restrictive territory, as appropriate, even as the statement opened by acknowledging that some activity data had softened. Nothing in the statement came as a particular surprise, leaving equities and rates little changed upon release with the bulk of the rally after the press conference started. At the press conference, the Chair left open the possibility of another super-charged 75bp hike (or larger) in September, but demurred on providing forward guidance, saying that the Committee would be making policy decisions on a meeting-per-meeting basis. A tacit acceptance of what they have already been doing, to an extent. Nevertheless, the Chair did note that the SEP from June, that shows policy getting to between 3% and 3.5% by the end of year, and a terminal rate of 3.8% was probably still the best guide for the path of policy. Despite the continued insistence on more hikes being necessary, and inflation being much too high, markets instead latched onto the fact that the Committee was cognisant of the signs of slowing growth in the economy, and that the Fed would logically slow the path of tightening at some point. Upon this, markets priced in a shallower policy path, which saw 2yr Treasuries -5.5bps lower on the day, with 10yr yields down -2.2bps, and no more rate hikes in 2023 after hitting a terminal rate of 3.3%. What was left unsaid is that slowing growth has to translate to slowing inflation for the FOMC to pivot policy. That cuts are being priced in within six months when inflation is still climbing from lofty levels seems too optimistic. However this very much fits it with the current market narrative so this doesn't feel the time to fight it. That optimistic pricing path drove US equities through the roof after the FOMC, with the NASDAQ ending the day +4.06% higher, climbing around +1.58% after the FOMC events, it’s best daily return since April 2020, while the FANG+ was up +5.30%, its best day in two months. Tech stocks outperformed given the sensitivity of their valuations to rate policy, but the broad S&P 500 climbed +2.62% as well, with every sector in the green. After the FOMC, Meta missed analyst estimates, posting its first ever decline in sales over a quarter, and traded around -4.5% lower in after-hours trading. In the release the company also noted hiring has slowed this year much like its other mega cap brethren. This morning, S&P 500 futures are trading -0.14% lower, with Meta having taken some shine out of the post-FOMC glow. Elsewhere overnight, Senator Joe Manchin reportedly reached a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a tax and spending plan focused on climate spending, capping health care costs, while raising additional tax revenue. This will be a huge story out of Washington heading into the fall midterms, and the overall impact of the bill – which is being structured to pass through the reconciliation process and thus with a simple majority – will be assessed over coming days as more people get eyes on it. An announcement that came out of the blue after Senator Manchin shot down reconciliation efforts in light of growing inflation time and again. One we will surely be talking about more over the near-term. Ahead of the FOMC, equities were higher on both sides of the Atlantic on buoyant sentiment following optimistic forecasts from tech giants Microsoft and Alphabet the night before. European equities closed modestly higher across the board, with the STOXX 600 closing up +0.47%, the DAX +0.53% higher, and the CAC up +0.75%. The big focus in Europe remained on the gas situation. A German government spokesperson acknowledged there had been a reduction of gas supplies from Russia and noted there was no technical reason for Russia to cut supplies. European natural gas futures climbed another +2.54% on the day to €205. Core European and Treasury yield curves were flatter heading into the Fed, with 2yr bund yields climbing +8.7bps and 10yr bunds +2.0bps higher to 0.94%. The spread widening in BTPs continued, with 10yr BTPs +5.5bps wider to bunds at 236bps, just under 5bps from their widest levels reached in mid-June. Meanwhile, Treasury yields were lower across the curve, with the curve even more inverted. The data out before the Fed was never going to be the main driver of rates on the day, and they painted a mixed picture. Housing continued its torrid run, with pending home sales down -8.6% MoM versus expectations of -1.0%. Meanwhile, Durable Goods Orders expanded 1.9% versus -0.4% expectations, while inventories increased 1.9% as well versus 1.5% expectations. Those data helped some GDP trackers, with the Atlanta Fed’s nowcast for 2Q GDP increasing to -1.2% from -1.6% following the data. We get the first advance reading of US 2Q GDP today, but know today’s reading will be subject to many revisions before we have the final figure. 10yr TSY yields are little changed at 2.78% as we go to press this morning. Brent crude futures climbed +2.13% to $107/bbl, following EIA data that showed inventories fell by 4.52mln barrels, while demand for gasoline in the US looks more robust than some recent survey measures have suggested, putting more upward pressure on energy. Finally, a Biden aide said the Iran deal was not likely to return in the near future, effectively keeping potential additional supply from hitting the market for longer. Asian equity markets are trading higher this morning following the Fed. Stocks in mainland China are gaining with the Shanghai Composite (+0.89%) and the CSI (+0.95%) both up whilst the Nikkei (+0.32%), the Hang Seng (+0.20%) and the Kospi (+0.97%) all edging higher. Early morning data showed that retail sales in Australia rose +0.2% m/m in June, its slowest pace this year and down from May’s downwardly revised +0.7% pace of growth and falling short of markets expectations of a +0.5% increase. The soft data represents that soaring inflation and rising interest rates may be finally hampering consumer demand. To the day ahead, in addition to the US GDP we get core PCE, consumption, and jobless claims in the US. In Europe, German CPI and France PPI are due with the first German regional numbers out just after we press send this morning. Our economists expect MoM CPI at +0.8% in Germany, and +0.5% on the EU harmonized MoM measure. Tyler Durden Thu, 07/28/2022 - 08:04.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 28th, 2022

Futures Jump As Traders Scale Back Fed Hike Expectations As Economy Slumps

Futures Jump As Traders Scale Back Fed Hike Expectations As Economy Slumps US equity futures and global markets stormed higher, as the dollar extended its slide from a record high as investors scaled back bets on how aggressively the Federal Reserve will tighten policy in response to growing recession fears which Bloomberg paradoxocially interpreted as "easing recession fears." In other words, rising risk of a recession lowers the risk of a Fed-induced recession. Lovely. In any case, Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.2% and contracts on the S&P 500 added 1%, with spoos trading back over 3,900 and more than 5% above June’s closing low following Friday’s strong rally on renewed hopes that the Fed will end its rate hikes and soon start cutting rates as well as end QT. West Texas Intermediate crude oil also stormed higher, undoing all recent losses and traded near $100 a barrel while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.5%, extending a retreat from a record high. The benchmark Treasury yield rose back toward 3%. As Q2 earnings season rolls out, Goldman Sachs shares surged as much as 4% in premarket trading after the  bank reported second-quarter results that were better than expected in nearly every area. Bank of America Corp.’s results were more mixed. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Lilium (LILM US) shares rise as much as 10% in US premarket trading on Monday after Bristow (VTOL US) secured the option to purchase 50 Lilium Jets in addition to providing maintenance services for the aircraft’s launch network in Florida, and other future U.S and European markets. ITHAX Acquisition (ITHX US) shares rise 32% in US premarket trading, extending gains after its holders approved the previously proposed business combination with Mondee at the EGM held on July 15, 2022. Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks are gaining in premarket trading after Bitcoin rose as much as 7.3% to trade above $22,000 for the first time in more than a month. Marathon Digital (MARA US) +8.8%, MicroStrategy (MSTR US) +5.1%, Coinbase (COIN US) +6.2%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +7.3%, Ebang (EBON US) +2.3% Watch JPMorgan (JPM US) shares as Berenberg raises recommendation to hold, saying the investment bank’s shares are trading at a 20% discount to their long-run average and given the temporary nature of headwinds, downside risks to the stock “are now more limited.” Policy makers pushed back against even bigger hikes in interest rates and fresh data showed a greater decline in US consumers’ long-term inflation expectations. That boosted odds for a 75 basis points July Fed rate hike, squashing talk of a 100 basis-point move after last week flirting with the prospect of a 100 basis-points move after data showed no let-up in stubbornly high price pressures. Yet the bullish market reaction prompted some such as Goldman to ask if the worst is now behind us. Still, the outlook remains troubling for many investors. Gains in stock markets may prove to be short-lived as inflation pressures remain high and a recession seems increasingly likely, according to strategists at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. "Risk-reward at these levels has certainly improved but because we have not yet fully priced in a recession, it’s hard to say that the markets are screaming cheap," said Anastasia Amoroso, the chief investment strategist at iCapital. In Europe, stocks surged to the highest level in more than a month, with the Stoxx 50 jumping 1.3%, and with FTSE MIB outperforming peers, adding 1.4%, while IBEX lags, adding 0.6%. Miners, energy and banks are the strongest-performing Stoxx 600 sectors. Energy and basic resources sectors lead gains in the Stoxx 600 as oil rises after Saudi Arabia refrained from pledges to increase crude supplies, while metals rebound amid reports of China’s steps to help developers. Shell rose as much as 3.8%, TotalEnergies +2.7%, BP +3.7%, Rio Tinto +4.3%, Antofagasta +5.1%, KGHM +6.4%. Here are some of the other notable European movers today: GTT jumps as much as 7.5% as Societe Generale raises its price target on the LNG containment systems firm and reiterates a buy rating, as it sees the firm on the brink of its “strongest and longest period of growth” ever. Solvay rises as much as 5.3% after reporting preliminary results. Citi said the chemicals company reported a solid beat, driven by both volumes and prices contribution from all three segments. Luxury stocks including Cartier owner Richemont and UK trench-coat maker Burberry rebound after declines on Friday, with Deutsche Bank noting that there’s no underlying slowdown in consumer demand for luxury. Richemont shares rise as much as 5%, Burberry +3.8%, LVMH +1.7% BASF gains as much as 4.2% as Bank of America double upgrades the stock to buy from underperform, arguing that the market is overlooking the partial hedge of its oil & gas assets in Wintershall. Nel jumps as much as 16% after the electrolyzer firm announced a 200MW alkaline electrolyzer equipment order. Citi says the order is likely to be taken well by the market as it supports Nel’s medium-term growth outlook and is a positive sign for the trajectory of industry demand. Direct Line falls as much as 15% following profit guidance that was “even worse” than feared amid cost inflation, according to Jefferies, which had cut the stock to hold from buy prior to the statement Monday. Verbund declines as much as 7.8% after Austrian government officials suggested they’re considering a partial cap on household power bills. Asian stocks climbed as investors dial back expectations of aggressive tightening by the Federal Reserve while weighing China’s policy support for the ailing property sector. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.4% Monday, poised for the first gain in three days, led by financial and technology shares. Hong Kong and South Korean equities were among the top gainers in the region, while the Japanese market was closed for a holiday. Chinese shares gained after central bank Governor Yi Gang said the monetary authority will step up efforts to provide stronger economic support amid the pandemic and external headwinds. Regulators also urged banks to support developers to help stabilize the real estate market, according to another report. Asian markets took a breather as comments from two Fed officials, as well as a drop in US consumers’ long-term inflation expectations, eased fears about a super-sized interest rate hike this month. Still, ongoing Covid outbreaks in China and woes in the nation’s property sector are clouding the region’s outlook. The Asian stock benchmark is hovering near a two-year low. The Chinese central bank “doesn’t want the economy to overheat in the short term” but more policy initiatives are needed, Vikas Pershad, a fund manager at M&G Investments, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “The slowdown in the property market is not just a small subset of mortgage payments being held back. It’s the ripple effects that go throughout the economy. And that carries through many different sectors.” Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.2% to close at 6,687.10, boosted by gains across miners, banks and energy shares.  A group of materials stocks rebounded as iron ore shook off losses. Whitehaven’s earnings outlook also drove optimism against the backdrop of a tightening market.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 11,163.63. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as much as 0.5%, underperforming other Group-of-10 peers; JPY and NZD are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, while GBP and SEK outperform. MXN (+0.9%) and LB (+0.8%) lead gains in EMFX. The British pound led gains.The euro rose to the highest level in a week against the dollar. The weekly fear-greed indicator hit the most bearish levels since the Greek crisis in early 2015 on Friday. The New Zealand dollar rose as much as 0.6% to $0.6201 before paring the move, after inflation accelerated more than expected in the second quarter to a fresh 32-year high, fueling bets on further aggressive tightening by the central bank, In rates, Treasuries fell across the curve along with German bonds. US yields were cheaper by 2.5bp to 4bp across a slightly steeper curve with 2s10s, 5s30s spreads wider by 1bp and 0.5bp on the day; 10-year yields around 2.96%, cheaper by 4bp on the day while bunds underperform by additional 4bp. Italian benchmark 10-year yields surged as much as 12 basis points to 3.39%, with little sign of reconciliation among Italy’s governing coalition over the weekend. The spread between Italian and German 10-year yields rose to 223 basis points, the widest in a month, before retracing some of the move. Peripheral spreads are mixed to Germany; Italy tightens, Spain widens and Portugal widens. Commodities were broadly stronger after Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East ended being a total dud and without a firm commitment from Saudi Arabia to boost crude supplies. Wheat climbed after a five-day slump and copper rallied. Crude futures advanced. as WTI drifts 1.9% higher to trade near $99.49. Brent rises 2.2% near $103.34. Most base metals trade in the green; LME nickel rises 3.3%, outperforming peers. Spot gold rises roughly $13 to trade near $1,721/oz. Spot silver gains 1.2% near $19. US nat gas futures extended gains above the $7 level as scorching temperatures across the country boost air-conditioning demand. A heat wave in the UK and France pushed up European natural gas prices, exacerbating the region’s worst energy crunch in decades. Separately, traders are also closely watching whether the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia will fully return to service later this week, when it ends scheduled maintenance. Moscow has already curbed supplies to the continent amid tensions related to its invasion of Ukraine: “The possibility that Russia stops, or severely reduces, their gas exports to Europe should keep markets on edge in the near-term,” Mizuho International Plc strategists Peter McCallum and Evelyne Gomez-Liechti wrote in a note to clients. Bitcoin is bid and lifting above the $22k mark after rising above the $20K support that it has been pivoting, generally speaking, recently. It's a quiet start to an otherwise very busy week (with both the ECB and BOJ on deck), and we only get the NAHB Housing Market Index and the May TIC data later today. We also conclude bank earnings with BofA and Goldman reporting results premarket. