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Russia partners like China and India expressing concerns over Ukraine may have forced Putin"s hand and driven him to try and end the war quickly, Russia scholar says

Putin announced military mobilization shortly after Xi and Modi criticized the war, potentially out of fear of losing their support, an expert told Insider. Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a photo shaking hands prior to their talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022.Alexandr Demyanchuk, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo/Associated Press Some of Putin's global partners expressed concerns about his war in Ukraine last week. Days later, Putin escalated the war by announcing military mobilization and threatening nuclear warfare. A Russia expert told Insider Putin may have acted out of fear of straining relationships with nations like China and India. Russian President Vladimir Putin escalated his unprovoked war on Ukraine this week, just days after some of his supposed partners publicly expressed doubt over it — and the events may well be related.Since invading Ukraine in February, Russia has been shunned by much of the world and faced crippling sanctions from the West. But as Russia grew more isolated, some nations have either stood by Putin or avoided directly condemning him.Both China and India have been powerful partners of Russia throughout the war, declining to institute sanctions and continuing to purchase the country's energy products. However, leaders of both countries recently took the rare step of speaking against the war.During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan on September 15, Putin acknowledged Xi had "questions and concerns" regarding the war. The following day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized the war during a face-to-face meeting with Putin."I know that today's era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this," Modi told Putin, Reuters reported.Putin responded: "I know about your position on the conflict in Ukraine, and I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible."Less than a week later, on Wednesday, Putin said he was calling up 300,000 reservists to join the fight, something he had avoided doing for fear of backlash among the Russian people. The announcement, in which he also threatened to use nuclear weapons, came after the Ukrainian military made major gains in recent weeks.Experts told Insider it would be weeks or months before the mobilized troops are trained, equipped, and deployed. They also said Putin's decision to take this step now showed how poorly the war was going for Russia and how desperate the Russian leader was to turn the tide."That Putin would do this shows how badly he feels the need right now to change the momentum, which has been all in Ukraine's favor," Daniel Treisman, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, whose work focuses on Russian politics and economics, told Insider.In addition to fearing another potential counteroffensive by Ukraine, Putin was likely also driven by Xi's and Modi's concerns — and his fear of losing key partners — according to Robert English, a professor at the University of Southern California who studies Russia, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe."The evidence of criticism of allies like China or neutral states like India clearly put more pressure on him," English told Insider. He added that leaders of those nations seem to have told Putin they did not approve of the situation in Ukraine because it was harming their reputations on the world stage and costing them economically and politically.English said what he suspects Putin heard was: "'Find some way to settle this quick, to wind this war down, because we will not remain at your side for another six months of this brutality.'""He heard a message like that, so he's trying to up the ante," English said. "He's trying to change the military balance the best way he can."If Putin has mobilized troops in an effort to end the war as quickly as possible, as he assured Modi he would seek to do, it's not at all clear if it will be successful."It's an unsatisfactory and inadequate response to the motivation, manpower, and materiel on the Ukrainian side," English said, explaining that military aide and intelligence from the West has given Ukraine an advantage on the battlefield. "It's not going to do the job."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 22nd, 2022

Insiders say RAINN, the nation"s foremost organization for victims of sexual assault, is in crisis over allegations of racism and sexism

22 current and former staffers said that RAINN, which has deep ties to Hollywood and corporate America, is facing an internal reckoning. Scott Berkowitz, RAINN's co-founder and CEO, began his career in politics, advising former Sen. Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign at just 14 years old.RAINN; Kris Connor/Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/Insider22 current and former staffers say the organization favored by Hollywood and corporate America is in crisis. 'How can RAINN be helping survivors externally, when they're traumatizing survivors and their own employees internally?'April Cisneros says the first time she was sexually assaulted at her private Christian college was in 2015, while she was playing piano in the school's conservatory. A music tutor came into the small practice room and began to touch her. The second time, one year later, she remembers waking up in a hotel room near campus after drinks with classmates. One man was forcing his hand into her pants while another ejaculated on top of her. The incidents were devastating, and further compounded by a conservative religious community that lacked empathy for her pain or a framework to understand it. "Maybe it's demons attached to you that attracted this fate," she recalls one pastor telling her. Others placed the blame on her, wondering if she set the right boundaries with men. While studying abroad at Oxford University in 2016, in an effort to get far away from what she suffered back home, Cisneros attempted to take her own life.Soon after, she Googled for help, and the website for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, or RAINN, flashed across her computer screen. RAINN, which was founded in 1994 as a nonprofit, bills itself as the nation's largest anti-sexual-violence organization, operating a 24-hour hotline for victims and pushing for state and federal policies to punish sex offenders and support survivors. It has deep ties to corporate America and Hollywood, partnering with Google and TikTok and media like "I May Destroy You" and "Promising Young Woman," both of which center on sexual assault. (Insider itself utilizes RAINN's hotline; our publishing system automatically appends a referral link to RAINN at the bottom of every story about sexual assault.) In 2019, it reported nearly $16 million in revenue. It says its programs have helped 3.8 million people, and 301,455 people called its hotlines last year.The organization was a beacon in a difficult time, and Cisneros soon threw herself into supporting it. She cycled 1,500 miles across the country for a fundraising drive; later, after the Trump administration rolled back Title IX protections for campus-sexual-assault victims, she decided to get involved more directly. April Cisneros biked across the US to raise money for RAINN.April Cisneros"I was so angry," Cisneros told Insider. "I just remember thinking, 'Well, why don't I just, like, go try to be a part of the solution?'" She began working for RAINN in 2018 as a communications associate.But she soon discovered that it looked very different from the inside. Instead of the supportive, inclusive victims' advocacy organization that offered her hope in the depths of her depression, Cisneros found herself in a demoralizing workplace overrun by what she described as racism and sexism. She recalled that during the filming of a video about survivors' stories, her boss asked a participant to smile while recounting a sexual assault. "If you don't," Cisneros remembered her boss saying, "it'll look like you have a bitch face."Cisneros is among 22 current and former RAINN staffers who spoke to Insider and described a roiling crisis over race and gender in the over-200-person-strong nonprofit. These people described a culture in which a routine training was beset by racist caricaturing, executives ignored employees' requests for change, and people who were deemed political risks — including sexual-assault survivors — were silenced. According to these accounts, in one instance, a supervisor badgered an employee during the time she took off to recover from an abortion. In another, an Asian staffer was replaced on a project with a white man after their boss deemed him a better fit because of his race and gender. One staffer sent a resignation letter, obtained by Insider, in which she bemoaned "toxic managerial behavioral patterns" and worried that "young employees like myself, many of them survivors themselves, are currently being treated like their rights at work do not matter, like their comfort and security and health at work doesn't matter, like the skills they bring to work are worthless."RAINN declined to make its founder and president, Scott Berkowitz, available for an interview. In a statement, the group said it had made great strides in diversifying its workplace and addressing the concerns of its employees of color. It accused the current and former staffers who came forward to Insider of providing "incomplete, misleading, and defamatory" information about "a handful of long-outdated and disproven allegations.""RAINN is proud of the work our committed staff do, day in and day out, to support survivors of sexual violence," the statement read. "As an organization, we owe it to our committed staff to provide a work environment where they feel safe, appreciated, and heard … Over the last several years, like most organizations, RAINN has worked to expand and implement comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and goals. We regularly update staff on our progress toward achieving those goals, and solicit feedback on potential areas of improvement. While there is always room to build on our efforts, we are continually working to foster an open dialogue between employees and leadership to ensure ideas and concerns can be heard and addressed."RAINN hired Clare Locke LLP, a boutique libel law firm that has gained a reputation for representing clients facing #MeToo allegations, including Matt Lauer and the former CBS News executive Jeffrey Fager, to respond to Insider's inquiries. During Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, the firm's cofounder Libby Locke came to his defense, writing: "No wonder Judge Kavanaugh is angry. Any man falsely accused of sexual assault would be."When Insider asked RAINN whether Clare Locke's work was consistent with the organization's mission and values, the firm's partner Thomas Clare emailed a statement attributed to RAINN: "Given your questions contained outright lies about RAINN and our staff, and publication of those claims is potentially defamatory, we hired defamation counsel. We recognize we have a right to legal representation, and our attorneys have helped us disprove your ridiculous and libelous allegations."Some RAINN employees fear that the corporate dysfunction has poisoned the work of the largest sexual-violence organization in the country, which they continue to view as crucial, despite their own experiences. "How can RAINN be helping survivors externally when they're traumatizing survivors and their own employees internally?" Cisneros said.How RAINN became Hollywood and corporate America's go-to partner Through savvy marketing and hard work, RAINN has become to sexual assault what Planned Parenthood is to reproductive health: the premier, full-service resource for people struggling with a crisis and the ultimate destination for donations to help people who have been victimized.The global embrace of the #MeToo movement, and the contemporary focus on the depth and pervasiveness of sexual assault, has further aided RAINN's ascension. Companies in crisis often turn to the organization to telegraph their commitment to social responsibility. After dozens of women sued Lyft, claiming they were assaulted by its drivers, the company worked with RAINN to roll out extensive safety initiatives and contributed $1.5 million to its coffers.Hollywood has also embraced the organization. RAINN was cofounded by the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Tori Amos, who promoted the organization's hotline at her concerts and sat on its advisory board. In 2018, Timotheé Chalamet pledged his earnings from Woody Allen's "A Rainy Day in New York" to groups including RAINN, as did Ben Affleck from productions affiliated with Harvey Weinstein. Christina Ricci, a star of Showtime's breakout hit "Yellowjackets," has served as an official spokesperson since 2007, and the platinum-selling pop artist Taylor Swift has donated to the organization, something it publicized from its social-media accounts.—RAINN (@RAINN) April 8, 2021 But Berkowitz has largely stayed out of the public eye. He began his career as a political wunderkind, advising Sen. Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign at just 14 years old. A profile in his grandparents' hometown newspaper in Pennsylvania said he was personally responsible for collecting $100,000 in donations for Hart — a feat achieved in between classes at American University, where he was already a sophomore. After graduation, Berkowitz continued to work in and around politics. His experience in the field, he said in a 2019 interview with RAINN, taught him about the "extent of the problem" of sexual violence in the United States and the opportunity to fill this "service gap.""I knew next to nothing about the issue," Berkowitz said. "It just seemed like a good idea." Christina Ricci has been a RAINN spokeswoman since 2007.Michael Kovac/WireImage/Getty ImagesEarly on, Berkowitz ran the day-to-day operations, and his early fundraising prowess served him well. After a series of sexual assaults at the infamous Woodstock '99 festival, promoters and record labels did damage control by giving RAINN 1% of the proceeds from the festival's CD and video releases. "In raw self-interest, the money and attention that would come from it would allow RAINN to promote the hotline better, provide more counseling, print more brochures," Berkowitz told the Village Voice. RAINN's budget swelled in tandem with its brand. Total revenue rocketed from more than $1.2 million in 2009 to nearly $16 million in 2019. Berkowitz's compensation grew from $168,000 to over $481,000 over the same period. Even though RAINN's tax returns list Berkowitz as its president and indicate that he was paid nearly a half a million dollars in the year ending in May 2020, RAINN says that he is not in fact an employee and does not receive a salary. Instead, for reasons that RAINN did not explain, he is paid through A&I Publishing, a company solely owned by Berkowitz that contracts with RAINN. "Scott Berkowitz is paid solely as an independent contractor through A&I Publishing and does not receive any salary or benefits," it said. "He has never received any employee compensation from RAINN."RAINN's tax records tell a slightly different story. The group has reported paying a total of $561,500 in consulting fees for "strategic and financial oversight" to A&I Publishing from 2001 to 2006, during which time Berkowitz drew no salary from RAINN. Since 2007, though, RAINN has reported directly paying Berkowitz a total of $3,529,000. (RAINN says he "is recused from all board consideration of his compensation.")Over the same period, RAINN also began reporting payments to A&I to service $288,000 in debt that it owed the consultancy at 5% interest. RAINN's tax records don't reflect that the organization ever received any cash from A&I; instead, the loan is described in its 2006 tax return as "issuance of debt for prior year services." RAINN says the loan, which has been repaid, stems from "deferred payment for fees" that RAINN owed A&I "for a number of years."'How does an organization like RAINN make such an egregious mistake?'With the Woodstock '99 deal, Berkowitz struck on a highly successful strategy — corporate penance — and he would often return to it. But he also looked to the public sector for funding opportunities.One of RAINN's largest sources of revenue — $2 million a year — is its contract to run the Department of Defense's Safe Helpline, which offers confidential, anonymous counseling to members of the military who have been affected by sexual violence. Multiple staffers who spoke with Insider said Berkowitz was exceedingly sensitive about maintaining the contract. They said that he had gone to great lengths to stay in the Department of Defense's good graces and that they believe RAINN has at times been overly deferential to its interests. Michael Wiedenhoeft-Wilder in February 2022.Evan Jenkins for InsiderMichael Wiedenhoeft-Wilder, a former flight attendant and roller-rink operator who previously served in the Navy as a medic, said that in 1982, just months after he enlisted, a Navy physician raped him. The doctor, who outranked Wiedenhoeft-Wilder, threatened him with prison time if he came forward. Wiedenhoeft-Wilder said it was the first of multiple sexual assaults he suffered, all of which resulted in a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder.Wiedenhoeft-Wilder stayed silent about the assault for nearly 30 years. He became depressed and experienced paranoid suspicions that the government was spying on him, ready to silence him if he ever told the truth about his assault.But decades of therapy empowered Wiedenhoeft-Wilder to eventually come forward. He discovered the Safe Helpline, which then led him to RAINN's Speakers Bureau, a roster of more than 4,000 volunteer survivors who share their stories with the media, student groups, and other organizations. When Wiedenhoeft-Wilder signed up with the bureau, his story was selected for publication on RAINN's website. In October 2019, he worked with April Cisneros, who helped manage the Speakers Bureau, to prepare the story.But the story was abruptly killed. Cisneros said Berkowitz decided to pull Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's account once he realized that it involved an officer assaulting an enlisted man."Once we actually wrote up his story, Scott was like, 'No, we're not even getting into this,'" Cisneros told Insider, adding that Berkowitz refused to send the story to the Department of Defense for review, as it routinely did with accounts of military sexual assault. Cisneros said Berkowitz told members of the communications team that promoting the testimony of a man who had been assaulted by one of his superiors could harm the military's reputation and upset the Department of Defense. Cisneros told Insider she believed that Berkowitz did not want to risk losing the government's funding.Wiedenhoeft-Wilder was shocked. He had spent time with Cisneros revisiting the details of an assault that haunted him for 30 years, all for nothing."I've spent the last several days trying to deal with the devastating news that the article about my military sexual trauma being canceled for someone else," he told Cisneros in an email on October 31 that Insider reviewed. "How does an organization like RAINN make such an egregious mistake? Do you have any idea how this mistake has affected me? It's absolutely devastating. Just one more failure for me.""I feel victimized all over again," he wrote. "What did I ever do to you people to deserve this!"Cisneros, worried about Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's mental health, forwarded the exchange to Berkowitz and Keeli Sorensen, then the vice president of victim services, she said. "Maybe you just tell him you made a mistake," Cisneros recalled Sorensen telling her. She felt Sorensen's suggestion was, in effect, to "[fall] on my sword for RAINN."Cisneros told Insider that she told Wiedenhoeft-Wilder a lie about a scheduling conflict and blamed the mix-up entirely on herself. Wiedenhoeft-Wilder didn't believe her. "I know she wasn't telling me the truth," he told Insider. "I knew it wasn't her fault. It was a really weird, very strange thing to do to someone."Cisneros was heartbroken. She felt that she'd betrayed Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's trust and was distressed because she felt an anti-sexual-violence organization had asked her to deceive a rape victim. "What's so sad is people treat him like he's so paranoid about being silenced by the military, but that paranoia is at least … legitimate," Cisneros said. "And it happened again at RAINN."Sorensen denied having any involvement in the incident and said she was "not authorized in any way to instruct Ms. Cisneros in this matter," adding that Berkowitz had "total authority" with respect to the publication of Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's story. She said she did not know why Berkowitz pulled the testimony."I had no part in the matter," Sorensen said, "but it's my recollection, based on my conversation with Ms. Cisneros, that she had promised Mr. Wiedenhoeft-Wilder that she would publish their story before having secured final approval from Mr. Berkowitz."RAINN also said that if Cisneros had promised Wiedenhoeft-Wilder a spot on its website, it had "no knowledge of that and she was not authorized to make that commitment."Cisneros disputed that. She said that she provided Berkowitz with details of Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's story before reaching out and that he approved. "Scott gave me the greenlight to move ahead with the process if [Wiedenhoeft-Wilder] expressed interest," Cisneros said."We have no recollection as to why this survivor's story did not run in the fall of 2019," RAINN said, adding that some isolated quotes from Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's interview — stripped of their military context — were shared on RAINN's social-media accounts. The statement pointed to other stories from survivors of sexual assault in the military that RAINN had published; none of those featured scenarios in which an attacker outranked their victim.Evan Jenkins for Insider"We are not aware of the Department of Defense expressing concern over RAINN's coverage of military survivors," RAINN said, "nor is it standard practice for RAINN to consult with [the department] regarding the material and resources it publishes unless they directly mention Safe Helpline. RAINN frequently publishes the stories of military survivors and will continue to do so as it works to carry out the organization's mission to eradicate sexual violence from every corner of society."Anxiety around RAINN's relationship with the Department of Defense came up again in 2019. Six former staffers said one RAINN employee felt compelled to frantically retract public comments she had made in support of Black trans victims of violence amid the Trump administration's efforts to expel trans people from the military. The woman suddenly and mysteriously departed the organization on the day her remarks were published.(The woman's identity is known to Insider, which is not naming her because doing so may expose her to professional harm. The woman declined to comment for the record.) On March 7, 2019, to mark International Women's Day, the employee was one of "8 everyday women" featured by The Lily, a women-focused website published by The Washington Post. The Lily post listed the woman's age, background, position at RAINN, and responses to a questionnaire about her favorite fast-food chains and movies. But she came to fear that her seemingly uncontroversial answer to one question could become a professional liability.InsiderThe answer came a few months after the Trump-era transgender military ban went into effect, reanimating debates over trans rights. Two sources told Insider that the woman told them that RAINN's leadership expressed alarm over her contribution to the article and was frustrated that the woman had spoken to the media without getting consent from leadership.One source told Insider that Jodi Omear, then RAINN's vice president of communications, said minutes after reading the article that it was "too controversial" and that she worried it "could jeopardize our contract with the Department of Defense." The source said Omear escalated the article to Berkowitz and the human-resources director, Claudia Kolmer, because she was confident they would feel the same.Omear told Insider that because the former staffer had been under her supervision, it would be "inappropriate" to comment on her exit from the organization.On the day the questionnaire was published, the woman called the reporter at The Lily who'd conducted the interview and asked her to remove the reference to RAINN, as well as her comments about trans people, according to four sources familiar with the situation. The writer agreed. Insider viewed an original version of the interview that contained the employee's affiliation and comments about trans rights; the version currently published online does not.Two former employees said the woman was escorted out of the office by human resources the day the story was published. RAINN said that "it is standard practice that an employee separating from the organization is accompanied by a RAINN human resources representative when leaving the premises in order to collect their office keys, security fob and other credentials," adding that it "reached a separation agreement" with the woman a week after the story was published.One staffer who sat near her described the woman as a "fabulous" employee who was heavily invested in the projects they were set to work on together."It was one of the reasons why it was so shocking," the staffer said. "Like, where'd she go?"In its statement, RAINN claimed that the woman's remarks were an unauthorized attempt to speak on behalf of the Pentagon. "[The RAINN staffer] spoke with a Washington Post reporter on-the-record, on behalf of RAINN and the Department of Defense Safe Helpline, which she was not authorized to do," the statement said. "Contractually RAINN is barred from speaking on behalf of the Department of Defense or Safe Helpline." The Lily billed the interview as an opportunity to "step inside the lives of 8 everyday women." Aside from identifying her employer and job description — a format applied to other women featured in the post — the woman's interview did not touch on RAINN or the Department of Defense. Instead, she answered questions about her favorite body part and what she would change about her upbringing if she could.Still, RAINN said, the woman broke the rules: "The issue at hand centered around a clear violation of RAINN policy. RAINN supports all transgender survivors and has worked to remove the barriers to reporting sexual violence in LGBTQ communities, and to elevate the stories of transgender survivors, particularly for transgender persons of color for whom sexual violence is all too prevalent."Asked why, if that were the case, the woman would ask The Lily specifically to remove her comments about trans victims, RAINN said it was "unaware of any evidence indicating [the woman] was pressured to retract or remove" the comments. "RAINN is always mindful of honoring its contractual obligations not to speak on behalf of the DoD and the Safe Helpline," it said. "The fact someone commented on other subject matter or issues was irrelevant."A white male staffer was deemed a better fitJackii Wang joined RAINN's public-policy team in 2019, hopeful that she could use her experience working in national congressional offices to advance legislation that would help sexual-assault survivors. But she said her boss, RAINN's vice president of public policy, Camille Cooper, instead saddled her with administrative responsibilities like writing greeting cards. Wang said Cooper regularly discounted her ideas and "berated" her when they disagreed on issues the younger staffer considered minor. It became "psychologically terrifying," Wang said. Wang didn't immediately view that as discriminatory — multiple staffers said many of Cooper's employees complained of similar treatment. But during a performance review in December 2019, Wang said, Cooper attempted to explain her perception of Wang as defiant by rattling off stereotypes that Wang felt were "very targeted towards my Asian identity.""Camille asked me questions like, you know, 'Is your family very strict?' 'Do they expect perfectionism from you?' ... 'What was your childhood like?' Do I have problems with authority because of my family background?" Wang told Insider. What started as an implication became explicit, Wang said, when Cooper announced she would pull Wang off a lobbying assignment.Jackii WangDaniel Diasgranados for InsiderAt the time, RAINN was working on a Florida bill that would close a loophole in the state's statute of limitations for teen survivors. Cooper called Wang and another staffer into her office and told the two women she had decided to send a white male colleague in Wang's place, Wang said. Wang asked why."And she was like, 'Well, you know, because he's a white male,'" Wang recalled.Wang was mortified. While she had experience working with Florida legislators, her male colleague wasn't even registered to lobby in the state. Wang and the other staffer said Cooper argued that he would connect better with white conservatives in the state."He can talk about baseball. He can really, like, connect with these men," Cooper said, according to Wang and the other staffer present. "And these men really hate women.""Her reasoning for picking a white man over me for the project is that he'll be received better," Wang said. "But if that's the logic that she's following, then, like, I guess I shouldn't work anywhere because white men are received better everywhere."Neither Cooper nor the man responded to requests for comment.Wang said she reported the incident to Kolmer, the human-resources director, and Berkowitz in March 2020, along with a detailed recounting of other complaints about Cooper's leadership. But Wang said Kolmer never took serious action. When Wang quit that June, she sent Berkowitz a blistering resignation letter. "As you know, she has harassed and bullied every single person on our team, including an intern, and has blatantly discriminated against me," Wang wrote.Berkowitz thanked Wang for her time and for informing him, and asked Kolmer to discuss the issues Wang raised. Cooper continues to serve as a vice president, the face of RAINN's policy arm.RAINN said that Wang was too junior a staffer to lead a statewide lobbying effort and called her claims of discrimination "false and defamatory.""RAINN took Wang's allegations seriously and investigated the matter thoroughly," the statement said. "Ultimately it was determined that the basis of Wang's claims of discrimination were unfounded."RAINN did not deny Wang's claim that Cooper told her a white man would connect better with conservative legislators.Cooper wasn't the only executive to receive complaints. One current staffer and one former staffer described a meeting in which Jessica Leslie, the vice president of victim services, defended Berkowitz's unwillingness to address the concerns of staffers of color."You have to understand where he's coming from," they remember Leslie saying. "I mean, he's a white man, and you're all people of color — like, he's really nervous around you."One of the staffers was furious. "We just wanted to have a conversation. We're not about to berate the man," she told Insider. "This is not true," RAINN said. Its statement said that at a Safe Helpline shift managers meeting, a group of managers asked Leslie if Berkowitz would meet with them. When Leslie asked them to craft an agenda first, RAINN said, the shift managers asked Leslie if Berkowitz wanted an agenda because he was "uncomfortable talking to women of color." "The shift managers created this narrative," RAINN said, "not Leslie."Through an attorney, Leslie said she agreed with RAINN's responses and called the allegations against her "demonstrably baseless."A racist training, a pay disparity, and an email uprisingStaffers of color told Insider that they were often underpaid compared with their white counterparts; one, a nonwhite Latina woman who asked to remain anonymous, said she made $35,000 a year and lived in public housing to keep her head above water. After she quit for a higher-paying opportunity, RAINN filled her job with a white staffer who earned roughly $20,000 more, Cisneros said, adding that the white staffer disclosed her salary. (Three additional sources with knowledge of her salary corroborated Cisneros' account.) RAINN said the salary discrepancy was a result of both the role being "restructured" to include "significantly more responsibility" and the fact that the white staffer had an advanced degree.Four current and former RAINN staffers recalled that after RAINN's white office manager left for a new job, her replacement, a Black woman named Valinshia Walker, was asked to perform janitorial tasks that were not in her predecessor's job description — including scrubbing floors on her hands and knees, washing dishes, and disinfecting conference rooms. "Let me be very clear: [Walker's predecessor] never washed dishes from the sink. Ever," one former staffer said. "Val? You would come in, and Ms. Walker was cleaning the conference room. Like, wiping down all the tables. Spraying down the chairs. Doing the kitchen, she's washing dishes from the sink … You would see her walking around with the mask on and gloves because she literally cleaned. Like a cleaning lady."Walker declined to comment for the record. "The beliefs of your sources are simply not true," RAINN said, adding that Walker was hired as the "office coordinator," which had a different set of responsibilities than the "office manager" she replaced. "Maintaining a clean office has always fallen under the responsibilities of the HR and admin staff as a whole, this includes the office manager and office coordinator," the statement said. "We are not aware of any instances where Walker was asked to handle cleaning responsibilities beyond those that were part of the office coordinator's regular duties."Staffers also recalled what became a notorious and hamfisted mandatory sexual-harassment training in early 2020 led by an outside employment attorney hired by RAINN. According to more than a dozen employees, the attorney used a series of racist stereotypes to illustrate examples during the training."So let's just say, you know, there's Nicki [Minaj] and Cardi B are employees, and they're at their desks, and they start twerking," Cisneros recalled the lawyer saying. "Is that inappropriate workplace behavior?"At one point, Cisneros said, the lawyer proposed a hypothetical scenario in which a Latino-coded man — participants recalled his name was "Jorgé" or "José"—  kissed a coworker. The lawyer asked if the behavior could be appropriate "because this is Latino culture." "Your information regarding this training is inaccurate," RAINN said. "The examples in this legal training were all past legal cases using fictitious names." It added that staff concerns "were immediately addressed and the training was subsequently modified based on their feedback."Sarcia Adkins, a shift manager for the Department of Defense Safe Helpline who attended the training, was furious. She wrote an email to multiple executives, including Sorensen, Kolmer, and Berkowitz, on March 5 demanding action from the organization. "I wanted to get up and walk out at various points and it was one of the more traumatic experiences I've had at RAINN as a woman of color," she wrote. Kolmer acknowledged her complaints and promised to meet with Adkins alongside Berkowitz and Sorensen to discuss changes to the training and her issues with the nonprofit's culture.Adkins said that Kolmer didn't follow up that March but that Sorensen did reach out to schedule a one-on-one meeting. RAINN said Adkins agreed to meet Sorensen but "did not show up, without notification or explanation," and "did not follow up after she skipped the meeting." Several months later, after a former colleague intervened, Adkins did meet with Berkowitz and Sorensen. Adkins told Insider she was underwhelmed. "They pick what they want you to talk about," she said.The dysfunction came to a head during the summer of 2020, after the murder of George Floyd sparked a series of bitter internal conversations about RAINN's track record on race. In June 2020, Berkowitz sent an email with the subject line "A Note to the RAINN Family" to the entire staff. In it, he acknowledged the unrest and pledged to support the company's Black staffers.Sarcia Adkins replied to the email with a list of demands and copied the entire organization. She asked for mandatory cultural-competency training and a commitment to hiring Black employees for leadership positions. (RAINN says that 43% of its top seven staffers are people of color.) Adkins — who has been with RAINN since 2014 — asked Berkowitz why he hadn't reached out following the deaths of Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, and dozens of other victims of police violence."RAINN has never been a place [that] acknowledges or uplifts their black staff, not just people of color, and the injustices we face in the world and within the structure of RAINN," Adkins wrote.Following the police killing of George Floyd in 2020, Scott Berkowitz sent an email to staffers acknowledging the resulting unrest and pledging to support the company's Black staffers. But employees at RAINN began responding en masse, including one person who asked why a similar message was not sent after other police killings of Black people.Provided to InsiderIn 2021, in response to the outrage over the George Floyd email, the organization began internally releasing draft proposals on diversity, equity, and inclusion with goals the organization planned to achieve or had already accomplished. The laundry list of objectives, which Insider reviewed, included a plan to "develop new relationships to ensure a diverse pool of internal and external candidates for all open positions" and "collect more data to identify the causes of turnover."But people working in the organization say little has been achieved, or even attempted."Hiring practices are not getting better," said a current RAINN staffer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. "There's been no management training. Turnover is horrendous." In its statement, RAINN recounted the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts it began implementing in 2021, including "expanded recruiting," "revised exit interviews," and "researched training on DEI-related issues.""The summer of 2020 sparked important cultural conversations in companies and organizations across the United States, RAINN among them," the statement said. "As we've seen nationwide, there is more work to be done. Over the past two years, RAINN worked with experts and garnered input from staff to develop and implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and goals … Changes implemented to date include increasing diversity within senior management to better reflect our staff diversity and the people we serve, implementing an anonymous third-party ethics hotline where employees can voice concerns without fear of reprisal, offering expanded professional development and internal promotion opportunities, and increasing health and mental health benefits for employees, the four top priorities identified by staff."As evidence of its success in addressing the concerns of its employees of color, RAINN provided Insider an email that Aniyah Carter, a staffer on the Department of Defense Safe Helpline, wrote to the vice president of communications, Heather Drevna, in June 2020. Carter, who is Black, had been one of the most outspoken staffers demanding change at RAINN after Berkowitz's George Floyd email fiasco. When Drevna sent a follow-up email to staff announcing an employee survey and more personal and sick days, Carter replied with a note of thanks."I just want to personally thank you and the senior team for this," she wrote. "It's one thing to listen to and hear us. It's another thing to take action. I am proud of the responses of my colleagues and I am grateful for the swift action from leadership. It is my sincere hope that we continue to make a necessary shift in the right direction. Please let me know if there is any way I can be of assistance."Scott Berkowitz at the "Tina The Tina Turner Musical" Cocktail Reception, co-hosted by Anna Wintour in support of RAINN, on January 31, 2020.Tiffany Sage/BFA/ReutersWhen Insider asked Carter about the email, she said any movement in the right direction quickly stalled."They sent an email and that was it," Carter told Insider. "So my 'sincere hope' was crushed. It's so insulting for me. When this first happened and you were optimistic and gave us the benefit of the doubt, you say it here," she said, mocking RAINN's use of her email. "And it's like, OK, but two years later here we still are. And I've mentioned how I'm frustrated, but you're going to take words from two years ago feeling optimistic about the future and spin it as if that applies to today? Seriously? That was very upsetting because it makes me feel like this is more about optics than, like, how your staff really feels."'OK, well, who's gonna do the press clips?'When April Cisneros arrived at RAINN, she began working for Jodi Omear. Cisneros said she quickly ran up against Omear's domineering management style, which often seemed dismissive of and belittling to other women. Besides the "bitch face" comment, Cisneros said, Omear joked about how office dress codes could reduce the risk of sexual assault by preventing people from wearing provacative outfits. "I understand we're not supposed to blame the victim," Cisneros recalled Omear saying, "but, like, what do you expect to happen if you're in a dimly lit room and people of the opposite sex [are] wearing pants with holes in them?" Omear did not deny making either comment but told Insider that when training people who lacked experience with on-camera work, she directed them to "over-exaggerate facial expressions." She also said she "advocated for casual professional attire across the organization."Cisneros' low point at RAINN occurred in January 2019, when she unexpectedly became pregnant. She decided to take a sick day to visit a doctor. She told Insider she informed Omear the day before and outlined when her unfinished work would be completed.Omear became angry, Cisneros said, demanding to know why she didn't give more notice and insisting on further details. Omear called Cisneros at 9 p.m. demanding answers. Cisneros broke down and told her boss about the surprise pregnancy. According to Cisneros, Omear replied, "OK, well, who's gonna do the press clips?"The next day, as Cisneros met with her doctor, her phone buzzed with calls and texts from Omear. Between the stress of an unplanned pregnancy and Omear's incessant check-ins, Cisneros said, she "started bawling" under the stress.  A day later, Cisneros received a prescription for a two-day medical abortion. She requested an extra day off to recover, but Omear continued to pester her, texting and calling Cisneros for updates on RAINN's monthly marketing report. Cisneros said she finished the report from home while waiting for the bleeding to die down. (A RAINN staffer who was familiar with the incident corroborated Cisneros' version of events.)Omear told Insider that it would be "inappropriate" to comment on Cisneros specifically and did not directly answer a series of questions about Cisneros' allegations. "In general, when working with communications staff, especially in a fast-paced environment on such an important issue, it is/was important to ensure that other team members were able to cover assignments to meet any potential deadlines and organizational needs," she said in an emailed statement.RAINN said that it "was not aware of this incident happening in real time" and that it "supports employees taking time off and does not support managers encroaching on sick time."Omear's conduct was the final straw for Cisneros, and she wrote to human resources to complain. Cisneros said Claudia Kolmer told her in a meeting that the conflict "was a big misunderstanding" and that she should have come clean about her pregnancy sooner. (RAINN said that Kolmer told Cisneros that different managers have different preferences about how they should be notified of sick time and that "Cisneros was never asked to share sensitive personal or medical information.")Dissatisfied, Cisneros unloaded on Omear to Kolmer, accusing her boss of making inappropriate complaints about the loud breathing of a colleague who used a wheelchair and the habit of another colleague, who was blind, of walking into Omear's office by mistake, Cisneros said. (Another former RAINN employee corroborated the complaints to Insider.) Cisneros also said she told Kolmer that Omear made lewd remarks about the attractiveness of a sexual-assault victim set to make a public-service announcement. Omear denied making the lewd comments. She also denied complaining about disabled colleagues but said that she did recall "thanking one of my staff for helping" a blind colleague "when she couldn't find her way around the office."Cisneros rallied the entire RAINN communications department to put together a detailed list of other allegations of inappropriate behavior by Omear, which she collected in a memo for Kolmer and Berkowitz.Omear left RAINN that July, ostensibly to launch her own communications consulting firm. But Cisneros said Berkowitz told her that he had pushed Omear out in response to Cisneros' efforts. "We want you to know we're letting her spin her own story," Cisneros said Berkowitz told her. "But this is a direct result of the conversation you all have with us."The experience nonetheless angered staffers. Cisneros left RAINN the next year.Another colleague, Martha Durkee-Neuman, wrote a scathing resignation letter shortly after Omear announced her exit, addressing it to Omear, Berkowitz, and Kolmer."Jodi leaving of her own accord with no accountability is not justice," Durkee-Neuman wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Insider. "It is not justice for the countless people that she has fired or driven from RAINN. It is not justice to pretend that nothing has happened, that staff were not forced to go to HR over and over and over until something was finally done." "I do not believe any of this work of justice or restoration will happen at RAINN, so unfortunately, this is no longer the right organization for me," she added."After the communications team raised concerns [about Omear] with Claudia Kolmer," RAINN said, "RAINN worked swiftly and diligently to investigate the staff's complaints. RAINN took appropriate action to address the findings of that investigation and Omear separated with RAINN shortly thereafter."Martha Durkee-Neuman's resignation letter.Martha Durkee-Neuman'What is left?' On November 19, 2021, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of charges related to the shooting deaths of two people at a civil-rights rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Some time later, Leslie, then the interim vice president of RAINN's victim-services department, addressed the organization's Black staffers. "I am deeply saddened by the pain and violence that has continued to plague our Black neighbors and communities," she wrote. "I want to recognize how this may be affecting you, as you navigate your day and the work you do at RAINN." She then touted the racial diversity of the victim-services department.Nearly 18 months had passed since the organization sent around its email about the death of George Floyd. Despite various promises and initiatives, in the eyes of many staffers, little had changed. But here it was again, another email promising to listen to staffers of color. Employees were enraged.Aniyah Carter, the Safe Helpline worker whose email RAINN provided to Insider, reminded her boss that nearly two weeks had passed since the verdict. "By now, we have already had to check in with ourselves so that we can continue our day-to-day lives," she wrote. "And while the opportunity to check in with managers is still absolutely available (and encouraged), the reminder to do so would have been more beneficial if it occurred when this took place." Carter also highlighted the gap she saw between leadership's stated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and its on-the-ground support of its employees of color, a sentiment echoed by other staffers who spoke to Insider.Daniel Diasgranados for InsiderFor Cisneros, the repeated failure of the organization to address the concerns of its staff speaks to something darker, and she is worried about how the culture at RAINN is affecting its ability to help abuse survivors."If church can't help, if school can't help, if the police can't help, if the hospital can't help, if my family can't help, my friends can't help — and now this nonprofit that is specifically saying that it's here to help people like me can't help?" she said."Like, what is left?"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 25th, 2022

The Fed"s Strong Dollar Policy: A Recipe For Systemic Implosion

The Fed's Strong Dollar Policy: A Recipe For Systemic Implosion Authored by Mathew Piepenburg via GoldSwitzerland.com, From Main Street USA to the village corners and central banks of Europe, Japan and elsewhere, the Fed’s strong USD policy is backfiring—big time. Just ask the Brits… Having spent years creating the inflation (QE1 to unlimited QE, Repo bailouts, massive money supply expansion, and an historical wealth transfer from an inflated, Fed-driven stock market), the Fed will be cleaning up its own inflation mess on the backs of the U.S. working class and its other global “allies” while blaming the CPI inflation on Putin, Covid and climate change. How’s that for rigged to fail? But that’s just the beginning, and it’s not just about the USA. Engineering a Recession Powell Can’t Control By raising rates into what we all know is a recession, Powell, who delusionaly pretends to be Volcker re-born, wants to solve the inflation he helped create by engineering a demand-crippling recession which he thinks he can control, but can’t and won’t. And this will be the mother of all recessions, as there is an historical and concomitant debt (and hence currency) crisis in every corner of the globe ($300T+) as well as every corner of the nation ($90T+), from the toxic corporate bond market and over-strapped households to a grotesquely bloated ($30T+) government debt market. Keep It (Horribly) Simple It’s all horribly simple, in fact. If debt is the everywhere-driver of the economy and markets, then any significant increase in the cost of that debt will destroy every corner of that economy and those markets, from zombie enterprises to negative yielding US Treasuries. Powell’s hawkish stance will lead to anything but a “contained recession,” which the Fed will be no less effective “containing” as they were in “containing” their so-called “transitory inflation.” Rising rates will cripple nearly every asset but the artificially inflated USD until all savings are gone, most citizens are hand-out dependent, and most markets and currencies are on their knees. At that point, Uncle Sam will either default on the IOU’s (Treasury bonds) which no one will want, or the Fed will pivot to more mouse-click money to buy/support his debt addiction, following the recent example in the UK. And since the US is too arrogant to fail/default (TAF), the Fed’s only stupid choice left among a long history of stupid, will be a gold-boosting QE pivot. When? Yes, An Inevitable Pivot So, again, when will Powell pivot? After the pain, politics and panics have reached levels the US and global economy and markets haven’t seen since the FDR era, Powell will throw in the towel and pivot. In the interim, the US (as well as global) middle class can thank Greenspan, Bernanke, Yellen and Powell for all the pain ahead, as it is the direct (and I mean direct) result of years of unprecedented drunken free money and bloated debt, the hangover for which is going to be a record-breaking B!c7%… A Treasury Market on the Cliff’s Edge Investors are forgetting that not only is Hawkish Powell raising rates into a debt bubble, he’s slowly tightening the Fed’s balance sheet, which just means dumping more Treasury supply into a demand-less sovereign bond market. And this supply stream means bonds will fall even further and hence their yields (and interest rates) will keep rising, thereby by adding massive insult to an already fatally injured credit/debt market. I feel that when UST’s start to tank en masse, Powell’s fantasy of being the next Volcker will end and the pivot toward money printing will be fast and furious—sending precious metals to record highs. But until then, buckle up. Powell’s Master Dollar Plan—Foreign Suckers For now, Powell’s plan is to let rates, yields and hence the dollar rise, in the hopes that the Greenback will be the only place left for global investors (suckers) to hide, which is where they are indeed beginning to hide. It’s only a matter of time, however, before foreign investors, nostalgic for the days of former US glory, realize that such glory is gone, and that the only way UST’s will ever be “risk-free-return” is if the Fed prints more debased money to buy them, which is not Powell’s current practice. In essence then, foreigners aren’t hiding in “risk-free-return,” but drowning in “return-free-risk” as even 3-4% yields on the US 10Y Treasury yield a negative -5% return when adjusted for inflation, despite it being under-reported by 50%. Remember when I said the Fed has no good options left? I meant it. It’s either tighten and risk systemic collapse, or ease and destroy the currency. Pick your poison. Furthermore, and ironically, the USD (i.e., world reserve currency) is highly illiquid, despite being mouse-clicked for years. For this USD scarcity, and the immense pressure it is putting on USD-denominated debt holders and sovereign financial partners, we can thank that other poison known as the quadrillion-dollar derivatives market, of which I’ve already written. Losing Faith in Uncle Sam’s IOU’s At some point, Americans, as well as the rest of the world, will realize that the US is not what she used to be, and neither are her IOU’s. For the first time in almost a century, faith in Uncle Sam will reach a nadir and precious metals their apex. But faith, as I’ve also written, is a hard financial indicator to time. This is not “gold-bug” posturing but hard math and political reality colliding with the lessons of current and past history. Take the Pathetic Example of Japan The Fed’s rate hikes have pushed Tokyo and its Yen to its knees. The Bank of Japan, unlike the controllers of the world reserve currency (i.e., the Fed), flatly cannot afford to raise rates and pay its JGB’s (i.e., IOU’s) at the same time. Net result? The Bank of Japan is printing Yen like gangbusters and keeping inflation deliberately above interest rates. Yet even in this openly negative-real-yield nightmare, the Japanese 10Y didn’t trade for 2 days. Meanwhile, as the Yen dropped to 50-year lows, Japan was forced for the first time in nearly three decades to prop its currency by making a direct intervention in the FOREX, which entails selling a batch of the UST’s it had on reserve. This explains why the TLT (US Treasury ETF) lost 3% on the same day. Meanwhile, US junk bonds (as measured by the LQD ETF), fell to lows not seen since the COVID lows. Tanking junk bonds, by the way, are typically leading indicators for tanking equity markets. Just saying… And Then There’s the EU… Japan, of course, won’t be the last nation to reach such desperate levels, and as more UST’s are dumped/sold, debt costs in the US will only get more, not less painful, regardless of what the Wizard of Powell does from DC/Oz. Again, just ask the Bank of England and its recent, headline-making pivot to more QE. No shocker at all there… Foreigners own over $18T is USD assets, including bonds, real estate and dollars. Once the distressed selling starts, it goes from slow to rapid very quickly, which means pain levels for Main Street American debtors will rise equally fast. Other nations “friendly” to the US are feeling equal pain from Powell’s hawkish Fed and strong USD. Germany, for example, is seeing yields on its two-year bonds above 2% for the first time since 2008, an otherwise once anemic rate which it literally can’t afford. As yields in the EU rise as a result of its US “ally’s” policies, the EU starts to quiver and shake, as this means the EU’s interest rates rise too. But with debt-soaked countries like Italy teetering towards Frankenstein levels, Powell is pushing the EU into a national security (currency and debt) trap as well as political crack-up. Again, what will EU nations do? They’ll likely turn Japanese and start dumping US Treasuries and dollars to keep the lights on from Paris to Portugal. Even in China, big firms are already selling USD assets and commercial real estate (over $20B since 2019) at an increasingly alarming rate. Powell’s Strong Dollar Policy is Backfiring In short, Powell’s strong USD policy, like the West’s sanctions against Putin, are openly backfiring as America’s “allies” bend under the oppressive ripple effects and weight of an artificially strong USD—and all of this as the EU heads into a winter with less energy from the East. Then again, the Fed is always at least two to three steps behind its own learning curve. As a political rather than independent bank, they can only rely on words and distortions rather than math and honesty when speaking to a public which they have mis-served since the day of their official (and Wall-Street-leaning) birth in December of 1913. These converging currency, debt and energy patterns look like the weather map of a perfect storm. In short, foreign currencies, suffocating under the weight of Powell’s strong USD, will continue to tank as global bond markets continue to dry up and hence implode. Unless the Fed reverses course on its strong USD policy (and pivots to more QE/Mouse-click “magic”), global markets face a legitimate risk of systemic collapse. But then again, more mouse-click money just means a currency crisis. Again: Pick your poison. For all of these reasons, I remain steadfast that global currency and sovereign debt markets cannot and will not last long under Powell’s current strong USD policy. Unless the Fed pivots to more pathetic QE (and hence a weaker, debased USD), the systemic risk discussed above will become systemic implosion. For now, the ball (or dollar) is in Powell’s court, and he’s got a weak serve. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/04/2022 - 07:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge3 hr. 3 min. ago

How Peloton went from a pandemic-era success story worth $50 billion to laying off more than 4,000 workers and losing 4 top execs in a month

Peloton was at the top of the connected-fitness food chain during the pandemic, but its business took a hit when the world began to reopen. John Smith/VIEWpress Peloton has laid off thousands of workers this year and replaced its CEO.  Two cofounders, including its former CEO, have left, along with the chief commercial officer. Now another top exec is leaving. Peloton was a Wall Street darling during the pandemic with a market cap of around $50 billion. In the height of the pandemic, Peloton was on top of the world. Its stock pushed $171 per share and its market cap hovered around $50 billion.Now, just this year, the company has laid off more than 4,000 staff members, has seen four top executives depart, and reportedly is considering a potential sale to the likes of Amazon, Apple, or Nike. Peloton's stock has been trading well below the IPO price of $29 per share, at one point dropping as low as $8.22.It's a stunning reversal for a company once at the top of the connected-fitness food chain, and it's the result of a culmination of factors, including the fading popularity of at-home fitness and a mishandled logistics operation. Here's how Peloton got its start and became a fitness world darling, and how it crashed and burned.Peloton was founded in 2012 by a group of ex-IAC employeesPeloton's five cofounders.PelotonJohn Foley, Hisao Kushi, Tom Cortese, and Graham Stanton — four of Peloton's five cofounders — met working at media and internet company IAC. The fifth cofounder, Yony Feng, met the group through his roommate who worked at IAC. Foley has said that the vision for the company was his, but that his four cofounders "took it, ran with it, and built it while I was gone" raising money, he told Fortune in 2021.Prior to founding Peloton, Foley was president at Barnes & Noble, overseeing its e-commerce business. The early version of its bike was 'janky,' and it struggled to find investorsJen Van Santvoord rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home on April 7, 2020.Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesFoley is a self-professed "boutique fitness addict," as well as an avid cyclist. But the early versions of the Peloton bike didn't look like something you'd find in a high-end fitness studio, the company's first instructor, Jenn Sherman, told Fortune. "They had this little tiny corner of the office that was sectioned off by black velvet curtains. There was a camera on a tripod sticking through a circle people literally cut out of the curtain. There was a janky, broken bike in there — the instructor bike was like this rusted piece of crap. It was ridiculous," she said. Still, Sherman signed on. Meanwhile, Foley was on the road for the first three years, pitching what he told Insider in 2018 was as many as 400 investors. "I got 400 'nos,'" he said at the time. "The worst part is that we're not talking about 400 individual pitches. A lot of people would want me to come back four or five times and have me meet more partners and pitch again. I would say that I've been turned down maybe five or six thousand times."Still, the company scraped together funding from more than 200 angel investors and put its first bike on Kickstarter in 2013 for an "early bird" price of $1,500.Peloton quickly developed a cult followingInstructor Hannah Corbin teaching a live class at Peloton's Manhattan studio.PelotonPeloton began shipping bikes in 2014, with Foley and the other cofounders showing off how they worked at pop-up stores inside shopping centers.But it didn't take long for the company to develop a cult following, thanks in large part to its roster of high-wattage instructors. When the company opened its own studio in New York City, owners of the company's $2,000 bike would make a pilgrimage to Manhattan in order to take a live class with their favorite instructor. Eventually, big-name investors came calling. "I would say that it took about five years for the really smart money to start getting involved," Foley told Insider in 2018. "When Mary Meeker is calling you to say, 'Hey, I want to invest' — that's pretty cool."That year, Peloton raised $550 million in venture capital funding at a valuation of $4.1 billion, according to Pitchbook. Peloton expanded its offerings as spinning faded in popularityPeloton unveiled the Tread at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show.Avery Hartmans/Business InsiderPeloton introduced its second product, a $4,000 treadmill called the Peloton Tread, in 2018, and added new types of classes, like high-intensity interval training and yoga, to keep users engaged or get new customers to sign onto a digital subscription, no equipment required. By 2019, the company had sold 577,000 bikes and treadmills. In August of that year, Peloton filed for an initial public offering, revealing it had over 500,000 paying subscribers, but also spiraling losses from major investments in marketing and licensing music for its classes. Peloton went public on September 26, 2019 in what was at the time the third-worst trading debut for a major IPO since the financial crisis.Peloton's stock plummeted following its 2019 holiday adA still from the "Peloton wife" ad.PelotonAhead of the holidays in 2019, Peloton made what was seen as a major public misstep with its infamous "Peloton wife" ad. The ad, featuring a woman whose husband gifts her a Peloton bike for Christmas, was viewed as being sexist and playing into outdated standards of beauty. Public outrage over the ad sent Peloton's stock plunging 9%, wiping out $942 million in market value in a single day. But Peloton stood by the commercial, issuing a statement saying it was "disappointed" by how people had "misinterpreted" the ad. The pandemic became a major boon for Peloton's businessCari Gundee rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home on April 06, 2020 in San Anselmo, California.Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesThen, in early 2020, the pandemic hit. Suddenly stuck inside, people turned to at-home fitness and found connection in Peloton's streamed workout classes. The company's share price took off. By May 2020, Peloton reported a 66% increase in sales and a 94% increase in subscribers. In September of that year, Peloton said that it had had its first profitable quarter, with sales spiking 172% since the same quarter the year prior and revenue rising to $607 million. But the unexpected uptick in demand showed the cracks in Peloton's logistics operation. Delivery times for new equipment became longer and longer, and Peloton's typically diehard fans began expressing their frustration online. Then, some customers began experiencing issues with their bikes where pedals snapped off mid-ride. The company took weeks or months to make repairs, further frustrating users. After 120 reports of bikes breaking and 16 reports of customers getting injured, the company issued a recall affecting 30,000 bikes. Still, 2020 was all around a stellar year for Peloton that included debuting new, higher-end versions of the bike and treadmill and inking a multi-year deal with Beyoncé. A year after the "Peloton wife" ad, the company's market value had hit $34 billion. In early 2021, Peloton reported its first-ever billion-dollar quarter, driven by holiday sales and sustained demand for at-home fitness as the pandemic raged on. Foley pledged to manufacture "tens of millions" of treadmills and bikes to keep up with surging sales and spend $100 million to speed up deliveries hampered by port congestion. Peloton had to issue a treadmill recall following a child's deathA user runs on the Peloton Tread.Michael Loccisano/Getty ImagesBut in March, tragedy struck when a child was fatally injured in an accident with a Peloton treadmill. Shares dipped 4% following the news and regulators urged a recall.Foley initially pushed back, calling the warnings "inaccurate and misleading," but by May, the company announced a recall of the higher-end Tread+. In an effort to make the treadmill safer, Peloton also made a change that resulted in it becoming unusable unless users paid $39 per month. Following customer outrage, the company said it would work on a fix. As the pandemic began to recede, so did Peloton's popularityPeloton's New York City studio.John Smith/VIEWpressAs the nation continued to move toward reopening — and returning to the gym and fitness studios — Peloton's business took a punch. The company's stock dropped 34% following its fiscal first-quarter earnings in November, which included a dismal outlook for the months ahead.  "It is clear that we underestimated the reopening impact on our company and the overall industry," Foley said in a call with shareholders.Peloton was also being chased by rivals like Echelon and iFit Health, which offer similar, cheaper products. Peloton filed a lawsuit against them in November, accusing them of patent infringement. In the meantime, Peloton had been taking reputational hits. A hiring freeze set in, and Black employees voiced concerns over their pay compared to the industry standard. A character in the "Sex and the City" reboot died after using his bike, and then the same thing happened to a "Billions"character soon after. And in December, Foley threw a lavish holiday party as the company's stock tanked. By January, the company was discussing layoffs, reportedly pausing production of new equipment, and halting plans to open a new $400 million factory. Employees told Insider the company's warehouses were filled with excess bikes. Peloton began laying off employees, replaced Foley, and eyed a potential acquisitionAn instructor during a Peloton class.Scott Heins/Getty ImagesIn February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was eyeing Peloton as a potential acquisition — soon after, the Financial Times reported that Nike was considering the same. Wall Street analysts posited that Apple would be another natural fit as the new owner of Peloton. The possibility of a sale sent Peloton's stock jumping 25%.Days later, Foley announced that he would step down as Peloton's CEO and that the company was slashing 2,800 jobs, about 20% of its workforce. The company said that the fired employees would receive a free year's subscription to the platform, along with a "meaningful cash severance allotment" and other benefits. Its roster of instructors will not be impacted by the layoffs.During a conference call following the company's second-quarter earnings, Foley said was taking responsibility for what happened at Peloton. "We've made missteps along the way. To meet market demand, we scaled our operations too rapidly. And we overinvested in certain areas of our business," he said. "We own this. I own this. And we're holding ourselves accountable," he added.Experts told Insider that the company fell prey to the "bullwhip effect," spending big on logistics while expecting that demand would remain high — when demand cooled, Peloton was left with costly supply chain operations that now require a major overhaul. Barry McCarthy, the former chief financial officer of Spotify and Netflix, replaced Foley as CEO. In a leaked memo to employees, McCarthy called the layoffs "a bitter pill" but said that the company needs to accept "the world as it is, not as we want it to be if we're going to be successful.""Now that the reset button has been pushed, the challenge ahead of us is this…… do we squander the opportunity in front of us or do we engineer the great comeback story of the post-Covid era?" he wrote. "I'm here for the comeback story."Now Foley has severed his remaining ties to the companyPeloton co-founder John FoleyMark Lennihan/APJuly brought news of 570 additional job cuts, and in August, the company announced yet another round of layoffs, slashing roughly 800 customer-service and distribution team members — and raising prices on some equipment. In September, Foley stepped down as executive chairman. Cofounder and Chief Legal Officer Hisao Kushi and Chief Commercial Officer Kevin Cornils also left the company.In a statement, Foley said: "Now it is time for me to start a new professional chapter. I have passion for building companies and creating great teams, and I am excited to do that again in a new space. I am leaving the company in good hands." Lead independent director Karen Boone took over as chair. Now, another top exec is leaving as well: Chief Marketing Officer Dara Treseder is exiting the company in early October, The New York Times' DealBook newsletter reported. Treseder was instrumental in helping Peloton double its membership, which has reached more than 6.9 million, a company spokesperson told DealBook.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 26th, 2022

How Peloton went from a pandemic-era success story worth $50 billion to laying off more than 4,000 workers and losing 3 top execs in a month

Peloton was at the top of the connected-fitness food chain during the pandemic, but its business took a hit when the world began to reopen. John Smith/VIEWpress Peloton has laid off thousands of workers this year and replaced its CEO.  Two cofounders, including its former CEO, have left the company. Now another top exec is leaving. Peloton was a Wall Street darling during the pandemic with a market cap of around $50 billion. In the height of the pandemic, Peloton was on top of the world. Its stock pushed $171 per share and its market cap hovered around $50 billion.Now, just this year, the company has laid off more than 4,000 staff members, has seen three top executives depart, and reportedly is considering a potential sale to the likes of Amazon, Apple, or Nike. Peloton's stock has been trading well below the IPO price of $29 per share, at one point dropping as low as $8.22.It's a stunning reversal for a company once at the top of the connected-fitness food chain, and it's the result of a culmination of factors, including the fading popularity of at-home fitness and a mishandled logistics operation. Here's how Peloton got its start and became a fitness world darling, and how it crashed and burned.Peloton was founded in 2012 by a group of ex-IAC employeesPeloton's five cofounders.PelotonJohn Foley, Hisao Kushi, Tom Cortese, and Graham Stanton — four of Peloton's five cofounders — met working at media and internet company IAC. The fifth cofounder, Yony Feng, met the group through his roommate who worked at IAC. Foley has said that the vision for the company was his, but that his four cofounders "took it, ran with it, and built it while I was gone" raising money, he told Fortune in 2021.Prior to founding Peloton, Foley was president at Barnes & Noble, overseeing its e-commerce business. The early version of its bike was 'janky,' and it struggled to find investorsJen Van Santvoord rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home on April 7, 2020.Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesFoley is a self-professed "boutique fitness addict," as well as an avid cyclist. But the early versions of the Peloton bike didn't look like something you'd find in a high-end fitness studio, the company's first instructor, Jenn Sherman, told Fortune. "They had this little tiny corner of the office that was sectioned off by black velvet curtains. There was a camera on a tripod sticking through a circle people literally cut out of the curtain. There was a janky, broken bike in there — the instructor bike was like this rusted piece of crap. It was ridiculous," she said. Still, Sherman signed on. Meanwhile, Foley was on the road for the first three years, pitching what he told Insider in 2018 was as many as 400 investors. "I got 400 'nos,'" he said at the time. "The worst part is that we're not talking about 400 individual pitches. A lot of people would want me to come back four or five times and have me meet more partners and pitch again. I would say that I've been turned down maybe five or six thousand times."Still, the company scraped together funding from more than 200 angel investors and put its first bike on Kickstarter in 2013 for an "early bird" price of $1,500.Peloton quickly developed a cult followingInstructor Hannah Corbin teaching a live class at Peloton's Manhattan studio.PelotonPeloton began shipping bikes in 2014, with Foley and the other cofounders showing off how they worked at pop-up stores inside shopping centers.But it didn't take long for the company to develop a cult following, thanks in large part to its roster of high-wattage instructors. When the company opened its own studio in New York City, owners of the company's $2,000 bike would make a pilgrimage to Manhattan in order to take a live class with their favorite instructor. Eventually, big-name investors came calling. "I would say that it took about five years for the really smart money to start getting involved," Foley told Insider in 2018. "When Mary Meeker is calling you to say, 'Hey, I want to invest' — that's pretty cool."That year, Peloton raised $550 million in venture capital funding at a valuation of $4.1 billion, according to Pitchbook. Peloton expanded its offerings as spinning faded in popularityPeloton unveiled the Tread at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show.Avery Hartmans/Business InsiderPeloton introduced its second product, a $4,000 treadmill called the Peloton Tread, in 2018, and added new types of classes, like high-intensity interval training and yoga, to keep users engaged or get new customers to sign onto a digital subscription, no equipment required. By 2019, the company had sold 577,000 bikes and treadmills. In August of that year, Peloton filed for an initial public offering, revealing it had over 500,000 paying subscribers, but also spiraling losses from major investments in marketing and licensing music for its classes. Peloton went public on September 26, 2019 in what was at the time the third-worst trading debut for a major IPO since the financial crisis.Peloton's stock plummeted following its 2019 holiday adA still from the "Peloton wife" ad.PelotonAhead of the holidays in 2019, Peloton made what was seen as a major public misstep with its infamous "Peloton wife" ad. The ad, featuring a woman whose husband gifts her a Peloton bike for Christmas, was viewed as being sexist and playing into outdated standards of beauty. Public outrage over the ad sent Peloton's stock plunging 9%, wiping out $942 million in market value in a single day. But Peloton stood by the commercial, issuing a statement saying it was "disappointed" by how people had "misinterpreted" the ad. The pandemic became a major boon for Peloton's businessCari Gundee rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home on April 06, 2020 in San Anselmo, California.Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesThen, in early 2020, the pandemic hit. Suddenly stuck inside, people turned to at-home fitness and found connection in Peloton's streamed workout classes. The company's share price took off. By May 2020, Peloton reported a 66% increase in sales and a 94% increase in subscribers. In September of that year, Peloton said that it had had its first profitable quarter, with sales spiking 172% since the same quarter the year prior and revenue rising to $607 million. But the unexpected uptick in demand showed the cracks in Peloton's logistics operation. Delivery times for new equipment became longer and longer, and Peloton's typically diehard fans began expressing their frustration online. Then, some customers began experiencing issues with their bikes where pedals snapped off mid-ride. The company took weeks or months to make repairs, further frustrating users. After 120 reports of bikes breaking and 16 reports of customers getting injured, the company issued a recall affecting 30,000 bikes. Still, 2020 was all around a stellar year for Peloton that included debuting new, higher-end versions of the bike and treadmill and inking a multi-year deal with Beyoncé. A year after the "Peloton wife" ad, the company's market value had hit $34 billion. In early 2021, Peloton reported its first-ever billion-dollar quarter, driven by holiday sales and sustained demand for at-home fitness as the pandemic raged on. Foley pledged to manufacture "tens of millions" of treadmills and bikes to keep up with surging sales and spend $100 million to speed up deliveries hampered by port congestion. Peloton had to issue a treadmill recall following a child's deathA user runs on the Peloton Tread.Michael Loccisano/Getty ImagesBut in March, tragedy struck when a child was fatally injured in an accident with a Peloton treadmill. Shares dipped 4% following the news and regulators urged a recall.Foley initially pushed back, calling the warnings "inaccurate and misleading," but by May, the company announced a recall of the higher-end Tread+. In an effort to make the treadmill safer, Peloton also made a change that resulted in it becoming unusable unless users paid $39 per month. Following customer outrage, the company said it would work on a fix. As the pandemic began to recede, so did Peloton's popularityPeloton's New York City studio.John Smith/VIEWpressAs the nation continued to move toward reopening — and returning to the gym and fitness studios — Peloton's business took a punch. The company's stock dropped 34% following its fiscal first-quarter earnings in November, which included a dismal outlook for the months ahead.  "It is clear that we underestimated the reopening impact on our company and the overall industry," Foley said in a call with shareholders.Peloton was also being chased by rivals like Echelon and iFit Health, which offer similar, cheaper products. Peloton filed a lawsuit against them in November, accusing them of patent infringement. In the meantime, Peloton had been taking reputational hits. A hiring freeze set in, and Black employees voiced concerns over their pay compared to the industry standard. A character in the "Sex and the City" reboot died after using his bike, and then the same thing happened to a "Billions"character soon after. And in December, Foley threw a lavish holiday party as the company's stock tanked. By January, the company was discussing layoffs, reportedly pausing production of new equipment, and halting plans to open a new $400 million factory. Employees told Insider the company's warehouses were filled with excess bikes. Peloton began laying off employees, replaced Foley, and eyed a potential acquisitionAn instructor during a Peloton class.Scott Heins/Getty ImagesIn February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was eyeing Peloton as a potential acquisition — soon after, the Financial Times reported that Nike was considering the same. Wall Street analysts posited that Apple would be another natural fit as the new owner of Peloton. The possibility of a sale sent Peloton's stock jumping 25%.Days later, Foley announced that he would step down as Peloton's CEO and that the company was slashing 2,800 jobs, about 20% of its workforce. The company said that the fired employees would receive a free year's subscription to the platform, along with a "meaningful cash severance allotment" and other benefits. Its roster of instructors will not be impacted by the layoffs.During a conference call following the company's second-quarter earnings, Foley said was taking responsibility for what happened at Peloton. "We've made missteps along the way. To meet market demand, we scaled our operations too rapidly. And we overinvested in certain areas of our business," he said. "We own this. I own this. And we're holding ourselves accountable," he added.Experts told Insider that the company fell prey to the "bullwhip effect," spending big on logistics while expecting that demand would remain high — when demand cooled, Peloton was left with costly supply chain operations that now require a major overhaul. Barry McCarthy, the former chief financial officer of Spotify and Netflix, replaced Foley as CEO. In a leaked memo to employees, McCarthy called the layoffs "a bitter pill" but said that the company needs to accept "the world as it is, not as we want it to be if we're going to be successful.""Now that the reset button has been pushed, the challenge ahead of us is this…… do we squander the opportunity in front of us or do we engineer the great comeback story of the post-Covid era?" he wrote. "I'm here for the comeback story."Now Foley has severed his remaining ties to the companyPeloton co-founder John FoleyMark Lennihan/APJuly brought news of 570 additional job cuts, and in August, the company announced yet another round of layoffs, slashing roughly 800 customer-service and distribution team members — and raising prices on some equipment. In September, Peloton announced that Foley had stepped down as executive chairman and that cofounder and Chief Legal Officer Hisao Kushi also was leaving the company.In a statement, Foley said: "Now it is time for me to start a new professional chapter. I have passion for building companies and creating great teams, and I am excited to do that again in a new space. I am leaving the company in good hands." Lead independent director Karen Boone took over as chair. Now, another top exec is leaving as well: Chief Marketing Officer Dara Treseder is exiting the company in early October, The New York Times' DealBook newsletter reported. Treseder was instrumental in helping Peloton double its membership, which has reached more than 6.9 million, a company spokesperson told DealBook.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 26th, 2022

Peloton went from a pandemic-era success story worth $50 billion to laying off more than 4,000 workers. Here"s how the company"s meteoric rise turned into an equally swift fall.

Peloton was at the top of the connected-fitness food chain during the pandemic. Now, it has replaced its CEO and is laying off over 4,000 workers. John Smith/VIEWpress Peloton has laid off thousands of workers this year and its former CEO, cofounder John Foley, has cut ties with the company.  It's a stunning turnaround for a company that became a Wall Street darling during the pandemic. But increased competition and the return to gyms has hurt Peloton's business in recent months. In the height of the pandemic, Peloton was on top of the world. Its stock pushed $171 per share and its market cap hovered around $50 billion.Now, just this year the company has laid off more than 4,000 staff members, replaced its CEO, and reportedly is considering a potential sale to the likes of Amazon, Apple, or Nike. Peloton's stock has been trading well below the IPO price of $29 per share, at one point dropping as low as $8.22.It's a stunning reversal for a company once at the top of the connected-fitness food chain, and it's the result of a culmination of factors, including the fading popularity of at-home fitness and a mishandled logistics operation. Here's how Peloton got its start and became a fitness world darling, and how it crashed and burned.Peloton was founded in 2012 by a group of ex-IAC employeesPeloton's five cofounders.PelotonJohn Foley, Hisao Kushi, Tom Cortese, and Graham Stanton — four of Peloton's five cofounders — met working at media and internet company IAC. The fifth cofounder, Yony Feng, met the group through his roommate who worked at IAC. Foley has said that the vision for the company was his, but that his four cofounders "took it, ran with it, and built it while I was gone" raising money, he told Fortune last year.Prior to founding Peloton, Foley was president at Barnes & Noble, overseeing its e-commerce business. The early version of its bike was 'janky,' and it struggled to find investorsJen Van Santvoord rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home on April 7, 2020.Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesFoley is a self-professed "boutique fitness addict," as well as an avid cyclist. But the early versions of the Peloton bike didn't look like something you'd find in a high-end fitness studio, the company's first instructor, Jenn Sherman, told Fortune last year. "They had this little tiny corner of the office that was sectioned off by black velvet curtains. There was a camera on a tripod sticking through a circle people literally cut out of the curtain. There was a janky, broken bike in there — the instructor bike was like this rusted piece of crap. It was ridiculous," she said. Still, Sherman signed on. Meanwhile, Foley was on the road for the first three years, pitching what he told Insider in 2018 was as many as 400 investors. "I got 400 'nos,'" he said at the time. "The worst part is that we're not talking about 400 individual pitches. A lot of people would want me to come back four or five times and have me meet more partners and pitch again. I would say that I've been turned down maybe five or six thousand times."Still, the company scraped together funding from more than 200 angel investors and put its first bike on Kickstarter in 2013 for an "early bird" price of $1,500.Peloton quickly developed a cult followingInstructor Hannah Corbin teaching a live class at Peloton's Manhattan studio.PelotonPeloton began shipping bikes in 2014, with Foley and the other cofounders showing off how they worked at pop-up stores inside shopping centers.But it didn't take long for the company to develop a cult following, thanks in large part to its roster of high-wattage instructors. When the company opened its own studio in New York City, owners of the company's $2,000 bike would make a pilgrimage to Manhattan in order to take a live class with their favorite instructor. Eventually, big-name investors came calling. "I would say that it took about five years for the really smart money to start getting involved," Foley told Insider in 2018. "When Mary Meeker is calling you to say, 'Hey, I want to invest' — that's pretty cool."That year, Peloton raised $550 million in venture capital funding at a valuation of $4.1 billion, according to Pitchbook. Peloton expanded its offerings as spinning faded in popularityPeloton unveiled the Tread at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show.Avery Hartmans/Business InsiderPeloton introduced its second product, a $4,000 treadmill called the Peloton Tread, in 2018, and added new types of classes, like high-intensity interval training and yoga, to keep users engaged or get new customers to sign onto a digital subscription, no equipment required. By 2019, the company had sold 577,000 bikes and treadmills. In August of that year, Peloton filed for an initial public offering, revealing it had over 500,000 paying subscribers, but also spiraling losses from major investments in marketing and licensing music for its classes. Peloton went public on September 26, 2019 in what was at the time the third-worst trading debut for a major IPO since the financial crisis.Peloton's stock plummeted following its 2019 holiday adA still from the "Peloton wife" ad.PelotonAhead of the holidays in 2019, Peloton made what was seen as a major public misstep with its infamous "Peloton wife" ad. The ad, featuring a woman whose husband gifts her a Peloton bike for Christmas, was viewed as being sexist and playing into outdated standards of beauty. Public outrage over the ad sent Peloton's stock plunging 9%, wiping out $942 million in market value in a single day. But Peloton stood by the commercial, issuing a statement saying it was "disappointed" by how people had "misinterpreted" the ad. The pandemic became a major boon for Peloton's businessCari Gundee rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home on April 06, 2020 in San Anselmo, California.Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesThen, in early 2020, the pandemic hit. Suddenly stuck inside, people turned to at-home fitness and found connection in Peloton's streamed workout classes. The company's share price took off. By May 2020, Peloton reported a 66% increase in sales and a 94% increase in subscribers. In September of that year, Peloton said that it had had its first profitable quarter, with sales spiking 172% since the same quarter the year prior and revenue rising to $607 million. But the unexpected uptick in demand showed the cracks in Peloton's logistics operation. Delivery times for new equipment became longer and longer, and Peloton's typically diehard fans began expressing their frustration online. Then, some customers began experiencing issues with their bikes where pedals snapped off mid-ride. The company took weeks or months to make repairs, further frustrating users. After 120 reports of bikes breaking and 16 reports of customers getting injured, the company issued a recall affecting 30,000 bikes. Still, 2020 was all around a stellar year for Peloton that included debuting new, higher-end versions of the bike and treadmill and inking a multi-year deal with Beyoncé. A year after the "Peloton wife" ad, the company's market value had hit $34 billion. In early 2021, Peloton reported its first-ever billion-dollar quarter, driven by holiday sales and sustained demand for at-home fitness as the pandemic raged on. Foley pledged to manufacture "tens of millions" of treadmills and bikes to keep up with surging sales and spend $100 million to speed up deliveries hampered by port congestion. Peloton had to issue a treadmill recall following a child's deathA user runs on the Peloton Tread.Michael Loccisano/Getty ImagesBut in March, tragedy struck when a child was fatally injured in an accident with a Peloton treadmill. Shares dipped 4% following the news and regulators urged a recall.Foley initially pushed back, calling the warnings "inaccurate and misleading," but by May, the company announced a recall of the higher-end Tread+. In an effort to make the treadmill safer, Peloton also made a change that resulted in it becoming unusable unless users paid $39 per month. Following customer outrage, the company said it would work on a fix. As the pandemic began to recede, so did Peloton's popularityPeloton's New York City studio.John Smith/VIEWpressAs the nation continued to move toward reopening — and returning to the gym and fitness studios — Peloton's business took a punch. The company's stock dropped 34% following its fiscal first-quarter earnings in November, which included a dismal outlook for the months ahead.  "It is clear that we underestimated the reopening impact on our company and the overall industry," Foley said in a call with shareholders.Peloton was also being chased by rivals like Echelon and iFit Health, which offer similar, cheaper products. Peloton filed a lawsuit against them in November, accusing them of patent infringement. In the meantime, Peloton had been taking reputational hits. A hiring freeze set in, and Black employees voiced concerns over their pay compared to the industry standard. A character in the "Sex and the City" reboot died after using his bike, and then the same thing happened to a "Billions"character soon after. And in December, Foley threw a lavish holiday party as the company's stock tanked. By January, the company was discussing layoffs, reportedly pausing production of new equipment, and halting plans to open a new $400 million factory. Employees told Insider the company's warehouses were filled with excess bikes. Peloton began laying off employees, replaced Foley, and was eyeing a potential acquisitionAn instructor during a Peloton class.Scott Heins/Getty ImagesIn February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon may be eyeing Peloton as a potential acquisition — soon after, the Financial Times reported that Nike was considering the same. Wall Street analysts posited that Apple would be another natural fit as the new owner of Peloton. The possibility of a sale sent Peloton's stock jumping 25%.Days later, Foley announced that he would step down as Peloton's CEO and that the company was slashing 2,800 jobs, about 20% of its workforce. The company said that the fired employees would receive a free year's subscription to the platform, along with a "meaningful cash severance allotment" and other benefits. Its roster of instructors will not be impacted by the layoffs.During a conference call following the company's second-quarter earnings, Foley said was taking responsibility for what happened at Peloton. "We've made missteps along the way. To meet market demand, we scaled our operations too rapidly. And we overinvested in certain areas of our business," he said. "We own this. I own this. And we're holding ourselves accountable," he added.Experts told Insider's Emma Cosgrove that the company fell prey to the "bullwhip effect," spending big on logistics while expecting that demand would remain high — when demand cooled, Peloton was left with costly supply chain operations that now require a major overhaul. Barry McCarthy, the former chief financial officer of Spotify and Netflix, replaced Foley as CEO. In a leaked memo to employees, McCarthy called the layoffs "a bitter pill" but said that the company needs to accept "the world as it is, not as we want it to be if we're going to be successful.""Now that the reset button has been pushed, the challenge ahead of us is this…… do we squander the opportunity in front of us or do we engineer the great comeback story of the post-Covid era?" he wrote. "I'm here for the comeback story."Now Foley has severed his remaining ties to the companyPeloton co-founder John FoleyMark Lennihan/APJuly brought news of 570 additional job cuts, and in August, the company announced yet another round of layoffs, slashing roughly 800 customer-service and distribution team members – and raising prices on some equipment. In September, Peloton announced that Foley had stepped down as executive chairman and that cofounder and Chief Legal Officer Hisao Kushi also was leaving the company.In a statement, Foley said: "Now it is time for me to start a new professional chapter. I have passion for building companies and creating great teams, and I am excited to do that again in a new space. I am leaving the company in good hands."  Lead independent director Karen Boone takes over as chair. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 13th, 2022

"The Straw That Breaks The Market"s Back": The Fed Must Do $3.9 Trillion In QT To Control Inflation... Which It Can"t Possibly Do

"The Straw That Breaks The Market's Back": The Fed Must Do $3.9 Trillion In QT To Control Inflation... Which It Can't Possibly Do Starting with first principles, there is one thing that almost all traders can agree on and it is that, sooner or later, the Fed tightening cycle will spark another financial crisis and market crash, something which we reminded readers in early 2022: Remember, every Fed tightening cycle ends in disaster and then, much more Fed easing pic.twitter.com/zX7Dur8nLG — zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 5, 2022 But while there is little disagreement on what the Fed's endgame is, the big question is how we get there and what exactly will lead to the overtightening that crashes the economy, sparks a policy panic and bring another Fed overreaction in the opposite direction. For much of the past 6 months, Wall Street was confident that it would be the Fed's rate hikes which started in March from 0.0%, and have since crept up to 2.25-2.50%, and are expected to rise another 1.00%-1.25% before the Fed eases back on the breaks. Incidentally, one of the reasons so many Wall Street professionals expected the Fed to pivot dovishly sooner rather than later, is that few expected the Fed would so aggressively seek to trigger then next recession, and to keep hiking until something did break. In fact, back in April SocGen quant Solomon Tadesse - who made waves on Wall Street trading desks four years ago, when he went against the consensus view, and in 2018 pinpointed the peak in Fed Funds at a lowly 2½% which turned out to be spot on - calculated that the Fed Funds rate won't be able to climb above 1.0% before the Fed overtightens into restrictive territory, i.e., will have to ease (the explanation for his thinking is here). Of course, 4 months later and 1.5% above the proposed 1.0% "redline", Solomon's math was clearly wrong. But was he wrong or did the SocGen quant merely underestimate the far greater weight that the Fed's balance sheet, or QE (and thus QT) has on overall easing (and tightening) of financial conditions? That is the topic Tadesse and his SocGen quant peers discuss in their latest Practical Quant Investor note, titled "Might QT be the straw that breaks the market's back", in which they note that in recent weeks, financial markets and monetary policy  pronouncements seem too focused on the policy rate to deal with inflation containment. However, extending on what we said above, the SocGen quants note that "what has been unique in post-GFC monetary policy was the reliance on QE to induce the needed easing." As they also note, in recent years it was not policy rate hikes – which were on an orderly course – that laid low financial conditions, leading to a surprise pivot in monetary policy in December of 2018, but rather the quietly accelerating QT. By the same token, Tadesse warns "it could be a ramp-up in QT, this time on a larger scale to erode a much larger balance sheet, that could surprise markets." This is a prudent warning because three months after QT started at a pace of $47.5BN per month from June through August, starting Sept, the Fed will double the pace of Quantitative Tightening to $95Billion, draining twice as much liquidity from the market. Before we delve deeper into the SocGen quant's analysis, let's first back up, and briefly discuss what happened in the post-June market meltup which as Tadasse puts it, until last week's hiccup, "was a byproduct global markets had recently been on a bullish ascent, buoyed by hopes of an easing in inflation and thus a Fed pivot. Yet, central bank policy pronouncements and policymakers have been quick to warn that this expectation is premature." Therefore, investors - SocGen summarizes - "face a historic dilemma: a choice between the two age-old investing creeds of ‘Don’t Fight the Fed’ versus ‘Don’t fight the Tape’." Global markets appear to be getting ahead of themselves. The rationale for market expectations of a quick reversal in monetary policy to easing relies on two premises: one, data interpretation, and the other historical trend projection. On data, the lower inflation print for the month of July can be interpreted as an indication of receding peak inflation. Aside from the paucity of a single data point, a close examination reveals that the weakening in the inflation print might be a symptom of some loosening of supply chain bottlenecks. While this would make the Fed’s job easier, it wouldn’t justify a near-term reversal of policy in the face of accelerated demand-driven inflation, part of it a catch-up in wages and service-related price adjustments. It can also be argued that the current stubbornly low unemployment rate could be viewed as fuel for inflation pressure, and thus calling for tightening, rather than providing respite from it. Even if inflation is assumed to have peaked, it would still take more tightening to break its hold. A long-accepted principle for containing inflation to raise rates by a larger margin than the prevailing inflation rate, and historically, it took a 20+ percent rate hike to break a peak of 15 percent inflation during the Volcker’s Fed of the early 80s. Tadesse next hypothesizes that one of the reasons why markets have been so eager to assume a dovish pivot by the Fed is due to the central bank's "Fed Put" Pavlovian instinct. However, due to the ongoing unexpected surge in inflation, he notes that "policymaking has gone through a dramatic regime shift recently  from one of ‘promoting growth’ on concerns of deflationary pressures to one of ‘containment of inflation’ at any cost, reminiscent of the ‘inflation-containment’ policies of the Volcker era." Helping to visualize this argument, the SocGen chart below shows the evolution of monetary policy over the last 60 years. As Tadesse notes, policy was driven by a need for ‘price stability’ during the inflationary periods of the 70s and early 80s when policy had a propensity to tighten rather than to ease. After the successful stamping out of inflation in the early 80s, monetary policy succumbed to fears of deflationary forces engendering chronic stagnation, which led to a propensity to ease monetary conditions rather than to tighten. But that regime seems to have changed for good now, with "unexpected" inflation raging and the Fed clearly pronouncing its monetary policy priority as containing inflation at any cost. Thus, as we discussed extensively in recent weeks and culminating in "Even Goldman Can't Believe It: "Did Powell Mean To Be So Dovish?" if the markets' stubborn assumption to the contrary were to prove correct it could only result in an unsustainable easing of financial conditions, creating a risk of even more Fed overtightening that could rattle markets sooner or later. In fact, instead of expecting a Fed Put, the SocGen analyst writes that "one could argue that a market correction that could clear the policy channel from speculative-driven easing in financial conditions to a desirable tightening, might serve the long-term public interest." Indeed, Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari made it quite clear he was personally delighted with the market dump last Friday following Powell's terse remarks. If only it wasn't Kashkari (and his Fed pals) that made the bubble that is now deflating slowly but surely possible. Moving on: after taking a brief tangent to look at the current drivers of inflation (supply-driven is slowing, while demand-driven inflation is accelerating, and cautioning that the stubbornly low unemployment rate could be viewed as fuelling inflationary pressure  than providing a respite from it), Tadesse echoes something we have said all along, namely that "monetary policy provides little help for supply-driven inflationary pressures of the type arising from supply-chain disruptions." *POWELL: FED POLICIES CAN'T ADDRESS SUPPLY-SIDE CHALLENGES bingo — zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 2, 2022 Indeed, it was these "disruptions" that explain Policymakers’ early dismissal of the rising inflation as transitory and something that would resolve itself in time. It is only recently that official acknowledgement has been given to persistent demand-driven price pressures. Policymakers have been clear since then that the policy stand is one of inflation-containment and has expressed this stance in deeds by allowing a meltdown of several weeks in global markets that would ordinarily have triggered a Fed Put in the past. In short, the SocGen strategist writes, "policymakers are outwardly resolved to curb inflation, even if it comes with a risk of recession" and a market crash... however, once we do get a recession and a few hundred thousand lost jobs crushing the approval rating of democrats, watch how quickly Powell will change his tune after being bombarded with daily phone calls from the Liz Karens Warrens of Congress. So what's the Fed to do? Well, in an earlier research note (which we addressed here), Tadesse argued that if monetary policy had followed a pro-growth impulse, as has been the case over the last four decades, the current tightening phase could have peaked with only 0.75-1pp of rate hikes, combined with a QT program to the tune of about $1.8tn. However, after the monetary policy regime shift to ‘inflation containment’, SocGen's analysis points to a much larger amount of rate tightening, accompanied by a meaningful slash in the Fed balance sheet. The tightening phase would take an aggressive stance, with overall monetary policy tightening going beyond 900bp and the policy rate peaking at 450bp. More importantly, Tadesse's analysis also shows that it would take implicit rate tightening of about 450bp from a QT that would slash $3.9 trillion from Fed balance sheet! The consequences for risk assets would be calamitous. Here's how the SocGen quant gets to these numbers: as a result of the unexpected surge in inflation, Tadesse writes that monetary policy making has gone through a regime shift, with Fed’s policy single-mindedly focused on inflation containment at any cost, resembling the monetary policy framework of the Volcker era in the 1970s and early 1980s, when the average MTE ratio was about 1.5x (left-hand chart below). The problem - as Tadesse calculates - is that such aggressive monetary tightening with a focus solely on inflation containment, even at the cost of inducing recession, would require overall monetary tightening of about 11.6%. And since rates have already been tightened by 2.5% (with only a de minimis tightening via QT for now), another 9.25% of monetary tightening might be expected via policy rate hikes and an aggressive QT program. The policy rate could go up by as much as 4.5%, with the remainder coming from QT (right-hand chart above). In practical terms, at a rate of 12bp per $100bn of QT (SocGen had previously calculated the price impact of QT), this amounts to a QT programme of about $3.9tn, roughly equivalent to the net growth in the Fed’s balance sheet during the pandemic (which would be logically symmetric). An important caveat in the analysis is the presumption that current inflation levels resemble those of the late 1970s through the 1980s. As recent inflation prints are the highest in 40 years, this might be a reasonable assumption, particularly in reference to the rates seen in the early 1980s. In addition, in interpreting the results, there is an implicit assumption that the current inflation prints are persistent and all demand driven. However, earlier analysis has shown that the current inflation dynamics are driven both by some transitory supply-related disruptions and demand-driven price pressures. Should the supply bottlenecks ease over time, the degree of monetary tightening needed to contain inflation through demand destruction could turn out to be lower. To visualize the tightening "blend" achievable through both rate hikes and QT, in the above-left chart Tadesse shows monetary policy frontiers (MPF) which are all the policy rate hike and QT combinations that could generate the ‘inflation-containing overall tightening’ of upwards of 9% and the ‘growth-conscious overall tightening’ discussed earlier, with the most likely outcomes of policy combinations identified with stars. Thus, an aggressive inflation-containing policy could mean additional policy rate hikes of up to 4.5% at peak and a further implicit rate tightening of 4.5% from QT (hence $3.9 trillion in total balance sheet reduction). In conclusion, in a time when both markets and policymakers appear too focused on the policy rate to really deal with inflation containment, and given the substantial role of Quantitative Easing policies in inducing the needed post-Covid monetary easing, the reversal policies of QT would have an equally important, albeit non-symmetric impact on tightening. SocGen's analysis suggests that almost half of the required tightening could come from QT (about 450bp, accounting for $3.9 trillion in balance sheet shrinkage). Of course, from policy perspective, a lack of acknowledgement and clear communication of QT’s potential impacts may post the risk of overtightening. Furthermore, with markets expecting far less on the QT side, Tadesse now believes that "it could be the ramp-up in QT that could trigger the next fall in markets." Appropriately enough, it comes just as the Fed's rate of QT doubles from $47.5BN to $95BN per month. To summarize, "it was arguably not policy rate hikes back in 2018 that laid low financial conditions, leading to a surprise pivot in monetary policy in December. It was rather gently accelerating QT in the background. In the same token, it could be a ramp-up in QT, this time on a larger scale to erode a much larger balance sheet, that may surprise markets." One final point: is there a snowball's chance in hell that the Fed will do almost $4 trillion in QT? Of course not: as we explained on July 14, when we quoted from former NY Fed and current BofA iconic Fed analyst, Marc Cabana, the Fed will be forced to end QT prematurely (in no small part because BofA's base case forecast is now for a US recession in 2023), and as such, "Fed QT that is stopped in Sept ’23 will result in $1tn less balance sheet reduction vs our prior estimates through end ’24. Over a similar period, early QT end would result in $780b less UST financing need + $350b of additional Fed UST demand." Cabana, is of course, correct: there is no way that the Fed will be able to do years of QT at a pace of ~$100BN per month to hit SocGen's bogey without pushing the US into a full-blown depression (especially since the recession has already officially started). But it will take a few months of -300,000 payroll prints for markets to pivot again, and realize that when Powell vowed the Fed would not even think about think about pivoting in 2023, he was wrong... again... as usual. The implication, however, is even more profound: if Tadesse is correct, and if indeed the Fed is unable to contain inflation unless it tightens by 9% in some combination of rates and QT, that means that the Fed will begin its next easing cycle with inflation well above the Fed's target. Which incidentally, is how this game ends: with the Fed hiking its inflation target from 2% to 3% (or more). Impossible, you say? Not at all: Europe is already setting the stage for what is not only not impossibly but inevitable. And there go central bank inflation targets, first in Europe French banking federation expects structural inflation to be at least 3%, Chairman Nicolas Thery says at business conference in Paris on Tuesday. Thery doesn’t believe in ECB’s structural inflation target: BBG — zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 30, 2022 And yes, once the "inflation target" trial balloons start floating, readers better have all their net worth in the form of risky assets, gold, crypto and so on, because in the span of nano seconds, the entire asset market will reprice exponentially higher as the Fed finally admits it has to throw in the towel. Tyler Durden Wed, 08/31/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 1st, 2022