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.1% to 3,907.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.4% to 419.76 MXAP up 1.4% to 156.28 MXAPJ up 1.8% to 516.33 Nikkei up 0.5% to 26,788.47 Topix little changed at 1,892.50 Hang Seng Index up 2.7% to 20,846.18 Shanghai Composite up 1.6% to 3,278.10 Sensex up 1.1% to 54,359.13 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.2% to 6,687.14 Kospi up 1.9% to 2,375.25 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.17% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0134 Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,719.39 US Dollar Index down 0.52% to 107.50 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg After drawing foreign capital into China’s markets for years, President Xi Jinping is now facing the risk of a nasty period of financial de-globalization. Investors point to one main reason why: Xi’s own policies China may allow homeowners to temporarily halt mortgage payments on stalled property projects without incurring penalties, people familiar with the matter said, as authorities race to prevent a crisis of confidence in the housing market from upending the world’s second-largest economy. Prime Minister Mario Draghi is under mounting pressure to reverse his pledge to resign as soon as this week and avoid throwing Italy into chaos as economic warning signs are building Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered part of his forces to focus on destroying Ukraine’s long-range missile and artillery systems during a visit to troops in occupied territory A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks gained with risk appetite spurred after last Friday's firm gains on Wall St. and renewed China support pledges helped markets shrug off China's COVID woes. ASX 200 was underpinned amid M&A activity and with Australia reinstating quarantined-support payments. Nikkei 225 was closed as Japan observed the Marine Day holiday. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. outperformed regional counterparts after PBoC Governor Yi pledged to increase the implementation of prudent monetary policy to provide stronger support for the real economy and with the property sector underpinned after the CBIRC asked lenders to provide credit to eligible developers so they can complete unfinished residential properties. Top Asian News China reported 580 local cases on Saturday which was the highest since May 23rd. It was also reported that Shanghai said that the situation in the city remained severe. It was also reported that Shanghai is planning to conduct district-wide testing in 9 COVID-impacted districts and other smaller scope areas from Wednesday-Friday, while China's Tianjin is also planning massive COVID tests, according to Bloomberg and Reuters. China is considering a mortgage grace period for home projects that have stalled, according to Bloomberg sources. Macau will extend its lockdown of businesses and casino closures to July 22nd, according to Reuters; subsequently, a health officials said some social activites could resume in the next week if cases drop. Beijing government official says no cases have been found so far in COVID tests of nearby neighborhoods, according to a media briefing. Chinese cyberspace regulator is to launch a two-month clean-up campaign which will focus on minors use of livestreaming, games and e-commerce platforms, according to State meida. US State Department approved a possible USD 108mln military sale to Taiwan, according to Reuters. Japanese daily COVID infection cases surpassed 110k on Saturday which was a record high, according to Jiji news agency. Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki reiterated sharp volatility is seen in the FX market and that they must watch moves with a strong sense of urgency, while he also noted that G20 affirmed their agreement on FX and that many countries including Japan, strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters. South Korean Finance Minister Choo said they are to exempt taxes on income from Korean treasury bonds to attract foreign investment, according to Reuters. European bourses are firmer across the board in a continuation of and extension on the overnight risk tone, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.4%. Sectors are firmer across the board with the upside spearheaded by Basic Resources, Energy, and Banks – due to price action in underlying commodity prices, alongside yields. US futures are similarly bid, as we await further earnings with key names including Goldman Sachs on the docket. Delta (DAL) to buy 100 737 Max 10 Boeing (BA) craft, option for 30 additional craft. US chip firms are said to be mulling whether to oppose the CHIPS Act as it may disproportionately benefit Intel (INTC), according to Reuters sources   Top European News UK PM Johnson’s allies are stepping up their attacks against former Chancellor Sunak and accused him of going soft on Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trade regime, according to FT. UK Foreign Secretary Truss signalled she would tighten ministerial scrutiny of the BoE if she becomes the next PM and accused the Bank of failing to tackle inflation, according to FT. A poll by JL Partners of more than 4,400 people found that 48% that backed the Tories in 2019 considered former Chancellor Sunak would be a good PM, while 39% thought the same of Foreign Secretary Truss and 33% thought the same of Trade Secretary Mordaunt, according to The Telegraph. ConservativeHome survey suggested Trade Secretary Mordaunt would lose in a head-to-head against former Chancellor Sunak (41% vs 43%) and against Foreign Secretary Truss (41% vs 48%), according to The Telegraph. UK Foreign Secretary Truss confirms she will not be attending Tuesday's (July 19th) Sky News leadership debate, via Huffington Post's Schofield; additionally, reports that former-Chancellor Sunak is pulling out of the debate. Italy’s League and Forza Italia parties said they can no longer govern with the 5-Star Movement which brings the government closer to collapsing ahead of a potential confidence vote on Wednesday, according to Politico. European Investment Bank said it will reduce road and infrastructure funding in line with its climate objectives, according to FT. Central Banks Fed officials signalled they are likely to increase rates by 75bps at the July meeting and noted that although policymakers left the door open for a 100bps increase, some have simultaneously poured cold water on the idea in recent interviews and comments, according to WSJ. RBNZ announced a new standing repurchase facility which will permit eligible counterparties to lend NZD through the standing repurchase facility from July 20th and will be remunerated at the OCR -15bps, while the RBNZ will deliver to counterparty nominal New Zealand government bonds as collateral in exchange for depositing NZD, according to Reuters. PBoC Governor Yi said China’s economy faces downward pressure due to COVID and external shocks, while he added that the central bank will increase the implementation of prudent monetary policy to provide stronger support for the real economy, according to a PBoC statement cited by Reuters. HKMA said they need to regulate decentralised finance platforms sooner rather than later, while RBA Governor Lowe commented that it is likely better for retail digital currency tokens to be issued by regulated private sector companies than central banks, according to Reuters. SNB intends to increase rates by at least 50bp (from the current -0.25%) at the September gathering, in the scenaro of further inflation upside a 75bp move could occur, according to sources via Schweiz am Wochenende. BoE's Saunders says he will not announce today how he will vote at the August meeting; believes that the tightening cycle has "some way to go", the cost of not tightening promptly enough would be relatively high at present. Czech central bank’s Dedek said it is appropriate today to use FX intervention to prevent the crown from weakening and the aim is not to strengthen the currency, while he added that they are far from the point they would start to feel reserves are getting dangerously low, according to Lidove Noviny. FX Sterling takes advantage of Buck’s demise even before hawkish commentary from BoE’s Saunders, Cable closer to 1.2000 than 1.1850, DXY nearer 107.000 than 108.00. Aussie underpinned by rebound in iron ore ahead of RBA minutes, AUD/USD approaching 0.6850 from sub-0.6800 overnight low. Euro probes 1.0150 vs Greenback ahead of Thursday’s ECB meeting and expected 25 bp hike. Loonie supported by recovery in WTI and BoC Governor Macklem flagging Canadian CPI on 8% handle next week, USD/CAD below 1.3000. Kiwi capped after stronger than forecast NZ inflation data as RBNZ announces standing repo for loans 15 bp below OCR to start on July 20th, NZD/USD hovering under 0.6200 and AUD/NZD cross above 1.1050. Franc lags irrespective of reporting suggesting SNB to hike at least half point again in September as weekly Swiss sight deposits at domestic bank increase, USD/CHF pivots 0.9750. Lira lurches further in wake of Turkish budget balance turning from surplus to deficit, USD/TRY testing 17.5000 offers and semi-psychological resistance. Commodities WTI and Brent have been moving higher with the broader risk tone and after the Biden-Saudi meeting with attention, for the complex, looking to the next OPEC+ gathering. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince MBS said adopting unrealistic policies toward energy sources will lead to inflation and he called on Iran to cooperate with the region, according to Reuters. Saudi's Crown Prince also said that they have an immediate capacity to increase production to 12mln bpd and with investments, production can go to 13mln bpd after which the kingdom will not have any additional capacity to increase production. Saudi Foreign Minister said that they listen to their partners and friends across the world especially consumer countries but added that at the end of the day, OPEC+ follows the market situation and will supply energy as needed, according to Bloomberg. US senior envoy for energy security Hochstein said he expects gas prices to decline further towards USD 4/gallon and is confident there will be a few more steps in the coming weeks from OPEC in terms of oil supply, according to Reuters. Energy Intel’s Bakr stated that we are in a situation where capacity is limited which is why the UAE and Saudi Arabia want to remain cautious about how and when it is used. Top German energy regulator said natgas inventories are nearly 65% full but not enough to get through the winter without Russian gas, according to Bild am Sonntag. Libya’s Oil Minister said Libya has resumed oil exports, according to Al Jazeera. It was also reported that the NOC said its board will not cooperate with any illegal dismissal decisions made by an outgoing administration. South Africa’s largest fuel producer Sasol declared a force majeure on the supply of petroleum products due to delays in deliveries of crude to the Natref refinery, while the outage means all refineries in the country are shut, according to Bloomberg. Iran set August Iranian light crude price to Asia at Oman/Dubai + USD 8.90/bbl, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold is bid as the USD pulls-bacl but is yet to breach USD 1725/oz in relatively limited European newsflow. Base metals bid after strong overnight performance. US Event Calendar 10:00: July NAHB Housing Market Index, est. 65, prior 67 16:00: May Total Net TIC Flows, prior $1.3b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It could be a record week here in the UK with temperatures possibly hitting 40 degrees for the first time ever today or tomorrow! While the warm weather has been pleasant of late, I can't wait until Wednesday when it cools down a bit. The coolest I was this weekend was going to a cinema on Saturday night with aircon to see Top Gun Maverick. However that was an incredibly stressful film. I'm not really a fan of action movies but that was edge of the seat stuff and very well done. Looking forward to the third part of the trilogy in 2058. Back to 2022, and with the Fed now on their FOMC blackout period and a lighter US week for data (ex-housing), Q2 US earnings and all things European will be at the forefront of market attention this week with the highlight being the ECB’s likely first rate hike since 2011 on Thursday. Gas flows from Russia after maintenance on the Nord Stream pipeline ends the same day will also be a big focus with the EU expected to detail energy contingency plans the day before. We’ll also get a decision from the BoJ on Thursday too. Global preliminary July PMIs for the US, Japan and key European economies will come out on Friday. Going through some of these themes in more detail now. The ECB meeting on Thursday will likely deliver a +25bps hike, the first rate increase since 2011. Our European economists preview the upcoming meeting here. Their updated call retains the 2% terminal rate forecast but the hiking cycle is expected to be split. The first phase has hikes of +25bp, +50bp, +50bp and +25bp in July, September, October and December. By end-2022, the deposit rate will be 1%, helping to balance inflation and growth risks before the anticipated recession forces a pause. The second phase in H1 2024 is now expected to have four +25bp hikes and push rates into moderately above neutral territory. The ECB’s decision comes as Europe is grappling with significant concerns about the energy supply, a euro that has reached parity against the dollar for the first time since 2002, and inflation at an all-time high of 8.6%. If that’s not enough, it also comes alongside a recent widening in peripheral sovereign bond spreads and an Italian government possibly on the brink of collapse. We should know more on Wednesday when Draghi addresses lawmakers in Rome, however things are escalating quickly. The Five Star Movement (the second largest in the coalition) effectively abstained in a confidence motion in the Senate, triggering the current crisis. This weekend the party have met and don’t seem to be dialling down the rhetoric with leader Conte blaming Draghi for the impasse. Meanwhile the centre-right block are saying the coalition pact has been broken and that they won't now rule in a coalition with Five Star. Probabilities of a snap election are certainly going up. With this unfolding, the details of the anti-fragmentation tool will be highly sought after at the ECB meeting and our economics team reviews the key features of the new tool - size, target, conditionality and sterilisation method - in the same preview note mentioned above. The ECB will also release its Euro area bank lending survey tomorrow and the Survey of Professional Forecasters on Friday. Another event that will keep investors on edge that day is the end of the Nord Stream pipeline’s scheduled maintenance period. Fears that Russia will keep the taps closed have roiled markets in recent weeks and the EU is expected to detail contingency plans on Wednesday. Although the NS1 maintenance period ends on Thursday, it’s possible that there will be ambiguity on supply for a while. Whatever Russia’s plans for supply through the autumn and winter, we may not fully see it in the next few days and weeks. Part of that might be politics and part of it may be operational as the turbine repair may take a while to be fully integrated, or at least that could be the claim. So we may get a few clues from Friday but it is unlikely we’ll know all the answers. See my one-sided devil’s advocate view in Thursday's CoTD here on why it’s not in Putin’s interest to completely cut off the supply of gas. Also on Thursday, the next policy decision from the BoJ will be due. Our chief Japan economist previews the meeting here. While he expects no change in the current monetary stance and forward guidance on policy rates, the BoJ's Outlook Report is expected to show a downgrade in its growth forecast for FY2022 and an increase in its inflation forecast. The national CPI print will be due the next day and our economist expects core inflation (ex. fresh food) to climb to 2.2% YoY (+2.1% in May) and core-core inflation (ex. fresh food and energy) to 0.9% (+0.8% in May). Small fry in a western context but relatively strong for Japan. Back to the data and US housing market indicators will be in focus this week, after the June CPI report showed the fastest monthly gains since 1986 for primary rents and 1990 for owners’ equivalent rent. In terms of data, we have July’s NAHB Housing Market Index (today), followed by June housing starts, building permits (tomorrow) and existing home sales (Wednesday). In European data, the UK will be in focus with June CPI, RPI, PPI and May’s house price index due on Wednesday, preceded by labour market data tomorrow. Also released tomorrow will be July’s consumer confidence for the Eurozone, followed by a similar gauge and June retail sales for the UK on Friday. In terms of earnings, after key US banks started reporting last week, we will get more insight into the state of the economy and consumer spending from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America (today) and American Express (Friday). Amid a mixed-bag performance for commodities in recent weeks, results from Halliburton (tomorrow), Baker Hughes (Wednesday), Schlumberger and NextEra (Friday) will be in focus. Earnings of consumer-oriented companies will be highly anticipated as well, including Johnson & Johnson (tomorrow), United Airlines, Tesla (Wednesday) and American Airlines (Thursday). In tech, key reporting corporates will include IBM (today), Netflix (tomorrow), ASML (Wednesday), SAP (Thursday) and Twitter (Friday). Other corporate earnings reports will feature Lockheed Martin (tomorrow), AT&T, Blackstone (Thursday) and Verizon (Friday). Asian equity markets are higher at start of the week after gains on Wall Street on Friday. As I type, the Hang Seng (+2.45%) is leading the way followed by the Kospi (+1.80%), Shanghai Composite (+1.49%) and the CSI (+1.00%). Elsewhere, markets in Japan are closed today for the Marine Day Holiday. Outside of Asia, stock futures in the DMs are pointing to additional gains with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.43%), NASDAQ 100 (+0.75%) and DAX (+0.37%) all climbing. Early morning data showed that New Zealand’s consumer price index (+7.3% y/y) climbed to a 32-year high in the June 2022 quarter (v/s +7.1% expected) and speeding up from a +6.9% gain in the first quarter, mainly due to rising prices for construction and rentals for housing. Looking back on another wild week in markets now. The highlight was inflation. The US CPI report came out on Wednesday, where headline yoy inflation bumped up to 9.1%, its highest since 1981. Indeed, each of the headline/core/MoM/YoY measures surpassed expectations. The following day showed producers were also feeling the heat, with final demand PPI measures beating expectations, with the crucial health care component portending an increase in upcoming PCE prints, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure. The prints drove speculation the Fed would deliver a super-charged 100bp hike at the July meeting, but Fed officials threw water on that pricing at the end of the week, signaling a preference for a second consecutive 75bp hike. Nevertheless, the yield curve moved to its most inverted of the cycle, ending the week at -21.3bps, as expected Fed tightening was brought forward, and the resulting landing was expected to get that much harder. All told, 2yr yields increased +1.5bps (-1.2bps Friday) and 10yr yields fell -16.5bps (-4.4bps Friday). While stocks experienced a bump on the easier policy expectations (75 not 100) from Fed speakers at the end of the week, the S&P 500 climbing +1.92% Friday, the index fell the other four days and ended the week -0.93% lower. Tech underperformed with the NASDAQ falling -1.57%, staging a +1.79% recovery of its own on Friday. US earnings season kicked off, with major US financials disappointing, as major money center banks signaled they would likely need to optimise their balance sheets to increase capital ratios over the near-term. A realisation that had JPMorgan temporarily suspending share buybacks. Along with their own inflationary worries, Europe is also facing down political and energy crises. The attempted resignation of Prime Minister Draghi, and subsequent rejection by President Mattarella, injected yet more turmoil into European asset pricing. 10yr BTPs widened 19.4bps versus bunds (+6.5bps Friday), to 212bps, their widest levels since the ECB has floated a new anti-fragmentation tool. Heading into this week’s ECB meeting, pricing currently is at +29.0bps, a smidge higher than the week prior, so some chance the ECB will kick off the hiking cycle with a 50bp hike. 10yr bunds were 21.2bps lower (-4.5bps Friday), giving swirling risk on the continent. Speaking of European natural gas, prices managed to fall -8.23% (-8.84% Friday) following news that Canada would deliver the necessary turbine to restore gas flows from Russia back to the continent, but prices traded in a more than 20% range over the week, showing the anxiety that still dominates the situation. Elsewhere, brent crude fell below $100/bbl intraweek for the first time since mid-April, ultimately falling -5.50% on the week (+2.08% Friday) to $101.16/bbl as global growth fears grip markets. Tyler Durden Mon, 07/18/2022 - 08:24.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 18th, 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

25 Ways To Stop Spending Money And Save For Retirement

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts when it comes to saving for retirement. Instead, you must do all the small things that can add to a stable post-career life. Reining in spending, keeping costs down, and setting aside extra funds are just some of the intelligent things you can do to grow the money in your […] Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts when it comes to saving for retirement. Instead, you must do all the small things that can add to a stable post-career life. Reining in spending, keeping costs down, and setting aside extra funds are just some of the intelligent things you can do to grow the money in your nest egg. Here are 25 tips for boosting your retirement savings and investing in your future self. 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 Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. 1. Start small As with any habit, when you change your routine, it is a good idea to start small. Make manageable changes before moving to more significant, more daunting tasks like investing or downsizing. For example, make your own coffee at home rather than stopping at a coffee shop before work. Opt for the generic brand of hand soap or wait one day before buying the new shoes you saw at the store. All of these minor adjustments will help you make lasting changes to your ingrained overspending habits and is the best way to save in the long run. 2. Create a budget and stick to it Sit down with your household and evaluate your spending habits. Then, look over your past bank statements and decide where you can cut costs. Be specific about how much you can spend on what. For example, create a category for food costs, transportation, clothes, etc. and update your budget regularly to help make sure you are reaching your goals. There are plenty of budgeting apps out there that make this process a little less tedious and help you stay on track. 3. Set aside savings As you gradually change your spending habits in order to save for retirement, be sure to put your savings aside in a separate account. Regularly tracking and earmarking your retirement money and keeping it separate from the rest of your funds will keep the money you are saving for the future intact. Once your savings are put aside, invest them in tax-free accounts, like a Roth IRA, to get the most bang for your buck. 4. Invest in your health In today’s world, medical expenses can devastate your bank account, even if you think you have good health insurance. Eating healthy and staying fit are essential ways to save on costs in the long run. While fresh food and fitness memberships can be pricey, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle for many reasons, including your future financial security. There are other investments that will keep you healthy and are likely to reduce your medical costs. Buying a good mattress, for example, will help you sleep better and save you money in the long run because people who get enough sleep are more likely to have lower medical expenses. 5. Destress In the same vein, managing your stress levels and taking care of your mental health are important ways to ensure you stay healthy. Stress is a leading cause of illness in the US, which, among other obvious drawbacks, is bad for your bank account. Meditation and mindful movement are free and will improve your mood and your health. Believe it or not, staying zen is also great for your financial future. 6. Invest in yourself Take a course and learn a new (preferably marketable) skill. Community colleges and local centers may offer classes at a discount. Don’t be afraid to spend on courses that will help you learn and grow. Even if you can’t use your skills to make extra money, learning new things and expanding your horizons is always worth it. 7. Cancel unused subscriptions and memberships Look over your credit card statements and check which subscriptions and memberships you could live without. It’s easy to sign up for memberships and forget about them, so take some time to comb through your finances to see if there are any recurring charges that could be canceled. If you have Netflix, Hulu, and HBO streaming accounts, maybe you could live without one or two for a couple of months. Instead, consider a rotating schedule of streaming subscriptions. For example, freeze your Netflix account at the beginning of the year, and watch only Hulu during January and February. Alternating your subscription services can save you a surprising amount throughout the year. 8. Avoid impulse buying When it comes to personal finances, it’s pretty much a zero-sum game, so consider what you might be giving up in order to buy that flashy item that caught your eye. Then, take 24 hours to think over a potential purchase before buying anything over $50. To help you decide, write a pro and con list. Then, ask yourself, will this item help me one month from now? One year? If the answer is no, scrutinize whether the item on your wish list is worth sacrificing your hard-earned cash for. 9. Sell unused belongings Decluttering has the extra benefit of earning you some extra cash. A well-advertised garage sale can earn you thousands in just one weekend. You can also sell your belongings on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Poshmark and contribute those earnings to your retirement fund. 10. Create a plan to pay off your credit card debt Getting out of debt is a critical step in saving for retirement. If you do not accomplish this, you will never actually be saving money for your future. Decide how much you can afford to commit to paying off your debt each month and calculate how long it will take to pay off your bills at that rate. 11. Automate your expenses To keep your credit score in good standing and avoid late fees, make sure to set up automatic payments for all of your bills. Late fees are a complete waste of money and can be used much better elsewhere, like in your retirement fund. 12. Downsize Rent or mortgage payments are most people’s most considerable monthly expense. Downsizing your living situation is one of the most cost-effective ways to help you put extra savings away for retirement. Not only will downsizing help you save on rent or your mortgage, but it will also lower utility bills because you will have less space to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. 13. Negotiate lower rates/refinance Look into some of your long-term loans. Depending on your current interest rate, it may help you save if you refinance. Mortgages, car loans, and student debt can all be refinanced. This simple step could lower your monthly payments, saving you thousands in the long run. 14. Take up DIY projects Instead of hiring a home decorator, landscaper, or contractor, take on do-it-yourself projects to save costs. DIY home renovations will cost you a fraction of the amount you would pay to hire a professional, plus you will learn new skills that could help you out in the future. 15. Buy in bulk Buying in bulk is an upfront expense but will cost you less per unit overall. Nonperishable items like rice and beans, canned items, pet food, and household goods are all great items to buy in bulk because they won’t go bad, and you can use them far into the future. 16. Take public transportation Transportation costs are a significant portion of most Americans’ budgets. Uber, taxis, and gas costs can add up fast and are major expenditures that can easily be reduced by regularly taking public transportation. Many cities offer monthly bus passes to discourage driving. On top of that, senior citizens are usually eligible for an additional discount on transit passes. 17. Walk and Bike Reducing your mileage by walking or biking when you can is good for you, the environment, and your bank account. Try establishing new routines that avoid driving to help you cut costs, stay active and reduce your carbon footprint. 18. Eat out less Eating out is another major cash suck in most Americans’ budgets. Pack your own lunch, make your own coffee and find joy in cooking dinners to help save you hundreds each month on food expenses. Depending on how much you eat out, you could save hundreds each month by reducing this expense. 19. Meal prep Buying fresh foods in large quantities is the most cost-effective way to grocery shop. However, if the food rots away in your fridge, it does you no good. Meal prepping keeps all of your groceries edible and encourages you to eat out less, since you will have prepared food and won’t have to worry about cooking. 