"The Straw That breaks The Market"s Back": The Fed Must Do $3.9 Trillion In QT To Control Inflation... Which It Can"t Possibly Do

"The Straw That breaks The Market's Back": The Fed Must Do $3.9 Trillion In QT To Control Inflation... Which It Can't Possibly Do Starting with first principles, there is one thing that almost all traders can agree on and it is that, sooner or later, the Fed tightening cycle will spark another financial crisis and market crash, something which we reminded readers in early 2022: Remember, every Fed tightening cycle ends in disaster and then, much more Fed easing pic.twitter.com/zX7Dur8nLG — zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 5, 2022 But while there is little disagreement on what the Fed's endgame is, the big question is how we get there and what exactly will lead to the overtightening that crashes the economy, sparks a policy panic and bring another Fed overreaction in the opposite direction. For much of the past 6 months, Wall Street was confident that it would be the Fed's rate hikes which started in March from 0.0%, and have since crept up to 2.25-2.50%, and are expected to rise another 1.00%-1.25% before the Fed eases back on the breaks. Incidentally, one of the reasons so many Wall Street professionals expected the Fed to pivot dovishly sooner rather than later, is that few expected the Fed would so aggressively seek to trigger then next recession, and to keep hiking until something did break. In fact, back in April SocGen quant Solomon Tadesse - who made waves on Wall Street trading desks four years ago, when he went against the consensus view, and in 2018 pinpointed the peak in Fed Funds at a lowly 2½% which turned out to be spot on - calculated that the Fed Funds rate won't be able to climb above 1.0% before the Fed overtightens into restrictive territory, i.e., will have to ease (the explanation for his thinking is here). Of course, 4 months later and 1.5% above the proposed 1.0% "redline", Solomon's math was clearly wrong. But was he wrong or did the SocGen quant merely underestimate the far greater weight that the Fed's balance sheet, or QE (and thus QT) has on overall easing (and tightening) of financial conditions? That is the topic Tadesse and his SocGen quant peers discuss in their latest Practical Quant Investor note, titled "Might QT be the straw that breaks the market's back", in which they note that in recent weeks, financial markets and monetary policy  pronouncements seem too focused on the policy rate to deal with inflation containment. However, extending on what we said above, the SocGen quants note that "what has been unique in post-GFC monetary policy was the reliance on QE to induce the needed easing." As they also note, in recent years it was not policy rate hikes – which were on an orderly course – that laid low financial conditions, leading to a surprise pivot in monetary policy in December of 2018, but rather the quietly accelerating QT. By the same token, Tadesse warns "it could be a ramp-up in QT, this time on a larger scale to erode a much larger balance sheet, that could surprise markets." This is a prudent warning because three months after QT started at a pace of $47.5BN per month from June through August, starting Sept, the Fed will double the pace of Quantitative Tightening to $95Billion, draining twice as much liquidity from the market. Before we delve deeper into the SocGen quant's analysis, let's first back up, and briefly discuss what happened in the post-June market meltup which as Tadasse puts it, until last week's hiccup, "was a byproduct global markets had recently been on a bullish ascent, buoyed by hopes of an easing in inflation and thus a Fed pivot. Yet, central bank policy pronouncements and policymakers have been quick to warn that this expectation is premature." Therefore, investors - SocGen summarizes - "face a historic dilemma: a choice between the two age-old investing creeds of ‘Don’t Fight the Fed’ versus ‘Don’t fight the Tape’." Global markets appear to be getting ahead of themselves. The rationale for market expectations of a quick reversal in monetary policy to easing relies on two premises: one, data interpretation, and the other historical trend projection. On data, the lower inflation print for the month of July can be interpreted as an indication of receding peak inflation. Aside from the paucity of a single data point, a close examination reveals that the weakening in the inflation print might be a symptom of some loosening of supply chain bottlenecks. While this would make the Fed’s job easier, it wouldn’t justify a near-term reversal of policy in the face of accelerated demand-driven inflation, part of it a catch-up in wages and service-related price adjustments. It can also be argued that the current stubbornly low unemployment rate could be viewed as fuel for inflation pressure, and thus calling for tightening, rather than providing respite from it. Even if inflation is assumed to have peaked, it would still take more tightening to break its hold. A long-accepted principle for containing inflation to raise rates by a larger margin than the prevailing inflation rate, and historically, it took a 20+ percent rate hike to break a peak of 15 percent inflation during the Volcker’s Fed of the early 80s. Tadesse next hypothesizes that one of the reasons why markets have been so eager to assume a dovish pivot by the Fed is due to the central bank's "Fed Put" Pavlovian instinct. However, due to the ongoing unexpected surge in inflation, he notes that "policymaking has gone through a dramatic regime shift recently  from one of ‘promoting growth’ on concerns of deflationary pressures to one of ‘containment of inflation’ at any cost, reminiscent of the ‘inflation-containment’ policies of the Volcker era." Helping to visualize this argument, the SocGen chart below shows the evolution of monetary policy over the last 60 years. As Tadesse notes, policy was driven by a need for ‘price stability’ during the inflationary periods of the 70s and early 80s when policy had a propensity to tighten rather than to ease. After the successful stamping out of inflation in the early 80s, monetary policy succumbed to fears of deflationary forces engendering chronic stagnation, which led to a propensity to ease monetary conditions rather than to tighten. But that regime seems to have changed for good now, with "unexpected" inflation raging and the Fed clearly pronouncing its monetary policy priority as containing inflation at any cost. Thus, as we discussed extensively in recent weeks and culminating in "Even Goldman Can't Believe It: "Did Powell Mean To Be So Dovish?" if the markets' stubborn assumption to the contrary were to prove correct it could only result in an unsustainable easing of financial conditions, creating a risk of even more Fed overtightening that could rattle markets sooner or later. In fact, instead of expecting a Fed Put, the SocGen analyst writes that "one could argue that a market correction that could clear the policy channel from speculative-driven easing in financial conditions to a desirable tightening, might serve the long-term public interest." Indeed, Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari made it quite clear he was personally delighted with the market dump last Friday following Powell's terse remarks. If only it wasn't Kashkari (and his Fed pals) that made the bubble that is now deflating slowly but surely possible. Moving on: after taking a brief tangent to look at the current drivers of inflation (supply-driven is slowing, while demand-driven inflation is accelerating, and cautioning that the stubbornly low unemployment rate could be viewed as fuelling inflationary pressure  than providing a respite from it), Tadesse echoes something we have said all along, namely that "monetary policy provides little help for supply-driven inflationary pressures of the type arising from supply-chain disruptions." *POWELL: FED POLICIES CAN'T ADDRESS SUPPLY-SIDE CHALLENGES bingo — zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 2, 2022 Indeed, it was these "disruptions" that explain Policymakers’ early dismissal of the rising inflation as transitory and something that would resolve itself in time. It is only recently that official acknowledgement has been given to persistent demand-driven price pressures. Policymakers have been clear since then that the policy stand is one of inflation-containment and has expressed this stance in deeds by allowing a meltdown of several weeks in global markets that would ordinarily have triggered a Fed Put in the past. In short, the SocGen strategist writes, "policymakers are outwardly resolved to curb inflation, even if it comes with a risk of recession" and a market crash... however, once we do get a recession and a few hundred thousand lost jobs crushing the approval rating of democrats, watch how quickly Powell will change his tune after being bombarded with daily phone calls from the Liz Karens Warrens of Congress. So what's the Fed to do? Well, in an earlier research note (which we addressed here), Tadesse argued that if monetary policy had followed a pro-growth impulse, as has been the case over the last four decades, the current tightening phase could have peaked with only 0.75-1pp of rate hikes, combined with a QT program to the tune of about $1.8tn. However, after the monetary policy regime shift to ‘inflation containment’, SocGen's analysis points to a much larger amount of rate tightening, accompanied by a meaningful slash in the Fed balance sheet. The tightening phase would take an aggressive stance, with overall monetary policy tightening going beyond 900bp and the policy rate peaking at 450bp. More importantly, Tadesse's analysis also shows that it would take implicit rate tightening of about 450bp from a QT that would slash $3.9 trillion from Fed balance sheet! The consequences for risk assets would be calamitous. Here's how the SocGen quant gets to these numbers: as a result of the unexpected surge in inflation, Tadesse writes that monetary policy making has gone through a regime shift, with Fed’s policy single-mindedly focused on inflation containment at any cost, resembling the monetary policy framework of the Volcker era in the 1970s and early 1980s, when the average MTE ratio was about 1.5x (left-hand chart below). The problem - as Tadesse calculates - is that such aggressive monetary tightening with a focus solely on inflation containment, even at the cost of inducing recession, would require overall monetary tightening of about 11.6%. And since rates have already been tightened by 2.5% (with only a de minimis tightening via QT for now), another 9.25% of monetary tightening might be expected via policy rate hikes and an aggressive QT program. The policy rate could go up by as much as 4.5%, with the remainder coming from QT (right-hand chart above). In practical terms, at a rate of 12bp per $100bn of QT (SocGen had previously calculated the price impact of QT), this amounts to a QT programme of about $3.9tn, roughly equivalent to the net growth in the Fed’s balance sheet during the pandemic (which would be logically symmetric). An important caveat in the analysis is the presumption that current inflation levels resemble those of the late 1970s through the 1980s. As recent inflation prints are the highest in 40 years, this might be a reasonable assumption, particularly in reference to the rates seen in the early 1980s. In addition, in interpreting the results, there is an implicit assumption that the current inflation prints are persistent and all demand driven. However, earlier analysis has shown that the current inflation dynamics are driven both by some transitory supply-related disruptions and demand-driven price pressures. Should the supply bottlenecks ease over time, the degree of monetary tightening needed to contain inflation through demand destruction could turn out to be lower. To visualize the tightening "blend" achievable through both rate hikes and QT, in the above-left chart Tadesse shows monetary policy frontiers (MPF) which are all the policy rate hike and QT combinations that could generate the ‘inflation-containing overall tightening’ of upwards of 9% and the ‘growth-conscious overall tightening’ discussed earlier, with the most likely outcomes of policy combinations identified with stars. Thus, an aggressive inflation-containing policy could mean additional policy rate hikes of up to 4.5% at peak and a further implicit rate tightening of 4.5% from QT (hence $3.9 trillion in total balance sheet reduction). In conclusion, in a time when both markets and policymakers appear too focused on the policy rate to really deal with inflation containment, and given the substantial role of Quantitative Easing policies in inducing the needed post-Covid monetary easing, the reversal policies of QT would have an equally important, albeit non-symmetric impact on tightening. SocGen's analysis suggests that almost half of the required tightening could come from QT (about 450bp, accounting for $3.9 trillion in balance sheet shrinkage). Of course, from policy perspective, a lack of acknowledgement and clear communication of QT’s potential impacts may post the risk of overtightening. Furthermore, with markets expecting far less on the QT side, Tadesse now believes that "it could be the ramp-up in QT that could trigger the next fall in markets." Appropriately enough, it comes just as the Fed's rate of QT doubles from $47.5BN to $95BN per month. To summarize, "it was arguably not policy rate hikes back in 2018 that laid low financial conditions, leading to a surprise pivot in monetary policy in December. It was rather gently accelerating QT in the background. In the same token, it could be a ramp-up in QT, this time on a larger scale to erode a much larger balance sheet, that may surprise markets." One final point: is there a snowball's chance in hell that the Fed will do almost $4 trillion in QT? Of course not: as we explained on July 14, when we quoted from former NY Fed and current BofA iconic Fed analyst, Marc Cabana, the Fed will be forced to end QT prematurely (in no small part because BofA's base case forecast is now for a US recession in 2023), and as such, "Fed QT that is stopped in Sept ’23 will result in $1tn less balance sheet reduction vs our prior estimates through end ’24. Over a similar period, early QT end would result in $780b less UST financing need + $350b of additional Fed UST demand." Cabana, is of course, correct: there is no way that the Fed will be able to do years of QT at a pace of ~$100BN per month to hit SocGen's bogey without pushing the US into a full-blown depression (especially since the recession has already officially started). But it will take a few months of -300,000 payroll prints for markets to pivot again, and realize that when Powell vowed the Fed would not even think about think about pivoting in 2023, he was wrong... again... as usual. The implication, however, is even more profound: if Tadesse is correct, and if indeed the Fed is unable to contain inflation unless it tightens by 9% in some combination of rates and QT, that means that the Fed will begin its next easing cycle with inflation well above the Fed's target. Which incidentally, is how this game ends: with the Fed hiking its inflation target from 2% to 3% (or more). Impossible, you say? Not at all: Europe is already setting the stage for what is not only not impossibly but inevitable. And there go central bank inflation targets, first in Europe French banking federation expects structural inflation to be at least 3%, Chairman Nicolas Thery says at business conference in Paris on Tuesday. Thery doesn’t believe in ECB’s structural inflation target: BBG — zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 30, 2022 And yes, once the "inflation target" trial balloons start floating, readers better have all their net worth in the form of risky assets, gold, crypto and so on, because in the span of nano seconds, the entire asset market will reprice exponentially higher as the Fed finally admits it has to throw in the towel. Tyler Durden Wed, 08/31/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 31st, 2022

Disaster on Denali: What happens when adventure-seekers are in over their heads?

What really happened on Denali, North America's tallest peak, on the day a 31-year-old mountaineer from Canada fell 1,000 feet? Hokyoung Kim for InsiderNone of them noticed the fall. One moment, Adam Rawski was with them on the mountain. The next, he was gone.It was May 24, 2021, around Day 15 of their trek up Denali, North America's tallest peak. There was Grant Wilson and Sarah Maynard, Alaska natives and close friends since high school who were now in their early 20s; Rawski, a 31-year-old clean technology executive from Canada, who had befriended them on the mountain a week earlier; and Dr. Jason Lance, a 48-year-old radiologist from Utah who had paired up with Rawski at the last minute after both of their climbing partners turned back.The four had hoped to summit that day. But Rawski was exhausted and showing signs of altitude sickness. He couldn't go any further. Just over a thousand feet from the summit, they had no choice but to stop and turn back.Now on the descent, at around 18,200 feet, they had just crossed Denali Pass, a relatively flat, open snowfield with sweeping views of the Alaska Range and surrounding wilderness. In front of them lay the Autobahn, a notoriously dangerous icy slope that descends 1,000 feet. At least 13 deadly falls have been recorded here since 1980.The Autobahn's terrain can vary from rock solid ice to several feet of snow. If climbers lose their footing and fall, there's nothing to slow their momentum and prevent a fast and almost certainly fatal tumble down the slope. It's said some German climbers died at this spot years ago, which is how it became known as the Autobahn — as in, Germany's highway with no speed limit.Perhaps the most dangerous thing about the Autobahn is that it doesn't look very dangerous. It's steep enough to cause climbers to fall with great speed, but not so steep that all climbers exercise proper caution. The park service strongly encourages roping up with protection at this spot, but every year, teams ignore that advice. If the slope was just a bit steeper, it's likely fewer climbers would take the risk.Most falls on the Autobahn happen on the descent, when climbers are exhausted, having just pushed for the summit after two weeks on the unforgiving mountain, perhaps slightly impaired by the effects of altitude, and quite possibly a little cocky from having made it this far. Despite his condition, Rawski was not roped up. Standing at the top of the Autobahn, the others had scattered a bit. Wilson had stepped out of sight for a bathroom break. Maynard was slightly downhill from Lance. And then, Rawski was gone.As Maynard would tell me later, her mind raced through the possibilities: "Is he so hypoxic that he is taking his clothes off and wandering around? Is he so delusional that he's going for another summit attempt? Does his stomach hurt so bad that he's puking somewhere or just huddled up?"Then she heard Lance: "Oh, fuck." She followed his eyes down to the bottom of the Autobahn, 1000 feet below. There, Rawski's body in his bright blue puffer was lying, motionless.It was quiet, with no wind. But Maynard hadn't heard a thing. "That's what was so spooky and haunting," she said. "I didn't hear his ice axe hit the ground. I didn't hear his body tumble. I didn't hear a yelp from him."Maynard and Wilson huddled under a rock, all but certain their friend was dead. They held each other, and cried.Amazingly, Rawski didn't die that day. He's one of the only climbers known to have survived a fall down the Autobahn. But that's not where the story ends. What none of them knew then was that five months later, one of them would be criminally charged and brought before a judge — and they'd all have to relive the worst day of their lives.The Great OutdoorsWhen throngs of novice adventurers take on challenges without the proper training or expertise, disaster often follows — which is part of the story of what happened on Denali last May.Visits to America's national parks have exploded in recent years as more and more people seek out wild, majestic places to visit and color their Instagram feeds. More than 600,000 people came to Denali National Park in 2019, a 65% increase from 2000. Things were quiet in 2020 due to COVID-19, but by 2021 the mountain was nearly as busy as before the pandemic, with 1,007 climbers attempting to summit.Shortly after Rawski's fall, Denali's park rangers, all of them expert mountaineers, took the extraordinary step of publishing a finger-wagging report. "We have seen a disturbing amount of overconfidence paired with inexperience in the Alaska Range," they said, warning climbers that mountaineering in the Lower 48 doesn't necessarily prepare you for the high-altitude and extreme conditions of the Alaskan wilderness.A clear morning view of Denali from inside the national park.C. Fredrickson Photography/Getty ImagesDenali soars 20,310 feet above sea level and, for some mountaineers, is considered a stepping stone to Mount Everest (though without the help of Sherpas). Its official title was changed from Mt. McKinley in 2015, when Denali, the name given to the mountain by Alaskan Natives — meaning "the tall one" or "the great one" — was restored.The peak is located among 6 million acres of protected wilderness. To reach the mountain, climbers hop on a small plane in Talkeetna, a tiny town south of the park, and fly over 75 miles of terrain that changes from lush greenery to jagged granite and snow-covered slopes.They're dropped off at Denali's base camp, located on the Kahiltna Glacier, at 7,200 feet elevation — already 1,000 feet higher than Mount Washington, the tallest peak of New Hampshire's White Mountains. From there, the expedition to the summit and back usually takes 17 to 21 days.Typically only about half of the climbers attempting Denali every year will reach the summit. Determining whether or not a climber is prepared to take on Denali is difficult even for rangers and guides.Temperatures can dip below -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Climbers face snow storms, freezing rain, 100 mph winds, and blazing sunlight. The gear weighs over 100 pounds and includes clothes, tents, stoves, skis, or snowshoes, crampons, protective equipment, and a sled to haul it all. Climbers take on steep vertical grades and glacier travel, during which they can encounter crevasses that go hundreds of feet deep into the ice — and that's all on top of the sheer physical challenge of climbing a mountain at an altitude few humans ever experience.Base Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier in Denali National Park. Mountaineers climbing Denali, the highest mountain in North America, are dropped off here by ski planes, visible in photo.Getty ImagesThere are specific skill sets climbers should have, like snow and ice climbing, glacier travel, cold-weather camping, and exceptional cardiovascular fitness. But even then, it is hard to gauge if a person is ready.The most basic measure for whether or not a climber is prepared — physically, technically, psychologically — for a Denali expedition is straightforward: Would you attempt what you are doing if you were alone on this mountain?If the answer is no, you shouldn't be there.A shared passionMaynard and Wilson teamed up to tackle Denali in late 2020.The two were high school classmates in Fairbanks, the largest and coldest city in Alaska's Interior region and the closest city to Denali. It's known for being one of the best places to see the northern lights, and for long summer days when the sun never sets.They both ran cross country, traveling with the team to faraway meets on weekends, and were part of a large friend group of cross country skiers. But they bonded most over their shared passion for mountaineering.They stayed close even after Maynard moved to Montana to get a degree in exercise science and work as a ski instructor, keeping up with each other's adventures through texts and social media, and planned excursions whenever their schedules aligned. Whenever Maynard returned home to Alaska, she'd check in with Wilson. "I'm always trying to get invited on his adventures because he stays busy," she said. Wilson has lived in Alaska his whole life. When not climbing, skiing, surfing, or recreating outdoors in some capacity, he worked as a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay."I grew up winter camping with my family and doing wintertime hunting and all these things that I feel like was preparation leading up to this Denali climb," Wilson told me. They had both skied pristine backcountry landscapes and conquered peaks in Alaska and elsewhere. They had lots of training with rope systems, including on past climbs and through courses. Neither had much experience above 14,000 feet.But having grown up in Alaska, Denali always loomed large. It's a famously challenging expedition for any mountaineer, but, more than that, it's their home mountain."My grandpa used to take me out of school on bluebird days" — clear, sunny days that follow a night of snowfall, Maynard told me. "He's a pilot and he would fly me around Denali.""One time he got close enough that you could see the climbers. And I remember that moment just being like, 'Wow.'"Base CampIn early May of 2021, Maynard and Wilson finally stepped out onto Kahiltna Glacier.The plan was to tackle the West Buttress, Denali's most popular, and least technical, route. It's a 15-mile journey to the summit, gaining more than 13,000 feet in elevation along the way. As with the other camps higher up the mountain, base camp has room for dozens of tents but no physical infrastructure.From camp to camp, climbers make their way up the mountain in strategic bursts. Moving too quickly can be dangerous. Climbers will take full days to wait out bad weather, rest, and acclimatize to the higher altitudes as the air gets thinner and thinner.There's also some essential backtracking. To lighten the load they're carrying, climbers will bury some of their gear in the snow, marking it with a flag, and then double back for it once they've set up camp higher up the mountain.  When the mountain is busy, especially in late spring when there's near round-the-clock sunlight, the camps come alive, forming makeshift towns. Killing time at the camps is part of the experience, and can involve kicking around a hacky sack, doing yoga, or getting to know other climbers.One morning, still early on the route, Maynard and Wilson were flying kites when they first met Adam Rawski. Rawski, tall with dark hair, was about a decade older and lived on Canada's west coast. He worked as the VP of finance at a clean technology company in Vancouver, and spent as much time as he could in the wilderness. "Backcountry skiing, downhill mountain biking, rock climbing, ice climbing," he would tell me later. "You name it, I would do it." After climbing most major peaks in the Pacific Northwest — including Mount Rainier, which at 14,417 feet, is considered a precursor to Denali — he decided to take on "the great one." He had come to Alaska with a fellow climber from back home. Rawski was a friendly presence at the camps, going out of his way to meet other climbers. "I would just walk around and say hi to people," he said.  He and his partner started out around the same time as Maynard and Wilson, so the teams were moving up the mountain at a similar pace. During rest periods, Rawski would join them for a game of cards. One day, when Maynard and Wilson needed butter, Rawski gave them some of his. "We made friends with him pretty quickly," Maynard told me.When they reached 14 Camp — one of two potential launching pads to take the summit — there was a problem: Rawski's partner had decided to pull out.A new partner for the upper mountainAt 14,200 feet — just shy of the height of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the Lower 48 — 14 Camp marks the start of what rangers call the upper mountain. From here, the weather gets even more unpredictable and climbers are more likely to face relentless whiteout conditions — as well as unbearable wind, altitude sickness, frostbite, or hypothermia.Many climbers reach 14 Camp and decide not to go any further. Others, eager to minimize the time spent lugging heavy equipment in this increasingly desolate and punishing environment, store their gear here and — skipping the final resting spot, High Camp, at 17,200 feet — make their final push to the summit. This goes against park rangers' recommendation. Climbers who do not have prior experience above 14,000 feet in arctic conditions have "no real conception of how their body will respond to such stresses," they explained in the report published days after Rawski's fall. "There are very few mountaineers capable of moving fast enough to accomplish this safely." Setting up camp at High Camp gives climbers more time to acclimate to the higher elevation and makes for a shorter trek to and from Denali's summit. Despite this, the report said, more climbers were choosing the more dangerous route of trying to summit from 14 Camp.Sarah Maynard making her way along the 16,000 ft ridge of Denali during an early morning attempt to reach the summit.Grant WilsonThe issue had been compounded, the rangers said, by the reshuffling that's all too common at 14 Camp. Climbers who want to continue even after their teammates bow out end up forming new teams. (The risk of a crevasse fall, sickness, or serious accident are too high to make solo climbing a safe option.)But team dynamics is one of the biggest factors impacting safety and success on a Denali expedition. Strangers won't know the skill level or risk tolerance of their teammates, or be able to spot when the other person is sick or exhausted. "In many cases, these determined climbers end up forming loose coalitions with other individuals who they have just met for the first time and who are equally summit-driven," the report said."Collectively, this is a recipe for disaster."This was the position that Rawski found himself in that day. He heard that Jason Lance, a military vet who had served in Afghanistan and a father of four from Mountain Green, Utah, was also looking for a partner. The two teamed up and decided to push for the summit the next day. (Lance declined multiple interview requests from Insider and did not respond to a detailed list of questions.)"It was a very last-minute, hasty decision," Rawski later said."In hindsight, probably not the best idea."Summit day: 'Push through it and get by'A few hours after midnight on May 24, Rawski and Lance left 14 Camp and set off for the summit. Aided by the almost constant daylight, they figured the early start would give them enough time to summit and capitalize on the clear weather.A couple hours later, Maynard and Wilson also set off from 14 Camp. At around 9 a.m., they stopped to rest at High Camp and ran into Rawski and Lance.Immediately it was clear to them that Rawski was not himself. He was quiet, dehydrated, and had diarrhea. Another team that was staying at High Camp was boiling snow into potable water for Rawski to drink.Rawski told me he remembers being dehydrated and exhausted, but at the time didn't think his condition was especially worrisome. "I've been tired in that sort of situation before in the past. So I was sort of like, 'Push through it and get by.'"Maynard and Wilson — who were meeting Lance for the first time — both said they wondered if Rawski was better off turning back, but decided it wasn't their place to push it."When somebody's that sick, you don't continue with the original plan." Wilson told me later. "Jason Lance, as his partner that day, should have made some serious adjustments to their plan knowing how dehydrated Adam was."After some time resting at High Camp, Lance and Rawski resumed the climb, as did Maynard and Wilson.Adam Rawski finishing a dangerously exposed portion of the climb known as the Autobahn.Grant WilsonAt 18,200 feet, Maynard and Wilson stopped at Denali Pass and took a minute to enjoy the breathtaking views. "We were kind of geeking out, looking around and going, 'Oh my gosh, there's the Hayes Range' and 'Oh, there's Hunter,'" Maynard said. "It was really cool, being from Alaska, to just kind of be on top and see all the ranges that we recreate in."A short while later, Maynard and Wilson caught up to Rawski and Lance. Lance motioned to them to huddle up. Turning to Maynard, he suggested that she and Rawski turn back together, and that Lance and Wilson continue up the mountain as a pair. As Maynard remembers it, Lance said, "Sarah, I see you've slowed down. Why don't you take Adam down? Why don't you guide him down and Grant and I can go for the summit."She and Wilson were incredulous. This was their mountain. Who was Lance, not even an Alaskan, to boss them around, Wilson told me later. "It was like, dude, look, we're young, but we're not idiots here."But even as they shut the idea down, they were getting increasingly concerned about Rawski. He was clearly out of it but still saying he wanted to keep going. "Was I experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness? Maybe, I just couldn't realize it myself," Rawski told me later.So, they kept going, letting Rawski set the pace. Wilson later described it as a "zombie march."Then, according to Maynard and Wilson, Lance started moving faster, slowly pushing ahead of the group. "We stayed on either side of Adam, and Jason just got farther and farther and farther ahead, until he disappeared over a little pass," Wilson said. "It wasn't verbalized. There was no discussion involved. It was quite obvious what was going on." Lance was ditching them with his partner and going for a solo summit attempt.Lance later disputed this account, saying he went up ahead in hopes of waving down another team, climbers Maynard knew from Montana. But Maynard said he didn't say that at the time and, in any event, she was in radio contact with her friends.I asked Rawski about whether or not he felt Lance had abandoned him. "I don't really feel like he abandoned me too much," Rawski said. Lance, he said, "just felt like more of that sort of lone wolf who wanted to make it to the summit, no matter how, whether it be solo or with the group." At 19,200 feet, .2 miles from the summit, Maynard and Wilson decided they had to turn back. Lance was out of sight, Rawski was in bad shape, and they too were starting to slow down.But first, the three of them paused to look around and take it all in, their high point on Denali. "For the first time in the day, Adam kind of seemed like himself for a little bit. He asked us to take some videos of him," Wilson said.Rawski wanted to take a video for his girlfriend. Maynard remembered him playfully shouting out his love from the highest point on the continent."I was able to look back and see my hometown, where I've seen Denali on the horizon for most of my life," Wilson said. "That was a really amazing feeling."The fallMaynard guided Rawski as the three climbers began their descent. Around every 100 feet, Rawski would have to sit down, and his stomach hurt so badly that he wasn't able to eat or drink anything, Maynard and Wilson said.By the time they reached Denali Pass, Lance — having apparently abandoned his own summit attempt — caught back up with them. Maynard and Wilson figured they would return to their original configuration: Maynard and Wilson, Rawski and Lance.Ahead of them lay the Autobahn.To catch themselves in the case of a fall, climbers jam long, T-shaped pieces of metal called pickets several feet into the ice or snow. They secure a carabiner to the picket, run a rope through it, and attach the rope to their harness. If they trip, the rope goes taught and breaks the fall.Once again, they were going against the advice of Denali's park rangers. Maynard and Wilson planned to ski down the Autobahn, during which they would not use ropes. But Lance and Rawski planned to down climb it, traversing at a downward angle. They were not roped into protection."We had the rope. We had the pickets. We had our carabiners. We had everything," Rawski said. "But from what I recall, Jason was in a bit more of a rush to get down there. So I think we decided to opt out of roping up." In hindsight, he said, this was clearly a mistake. At the time he weighed the benefits and risks and decided not to waste time arguing.Climbers taking on the exposed headwall above 14 Camp. Rangers and volunteers fix lines for climbers to offer protection. In the event that a climber stumbles, the lines will arrest the fall.Grant WilsonIronically, it's the less experienced climbers on Denali who are more likely to descend the Autobahn without the protection of ropes.Tucker Chenoweth, Denali's South District ranger who oversees rescues on Denali, told me he would never do that section of the climb without protection. In his experience, climbers who have mastered rope skills won't think twice about using them "because it's not a hindrance to them.""But if you're not good at it, then it's a pain," he said. Indeed, no one who has died on the Autobahn was roped up with protection.There was also the matter of altitude. "Altitude can give you a somewhat intoxicated feeling, where things don't seem as important as they are," Chenoweth told me. "Even if you're climatized, you're feeling the effects of altitude sickness that challenges not only your physical ability, but your decision-making ability." At this point, Maynard was positioned slightly lower on the pass than Lance. She clipped herself into a picket before grabbing her skis. Wilson was briefly out of sight after just stepping away from the group to go to the bathroom.Lance was standing a bit higher and around a slight ledge.Maynard was pulling on her skis when all of a sudden Lance shouted down to her: "Where's Adam?""I thought he was climbing up to you," Maynard said. At first they thought maybe he had also gone to the bathroom, but when Wilson returned a few minutes later he was alone."That's the hard part about splitting partners," Wilson would tell me. "It's like, 'Whose problem is this incapacitated climber? We're handing him back off now, who's taking care of him?'"They started calling out for Rawski: "Adam! Adam! Where'd you go?"Lance was the one who spotted him, lying at the bottom of the Autobahn some 1,000 feet below. It didn't seem possible that he could have survived. Wilson thought he was going to puke.Lance was carrying Rawski's Garmin inReach, a satellite communications device, and used it to request a rescue crew.From the top of the Autobahn, there was nothing more they could do for Rawski. And they still had to get themselves down safely.A risky rescueGuides at High Camp who saw the fall alerted the park service within seconds of Rawski landing at the bottom of the Autobahn. Helicopter pilot Andy Hermansky was sitting at Base Camp, twiddling his thumbs, when he got the call. He wouldn't normally be there. The helicopter would normally be parked in Talkeetna. But he had flown a team of scientists up to take some glacial samples and was just waiting for them.Hermansky made a quick stop at 14 Camp to pick up Chris Erickson, a Denali ranger and law enforcement officer who was on the mountain. In the more than ten years they worked together on Denali, the two teamed up on many rescues. They'd become close friends, hanging out even in the off-season and attending each other's birthday parties.The average response time for a rescue helicopter can be several hours. But between the good luck of Rawski falling in full view of High Camp, the helicopter being close by, and the skilled maneuvering of the rescue team, this rescue happened with extraordinary speed — which is very likely why Rawski is alive to talk about it. A ranger waiting to be picked up by a helicopter in Denali National Park. Rangers patrol the mountain between Base Camp and the summit. Helicopter rescues are called only if there's a direct threat to life, limb, or eyesight.Menno Boermans/Getty ImagesThe environment on the upper mountain is inherently dangerous for helicopters, and there wasn't a flat surface close to Rawski to allow for a regular landing. Instead, Hermansky decided to try a high-risk maneuver that's common in snowy mountain terrains.Hovering near Rawski, Hermansky carefully lowered the helicopter so only the front part of the skids were touching the ground, while the back parts remained in the air. The helicopter blades chopped through the air just a few feet from the ground. Hermansky gave Erickson a quick nod, signaling conditions were safe enough to go through with the rescue.With the helicopter in that position, Erickson slowly crawled out onto the skids, careful not to make a sudden weight transfer that would cause Hermansky to lose control, and then onto the ground.Within 30 minutes of Rawski's fall, Erickson was at his side — "frankly shocked," Erickson would tell me later, to find Rawski alive."I fully expected him to be dead," Erickson said. He motioned to a mountain guide — also a friend of his — who had seen the fall from High Camp and trekked over. Together, the two of them did an overhead body press and were able to load Rawski into the helicopter. Erickson carefully climbed back in, and they were off."I've dealt with colder rescues. I've dealt with windier rescues, I've dealt with rescues at a higher elevation," Erickson would say later.But the thing that made this rescue exceptional? Time.'Can't descend safely. Patients in shock.'Up at the top of the Autobahn, time was working against Rawski's climbing companions. Around 16 hours had now passed since Maynard and Wilson set off from 14 Camp, which was a long time to spend at such high altitude. They were exhausted. As Wilson, Maynard, and Lance watched the rescue from atop Denali Pass, they were also in a state of disbelief. Wilson remembers thinking that the helicopter, hovering so far below, almost looked like a toy. "We were just trying to comprehend that they were loading our friend's body onto a helicopter," he said.When Lance proposed calling in another rescue — this one for the three of them — Maynard and Wilson said they considered it. "Of course we were like, 'Yeah, I want a rescue. We just watched someone die. Maybe the slope is too unsafe to down climb,'" Maynard said.But they quickly snapped out of it. "No one's coming for us," she remembers Wilson saying, with so much emotion. "We have to get ourselves down."Lance was set on a rescue. "I paid the climbing fee. I paid for this rescue," he kept saying, according to Maynard and Wilson. (A permit to climb Denali costs $395. The fee goes towards training and maintaining ranger and volunteer patrols on the mountain, providing critical mountaineering information to climbers, and keeping the area clean.) Lance sent a message to a third-party emergency response service, saying that, while none of them were injured, they didn't have the necessary equipment to descend. Rawski had fallen with the pickets. (The park service unofficially maintains pickets on the Autobahn, but climbers are told not to rely on them and be prepared to place their own.)A reply came back, saying he should contact the park service directly. He did that next. "The helicopter cannot come to your location and is not flying any more tonight," the park service replied. "Do you have a rope with you? Your only option tonight is descent." Lance persisted. "Cant decend safely," he wrote. "Patients in shock. Early hypothermia. Cant you land east of pass?"This wasn't true. Neither Maynard and Wilson were in medical shock or hypothermic, and they said they never suggested to Lance that they were. They were getting colder, especially after standing around for so long, and wanted to start descending, but Lance refused. Maynard and Wilson have estimated that they spent a total of three hours in that spot, trying to convince Lance to down climb with them. When they finally said they were leaving, with or without Lance, he agreed to go.From High Camp, guides could see the trio descending and radioed Erickson.Lance's message had in fact gotten the rangers' attention. The park service is explicit that climbers must be self-sufficient and stresses that a rescue should only be requested in the case of a direct threat to life, limb, or eyesight. Even then, a rescue is not guaranteed, as rescuer safety is a top priority. It's not uncommon for the park service to turn down a rescue request.But Lance's message made their situation sound like a true emergency, since medical shock can be fatal. Lance, a radiologist, would likely know that.It was too dangerous to attempt a helicopter rescue at the top of the Autobahn, so Erickson had dispatched a helicopter to drop off supplies for them to set up camp where they were.Unbeknownst to Lance, Maynard, and Wilson, a helicopter was on its way when they finally budged from their location. But since rangers' protocol is that climbers are never told to expect a helicopter — doing so could make a dangerous situation worse, and climbers have died waiting around for a promised rescue — they assumed all they could do was start down climbing.Maynard and Wilson described the two hours the group spent descending the Autobahn essentially as a rescue of Lance. They both said he didn't appear to have a handle on rope skills, and that he kept leaving far too much slack in the lines in between them. Maynard, concerned for their safety, kept shouting at Lance to keep the rope tight.When they finally arrived at High Camp sometime after 10 p.m., Denali guides greeted them with food and camping gear. But the next chapter of their ordeal was just beginning.Maynard and Wilson said they listened, flabbergasted, as Lance told the guides how the two Alaskans had been in serious need of a rescue. But, between their exhaustion and the fact that they still had to share a tent with him that night, they didn't bother correcting him.Jason Lance in the tent with mountain guides who had provided him, Sarah Maynard, and Grant Wilson with food and shelter at High Camp after their ordeal.Grant WilsonThe next day, Erickson met them at 14 Camp and questioned them about what had happened. Maynard and Wilson said they were not in shock or hypothermic on Denali Pass. When Erickson asked Lance about this, Lance — according to Erickson — insisted that as a doctor he would recognize signs of hypothermia before the climbers and that he "did not need to be lectured on hypothermia."When Erickson asked Lance to hand over Rawski's personal items, including his inReach device, Lance retreated into his tent. It would later be alleged that Lance had used this time to delete the original message where he said the group required equipment, but not medical attention. After several requests from Erickson, Lance eventually handed over the device.The three were told they were free to return to the base of the mountain. Maynard and Wilson avoided Lance the rest of the descent.Lance's storyOn November 9 — six months after the climb — Lance was charged with three misdemeanor counts: violating a lawful order of a government employee, interfering with a rescue operation, and making a false report.The prosecutor said Lance's actions displayed a "selfishness and indifference to the scarcity of public safety and rescue resources that is unacceptable anywhere, let alone on the tallest peak in North America."In April, in exchange for pleading guilty to the first count, the other two charges were dropped. Lance was banned from Denali for five years and ordered to pay $10,000 — half to the government, half as a charitable donation to the nonprofit Denali Rescue Volunteers.Appearing in court on the day of Lance's sentencing, Wilson and Erickson both gave extensive testimony about everything that happened that day on Denali — how Lance had pushed ahead, how he'd behaved toward Rawski, despite his fragile state. Even though the charges related to Lance's actions after Rawski's fall, it was clear that Lance's behavior throughout the last leg of their climb was of interest to the court.Finally, it was Lance's turn to address the court. And, naturally, he painted a very different picture of himself than the one the others had presented. He opened by saying the day's events had been "life-changing" – "You know, life-changing for me and, you know, tragic in Adam's case."Lance insisted he always had the group's safety at top of mind. When he separated from the others on the ascent, he said he was just trying to get a good vantage point to wave down another team for help."I had no intention of summiting and ditching the party," he said.After Rawski's fall, and as they tried to collect themselves atop Denali Pass, he said that the three of them, himself included, were experiencing emotional trauma. It reminded him of being in Afghanistan during his 14 years in the military."We would see people come in being shot or witnessing bombings, IED explosions, and whatnot. And it was not uncommon to see people who had witnessed a traumatic event go into psychological shock. And that's clearly what was going on here," he said.His immediate concern was that Rawski had fallen with the pickets, and said that was why he had first radioed for help. He said communicating on the clunky satellite device was like typing into a cell phone from the 1990s. As the hours passed, he said, his concerns about shock and hypothermia were genuine."I had to make a choice, based on what information we had," Lance said, adding that Maynard and Wilson are the same age as his kids. "If my kids were up here with somebody else, what would I have them do? I was reluctant to make that descent until I had exhausted every other means of getting us safely off there."Ultimately, Lance realized the helicopter wasn't coming, and that they could either sit there and freeze to death or make a risky descent. "Make no mistake, that descent was unsafe," he said.When I asked Erickson what he made of Lance's defense, or the idea that his decision-making at that altitude could not be trusted, he didn't buy it. He said rangers work in those conditions everyday, often making high-stakes decisions."We're not superheroes," he said. "We don't acclimatize better or worse than anyone else."As for the charge he pleaded guilty to — violating Erickson's order to hand over the inReach device — Lance said it wasn't clear to him it was an official request and that, either way, he felt he needed it for the remainder of his descent, for safety reasons, even though the device was Rawski's.Lance claimed his interactions with Erickson amounted to a clash of personalities, and that Erickson simply wasn't interested in hearing his thoughts on how the park service could handle things better. "I was tired. I was stressed. And, frankly, I just — I didn't want to really talk to him," Lance said.While Lance stopped short of apologizing, he said he hopes in the future in situations like this he "would have kind of a cooler head."Early morning sunrise on the Alaska Range. Denali's "summit shadow" (left) casting over the Kahiltna and Mt. Foraker (right), North America's sixth tallest peak.Grant WilsonThe aftermathWhen they made it off Denali, Maynard and Wilson visited the hospital in Anchorage. Rawski was unconscious in the ICU and it fell on them to tell his loved ones what happened. Instead of flowers, they left a stick of butter at his bedside — a wink at how Rawski had helped them out early in the climb.Rawski was in a coma for two months. He had broken ribs, collapsed lungs, fractured spinal bones, a broken talus and humerus, and nerve damage in his arm. When he finally emerged from the coma and learned what happened — he says he can remember everything up to about five minutes before the fall — he felt like he was reading about another person. "You're like, 'Oh, what an amateur. They didn't know what they were doing,'" he told me. "'The Adam I know would never do that.'"After seven months in the hospital, he was released in December, but the road to recovery is long.In the months since, his walking has improved substantially, and he can even muster a "very awkward jog." He hopes to get back to being the active, outdoorsy person he was before the fall, but he's not sure what exactly that will look like."I think the most difficult thing was, in the past year, my whole identity was changed," he said, again switching into the third person narrator of his story: "The biggest thing was just sort of accepting that changed identity and trying to pretty much redefine who Adam should be."Maynard and Wilson have also spent the last 14 months working through what went wrong on the mountain that day."I was passionate about guiding before and now, more than ever," Wilson said. "I feel called to be on the mountain… making sure that the same things don't happen that happened to Adam."Maynard went through months of therapy to confront the guilt she felt over not hearing Rawski fall or making sure he was roped up. "Even now, every day I relive it," she said. "It's the exact same moment of clipping myself into the picket at the Autobahn, and then looking over and Adam's gone."Despite the many things she thinks Lance did wrong, she says she can't help but sympathize with him.She chalked up Lance's actions to an "ignorance of climber responsibility and his heightened sense of self importance.""I came across a photo of him in one of the reports that has come out recently and I honestly didn't recognize him without the look of desperation on his face," she said. "He was definitely just trying anything and everything to find the magic words to get off the mountain."Rawski's fall was just one of about 20 search and rescue efforts the park service completed on Denali in the 2021 season, mostly for frostbite or extreme altitude sickness. Two incidents were fatal. Chenoweth said the outdoor climbing boom has resulted in a noticeable shift in the types of people arriving at Denali — more summit chasers, fewer wilderness seekers. It's easy for climbers to forget that in remote corners of the earth like Denali, more often than not, you're on your own. Though Denali is an extreme example, it highlights a disconnect that often exists when humans flee from the comforts and safety of modern society and head outdoors. The places we visit are still wild. And while that doesn't mean we shouldn't go, we should treat them with the reverence they deserve when we do.Climbers typically fly to Alaska on a commercial airplane. They take a shuttle to a hotel and go grocery shopping for supplies. They hop on a smaller plane and get dropped off in the wilderness. Even when they arrive, there are other climbers on the glacier, fostering a deceiving sense of safety in numbers. Better and cheaper satellite communications devices have also helped create a "false sense of security."Most climbers taking on Denali wouldn't be able to get back to civilization if the plane never came back to pick them up, Chenoweth said."They lose this sense of scale and I think people don't quite recognize how deep in the wilderness they are."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 22nd, 2022

Jan. 6 live: Primetime hearing focuses on Trump"s actions during the deadly Capitol riot

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP Thursday's hearing in the Jan. 6 probe is focusing on Trump's actions as his supporters stormed the Capitol. Two administration officials — national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews — are testifying. The panel plans to keep digging through August and with more hearings to come in September. Jan. 6 panel has summertime plansJan. 6 Committee vice-chair Liz CheneySaul Loeb/AFPThe January 6 Committee leaders kicked off Thursday's hearing by outlining their plans for more summertime work as their panel continues its investigation of the 2021 insurrection at the Capitol.Rep. Bennie Thompson, the panel's chairman, said via video that there'd be more hearings in September. A few moments later, Rep. Liz Cheney, said the panel plans to spend the August recess "pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts" before turning to additional hearings."The damn has begun to break," Cheney said.   Latest hearing will focus on Trump's reaction to the Capitol riot — and his alleged inaction to stop it.Former President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesThe House panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 will hold its eighth hearing on Thursday night.The hearing — scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET — will focus on Trump's actions during the deadly insurrection at the Capitol building.Committee members have argued that Trump knew of the violence and refused to take actions to prevent or stop it, despite the pleas from advisors in his inner circle.Former national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews, former deputy press secretary in the Trump administration, are expected to testify.The committee is expected to add to the public's understanding of the critical 187 minutes between when Trump stirred up a crowd of his supporters at the Ellipse to when he posted a video to Twitter asking them to "go home."READ FULL STORYRep. Kinzinger says Trump acted like an angry child during January 6 attackRepublican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois during a hearing on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2021.Ting Shen-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is expected to play a leading role in Thursday's primetime hearing, will focus on Trump's mindset and actions as he watched his supporters assault law enforcement and desecrate the Capitol.In an interview with The Bulwark, Kinzinger said Trump "was someone who knew exactly what he was doing."Read Full StoryTrump spent most of the January 6 attack watching TV in the White House dining room: new videoFormer President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTrump spent the bulk of his time during the Capitol attack watching reports of the insurrection on TV, according to video testimony given to the January 6 House panel.Ahead of Thursday night's hearing on how Trump reacted to the storming of the Capitol, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a member of the House Select Committee, shared a video compilation of the depositions on Twitter.—Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) July 21, 2022Read Full StorySecret Service may have violated federal law by deleting messages around January 6The leaders of the January 6 hearings say the Secret Service may have violated federal law by undergoing a process that led to text messages from the time of the Capitol riot to be deleted."The procedure for preserving content prior to this purge appears to have been contrary to federal records retention requirements and may represent a possible violation of the Federal Records Act," a letter from Reps. Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney said.So far, the committee had received one text message from the agency.Jan. 6 hearings are 'undoubtedly starting to take a toll' on Trump's popularity, former ambassador saysFormer White House counsel Pat Cipollone is seen on a video display during the seventh hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 12, 2022.Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty ImagesA former ambassador who served during the Trump administration says the former president's popularity is taking a hit as more revelations about Trump's actions before and during the Capitol riot come out.Attorney Randy Evans, who was ambassador to Luxembourg, said the hearings' "steadiness, the repetitiveness, has had a corrosive effect."Evans added it's "all undoubtedly starting to take a toll — how much, I don't know. But the bigger question is whether it starts to eat through the Teflon. There are some signs that maybe it has. But it's too early to say right now."Read MoreSecret Service has only submitted 1 text to the Jan. 6 committee: panel memberThe House panel investigating the Capitol riot has received just one text message from the Secret Service in response to a subpoena, Rep. Zoe Lofgren said."In their letter they gave no indication that they have secured the phones in question and done some forensic work with them. That's something we want to know," Lofgren told MSNBC on Tuesday."Obviously, this doesn't look good ... Coincidences can happen but we really need to get to the bottom of this and get a lot more information than we have currently."Read Full StoryJan. 6 panel subpoenas Secret Service for text messages as DHS watchdog accuses agents of deleting them after being askedA US Secret Service agent takes position outside the White House in November 2020.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot has issued a subpoena to the US Secret Service after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general accused the agency of deleting text messages after being asked.Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairperson, said in a Friday letter to Secret Service director James Murray that the panel was seeking text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021.Thompson mentioned three previous requests for information, sent in January, March, and August of last year, pertaining to all communications between DHS officials and then-President Donald Trump about the Capitol riot.Read Full StoryThe Jan. 6 witness Trump tried to call is a White House support staffer, reports sayThe Jan. 6 committee witness whom former President Donald Trump is alleged to have tried to contact is a White House support staffer, reports say. At Tuesday's hearing, committee member Rep. Liz Cheney claimed that Trump sought to contact a witness who had not appeared publically, in what she characterized as a form of witness tampering. CNN first reported, citing two sources, that Trump made the call to the witness after the June 28 testimony by another witness, the former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson.According to the report, the support staffer was in a position to corroborate parts of Hutchinson's testimony, and had been providing evidence to the committee. NBC News later said it had confirmed CNN's reporting. Neither outlet named the person.Read Full StoryWatergate star witness predicts criminal charges after latest Jan. 6 testimony: 'Trump is in trouble'Former White House Counsel John Dean testifying on Capitol Hill on June 10, 2019.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesJohn Dean, a key witness in the Watergate investigation, said that former President Donald Trump and others will likely face legal repercussions from evidence presented at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing. In an interview with CNN, Dean highlighted testimony by former members of extremist group the Oath Keepers, who were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol.Dean described them as "really classic authoritarian followers, following the leader."He argued that the testimony proves the extent to which the rioters believed they had been sent by Trump, which he said could be used by prosecutors were they to bring charges against the former president.Read Full StoryTrump 'liked the crazies' and wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander as Jan. 6 rally speakers despite red flags raised, former spokesperson saysKatrina Pierson, a former campaign spokesperson for Donald Trump and one of the organizers of the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally, said Trump wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander to speak at the event despite the "red flags" they raised.On Tuesday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, played a video of Pierson's testimony to the panel in which Pierson commented on Trump's love for "crazies" like Jones and Alexander."Yes, I was talking about President Trump. He loved people who viciously defended him in public," Pierson said in her deposition.Read Full StoryPhoto shows Mark Meadows escorting Rudy Giuliani from the White House following 'UNHINGED' West Wing meeting about 2020 election resultsA photo that Cassidy Hutchinson took of Mark Meadows leading Rudy Giuliani away from the Oval Office.Courtesy of CSPANFormer Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had to escort former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani from the Oval Office following a chaotic, late-night December 2020 West Wing meeting about the election results, according to new January 6 testimony.Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive testimony stunned Washington last month, shared with the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot a photo she took of Meadows leading  Giuliani away from the Oval Office following the turbulent gathering, which was the site of a face-off between Trump's legal allies and White House lawyers over efforts to promote the then-president's baseless claims of election fraud, according to testimony.The January 6 panel shared the photo alongside real-time text messages Hutchinson was sending from the meeting during its seventh live hearing on Tuesday. READ FULL STORYFormer Twitter employee feared people were going to die on January 6A former Twitter employee told the House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol that activity on the platform raised concerns that there would be deadly violence in Washington on January 6.The former employee, whose voice was obscured in a recording played during Tuesday's hearing, testified about trying and failing to get the company to intervene as former President Donald Trump's extremist supporters used the platform to repeat his statements about the upcoming protests to the 2020 election results.On the night of January 5, the employee testified about slacking a colleague, a message to the effect of, "When people are shooting each other tomorrow, I will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried."The former employee was on a team responsible for platform and content moderation policies during 2020 and 2021.READ FULL STORYOath Keepers attorney used the 'Queer Eye' loft kitchen from Season 3 as her video background before the January 6 committeeOath Keepers attorney Kellye SoRelle.C-SPANTestifying remotely before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, the Oath Keepers' attorney and acting president used a green screen background from the Netflix show "Queer Eye."Erin Ryan, host of Crooked Media's "Hysteria" podcast, tweeted out a screenshot of the remote deposition from Oath Keepers acting president Kellye SoRelle alongside an image from the third season of the streaming series, which Ryan said she found from a reverse Google image search.READ FULL STORYRep. Liz Cheney ends hearing with bombshell: Donald Trump called a witness in the House January 6 investigationFormer President Donald Trump called a witness in the congressional inquiry into the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday, prompting House investigators to notify the Justice Department. "After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation. A witness you have not yet seen in these hearings. That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call and, instead, alerted their lawyer to the call," said Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, in a bombshell revelation that concluded the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing."Their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice," she added. "Let me say one more time: We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously."READ FULL STORYThe January 6 investigators obtained a video of Roger Stone reciting the Proud Boys' 'Fraternity Creed,' the first step for initiation to the extremist groupAn image of Roger Stone is shown on a screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via APNew details emerged at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing on the close ties between Roger Stone and extremist groups, including that the longtime Donald Trump confidante was recorded reciting the Proud Boys' so-called "Fraternity Creed." Rep. Jamie Raskin, who co-chaired the public hearing, described reciting the creed as "the first level of initiation" into the far-right group, five members of which are scheduled to be tried on seditious conspiracy charges in December.  "Stone's ties to the Proud Boys go back many years," Raskin said. "He's even taken their so-called "Fraternity Creed," required for the first level of initiation to the group."Video then played showing Stone in a crowded outdoor setting, saying, "Hi, I'm Roger Stone. I'm a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for the creation of the modern world." READ FULL STORYTrump planned to call on his supporters to march to the Capitol on January 6, according to a draft tweetThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Tuesday revealed a draft tweet in which President Donald Trump called on his supporters to go to the US Capitol after his speech on January 6, 2021."I will be making a Big Speech at 10AM on January 6th at the Ellipse (South of the White House). Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!" Trump wrote in the draft tweet, which is undated.Trump never sent the tweet, but its existence, along with other messages exchanged between rally organizers, offer proof that the march to the Capitol was premeditated, the January 6 committee said.Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida presented the evidence during Tuesday's hearing, and said: "The evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather it was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president."READ FULL STORYTrump's ex-campaign manger Brad Parscale said in private texts that Trump is to blame for Capitol rioter's deathIn a series of texts revealed at the 7th hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, President Donald Trump's former campaign manger Brad Parscale suggested in a message to former Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson that Trump's words led to the death of a capitol rioter.Messages show Pierson tried to push back, writing that "it wasn't the rhetoric.""Katrina," Parscale wrote back. "Yes it was."Read Full StoryPat Cipollone suggested Pence should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom for refusing to block the Electoral Collage count certificationA video of Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via AP"I think the vice president did the right thing, I think he did the courageous thing," Cipollone said in testimony revealed at the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing on Tuesday. "I have a great deal of respect for Vice President Pence."Cipollone added that he didn't think Pence had any "legal authority" to do anything other than refuse to give into President Donald Trump's pressure campaign and interfere with the Electoral College certification on January 6, 2021.Read Full Story  11 House Republicans met with Trump to strategize overturning the election results on January 6, and 5 of them later asked for pardonsAccording to Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, a member of the January 6 committee, several Republicans met at the White House on December 21, 2020, as part of an effort to "disseminate his false claims and to encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on January 6."Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani were all at the meeting, along with President Donald Trump.According to White House visitor logs, Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Florida, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Rep-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia all attended the meeting.Read Full StoryFormer Twitter employee tells January 6 committee that Trump received special treatment from TwitterAn evidence tweet is shown on a screen during a full committee hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. - The House committee probing the 2021 assault on the US Capitol is examining connections between associates of former US President Donald Trump and far right-wing extremist groups at its seventh hearing on Tuesday.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images"I believe that Twitter relished in the knowledge that they were also the favorite and most used service of the former president and enjoyed having that sort of power within the social media ecosystem," the former Twitter employee told investigators in testimony aired in Tuesday's hearing of the congressional committee investigating January 6.The employee, whose identity was kept secret, was introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin as having worked on Twitter's content moderation team from 2020 to 2021.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson texted a fellow White House aide 'the west wing is UNHINGED' as Oval Office meeting almost devolved into a brawlCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesAccording to messages released by the House January 6 committee, Hutchinson texted the message to another top aide, Anthony Ornato.It was sent amid the scene of a December 2020 Oval Office meeting as Trump attorney Sidney Powell and White House lawyers clashed over efforts to push Trump's debunked election fraud claims. Read Full Story Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone 'set a new land speed record' trying to break up a meeting between Trump, Michael Flynn, and Overstock's CEO, Sidney Powell saidDemocratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one of the committee members leading Tuesday's January 6 hearing, said former President Donald Trump, election lawyer Sidney Powell, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, had met to discuss an ongoing effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election.Powell told investigators in previously recorded testimony, however, that the group had "probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes" with Trump before Pat Cipollone, then the White House Counsel, intercepted the meeting."I bet Pat Cipollone set a new land speed record," Powell quipped.Rep. Jamie Raskin says the 'oldest domestic enemy' of US democracy' is 'whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections'Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., left, listens as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite"The problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in America," Raskin said in his opening statement during Tuesday's January 6 hearing.He mentioned a time during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, when an 1837 racist mob in Alton, Illinois, during which rioters broke into an abolitionist newspaper's office and murdered the paper's editor, Elijah Lovejoy."If racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, Lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work," Raskin said.Read Full StoryConvicted Capitol rioter testifying in front of the committee warned that a 'Civil War will ensue' if Trump got robbed in 2020Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty last month to disorderly conduct in connection to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is set to testify in from to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack.His testimony is expected to underscore how Trump summoned supporters to Washington DC on the day Congress was scheduled to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.On December 26, 2020, Ayres posted to Twitter: "If the [deep state] robs president Trump!!! Civil War will ensue!" It was posted days after Trump called for a "big protest" in his own tweet.Read Full StoryEx-White House counsel Pat Cipollone was against Trump naming Sidney Powell special counselA video of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteIn previously unseen footage from his deposition to the House Select Committee last Friday, Cipollone spoke about Powell being Trump's pick to be special counsel for the Department of Justice to investigate repeatedly disproven wide spread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election."I was vehemently opposed," Cipollone said when asked about Powell being made special counsel. "I didn't think she should've been appointed to anything."Read Full StoryRep. Jamie Raskin says Trump 'electrified and galvanized' his extremist supporters with a tweet calling for a 'big protest'Jamie Raskin listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteRaskin, a Maryland Democrat, referenced a December 19, 2020, tweet from Trump during the House's January 6 committee hearing on Tuesday."Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump's tweet said. "Be there, will be wild!" Raskin said that Trump's tweet spurred on "the dangerous extremists in the Oathkeepers, the Proud Boys and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government.""Here were thousands of enraged Trump followers, thoroughly convinced by the Big Lie who traveled from across the country to join Trump's wild rally to 'stop the steal,'" he added. "With the proper incitement by political leaders, and the proper instigation from the extremists, many members of this crowd could be led to storm the Capitol, confront the vice president in Congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results."Read Full Story  Ivanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost re-election 'probably prior' to a formal Electoral Collage vote in December 2020Ivanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost the 2020 presidential election likely before a formal Electoral College vote on December 14, 2020."Was that an important day for you? Did that affect your planning or your realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end to this administration?" an attorney for the committee asked Ivanka Trump in video taped testimony."I think it was my sentiment, probably prior as well," Ivanka Trump said in response.Read Full StoryPat Cipollone's testimony 'met our expectations," Cheney saysFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee vice chair and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified before the panel — and that his testimony "met our expectations."The House committee then aired several clips of Cipollone's sworn testimony at the start of their seventh hearing on Tuesday.Cipollone told the January 6 committee that he agreed Trump should concede the 2020 election and that he lost to Democratic nominee Joe Biden fair and square.  Read Full StoryCheney: Trump is 'not an impressionable child'GOP Rep. Liz CheneyAP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)GOP Rep. Liz Cheney pushed back on excuses for former President Donald Trump's actions during the Capitol riot, saying he was not simply misled about his election lies but knew they were false."President Trump is a 76-year-old man," Cheney said as the January 6 committee began its hearing on Tuesday. "He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices."Cheney said evidence shows Trump was warned "over and over" that there was no sign of widespread election fraud."No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion," she said, "and Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind."Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee's next hearing expected to link Trump even more closely to the Capitol attackLawmakers on the House January 6 committee will air the inquiry's findings during a public hearing Thursday.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesFrom its very first hearing, the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol made a point of connecting former President Donald Trump to the violence of that day.A month later, the House panel is poised to delve even deeper. At its next public hearing, set for 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the committee is expected to focus on how the violent pro-Trump mob coalesced on January 6 and the involvement of far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.Committee aides said Monday during a background call with reporters that the panel's seventh hearing would underscore how a single tweet from Trump mobilized his supporters, proving a "pivotal moment that spurred a chain of events, including pre-planning by Proud Boys.""Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump tweeted on December 19, 2020. "Be there, will be wild!"READ FULL STORYCassidy Hutchinson's testimony jolted the DOJ into focusing on Trump in its Jan 6 investigation, report saysCassidy Hutchinson testifying before the Jan. 6 committee on June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTestimony by Jan. 6 witness Cassidy Hutchinson sparked debate among top Justice Department officials about Donald Trump's potential criminal culpability for the Capitol riot, The New York Times reported. The June 28 testimony by the former White House aide prompted officials to discuss Trump's actions on January 6, 2021, and questions about potential legal ramifications for the former president, sources told The Times. Present at some of the discussions were Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the report said. Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson and Rep. Liz Cheney have forged an 'unlikely bond' amid January 6 testimony process, per reportCassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive January 6 testimony stunned Washington last month, has found a friend and ally in Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has been ostracized from the GOP for criticizing the former president and serving as vice-chair on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, according to The New York Times.The two Republican women — both on the outs with the party's overwhelming Trump faction — have developed an unlikely bond in recent weeks as the January 6 panel riot zeroes in on increasingly damning testimony against former President Donald Trump.The congresswomen admires Hutchinson's dedication to country over personal power, according to The Times. "I have been incredibly moved by young women that I have met and that have come forward to testify in the Jan. 6 committee," Cheney said in a recent speech at the Reagan Library.Read Full Story A bad day for Steve BannonSteve Bannon asked to delay his mid-July trial by at least three months.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesMonday was not a good day in court for Steve Bannon.The former Trump aide lost on several key pre-trial motions ahead of his upcoming July 18 federal trial on contempt of Congress charges.U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, ruled from the bench that Bannon's defense attorneys couldn't use several of their planned arguments. Nichols also denied Bannon's bid to have the trial date delayed.Insider's Ryan Barber was at the courthouse in Washington, DC, and has more in his dispatch linked below. Read Full Story'That mob on the Mall'An Oath Keeper from Idaho in Bozeman, Montana.William Campbell/Corbis via Getty ImagesWe've got a handy preview for you on Tuesday's next big House January 6 hearing, which will focus on the right-wing extremist groups that in the words of Rep. Adam Schiff helped lead "that mob on the Mall." Laura Italiano breaks down the five potential bombshells she'll be looking out for when the panel convenes at 1 pm. Check out what those are here:Read Full Story The most shocking revelations from the January 6 committee's first hearings on the Capitol attackCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoThe next January 6 committee hearing is scheduled for July 12, at 10 a.m. ET.Catch up on the biggest revelations from the public hearings thus far.Read Full StoryTeasing new witnesses, Rep. Adam Kinzinger says of Trump and his allies: 'They're all scared. They should be.'Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesIn a series of Sunday tweets, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Donald Trump and his allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are "scared" following last week's testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan. 6 select committee. "This BIPARTISAN committee has been able to find out things that up until recently were denied by the Jan 6th truthers, so they are left with trying to discredit a young woman with more courage than they could muster in a lifetime. Except… that isn't working," Kinzinger tweeted."Cassidy doesn't seek the limelight, but she is compelled with honor. She didn't even have to swear an oath to the constitution like Kevin, Elise, Kristi Noem and others did. But she volunteered to come under oath to tell what she knows. She is a better person than them all. "Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the January 6 panel won't 'stand by' and let 'men who are claiming executive privilege' attack Cassidy Hutchinson's characterCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, arrives to testify during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview that aired on Sunday reaffirmed her confidence in former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony and said that the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol wouldn't sit by idly and let her endure anonymous attacks.While sitting down with ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the Wyoming Republican expressed confidence in Hutchinson and the credibility of future hearings."What Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure," she said."The Committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege. And so we look forward very much to additional testimony under oath on a whole range of issues," she added.Read Full StoryKinzinger says new witnesses have been coming forward to the Jan. 6 committee since Cassidy Hutchinson's 'inspiring' testimonyRep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesRep. Adam Kinzinger says that more witnesses have come forward since Cassidy Hutchinson's blockbuster testimony during the Jan 6. hearings last week.  "She's been inspiring for a lot of people," Kinzinger said Sunday on CNN's  "State of the Union." "Every day, we get new people that come forward and say, 'hey, I didn't think maybe this piece of the story that I knew was important, but now that you guys are talking' — I do see this plays in here."Hutchinson, an ex-aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed in front of the Jan. 6 committee shocking details of former president Donald Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol attack, including that he attempted to grab the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at one of his Secret Service agents, as Insider's Grace Panetta previously reported. "I mean, look, she is going to go down in history," Kinzinger said, referring to the 25-year-old. "People can forget the names of every one of us on the committee. They will not forget her name. And, by the way, she doesn't want that. She doesn't want to be out in the public spotlight."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the Jan. 6 committee could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against TrumpU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview broadcast on Sunday said that the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against former President Donald Trump.During an interview on ABC's "This Week," Cheney — who serves as the vice-chair of the panel — was asked by correspondent Jonathan Karl if the work conducted by its members has shown that Trump's conduct warrants prosecution."Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that," the Wyoming Republican said. "I think we may well as a committee have a view on that."She continued: "If you just think about it from the perspective of what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat — when the Congress is under threat? It's just very chilling. And I think certainly we will continue to present to the American people what we've found."Read Full StoryDOJ wants a DC judge to reject Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial over January 6 hearings' publicity, saying that he has 'barely been mentioned'Steve Bannon argued in April that his criminal prosecution should be dismissed.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Department of Justice asked a DC judge on Friday to reject Trump ally Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial, arguing that the January 6 hearings have not revolved around him to the point of distraction.On Wednesday, Bannon's lawyers asked a DC judge to delay his July 18 trial, citing a "media blitz" from the public January 6 committee hearings and saying the request was "due to the unprecedented level of prejudicial pretrial publicity."DOJ lawyers said that Bannon is not as popular as he thinks he is."The Defendant's motion gives the false impression — through general statistics about the volume of viewership of the Committee's hearings and overall media coverage of the Committee's hearings — that all of the Committee's hearings and the attendant media coverage is about him," DOJ lawyers wrote in a filing on Friday. "The truth is just the opposite — the Defendant has barely been mentioned in the Committee's hearings or the resulting media coverage of them."Read More2 Secret Service sources told CNN that Trump angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6, partly confirming Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimonyFormer President Donald Trump.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo Secret Service sources told CNN on Friday that they heard about former President Donald Trump lunging at the driver of his presidential SUV on January 6, 2021.The pair of sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, backed up much of former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony on the altercation in the motorcade vehicle known as "the Beast" after Trump found out he wouldn't be driven to join his supporters at the Capitol."He had sort of lunged forward – it was unclear from the conversations I had that he actually made physical contact, but he might have. I don't know," one of the Secret Service sources told CNN. "Nobody said Trump assaulted him; they said he tried to lunge over the seat – for what reason, nobody had any idea."Read Full StoryMichael Cohen says Trump uses a 'mob boss' playbookMichael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, compared the former president to a "mob boss" amid allegations that Trump allies sought to intimidate Jan. 6 witnesses."Donald Trump never changes his playbook," Cohen told The Washington Post. "He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style. Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached."Read Full StoryTrump allies paid legal fees for multiple Jan. 6 witnesses, including Cassidy Hutchinson, sparking witness-influencing concerns, report saysCassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies before the January 6 committee in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump's allies and supporters paid the legal fees for multiple people who had provided testimony to the January 6 committee, including the former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, The New York Times reported.Hutchinson eventually fired the lawyer who was paid for a pro-Trump group, and went on to provide damning testimony about Trump, the report said. Two sources familiar with the committee told The Times that they believe Hutchinson's decision to part ways with the lawyer — who had been recommended by Trump allies and paid for by a pro-Trump PAC — likely played a role in her decision to provide new evidence. There are no laws against a third party paying for a witness' legal representation in a congressional inquiry, but the situation may raise some ethical concerns, according to the report.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent said he, too, would have defied Trump's request to be taken to the Capitol on January 6Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow said in an op-ed that he also would not have taken then-President Donald Trump to the Capitol on January 6, 2021.In an op-ed published by Newsweek, Wackrow said he was shocked by Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the January committee regarding Trump's actions on the day of the Capitol riot. Hutchinson, a former aide in the Trump White House, claimed that Trump had gotten into a physical altercation with the head of his security detail while demanding to be brought to the Capitol."If I had been working on Trump's security detail on January 6, I would have made the same decision as Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Robert Engel to not go to the Capitol based on the known escalating threats," Wackrow wrote.He added, however, that he believed Trump still respects the Secret Service because he probably has seen "first-hand what they're willing to do to protect him and his family." Read Full StoryGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says Cassidy Hutchinson is a 'hero' and has 'more courage than most' Republicans after January 6 testimonyCassidy Hutchinson testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday applauded Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony to the January 6 committee, saying the former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has "more courage" than most of his Republican colleagues. "Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero and a real patriot (not a faux 'patriot' that hates America so much they would attempt a coup.)," Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, said in a tweet."Of course they will try to bully and intimidate her. But she isn't intimidated. More courage than most in GOP," Kinzinger added of Hutchinson.Read Full StoryGOP Sen. Pat Toomey says Trump's chances of winning the party's 2024 presidential nomination are 'much more tenuous' following the January 6 committee's hearingsRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania at the White House with Trump in February 2018.AP Photo/Evan VucciRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania suggested Thursday that public hearings from the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, had damaged former President Donald Trump politically, even among Republicans.At the end of a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg that focused on the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Reserve's approach to tackling inflation, the retiring lawmaker was asked whether he believed the hearings would preclude Trump from seeking a second term as president in 2024."I don't know that it means that. I mean he gets to decide whether he's going to run," said Toomey, who was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of an insurrection after the Capitol riot."Look, I think he disqualified himself from serving in public office by virtue of his post-election behavior, especially leading right up to January 6," Toomey said. "I think the revelations from this committee make his path to even the Republican nomination much more tenuous."Read Full StoryCheney 'absolutely confident' that former White House aide's explosive testimony is credibleRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks during a business meeting on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as vice-chair of the House's January 6 committee, said she is "absolutely confident" that a former White House aide's damning testimony is accurate."I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I'm confident in her testimony," Cheney told ABC News's Jonathan Karl about the allegations made by top Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson this week.Cheney said that Hutchinson showed "an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage" by testifying.Read MoreBannon wants his contempt trial to be delayed because of Jan. 6 hearingsSteve Bannon outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesTrump ally Steve Bannon has asked for his contempt-of-Congress trial to be delayed because the hearings on the Capitol riot are getting so much publicity.A federal grand jury indicted Bannon in November 2021 on two counts of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.In a Wednesday court filing, Bannon's lawyers argued that the coverage of the committee's hearings would make his trial unfair.Read More January 6 panel subpoenas former White House counsel Pat CipolloneFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said he would testify about Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who outlined ways for Trump to challenge the 2020 election.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House's panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.The demand for Cipollone to appear before the committee comes after explosive testimony from a former top White House aide in the Trump administration, who described Trump and his inner circle's actions before and during the insurrection.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent says Trump's 'girth' would have made it impossible to attack driverOutgoing US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesA former White House aide testified that former President Donald Trump grabbed the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at a Secret Service agent on January 6, 2021, after they refused to take him to the Capitol building.But former Secret Service agents told Insider they have doubts about the story."Trump's not a little guy, right? And the space to actually be able to lunge towards the wheel is not that big," one former agent said, speaking on background to Insider.  "I don't mean to sound disparaging to the former president, but just his girth would prevent him from actually getting to the steering wheel."Keep ReadingHouse Republican who led rioter on tour before insurrection could oversee Capitol policeRep. Barry LoudermilkBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Barry Loudermilk — who led a Capitol rioter on a tour of the building the day before the insurrection — could end up overseeing Capitol police.If Republicans regain control of the House, Loudermilk would be next in line to lead the committee that has oversight over the police force attacked by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.Loudermilk has faced backlash from Democrats after video showed him taking a group on a tour of the Capitol building, showing them hallways, security areas, and stairwells. The next day, members of the tour flaunted a sharpened flagpole bearing the American flag as they marched near the Capitol.It remains unclear whether the group entered the Capitol building itself during the riot.Read Full Story Former Jan. 6 committee investigator announces run for SenateSenior investigative counsel John Wood questions witnesses during the third public hearing of the January 6 committee on June 16, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee investigator John Wood is launching an independent Senate campaign in Missouri in an effort to stop GOP nominee Eric Greitens.Wood told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he believes Greitens — the former Missouri governor — is likely to win the Republican nomination, and that voters deserved an alternative.Wood, a Republican, said he will run as an independent.Read MoreTrump ally says Hutchinson's testimony was a 'campaign commercial' for Ron DeSantis in 2024Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisPhelan M. Ebenhack/AP PhotoExplosive testimony by a former Trump White House aide could be a boost to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace Trump on the presidential ticket in 2024, CNN reported.One Trump adviser said the hearings — which painted as Trump as violent and volatile — were "basically a campaign commercial" for DeSantis. Another told CNN that "no one is taking this lightly."DeSantis has flirted with larger political ambitions and is a rising Republican star who would be poised to fill the leadership vacuum if Trump is forced aside.Read Full StorySecret Service agents willing to dispute Hutchinson's claims about Trump's outburst, reports sayFormer President Donald TrumpSAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesSecret Service agents are willing to testify before the January 6 House panel to refute former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's claim that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel when he demanded to be taken to the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, according to multiple reports.The driver of the car and the head of Trump's security are ready to testify under oath that the former President never lunged for the wheel or physically assaulted the driver, according to CBS News.Read More Hutchinson's testimony could lead to legal trouble for Trump: reportCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoFormer aides to Donald Trump worry the explosive testimony by a former White House aide could put Trump in legal jeopardy, according to the New York Times."This hearing definitely gave investigators a lot to chew on," former Attorney General Bill Barr told the Times after testimony from top White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailed Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol riot.Hutchinson's testimony painted Trump as a volatile man who knew his supporters were armed on January 6, 2021. Trump also demanded to be taken to the Capitol building, but his security staff refused, Hutchinson said.Mick Mulvaney, who was once Trump's White House Chief of Staff, said evidence of possible witness tampering could open his orbit up to charges.Keep Reading  Former Trump press secretary shares text that appears to show Melania Trump to condemn Capitol riot violenceMelania Trump speaks at the White House on October 09, 2019Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFormer Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham shared a text exchange on Tuesday that purportedly showed former First Lady Melania Trump refusing to condemn the violence during the Capitol riot. The apparent screengrab of a text exchange was between Grisham and a person named "MT." "Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" read the message. "No," the person replied.Representatives for Melania Trump at Trump's post-presidential press office did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.Read Full StoryJohn Eastman drops lawsuit blocking his phone records from January 6 committeeJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APIn a late Tuesday filing, John Eastman dropped a lawsuit he'd filed to prevent the Jan. 6 committee from accessing his phone records."Plaintiff brought this lawsuit primarily to protect the content of his communications, many of which are privileged," the latest filing read. "The Congressional Defendants represented in their motion to dismiss that they were not seeking the content of any of Plaintiff's communications via the subpoena they had issued to Defendant Verizon."The former Trump lawyer's phone was seized by federal agents on June 22, according to a separate suit he filed on Monday, seeking the return of his property. Of interest to investigators are call logs from Eastman's personal device, and the search warrant indicates investigators will not review any additional content from his phone without a court order. Read Full StoryTrumpworld shocked by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive January 6 testimony, calling it the 'most damning day' and 'insane'Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoIt took six hearings for the January 6 select committee to finally break through to embattled former President Donald Trump's inner circle.Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified during a surprise hearing Tuesday that Trump was determined to go to the US Capitol with his armed supporters on January 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying the election results. Hutchinson's additional revelations about that day came crashing down on Trumpworld during the two-hour hearing. Among them were that Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad" on January 6, that Trump knew his supporters were armed when they flooded the Ellipse to attend his "Stop the Steal" rally, and that Trump said "Mike deserves it" when rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence." "Definitely most damning day of testimony," one former White House aide told Insider. READ MOREFox News host says it's not 'wholly out of character' that Trump 'might throw his lunch' after January 6 testimony on ketchup dripping down the wallFormer President Donald Trump and Fox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier.Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesMoments after a colleague referred to Tuesday's January 6 committee testimony as "stunning," Fox News host Martha MacCallum downplayed new revelations about former President Donald Trump's violent outbursts surrounding his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Trump threw a plate in the White House dining room after he found out former Attorney General Bill Barr publicly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, leaving "ketchup dripping down the wall.""I mean, I'm not sure that it really shocks anybody that the president just — knowing what we've seen, observing him over the years — if he got angry then he might throw his lunch," MacCallum said. "I'm not sure. It's obviously a very dramatic detail, and the way that she describes it, um, is. But I'm not sure if this is wholly out of character with the Donald Trump and the President Trump that people came to know over the years."READ MOREHere are all the people who sought preemptive pardons from Donald Trump after the Capitol riot, per January 6 committee witnessesRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are ch.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJul 21st, 2022