20. Ditch delivery services While tempting after a long day, try to resist the urge to order Uber eats, Postmates, etc. Eating out is already a huge expenditure, and ordering delivery takes it to the next level. If you are dying for Chinese takeout or pizza, at the very least, try to pick it up rather than ordering delivery. You might be surprised how much you will save by cutting this unnecessary expense from your routine. 21. Consider a side hustle There are many simple and unexpected ways you can add to your annual revenue stream. Renting out a spare room in your house, selling crafts on Etsy, and doing your neighbors’ yard work are easy ways to get additional cash each month. Put this extra income in your retirement savings account, and you will thank yourself later. 22. Find joy in a staycation Traveling is another significant, unnecessary expense in the average American’s budget. Rather than taking a cross-country flight, think about places you could visit within driving distance of your home. Perhaps camping at a nearby nature reserve would be a suitable replacement for a beach vacation or a trip to a nearby city would satisfy your urge to get out of town. There is beauty all around us, and we do not necessarily need a trip to Hawaii in order to unwind. 23. Invest in a mutual fund Investing in a mutual fund means investing in various stocks and bonds, diversifying your investment, and reducing your risk of losing money if one company goes under. Investing in a mutual fund is a safe yet lucrative way to ensure your retirement funds reach their greatest potential. 24. Take advantage of Roth IRAs Roth IRAs are retirement savings accounts that allow you to grow your retirement savings tax-free. Additionally, once you reach the age of 59, you can pull your earnings without paying a tax on them. These are considerable advantages to Roth and traditional IRA accounts, and their long-term benefits are hard to overstate. Look into whether these retirement saving accounts make sense for you, and if so, open one of your own ASAP. 25. Seek professional help Hiring a financial professional might be the last place you want to spend your hard-earned cash, but the returns you will receive will benefit you exponentially in the long run. Someone with the expertise to manage your investment portfolio can be an invaluable way to grow your retirement savings. Alternatively, if you have the time and interest, there are plenty of ways to learn more about investing yourself. For example, there are newsletters, podcasts, and apps that help you learn about the markets and keep up to date so you can make your own decisions about how you want to invest your money. Saving for retirement is not glamorous but is essential to prepare for the inevitability of this phase in your life. No matter how old you are, it is always a good idea to start planning for your retirement. The more work you put in now, the more financially secure you will be when it is time to retire. Do your future self a favor and start taking steps to start your retirement savings journey today. Article by John Boitnott, Due About the Author John Boitnott graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Masters Degree in Education. He worked for 14 years as a broadcast news writer for ABC, NBC, and CBS News where he covered finance, business and real estate. He covered financial news for SAP for four years. Boitnott is now working as a columnist for The Motley Fool where he covers personal financial and investing strategies. Updated on Jul 6, 2022, 2:13 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: valuewalkJul 6th, 2022

Over 50% of flights by India"s biggest airline were delayed after staff called in sick to attend a rival airline"s hiring fair, reports say

Airlines all over the world are struggling to recruit staff as they look to meet rising travel demand as the world opens up after two years of COVID. An IndiGo airlines plane on the runway at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport.Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images. India's largest airline faced major delays Saturday as cabin crew flocked to a rival's job fair, local media reports. Less than half of IndiGo's flights ran on time on Saturday, aviation ministry data showed. The disruption comes amid ongoing travel chaos, as airlines battle COVID staff shortages. Over 50% of flights operated by budget Indian airline, IndiGo, were delayed on Saturday after a substantial number of staff called in sick to attend a rival airline's job fair, local outlets reported.Just 45% of IndiGo's flights ran on time on Saturday, the ANI news agency reported, citing Ministry of Civil Aviation data.Citing industry sources, ANI reported that many of IndiGo's staff, particularly cabin crew, took sick leave Saturday to attend a hiring fair held by Air India, the country's flagship airline."The second phase of Air India's recruitment process was scheduled for Saturday and most of the cabin crew members of IndiGo who took leave had gone for it," ANI cited an unnamed industry source as saying.One IndiGo pilot who turned up for work said he waited in the aircraft for two hours for flight attendants to turn up, The Times of London reported.IndiGo is currently India's largest airline by passenger numbers but Air India — which reportedly ran the recruitment fair — is hiring new staff and plans to buy new planes after it was purchased by the Tata Group last year.Air India and IndiGo did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment made outside normal working hours.One aviation expert told the Times of London that while the lack of crew likely played a role in the delays, it is unlikely the only reason so many flights were late."To have your operational integrity challenged in this way, to my mind, those going for walk-in interviews that day and not reporting for work would have some impact but that can't be the total picture," Kapil Kaul, chief executive of the CAPA Centre for Aviation said.Saturday's delays come amid ongoing flight disruption across the aviation industry as airlines struggle to recruit enough staff to meet surging demand for travel.Thousands of flights were canceled over the Fourth of July weekend in the US. European carrier, Scandinavian Airlines, was forced to cancel hundreds of flights on Monday after pilots went on strike.Meanwhile, British Airways, Britain's flagship carrier cancelled 1,000 more flights for the summer period on Tuesday.Heathrow, the UK's largest airport, asked airlines to cut flights on Thursday amid fears it did not have the capacity to handle surging passenger numbers. Piles of suitcases mounted at the airport in the wake of cancellations.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 5th, 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

The Federal Bureau Of Tweets: Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents

The Federal Bureau Of Tweets: Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents Authored by Alan MacLeod via Mint Press News, Twitter has been on a recruitment drive of late, hiring a host of former feds and spies. Studying a number of employment and recruitment websites, MintPress has ascertained that the social media giant has, in recent years, recruited dozens of individuals from the national security state to work in the fields of security, trust, safety and content. Chief amongst these is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is generally known as a domestic security and intelligence force. However, it has recently expanded its remit into cyberspace. “The FBI’s investigative authority is the broadest of all federal law enforcement agencies,” the “About” section of its website informs readers. “The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence [and] cyber crime,” it adds. For example, in 2019, Dawn Burton (the former director of Washington operations for Lockheed Martin) was poached from her job as senior innovation advisor to the director at the FBI to become senior director of strategy and operations for legal, public policy, trust and safety at Twitter. The following year, Karen Walsh went straight from 21 years at the bureau to become director of corporate resilience at the silicon valley giant. Twitter’s deputy general counsel and vice president of legal, Jim Baker, also spent four years at the FBI between 2014 and 2018, where his resumé notes he rose to the role of senior strategic advisor. Meanwhile, Mark Jaroszewski ended his 21-year posting as a supervisory special agent in the Bay Area to take up a position at Twitter, rising to become director of corporate security and risk. And Douglas Turner spent 14 years as a senior special agent and SWAT Team leader before being recruited to serve in Twitter’s corporate and executive security services. Previously, Turner had also spent seven years as a secret service special agent with the Department of Homeland Security. When asked to comment by MintPress, former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley said that she was “not surprised at all” to see FBI agents now working for the very tech companies the agency polices, stating that there now exists a “revolving door” between the FBI and the areas they are trying to regulate. This created a serious conflict of interests in her mind, as many agents have one eye on post-retirement jobs. “The truth is that at the FBI 50% of all the normal conversations that people had were about how you were going to make money after retirement,” she said. Many former FBI officials hold influential roles within Twitter. For instance, in 2020, Matthew W. left a 15-year career as an intelligence program manager at the FBI to take up the post of senior director of product trust at Twitter. Patrick G., a 23-year FBI supervisory special agent, is now head of corporate security. And Twitter’s director of insider risk and security investigations, Bruce A., was headhunted from his role as a supervisory special agent at the bureau. His resumé notes that at the FBI he held “[v]arious intelligence and law enforcement roles in the US, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East” and was a “human intelligence and counterintelligence regional specialist.” (On employment sites such as LinkedIn, many users choose not to reveal their full names.) Meanwhile, between 2007 and 2021 Jeff Carlton built up a distinguished career in the United States Marine Corps, rising to become a senior intelligence analyst. Between 2014 and 2017, his LinkedIn profile notes, he worked for both the CIA and FBI, authored dozens of official reports, some of which were read by President Barack Obama. Carlton describes his role as a “problem-solver” and claims to have worked in many “dynamic, high-pressure environments” such as Iraq and Korea. In May 2021, he left official service to become a senior program manager at Twitter, responsible for dealing with the company’s “highest-profile trust and safety escalations.” Other former FBI staff are employed by Twitter, such as Cherrelle Y. as a policy domain specialist and Laura D. as a senior analyst in global risk intelligence. Many of those listed above were active in the FBI’s public outreach programs, a practice sold as a community trust-building initiative. According to Rowley, however, these also function as “ways for officials to meet the important people that would give them jobs after retirement.” “It basically inserts a huge conflict of interest,” she told MintPress. “It warps and perverts the criminal investigative work that agents do when they are still working as agents because they anticipate getting lucrative jobs after retiring or leaving the FBI.” Rowley – who in 2002 was named, along with two other whistleblowers, as Time magazine’s Person of the Year – was skeptical that there was anything seriously nefarious about the hiring of so many FBI agents, suggesting that Twitter could be using them as sources of information and intelligence. She stated: Retired agents often maintained good relationships and networks with current agents. So they can call up their old buddy and find out stuff… There were certainly instances of retired agents for example trying to find out if there was an investigation of so and so. And if you are working for a company, that company is going to like that influence.” Rowley also suggested that hiring people from various three-letter agencies gave them a credibility boost. “These [tech] companies are using the mythical aura of the FBI. They can point to somebody and say ‘oh, you can trust us; our CEO or CFO is FBI,’” she explained. Twitter certainly has endorsed the FBI as a credible actor, allowing the organization to play a part in regulating the global dissemination of information on its platform. In September 2020, it put out a statement thanking the federal agency. “We wish to express our gratitude to the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force for their close collaboration and continued support of our work to protect the public conversation at this critical time,” the statement read. One month later, the company announced that the FBI was feeding it intelligence and that it was complying with their requests for deletion of accounts. “Based on intel provided by the FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 U.S. Presidential Debate,” Twitter’s safety team wrote. Yet the evidence they supplied of this supposed threat to American democracy was notably weak. All four of the messages from this Iranian operation that Twitter itself shared showed that none of them garnered any likes or retweets whatsoever, meaning that essentially nobody saw them. This was, in other words, a completely routine cleanup operation of insignificant troll accounts. Yet the announcement allowed Twitter to present the FBI as on the side of democracy and place the idea into the public psyche that the election was under threat from foreign actors. Based on intel provided by the @FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate. — Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 1, 2020 Iran has been a favorite Twitter target in the past. In 2009, at the behest of the U.S. government, it postponed routine maintenance of the site, which would have required taking it offline. This was because an anti-government protest movement in Tehran was using the app to communicate and the U.S. did not want the demonstrations’ regime-change potential to be stymied. A carnival of spooks The FBI is far from the only state security agency filling Twitter’s ranks. Shortly after leaving a 10-year career as a CIA analyst, Michael Scott Robinson was hired to become a senior policy manager for site integrity, trust and safety. The California-based app has also recruited heavily from the Atlantic Council, a NATO cutout organization that serves as the military alliance’s think tank. The council is sponsored by NATO, led by senior NATO generals and regularly plays out regime-change scenarios in enemy states, such as China. The Atlantic Council has been associated with many of the most egregious fake news plants of the last few years. It published a series of lurid reports alleging that virtually every political group in Europe challenging the status quo – from the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and UKIP in Great Britain to PODEMOS and Vox in Spain and Syriza and Golden Dawn in Greece – were all secretly “the Kremlin’s Trojan Horses.” Atlantic Council employee Michael Weiss was also very likely the creator of the shadowy organization PropOrNot, a group that anonymously published a list of fake-news websites that regularly peddled Kremlin disinformation. Included in this list was virtually every anti-war alternative media outlet one could think of – from MintPress to Truthout, TruthDig and The Black Agenda Report. Also included were pro-Trump websites like The Drudge Report, and liberatarian ventures like