Jan. 6 live: Latest hearing will focus on Trump"s actions during the deadly Capitol riot

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP Thursday's hearing in the Jan. 6 probe will focus on Trump's actions as his supporters stormed the Capitol. Two administration officials — national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews — are expected to testify. The panel has also called for the Secret Service to turn over text messages sent around the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Latest hearing will focus on Trump's reaction to the Capitol riot — and his alleged inaction to stop it.Former President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesThe House panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 will hold its eighth hearing on Thursday night.The hearing — scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET — will focus on Trump's actions during the deadly insurrection at the Capitol building.Committee members have argued that Trump knew of the violence and refused to take actions to prevent or stop it, despite the pleas from advisors in his inner circle.Former national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews, former deputy press secretary in the Trump administration, are expected to testify.Trump spent most of the January 6 attack watching TV in the White House dining room: new videoFormer President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTrump spent the bulk of his time during the Capitol attack watching reports of the insurrection on TV, according to video testimony given to the January 6 House panel.Ahead of Thursday night's hearing on how Trump reacted to the storming of the Capitol, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a member of the House Select Committee, shared a video compilation of the depositions on Twitter.—Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) July 21, 2022Read Full StorySecret Service may have violated federal law by deleting messages around January 6The leaders of the January 6 hearings say the Secret Service may have violated federal law by undergoing a process that led to text messages from the time of the Captiol riot to be deleted."The procedure for preserving content prior to this purge appears to have been contrary to federal records retention requirements and may represent a possible violation of the Federal Records Act," a letter from Reps. Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney said.So far, the committee had received one text message from the agency.Jan. 6 hearings are 'undoubtedly starting to take a toll' on Trump's popularity, former ambassador saysFormer White House counsel Pat Cipollone is seen on a video display during the seventh hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 12, 2022.Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty ImagesA former ambassador who served during the Trump administration says the former president's popularity is taking a hit as more revelations about Trump's actions before and during the Capitol riot come out.Attorney Randy Evans, who was ambassador to Luxembourg, said the hearings' "steadiness, the repetitiveness, has had a corrosive effect."Evans added it's "all undoubtedly starting to take a toll — how much, I don't know. But the bigger question is whether it starts to eat through the Teflon. There are some signs that maybe it has. But it's too early to say right now."Read MoreSecret Service has only submitted 1 text to the Jan. 6 committee: panel memberThe House panel investigating the Capitol riot has received just one text message from the Secret Service in response to a subpoena, Rep. Zoe Lofgren said."In their letter they gave no indication that they have secured the phones in question and done some forensic work with them. That's something we want to know," Lofgren told MSNBC on Tuesday."Obviously, this doesn't look good ... Coincidences can happen but we really need to get to the bottom of this and get a lot more information than we have currently."Read Full StoryJan. 6 panel subpoenas Secret Service for text messages as DHS watchdog accuses agents of deleting them after being askedA US Secret Service agent takes position outside the White House in November 2020.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot has issued a subpoena to the US Secret Service after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general accused the agency of deleting text messages after being asked.Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairperson, said in a Friday letter to Secret Service director James Murray that the panel was seeking text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021.Thompson mentioned three previous requests for information, sent in January, March, and August of last year, pertaining to all communications between DHS officials and then-President Donald Trump about the Capitol riot.Read Full StoryThe Jan. 6 witness Trump tried to call is a White House support staffer, reports sayThe Jan. 6 committee witness whom former President Donald Trump is alleged to have tried to contact is a White House support staffer, reports say. At Tuesday's hearing, committee member Rep. Liz Cheney claimed that Trump sought to contact a witness who had not appeared publically, in what she characterized as a form of witness tampering. CNN first reported, citing two sources, that Trump made the call to the witness after the June 28 testimony by another witness, the former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson.According to the report, the support staffer was in a position to corroborate parts of Hutchinson's testimony, and had been providing evidence to the committee. NBC News later said it had confirmed CNN's reporting. Neither outlet named the person.Read Full StoryWatergate star witness predicts criminal charges after latest Jan. 6 testimony: 'Trump is in trouble'Former White House Counsel John Dean testifying on Capitol Hill on June 10, 2019.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesJohn Dean, a key witness in the Watergate investigation, said that former President Donald Trump and others will likely face legal repercussions from evidence presented at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing. In an interview with CNN, Dean highlighted testimony by former members of extremist group the Oath Keepers, who were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol.Dean described them as "really classic authoritarian followers, following the leader."He argued that the testimony proves the extent to which the rioters believed they had been sent by Trump, which he said could be used by prosecutors were they to bring charges against the former president.Read Full StoryTrump 'liked the crazies' and wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander as Jan. 6 rally speakers despite red flags raised, former spokesperson saysKatrina Pierson, a former campaign spokesperson for Donald Trump and one of the organizers of the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally, said Trump wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander to speak at the event despite the "red flags" they raised.On Tuesday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, played a video of Pierson's testimony to the panel in which Pierson commented on Trump's love for "crazies" like Jones and Alexander."Yes, I was talking about President Trump. He loved people who viciously defended him in public," Pierson said in her deposition.Read Full StoryPhoto shows Mark Meadows escorting Rudy Giuliani from the White House following 'UNHINGED' West Wing meeting about 2020 election resultsA photo that Cassidy Hutchinson took of Mark Meadows leading Rudy Giuliani away from the Oval Office.Courtesy of CSPANFormer Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had to escort former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani from the Oval Office following a chaotic, late-night December 2020 West Wing meeting about the election results, according to new January 6 testimony.Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive testimony stunned Washington last month, shared with the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot a photo she took of Meadows leading  Giuliani away from the Oval Office following the turbulent gathering, which was the site of a face-off between Trump's legal allies and White House lawyers over efforts to promote the then-president's baseless claims of election fraud, according to testimony.The January 6 panel shared the photo alongside real-time text messages Hutchinson was sending from the meeting during its seventh live hearing on Tuesday. READ FULL STORYFormer Twitter employee feared people were going to die on January 6A former Twitter employee told the House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol that activity on the platform raised concerns that there would be deadly violence in Washington on January 6.The former employee, whose voice was obscured in a recording played during Tuesday's hearing, testified about trying and failing to get the company to intervene as former President Donald Trump's extremist supporters used the platform to repeat his statements about the upcoming protests to the 2020 election results.On the night of January 5, the employee testified about slacking a colleague, a message to the effect of, "When people are shooting each other tomorrow, I will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried."The former employee was on a team responsible for platform and content moderation policies during 2020 and 2021.READ FULL STORYOath Keepers attorney used the 'Queer Eye' loft kitchen from Season 3 as her video background before the January 6 committeeOath Keepers attorney Kellye SoRelle.C-SPANTestifying remotely before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, the Oath Keepers' attorney and acting president used a green screen background from the Netflix show "Queer Eye."Erin Ryan, host of Crooked Media's "Hysteria" podcast, tweeted out a screenshot of the remote deposition from Oath Keepers acting president Kellye SoRelle alongside an image from the third season of the streaming series, which Ryan said she found from a reverse Google image search.READ FULL STORYRep. Liz Cheney ends hearing with bombshell: Donald Trump called a witness in the House January 6 investigationFormer President Donald Trump called a witness in the congressional inquiry into the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday, prompting House investigators to notify the Justice Department. "After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation. A witness you have not yet seen in these hearings. That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call and, instead, alerted their lawyer to the call," said Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, in a bombshell revelation that concluded the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing."Their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice," she added. "Let me say one more time: We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously."READ FULL STORYThe January 6 investigators obtained a video of Roger Stone reciting the Proud Boys' 'Fraternity Creed,' the first step for initiation to the extremist groupAn image of Roger Stone is shown on a screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via APNew details emerged at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing on the close ties between Roger Stone and extremist groups, including that the longtime Donald Trump confidante was recorded reciting the Proud Boys' so-called "Fraternity Creed." Rep. Jamie Raskin, who co-chaired the public hearing, described reciting the creed as "the first level of initiation" into the far-right group, five members of which are scheduled to be tried on seditious conspiracy charges in December.  "Stone's ties to the Proud Boys go back many years," Raskin said. "He's even taken their so-called "Fraternity Creed," required for the first level of initiation to the group."Video then played showing Stone in a crowded outdoor setting, saying, "Hi, I'm Roger Stone. I'm a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for the creation of the modern world." READ FULL STORYTrump planned to call on his supporters to march to the Capitol on January 6, according to a draft tweetThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Tuesday revealed a draft tweet in which President Donald Trump called on his supporters to go to the US Capitol after his speech on January 6, 2021."I will be making a Big Speech at 10AM on January 6th at the Ellipse (South of the White House). Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!" Trump wrote in the draft tweet, which is undated.Trump never sent the tweet, but its existence, along with other messages exchanged between rally organizers, offer proof that the march to the Capitol was premeditated, the January 6 committee said.Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida presented the evidence during Tuesday's hearing, and said: "The evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather it was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president."READ FULL STORYTrump's ex-campaign manger Brad Parscale said in private texts that Trump is to blame for Capitol rioter's deathIn a series of texts revealed at the 7th hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, President Donald Trump's former campaign manger Brad Parscale suggested in a message to former Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson that Trump's words led to the death of a capitol rioter.Messages show Pierson tried to push back, writing that "it wasn't the rhetoric.""Katrina," Parscale wrote back. "Yes it was."Read Full StoryPat Cipollone suggested Pence should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom for refusing to block the Electoral Collage count certificationA video of Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via AP"I think the vice president did the right thing, I think he did the courageous thing," Cipollone said in testimony revealed at the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing on Tuesday. "I have a great deal of respect for Vice President Pence."Cipollone added that he didn't think Pence had any "legal authority" to do anything other than refuse to give into President Donald Trump's pressure campaign and interfere with the Electoral College certification on January 6, 2021.Read Full Story  11 House Republicans met with Trump to strategize overturning the election results on January 6, and 5 of them later asked for pardonsAccording to Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, a member of the January 6 committee, several Republicans met at the White House on December 21, 2020, as part of an effort to "disseminate his false claims and to encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on January 6."Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani were all at the meeting, along with President Donald Trump.According to White House visitor logs, Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Florida, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Rep-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia all attended the meeting.Read Full StoryFormer Twitter employee tells January 6 committee that Trump received special treatment from TwitterAn evidence tweet is shown on a screen during a full committee hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. - The House committee probing the 2021 assault on the US Capitol is examining connections between associates of former US President Donald Trump and far right-wing extremist groups at its seventh hearing on Tuesday.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images"I believe that Twitter relished in the knowledge that they were also the favorite and most used service of the former president and enjoyed having that sort of power within the social media ecosystem," the former Twitter employee told investigators in testimony aired in Tuesday's hearing of the congressional committee investigating January 6.The employee, whose identity was kept secret, was introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin as having worked on Twitter's content moderation team from 2020 to 2021.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson texted a fellow White House aide 'the west wing is UNHINGED' as Oval Office meeting almost devolved into a brawlCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesAccording to messages released by the House January 6 committee, Hutchinson texted the message to another top aide, Anthony Ornato.It was sent amid the scene of a December 2020 Oval Office meeting as Trump attorney Sidney Powell and White House lawyers clashed over efforts to push Trump's debunked election fraud claims. Read Full Story Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone 'set a new land speed record' trying to break up a meeting between Trump, Michael Flynn, and Overstock's CEO, Sidney Powell saidDemocratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one of the committee members leading Tuesday's January 6 hearing, said former President Donald Trump, election lawyer Sidney Powell, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, had met to discuss an ongoing effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election.Powell told investigators in previously recorded testimony, however, that the group had "probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes" with Trump before Pat Cipollone, then the White House Counsel, intercepted the meeting."I bet Pat Cipollone set a new land speed record," Powell quipped.Rep. Jamie Raskin says the 'oldest domestic enemy' of US democracy' is 'whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections'Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., left, listens as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite"The problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in America," Raskin said in his opening statement during Tuesday's January 6 hearing.He mentioned a time during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, when an 1837 racist mob in Alton, Illinois, during which rioters broke into an abolitionist newspaper's office and murdered the paper's editor, Elijah Lovejoy."If racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, Lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work," Raskin said.Read Full StoryConvicted Capitol rioter testifying in front of the committee warned that a 'Civil War will ensue' if Trump got robbed in 2020Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty last month to disorderly conduct in connection to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is set to testify in from to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack.His testimony is expected to underscore how Trump summoned supporters to Washington DC on the day Congress was scheduled to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.On December 26, 2020, Ayres posted to Twitter: "If the [deep state] robs president Trump!!! Civil War will ensue!" It was posted days after Trump called for a "big protest" in his own tweet.Read Full StoryEx-White House counsel Pat Cipollone was against Trump naming Sidney Powell special counselA video of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteIn previously unseen footage from his deposition to the House Select Committee last Friday, Cipollone spoke about Powell being Trump's pick to be special counsel for the Department of Justice to investigate repeatedly disproven wide spread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election."I was vehemently opposed," Cipollone said when asked about Powell being made special counsel. "I didn't think she should've been appointed to anything."Read Full StoryRep. Jamie Raskin says Trump 'electrified and galvanized' his extremist supporters with a tweet calling for a 'big protest'Jamie Raskin listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteRaskin, a Maryland Democrat, referenced a December 19, 2020, tweet from Trump during the House's January 6 committee hearing on Tuesday."Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump's tweet said. "Be there, will be wild!" Raskin said that Trump's tweet spurred on "the dangerous extremists in the Oathkeepers, the Proud Boys and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government.""Here were thousands of enraged Trump followers, thoroughly convinced by the Big Lie who traveled from across the country to join Trump's wild rally to 'stop the steal,'" he added. "With the proper incitement by political leaders, and the proper instigation from the extremists, many members of this crowd could be led to storm the Capitol, confront the vice president in Congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results."Read Full Story  Ivanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost re-election 'probably prior' to a formal Electoral Collage vote in December 2020Ivanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost the 2020 presidential election likely before a formal Electoral College vote on December 14, 2020."Was that an important day for you? Did that affect your planning or your realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end to this administration?" an attorney for the committee asked Ivanka Trump in video taped testimony."I think it was my sentiment, probably prior as well," Ivanka Trump said in response.Read Full StoryPat Cipollone's testimony 'met our expectations," Cheney saysFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee vice chair and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified before the panel — and that his testimony "met our expectations."The House committee then aired several clips of Cipollone's sworn testimony at the start of their seventh hearing on Tuesday.Cipollone told the January 6 committee that he agreed Trump should concede the 2020 election and that he lost to Democratic nominee Joe Biden fair and square.  Read Full StoryCheney: Trump is 'not an impressionable child'GOP Rep. Liz CheneyAP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)GOP Rep. Liz Cheney pushed back on excuses for former President Donald Trump's actions during the Capitol riot, saying he was not simply misled about his election lies but knew they were false."President Trump is a 76-year-old man," Cheney said as the January 6 committee began its hearing on Tuesday. "He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices."Cheney said evidence shows Trump was warned "over and over" that there was no sign of widespread election fraud."No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion," she said, "and Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind."Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee's next hearing expected to link Trump even more closely to the Capitol attackLawmakers on the House January 6 committee will air the inquiry's findings during a public hearing Thursday.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesFrom its very first hearing, the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol made a point of connecting former President Donald Trump to the violence of that day.A month later, the House panel is poised to delve even deeper. At its next public hearing, set for 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the committee is expected to focus on how the violent pro-Trump mob coalesced on January 6 and the involvement of far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.Committee aides said Monday during a background call with reporters that the panel's seventh hearing would underscore how a single tweet from Trump mobilized his supporters, proving a "pivotal moment that spurred a chain of events, including pre-planning by Proud Boys.""Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump tweeted on December 19, 2020. "Be there, will be wild!"READ FULL STORYCassidy Hutchinson's testimony jolted the DOJ into focusing on Trump in its Jan 6 investigation, report saysCassidy Hutchinson testifying before the Jan. 6 committee on June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTestimony by Jan. 6 witness Cassidy Hutchinson sparked debate among top Justice Department officials about Donald Trump's potential criminal culpability for the Capitol riot, The New York Times reported. The June 28 testimony by the former White House aide prompted officials to discuss Trump's actions on January 6, 2021, and questions about potential legal ramifications for the former president, sources told The Times. Present at some of the discussions were Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the report said. Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson and Rep. Liz Cheney have forged an 'unlikely bond' amid January 6 testimony process, per reportCassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive January 6 testimony stunned Washington last month, has found a friend and ally in Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has been ostracized from the GOP for criticizing the former president and serving as vice-chair on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, according to The New York Times.The two Republican women — both on the outs with the party's overwhelming Trump faction — have developed an unlikely bond in recent weeks as the January 6 panel riot zeroes in on increasingly damning testimony against former President Donald Trump.The congresswomen admires Hutchinson's dedication to country over personal power, according to The Times. "I have been incredibly moved by young women that I have met and that have come forward to testify in the Jan. 6 committee," Cheney said in a recent speech at the Reagan Library.Read Full Story A bad day for Steve BannonSteve Bannon asked to delay his mid-July trial by at least three months.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesMonday was not a good day in court for Steve Bannon.The former Trump aide lost on several key pre-trial motions ahead of his upcoming July 18 federal trial on contempt of Congress charges.U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, ruled from the bench that Bannon's defense attorneys couldn't use several of their planned arguments. Nichols also denied Bannon's bid to have the trial date delayed.Insider's Ryan Barber was at the courthouse in Washington, DC, and has more in his dispatch linked below. Read Full Story'That mob on the Mall'An Oath Keeper from Idaho in Bozeman, Montana.William Campbell/Corbis via Getty ImagesWe've got a handy preview for you on Tuesday's next big House January 6 hearing, which will focus on the right-wing extremist groups that in the words of Rep. Adam Schiff helped lead "that mob on the Mall." Laura Italiano breaks down the five potential bombshells she'll be looking out for when the panel convenes at 1 pm. Check out what those are here:Read Full Story The most shocking revelations from the January 6 committee's first hearings on the Capitol attackCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoThe next January 6 committee hearing is scheduled for July 12, at 10 a.m. ET.Catch up on the biggest revelations from the public hearings thus far.Read Full StoryTeasing new witnesses, Rep. Adam Kinzinger says of Trump and his allies: 'They're all scared. They should be.'Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesIn a series of Sunday tweets, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Donald Trump and his allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are "scared" following last week's testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan. 6 select committee. "This BIPARTISAN committee has been able to find out things that up until recently were denied by the Jan 6th truthers, so they are left with trying to discredit a young woman with more courage than they could muster in a lifetime. Except… that isn't working," Kinzinger tweeted."Cassidy doesn't seek the limelight, but she is compelled with honor. She didn't even have to swear an oath to the constitution like Kevin, Elise, Kristi Noem and others did. But she volunteered to come under oath to tell what she knows. She is a better person than them all. "Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the January 6 panel won't 'stand by' and let 'men who are claiming executive privilege' attack Cassidy Hutchinson's characterCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, arrives to testify during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview that aired on Sunday reaffirmed her confidence in former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony and said that the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol wouldn't sit by idly and let her endure anonymous attacks.While sitting down with ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the Wyoming Republican expressed confidence in Hutchinson and the credibility of future hearings."What Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure," she said."The Committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege. And so we look forward very much to additional testimony under oath on a whole range of issues," she added.Read Full StoryKinzinger says new witnesses have been coming forward to the Jan. 6 committee since Cassidy Hutchinson's 'inspiring' testimonyRep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesRep. Adam Kinzinger says that more witnesses have come forward since Cassidy Hutchinson's blockbuster testimony during the Jan 6. hearings last week.  "She's been inspiring for a lot of people," Kinzinger said Sunday on CNN's  "State of the Union." "Every day, we get new people that come forward and say, 'hey, I didn't think maybe this piece of the story that I knew was important, but now that you guys are talking' — I do see this plays in here."Hutchinson, an ex-aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed in front of the Jan. 6 committee shocking details of former president Donald Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol attack, including that he attempted to grab the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at one of his Secret Service agents, as Insider's Grace Panetta previously reported. "I mean, look, she is going to go down in history," Kinzinger said, referring to the 25-year-old. "People can forget the names of every one of us on the committee. They will not forget her name. And, by the way, she doesn't want that. She doesn't want to be out in the public spotlight."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the Jan. 6 committee could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against TrumpU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview broadcast on Sunday said that the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against former President Donald Trump.During an interview on ABC's "This Week," Cheney — who serves as the vice-chair of the panel — was asked by correspondent Jonathan Karl if the work conducted by its members has shown that Trump's conduct warrants prosecution."Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that," the Wyoming Republican said. "I think we may well as a committee have a view on that."She continued: "If you just think about it from the perspective of what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat — when the Congress is under threat? It's just very chilling. And I think certainly we will continue to present to the American people what we've found."Read Full StoryDOJ wants a DC judge to reject Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial over January 6 hearings' publicity, saying that he has 'barely been mentioned'Steve Bannon argued in April that his criminal prosecution should be dismissed.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Department of Justice asked a DC judge on Friday to reject Trump ally Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial, arguing that the January 6 hearings have not revolved around him to the point of distraction.On Wednesday, Bannon's lawyers asked a DC judge to delay his July 18 trial, citing a "media blitz" from the public January 6 committee hearings and saying the request was "due to the unprecedented level of prejudicial pretrial publicity."DOJ lawyers said that Bannon is not as popular as he thinks he is."The Defendant's motion gives the false impression — through general statistics about the volume of viewership of the Committee's hearings and overall media coverage of the Committee's hearings — that all of the Committee's hearings and the attendant media coverage is about him," DOJ lawyers wrote in a filing on Friday. "The truth is just the opposite — the Defendant has barely been mentioned in the Committee's hearings or the resulting media coverage of them."Read More2 Secret Service sources told CNN that Trump angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6, partly confirming Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimonyFormer President Donald Trump.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo Secret Service sources told CNN on Friday that they heard about former President Donald Trump lunging at the driver of his presidential SUV on January 6, 2021.The pair of sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, backed up much of former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony on the altercation in the motorcade vehicle known as "the Beast" after Trump found out he wouldn't be driven to join his supporters at the Capitol."He had sort of lunged forward – it was unclear from the conversations I had that he actually made physical contact, but he might have. I don't know," one of the Secret Service sources told CNN. "Nobody said Trump assaulted him; they said he tried to lunge over the seat – for what reason, nobody had any idea."Read Full StoryMichael Cohen says Trump uses a 'mob boss' playbookMichael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, compared the former president to a "mob boss" amid allegations that Trump allies sought to intimidate Jan. 6 witnesses."Donald Trump never changes his playbook," Cohen told The Washington Post. "He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style. Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached."Read Full StoryTrump allies paid legal fees for multiple Jan. 6 witnesses, including Cassidy Hutchinson, sparking witness-influencing concerns, report saysCassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies before the January 6 committee in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump's allies and supporters paid the legal fees for multiple people who had provided testimony to the January 6 committee, including the former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, The New York Times reported.Hutchinson eventually fired the lawyer who was paid for a pro-Trump group, and went on to provide damning testimony about Trump, the report said. Two sources familiar with the committee told The Times that they believe Hutchinson's decision to part ways with the lawyer — who had been recommended by Trump allies and paid for by a pro-Trump PAC — likely played a role in her decision to provide new evidence. There are no laws against a third party paying for a witness' legal representation in a congressional inquiry, but the situation may raise some ethical concerns, according to the report.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent said he, too, would have defied Trump's request to be taken to the Capitol on January 6Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow said in an op-ed that he also would not have taken then-President Donald Trump to the Capitol on January 6, 2021.In an op-ed published by Newsweek, Wackrow said he was shocked by Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the January committee regarding Trump's actions on the day of the Capitol riot. Hutchinson, a former aide in the Trump White House, claimed that Trump had gotten into a physical altercation with the head of his security detail while demanding to be brought to the Capitol."If I had been working on Trump's security detail on January 6, I would have made the same decision as Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Robert Engel to not go to the Capitol based on the known escalating threats," Wackrow wrote.He added, however, that he believed Trump still respects the Secret Service because he probably has seen "first-hand what they're willing to do to protect him and his family." Read Full StoryGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says Cassidy Hutchinson is a 'hero' and has 'more courage than most' Republicans after January 6 testimonyCassidy Hutchinson testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday applauded Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony to the January 6 committee, saying the former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has "more courage" than most of his Republican colleagues. "Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero and a real patriot (not a faux 'patriot' that hates America so much they would attempt a coup.)," Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, said in a tweet."Of course they will try to bully and intimidate her. But she isn't intimidated. More courage than most in GOP," Kinzinger added of Hutchinson.Read Full StoryGOP Sen. Pat Toomey says Trump's chances of winning the party's 2024 presidential nomination are 'much more tenuous' following the January 6 committee's hearingsRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania at the White House with Trump in February 2018.AP Photo/Evan VucciRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania suggested Thursday that public hearings from the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, had damaged former President Donald Trump politically, even among Republicans.At the end of a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg that focused on the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Reserve's approach to tackling inflation, the retiring lawmaker was asked whether he believed the hearings would preclude Trump from seeking a second term as president in 2024."I don't know that it means that. I mean he gets to decide whether he's going to run," said Toomey, who was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of an insurrection after the Capitol riot."Look, I think he disqualified himself from serving in public office by virtue of his post-election behavior, especially leading right up to January 6," Toomey said. "I think the revelations from this committee make his path to even the Republican nomination much more tenuous."Read Full StoryCheney 'absolutely confident' that former White House aide's explosive testimony is credibleRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks during a business meeting on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as vice-chair of the House's January 6 committee, said she is "absolutely confident" that a former White House aide's damning testimony is accurate."I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I'm confident in her testimony," Cheney told ABC News's Jonathan Karl about the allegations made by top Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson this week.Cheney said that Hutchinson showed "an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage" by testifying.Read MoreBannon wants his contempt trial to be delayed because of Jan. 6 hearingsSteve Bannon outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesTrump ally Steve Bannon has asked for his contempt-of-Congress trial to be delayed because the hearings on the Capitol riot are getting so much publicity.A federal grand jury indicted Bannon in November 2021 on two counts of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.In a Wednesday court filing, Bannon's lawyers argued that the coverage of the committee's hearings would make his trial unfair.Read More January 6 panel subpoenas former White House counsel Pat CipolloneFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said he would testify about Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who outlined ways for Trump to challenge the 2020 election.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House's panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.The demand for Cipollone to appear before the committee comes after explosive testimony from a former top White House aide in the Trump administration, who described Trump and his inner circle's actions before and during the insurrection.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent says Trump's 'girth' would have made it impossible to attack driverOutgoing US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesA former White House aide testified that former President Donald Trump grabbed the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at a Secret Service agent on January 6, 2021, after they refused to take him to the Capitol building.But former Secret Service agents told Insider they have doubts about the story."Trump's not a little guy, right? And the space to actually be able to lunge towards the wheel is not that big," one former agent said, speaking on background to Insider.  "I don't mean to sound disparaging to the former president, but just his girth would prevent him from actually getting to the steering wheel."Keep ReadingHouse Republican who led rioter on tour before insurrection could oversee Capitol policeRep. Barry LoudermilkBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Barry Loudermilk — who led a Capitol rioter on a tour of the building the day before the insurrection — could end up overseeing Capitol police.If Republicans regain control of the House, Loudermilk would be next in line to lead the committee that has oversight over the police force attacked by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.Loudermilk has faced backlash from Democrats after video showed him taking a group on a tour of the Capitol building, showing them hallways, security areas, and stairwells. The next day, members of the tour flaunted a sharpened flagpole bearing the American flag as they marched near the Capitol.It remains unclear whether the group entered the Capitol building itself during the riot.Read Full Story Former Jan. 6 committee investigator announces run for SenateSenior investigative counsel John Wood questions witnesses during the third public hearing of the January 6 committee on June 16, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee investigator John Wood is launching an independent Senate campaign in Missouri in an effort to stop GOP nominee Eric Greitens.Wood told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he believes Greitens — the former Missouri governor — is likely to win the Republican nomination, and that voters deserved an alternative.Wood, a Republican, said he will run as an independent.Read MoreTrump ally says Hutchinson's testimony was a 'campaign commercial' for Ron DeSantis in 2024Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisPhelan M. Ebenhack/AP PhotoExplosive testimony by a former Trump White House aide could be a boost to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace Trump on the presidential ticket in 2024, CNN reported.One Trump adviser said the hearings — which painted as Trump as violent and volatile — were "basically a campaign commercial" for DeSantis. Another told CNN that "no one is taking this lightly."DeSantis has flirted with larger political ambitions and is a rising Republican star who would be poised to fill the leadership vacuum if Trump is forced aside.Read Full StorySecret Service agents willing to dispute Hutchinson's claims about Trump's outburst, reports sayFormer President Donald TrumpSAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesSecret Service agents are willing to testify before the January 6 House panel to refute former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's claim that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel when he demanded to be taken to the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, according to multiple reports.The driver of the car and the head of Trump's security are ready to testify under oath that the former President never lunged for the wheel or physically assaulted the driver, according to CBS News.Read More Hutchinson's testimony could lead to legal trouble for Trump: reportCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoFormer aides to Donald Trump worry the explosive testimony by a former White House aide could put Trump in legal jeopardy, according to the New York Times."This hearing definitely gave investigators a lot to chew on," former Attorney General Bill Barr told the Times after testimony from top White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailed Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol riot.Hutchinson's testimony painted Trump as a volatile man who knew his supporters were armed on January 6, 2021. Trump also demanded to be taken to the Capitol building, but his security staff refused, Hutchinson said.Mick Mulvaney, who was once Trump's White House Chief of Staff, said evidence of possible witness tampering could open his orbit up to charges.Keep Reading  Former Trump press secretary shares text that appears to show Melania Trump to condemn Capitol riot violenceMelania Trump speaks at the White House on October 09, 2019Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFormer Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham shared a text exchange on Tuesday that purportedly showed former First Lady Melania Trump refusing to condemn the violence during the Capitol riot. The apparent screengrab of a text exchange was between Grisham and a person named "MT." "Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" read the message. "No," the person replied.Representatives for Melania Trump at Trump's post-presidential press office did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.Read Full StoryJohn Eastman drops lawsuit blocking his phone records from January 6 committeeJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APIn a late Tuesday filing, John Eastman dropped a lawsuit he'd filed to prevent the Jan. 6 committee from accessing his phone records."Plaintiff brought this lawsuit primarily to protect the content of his communications, many of which are privileged," the latest filing read. "The Congressional Defendants represented in their motion to dismiss that they were not seeking the content of any of Plaintiff's communications via the subpoena they had issued to Defendant Verizon."The former Trump lawyer's phone was seized by federal agents on June 22, according to a separate suit he filed on Monday, seeking the return of his property. Of interest to investigators are call logs from Eastman's personal device, and the search warrant indicates investigators will not review any additional content from his phone without a court order. Read Full StoryTrumpworld shocked by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive January 6 testimony, calling it the 'most damning day' and 'insane'Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoIt took six hearings for the January 6 select committee to finally break through to embattled former President Donald Trump's inner circle.Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified during a surprise hearing Tuesday that Trump was determined to go to the US Capitol with his armed supporters on January 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying the election results. Hutchinson's additional revelations about that day came crashing down on Trumpworld during the two-hour hearing. Among them were that Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad" on January 6, that Trump knew his supporters were armed when they flooded the Ellipse to attend his "Stop the Steal" rally, and that Trump said "Mike deserves it" when rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence." "Definitely most damning day of testimony," one former White House aide told Insider. READ MOREFox News host says it's not 'wholly out of character' that Trump 'might throw his lunch' after January 6 testimony on ketchup dripping down the wallFormer President Donald Trump and Fox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier.Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesMoments after a colleague referred to Tuesday's January 6 committee testimony as "stunning," Fox News host Martha MacCallum downplayed new revelations about former President Donald Trump's violent outbursts surrounding his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Trump threw a plate in the White House dining room after he found out former Attorney General Bill Barr publicly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, leaving "ketchup dripping down the wall.""I mean, I'm not sure that it really shocks anybody that the president just — knowing what we've seen, observing him over the years — if he got angry then he might throw his lunch," MacCallum said. "I'm not sure. It's obviously a very dramatic detail, and the way that she describes it, um, is. But I'm not sure if this is wholly out of character with the Donald Trump and the President Trump that people came to know over the years."READ MOREHere are all the people who sought preemptive pardons from Donald Trump after the Capitol riot, per January 6 committee witnessesRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are ch.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 21st, 2022

Jan. 6 live: Witness Trump tried to call is a White House support staffer, reports say