Antiwar.com and The Ron Paul Institute. PropOrNot’s list was immediately heralded in the corporate press, and was the basis for a wholescale algorithm shift at Google and other big tech platforms, a shift that saw traffic to alternative media sites crash overnight, never to recover. Thus, the allegation of a huge (Russian) state-sponsored attempt to influence the media was itself an intelligence op by the U.S. national security state. In 2020, Kanishk Karan left his job as a research associate at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research (DFR) Lab to join Twitter as information integrity and safety specialist – essentially helping to control what Twitter sees as legitimate information and nefarious disinformation. Another DFR Lab graduate turned Twitter employee is Daniel Weimert, who is now a senior public policy associate for Russia – a key target of the Atlantic Council. Meanwhile, Sarah Oh is simultaneously an Atlantic Council DFR Lab non-resident senior fellow and a Twitter advisor, her social media bio noting she works on “high risk trust and safety issues.” In 2019, Twitter also hired Greg Andersen straight from NATO to work on cybercrime policy. There is sparse information on what Andersen did at NATO, but, alarmingly, his own LinkedIn profile stated simply that he worked on “psychological operations” for the military alliance. After MintPress highlighted this fact in an article in April, he removed all mention of “psychological operations” from his profile, claiming now to have merely worked as a NATO “researcher.” Andersen left Twitter in the summer of last year to work as a product policy manager for the popular video platform TikTok. Twitter also directly employs active army officers. In 2019, Gordon Macmillan, the head of editorial for the entire Europe, Middle East and Africa region was revealed to be an officer in the British Army’s notorious 77th Brigade – a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations. This bombshell news was steadfastly ignored across the media. Positions of power and control With nearly 400 million global users, there is no doubt that Twitter has grown to become a platform large and influential enough to necessitate extensive security measures, as actors of all stripes attempt to use the service to influence public opinion and political actions. There is also no doubt that there is a limited pool of people qualified in these sorts of fields. But recruiting largely from the U.S. national security state fundamentally undermines claims Twitter makes about its neutrality. The U.S. government is the source of some of the largest and most extensive influence operations in the world. As far back as 2011, The Guardian reported on the existence of a massive, worldwide U.S. military online influence campaign in which it had designed software that allowed its personnel to “secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.” The program boasts that the background of these personas is so convincing that psychological operations soldiers can be sure to work “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries.” Yet Twitter appears to be recruiting from the source of the problem. These former national security state officials are not being employed in politically neutral departments such as sales or customer service, but in security, trust and content, meaning that some hold considerable sway over what messages and information are promoted, and what is suppressed, demoted or deleted. It could be said that poachers-turned-gamekeepers often play a crucial role in safety and protection, as they know how bad actors think and operate. But there exists little evidence that any of these national security state operatives have changed their stances. Twitter is not hiring whistleblowers or dissidents. It appears, then, that some of these people are essentially doing the same job they were doing before, but now in the private sector. And few are even acknowledging that there is anything wrong with moving from big government to big tech, as if the U.S. national security state and the fourth estate are allies, rather than adversaries. That Twitter is already working so closely with the FBI and other agencies makes it easy for them to recruit from the federal pool. As Rowley said, “over a period of time these people will be totally in sync with the mindset of Twitter and other social media platforms. So from the company’s standpoint, they are not hiring somebody new. They already know this person. They know where they stand on things.” Is there a problem? Some might ask “What is the problem with Twitter actively recruiting from the FBI, CIA and other three-letter agencies?” They, after all, are experts in studying online disinformation and propaganda. One is optical. If a Russian-owned social media app’s trust, security and content moderation was run by former KGB or FSB agents and still insisted it was a politically neutral platform, the entire world would laugh. But apart from this, the huge influx of security state personnel into Twitter’s decision-making ranks means that the company will start to view every problem in the same manner as the U.S. government does – and act accordingly. “In terms of their outlooks on the world and on the question of misinformation and internet security, you couldn’t get a better field of professionals who are almost inherently going to be more in tune with the government’s perspective,” Rowley said. Thus, when policing the platform for disinformation and influence campaigns, the former FBI and CIA agents and Atlantic Council fellows only ever seem to find them emanating from enemy states and never from the U.S. government itself. This is because their backgrounds and outlooks condition them to consider Washington to be a unique force for good. This one-sided view of disinformation can be seen by studying the reports Twitter has published on state-linked information operations. The entire list of countries it has identified as engaging in these campaigns are as follows: Russia (in 7 reports), Iran (in 5 reports), China (4 reports), Saudi Arabia (4 reports), Venezuela (3 reports), Egypt (2 reports), Cuba, Serbia, Bangladesh, the UAE, Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Honduras, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, Armenia, Spain, Tanzania, Mexico and Uganda. One cannot help noticing that this list correlates quite closely to a hit list of U.S. government adversaries. All countries carry out disinfo campaigns to a certain extent. But these “former” spooks and feds are unlikely to point the finger at their former colleagues or sister organizations or investigate their operations. The Cold (cyber)war Twitter has mirrored U.S. hostility towards states like Russia, China, Iran and Cuba, attempting to suppress the reach and influence of their state media by adding warning messages to the tweets of journalists and accounts affiliated with those governments. “State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution,” it noted. In a rather bizarre addendum, it explained that it would not be doing the same to state-affiliated media or personalities from other countries, least of all the U.S. “State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the U.K. or NPR in the U.S. for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy,” it wrote. It did not explain how it decided that Cuban, Russian, Chinese or Iranian journalists did not have editorial independence, but British and American ones did – this was taken for granted. The effect of the action has been a throttling of ideas and narratives from enemy states and an amplification of those coming from Western state media. As the U.S. ramps up tensions with Beijing, so too has Twitter aggressively shut down pro-China voices on its platform. In 2020, it banned 170,000 accounts it said were “spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China,” such as praising its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic or expressing opposition to the Hong Kong protests, both of which are majority views in China. Importantly, the Silicon Valley company did not claim that these accounts were controlled by the government; merely sharing these opinions was grounds enough for deletion. The group behind Twitter’s decision to ban those Chinese accounts was the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), a deeply controversial think tank funded by the Pentagon, the State Department and a host of weapons manufacturers. ASPI has constantly peddled conspiracy theories about China and called for ramping up tensions with the Asian nation. ASPI - The Gov’t-Funded Conspiracist Think Tank Now Controlling Your Social Media Feed Perhaps most notable, however, was Twitter’s announcement last year that it was deleting dozens of accounts for the new violation of “undermining faith in the NATO alliance.” The statement was widely ridiculed online by users. But few noted that the decision was based upon a partnership with the Stanford Internet Observatory, a counter-disinformation think tank filled with former spooks and state officials and headed by an individual who is on the advisory board of NATO’s Collective Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. That Twitter is working so closely with organizations that are clearly intelligence industry catspaws should concern all users. Not just Twitter While some might be alarmed that Twitter is cultivating such an intimate relationship with the FBI and other groups belonging to the secret state, it is perhaps unfair to single it out, as many social media platforms are doing the same. Facebook, for example, has entered into a formal partnership with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, whereby the latter holds significant influence over 2.9 billion users’ news feeds, helping to decide what content to promote and what content to suppress. The NATO cutout organization now serves as Facebook’s “eyes and ears,” according to a Facebook press release. Anti-war and anti-establishment voices across the world have reported massive drops in traffic on the platform. The social media giant also hired former NATO Press Secretary Ben Nimmo to be its head of intelligence. Nimmo subsequently used his power to attempt to swing the election in Nicaragua away from the leftist Sandinista Party and towards the far-right, pro-U.S. candidate, deleting hundreds of left-wing voices in the week of the election, claiming they were engaging in “inauthentic behavior.” When these individuals (including some well-known personalities) poured onto Twitter, recording video messages proving they were not bots, Twitter deleted those accounts too, in what one commentator called a Silicon Valley “double tap strike.” An April MintPress study revealed how TikTok, too, has been filling its organization with alumni of the Atlantic Council, NATO, the CIA and the State Department. As with Twitter, these new TikTok employees largely work in highly politically sensitive fields such as trust, safety, security and content moderation, meaning these state operatives hold influence over the direction of the company and what content is promoted and what is demoted. Likewise, in 2017, content aggregation site Reddit plucked Jessica Ashooh from the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force to become its new director of policy, despite the fact that she had few relevant qualifications or experience in the field. Jessica Ashooh: The Taming of Reddit and the National Security State Plant Tabbed to Do It In corporate media too, we have seen a widespread infiltration of former security officials into the upper echelons of news organizations. So normalized is the penetration of the national security state into the media that is supposed to be holding it to account, that few reacted in 2015 when Dawn Scalici left her job as national intelligence manager for the Western hemisphere at the Director of National Intelligence to become the global business director of international news conglomerate Thomson Reuters. Scalici, a 33-year CIA veteran who had worked her way up to become a director in the organization, was open about what her role was. In a blog post on the Reuters website, she wrote that she was there to “meet the disparate needs of the U.S. Government” – a statement that is at odds with even the most basic journalistic concepts of impartiality and holding the powerful to account. Meanwhile, cable news outlets routinely employ a wide range of “former” agents and mandarins as trusted personalities and experts. These include former CIA Directors John Brennan (NBC, MSNBC) and Michael Hayden (CNN), ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (CNN), and former Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend (CBS). And news for so many Americans comes delivered through ex-CIA interns like Anderson Cooper (CNN), CIA-applicants like Tucker Carlson (Fox), or by Mika Brzezinski (MSNBC), the daughter of a powerful national security advisor. The FBI has its own former agents on TV as well, with talking heads such as James Gagliano (Fox), Asha Rangappa (CNN) and Frank Figliuzzi (NBC, MSNBC) becoming household names. In short, then, the national security state once used to infiltrate the media. Today, however, the national security state is the media. Social media holds enormous influence in today’s society. While this article is not alleging that anyone mentioned is a bad actor or does not genuinely care about the spread of disinformation, it is highlighting a glaring conflict of interest. Through its agencies, the U.S. government regularly plants fake news and false information. Therefore, social media hiring individuals straight from the FBI, CIA, NATO and other groups to work on regulating disinformation is a fundamentally flawed practice. One of media’s primary functions is to serve as a fourth estate; a force that works to hold the government and its agencies to account. Yet instead of doing that, increasingly it is collaborating with them. Such are these increasing interlocking connections that it is becoming increasingly difficult to see where big government ends and big media begins. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/23/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 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

How To Retire Early – The Definitive Guide

Have you dreamed of early retirement? ‌How about the freedom it brings – financial and otherwise? ‌It’s not just you who dreams of‌ ‌early‌ ‌retirement. In fact, since 1992, people have embraced the F.I.R.E. movement. ‌It has become more popular in recent years. ‌As an example, Natixis Investment Managers reported that Generation Y (ages 26-61) […] Have you dreamed of early retirement? ‌How about the freedom it brings – financial and otherwise? ‌It’s not just you who dreams of‌ ‌early‌ ‌retirement. In fact, since 1992, people have embraced the F.I.R.E. movement. ‌It has become more popular in recent years. ‌As an example, Natixis Investment Managers reported that Generation Y (ages 26-61) wants to retire at the age of 60 on average. 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 There is a slight hiccup, unfortunately. 59% of Americans don’t believe that have enough to retire, let along retire early. There are number of reasons why a majority of people feel this way. Everything from overwhelming debt, the impact of the pandemic, and inflation. At the same time, all is not lost. ‌As well as getting your retirement savings back on track, you might be able to‌ still ‌retire‌ ‌early. How? Well, let’s show you in the following guide. What is Early Retirement? Before‌ ‌you commit to early retirement, make sure you understand what exactly it means. In the past, early retirement was defined as retiring before the age of‌ ‌65. ‌Technically, this is true. Nevertheless, it’s an evolving concept. You don’t have to give up work completely by taking early retirement. ‌Rather, your employment is purely voluntary. ‌That means you’re free to live your life as you see fit. Why? Because you have the financial freedom to do so. Believe it or not, people as young as 30 or 40 can take early retirement. ‌But most of them also work in some capacity, such as with their passion projects or other endeavors. More simply put, people who work this way do it for themselves, not because they have to. It is important to remember that work can be fulfilling, meaningful, and purposeful. ‌Additionally, some studies suggest that people who retire early and do not work at all may die earlier than those who remain employed. Conversely, early retirement enables you to spend more time with your family and friends. ‌You can‌ ‌also‌ ‌start your own company or pursue new hobbies. Or, maybe you’re burned out from the daily grind. For many, stopping working isn’t the ultimate goal. ‌Instead, it’s about having the freedom to do what you want. What are the Pros and Cons of Early Retirement? Getting to early retirement can be tough. But the rewards are typically worth all of the struggles once you reach it. ‌Again, as soon as you retire, you are free to spend it as you choose. Among the things you can do with all that free time are: Bond with family and friends. You can visit your friends and family more often when you retire and stay for longer periods of time. Take extended vacations. The question might arise, “Who on earth can spend a month in Europe or take weeklong cruises?” ‌Now that you’re retired, the answer is obvious: You can. Enjoy hobbies. Your days can be filled with the things that bring you joy once you retire, whether that is golf or ‌reading. Volunteer. There are many reasons why people do not volunteer, one of them being lack of‌ ‌time. ‌Giving back to your community becomes a lot easier once you retire. Early retirement might sound amazing, but there are a few downsides. ‌There are even experts who claim that early retirement isn’t worth the effort. ‌For‌ ‌example, 64% of Americans live‌ ‌paycheck‌ ‌to‌ ‌paycheck. ‌Thus, pushing yourself to fit into an early retirement plan can be stressful and counter-productive. Another drawback? You might get bored. In early retirement, you may wish that you were still working so you would have something to keep your mind occupied. Yes. You get to travel and engage with new hobbies. But, will this truly keep you stimulated for the next 40 or 50 years? Overall, the financial risks of early retirement are substantial. ‌That‌ ‌is,‌ ‌unless you‌ ‌have‌ ‌a number of sources of income or have ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌enough‌ ‌money‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌bank. If not, early retirement may ‌completely bankrupt your dreams. Phase 1: Pre-Retirement Planning When you’re young, you can adopt the right mindset and financial plan to help you retire early. If that sounds daunting, here’s how you can get the ball rolling. What does early retirement mean to you? Retiring early doesn’t mean you have to stop working — unless that’s your endgame. ‌Early retirement is instead a term used to describe a situation where an individual is not working‌ ‌‌to‌‌ ‌‌support themselves. It simply means that you’re financially independent enough to stop working your 9-to-5 job. ‌Nevertheless, you can still work part-time or find ways to earn a passive income. But, since you aren’t putting in 40 pus hours a week working, you can spend that time however you please. Early retirement begins with you figuring out what it means ‌to‌ ‌you. ‌‌‌After that, you can begin to move in that direction. ‌ The following questions may help you define‌ ‌your‌ ‌ideal‌ ‌early‌ ‌retirement: Are you planning on moving or staying in the same place? How will the cost of living change for you? Which kind of lifestyle are you looking for? Hobbies and travel are expensive, for example. ‌But, volunteering and spending time with your family are not. Would you prefer to work‌ ‌part-time,‌ ‌full-time,‌ ‌or‌ ‌not‌ ‌at‌ ‌all? By answering these questions accurately, you’ll be able to calculate when you’ll be able to retire. Save money on a larger scale. It’s crucial that you change your attitude about money if you’re committed to retiring‌ ‌early. ‌The process begins with making conscious trade-offs when spending money. Contrary to popular belief, ‌fiscal discipline along will not solve the problem. For example, cutting back on high-cost expenditures is ‌more sensible than giving up your daily latte. ‌You can stick to your budget by making your coffee at home. But you won’t be able to retire early with this method. You should, simply put, live ‌below‌ ‌your‌ ‌means. ‌This will allow you to save a significant portion‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌earnings. What’s the appropriate amount to save? ‌Planners recommend saving 30% of one’s earnings over 40 years,‌ ‌instead‌ ‌of‌ ‌10%‌ ‌to‌ ‌15%. You might think that’s an impossible‌ ‌goal. ‌But it’s possible if you automate your savings. The reason being is that you’ll stash this money away before you can spend it. ‌You should also contribute to your savings whenever you receive a windfall of cash, such as a bonus or tax refund. Keep your lifestyle in check. It’s okay to reward yourself when you get a ‌generous raise or promotion. ‌However, with greater earnings comes a natural tendency to spend more money. ‌Financial‌ ‌advisors‌ ‌refer to this as “lifestyle creep.” How can you keep your lifestyle in check? You can save half of those additional dollars by setting up automatic deductions from your paycheck or making a bank transfer. But you should also refrain from feeling restricted when using your dollars. ‌If you find ways to cut costs or search for the best deals, you can still travel. Perhaps you could stay with a friend or family member rather than book a hotel. This can’t be stressed enough. Retiring doesn’t mean that you stop‌ ‌working. Taking a part-time job or starting a side business are possibilities. ‌Because you’re still generating an income, you can still enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Become more aware‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌financial‌ ‌decisions. Regardless of your retirement plan, the only way to achieve your retirement goals is to make wise financial decisions. ‌You can secure your financial success in the future if you make smart decisions today. What’s the best way to get started? ‌Get the basics down first, like; Spending only what you can afford. Create a budget to keep you from overspending. ‌‌If necessary, try creating a mock retirement budget with your monthly expenses for retirement as well. ‌To calculate how much maintaining that lifestyle would cost, you can work backwards. Paying‌ ‌off‌ ‌high-interest debts,‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌credit‌ ‌cards. Creating a fund for emergencies so that you won’t be forced to tap into‌ ‌savings. Putting your tax returns and bonuses to good use, as well as your savings from unnecessary purchases. The obvious examples are paying off debt or contributing to a retirement or emergency fund. But, let’s also address the elephant in the room. Housing. Your‌ ‌house is probably your biggest expenditure, and therefore your biggest opportunity for savings. ‌According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend a third of their income on housing. In order to figure out what you can realistically afford, check out calculators provided by Bankrate, NerdWallet, or Mortgage Loan. If you can’t downsize and buy a home that you can actually pay off your mortgage in a shorter time-frame. More likely than not, you’ve heard this advice before. ‌There’s a good reason for this. ‌By following these steps, you can put money aside, plan for the future, and manage the unpredictable. Maximize your tax savings. Do you really want to retire‌ ‌early? ‌As much money as possible should be deposited in tax-favored accounts if that’s the case. Maximizing your 401(k) would be the logical starting point). ‌As of 2022, employees can contribute up to $20,500 ‌to‌ ‌their‌ ‌401(k). ‌The catch-up contribution for individuals over 50 years old in 2022 will be $6,000 more. You can also choose‌ ‌a‌ ‌Roth‌ ‌IRA. A Roth IRA contribution is‌ ‌after-tax. ‌However, you must meet certain income requirements to contribute to a Roth IRA. ‌To qualify, your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) must be under $144,000 in‌ ‌2022 if you’re filing as a single person. ‌To contribute to a Roth IRA for tax year 2022, your MAGI must be less than 214,000 if you’re married and file jointly. Combined,‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌contribute‌ ‌these amounts to all ‌your‌ ‌IRAs; $6,000 for those under 50 $7,000 if you’re 50 years old or older Additionally, you can contribute a portion of the income from your side job as well as your regular job to a SEP-IRA. You may also want to consider putting as much into a health savings account as possible if you have a high-deductible health plan. ‌HSAs can sometimes be a better investment than 401(k)s when certain factors apply. ‌HSA earnings are not taxed if they are used to pay for qualified medical expenses today or in the future, and taxable withdrawals are also not allowed. ‌For a self-only plan, you can contribute $3,650, and for a family plan, $7,300 as of 2022 Phase 2: ‌Getting Ready to Dive Into Early Retirement Nearing your early retirement? ‌Make sure these key elements of your plan are in place. Make an estimation of‌ ‌your‌ ‌retirement‌ ‌savings. In order to plan a successful early retirement lifestyle, you must estimate your expenses and income. ‌You can estimate your retirement income by combining your Social Security, pension, and any side jobs you have. Most retirees depend on Social Security and, ‌less frequently, pensions for income. ‌With a pension, the payments are often available as early as age 55, and with Social Security at age 62. ‌If you take early benefits, however, your monthly benefits will be smaller. ‌In the long run, your retirement plan will be affected by Social Security, even if it is only the cream on top. You will be able to see the projected benefits on the Social Security website if you file early. ‌If you’re part of a couple who earns two incomes, it’s best to discuss your options with a Social Security offiicial or a financial professional. Suppose you die with a higher monthly benefit than your spouse. ‌The‌ ‌earlier you claim your benefits, the less you will receive, and the less your spouse will receive in the event you pass away. Ask your employer’s pension administrator how much your pension payment will be at different ages. ‌With this info, you’ll have a better idea of how much income you’ll get. You may have difficulty calculating your expenses, however. Establish a‌ ‌retirement‌ ‌budget. When you are within five years of your desired early retirement, think about the lifestyle you want and what it might cost you. ‌Determining where and what activities you will engage in will assist you with this. ‌It’s an incorrect belief that a person’s expenses will decrease after they stop working. ‌Actually, retired people spend about 20% more during retirement than during their working years. Even though you’ll have more time to spend on hobbies and trips, this obviously costs more. ‌Moreover, if you leave the workforce young, you can enjoy an active and most likely costly retirement if you are healthy and energetic. Budget items may rise faster than inflation overall, so you must keep this in mind. ‌For example, health care costs could rise as much as 7% or 10% annually. In some cases, a retirement income calculator such as‌ ‌T. Rowe Price’s Retirement Income Calculator ‌will let you know whether your retirement portfolio will allow you to retire early. Your retirement will be delayed if you reduce your lifestyle expectations, boost your savings, or delay your retirement. Just add up your pension, Social Security, and savings. ‌After this, calculate how much you would have to spend every month (including income taxes) if you were to retire five years early and become eligible for Social Security and pension benefits earlier. ‌It should give you an idea of how much you will need in retirement. But, to give you a ballpark figure, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey found that the average household earns $84,352 a year. In addition, the average household spends $72,258 each‌ ‌year. ‌The data also shows that roughly $5,854 is spent monthly on bills and other expenses. Make sure your health insurance is in place. Nobody wants to blow through retirement savings by paying for unanticipated medical expenses in the years between early retirement and Medicare eligibility. ‌Until‌ ‌you‌ ‌are eligible for Medicare, you will still need private health insurance. COBRA allows you to keep your employer-sponsored health insurance. But, you can also join the plan of your spouse or enroll in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov. ‌AARP and other organizations may offer‌ ‌discounts‌ ‌on‌ ‌coverage as well. You might also want to think about long-term care insurance. ‌It’s not just the long-term care costs that can be expensive, it’s medical insurance too. ‌In order to save money, you might like to research it while you’re still young. Even if you have some sort of health insurance, taking care of yourself is a surefire way to keep healthcare costs at bay. The most obvious places to start is eating a nutritious and balanced diet and engaging in physical activity. Don’t take any risks‌ ‌with‌ ‌your‌ ‌portfolio. Suppose you’re planning to retire at 50. You should be more conservative with your portfolio in your late 40s than your peers who plan to keep working until 65. ‌The objective is to avoid what’s called‌ ‌”sequence‌ ‌of‌ ‌return‌ ‌risk.” ‌This is the risk of having a series of bad markets occur at a time when your finances are particularly fragile. In fact, according to Dr. Wade Pfau, professor of retirement income at the American College of Financial Services, this is what makes the first couple of years in retirement so dangerous. “I’ve estimated that if somebody is planning for a 30-year retirement, the market returns they experience in the first 10 years can explain 80% of the retirement outcome,” he told Barron’s. “If you get a market downturn early on, and markets recover later on, that doesn’t help all that much when you’re spending from that portfolio because you have less remaining to benefit from the subsequent market recovery.” The solution? “There are four ways to manage the sequence-of-return risk,” Dr. Pfau adds. “One, spend conservatively. Two, spend flexibly.” You can manage sequence-of-return risk if you can reduce your spending after a market downturn by not selling as many shares to meet spending needs. “A third option is to be strategic about volatility in your portfolio, even using the idea of a rising equity glide path,” he states. “The fourth option is using buffer assets like cash, a reverse mortgage or whole life policy with cash value.” Create a 10-year financial buffer. “At least five years before their early retirement date, investors should set aside the amount of money required to provide income for their first five years of retirement,” says Phil Lubinski, CFP, co-founder of IncomeConductor. “This will effectively put a 10-year buffer between the money they need for early income and any market volatility that could take place during their five-year countdown to retirement.” By setting aside this money from their main retirement