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP Rep. Cheney said at Tuesday's Jan 6. hearing that Trump tried to contact a witness. CNN reported that this was a White House staffer who hadn't appeared publicly but is able to corroborate testimony. The Tuesday session focused on Trump's role in galvanizing far-right groups that stormed the Capitol. Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Secret Service for text messages as DHS watchdog accuses agents of deleting them after being askedA US Secret Service agent takes position outside the White House in November 2020.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot has issued a subpoena to the US Secret Service after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general accused the agency of deleting text messages after being asked.Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairperson, said in a Friday letter to Secret Service director James Murray that the panel was seeking text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021.Thompson mentioned three previous requests for information, sent in January, March, and August of last year, pertaining to all communications between DHS officials and then-President Donald Trump about the Capitol riot.Read Full StoryThe Jan. 6 witness Trump tried to call is a White House support staffer, reports sayThe Jan. 6 committee witness whom former President Donald Trump is alleged to have tried to contact is a White House support staffer, reports say. At Tuesday's hearing, committee member Rep. Liz Cheney claimed that Trump sought to contact a witness who had not appeared publically, in what she characterized as a form of witness tampering. CNN first reported, citing two sources, that Trump made the call to the witness after the June 28 testimony by another witness, the former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson.According to the report, the support staffer was in a position to corroborate parts of Hutchinson's testimony, and had been providing evidence to the committee. NBC News later said it had confirmed CNN's reporting. Neither outlet named the person.Read Full StoryWatergate star witness predicts criminal charges after latest Jan. 6 testimony: 'Trump is in trouble'Former White House Counsel John Dean testifying on Capitol Hill on June 10, 2019.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesJohn Dean, a key witness in the Watergate investigation, said that former President Donald Trump and others will likely face legal repercussions from evidence presented at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing. In an interview with CNN, Dean highlighted testimony by former members of extremist group the Oath Keepers, who were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol.Dean described them as "really classic authoritarian followers, following the leader."He argued that the testimony proves the extent to which the rioters believed they had been sent by Trump, which he said could be used by prosecutors were they to bring charges against the former president.Read Full StoryTrump 'liked the crazies' and wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander as Jan. 6 rally speakers despite red flags raised, former spokesperson saysKatrina Pierson, a former campaign spokesperson for Donald Trump and one of the organizers of the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally, said Trump wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander to speak at the event despite the "red flags" they raised.On Tuesday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, played a video of Pierson's testimony to the panel in which Pierson commented on Trump's love for "crazies" like Jones and Alexander."Yes, I was talking about President Trump. He loved people who viciously defended him in public," Pierson said in her deposition.Read Full StoryPhoto shows Mark Meadows escorting Rudy Giuliani from the White House following 'UNHINGED' West Wing meeting about 2020 election resultsA photo that Cassidy Hutchinson took of Mark Meadows leading Rudy Giuliani away from the Oval Office.Courtesy of CSPANFormer Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had to escort former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani from the Oval Office following a chaotic, late-night December 2020 West Wing meeting about the election results, according to new January 6 testimony.Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive testimony stunned Washington last month, shared with the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot a photo she took of Meadows leading  Giuliani away from the Oval Office following the turbulent gathering, which was the site of a face-off between Trump's legal allies and White House lawyers over efforts to promote the then-president's baseless claims of election fraud, according to testimony.The January 6 panel shared the photo alongside real-time text messages Hutchinson was sending from the meeting during its seventh live hearing on Tuesday. READ FULL STORYFormer Twitter employee feared people were going to die on January 6A former Twitter employee told the House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol that activity on the platform raised concerns that there would be deadly violence in Washington on January 6.The former employee, whose voice was obscured in a recording played during Tuesday's hearing, testified about trying and failing to get the company to intervene as former President Donald Trump's extremist supporters used the platform to repeat his statements about the upcoming protests to the 2020 election results.On the night of January 5, the employee testified about slacking a colleague, a message to the effect of, "When people are shooting each other tomorrow, I will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried."The former employee was on a team responsible for platform and content moderation policies during 2020 and 2021.READ FULL STORYOath Keepers attorney used the 'Queer Eye' loft kitchen from Season 3 as her video background before the January 6 committeeOath Keepers attorney Kellye SoRelle.C-SPANTestifying remotely before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, the Oath Keepers' attorney and acting president used a green screen background from the Netflix show "Queer Eye."Erin Ryan, host of Crooked Media's "Hysteria" podcast, tweeted out a screenshot of the remote deposition from Oath Keepers acting president Kellye SoRelle alongside an image from the third season of the streaming series, which Ryan said she found from a reverse Google image search.READ FULL STORYRep. Liz Cheney ends hearing with bombshell: Donald Trump called a witness in the House January 6 investigationFormer President Donald Trump called a witness in the congressional inquiry into the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday, prompting House investigators to notify the Justice Department. "After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation. A witness you have not yet seen in these hearings. That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call and, instead, alerted their lawyer to the call," said Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, in a bombshell revelation that concluded the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing."Their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice," she added. "Let me say one more time: We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously."READ FULL STORYThe January 6 investigators obtained a video of Roger Stone reciting the Proud Boys' 'Fraternity Creed,' the first step for initiation to the extremist groupAn image of Roger Stone is shown on a screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via APNew details emerged at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing on the close ties between Roger Stone and extremist groups, including that the longtime Donald Trump confidante was recorded reciting the Proud Boys' so-called "Fraternity Creed." Rep. Jamie Raskin, who co-chaired the public hearing, described reciting the creed as "the first level of initiation" into the far-right group, five members of which are scheduled to be tried on seditious conspiracy charges in December.  "Stone's ties to the Proud Boys go back many years," Raskin said. "He's even taken their so-called "Fraternity Creed," required for the first level of initiation to the group."Video then played showing Stone in a crowded outdoor setting, saying, "Hi, I'm Roger Stone. I'm a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for the creation of the modern world." READ FULL STORYTrump planned to call on his supporters to march to the Capitol on January 6, according to a draft tweetThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Tuesday revealed a draft tweet in which President Donald Trump called on his supporters to go to the US Capitol after his speech on January 6, 2021."I will be making a Big Speech at 10AM on January 6th at the Ellipse (South of the White House). Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!" Trump wrote in the draft tweet, which is undated.Trump never sent the tweet, but its existence, along with other messages exchanged between rally organizers, offer proof that the march to the Capitol was premeditated, the January 6 committee said.Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida presented the evidence during Tuesday's hearing, and said: "The evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather it was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president."READ FULL STORYTrump's ex-campaign manger Brad Parscale said in private texts that Trump is to blame for Capitol rioter's deathIn a series of texts revealed at the 7th hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, President Donald Trump's former campaign manger Brad Parscale suggested in a message to former Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson that Trump's words led to the death of a capitol rioter.Messages show Pierson tried to push back, writing that "it wasn't the rhetoric.""Katrina," Parscale wrote back. "Yes it was."Read Full StoryPat Cipollone suggested Pence should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom for refusing to block the Electoral Collage count certificationA video of Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via AP"I think the vice president did the right thing, I think he did the courageous thing," Cipollone said in testimony revealed at the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing on Tuesday. "I have a great deal of respect for Vice President Pence."Cipollone added that he didn't think Pence had any "legal authority" to do anything other than refuse to give into President Donald Trump's pressure campaign and interfere with the Electoral College certification on January 6, 2021.Read Full Story  11 House Republicans met with Trump to strategize overturning the election results on January 6, and 5 of them later asked for pardonsAccording to Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, a member of the January 6 committee, several Republicans met at the White House on December 21, 2020, as part of an effort to "disseminate his false claims and to encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on January 6."Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani were all at the meeting, along with President Donald Trump.According to White House visitor logs, Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Florida, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Rep-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia all attended the meeting.Read Full StoryFormer Twitter employee tells January 6 committee that Trump received special treatment from TwitterAn evidence tweet is shown on a screen during a full committee hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. - The House committee probing the 2021 assault on the US Capitol is examining connections between associates of former US President Donald Trump and far right-wing extremist groups at its seventh hearing on Tuesday.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images"I believe that Twitter relished in the knowledge that they were also the favorite and most used service of the former president and enjoyed having that sort of power within the social media ecosystem," the former Twitter employee told investigators in testimony aired in Tuesday's hearing of the congressional committee investigating January 6.The employee, whose identity was kept secret, was introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin as having worked on Twitter's content moderation team from 2020 to 2021.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson texted a fellow White House aide 'the west wing is UNHINGED' as Oval Office meeting almost devolved into a brawlCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesAccording to messages released by the House January 6 committee, Hutchinson texted the message to another top aide, Anthony Ornato.It was sent amid the scene of a December 2020 Oval Office meeting as Trump attorney Sidney Powell and White House lawyers clashed over efforts to push Trump's debunked election fraud claims. Read Full Story Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone 'set a new land speed record' trying to break up a meeting between Trump, Michael Flynn, and Overstock's CEO, Sidney Powell saidDemocratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one of the committee members leading Tuesday's January 6 hearing, said former President Donald Trump, election lawyer Sidney Powell, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, had met to discuss an ongoing effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election.Powell told investigators in previously recorded testimony, however, that the group had "probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes" with Trump before Pat Cipollone, then the White House Counsel, intercepted the meeting."I bet Pat Cipollone set a new land speed record," Powell quipped.Rep. Jamie Raskin says the 'oldest domestic enemy' of US democracy' is 'whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections'Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., left, listens as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite"The problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in America," Raskin said in his opening statement during Tuesday's January 6 hearing.He mentioned a time during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, when an 1837 racist mob in Alton, Illinois, during which rioters broke into an abolitionist newspaper's office and murdered the paper's editor, Elijah Lovejoy."If racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, Lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work," Raskin said.Read Full StoryConvicted Capitol rioter testifying in front of the committee warned that a 'Civil War will ensue' if Trump got robbed in 2020Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty last month to disorderly conduct in connection to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is set to testify in from to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack.His testimony is expected to underscore how Trump summoned supporters to Washington DC on the day Congress was scheduled to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.On December 26, 2020, Ayres posted to Twitter: "If the [deep state] robs president Trump!!! Civil War will ensue!" It was posted days after Trump called for a "big protest" in his own tweet.Read Full StoryEx-White House counsel Pat Cipollone was against Trump naming Sidney Powell special counselA video of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteIn previously unseen footage from his deposition to the House Select Committee last Friday, Cipollone spoke about Powell being Trump's pick to be special counsel for the Department of Justice to investigate repeatedly disproven wide spread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election."I was vehemently opposed," Cipollone said when asked about Powell being made special counsel. "I didn't think she should've been appointed to anything."Read Full StoryRep. Jamie Raskin says Trump 'electrified and galvanized' his extremist supporters with a tweet calling for a 'big protest'Jamie Raskin listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteRaskin, a Maryland Democrat, referenced a December 19, 2020, tweet from Trump during the House's January 6 committee hearing on Tuesday."Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump's tweet said. "Be there, will be wild!" Raskin said that Trump's tweet spurred on "the dangerous extremists in the Oathkeepers, the Proud Boys and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government.""Here were thousands of enraged Trump followers, thoroughly convinced by the Big Lie who traveled from across the country to join Trump's wild rally to 'stop the steal,'" he added. "With the proper incitement by political leaders, and the proper instigation from the extremists, many members of this crowd could be led to storm the Capitol, confront the vice president in Congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results."Read Full Story  Ivanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost re-election 'probably prior' to a formal Electoral Collage vote in December 2020Ivanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost the 2020 presidential election likely before a formal Electoral College vote on December 14, 2020."Was that an important day for you? Did that affect your planning or your realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end to this administration?" an attorney for the committee asked Ivanka Trump in video taped testimony."I think it was my sentiment, probably prior as well," Ivanka Trump said in response.Read Full StoryPat Cipollone's testimony 'met our expectations," Cheney saysFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee vice chair and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified before the panel — and that his testimony "met our expectations."The House committee then aired several clips of Cipollone's sworn testimony at the start of their seventh hearing on Tuesday.Cipollone told the January 6 committee that he agreed Trump should concede the 2020 election and that he lost to Democratic nominee Joe Biden fair and square.  Read Full StoryCheney: Trump is 'not an impressionable child'GOP Rep. Liz CheneyAP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)GOP Rep. Liz Cheney pushed back on excuses for former President Donald Trump's actions during the Capitol riot, saying he was not simply misled about his election lies but knew they were false."President Trump is a 76-year-old man," Cheney said as the January 6 committee began its hearing on Tuesday. "He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices."Cheney said evidence shows Trump was warned "over and over" that there was no sign of widespread election fraud."No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion," she said, "and Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind."Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee's next hearing expected to link Trump even more closely to the Capitol attackLawmakers on the House January 6 committee will air the inquiry's findings during a public hearing Thursday.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesFrom its very first hearing, the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol made a point of connecting former President Donald Trump to the violence of that day.A month later, the House panel is poised to delve even deeper. At its next public hearing, set for 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the committee is expected to focus on how the violent pro-Trump mob coalesced on January 6 and the involvement of far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.Committee aides said Monday during a background call with reporters that the panel's seventh hearing would underscore how a single tweet from Trump mobilized his supporters, proving a "pivotal moment that spurred a chain of events, including pre-planning by Proud Boys.""Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump tweeted on December 19, 2020. "Be there, will be wild!"READ FULL STORYCassidy Hutchinson's testimony jolted the DOJ into focusing on Trump in its Jan 6 investigation, report saysCassidy Hutchinson testifying before the Jan. 6 committee on June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTestimony by Jan. 6 witness Cassidy Hutchinson sparked debate among top Justice Department officials about Donald Trump's potential criminal culpability for the Capitol riot, The New York Times reported. The June 28 testimony by the former White House aide prompted officials to discuss Trump's actions on January 6, 2021, and questions about potential legal ramifications for the former president, sources told The Times. Present at some of the discussions were Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the report said. Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson and Rep. Liz Cheney have forged an 'unlikely bond' amid January 6 testimony process, per reportCassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive January 6 testimony stunned Washington last month, has found a friend and ally in Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has been ostracized from the GOP for criticizing the former president and serving as vice-chair on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, according to The New York Times.The two Republican women — both on the outs with the party's overwhelming Trump faction — have developed an unlikely bond in recent weeks as the January 6 panel riot zeroes in on increasingly damning testimony against former President Donald Trump.The congresswomen admires Hutchinson's dedication to country over personal power, according to The Times. "I have been incredibly moved by young women that I have met and that have come forward to testify in the Jan. 6 committee," Cheney said in a recent speech at the Reagan Library.Read Full Story A bad day for Steve BannonSteve Bannon asked to delay his mid-July trial by at least three months.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesMonday was not a good day in court for Steve Bannon.The former Trump aide lost on several key pre-trial motions ahead of his upcoming July 18 federal trial on contempt of Congress charges.U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, ruled from the bench that Bannon's defense attorneys couldn't use several of their planned arguments. Nichols also denied Bannon's bid to have the trial date delayed.Insider's Ryan Barber was at the courthouse in Washington, DC, and has more in his dispatch linked below. Read Full Story'That mob on the Mall'An Oath Keeper from Idaho in Bozeman, Montana.William Campbell/Corbis via Getty ImagesWe've got a handy preview for you on Tuesday's next big House January 6 hearing, which will focus on the right-wing extremist groups that in the words of Rep. Adam Schiff helped lead "that mob on the Mall." Laura Italiano breaks down the five potential bombshells she'll be looking out for when the panel convenes at 1 pm. Check out what those are here:Read Full Story The most shocking revelations from the January 6 committee's first hearings on the Capitol attackCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoThe next January 6 committee hearing is scheduled for July 12, at 10 a.m. ET.Catch up on the biggest revelations from the public hearings thus far.Read Full StoryTeasing new witnesses, Rep. Adam Kinzinger says of Trump and his allies: 'They're all scared. They should be.'Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesIn a series of Sunday tweets, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Donald Trump and his allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are "scared" following last week's testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan. 6 select committee. "This BIPARTISAN committee has been able to find out things that up until recently were denied by the Jan 6th truthers, so they are left with trying to discredit a young woman with more courage than they could muster in a lifetime. Except… that isn't working," Kinzinger tweeted."Cassidy doesn't seek the limelight, but she is compelled with honor. She didn't even have to swear an oath to the constitution like Kevin, Elise, Kristi Noem and others did. But she volunteered to come under oath to tell what she knows. She is a better person than them all. "Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the January 6 panel won't 'stand by' and let 'men who are claiming executive privilege' attack Cassidy Hutchinson's characterCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, arrives to testify during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview that aired on Sunday reaffirmed her confidence in former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony and said that the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol wouldn't sit by idly and let her endure anonymous attacks.While sitting down with ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the Wyoming Republican expressed confidence in Hutchinson and the credibility of future hearings."What Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure," she said."The Committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege. And so we look forward very much to additional testimony under oath on a whole range of issues," she added.Read Full StoryKinzinger says new witnesses have been coming forward to the Jan. 6 committee since Cassidy Hutchinson's 'inspiring' testimonyRep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesRep. Adam Kinzinger says that more witnesses have come forward since Cassidy Hutchinson's blockbuster testimony during the Jan 6. hearings last week.  "She's been inspiring for a lot of people," Kinzinger said Sunday on CNN's  "State of the Union." "Every day, we get new people that come forward and say, 'hey, I didn't think maybe this piece of the story that I knew was important, but now that you guys are talking' — I do see this plays in here."Hutchinson, an ex-aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed in front of the Jan. 6 committee shocking details of former president Donald Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol attack, including that he attempted to grab the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at one of his Secret Service agents, as Insider's Grace Panetta previously reported. "I mean, look, she is going to go down in history," Kinzinger said, referring to the 25-year-old. "People can forget the names of every one of us on the committee. They will not forget her name. And, by the way, she doesn't want that. She doesn't want to be out in the public spotlight."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the Jan. 6 committee could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against TrumpU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview broadcast on Sunday said that the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against former President Donald Trump.During an interview on ABC's "This Week," Cheney — who serves as the vice-chair of the panel — was asked by correspondent Jonathan Karl if the work conducted by its members has shown that Trump's conduct warrants prosecution."Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that," the Wyoming Republican said. "I think we may well as a committee have a view on that."She continued: "If you just think about it from the perspective of what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat — when the Congress is under threat? It's just very chilling. And I think certainly we will continue to present to the American people what we've found."Read Full StoryDOJ wants a DC judge to reject Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial over January 6 hearings' publicity, saying that he has 'barely been mentioned'Steve Bannon argued in April that his criminal prosecution should be dismissed.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Department of Justice asked a DC judge on Friday to reject Trump ally Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial, arguing that the January 6 hearings have not revolved around him to the point of distraction.On Wednesday, Bannon's lawyers asked a DC judge to delay his July 18 trial, citing a "media blitz" from the public January 6 committee hearings and saying the request was "due to the unprecedented level of prejudicial pretrial publicity."DOJ lawyers said that Bannon is not as popular as he thinks he is."The Defendant's motion gives the false impression — through general statistics about the volume of viewership of the Committee's hearings and overall media coverage of the Committee's hearings — that all of the Committee's hearings and the attendant media coverage is about him," DOJ lawyers wrote in a filing on Friday. "The truth is just the opposite — the Defendant has barely been mentioned in the Committee's hearings or the resulting media coverage of them."Read More2 Secret Service sources told CNN that Trump angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6, partly confirming Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimonyFormer President Donald Trump.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo Secret Service sources told CNN on Friday that they heard about former President Donald Trump lunging at the driver of his presidential SUV on January 6, 2021.The pair of sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, backed up much of former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony on the altercation in the motorcade vehicle known as "the Beast" after Trump found out he wouldn't be driven to join his supporters at the Capitol."He had sort of lunged forward – it was unclear from the conversations I had that he actually made physical contact, but he might have. I don't know," one of the Secret Service sources told CNN. "Nobody said Trump assaulted him; they said he tried to lunge over the seat – for what reason, nobody had any idea."Read Full StoryMichael Cohen says Trump uses a 'mob boss' playbookMichael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, compared the former president to a "mob boss" amid allegations that Trump allies sought to intimidate Jan. 6 witnesses."Donald Trump never changes his playbook," Cohen told The Washington Post. "He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style. Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached."Read Full StoryTrump allies paid legal fees for multiple Jan. 6 witnesses, including Cassidy Hutchinson, sparking witness-influencing concerns, report saysCassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies before the January 6 committee in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump's allies and supporters paid the legal fees for multiple people who had provided testimony to the January 6 committee, including the former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, The New York Times reported.Hutchinson eventually fired the lawyer who was paid for a pro-Trump group, and went on to provide damning testimony about Trump, the report said. Two sources familiar with the committee told The Times that they believe Hutchinson's decision to part ways with the lawyer — who had been recommended by Trump allies and paid for by a pro-Trump PAC — likely played a role in her decision to provide new evidence. There are no laws against a third party paying for a witness' legal representation in a congressional inquiry, but the situation may raise some ethical concerns, according to the report.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent said he, too, would have defied Trump's request to be taken to the Capitol on January 6Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow said in an op-ed that he also would not have taken then-President Donald Trump to the Capitol on January 6, 2021.In an op-ed published by Newsweek, Wackrow said he was shocked by Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the January committee regarding Trump's actions on the day of the Capitol riot. Hutchinson, a former aide in the Trump White House, claimed that Trump had gotten into a physical altercation with the head of his security detail while demanding to be brought to the Capitol."If I had been working on Trump's security detail on January 6, I would have made the same decision as Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Robert Engel to not go to the Capitol based on the known escalating threats," Wackrow wrote.He added, however, that he believed Trump still respects the Secret Service because he probably has seen "first-hand what they're willing to do to protect him and his family." Read Full StoryGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says Cassidy Hutchinson is a 'hero' and has 'more courage than most' Republicans after January 6 testimonyCassidy Hutchinson testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday applauded Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony to the January 6 committee, saying the former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has "more courage" than most of his Republican colleagues. "Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero and a real patriot (not a faux 'patriot' that hates America so much they would attempt a coup.)," Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, said in a tweet."Of course they will try to bully and intimidate her. But she isn't intimidated. More courage than most in GOP," Kinzinger added of Hutchinson.Read Full StoryGOP Sen. Pat Toomey says Trump's chances of winning the party's 2024 presidential nomination are 'much more tenuous' following the January 6 committee's hearingsRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania at the White House with Trump in February 2018.AP Photo/Evan VucciRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania suggested Thursday that public hearings from the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, had damaged former President Donald Trump politically, even among Republicans.At the end of a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg that focused on the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Reserve's approach to tackling inflation, the retiring lawmaker was asked whether he believed the hearings would preclude Trump from seeking a second term as president in 2024."I don't know that it means that. I mean he gets to decide whether he's going to run," said Toomey, who was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of an insurrection after the Capitol riot."Look, I think he disqualified himself from serving in public office by virtue of his post-election behavior, especially leading right up to January 6," Toomey said. "I think the revelations from this committee make his path to even the Republican nomination much more tenuous."Read Full StoryCheney 'absolutely confident' that former White House aide's explosive testimony is credibleRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks during a business meeting on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as vice-chair of the House's January 6 committee, said she is "absolutely confident" that a former White House aide's damning testimony is accurate."I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I'm confident in her testimony," Cheney told ABC News's Jonathan Karl about the allegations made by top Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson this week.Cheney said that Hutchinson showed "an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage" by testifying.Read MoreBannon wants his contempt trial to be delayed because of Jan. 6 hearingsSteve Bannon outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesTrump ally Steve Bannon has asked for his contempt-of-Congress trial to be delayed because the hearings on the Capitol riot are getting so much publicity.A federal grand jury indicted Bannon in November 2021 on two counts of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.In a Wednesday court filing, Bannon's lawyers argued that the coverage of the committee's hearings would make his trial unfair.Read More January 6 panel subpoenas former White House counsel Pat CipolloneFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said he would testify about Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who outlined ways for Trump to challenge the 2020 election.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House's panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.The demand for Cipollone to appear before the committee comes after explosive testimony from a former top White House aide in the Trump administration, who described Trump and his inner circle's actions before and during the insurrection.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent says Trump's 'girth' would have made it impossible to attack driverOutgoing US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesA former White House aide testified that former President Donald Trump grabbed the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at a Secret Service agent on January 6, 2021, after they refused to take him to the Capitol building.But former Secret Service agents told Insider they have doubts about the story."Trump's not a little guy, right? And the space to actually be able to lunge towards the wheel is not that big," one former agent said, speaking on background to Insider.  "I don't mean to sound disparaging to the former president, but just his girth would prevent him from actually getting to the steering wheel."Keep ReadingHouse Republican who led rioter on tour before insurrection could oversee Capitol policeRep. Barry LoudermilkBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Barry Loudermilk — who led a Capitol rioter on a tour of the building the day before the insurrection — could end up overseeing Capitol police.If Republicans regain control of the House, Loudermilk would be next in line to lead the committee that has oversight over the police force attacked by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.Loudermilk has faced backlash from Democrats after video showed him taking a group on a tour of the Capitol building, showing them hallways, security areas, and stairwells. The next day, members of the tour flaunted a sharpened flagpole bearing the American flag as they marched near the Capitol.It remains unclear whether the group entered the Capitol building itself during the riot.Read Full Story Former Jan. 6 committee investigator announces run for SenateSenior investigative counsel John Wood questions witnesses during the third public hearing of the January 6 committee on June 16, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee investigator John Wood is launching an independent Senate campaign in Missouri in an effort to stop GOP nominee Eric Greitens.Wood told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he believes Greitens — the former Missouri governor — is likely to win the Republican nomination, and that voters deserved an alternative.Wood, a Republican, said he will run as an independent.Read MoreTrump ally says Hutchinson's testimony was a 'campaign commercial' for Ron DeSantis in 2024Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisPhelan M. Ebenhack/AP PhotoExplosive testimony by a former Trump White House aide could be a boost to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace Trump on the presidential ticket in 2024, CNN reported.One Trump adviser said the hearings — which painted as Trump as violent and volatile — were "basically a campaign commercial" for DeSantis. Another told CNN that "no one is taking this lightly."DeSantis has flirted with larger political ambitions and is a rising Republican star who would be poised to fill the leadership vacuum if Trump is forced aside.Read Full StorySecret Service agents willing to dispute Hutchinson's claims about Trump's outburst, reports sayFormer President Donald TrumpSAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesSecret Service agents are willing to testify before the January 6 House panel to refute former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's claim that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel when he demanded to be taken to the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, according to multiple reports.The driver of the car and the head of Trump's security are ready to testify under oath that the former President never lunged for the wheel or physically assaulted the driver, according to CBS News.Read More Hutchinson's testimony could lead to legal trouble for Trump: reportCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoFormer aides to Donald Trump worry the explosive testimony by a former White House aide could put Trump in legal jeopardy, according to the New York Times."This hearing definitely gave investigators a lot to chew on," former Attorney General Bill Barr told the Times after testimony from top White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailed Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol riot.Hutchinson's testimony painted Trump as a volatile man who knew his supporters were armed on January 6, 2021. Trump also demanded to be taken to the Capitol building, but his security staff refused, Hutchinson said.Mick Mulvaney, who was once Trump's White House Chief of Staff, said evidence of possible witness tampering could open his orbit up to charges.Keep Reading  Former Trump press secretary shares text that appears to show Melania Trump to condemn Capitol riot violenceMelania Trump speaks at the White House on October 09, 2019Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFormer Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham shared a text exchange on Tuesday that purportedly showed former First Lady Melania Trump refusing to condemn the violence during the Capitol riot. The apparent screengrab of a text exchange was between Grisham and a person named "MT." "Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" read the message. "No," the person replied.Representatives for Melania Trump at Trump's post-presidential press office did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.Read Full StoryJohn Eastman drops lawsuit blocking his phone records from January 6 committeeJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APIn a late Tuesday filing, John Eastman dropped a lawsuit he'd filed to prevent the Jan. 6 committee from accessing his phone records."Plaintiff brought this lawsuit primarily to protect the content of his communications, many of which are privileged," the latest filing read. "The Congressional Defendants represented in their motion to dismiss that they were not seeking the content of any of Plaintiff's communications via the subpoena they had issued to Defendant Verizon."The former Trump lawyer's phone was seized by federal agents on June 22, according to a separate suit he filed on Monday, seeking the return of his property. Of interest to investigators are call logs from Eastman's personal device, and the search warrant indicates investigators will not review any additional content from his phone without a court order. Read Full StoryTrumpworld shocked by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive January 6 testimony, calling it the 'most damning day' and 'insane'Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoIt took six hearings for the January 6 select committee to finally break through to embattled former President Donald Trump's inner circle.Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified during a surprise hearing Tuesday that Trump was determined to go to the US Capitol with his armed supporters on January 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying the election results. Hutchinson's additional revelations about that day came crashing down on Trumpworld during the two-hour hearing. Among them were that Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad" on January 6, that Trump knew his supporters were armed when they flooded the Ellipse to attend his "Stop the Steal" rally, and that Trump said "Mike deserves it" when rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence." "Definitely most damning day of testimony," one former White House aide told Insider. READ MOREFox News host says it's not 'wholly out of character' that Trump 'might throw his lunch' after January 6 testimony on ketchup dripping down the wallFormer President Donald Trump and Fox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier.Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesMoments after a colleague referred to Tuesday's January 6 committee testimony as "stunning," Fox News host Martha MacCallum downplayed new revelations about former President Donald Trump's violent outbursts surrounding his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Trump threw a plate in the White House dining room after he found out former Attorney General Bill Barr publicly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, leaving "ketchup dripping down the wall.""I mean, I'm not sure that it really shocks anybody that the president just — knowing what we've seen, observing him over the years — if he got angry then he might throw his lunch," MacCallum said. "I'm not sure. It's obviously a very dramatic detail, and the way that she describes it, um, is. But I'm not sure if this is wholly out of character with the Donald Trump and the President Trump that people came to know over the years."READ MOREHere are all the people who sought preemptive pardons from Donald Trump after the Capitol riot, per January 6 committee witnessesRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are ch.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 16th, 2022

The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, the former Theranos CEO found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy, whose sentencing has now been delayed

Elizabeth Holmes' sentencing hearing was originally slated for September 26. On Monday it was delayed, without a reason provided, until October 17. Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court in San Jose, California, on July 17, 2019.Reuters/Stephen Lam Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to start Theranos and grew its value to $9 billion. Later, technology flaws were exposed, resulting in a months-long trial where Holmes was found guilty on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. Now, Holmes' sentencing hearing has been delayed. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In 2014, blood-testing startup Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, were on top of the world.Back then, Theranos was a revolutionary idea thought up by a woman hailed as a genius who styled herself as a female Steve Jobs. Holmes was the world's youngest female self-made billionaire, and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley's unicorn startups, valued at an estimated $9 billion. But then it all came crashing down.The shortcomings and inaccuracies of Theranos's technology were exposed, along with the role Holmes played in covering it all up. Holmes was ousted as CEO and charged with "massive fraud," and the company was forced to close its labs and testing centers, ultimately shuttering operations altogether.As she awaited trial, Holmes reportedly found the time to get engaged — and married — to a hotel heir named Billy Evans.Holmes has since been convicted of fraud in federal court. In January, jurors found Holmes guilty on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They found her not guilty on four other counts and failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the remaining three counts against her.On Thursday, Holmes' former romantic and business partner Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, was also convicted of fraud. He was found guilty on all 12 fraud-related charges.Since her conviction, Holmes has become the subject of a Hulu limited series, "The Dropout," based on the ABC News podcast of the same name. The show stars Amanda Seyfried as Holmes as it chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of Theranos and Holmes herself.Holmes has asked the presiding judge in her case to overturn her conviction. In a filing on May 27, Holmes' attorneys argued evidence was "insufficient to sustain the convictions.""Because no rational juror could have found the elements of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud beyond a reasonable doubt on this record, the Court should grant Ms. Holmes' motion for judgment of acquittal," they wrote. The judge has set a date to consider Holmes' appeal in July.In the meantime, Holmes' sentencing hearing has been delayed. On Monday, it was moved from its originally scheduled date, September 26, to October 17, though no reason was provided for the change.Here's how Holmes went from precocious child, to ambitious Stanford dropout, to an embattled startup founder convicted of fraud: Elizabeth Holmes was born on February 3, 1984 in Washington, D.C. Her mom, Noel, was a Congressional committee staffer, and her dad, Christian Holmes, worked for Enron before moving to government agencies like USAID.@eholmes2003/TwitterSource: Elizabeth Holmes/Twitter, CNN, Vanity FairHolmes' family moved when she was young, from Washington, D.C. to Houston.Washington, D.C.Getty ImagesSource: FortuneWhen she was 7, Holmes tried to invent her own time machine, filling up an entire notebook with detailed engineering drawings. At the age of 9, Holmes told relatives she wanted to be a billionaire when she grew up. Her relatives described her as saying it with the "utmost seriousness and determination."Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes.REUTERS/Carlo AllegriSource: CBS News, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes had an "intense competitive streak" from a young age. She often played Monopoly with her younger brother and cousin, and she would insist on playing until the end, collecting the houses and hotels until she won. If Holmes was losing, she would often storm off. More than once, she ran directly through a screen on the door.Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, attends a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York, September 29, 2015.REUTERS/Brendan McDermidSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIt was during high school that Holmes developed her work ethic, often staying up late to study. She quickly became a straight-A student, and even started her own business: she sold C++ compilers, a type of software that translates computer code, to Chinese schools.Tyrone Siu/ReutersSource: Fortune, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes started taking Mandarin lessons, and part-way through high school, talked her way into being accepted by Stanford University’s summer program, which culminated in a trip to Beijing.Yepoka Yeebo / Business InsiderSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupInspired by her great-great-grandfather Christian Holmes, a surgeon, Holmes decided she wanted to go into medicine. But she discovered early on that she was terrified of needles. Later, she said this influenced her to start Theranos.Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderSource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes went to Stanford to study chemical engineering. When she was a freshman, she became a "president's scholar," an honor which came with a $3,000 stipend to go toward a research project.STANFORD, CA - MAY 22: People ride bikes past Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus on May 22, 2014 in Stanford, California. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Stanford University ranked second behind Harvard University as the top universities in the world. UC Berkeley ranked third. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Justin Sullivan/GettySource: FortuneHolmes spent the summer after her freshman year interning at the Genome Institute in Singapore. She got the job partly because she spoke Mandarin.An office worker walks along the Singapore River front during the lunch hour.Wong Maye-E/APSource: FortuneAs a sophomore, Holmes went to one of her professors, Channing Robertson, and said: "Let's start a company." With his blessing, she founded Real-Time Cures, later changing the company's name to Theranos. Thanks to a typo, early employees’ paychecks actually said "Real-Time Curses."Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes soon filed a patent application for a "medical device for analyte monitoring and drug delivery," a wearable device that would administer medication, monitor patients' blood, and adjust the dosage as needed.Reuters/Brian SnyderSource: Fortune, US Patent OfficeBy the next semester, Holmes had dropped out of Stanford altogether, and was working on Theranos in the basement of a college house.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Wall Street JournalTheranos's business model was based around the idea that it could run blood tests, using proprietary technology that required only a finger pinprick and a small amount of blood. Holmes said the tests would be able to detect medical conditions like cancer and high cholesterol.Theranos Chairman, CEO and Founder Elizabeth Holmes (L) and TechCrunch Writer and Moderator Jonathan Shieber speak onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 on September 8, 2014 in San Francisco, CaliforniaSteve Jennings/Getty ImagesSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes started raising money for Theranos from prominent investors like Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, the father of a childhood friend and the founder of prominent VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Theranos raised more than $700 million, and Draper has continued to defend Holmes.Investor Tim Draper (right).CNBCSource: SEC, CrunchbaseHolmes took investors' money on the condition that she wouldn't have to reveal how Theranos' technology worked. Plus, she would have final say over everything having to do with the company.JP Yim/GettySource: Vanity FairThat obsession with secrecy extended to every aspect of Theranos. For the first decade Holmes spent building her company, Theranos operated in stealth mode. She even took three former Theranos employees to court, claiming they had misused Theranos trade secrets.Kimberly White/GettySource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes' attitude toward secrecy and running a company was borrowed from a Silicon Valley hero of hers: former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Holmes started dressing in black turtlenecks like Jobs, decorated her office with his favorite furniture, and like Jobs, never took vacations.Steve Jobs.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairEven Holmes's uncharacteristically deep voice may have been part of a carefully crafted image intended to help her fit in in the male-dominated business world. In ABC's podcast on Holmes called "The Dropout," former Theranos employees said the CEO sometimes "fell out of character," particularly after drinking, and would speak in a higher voice.Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York.Lucas Jackson/ReutersSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, The CutHolmes was a demanding boss, and wanted her employees to work as hard as she did. She had her assistants track when employees arrived and left each day. To encourage people to work longer hours, she started having dinner catered to the office around 8 p.m. each night.TheranosSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupMore behind-the-scenes footage of what life was like at Theranos was revealed in leaked videos obtained by the team behind the HBO documentary "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley." The more than 100 hours of footage showed Holmes walking around the office, scenes from company parties, speeches from Holmes and Balwani, and Holmes dancing to "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at the company's headquarters.Courtesy HBOSource: Business InsiderShortly after Holmes dropped out of Stanford at age 19, she began dating Theranos president and COO Sunny Balwani, who was 20 years her senior. The two met during Holmes' third year in Stanford’s summer Mandarin program, the summer before she went to college. She was bullied by some of the other students, and Balwani had come to her aid.Footage of Sunny Balwani presenting."60 Minutes"Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupBalwani became Holmes' No. 2 at Theranos despite having little experience. He was said to be a bully, and often tracked his employees' whereabouts. Holmes and Balwani eventually broke up in spring 2016 when Holmes pushed him out of the company.Sunny Balwani pictured in January 2019.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIn 2008, the Theranos board decided to remove Holmes as CEO in favor of someone more experienced. But over the course of a two-hour meeting, Holmes convinced them to let her stay in charge of her company.Jamie McCarthy / GettySource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAs Theranos started to rake in millions of funding, Holmes became the subject of media attention and acclaim in the tech world. She graced the covers of Fortune and Forbes, gave a TED Talk, and spoke on panels with Bill Clinton and Alibaba's Jack Ma.Elizabeth Holmes with former President Bill Clinton, left, and Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma.Andrew Burton/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairTheranos quickly began securing outside partnerships. Capital Blue Cross and Cleveland Clinic signed on to offer Theranos tests to their patients, and Walgreens made a deal to open Theranos testing centers in their stores. Theranos also formed a secret partnership with Safeway worth $350 million.A Theranos testing center inside a Walgreens.Melia Robinson/Business InsiderSource: Wired, Business InsiderIn 2011, Holmes hired her younger brother, Christian, to work at Theranos, although he didn’t have a medical or science background. Christian Holmes spent his early days at Theranos reading about sports online and recruiting his Duke University fraternity brothers to join the company. People dubbed Holmes and his crew the "Frat Pack" and "Therabros."Elizabeth Holmes and her brother, Christian.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAt one point, Holmes was the world's youngest self-made female billionaire with a net worth of around $4.5 billion.Kimberly White/Getty Images for Breakthrough PrizeSource: ForbesHolmes was obsessed with security at Theranos. She asked anyone who visited the company’s headquarters to sign non-disclosure agreements before being allowed in the building, and had security guards escort visitors everywhere — even to the bathroom.Michael Dalder/Reuters Holmes hired bodyguards to drive her around in a black Audi sedan. Her nickname was "Eagle One." The windows in her office had bulletproof glass.Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAround the same time, questions were being raised about Theranos' technology. Ian Gibbons — chief scientist at Theranos and one of the company's first hires — warned Holmes that the tests weren't ready for the public to take, and that there were inaccuracies in the technology. Outside scientists began voicing their concerns about Theranos, too.Melia Robinson/Tech InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, Business InsiderBy August 2015, the FDA began investigating Theranos, and regulators from the government body that oversees laboratories found "major inaccuracies" in the testing Theranos was doing on patients.Mike Segar/ReutersSource: Vanity FairBy October 2015, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou published his investigation into Theranos's struggles with its technology. Carreyrou's reporting sparked the beginning of the company's downward spiral.Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou.CBS "60 Minutes"Source: Wall Street JournalCarreyrou found that Theranos' blood-testing machine, named Edison, couldn't give accurate results, so Theranos was running its samples through the same machines used by traditional blood-testing companies.Carlos Osorio/APSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes appeared on CNBC's "Mad Money" shortly after the WSJ published its story to defend herself and Theranos. "This is what happens when you work to change things, and first they think you're crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world," Holmes said.CNBC/YouTubeSource: CNBCBy 2016, the FDA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and SEC were all looking into Theranos.GettySource: Wall Street Journal, WiredIn July 2016, Holmes was banned from the lab-testing industry for two years. By October, Theranos had shut down its lab operations and wellness centers.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn March 2018, Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani were charged with "massive fraud" by the SEC. Holmes agreed to give up financial and voting control of the company, pay a $500,000 fine, and return 18.9 million shares of Theranos stock. She also isn't allowed to be the director or officer of a publicly traded company for 10 years.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Business InsiderDespite the charges, Holmes was allowed to stay on as CEO of Theranos, since it's a private company. The company had been hanging on by a thread, and Holmes wrote to investors asking for more money to save Theranos. "In light of where we are, this is no easy ask," Holmes wrote.Kimberly White/Getty Images for FortuneSource: Business InsiderIn Theranos' final days, Holmes reportedly got a Siberian husky puppy named Balto that she brought into the office. However, the dog wasn't potty trained, and would go to the bathroom inside the company's office and during meetings.A Siberian husky (not Holmes' dog).Kateryna Orlova/ShutterstockSource: Vanity FairIn June 2018, Theranos announced that Holmes was stepping down as CEO. On the same day, the Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury had charged Holmes, along with Balwani, with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live (WSJDLive) conference at the Montage hotel in Laguna Beach, California, October 21, 2015.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business Insider, CNBCTheranos sent an email to shareholders in September 2018 announcing that the company was shutting down. Theranos reportedly said it planned to spend the next few months repaying creditors with its remaining resources.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Wall Street JournalAround the time Theranos' time was coming to an end, Holmes made her first public appearance alongside William "Billy" Evans, a 27-year-old heir to a hospitality property management company in California. The two reportedly first met in 2017, and were seen together in 2018 at Burning Man, the art festival in the Nevada desert.Jim Rankin/Toronto Star via Getty ImagesSource: Daily MailHolmes is said to wear Evans' MIT "signet ring" on a chain around her neck, and the couple reportedly posts photos "professing their love for each other" on a private Instagram account. Evans' parents are reportedly "flabbergasted" at their son's decision to marry Holmes.—Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) February 21, 2019Source: Vanity Fair, New York PostIt's unclear where Holmes and Evans currently reside, but they were previously living in a $5,000-a-month apartment in San Francisco until April 2019. The apartment was located just a few blocks from one of the city's top tourist attractions, the famously crooked block of Lombard Street.Lombard Place Apartments, where Holmes used to live.Rent SF NowSource: Business InsiderIt was later reported that Holmes and Evans got engaged in early 2019, then married in June in a secretive wedding ceremony. Former Theranos employees were reportedly not invited to the wedding, according to Vanity Fair.Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, New York PostHolmes' and Balwani's cases have since been separated.Justin Silva/Getty, Stephen Lam/Reuters, Business InsiderSource: Department of Justice, Business InsiderBesides the criminal case, Holmes was also involved in a number of civil lawsuits, including one in Arizona brought by former Theranos patients over inaccurate blood tests. The lawyers representing her in the Arizona case said in late 2019 they hadn't been paid over a year and asked to be removed from Holmes' legal team.Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court.Reuters/Stephen LamSource: Business InsiderHolmes' lawyers in the federal case had tried to get the government's entire case thrown out. In February 2020, Holmes caught a break after some of the charges against her were dropped when a judge ruled that some patients didn't suffer financial loss.Brendan McDermid/ReutersSource: Business InsiderAmid the coronavirus outbreak, Holmes' lawyers asked the judge in April 2020 to deem the case "essential" so the defense team could defy lockdown orders and continue to travel and meet face-to-face. The judge said he was "taken aback" by the defense's pleas to violate lockdown.Reuters/Robert GalbraithSource: Business Insider It soon become clear that the pandemic — and the health risks associated with assembling a trial in one — would make the July trial date unrealistic. Through hearings held on Zoom, the presiding judge initially pushed the trial back to October 2020 and later postponed it further to March 2021.Passengers wear masks as they walk through LAX airport.Reuters/Lucy NicholsonSource: Business Insider In March 2021, Holmes requested another delay to the trial because she was pregnant. She asked to push back the trial to August 31, and her request was granted. Holmes reportedly gave birth to the child in July.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider, CNBCHeading into the trial, Holmes felt "wronged, like Salem-witch-trial wronged," says a person who used to work with her closely.Holmes, right, leaving the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, California with her defense team on May 4, 2021.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe trial kicked off in September. In opening statements, prosecutors argued that, "Out of time and out of money, Elizabeth Holmes decided to lie." Meanwhile, the defense argued that although Theranos ultimately crumbled, "Failure is not a crime. Trying your hardest and coming up short is not a crime."Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building with her defense team on August 31, 2021 in San Jose, California.Ethan Swope/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider The list of possible witnesses for the trial named roughly 200 people, including the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, James Mattis, and Holmes herself.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Courthouse with her mother, Noel Holmes, during her trial.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn the end, the trial featured testimony from just over 30 witnesses.Vicki Behringer/ReutersSource: Business InsiderOver the course of 11 weeks, prosecutors called 29 witnesses to testify — including former Theranos employees, investors, patients, and doctors — before resting their case in November.Vicki BehringerSource: Business Insider The defense then began making its case, calling just three witnesses, including Holmes herself.Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderOn the stand, Holmes said Balwani emotionally and sexually abused her during their relationship.Former Theranos COO Ramesh "Sunny' Balwani leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on June 28, 2019 in San Jose, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also admitted that she added some pharmaceutical companies' logos to Theranos' reports without authorization. Investors previously said they took some reassurance in those reports because, based on the logos, they thought major pharmaceutical companies had validated Theranos' technology. Holmes said she added the logos to convey that work was done in partnership with those companies, but in hindsight she wishes she had "done it differently."Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also acknowledged on the stand that she hid Theranos' use of modified commercial devices from investors. She said she did this because company counsel told her that alterations the company made to the machines were trade secrets and needed to be protected as such.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHolmes spent seven days on the stand before the defense rested its case in early December.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives to attend her fraud trial at federal court in San Jose, California, U.S., December 16, 2021.Peter DaSilva/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Holmes "chose fraud over business failure" while the defense argued she was "building a business, not a criminal enterprise."Elizabeth Holmes walks into federal court in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.Nic Coury/Associated PressSource: Business InsiderAfter 15 weeks of trial, Holmes' case headed to a jury of eight men and four women on December 17.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of blood testing and life sciences company Theranos, leaves the courthouse with her husband Billy Evans after the first day of her fraud trial in San Jose, California on September 8, 2021.Nick Otto/AFP/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderJurors deliberated for a total of seven days over the next few weeks before telling the court on January 3 that they were deadlocked on three of the 11 charges against Holmes. The judge read off some jury instructions to the group in court before instructing them to go back and deliberate further.Kate Munsch/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHours later, the jury returned a mixed verdict for Holmes, finding her guilty on one count of conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud. They found her not guilty on four other counts and failed to reach a verdict on the remaining three counts.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe counts Holmes was found guilty of were all related to investments; she wasn't convicted on any of the charges involving patients who received inaccurate test results.David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes now faces the possibility of decades in prison. Each count carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, a $250,000 fine, and a requirement to pay victims restitution.AP Photo/Nic Coury, FileSource: Business Insider Legal experts told Insider it's unlikely Holmes will get 20 years at sentencing, but she probably won't get off without serving any time either.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes was not taken into custody following the verdict and will remain free until her sentencing on a $500,000 bond secured by property.Peter DaSilva/ReutersSource: Business InsiderSince the conviction, Holmes and Theranos have been the focus of a Hulu limited series, "The Dropout," based on the ABC News podcast of the same name.Amanda Seyfried in "The Dropout" (left); Elizabeth Holmes (right)Beth Dubber/Hulu; Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunchSource: Business InsiderHolmes is played by Amanda Seyfried in the dramatized series, which asks the question, "How did the world's youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye?"Amanda Seyfried in "The Dropout."HuluSource: HuluThe show premiered March 3 and also stars Naveen Andrews as Balwani, Holmes' right-hand man at Theranos. Balwani's fraud trial began in March.Beth Dubber/Hulu; Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider Now, Holmes is pleading with a judge to toss her conviction.APSource: Business Insider In a 24-page filing on May 27, Holmes' attorneys argued for her acquittal, saying the evidence was "insufficient to sustain the convictions."Nick Otto/AFP via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThey wrote, "Because no rational juror could have found the elements of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud beyond a reasonable doubt on this record, the Court should grant Ms. Holmes' motion for judgment of acquittal."David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider"Even if Ms. Holmes committed wire fraud against an investor (she did not) and even if Mr. Balwani committed wire fraud against an investor, that does not prove a conspiratorial agreement between them, nor does it prove that Ms. Holmes willfully joined any agreement," the attorneys continued in the filing.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderSuch appeals are common in cases like these, and legal experts expected Holmes would try to get her conviction overturned.Dai Sugano/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe judge in Holmes' case set a hearing for July to weigh her request.David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider Meanwhile, Balwani was convicted on 12 fraud-related charges. The jury came back with a conviction after deliberating for five days.Former Theranos COO Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani goes through a security checkpoint as he arrives at the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on March 10, 2022 in San Jose, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderBoth of them now await sentencing. Balwani's sentencing hearing is set for November 15. Holmes' sentencing date was originally slated for September 26, but it has since been delayed to October 17. No reason was provided for the delay.Chris Ryan/GettySource: Law360Paige Leskin and Maya Kosoff contributed to earlier versions of this story.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 13th, 2022

Jan. 6 live updates: Watergate star witness predicts criminal charges against Trump and his circle after latest testimony