savings, investors are able to protect the wealth they’ve accumulated. ‌The recommended five years of income can be rolled into a new IRA. ‌These funds can then be invested in a portfolio designed for capital preservation, such as one using cash-based investments such as‌ ‌Treasury‌ ‌Bills‌ ‌or‌ ‌bonds, suggest E. Napoletano and Benjamin Curry in Forbes. With a separate account for the money you’ll need for retirement, you give yourself a cushion in case the market experiences‌ ‌volatility. ‌You’ll have years to bounce back from any losses experienced in your remaining investments under this model. Phase 3: ‌Maintaining and Sustaining Your Finances So, you were able to retire early. Congratulations! ‌However, while you’re in the initial stage of retirement, keep an eye on your compass and be prepared to correct course. Keep your retirement funds secure. “One of the biggest misconceptions many people have is that retirement simply means living off of their pension, Social Security, or retirement savings,” notes Pierre Raymond, cofounder of Global Equity Analytics & Research Services LLC (GEARS). “While this may be the case for a minority of people, the latter reveals that some Americans have still not placed any stress on their financial future when they reach the age of retirement.” A retiree’s expenses can become more manageable by investing in various stocks and portfolios, or perhaps taking out an annuity. An annuity offers a guaranteed lifetime income. Because of this, it’s an ideal supplement to other income sources. Raymond also suggests that you have an investment portfolio and minimize withdrawals from retirement funds. And, as mentioned several times already, think about how you can introduce new income streams. Some suggestions would be: Starting a blog or online course. Renting out a spare bedroom. Providing baby-or-petsitting services. House-sit internationally. Being a freelancer or local business consultant. Tutoring. Selling handmade goods online. Take a strategic approach to‌ ‌Social‌ ‌Security. Did you know ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌‌‌manage ‌the‌ ‌size‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌Social‌ ‌Security‌ ‌check? ‌Yes, you can – to an‌ ‌extent. ‌The key is when you start getting‌ ‌benefits. “About 1 out of 3 Social Security recipients apply for benefits at the earliest age, which is 62,” writes author and certified financial planner Liz Weston. “It’s often a mistake.” “Benefits grow by a guaranteed 5% to 8% each year that the applicant delays,” ‌she‌ ‌adds. “Starting early also can stunt the survivor benefit that one spouse will have to live on when the other dies.” Don’t rush it. ‌Wait‌‌ ‌‌until the right time comes. ‌This will increase your Social Security benefits. Seek the advice of‌ ‌a‌ ‌financial‌ ‌advisor. In order to retire early there are two major challenges to consider: It takes less time to save for retirement. After retirement, you’ll have more free time. You should work with a financial advisor regularly — unless you’re a financial expert yourself. ‌An advisor can help you to develop an investment strategy so that you can meet your retirement goals. ‌In addition, a financial planner can show you how much you have to invest per month to hit your goals over‌ ‌time. Even after retirement, it’s possible for you to work with your advisor to ensure that your retirement funds last. ‌Income streams include dividend income, required minimum distributions, Social Security, defined-benefit plans, and rental income from real estate. Trust is imperative since you’ll probably work together for a long time. ‌Likewise, an advisor’s fee shouldn’t just be based on their time, but also their expertise. ‌In the end, hiring an advisor with the right expertise is more than worth it. Follow your plan, but enjoy life as well. Discipline and time are both essential for executing and maintaining your plan. ‌Save and invest while you can, but don’t forget to take advantage of your youth. ‌If you dream of touring Patagonia, you should do it when you’re younger and ‌in‌ ‌good‌ ‌health. In the words of early retiree Steven Adcock, “Sacrifice is necessary to retire early, but it’s not all we do, either. It is important to treat and reward ourselves along the way by celebrating those smaller achievements.” Frequently Asked Retirement Questions When can I retire? There is no set age to retire. ‌As long as you are able to retire, you can leave the workforce whenever you wish. There are some factors, however, that may limit when you can‌ ‌retire. ‌Pensions are usually available to employees after 20 to 30 years of service. Aside from that, Social Security benefits aren’t available until the age of 62. And Medicare won’t kick in until ‌65. ‌So, people covered by their employer’s health insurance may not be able to retire until 65. How‌ ‌much‌ ‌money‌ ‌do‌ ‌I‌ ‌need‌ ‌for retirement? An individual’s retirement income depends on a variety of factors. The factors considered include Social Security benefits, monthly expenses, retirement age, and life expectancy. ‌It’s helpful to have a financial advisor help you figure out how much you’ll need for a comfortable retirement. How will early retirement affect my Social Security benefits? In general, you can receive Social Security retirement benefits as early as‌ ‌age 62. ‌Benefits may, however,‌ ‌be‌ ‌reduced‌ ‌by‌ ‌up‌ ‌to‌ ‌30%. “Workers planning for their retirement should be aware that retirement benefits depend on age at retirement,” notes the Social Security Administration. “If a worker begins receiving benefits before his/her normal (or full) retirement age, the worker will receive a reduced benefit. A worker can choose to retire as early as age 62, but doing so may result in a reduction of as much as 30 percent.” “Starting to receive benefits after normal retirement age may result in larger benefits,” adds the SSA. “With delayed retirement credits, a person can receive his or her largest benefit by retiring at age 70.” For each month before normal retirement age, you lose 5/9 of one percent of your benefits. ‌When the number of months over 36 is exceeded, the benefit is reduced by 5/12 of one percent per month. “For example, if the number of reduction months is 60 (the maximum number for retirement at 62 when normal retirement age is 67), then the benefit is reduced by 30 percent,” the SSA states. “This maximum reduction is calculated as 36 months times 5/9 of 1 percent plus 24 months times 5/12 of 1 percent.” Should I pay off my mortgage before retiring? At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. ‌People who itemize deductions can reduce their taxes by paying mortgage interest. ‌In addition, if the interest rate is low enough, it might make more sense financially to invest money rather than pay off the debt. If you plan on retiring comfortably, it’s important to think about how paying off your mortgage will impact your ability to do so. ‌Though a debt-free retirement is ideal, don’t use too much money from a retirement account to pay off a house. What does a good monthly retirement income look like? An individual’s definition of an adequate monthly retirement income may differ from another’s. ‌Various factors will determine how much retirement income is adequate. ‌This includes your retirement lifestyle, any dependents you have (kids, grandkids, debts, etc.) and your health. A good retirement income is usually between 70% and 80% of an individual’s last income before retirement. Article by John Rampton, Due About the Author John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old while attending the University of Utah he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and Finance Expert by Time . He is the Founder and CEO of Due. Updated on Jun 14, 2022, 3:35 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 14th, 2022

Check out these 41 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to 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 AE-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.Catering 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 ownersInvoice 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: dealsSource: nytJun 6th, 2022

Futures Dump Ahead Of Payrolls Despite Musk"s "Super Bad Feeling"

Futures Dump Ahead Of Payrolls Despite Musk's "Super Bad Feeling" Tech stocks led US index futures slumped on the last day of the week, after a report about looming job cuts at Tesla deepened concerns about economic growth, and confirming what we wrote a week ago in "We Could See A Million Layoffs Or More" - Here Comes The Job Market Shock.  Futures were lower as dismal trading volumes accentuating every sell order, and further reduced by UK holidays marking the Queen’s Jubilee. And speaking of the job market, in less than an hour we get the May payrolls print, where Wall Street consensus expects the a +320k number vs. +428k in April, although the whisper number is currently lower than survey at +301k, and as we noted last night, the odds of a negative print are non-trivial. Of course, should we get a subzero print, watch stocks explode higher as the Fed's tightening plans are for all intents and purposes crushed. The Bloomberg dollar index steadied after overnight losses, Treasury yields held at around 2.91%, bitcoin resumed its slide and gold rose. Anyway, back to markets, where S&P futures dropped 0.7%, down 30 points to 4,145 and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 1.1% trading at session lows... ... with Tesla, one of the biggest members of the tech-heavy index with a 4% weight, sliding 5% in premarket trading after Elon Musk said he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and the electric carmaker needed to cut staff by about 10% and pause hiring. Other electric-vehicle stocks dropped in New York premarket trading following the Tesla report, with Nikola Corp. and Rivian Automotive Inc. lower. Elsewhere, Lululemon Athletica Inc. climbed after the athletic-wear retailer’s results surpassed analyst’s expectations and software company Okta Inc. rallied after its earnings. “It’s very prudent by Tesla to reduce the staff,” Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said on Bloomberg Television. “This market is not rewarding high revenue growth at all costs. You’re being rewarded from improvement in return on investor capital and free cash flow generation.” Here are other notable premarket movers: Okta (OKTA US) shares are up 16% in premarket trading after the software company reported first-quarter results ahead of expectations and raised its full-year forecast. Piper Sandler notes revenue acceleration and strength across key growth metrics, adding that it has increased “confidence in the story going forward.” BMO highlights “impressive” revenue that beat estimates. StoneCo (STNE US) soars 20% in premarket trading after its quarterly revenue more than doubled, but analysts expect the rally could be short-lived amid concerns about higher interest rates. RH (RH US) shares slipped 0.3% after the home-furnishing retailer warned of further slowdown in demand since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and cited expectations for challenges for “several quarters” ahead. CrowdStrike (CRWD US) drops 2.5% after the security software company reported first-quarter results that were seen as mixed. PagSeguro (PAGS US) jumped after Brazilian fintech peer StoneCo reported quarterly adjusted net income that topped analysts’ expectations. Asana (ASAN US) dropped after the software company forecast an adjusted loss per share for the second quarter of 38c to 39c. Investors remain on edge as some fear the pace of US monetary tightening could throw the world’s largest economy into a recession. Friday’s May labor report is likely to show the smallest gain in jobs since April 2021 alongside a down shift in average hourly earnings growth, Bloomberg Economics said. “Investors remain nervous, trying to collect more information about earnings prospects on one side and economic data on the other,” said Cedric Ozazman, head of investment solutions at Mirabaud & Cie SA in Geneva. “The jobs report will be crucial as any bad news will reignite speculation about a pause in the Fed monetary tightening cycle during the last quarter of the year." Of course, that means that “any bad economic news might be actually good for risky assets, as they will probably remove some pressure on interest rates,” Ozazman said. On the other hand, Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said it was hard to see a case for a September pause in rate hikes and that increases of 50 basis points in June and July seemed reasonable. In Europe, gains for real-estate and consumer companies outweighed declines in the cars and banking sectors, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rising 0.1%, erasing earlier gains. Here are the most notable European movers today: Rheinmetall gains as much as 3.9% after Warburg raised its rating on the stock to buy, noting comments by CEO indicating stronger-than-anticipated mid-term revenue potential, with peer Leonardo rising as much as 3.6%. Ringkjoebing Landbobank, or Rilba, rise as much as 8.4%. after the Danish lender boosted its FY pretax profit guidance. Handelsbanken notes a “positive development” in lending. Leonteq shares jump as much as 18% after the Swiss technology and service provider announced it expects to generate significant revenue growth on the back of strong net trading results. Avance Gas and BW LPG gain as Fearnley Securities calls the sector a “long-term value play,” increasing their target prices for the LPG firms it covers despite a strong year-to-date share rally. Lotos shares gain as much as 7.9% after Orlen offered a premium of about 9% with its all-stock deal to buy Lotos in a planned merger of Polish state-controlled refiners. PGS rise as much as 23% as Kepler Cheuvreux resumes coverage of the shares with a buy recommendation, seeing a more supportive macroeconomic environment and better liquidity. Aperam rises while Acerinox falls as Morgan Stanley says in a note that potentially combining their businesses would bring top-line and cost synergies via improved pricing power. Faurecia falls as much as 6.6% after the French automotive part maker launches EU705m rights issue as part of refinancing of Hella acquisition. Asian stocks rose, poised for a third straight week of gains as investors awaited US non-farm payrolls for clues on the trajectory of interest rates. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.7%, led by energy and material firms, with BHP Group and Reliance Industries among the biggest contributors. Gauges in Japan and Australia were the region’s best performers, while markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were shut for a holiday. Investors are turning their attention to Friday’s data on non-farm payrolls following the release of weak private payrolls figures overnight. This comes as Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said expectations for half-percentage-point increases in interest rates this month and next were reasonable. “The wide underperformance in job gains took the spotlight and the hopes that the Fed may take on a more cautious and gradual approach in tightening toward the latter part of the year may lead to some unwinding of hawkish expectations,” Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia, wrote in a note. Asia’s benchmark index has climbed more than 7% from a trough in mid-May as the reopening of Shanghai supports stocks in China and Hong Kong. Still, the outlook for the region remains uncertain amid prospects of aggressive US monetary tightening, soaring inflation and China’s ongoing Covid-Zero stance. Japanese stocks gain ahead of US labor report and as OPEC+ agreed to increase its oil production rates. Markets are closed in Hong Kong and China.  The Topix index rose 0.4% to 1,933.14 as of market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.3% to 27,761.57. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 1.9%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,135 rose and 940 fell, while 95 were unchanged. “Inflation concerns are receding as labor market tensions are seen to be weakening from the US economic indicators and Beige Book,” said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a market strategist at Mizuho Securities Australian stocks rebounded, with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.9% to close at 7,238.80, recouping Thursday’s 0.8% loss in a rally led by miners. Champion Iron gained on higher iron ore prices. Healius was the worst performer after flagging more difficult conditions in 2H. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.6% to 11,417.34. The gauge added 3.2% since Monday, posting its best week since Feb. In FX, a Bloomberg dollar gauge steadied after yesterday’s loss and the euro traded around $1.0750. A day after pricing in a 50 basis-point rate hike by the ECB by the end of the year, traders are now betting that the move will happen by October itself. Australia’s swap spreads widened to the most in almost six years on speculation that the Reserve Bank will become more hawkish next week. In rates, Treasuries are mostly unchanged across the curve with losses led by front-end, flattening spreads with 2s10s and 5s30s both tighter by over 1bp. 10-year TSY yields around 2.92%, flat on the day; bunds lag by additional 2bp in the sector. European bonds drifted at the open after yields rose to multi-year highs Thursday. US IG dollar issuance slate empty so far; four borrowers priced $3BNBThursday, pushing weekly volume up to $30b and high end of $25b to $30b forecast. Bloomberg notes that there has been some speculation that a jumbo Oracle deal (around $20BN) could come as early as next week which may see some rate lock selling flows weigh over Friday’s session. In commodities, oil headed for a sixth weekly advance after a keenly anticipated OPEC+ meeting delivered only a modest increase in output that failed to assuage concerns over a widening supply deficit. Gas traders are rushing to secure LNG tankers ahead of winter with ship rates surging as sanctions on Russia reshape global energy flows, according to FT. NHC notes of a disturbance producing tropical-storm-force winds; with a new Tropical Storm warning issued for Florida, Cuba, and North-western Bahamas; additional strengthening possible late Saturday and Sunday. Spot gold is steady and comfortably above USD 1,850/oz pre-NFP, whilst base metals futures see the closure of Chinese and UK exchanges amid domestic holidays. To the day ahead, where nonfarm payrolls will be the main event. We expect headline nonfarm payrolls to (+325k forecast vs. +428k previously) to slightly outperform private sector hiring (+300k vs. +406k). If our forecast is close to the mark, it should have the effect of lowering the unemployment rate by a tenth to 3.5%. With respect to other details of the report, average hourly earnings (+0.3% vs. +0.3%) will likely be a key focus for Fed policymakers. US ISM and PMI services readings are due, along with PMI composites. Service and composite PMIs are also due across Europe along with industrial production for France. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.6% to 4,148.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% MXAP up 0.4% to 168.75 MXAPJ up 0.4% to 555.45 Nikkei up 1.3% to 27,761.57 Topix up 0.4% to 1,933.14 Hang Seng Index down 1.0% to 21,082.13 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,195.46 Sensex up 0.6% to 56,166.51 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9% to 7,238.75 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,670.65 German 10Y yield up 1bp to 1.25% Euro up 0.1% to $1.0761 Brent futures down 0.5% to $117.03/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,866.02 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 101.69 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Turkey is planning to restrict purchases by domestic investors of new lira bonds sold by multinational lenders, the latest effort to curb short selling of the local currency by limiting the supply of liquidity in the offshore market Turkey’s inflation soared in May to the fastest since 1998 as it came under more pressure from the rising cost of food and energy, while ultra- loose monetary policy contributed to currency weakness New Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has made a submission to the country’s labor watchdog, proposing to lift minimum wages by more than the inflation rate in a bid to fulfill one of his key election promises The Japanese government will maintain its 2013 joint policy statement with the Bank of Japan and basically stick with the current macro economic policy, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says Friday The yen is likely to come under more pressure as Japanese life insurers slash the proportion of the dollar-denominated investments they hedge to the lowest in more than a decade. The companies hedged just 43.3% of the 42.8 trillion yen ($330 billion) of their dollar assets at the end of March, down from 45.8% six months earlier. The figure was as high as 62.8% in September 2016 A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks took impetus from the gains in the US but with advances capped in holiday-thinned conditions. ASX 200 was led higher by tech with the sector inspired following the outperformance of the Nasdaq stateside and with mining-related stocks underpinned by the recent gains across commodity prices. Nikkei 225 benefitted from recent currency weakness and with index heavyweight Fast Retailing among the biggest gainers after a double-digit percentage jump in its same-store sales. KOSPI is firmer but lagged behind regional counterparts after CPI data climbed to its highest in nearly 14 years and added to the pressure for the BoK to continue with its hiking cycle Top Asian News Deputy USTR Bianchi said all options are on the table regarding tariff decisions on Chinese imports and that the USTR is seeking strategic realignment with China and a tariff structure that makes sense, while she added the USTR is to focus the China trade relationship on US concerns about Chinese non-market practices and economic coercion, according to Reuters. South Korean Finance Ministry said they are taking the inflation situation very seriously, while the BoK noted that demand-side inflation pressure is likely to build and that inflation is to be above 5% in June and July, according to Reuters. India Cumulative Monsoon Rainfall 35% Below Normal as of June 3 India Reports Biggest Jump in Covid Cases in Almost Three Months Toshiba Director Opposes Board Nominees From Elliott, Farallon Meituan 1Q Beat Raises Optimism on Stock, Business: Street Wrap European cash bourses are trimming the Wall Street-induced gains seen at the open (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.2%; Stoxx 600 +0.2%) – with volumes also low as British and Chinese traders observe domestic holidays. European sectors are mostly higher with the breadth of the market narrow. US equity futures post modest losses across the contracts, with the NQ (-0.7%) straddling behind peers, ES -0.4%. The modest downside coincided with Reuters reports that Tesla (-3.7% pre-market) CEO Musk, via an email, said they need to make roughly a 10% staff reduction and he has a "super bad feeling about the economy”. Top European News SAS Woes Mount With Reports on Risks From Chinese Debt, Strikes Allianz Takes $430 Million Profit Hit in Retreat from Russia Aperam Says in Talks With Acerinox on Potential Combination Yara Takes Next Step on Path to Clean Ammonia Unit IPO Eurozone May Composite PMI 54.8 vs Flash Reading 54.9 CRH to Buy Barrette Outdoor Living of US for $1.9 Billion FX Greenback cagey and rangy pre-NFP with DXY holding between 102.000-101.500. Euro eyes more decent option expiry interest around 1.0750 - 1.1bln rolling off between 1.0755-45 to be precise. Yen relying on Fib retracement (130.17) for support as Treasury yields remain firm and risk sentiment buoyed, USD/JPY towards upper end of 130.08-129.69 range. Sterling somewhat sidelined as UK gears up for Jubilee Day festivities, Cable contained within 1.2589-69 confines, EUR/GBP tight around 0.8550. Lira extends losses as acceleration in Turkish PPI outweighs sub-forecast, but still firmer CPI, USD/TRY tops 16.5100. Yuan breaches more technical resistance levels as correction continues, USD/CNH sub-6.6200 at one stage overnight. Russian Foreign Ministry does not plan to conduct market forex operations this year as per its early decision to temporarily suspend budget rules, according to Reuters Fixed Income Debt on the defensive after a few dead cat bounces ahead of US jobs data. Bunds unable to defend 150.00 or 1.25% in cash, Treasuries more contained and curve flat awaiting NFP amidst a busy pm docket. T-note just under par between 118-30/24 parameters. Commodities Bitcoin is little changed on the session, holding above USD 30k, in-fitting with the broader contained tone as we await the afternoon's US data docket following particularly thin APAC and European sessions owing to CWTI and Brent futures have been waning off best levels following the overnight consolidation seen in the aftermath of the OPEC+ confab. Gas traders are rushing to secure LNG tankers ahead of winter with ship rates surging as sanctions on Russia reshape global energy flows, according to FT. NHC notes of a disturbance producing tropical-storm-force winds; with a new Tropical Storm warning issued for Florida, Cuba, and North-western Bahamas; additional strengthening possible late Saturday and Sunday. Norway's Industri Energy Labour Union says 573 members at oil/gas platforms would go on strike on June 12th, if wage negotiations fail; such action would impact nine installations; would not initially impact output, via Reuters. Spot gold is steady and comfortably above USD 1,850/oz pre-NFP, whilst base metals futures see the closure of Chinese and UK exchanges amid domestic holidays.hina and UK market holidays, respectively. US event calendar 08:30: May Change in Private Payrolls, est. 302,000, prior 406,000 May Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 320,000, prior 428,000 May Unemployment Rate, est. 3.5%, prior 3.6% May Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 62.3%, prior 62.2% May Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3%; YoY, est. 5.2%, prior 5.5%; May Average Weekly Hours All Emplo, est. 34.6, prior 34.6 09:45: May S&P Global US Composite PMI, est. 53.8, prior 53.8 09:45: May S&P Global US Services PMI, est. 53.5, prior 53.5 10:00: May ISM Services Index, est. 56.5, prior 57.1 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Yesterday’s US employment data painted a mixed picture ahead of today’s official employment situation report. OPEC+ agreed to increase production targets but oil prices still managed to climb. Vice Chair Brainard and President Mester provided guidance ahead of the Fed’s blackout period, reinforcing expectations for the near-term path of policy. Sovereign bond markets were quiescent in ahead of jobs data today, which created fertile ground for equity markets to rally. After a steady news leak about expanded production, OPEC+ agreed to increase production to +648k b/day, above the recent +400k b/day. Nevertheless, brent crude futures gained +1.14% over the session, as it was not clear whether all members had the capacity to increase production to the putative headline figures, if the totals merely represented production brought forward in time, or if the market expected larger increases after the week of rumors. After the production increase, the New York Times reported that President Biden plans to visit the crown prince in Saudi Arabia after much speculation. Fed Vice Chair Brainard provided lucid guidance in the waning days before the Fed’s June communication blackout. She first put a pin on the intermeeting period by endorsing +50bp hikes for June and July, in a robust show of Committee consensus. As we mentioned yesterday, what the Fed will do in September is the next ‘live’ policy decision; Brainard weighed in, downplaying the chance of a pause given the current data outlook, instead dimensioning the decision between 25bp or 50bp hikes depending on the pace of inflation in the interregnum. President Mester later took things a step further, noting the pace of rate hikes could be accelerated if inflation readings merited, and that rates would probably need to get above neutral. Further, for those looking for evidence of a Fed put, Brainard noted that financial conditions are not yet at a concerning level. On the other side of the Fed’s mandate, ADP employment payrolls surprised to the downside, adding just +128k jobs versus expectations of +300k while the prior month was also revised lower. Small businesses, construction, and leisure hospitality sectors were sources of weakness. The series does not always have a strong signal for the nonfarm payrolls out later in the week, so it’s not clear if the miss is noise or signal of a labor market naturally slowing as ADP payrolls are now above their pre-pandemic levels. Initial and continuing jobless claims, meanwhile, reinforced data elsewhere this week that shows the labor market is currently very robust. Initial jobless claims slowed to +200k, below expectations of +210k, while continuing claims hit their lowest level since 1969. Elsewhere in data, Eurozone PPI printed at +1.2% versus +2.0% expectations. European sovereign yields underperformed, with 2yr bunds selling off +7.6bps ahead of next week’s ECB meeting, while 10yr yields gained +5.0bps. 10yr BTP spreads widened another +4.6bps to +206bps above bund equivalents. Treasury yields were much more subdued, with 10yr yields barely budging (+0.2bps). 10yr Treasury yields are about +1bp higher this morning. The relative calm in sovereign yields helped drive equity indices higher on both sides of the Atlantic. The STOXX 600 gained +0.57% while the Dax (+1.01%) and CAC (+1.27%) outperformed. US stocks performed even better, with the S&P 500 climbing +1.84% with every sector but energy in the green, and a solid shift from cyclical sectors. The small cap Russell 200 climbed +2.31% while the tech-heavy NASDAQ gained +2.69%. The S&P 500 is now +0.45% on the holiday shortened week, as it looks to make it back-to-back weekly gains for the first time in two months. Asian equity markets are trading higher this morning amid thin holiday trading riding a strong Wall Street close . The Nikkei (+1.14%), Kospi (+0.38%) are in positive territory while markets in mainland China, Hong Kong are closed for a holiday. Outside of Asia, US stock futures are fluctuating with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.04%) and NASDAQ 100 (+0.07%) are little changed. To the day ahead, where nonfarm payrolls will be the main event. We expect headline nonfarm payrolls to (+325k forecast vs. +428k previously) to slightly outperform private sector hiring (+300k vs. +406k). If our forecast is close to the mark, it should have the effect of lowering the unemployment rate by a tenth to 3.5%. With respect to other details of the report, average hourly earnings (+0.3% vs. +0.3%) will likely be a key focus for Fed policymakers. US ISM and PMI services readings are due, along with PMI composites. Service and composite PMIs are also due across Europe along with industrial production for France. Tyler Durden Fri, 06/03/2022 - 07:57.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 3rd, 2022