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP The House Jan. 6 committee held a hearing on Tuesday afternoon. It focused on Trump's role in galvanizing far-right groups that stormed the Capitol. The Watergate witness John Dean said the latest testimony could warrant charges against Trump and his circle. Watergate star witness predicts criminal charges after latest Jan. 6 testimony: 'Trump is in trouble'Former White House Counsel John Dean testifying on Capitol Hill on June 10, 2019.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesJohn Dean, a key witness in the Watergate investigation, said that former President Donald Trump and others will likely face legal repercussions from evidence presented at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing. In an interview with CNN, Dean highlighted testimony by former members of extremist group the Oath Keepers, who were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol.Dean described them as "really classic authoritarian followers, following the leader."He argued that the testimony proves the extent to which the rioters believed they had been sent by Trump, which he said could be used by prosecutors were they to bring charges against the former president.Read Full StoryTrump 'liked the crazies' and wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander as Jan. 6 rally speakers despite red flags raised, former spokesperson saysKatrina Pierson, a former campaign spokesperson for Donald Trump and one of the organizers of the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally, said Trump wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander to speak at the event despite the "red flags" they raised.On Tuesday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, played a video of Pierson's testimony to the panel in which Pierson commented on Trump's love for "crazies" like Jones and Alexander."Yes, I was talking about President Trump. He loved people who viciously defended him in public," Pierson said in her deposition.Read Full StoryPhoto shows Mark Meadows escorting Rudy Giuliani from the White House following 'UNHINGED' West Wing meeting about 2020 election resultsA photo that Cassidy Hutchinson took of Mark Meadows leading Rudy Giuliani away from the Oval Office.Courtesy of CSPANFormer Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had to escort former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani from the Oval Office following a chaotic, late-night December 2020 West Wing meeting about the election results, according to new January 6 testimony.Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive testimony stunned Washington last month, shared with the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot a photo she took of Meadows leading  Giuliani away from the Oval Office following the turbulent gathering, which was the site of a face-off between Trump's legal allies and White House lawyers over efforts to promote the then-president's baseless claims of election fraud, according to testimony.The January 6 panel shared the photo alongside real-time text messages Hutchinson was sending from the meeting during its seventh live hearing on Tuesday. READ FULL STORYFormer Twitter employee feared people were going to die on January 6A former Twitter employee told the House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol that activity on the platform raised concerns that there would be deadly violence in Washington on January 6.The former employee, whose voice was obscured in a recording played during Tuesday's hearing, testified about trying and failing to get the company to intervene as former President Donald Trump's extremist supporters used the platform to repeat his statements about the upcoming protests to the 2020 election results.On the night of January 5, the employee testified about slacking a colleague, a message to the effect of, "When people are shooting each other tomorrow, I will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried."The former employee was on a team responsible for platform and content moderation policies during 2020 and 2021.READ FULL STORYOath Keepers attorney used the 'Queer Eye' loft kitchen from Season 3 as her video background before the January 6 committeeOath Keepers attorney Kellye SoRelle.C-SPANTestifying remotely before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, the Oath Keepers' attorney and acting president used a green screen background from the Netflix show "Queer Eye."Erin Ryan, host of Crooked Media's "Hysteria" podcast, tweeted out a screenshot of the remote deposition from Oath Keepers acting president Kellye SoRelle alongside an image from the third season of the streaming series, which Ryan said she found from a reverse Google image search.READ FULL STORYRep. Liz Cheney ends hearing with bombshell: Donald Trump called a witness in the House January 6 investigationFormer President Donald Trump called a witness in the congressional inquiry into the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday, prompting House investigators to notify the Justice Department. "After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation. A witness you have not yet seen in these hearings. That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call and, instead, alerted their lawyer to the call," said Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, in a bombshell revelation that concluded the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing."Their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice," she added. "Let me say one more time: We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously."READ FULL STORYThe January 6 investigators obtained a video of Roger Stone reciting the Proud Boys' 'Fraternity Creed,' the first step for initiation to the extremist groupAn image of Roger Stone is shown on a screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via APNew details emerged at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing on the close ties between Roger Stone and extremist groups, including that the longtime Donald Trump confidante was recorded reciting the Proud Boys' so-called "Fraternity Creed." Rep. Jamie Raskin, who co-chaired the public hearing, described reciting the creed as "the first level of initiation" into the far-right group, five members of which are scheduled to be tried on seditious conspiracy charges in December.  "Stone's ties to the Proud Boys go back many years," Raskin said. "He's even taken their so-called "Fraternity Creed," required for the first level of initiation to the group."Video then played showing Stone in a crowded outdoor setting, saying, "Hi, I'm Roger Stone. I'm a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for the creation of the modern world." READ FULL STORYTrump planned to call on his supporters to march to the Capitol on January 6, according to a draft tweetThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Tuesday revealed a draft tweet in which President Donald Trump called on his supporters to go to the US Capitol after his speech on January 6, 2021."I will be making a Big Speech at 10AM on January 6th at the Ellipse (South of the White House). Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!" Trump wrote in the draft tweet, which is undated.Trump never sent the tweet, but its existence, along with other messages exchanged between rally organizers, offer proof that the march to the Capitol was premeditated, the January 6 committee said.Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida presented the evidence during Tuesday's hearing, and said: "The evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather it was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president."READ FULL STORYTrump's ex-campaign manger Brad Parscale said in private texts that Trump is to blame for Capitol rioter's deathIn a series of texts revealed at the 7th hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, President Donald Trump's former campaign manger Brad Parscale suggested in a message to former Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson that Trump's words led to the death of a capitol rioter.Messages show Pierson tried to push back, writing that "it wasn't the rhetoric.""Katrina," Parscale wrote back. "Yes it was."Read Full StoryPat Cipollone suggested Pence should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom for refusing to block the Electoral Collage count certificationA video of Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via AP"I think the vice president did the right thing, I think he did the courageous thing," Cipollone said in testimony revealed at the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing on Tuesday. "I have a great deal of respect for Vice President Pence."Cipollone added that he didn't think Pence had any "legal authority" to do anything other than refuse to give into President Donald Trump's pressure campaign and interfere with the Electoral College certification on January 6, 2021.Read Full Story  11 House Republicans met with Trump to strategize overturning the election results on January 6, and 5 of them later asked for pardonsAccording to Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, a member of the January 6 committee, several Republicans met at the White House on December 21, 2020, as part of an effort to "disseminate his false claims and to encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on January 6."Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani were all at the meeting, along with President Donald Trump.According to White House visitor logs, Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Florida, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Rep-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia all attended the meeting.Read Full StoryFormer Twitter employee tells January 6 committee that Trump received special treatment from TwitterAn evidence tweet is shown on a screen during a full committee hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. - The House committee probing the 2021 assault on the US Capitol is examining connections between associates of former US President Donald Trump and far right-wing extremist groups at its seventh hearing on Tuesday.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images"I believe that Twitter relished in the knowledge that they were also the favorite and most used service of the former president and enjoyed having that sort of power within the social media ecosystem," the former Twitter employee told investigators in testimony aired in Tuesday's hearing of the congressional committee investigating January 6.The employee, whose identity was kept secret, was introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin as having worked on Twitter's content moderation team from 2020 to 2021.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson texted a fellow White House aide 'the west wing is UNHINGED' as Oval Office meeting almost devolved into a brawlCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesAccording to messages released by the House January 6 committee, Hutchinson texted the message to another top aide, Anthony Ornato.It was sent amid the scene of a December 2020 Oval Office meeting as Trump attorney Sidney Powell and White House lawyers clashed over efforts to push Trump's debunked election fraud claims. Read Full Story Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone 'set a new land speed record' trying to break up a meeting between Trump, Michael Flynn, and Overstock's CEO, Sidney Powell saidDemocratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one of the committee members leading Tuesday's January 6 hearing, said former President Donald Trump, election lawyer Sidney Powell, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, had met to discuss an ongoing effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election.Powell told investigators in previously recorded testimony, however, that the group had "probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes" with Trump before Pat Cipollone, then the White House Counsel, intercepted the meeting."I bet Pat Cipollone set a new land speed record," Powell quipped.Rep. Jamie Raskin says the 'oldest domestic enemy' of US democracy' is 'whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections'Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., left, listens as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite"The problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in America," Raskin said in his opening statement during Tuesday's January 6 hearing.He mentioned a time during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, when an 1837 racist mob in Alton, Illinois, during which rioters broke into an abolitionist newspaper's office and murdered the paper's editor, Elijah Lovejoy."If racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, Lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work," Raskin said.Read Full StoryConvicted Capitol rioter testifying in front of the committee warned that a 'Civil War will ensue' if Trump got robbed in 2020Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty last month to disorderly conduct in connection to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is set to testify in from to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack.His testimony is expected to underscore how Trump summoned supporters to Washington DC on the day Congress was scheduled to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.On December 26, 2020, Ayres posted to Twitter: "If the [deep state] robs president Trump!!! Civil War will ensue!" It was posted days after Trump called for a "big protest" in his own tweet.Read Full StoryEx-White House counsel Pat Cipollone was against Trump naming Sidney Powell special counselA video of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteIn previously unseen footage from his deposition to the House Select Committee last Friday, Cipollone spoke about Powell being Trump's pick to be special counsel for the Department of Justice to investigate repeatedly disproven wide spread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election."I was vehemently opposed," Cipollone said when asked about Powell being made special counsel. "I didn't think she should've been appointed to anything."Read Full StoryRep. Jamie Raskin says Trump 'electrified and galvanized' his extremist supporters with a tweet calling for a 'big protest'Jamie Raskin listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteRaskin, a Maryland Democrat, referenced a December 19, 2020, tweet from Trump during the House's January 6 committee hearing on Tuesday."Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump's tweet said. "Be there, will be wild!" Raskin said that Trump's tweet spurred on "the dangerous extremists in the Oathkeepers, the Proud Boys and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government.""Here were thousands of enraged Trump followers, thoroughly convinced by the Big Lie who traveled from across the country to join Trump's wild rally to 'stop the steal,'" he added. "With the proper incitement by political leaders, and the proper instigation from the extremists, many members of this crowd could be led to storm the Capitol, confront the vice president in Congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results."Read Full Story  Ivanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost re-election 'probably prior' to a formal Electoral Collage vote in December 2020Ivanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost the 2020 presidential election likely before a formal Electoral College vote on December 14, 2020."Was that an important day for you? Did that affect your planning or your realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end to this administration?" an attorney for the committee asked Ivanka Trump in video taped testimony."I think it was my sentiment, probably prior as well," Ivanka Trump said in response.Read Full StoryPat Cipollone's testimony 'met our expectations," Cheney saysFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee vice chair and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified before the panel — and that his testimony "met our expectations."The House committee then aired several clips of Cipollone's sworn testimony at the start of their seventh hearing on Tuesday.Cipollone told the January 6 committee that he agreed Trump should concede the 2020 election and that he lost to Democratic nominee Joe Biden fair and square.  Read Full StoryCheney: Trump is 'not an impressionable child'GOP Rep. Liz CheneyAP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)GOP Rep. Liz Cheney pushed back on excuses for former President Donald Trump's actions during the Capitol riot, saying he was not simply misled about his election lies but knew they were false."President Trump is a 76-year-old man," Cheney said as the January 6 committee began its hearing on Tuesday. "He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices."Cheney said evidence shows Trump was warned "over and over" that there was no sign of widespread election fraud."No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion," she said, "and Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind."Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee's next hearing expected to link Trump even more closely to the Capitol attackLawmakers on the House January 6 committee will air the inquiry's findings during a public hearing Thursday.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesFrom its very first hearing, the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol made a point of connecting former President Donald Trump to the violence of that day.A month later, the House panel is poised to delve even deeper. At its next public hearing, set for 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the committee is expected to focus on how the violent pro-Trump mob coalesced on January 6 and the involvement of far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.Committee aides said Monday during a background call with reporters that the panel's seventh hearing would underscore how a single tweet from Trump mobilized his supporters, proving a "pivotal moment that spurred a chain of events, including pre-planning by Proud Boys.""Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump tweeted on December 19, 2020. "Be there, will be wild!"READ FULL STORYCassidy Hutchinson's testimony jolted the DOJ into focusing on Trump in its Jan 6 investigation, report saysCassidy Hutchinson testifying before the Jan. 6 committee on June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTestimony by Jan. 6 witness Cassidy Hutchinson sparked debate among top Justice Department officials about Donald Trump's potential criminal culpability for the Capitol riot, The New York Times reported. The June 28 testimony by the former White House aide prompted officials to discuss Trump's actions on January 6, 2021, and questions about potential legal ramifications for the former president, sources told The Times. Present at some of the discussions were Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the report said. Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson and Rep. Liz Cheney have forged an 'unlikely bond' amid January 6 testimony process, per reportCassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive January 6 testimony stunned Washington last month, has found a friend and ally in Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has been ostracized from the GOP for criticizing the former president and serving as vice-chair on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, according to The New York Times.The two Republican women — both on the outs with the party's overwhelming Trump faction — have developed an unlikely bond in recent weeks as the January 6 panel riot zeroes in on increasingly damning testimony against former President Donald Trump.The congresswomen admires Hutchinson's dedication to country over personal power, according to The Times. "I have been incredibly moved by young women that I have met and that have come forward to testify in the Jan. 6 committee," Cheney said in a recent speech at the Reagan Library.Read Full Story A bad day for Steve BannonSteve Bannon asked to delay his mid-July trial by at least three months.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesMonday was not a good day in court for Steve Bannon.The former Trump aide lost on several key pre-trial motions ahead of his upcoming July 18 federal trial on contempt of Congress charges.U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, ruled from the bench that Bannon's defense attorneys couldn't use several of their planned arguments. Nichols also denied Bannon's bid to have the trial date delayed.Insider's Ryan Barber was at the courthouse in Washington, DC, and has more in his dispatch linked below. Read Full Story'That mob on the Mall'An Oath Keeper from Idaho in Bozeman, Montana.William Campbell/Corbis via Getty ImagesWe've got a handy preview for you on Tuesday's next big House January 6 hearing, which will focus on the right-wing extremist groups that in the words of Rep. Adam Schiff helped lead "that mob on the Mall." Laura Italiano breaks down the five potential bombshells she'll be looking out for when the panel convenes at 1 pm. Check out what those are here:Read Full Story The most shocking revelations from the January 6 committee's first hearings on the Capitol attackCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoThe next January 6 committee hearing is scheduled for July 12, at 10 a.m. ET.Catch up on the biggest revelations from the public hearings thus far.Read Full StoryTeasing new witnesses, Rep. Adam Kinzinger says of Trump and his allies: 'They're all scared. They should be.'Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesIn a series of Sunday tweets, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Donald Trump and his allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are "scared" following last week's testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan. 6 select committee. "This BIPARTISAN committee has been able to find out things that up until recently were denied by the Jan 6th truthers, so they are left with trying to discredit a young woman with more courage than they could muster in a lifetime. Except… that isn't working," Kinzinger tweeted."Cassidy doesn't seek the limelight, but she is compelled with honor. She didn't even have to swear an oath to the constitution like Kevin, Elise, Kristi Noem and others did. But she volunteered to come under oath to tell what she knows. She is a better person than them all. "Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the January 6 panel won't 'stand by' and let 'men who are claiming executive privilege' attack Cassidy Hutchinson's characterCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, arrives to testify during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview that aired on Sunday reaffirmed her confidence in former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony and said that the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol wouldn't sit by idly and let her endure anonymous attacks.While sitting down with ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the Wyoming Republican expressed confidence in Hutchinson and the credibility of future hearings."What Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure," she said."The Committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege. And so we look forward very much to additional testimony under oath on a whole range of issues," she added.Read Full StoryKinzinger says new witnesses have been coming forward to the Jan. 6 committee since Cassidy Hutchinson's 'inspiring' testimonyRep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesRep. Adam Kinzinger says that more witnesses have come forward since Cassidy Hutchinson's blockbuster testimony during the Jan 6. hearings last week.  "She's been inspiring for a lot of people," Kinzinger said Sunday on CNN's  "State of the Union." "Every day, we get new people that come forward and say, 'hey, I didn't think maybe this piece of the story that I knew was important, but now that you guys are talking' — I do see this plays in here."Hutchinson, an ex-aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed in front of the Jan. 6 committee shocking details of former president Donald Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol attack, including that he attempted to grab the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at one of his Secret Service agents, as Insider's Grace Panetta previously reported. "I mean, look, she is going to go down in history," Kinzinger said, referring to the 25-year-old. "People can forget the names of every one of us on the committee. They will not forget her name. And, by the way, she doesn't want that. She doesn't want to be out in the public spotlight."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the Jan. 6 committee could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against TrumpU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview broadcast on Sunday said that the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against former President Donald Trump.During an interview on ABC's "This Week," Cheney — who serves as the vice-chair of the panel — was asked by correspondent Jonathan Karl if the work conducted by its members has shown that Trump's conduct warrants prosecution."Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that," the Wyoming Republican said. "I think we may well as a committee have a view on that."She continued: "If you just think about it from the perspective of what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat — when the Congress is under threat? It's just very chilling. And I think certainly we will continue to present to the American people what we've found."Read Full StoryDOJ wants a DC judge to reject Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial over January 6 hearings' publicity, saying that he has 'barely been mentioned'Steve Bannon argued in April that his criminal prosecution should be dismissed.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Department of Justice asked a DC judge on Friday to reject Trump ally Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial, arguing that the January 6 hearings have not revolved around him to the point of distraction.On Wednesday, Bannon's lawyers asked a DC judge to delay his July 18 trial, citing a "media blitz" from the public January 6 committee hearings and saying the request was "due to the unprecedented level of prejudicial pretrial publicity."DOJ lawyers said that Bannon is not as popular as he thinks he is."The Defendant's motion gives the false impression — through general statistics about the volume of viewership of the Committee's hearings and overall media coverage of the Committee's hearings — that all of the Committee's hearings and the attendant media coverage is about him," DOJ lawyers wrote in a filing on Friday. "The truth is just the opposite — the Defendant has barely been mentioned in the Committee's hearings or the resulting media coverage of them."Read More2 Secret Service sources told CNN that Trump angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6, partly confirming Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimonyFormer President Donald Trump.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo Secret Service sources told CNN on Friday that they heard about former President Donald Trump lunging at the driver of his presidential SUV on January 6, 2021.The pair of sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, backed up much of former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony on the altercation in the motorcade vehicle known as "the Beast" after Trump found out he wouldn't be driven to join his supporters at the Capitol."He had sort of lunged forward – it was unclear from the conversations I had that he actually made physical contact, but he might have. I don't know," one of the Secret Service sources told CNN. "Nobody said Trump assaulted him; they said he tried to lunge over the seat – for what reason, nobody had any idea."Read Full StoryMichael Cohen says Trump uses a 'mob boss' playbookMichael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, compared the former president to a "mob boss" amid allegations that Trump allies sought to intimidate Jan. 6 witnesses."Donald Trump never changes his playbook," Cohen told The Washington Post. "He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style. Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached."Read Full StoryTrump allies paid legal fees for multiple Jan. 6 witnesses, including Cassidy Hutchinson, sparking witness-influencing concerns, report saysCassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies before the January 6 committee in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump's allies and supporters paid the legal fees for multiple people who had provided testimony to the January 6 committee, including the former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, The New York Times reported.Hutchinson eventually fired the lawyer who was paid for a pro-Trump group, and went on to provide damning testimony about Trump, the report said. Two sources familiar with the committee told The Times that they believe Hutchinson's decision to part ways with the lawyer — who had been recommended by Trump allies and paid for by a pro-Trump PAC — likely played a role in her decision to provide new evidence. There are no laws against a third party paying for a witness' legal representation in a congressional inquiry, but the situation may raise some ethical concerns, according to the report.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent said he, too, would have defied Trump's request to be taken to the Capitol on January 6Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow said in an op-ed that he also would not have taken then-President Donald Trump to the Capitol on January 6, 2021.In an op-ed published by Newsweek, Wackrow said he was shocked by Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the January committee regarding Trump's actions on the day of the Capitol riot. Hutchinson, a former aide in the Trump White House, claimed that Trump had gotten into a physical altercation with the head of his security detail while demanding to be brought to the Capitol."If I had been working on Trump's security detail on January 6, I would have made the same decision as Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Robert Engel to not go to the Capitol based on the known escalating threats," Wackrow wrote.He added, however, that he believed Trump still respects the Secret Service because he probably has seen "first-hand what they're willing to do to protect him and his family." Read Full StoryGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says Cassidy Hutchinson is a 'hero' and has 'more courage than most' Republicans after January 6 testimonyCassidy Hutchinson testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday applauded Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony to the January 6 committee, saying the former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has "more courage" than most of his Republican colleagues. "Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero and a real patriot (not a faux 'patriot' that hates America so much they would attempt a coup.)," Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, said in a tweet."Of course they will try to bully and intimidate her. But she isn't intimidated. More courage than most in GOP," Kinzinger added of Hutchinson.Read Full StoryGOP Sen. Pat Toomey says Trump's chances of winning the party's 2024 presidential nomination are 'much more tenuous' following the January 6 committee's hearingsRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania at the White House with Trump in February 2018.AP Photo/Evan VucciRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania suggested Thursday that public hearings from the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, had damaged former President Donald Trump politically, even among Republicans.At the end of a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg that focused on the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Reserve's approach to tackling inflation, the retiring lawmaker was asked whether he believed the hearings would preclude Trump from seeking a second term as president in 2024."I don't know that it means that. I mean he gets to decide whether he's going to run," said Toomey, who was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of an insurrection after the Capitol riot."Look, I think he disqualified himself from serving in public office by virtue of his post-election behavior, especially leading right up to January 6," Toomey said. "I think the revelations from this committee make his path to even the Republican nomination much more tenuous."Read Full StoryCheney 'absolutely confident' that former White House aide's explosive testimony is credibleRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks during a business meeting on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as vice-chair of the House's January 6 committee, said she is "absolutely confident" that a former White House aide's damning testimony is accurate."I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I'm confident in her testimony," Cheney told ABC News's Jonathan Karl about the allegations made by top Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson this week.Cheney said that Hutchinson showed "an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage" by testifying.Read MoreBannon wants his contempt trial to be delayed because of Jan. 6 hearingsSteve Bannon outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesTrump ally Steve Bannon has asked for his contempt-of-Congress trial to be delayed because the hearings on the Capitol riot are getting so much publicity.A federal grand jury indicted Bannon in November 2021 on two counts of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.In a Wednesday court filing, Bannon's lawyers argued that the coverage of the committee's hearings would make his trial unfair.Read More January 6 panel subpoenas former White House counsel Pat CipolloneFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said he would testify about Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who outlined ways for Trump to challenge the 2020 election.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House's panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.The demand for Cipollone to appear before the committee comes after explosive testimony from a former top White House aide in the Trump administration, who described Trump and his inner circle's actions before and during the insurrection.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent says Trump's 'girth' would have made it impossible to attack driverOutgoing US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesA former White House aide testified that former President Donald Trump grabbed the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at a Secret Service agent on January 6, 2021, after they refused to take him to the Capitol building.But former Secret Service agents told Insider they have doubts about the story."Trump's not a little guy, right? And the space to actually be able to lunge towards the wheel is not that big," one former agent said, speaking on background to Insider.  "I don't mean to sound disparaging to the former president, but just his girth would prevent him from actually getting to the steering wheel."Keep ReadingHouse Republican who led rioter on tour before insurrection could oversee Capitol policeRep. Barry LoudermilkBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Barry Loudermilk — who led a Capitol rioter on a tour of the building the day before the insurrection — could end up overseeing Capitol police.If Republicans regain control of the House, Loudermilk would be next in line to lead the committee that has oversight over the police force attacked by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.Loudermilk has faced backlash from Democrats after video showed him taking a group on a tour of the Capitol building, showing them hallways, security areas, and stairwells. The next day, members of the tour flaunted a sharpened flagpole bearing the American flag as they marched near the Capitol.It remains unclear whether the group entered the Capitol building itself during the riot.Read Full Story Former Jan. 6 committee investigator announces run for SenateSenior investigative counsel John Wood questions witnesses during the third public hearing of the January 6 committee on June 16, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee investigator John Wood is launching an independent Senate campaign in Missouri in an effort to stop GOP nominee Eric Greitens.Wood told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he believes Greitens — the former Missouri governor — is likely to win the Republican nomination, and that voters deserved an alternative.Wood, a Republican, said he will run as an independent.Read MoreTrump ally says Hutchinson's testimony was a 'campaign commercial' for Ron DeSantis in 2024Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisPhelan M. Ebenhack/AP PhotoExplosive testimony by a former Trump White House aide could be a boost to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace Trump on the presidential ticket in 2024, CNN reported.One Trump adviser said the hearings — which painted as Trump as violent and volatile — were "basically a campaign commercial" for DeSantis. Another told CNN that "no one is taking this lightly."DeSantis has flirted with larger political ambitions and is a rising Republican star who would be poised to fill the leadership vacuum if Trump is forced aside.Read Full StorySecret Service agents willing to dispute Hutchinson's claims about Trump's outburst, reports sayFormer President Donald TrumpSAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesSecret Service agents are willing to testify before the January 6 House panel to refute former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's claim that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel when he demanded to be taken to the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, according to multiple reports.The driver of the car and the head of Trump's security are ready to testify under oath that the former President never lunged for the wheel or physically assaulted the driver, according to CBS News.Read More Hutchinson's testimony could lead to legal trouble for Trump: reportCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoFormer aides to Donald Trump worry the explosive testimony by a former White House aide could put Trump in legal jeopardy, according to the New York Times."This hearing definitely gave investigators a lot to chew on," former Attorney General Bill Barr told the Times after testimony from top White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailed Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol riot.Hutchinson's testimony painted Trump as a volatile man who knew his supporters were armed on January 6, 2021. Trump also demanded to be taken to the Capitol building, but his security staff refused, Hutchinson said.Mick Mulvaney, who was once Trump's White House Chief of Staff, said evidence of possible witness tampering could open his orbit up to charges.Keep Reading  Former Trump press secretary shares text that appears to show Melania Trump to condemn Capitol riot violenceMelania Trump speaks at the White House on October 09, 2019Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFormer Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham shared a text exchange on Tuesday that purportedly showed former First Lady Melania Trump refusing to condemn the violence during the Capitol riot. The apparent screengrab of a text exchange was between Grisham and a person named "MT." "Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" read the message. "No," the person replied.Representatives for Melania Trump at Trump's post-presidential press office did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.Read Full StoryJohn Eastman drops lawsuit blocking his phone records from January 6 committeeJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APIn a late Tuesday filing, John Eastman dropped a lawsuit he'd filed to prevent the Jan. 6 committee from accessing his phone records."Plaintiff brought this lawsuit primarily to protect the content of his communications, many of which are privileged," the latest filing read. "The Congressional Defendants represented in their motion to dismiss that they were not seeking the content of any of Plaintiff's communications via the subpoena they had issued to Defendant Verizon."The former Trump lawyer's phone was seized by federal agents on June 22, according to a separate suit he filed on Monday, seeking the return of his property. Of interest to investigators are call logs from Eastman's personal device, and the search warrant indicates investigators will not review any additional content from his phone without a court order. Read Full StoryTrumpworld shocked by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive January 6 testimony, calling it the 'most damning day' and 'insane'Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoIt took six hearings for the January 6 select committee to finally break through to embattled former President Donald Trump's inner circle.Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified during a surprise hearing Tuesday that Trump was determined to go to the US Capitol with his armed supporters on January 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying the election results. Hutchinson's additional revelations about that day came crashing down on Trumpworld during the two-hour hearing. Among them were that Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad" on January 6, that Trump knew his supporters were armed when they flooded the Ellipse to attend his "Stop the Steal" rally, and that Trump said "Mike deserves it" when rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence." "Definitely most damning day of testimony," one former White House aide told Insider. READ MOREFox News host says it's not 'wholly out of character' that Trump 'might throw his lunch' after January 6 testimony on ketchup dripping down the wallFormer President Donald Trump and Fox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier.Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesMoments after a colleague referred to Tuesday's January 6 committee testimony as "stunning," Fox News host Martha MacCallum downplayed new revelations about former President Donald Trump's violent outbursts surrounding his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Trump threw a plate in the White House dining room after he found out former Attorney General Bill Barr publicly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, leaving "ketchup dripping down the wall.""I mean, I'm not sure that it really shocks anybody that the president just — knowing what we've seen, observing him over the years — if he got angry then he might throw his lunch," MacCallum said. "I'm not sure. It's obviously a very dramatic detail, and the way that she describes it, um, is. But I'm not sure if this is wholly out of character with the Donald Trump and the President Trump that people came to know over the years."READ MOREHere are all the people who sought preemptive pardons from Donald Trump after the Capitol riot, per January 6 committee witnessesRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are ch.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 13th, 2022

Jan. 6 live updates: Ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone was "vehemently opposed" to Trump naming Powell special counsel

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP The House Jan. 6 committee's latest hearing began on Tuesday afternoon. Expect to hear links between Trumpworld and extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. Steve Bannon is on criminal trial next week for refusing to testify to the Jan. 6 committee. Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone 'set a new land speed record' trying to break up a meeting between Trump, Michael Flynn, and Overstock's CEO, Sidney Powell saidDemocratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one of the committee members leading Tuesday's January 6 hearing, said former President Donald Trump, election lawyer Sidney Powell, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, had met to discuss an ongoing effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election.Powell told investigators in previously recorded testimony, however, that the group had "probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes" with Trump before Pat Cipollone, then the White House Counsel, intercepted the meeting."I bet Pat Cipollone set a new land speed record," Powell quipped.Rep. Jamie Raskin says the 'oldest domestic enemy' of US democracy' is 'whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections'Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., left, listens as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite"The problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in America," Raskin said in his opening statement during Tuesday's January 6 hearing.He mentioned a time during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, when an 1837 racist mob in Alton, Illinois, during which rioters broke into an abolitionist newspaper's office and murdered the paper's editor, Elijah Lovejoy."If racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, Lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work," Raskin said.Read Full StoryConvicted Capitol rioter testifying in front of the committee warned that a 'Civil War will ensue' if Trump got robbed in 2020Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty last month to disorderly conduct in connection to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is set to testify in from to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack.His testimony is expected to underscore how Trump summoned supporters to Washington DC on the day Congress was scheduled to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.On December 26, 2020, Ayres posted to Twitter: "If the [deep state] robs president Trump!!! Civil War will ensue!" It was posted days after Trump called for a "big protest" in his own tweet.Read Full StoryEx-White House counsel Pat Cipollone was against Trump naming Sidney Powell special counselA video of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteIn previously unseen footage from his deposition to the House Select Committee last Friday, Cipollone spoke about Powell being Trump's pick to be special counsel for the Department of Justice to investigate repeatedly disproven wide spread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election."I was vehemently opposed," Cipollone said when asked about Powell being made special counsel. "I didn't think she should've been appointed to anything."Read Full StoryRep. Jamie Raskin says Trump 'electrified and galvanized' his extremist supporters with a tweet calling for a 'big protest'Jamie Raskin listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteRaskin, a Maryland Democrat, referenced a December 19, 2020, tweet from Trump during the House's January 6 committee hearing on Tuesday."Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump's tweet said. "Be there, will be wild!" Raskin said that Trump's tweet spurred on "the dangerous extremists in the Oathkeepers, the Proud Boys and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government.""Here were thousands of enraged Trump followers, thoroughly convinced by the Big Lie who traveled from across the country to join Trump's wild rally to 'stop the steal,'" he added. "With the proper incitement by political leaders, and the proper instigation from the extremists, many members of this crowd could be led to storm the Capitol, confront the vice president in Congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results."Read Full Story  Ivanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost re-election 'probably prior' to a formal Electoral Collage vote in December 2020Ivanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost the 2020 presidential election likely before a formal Electoral College vote on December 14, 2020."Was that an important day for you? Did that affect your planning or your realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end to this administration?" an attorney for the committee asked Ivanka Trump in video taped testimony."I think it was my sentiment, probably prior as well," Ivanka Trump said in response.Read Full StoryPat Cipollone's testimony 'met our expectations," Cheney saysFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee vice chair and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified before the panel — and that his testimony "met our expectations."The House committee then aired several clips of Cipollone's sworn testimony at the start of their seventh hearing on Tuesday.Cipollone told the January 6 committee that he agreed Trump should concede the 2020 election and that he lost to Democratic nominee Joe Biden fair and square.  Read Full StoryCheney: Trump is 'not an impressionable child'GOP Rep. Liz CheneyAP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)GOP Rep. Liz Cheney pushed back on excuses for former President Donald Trump's actions during the Capitol riot, saying he was not simply misled about his election lies but knew they were false."President Trump is a 76-year-old man," Cheney said as the January 6 committee began its hearing on Tuesday. "He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices."Cheney said evidence shows Trump was warned "over and over" that there was no sign of widespread election fraud."No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion," she said, "and Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind."Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee's next hearing expected to link Trump even more closely to the Capitol attackLawmakers on the House January 6 committee will air the inquiry's findings during a public hearing Thursday.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesFrom its very first hearing, the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol made a point of connecting former President Donald Trump to the violence of that day.A month later, the House panel is poised to delve even deeper. At its next public hearing, set for 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the committee is expected to focus on how the violent pro-Trump mob coalesced on January 6 and the involvement of far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.Committee aides said Monday during a background call with reporters that the panel's seventh hearing would underscore how a single tweet from Trump mobilized his supporters, proving a "pivotal moment that spurred a chain of events, including pre-planning by Proud Boys.""Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump tweeted on December 19, 2020. "Be there, will be wild!"READ FULL STORYCassidy Hutchinson's testimony jolted the DOJ into focusing on Trump in its Jan 6 investigation, report saysCassidy Hutchinson testifying before the Jan. 6 committee on June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTestimony by Jan. 6 witness Cassidy Hutchinson sparked debate among top Justice Department officials about Donald Trump's potential criminal culpability for the Capitol riot, The New York Times reported. The June 28 testimony by the former White House aide prompted officials to discuss Trump's actions on January 6, 2021, and questions about potential legal ramifications for the former president, sources told The Times. Present at some of the discussions were Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the report said. Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson and Rep. Liz Cheney have forged an 'unlikely bond' amid January 6 testimony process, per reportCassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive January 6 testimony stunned Washington last month, has found a friend and ally in Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has been ostracized from the GOP for criticizing the former president and serving as vice-chair on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, according to The New York Times.The two Republican women — both on the outs with the party's overwhelming Trump faction — have developed an unlikely bond in recent weeks as the January 6 panel riot zeroes in on increasingly damning testimony against former President Donald Trump.The congresswomen admires Hutchinson's dedication to country over personal power, according to The Times. "I have been incredibly moved by young women that I have met and that have come forward to testify in the Jan. 6 committee," Cheney said in a recent speech at the Reagan Library.Read Full Story A bad day for Steve BannonSteve Bannon asked to delay his mid-July trial by at least three months.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesMonday was not a good day in court for Steve Bannon.The former Trump aide lost on several key pre-trial motions ahead of his upcoming July 18 federal trial on contempt of Congress charges.U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, ruled from the bench that Bannon's defense attorneys couldn't use several of their planned arguments. Nichols also denied Bannon's bid to have the trial date delayed.Insider's Ryan Barber was at the courthouse in Washington, DC, and has more in his dispatch linked below. Read Full Story'That mob on the Mall'An Oath Keeper from Idaho in Bozeman, Montana.William Campbell/Corbis via Getty ImagesWe've got a handy preview for you on Tuesday's next big House January 6 hearing, which will focus on the right-wing extremist groups that in the words of Rep. Adam Schiff helped lead "that mob on the Mall." Laura Italiano breaks down the five potential bombshells she'll be looking out for when the panel convenes at 1 pm. Check out what those are here:Read Full Story The most shocking revelations from the January 6 committee's first hearings on the Capitol attackCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoThe next January 6 committee hearing is scheduled for July 12, at 10 a.m. ET.Catch up on the biggest revelations from the public hearings thus far.Read Full StoryTeasing new witnesses, Rep. Adam Kinzinger says of Trump and his allies: 'They're all scared. They should be.'Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesIn a series of Sunday tweets, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Donald Trump and his allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are "scared" following last week's testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan. 6 select committee. "This BIPARTISAN committee has been able to find out things that up until recently were denied by the Jan 6th truthers, so they are left with trying to discredit a young woman with more courage than they could muster in a lifetime. Except… that isn't working," Kinzinger tweeted."Cassidy doesn't seek the limelight, but she is compelled with honor. She didn't even have to swear an oath to the constitution like Kevin, Elise, Kristi Noem and others did. But she volunteered to come under oath to tell what she knows. She is a better person than them all. "Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the January 6 panel won't 'stand by' and let 'men who are claiming executive privilege' attack Cassidy Hutchinson's characterCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, arrives to testify during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview that aired on Sunday reaffirmed her confidence in former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony and said that the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol wouldn't sit by idly and let her endure anonymous attacks.While sitting down with ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the Wyoming Republican expressed confidence in Hutchinson and the credibility of future hearings."What Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure," she said."The Committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege. And so we look forward very much to additional testimony under oath on a whole range of issues," she added.Read Full StoryKinzinger says new witnesses have been coming forward to the Jan. 6 committee since Cassidy Hutchinson's 'inspiring' testimonyRep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesRep. Adam Kinzinger says that more witnesses have come forward since Cassidy Hutchinson's blockbuster testimony during the Jan 6. hearings last week.  "She's been inspiring for a lot of people," Kinzinger said Sunday on CNN's  "State of the Union." "Every day, we get new people that come forward and say, 'hey, I didn't think maybe this piece of the story that I knew was important, but now that you guys are talking' — I do see this plays in here."Hutchinson, an ex-aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed in front of the Jan. 6 committee shocking details of former president Donald Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol attack, including that he attempted to grab the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at one of his Secret Service agents, as Insider's Grace Panetta previously reported. "I mean, look, she is going to go down in history," Kinzinger said, referring to the 25-year-old. "People can forget the names of every one of us on the committee. They will not forget her name. And, by the way, she doesn't want that. She doesn't want to be out in the public spotlight."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the Jan. 6 committee could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against TrumpU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview broadcast on Sunday said that the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against former President Donald Trump.During an interview on ABC's "This Week," Cheney — who serves as the vice-chair of the panel — was asked by correspondent Jonathan Karl if the work conducted by its members has shown that Trump's conduct warrants prosecution."Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that," the Wyoming Republican said. "I think we may well as a committee have a view on that."She continued: "If you just think about it from the perspective of what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat — when the Congress is under threat? It's just very chilling. And I think certainly we will continue to present to the American people what we've found."Read Full StoryDOJ wants a DC judge to reject Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial over January 6 hearings' publicity, saying that he has 'barely been mentioned'Steve Bannon argued in April that his criminal prosecution should be dismissed.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Department of Justice asked a DC judge on Friday to reject Trump ally Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial, arguing that the January 6 hearings have not revolved around him to the point of distraction.On Wednesday, Bannon's lawyers asked a DC judge to delay his July 18 trial, citing a "media blitz" from the public January 6 committee hearings and saying the request was "due to the unprecedented level of prejudicial pretrial publicity."DOJ lawyers said that Bannon is not as popular as he thinks he is."The Defendant's motion gives the false impression — through general statistics about the volume of viewership of the Committee's hearings and overall media coverage of the Committee's hearings — that all of the Committee's hearings and the attendant media coverage is about him," DOJ lawyers wrote in a filing on Friday. "The truth is just the opposite — the Defendant has barely been mentioned in the Committee's hearings or the resulting media coverage of them."Read More2 Secret Service sources told CNN that Trump angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6, partly confirming Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimonyFormer President Donald Trump.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo Secret Service sources told CNN on Friday that they heard about former President Donald Trump lunging at the driver of his presidential SUV on January 6, 2021.The pair of sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, backed up much of former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony on the altercation in the motorcade vehicle known as "the Beast" after Trump found out he wouldn't be driven to join his supporters at the Capitol."He had sort of lunged forward – it was unclear from the conversations I had that he actually made physical contact, but he might have. I don't know," one of the Secret Service sources told CNN. "Nobody said Trump assaulted him; they said he tried to lunge over the seat – for what reason, nobody had any idea."Read Full StoryMichael Cohen says Trump uses a 'mob boss' playbookMichael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, compared the former president to a "mob boss" amid allegations that Trump allies sought to intimidate Jan. 6 witnesses."Donald Trump never changes his playbook," Cohen told The Washington Post. "He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style. Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached."Read Full StoryTrump allies paid legal fees for multiple Jan. 6 witnesses, including Cassidy Hutchinson, sparking witness-influencing concerns, report saysCassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies before the January 6 committee in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump's allies and supporters paid the legal fees for multiple people who had provided testimony to the January 6 committee, including the former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, The New York Times reported.Hutchinson eventually fired the lawyer who was paid for a pro-Trump group, and went on to provide damning testimony about Trump, the report said. Two sources familiar with the committee told The Times that they believe Hutchinson's decision to part ways with the lawyer — who had been recommended by Trump allies and paid for by a pro-Trump PAC — likely played a role in her decision to provide new evidence. There are no laws against a third party paying for a witness' legal representation in a congressional inquiry, but the situation may raise some ethical concerns, according to the report.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent said he, too, would have defied Trump's request to be taken to the Capitol on January 6Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow said in an op-ed that he also would not have taken then-President Donald Trump to the Capitol on January 6, 2021.In an op-ed published by Newsweek, Wackrow said he was shocked by Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the January committee regarding Trump's actions on the day of the Capitol riot. Hutchinson, a former aide in the Trump White House, claimed that Trump had gotten into a physical altercation with the head of his security detail while demanding to be brought to the Capitol."If I had been working on Trump's security detail on January 6, I would have made the same decision as Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Robert Engel to not go to the Capitol based on the known escalating threats," Wackrow wrote.He added, however, that he believed Trump still respects the Secret Service because he probably has seen "first-hand what they're willing to do to protect him and his family." Read Full StoryGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says Cassidy Hutchinson is a 'hero' and has 'more courage than most' Republicans after January 6 testimonyCassidy Hutchinson testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday applauded Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony to the January 6 committee, saying the former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has "more courage" than most of his Republican colleagues. "Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero and a real patriot (not a faux 'patriot' that hates America so much they would attempt a coup.)," Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, said in a tweet."Of course they will try to bully and intimidate her. But she isn't intimidated. More courage than most in GOP," Kinzinger added of Hutchinson.Read Full StoryGOP Sen. Pat Toomey says Trump's chances of winning the party's 2024 presidential nomination are 'much more tenuous' following the January 6 committee's hearingsRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania at the White House with Trump in February 2018.AP Photo/Evan VucciRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania suggested Thursday that public hearings from the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, had damaged former President Donald Trump politically, even among Republicans.At the end of a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg that focused on the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Reserve's approach to tackling inflation, the retiring lawmaker was asked whether he believed the hearings would preclude Trump from seeking a second term as president in 2024."I don't know that it means that. I mean he gets to decide whether he's going to run," said Toomey, who was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of an insurrection after the Capitol riot."Look, I think he disqualified himself from serving in public office by virtue of his post-election behavior, especially leading right up to January 6," Toomey said. "I think the revelations from this committee make his path to even the Republican nomination much more tenuous."Read Full StoryCheney 'absolutely confident' that former White House aide's explosive testimony is credibleRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks during a business meeting on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as vice-chair of the House's January 6 committee, said she is "absolutely confident" that a former White House aide's damning testimony is accurate."I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I'm confident in her testimony," Cheney told ABC News's Jonathan Karl about the allegations made by top Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson this week.Cheney said that Hutchinson showed "an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage" by testifying.Read MoreBannon wants his contempt trial to be delayed because of Jan. 6 hearingsSteve Bannon outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesTrump ally Steve Bannon has asked for his contempt-of-Congress trial to be delayed because the hearings on the Capitol riot are getting so much publicity.A federal grand jury indicted Bannon in November 2021 on two counts of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.In a Wednesday court filing, Bannon's lawyers argued that the coverage of the committee's hearings would make his trial unfair.Read More January 6 panel subpoenas former White House counsel Pat CipolloneFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said he would testify about Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who outlined ways for Trump to challenge the 2020 election.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House's panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.The demand for Cipollone to appear before the committee comes after explosive testimony from a former top White House aide in the Trump administration, who described Trump and his inner circle's actions before and during the insurrection.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent says Trump's 'girth' would have made it impossible to attack driverOutgoing US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesA former White House aide testified that former President Donald Trump grabbed the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at a Secret Service agent on January 6, 2021, after they refused to take him to the Capitol building.But former Secret Service agents told Insider they have doubts about the story."Trump's not a little guy, right? And the space to actually be able to lunge towards the wheel is not that big," one former agent said, speaking on background to Insider.  "I don't mean to sound disparaging to the former president, but just his girth would prevent him from actually getting to the steering wheel."Keep ReadingHouse Republican who led rioter on tour before insurrection could oversee Capitol policeRep. Barry LoudermilkBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Barry Loudermilk — who led a Capitol rioter on a tour of the building the day before the insurrection — could end up overseeing Capitol police.If Republicans regain control of the House, Loudermilk would be next in line to lead the committee that has oversight over the police force attacked by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.Loudermilk has faced backlash from Democrats after video showed him taking a group on a tour of the Capitol building, showing them hallways, security areas, and stairwells. The next day, members of the tour flaunted a sharpened flagpole bearing the American flag as they marched near the Capitol.It remains unclear whether the group entered the Capitol building itself during the riot.Read Full Story Former Jan. 6 committee investigator announces run for SenateSenior investigative counsel John Wood questions witnesses during the third public hearing of the January 6 committee on June 16, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee investigator John Wood is launching an independent Senate campaign in Missouri in an effort to stop GOP nominee Eric Greitens.Wood told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he believes Greitens — the former Missouri governor — is likely to win the Republican nomination, and that voters deserved an alternative.Wood, a Republican, said he will run as an independent.Read MoreTrump ally says Hutchinson's testimony was a 'campaign commercial' for Ron DeSantis in 2024Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisPhelan M. Ebenhack/AP PhotoExplosive testimony by a former Trump White House aide could be a boost to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace Trump on the presidential ticket in 2024, CNN reported.One Trump adviser said the hearings — which painted as Trump as violent and volatile — were "basically a campaign commercial" for DeSantis. Another told CNN that "no one is taking this lightly."DeSantis has flirted with larger political ambitions and is a rising Republican star who would be poised to fill the leadership vacuum if Trump is forced aside.Read Full StorySecret Service agents willing to dispute Hutchinson's claims about Trump's outburst, reports sayFormer President Donald TrumpSAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesSecret Service agents are willing to testify before the January 6 House panel to refute former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's claim that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel when he demanded to be taken to the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, according to multiple reports.The driver of the car and the head of Trump's security are ready to testify under oath that the former President never lunged for the wheel or physically assaulted the driver, according to CBS News.Read More Hutchinson's testimony could lead to legal trouble for Trump: reportCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoFormer aides to Donald Trump worry the explosive testimony by a former White House aide could put Trump in legal jeopardy, according to the New York Times."This hearing definitely gave investigators a lot to chew on," former Attorney General Bill Barr told the Times after testimony from top White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailed Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol riot.Hutchinson's testimony painted Trump as a volatile man who knew his supporters were armed on January 6, 2021. Trump also demanded to be taken to the Capitol building, but his security staff refused, Hutchinson said.Mick Mulvaney, who was once Trump's White House Chief of Staff, said evidence of possible witness tampering could open his orbit up to charges.Keep Reading  Former Trump press secretary shares text that appears to show Melania Trump to condemn Capitol riot violenceMelania Trump speaks at the White House on October 09, 2019Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFormer Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham shared a text exchange on Tuesday that purportedly showed former First Lady Melania Trump refusing to condemn the violence during the Capitol riot. The apparent screengrab of a text exchange was between Grisham and a person named "MT." "Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" read the message. "No," the person replied.Representatives for Melania Trump at Trump's post-presidential press office did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.Read Full StoryJohn Eastman drops lawsuit blocking his phone records from January 6 committeeJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APIn a late Tuesday filing, John Eastman dropped a lawsuit he'd filed to prevent the Jan. 6 committee from accessing his phone records."Plaintiff brought this lawsuit primarily to protect the content of his communications, many of which are privileged," the latest filing read. "The Congressional Defendants represented in their motion to dismiss that they were not seeking the content of any of Plaintiff's communications via the subpoena they had issued to Defendant Verizon."The former Trump lawyer's phone was seized by federal agents on June 22, according to a separate suit he filed on Monday, seeking the return of his property. Of interest to investigators are call logs from Eastman's personal device, and the search warrant indicates investigators will not review any additional content from his phone without a court order. Read Full StoryTrumpworld shocked by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive January 6 testimony, calling it the 'most damning day' and 'insane'Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoIt took six hearings for the January 6 select committee to finally break through to embattled former President Donald Trump's inner circle.Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified during a surprise hearing Tuesday that Trump was determined to go to the US Capitol with his armed supporters on January 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying the election results. Hutchinson's additional revelations about that day came crashing down on Trumpworld during the two-hour hearing. Among them were that Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad" on January 6, that Trump knew his supporters were armed when they flooded the Ellipse to attend his "Stop the Steal" rally, and that Trump said "Mike deserves it" when rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence." "Definitely most damning day of testimony," one former White House aide told Insider. READ MOREFox News host says it's not 'wholly out of character' that Trump 'might throw his lunch' after January 6 testimony on ketchup dripping down the wallFormer President Donald Trump and Fox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier.Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesMoments after a colleague referred to Tuesday's January 6 committee testimony as "stunning," Fox News host Martha MacCallum downplayed new revelations about former President Donald Trump's violent outbursts surrounding his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Trump threw a plate in the White House dining room after he found out former Attorney General Bill Barr publicly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, leaving "ketchup dripping down the wall.""I mean, I'm not sure that it really shocks anybody that the president just — knowing what we've seen, observing him over the years — if he got angry then he might throw his lunch," MacCallum said. "I'm not sure. It's obviously a very dramatic detail, and the way that she describes it, um, is. But I'm not sure if this is wholly out of character with the Donald Trump and the President Trump that people came to know over the years."READ MOREHere are all the people who sought preemptive pardons from Donald Trump after the Capitol riot, per January 6 committee witnessesRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are ch.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 12th, 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

5 U.S. Upstream Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2022

Spiking oil and natural gas prices have positioned the Zacks Oil and Gas - US E&P operators like DVN, AR, RRC, MTDR and ESTE for explosive gains during the remainder of this year. A major tailwind in the form of high oil and natural gas prices is likely to position the Zacks Oil and Gas - Exploration and Production - United States industry for substantial gains in the second half of this year. Building on this bullish narrative, there is significant upside in upstream firms like Devon Energy DVN, Antero Resources AR, Range Resources RRC, Matador Resources MTDR and Earthstone Energy ESTE. With an all-round improvement in efficiency and cost structure, these companies should experience impressive revenue and cash flow growth.About the IndustryThe Zacks Oil and Gas - US E&P industry consists of companies primarily based in the domestic market, focused on the exploration and production (E&P) of oil and natural gas. These firms find hydrocarbon reservoirs, drill oil and gas wells, and produce and sell these materials to be refined later into products such as gasoline, fuel oil, distillate, etc. The economics of oil and gas supply and demand is the fundamental driver of this industry. In particular, a producer’s cash flow is primarily determined by the realized commodity prices. In fact, all E&P companies' results are vulnerable to historically volatile prices in the energy markets. A change in realizations affects their returns and causes them to alter their production growth rates. The E&P operators are also exposed to exploration risks where drilling results are comparatively uncertain.4 Key Investing Trends to Watch in the Oil and Gas - US E&P IndustryElevated Commodity Prices: Over the past few months, the price of oil has generally traded above $100 a barrel amid Russia’s launch of military operations in Ukraine. The spike reflected concerns about oil supplies from Russia, which is one of the world's largest producers of the commodity. As it is, crude prices were already gaining strength prior to the attack because of a demand uptick owing to the reopening of economies and a rebound in activity. The situation is particularly complex on the natural gas front, with Russia being the world's largest producer of the fuel. Significantly, some 70% of Russian natural gas supplies are purchased by European countries that have no option to substitute a major part of it. The worldwide uncertainty imposed by Kremlin’s aggression briefly pushed U.S. natural gas prices past the $9 mark to its highest levels in nearly 14 years. In other words, macro as well as geopolitical tailwinds have driven most of the bullish sentiments in the energy market in years and the E&P companies should greatly benefit for obvious reasons.Shale Production Restraint: Unlike previous occasions, this time, the U.S. shale operators have been reluctant to turn the tap on production despite the rise in oil realizations. Most of them were forced to dial back output in response to the COVID-induced decimation in demand and prices. Generally, the shale patch constituents are quick to pick up drilling activities on any steep rise in the price, which may thwart the fuel’s bull run. Yet, this time, the companies seem to be in no hurry to boost output. Finally, learning their lesson, shale operators are focusing primarily on improving cost and increasing free cash flow rather than looking at boosting production. While oil at $90 is profitable for almost all shale entities, the industry, for its part, is sticking to the mantra of capital discipline and sustainable production. According to the weekly data provided by Houston-based Baker Hughes, the last time that WTI crude traded at these levels, some 1,600 oil rigs were operational. Now, it’s just around 600, which is proof of the wariness on the part of the producers to raise output too quickly.Lower Cost Structure: The energy companies have changed their approach to spending capital. Over the past few years, producers have worked tirelessly to cut costs to a bare minimum and look for innovative ways to churn out more oil and gas. And they managed to do just that by improving drilling techniques and extracting favorable terms from the beleaguered service providers. Moreover, driven by operational efficiencies, most E&P operators have been able to reduce unit costs, while the coronavirus-induced collapse in crude forced them to adopt a more disciplined approach to spending capital. These actions might restrict short-term production but are expected to preserve cash flow, support balance sheet strength, and help the companies to eventually emerge stronger. In particular, despite continued inflation and supply chain challenges, cash from operations is on a sustainable path as revenues improve and companies slash capital expenditures from the pre-pandemic levels amid sharply higher commodity prices.Commitment to Shareholder Return Framework: The sharp increase in crude prices has allowed the upstream operators to deliver a solid financial performance. Cash from operations looks sustainable as revenues improve and companies cut capital expenditures from the pre-pandemic levels amid sharply higher commodity realizations. To put it simply, the environment of strong prices has helped the E&P firms to generate significant “excess cash,” which they intend to use to boost investor returns. In fact, energy companies are increasingly allocating their rising cash pile by way of dividends and buybacks to pacify the long-suffering shareholders. Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Positive OutlookThe Zacks Oil and Gas - US E&P industry is a 41-stock group within the broader Zacks Oil - Energy sector. The industry currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #27, which places it in the top 11% of more than 250 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates fairly strong near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.The industry’s position in the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of a positive earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are highly optimistic about this group’s earnings growth potential. While the industry’s earnings estimates for 2022 have surged 167.5% in the past year, the same for 2023 have risen 162.8% over the same timeframe.Considering the encouraging dynamics of the industry, we will present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio. But it’s worth taking a look at the industry’s shareholder returns and the current valuation first.Industry Outperforms Sector & S&P 500The Zacks Oil and Gas - US E&P industry has fared better than the broader Zacks Oil - Energy Sector as well as the Zacks S&P 500 composite over the past year.The industry has gone up 31% over this period compared with the broader sector’s increase of 16.2%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has lost 12.1%.One-Year Price Performance Industry's Current ValuationSince oil and gas companies are debt-laden, it makes sense to value them based on the EV/EBITDA (Enterprise Value/ Earnings before Interest Tax Depreciation and Amortization) ratio. This is because the valuation metric takes into account not just equity but also the level of debt. For capital-intensive companies, EV/EBITDA is a better valuation metric because it is not influenced by changing capital structures and ignores the effect of noncash expenses.On the basis of the trailing 12-month enterprise value-to EBITDA (EV/EBITDA), the industry is currently trading at 5.56X, significantly lower than the S&P 500’s 12.19X. It is, however, well above the sector’s trailing-12-month EV/EBITDA of 3.80X.Over the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 16.47X, as low as 2.90X, with a median of 7.08X.Trailing 12-Month Enterprise Value-to EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) Ratio (Past Five Years)   5 Top Stocks to Buy NowEarthstone Energy: An oil producer targeting Midland Basin of west Texas and the Eagle Ford trend of south Texas., ESTE focuses on growth through a combination of acquisitions and active drilling. The company’s impressive acreage position in the top basins provides it with some 13 years of high-quality inventory life. With a reinvestment rate of just 50%, Earthstone is able to create robust free cash generation.Over 60 days, ESTE has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 increase 13%. The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) ESTE’s shares have gained some 6.7% in a year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Price and Consensus: ESTE Range Resources: Range Resources has extensive oil and gas resources in key regions like Marcellus Shale & North Louisiana. The company is ideally positioned to reap benefits in the long term from its projects in the Appalachian Basin. As most of its production comprises natural gas, RRC is well-positioned to capitalize on the mounting clean energy demand.Sporting a Zacks Rank of 1, the 2022 Zacks Consensus Estimate for RRC indicates 130.2% earnings per share growth over 2021. Range Resources’ shares have gained approximately 51.8% in a year.Price and Consensus: RRC Matador Resources: Matador Resources’ operations are mainly concentrated in the Delaware Basin, which is among the country’s most prolific oil and gas plays. Since 2011, the company significantly boosted its Delaware acreage, which now covers 124,800 net acres. Moreover, it identified up to 4,381 gross potential drilling locations on its Delaware Basin acreage, making its production outlook bright. Based on MTDR’s strong dividend growth story, it makes for an attractive offering.The 2022 Zacks Consensus Estimate for MTDR indicates 158.1% earnings per share growth over 2021. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #1. Meanwhile, Matador Resources has seen its shares gain 26.9% in a year.Price and Consensus: MTDR Antero Resources: Antero Resources has positioned itself among the fast-growing natural gas producers in the United States. The company's strategic acreage position in the low-risk and long reserve-life properties of the Appalachian Basin is a major positive. Cashing in on high commodity prices, AR expects to generate more than $2.5 billion of free cash flow in 2022.The 2022 Zacks Consensus Estimate for Antero Resources indicates 413.9% earnings per share growth over 2021. Antero Resources currently carries a Zacks Rank #1. Meanwhile, the hydrocarbon producer has seen its shares increase around 103.6% in a year.Price and Consensus: AR Devon Energy: Devon is an independent energy company whose oil and gas operations are mainly concentrated in the onshore areas of North America, primarily in the United States. The upstream operator’s cost management, divestiture of Canadian assets, and completion of the Barnett Shale gas assets sale will allow it to focus on its holdings in four high-quality, oil-rich U.S. basins. DVN’s innovative dividend policy should also attract investors and position it for more upside in the near-to-medium term.    The 2022 Zacks Consensus Estimate for Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) DVN indicates 157.8% earnings per share growth over 2021. Devon Energy’s shares have gained some 83.9% in a year. Price and Consensus: DVN   Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Devon Energy Corporation (DVN): Free Stock Analysis Report Range Resources Corporation (RRC): Free Stock Analysis Report Matador Resources Company (MTDR): Free Stock Analysis Report Antero Resources Corporation (AR): Free Stock Analysis Report Earthstone Energy, Inc. (ESTE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 1st, 2022

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

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

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 30th, 2022

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

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part I

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part I By Alex of the Macro Ops Substack What if there was a way to distill all the knowledge that someone’s written over the last 25 years into one, easy-to-read document? And what if that person was a famous venture capital investor known for betting big on companies like Uber, Snapchat, Twitter, Discord, Dropbox, Instagram, and Zillow (to name a few)?  Well, that’s what I’ve done with Bill Gurley’s blog Above The Crowd.  Gurley is a legendary venture capital investor and partner at Benchmark Capital. His blog oozes valuable insights on VC investing, valuations, growth, and marketplace businesses.  This document is a one-stop-shop summary of every blog post Gurley’s ever written.  Here’s how it’ll look. Each summary will contain the following:  Date, title, and link to blog post One paragraph summary My favorite quote This piece allows anyone to absorb all of Gurley’s knowledge bombs in the fraction of the time it took me to do it. I hope this piece brings you as much value as it did to me.  Let’s get after it. Years: 1996 -1999 October 21, 1996: Backhoes Don’t Obey Moore’s Law: A Story Of Convergence (Link) Summary: The backhoe improved at an annual rate of 4.4%, falling short of Moore’s Law equivalent improvement of 59.7%. Computers are dependent on telecom to deliver the internet. But telecom is dependent on Moore’s Law failing-backhoes. This means we’re building computer-centric solutions to Internet-based problems without addressing the core problem: laying fiber cables with obsolete backhoes.  Favorite Quote: “Backhoe dependency is really just the simple side of our message. It is our impression that the majority of the players in the computer industry bring a “computer centric viewpoint” (CCV) when analyzing the issues that exist with the Internet. This computer-centric view could prove hazardous. Not only will it lead to disappointed expectations, but it may also lead to a less than accurate vision of the future.” April 20, 1998: How To Succeed In Advertising (Link) Summary: There are three reasons why success-based advertising wins the day on the internet:  Customers want it: Advertisers can quickly see if their programs work and easily predict margins using COGS + “bounty fee” model Solves excess inventory problems: The best way to reduce inventory is through direct-selling, success-based advertising (think 1-800 ads on cable TV) Unsold Ad-Space on Internet: As internet population increases, it reduces the CPM per pageview. This causes an inventory glut of internet space and a perfect place for performance-based ads Also, you can use a DCF to find the LTV of a customer. It’s simply: $ in FCF per customer/year divided by the discount rate.  Favorite Quote: “The lifetime value of the customer is equal to the future cash flows (not revenue!) expected over the life cycle of the customer, discounted back by a reasonable discount rate. What we are really doing is treating the customer acquisition as an investment and the lifetime cash flows of the customer as the yield on that investment.” May 5, 1998: Standards: Open For Business (Link) Summary: Open standards is the idea that companies in an industry operate within a specified set of rules (or parameters). Think of printers and PCs. It makes sense for all PCs and printers to be compatible with one another. This reduces time to market for most products. The issue, however, arises when open standards are applied to tech-heavy businesses without distribution advantages. Software is a perfect example. Distribution is effortless, so the only way to gain an edge in open standards is through sales teams and technical support. And who has the lead in that? Large companies.  Favorite Quote: “Theoretically, you could have a better sales force or better service and support, but these are not typically assets that small innovative companies possess. This means that competing with a completely “open” strategy would offer very little room for differentiation, and there is almost a necessity to have some closed proprietary advantage. It is difficult to criticize companies for trying to innovate in a proprietary manner. After all, survival is instinctive.” August 17, 1998: Internet Investors: Beware Of The Proxy Valuation (Link)  Summary: Investors use proxy valuations to value companies without hard free cash flows (NOPAT – capex). Proxy valuations come in all shapes and sizes, including: P/Revenues, Market Cap / Subscriber, Market Cap / Unique Page View, etc. While proxy valuations are better than blindly picking stocks — it’s not the end goal. Businesses must generate cash flow to survive. This brings us to a few dangers of proxy valuations:  Symmetry Risk: Not all proxies are created equal (e.g., Price/Sub not the same as Price/Page View) Assumption Risk: A customer’s value changes. We can’t assume a company will generate $X from each customer over its lifetime Arbitrage Risk: Companies IPO based on # of customers, revenue stats or subscribers … not cash flows or profitability Favorite Quote: “Another reason to be skeptical of proxy valuations is arbitrage. If Wall Street comes to believe that customers, or visitors, or page views, or even revenues are uniquely valuable (regardless of profitability), than entrepreneurs are likely to rush to market with companies that can achieve these targets quite handily, but may have little chance at producing real value in terms of cash flow. With no focus on costs, it is easy to reach non-financial targets. This is the great thing about cash flow-based valuation, it’s hard to sweep costs under the rug.” October 16, 1998: The Continued Evolution Of Advertising Or How To Succeed In Advertising Part II (Link)  Summary: Traditional advertising is squeezed out of the value chain as ad buyers recognize the difference between pay-per-impression and pay-per-click through. Further, the invention of TiVO (recording shows & content) increased demand for a direct-to-consumer content delivery system. Ideas like pay-per-view TV were born from the idea that you can cut the middleman (networks & advertisers) and directly charge your customer.  Favorite Quote:  “While this is possible, it ignores the fact that the viewer now has a choice, and that these devices will allow the content provider to push content directly to the end-user, potentially on a pay-per-view basis. If the consumer is willing to pay $5 to watch Seinfeld commercial-free, why should they be denied?” July 12, 1999: The Rising Impact Of Open Source (Link)  Summary: There are six things to know about open source (OS) code. One, open source works. Two, OS can produce business-quality code. Three, OS business models are emerging. Four, OS is a tough competitor (hard to beat free!). Five, OS models are entering the content generation space. Six, OS may be as helpful as a defensive mechanism than an offensive weapon.  Favorite Quote: “Open source as a production model should be appreciated in the same light as Henry Ford’s assembly line or Demming’s Just-In-Time manufacturing process. By taking advantage of the electronic communication medium of the Internet as well as the distributed skills of its volunteers, the open-source community has uncovered a leveraged development methodology that is faster and produces more reliable code than traditional internal development. You can pan it, doubt it, or ignore it, but you are unlikely to stop it. Open source is here to stay.” October 18, 1999: The Rising Importance Of The Great Art Of Storytelling (Link) Summary: Storytelling is one of the most underappreciated business skills. Bill Gates admired a man (Craig McCaw) because he was able to convince investors to invest in a capital-heavy infrastructure business. McCaw created new (proxy) valuations to sell the story the company was trying to deliver. Storytelling also gets a bad rap because it’s associated with “hype” — overpromising and under delivering. Recognizing a good story from a bad one helps investors avoid dreams and invest in the future.  Favorite Quote: “As public market investors begin to evaluate younger and younger companies, their valuation tools become limited to subjective notions such as quality of the team and the uniqueness and boldness of the idea.  In other words, if there isn’t enough proof that a business already exists, then they must make a judgment as to whether one will.” Years: 2000 – 2002 March 6, 2000: The Most Powerful Internet Metric Of All (Link)  Summary: Conversion rate is the most important metric for internet-based companies. Why? Conversion rate captures total user engagement. It also boasts high leverage. Here’s the big idea: as conversion increases, revenue rises and marketing costs decline. There are five things that affect conversion rate: 1) user interface, 2) performance (slow v. fast), 3) convenience, 4) effective advertising and 5) word of mouth.  Favorite Quote: “Let’s assume you spend $10,000 to drive 5,000 people to your site, and your conversion rate is 2 percent. This means that 100 transactions cost you $10,000, or $100 per transaction. Now let’s assume your conversion rate rises to 4 percent. The same $10,000 buys you 200 transactions at a cost of $50 per transaction. An 8 percent rate gives you 400 transactions at a cost of $25 per transaction. As conversion rate goes up, revenue rises while marketing costs as a percentage of sales fall – that’s leverage.” April 17, 2000: Can Napster Be Stopped? NO! (Link) Summary: Napster paved the way for the free digital music we enjoy today. Here’s how. The software leveraged each user’s computer files and shared music freely between PC devices, not the internet. Napster’s popularity grew, and within six months the software had 9 million users. It took AOL 12 years to get to that figure. There are two important lessons from Napster: 1) the power of community-building and 2) information wants to be free. Connect those two lessons and you have an incredible community-based business.  Favorite Quote: “Remember that the amount of bits it takes to represent high-quality audio is finite. Until the past few years, the amount of space on a hard drive, as well as the bandwidth required to transfer an MP3 file, was prohibitive for widespread usage. However, both bandwidth and storage space are susceptible to Moore’s Law. This means that within six years, the amount of drive space or bandwidth needed to trade high-quality music will be unnoticeably negligible. Emailing an entire album of music to a friend will be no different than forwarding a Microsoft Word document today.” May 15, 2000: A Return To Demand-Driven Capital (Link) Summary: There is a huge difference between demand-driven and supply-driven start-ups. Demand-driven start-ups see an area of the market where a need doesn’t have a solution. Then, they create a company to fill that need. Supply-driven start-ups conceive companies on the idea that one day consumers will need their solutions to problems that might not exist yet. The intellectual satisfaction of creating solutions is more appealing than bottom-fishing for long-standing consumer problems. At the end of the day, it’s better to start (and invest in) demand-driven businesses.   Favorite Quote (emphasis mine): “I suspect what’s at work is that Plato-esque idea that creation is much more intellectually appealing than combing the earth for steadfast problems to solve. But keep this in mind: Even a sexy Internet company like eBay was born of demand instead of supply. Founder Pierre Omidyar’s girlfriend wanted a place to trade Pez dispensers online. The company rose after the market voted. I suspect that entrepreneurs and venture capitalists alike would be well-served to return to the boring, but perhaps more successful, world of demand-driven capitalism.” June 12, 2000: Like It Or Not, Every Startup Is Now Global (Link) Summary: The rising prevalence of start-up infrastructure overseas poses a threat to US-based start-up companies. US start-ups face two main threats: 1) imitation from overseas competitors and 2) expanding too quickly. Faced with growing competition, US companies might go global before establishing a solid footprint on their home turf. This has devastating consequences as they’ll burn more cash and lose focus on their core markets. There are three solutions: 1) Joint ventures, 2) acquisitions and 3) start-up your own global market. Favorite Quote: “Ironically, the same courage that leads a start-up to look overseas could cause failure if the company moves too quickly and aggressively or assumes it can get by without local partners. When considering such alternatives, it is important to keep one fact in mind: 50 percent of something is worth a lot more than 100 percent of nothing.” July 10, 2000: The End Of CPM (Link) Summary: Echoing Gurley’s 1998 article, 2000 saw the rise of performance-based advertising. The catalyst for such rapid adoption was the outflow of capital to money-losing internet companies. With tight budgets, companies needed ad campaigns that worked. The other catalyst is the proliferation of customer behavior data on company websites. Management can see exactly who is on their site, how long they stay, and if they convert.  Favorite Quote: “Of course, the biggest catalyst in the past 90 days has been the closing of the IPO market and the subsequent focus in the start-up world on profits and cost controls. This abrupt and refreshing change is a major accelerator that immediately tightens the belt of most Internet marketing departments and targets their spending on the most efficient forms of advertising they can find. Gone are the days when companies indiscriminately bought the “anchor tenancy” on the favorite portal just as a branding event.” February 19, 2001: The Next Big Thing: 802.11b? (Link) Summary: WiFi will revolutionize the way we conduct business and where we choose to interact online. While there are critics of the technology, there is no denying its potential to reach critical mass and spread nationwide. The real catalyst for WiFi’s adoption is the move from corporate offices to homes, then to public places like colleges.  Favorite Quote: “Like other dislocating technologies, Wi-Fi is now working its way from the office into the home. While home networks are still in their infancy, the benefits of a wireless architecture may be even higher than at the office. Who has the capability to rewire their whole house? And although less obvious, the interest in aesthetics at home heightens the benefit of not stringing wires halfway across the room. Also, as we integrate the home entertainment center with the PC, a wireless link is particularly appropriate. Lastly, what if I could carry my laptop home from work, lay it on the kitchen counter and be online instantly? You can today with Wi-Fi.” June 25, 2001: The Smartest Price War Ever (Link) Summary: Dell engaged in the smartest price war ever. Their business model, which focused on just-in-time inventory, resulted in positive cash-flows even under income statement compressions. Through five-day inventory, 59-day average payables and 30 days receivables, Dell generated a negative cash conversion cycle. This allowed them to cut prices while their competitors’ models couldn’t allow such maneuvers. Competitors were forced into a lose-lose situation (cut prices and lose margin or not participate and lose market share).  Favorite Quote: “Much has been written about Dell’s direct model, which removes the middleman, along with his margin, from the sales process. And others have noted that Dell’s incredible five days of inventory allow it to pass on component price declines faster than anyone else in the industry. But perhaps the unique aspect of Dell’s business advantage is its negative cash conversion cycle. Because it keeps only five days of inventories, manages receivables to 30 days, and pushes payables out to 59 days, the Dell model will generate cash—even if the company were to report no profit whatsoever.” August 13, 2001: Bye, Bye, Bluetooth (Link)  Summary: WiFi will eliminate the need for Bluetooth. In its simplest explanation, WiFi works for the internet model whereas Bluetooth works for walkie-talkies. That’s a huge difference. It also shows the power of companies that can quickly cut products/ideas that fail despite tremendous sunken-costs. Bluetooth was a three-year push designed to revolutionize the way computers and devices interacted. Then WiFi came along. Those that quit Bluetooth early not only had a head start on their stubborn competition, they also saved thousands in wasted R&D.  Favorite Quote: “Even without competition from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth would have major challenges. That’s because the very concept of a cable replacement like Bluetooth is flawed. In a world where every device is connected to a single network (read: Internet), there is no need to connect individual devices on an ad hoc basis. Consider this – a walkie-talkie is a device that supports communication directly between two nodes. A cell phone is a device that supports communications between “any” two nodes because they are all connected to a common network and they all have unique addresses. Blue-tooth is to a walkie-talkie whereas 802.11 connected to the Internet is more analogous to the cell-phone model.” October 1, 2001: Tapping The Internet (Link) Summary: After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, many government officials sprang forward, calling for increased surveillance and backdoors on many privacy networks. The main argument was that these terrorists had access to high level technology and software. The reality was less cinematic. Osama Bin Laden used Steganography to spread information amongst his followers. Unfortunately for senators, Steganography uses every day files like images to transmit messages. So it’s not as simple as allowing backdoor access to private channels.  Favorite Quote: “The government should not give up on computer surveillance. In fact, as a tool that is used to track down a particular offender after isolation and identification, these technologies can be extremely effective. However, we should not be unrealistic about what type of “magic” spy technologies are at our disposal. We are only going to spend a lot of money, waste a lot of time, and create a false sense of security.” October 29, 2001: When It Comes To Pricing Software, The Greener Grass Is Hard To Find (Link)  Summary: The internet allowed software companies to price their product as a subscription service (SaaS) right when companies were facing hardship. The SaaS model eliminates the high-dollar upfront sales pitch and allows the company to generate predictable revenue during the year. However, stretching revenues over months (not upfront) increases short-term operating losses. Those that can withstand the short-term negativity should reap the long-term rewards of the SaaS model.  Favorite Quote: “About this same time, the rise of the Internet gave birth to the idea of an ASP – a model where software would be delivered as a service over the web, and customers would “subscribe” to the software. Analysts raved at the genius of the idea. With this model, the customer would pay an incremental fee each month, therefore eliminating the “start from zero” sales game inherent in the software model. Assuming no loss of customers, the revenue from last quarter is already booked for this quarter – all new sales theoretically represent incremental growth.” April 3, 2002: It’s Time To Put A Stop To Spam (Link) Summary: Hackers and spammers always find a way to exploit new technology. Spammers were so bad in 2002 that Gurley had to write about it. The problem lies in time spent deleting spam messages. Time that should garner more productive activities like business. This creates incentives for start-ups to solve such problems. But, the biggest risk facing these spam software companies is a false positive. False positives could delete an email that was legit — potentially costing companies millions in lost revenues.  Favorite Quote: “Email is fast becoming the preferred communication medium for many corporations. Moreover, email is also the baseline for many new cross-company workflow applications. We simply cannot allow a bunch of Viagra ads to put a dent in the evolution of the global economy.” Years: 2003 – 2005 January 6, 2003: 802.11 & Cellular: Competitor Or Complement? (Link) Summary: Gurley explains that WiFi is to 3G as the personal computer was to the mainframe. By understanding the mainframe/personal computing industry, you could “see” the future of WiFi and cellular data. No-one envisioned personal computers operating hundreds of websites or ERP systems. Yet technologists built products on top of the standardized mainframe. WiFi is no different. At the time, a ~$30 WiFi radio and a Pringles can could get you high-speed connectivity at a 10 mile distance. To Gurley, WiFi and cellular data are complementary. Like chips and salsa, with WiFi stealing incremental market opportunities over time.  Favorite Quote: “This exact thing is currently happening with 802.11. This tiny, and increasingly inexpensive radio is already shockingly versatile. The same $30 radio can be used to serve wireless connectivity in your office, connect both you PCs and your multimedia in your home, and provide coverage to a police force across an entire downtown area. Add a Pringles can as a directional antenna (no kidding!), and this $30 radio is capable of providing high-speed line-of-sight connectivity at a distance of 10 miles. In fact, the majority of the volume in the line-of-sight fixed wireless market has shifted almost entirely to low-cost 802.11 radios.” February 10, 2003: Software In A Box: The Comeback Of The Hardware Based Business Model (Link) Summary: Software companies might pitch their product inside a hardware offering, going against conventional Silicon-Valley logic. Gurley notes that while pure software businesses generate higher margins with lower capital intensity, it comes at a cost: software-only business models are harder to execute. Gurley saw the software-in-a-box path as the easier option because it addressed seven key issues:  Development complexity/Quality Assurance Performance Security Provisioning Reliability/Stability/Customer Service Pricing Distribution Favorite Quote: “There is a silver lining. The industry has changed in ways that improve the “business model” elements of selling hardware. The key driver is the standardization and general availability of hardware components, particularly those used in generic Intel-based 1U servers. As a result, the hardware is not a proprietary design, but rather a type of packaging. Think of it as an alternative to a cardboard box.” March 18, 2003: Pay Attention To BPM (Link) Summary: Business Process Management, or BPM, will change all of business. Gurley was so excited about BPM because it solved four main sticking points in an enterprise’s day-to-day process:  Codifying current processes Automating execution Monitoring current performance Making on-the-fly changes to improve current processes For the first time, employees could “hand off” applications to other employees inside the firm. This allowed for faster improvement and implementation of better processes throughout the organization.  Favorite Quote: “Of course, the real winners here will be customers that embrace BPM to further automate, enhance, streamline, and optimize their core business processes. These processes are the core intellectual property of most businesses. And just as the level of competition in manufacturing increased with JIT, the level of competition with respect to non-manufacturing business processes will increase with BPM. Companies that lead will succeed.” April 23, 2003: Dot-Com Double Take (Link) Summary: Many investors threw all “Internet Based” businesses out with the bathwater during the Dot-Com bubble. According to Gurley, that was clearly the wrong approach. Underneath the grime of pump-and-dump schemes, the Dot-com Bubble created durable, profitable businesses (like AMZN, GOOGL, Verisign, etc.).  Gurley saw four reasons why these left-for-dead Internet companies worked:  They weren’t bad ideas. Rationality set in first.  Quick capacity reduction.  Internet usage growth is systematic, not cyclical.  Favorite Quote: “Consumer spending may be down 5%, but online spending is still such a small percentage of overall consumer spending that growth results from the continued increase in online usage. With IT expenditures already at 50% of corporate capital expenditures, the opposite is true for traditional information technology spending.” June 10, 2003: In Search Of The Perfect Business Model: Increasing Marginal Utility (Link) Summary: Increased marginal utility (IMU) is the holy grail of capitalism. It’s also easier than ever to attempt IMU in our internet-based world. IMU means that for each incremental time a customer uses your product/service, they receive more value than the previous time they used it. You don’t need switching costs in an increasing marginal utility ecosystem. Why? Because switching costs lock in a customer in an “I win, you lose” scenario. In an IMU world, the customer feels left out if they don’t use your product or service. The goal: find companies that produce increased marginal utility for their customers.  Favorite Quote: “This may be the nirvana of capitalism – increased marginal customer utility. Imagine the customer finding more value with each incremental use. Some may suggest that this concept already exists in the form of volume discounts. However, this offers a vendor no real competitive advantage, as all of its competitors are likely to offer the same discount to large purchasers. Others may feel this is just a buffed-up version of “high switching costs.” On the contrary, increased marginal customer utility preempts the need to impose switching costs, which can be seen as “trapping” or “tricking” the customer. Instead, the customer who abandons increasing marginal customer utility would experience ‘switching loss.’” July 16, 2003: The Comeback Of The Mobile Internet (Link)  Summary: Mobile internet flourished thanks to the growth in cell phones. With cell phones, billions of people could access the internet, purchase items, and engage in content. In fact, cell phones will dominate the war against PCs. There are a few reasons Gurley believes this claim. First, cell phones are everywhere. Billions of people have them. Second, they’re portable, allowing users to kill time on apps and games. Third, people are more likely to purchase over the internet on their phones. Finally, IP addresses make it easy for billions of users to connect simultaneously.  Favorite Quote: “While a more carrier-friendly split may be good for the carrier’s bottom line, it could drive content providers to more generous carriers, rendering the greedy carriers’ offerings less attractive to users. Interestingly, one of the most successful content platforms, Japan’s DoCoMo service, is built around an extremely generous 91%-9% split, which is more favorable than all U.S. and European carriers’ current deals. The carriers are all walking a fine line between driving revenues and creating a viable ecosystem to encourage publishers to invest in content.” August 23, 2003: Much Ado About Options (Link) Summary: People worry too much about stock options and their impact on bottom-line earnings. Yes, there are certain instances where stock options balloon to large percentages of pre-tax earnings. But those are few and far between. Also, it doesn’t really matter whether a company grants options or restricted stock. Both offer employees skin in the game, and both cost the company roughly equal equity. That said, restricted stock incentivizes value retention. Whereas options incentivize value creation.  Favorite Quote: “In addition, restricted stock grants could encourage a form of widespread corporate conservatism. If an executive is granted $2MM worth of stock, he or she might have incentive to help increase the price to say $2.3MM, or 15%. That said, the incremental $300K is peanuts when it comes to protecting the value of the $2MM already on the table. There is a huge difference between corporate sustainability and corporate value creation. GM traded at $38 per share in 1994, and since it is $38 per share today, it has “sustained” value for the past nine years. Is this the type of behavior we hope to encourage?” October 7, 2003: Beware The Digital Hand (Link)  Summary: Digitization is great for consumers, but awful for consumer electronics producers. Semiconductors make electronics faster, cheaper and more powerful. Who reaps the rewards? The semiconductor industry. That’s where differentiation happens. Consumer electronics (CE) companies commoditize, forced to differentiate another way: supply chain. The CE leaders will be the ones with the shortest distance between their product and the customer.  Favorite Quote: “Digitization is creeping its way across the entire consumer electronics industry, as we slowly remove analog media and components from our lives. While this is good news for consumers who benefit from the low prices that the digital hand ensures, the quid pro quo for businesses is brutal competition.” December 18, 2003: Cleaning Up After The Ninth Circuit In An Attempt To Save The Internet (Link)  Summary: A regulated internet disproportionately hurts these four groups: consumers, IT businesses, American competitiveness, and RBOCs. Regulation hurts consumers in the form of higher prices to compensate for increased taxes. IT businesses hurt because if you slow the speed of internet adoption, you remove the runway for the IT industry. This translates into competitiveness issues as places like South Korea see 60%+ internet adoption. Finally, RBOC’s hurt because it would be a repeat of DSL regulations, which slashed growth and prompted the switch to cable modems.  Favorite Quote: “We should all know by now that rather than increasing competition, regulation typically reinforces monopolies and oligopolies. Startups will not and cannot prevail in heavily regulated industries. They lack the required resources and capital to manage fifty different utility commissions on a hundred different regulatory issues. For this same reason, you will never see a startup deliver an automobile in the U.S. as the regulatory red tape swamps all efforts. Increased regulation will do nothing more than ensure that new competitors and innovative solutions are permanently locked out of the market.” * * * That’s about where Substack cuts us off! Stay tuned next week for the next part of our Bill Gurley Chronicles Series! Tyler Durden Sun, 06/12/2022 - 15:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 12th, 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