Cisco Expands Simple and Secure Portfolio to Help Small Businesses Thrive

WebWire | March 05, 2020

Cisco is accelerating its focus on serving small businesses by announcing new offers tailored to the small business buyer. In November 2019, Cisco introduced the new Cisco ‘Designed for Business’ portfolio at Partner Summit. Now the portfolio is growing with the addition of Cisco technology that originally powered Fortune 100 organizations and can now bring the same innovation to meet the needs of small businesses. Small business is big business and accounts for 44 percent of all IT spending – as a segment it’s faster growing than the enterprises segment[1] Now more than ever, small businesses need to be agile when digitizing their business models. Ultimately, technology is critical to helping them grow their revenue, optimize their customer experiences and differentiate themselves to remain competitive. Small businesses need to connect securely and focus on protecting their users, data and devices at all times.

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NPV $104K Reduction in implementation effort compared to on-premises solution 45% Costs avoided in back-end hardware and Microsoft server licenses $594,444 Savings over three years from elimination of third-party communication tools $209,250 Time saved each day due to anytime, anywhere access for mobile workers 1 hour We’re quicker to respond to new projects, and new data can be shared quicker among the team. It gives us greater efficiency all-round.


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FINANCE

Velocity Financial, Inc. Acquires Majority Interest in Century Health & Housing Capital

Velocity Financial, Inc | December 29, 2021

Velocity Financial, Inc., a leading provider of small balance investor loans, today announced it has acquired a majority stake in Century Health & Housing Capital (“Century”). Founded in 1992, Century is a licensed “Ginnie Mae” issuer/servicer that provides government-insured Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage financing for multifamily housing, senior housing and long-term care/assisted living facilities. Century originates loans through its borrower-direct origination channel and services the loans through its in-house servicing platform, which enables the formation of long-term relationships with its clients and drives strong portfolio retention. Century issued $158 million in unpaid principal balance (UPB) of loans for the 11 months ended November 30, 2021, and manages a servicing portfolio in excess of $500 million in UPB. Transaction Highlights: Expands growth opportunities via new products for Velocity’s broker network Capital light, fee-based business diversifies revenue and enhances return on equity Immediately accretive to EPS and ROE with minimal book value impact Stable and durable MSR income due to long term loan characteristics Substantial organic growth opportunity by leveraging Velocity’s national origination footprint Century’s government-insured product focus acts as a natural hedge through market cycles Longer-term opportunity to further expand the product suite The Century acquisition expands Velocity’s commercial mortgage product offerings through growth in a new channel and the ability to offer new products to Velocity’s broker network. The addition of Century is expected to be immediately accretive to Velocity’s earnings with minimal impact to tangible book value. The transaction also diversifies Velocity’s revenue with fee-based origination and servicing income which generates strong returns on capital and is durable through market cycles, in addition to providing the opportunity for Century to leverage Velocity’s technology-driven platform to broaden their Northeast-focused origination footprint. “The entire Century team is pleased to be joining Velocity’s family and we look forward to realizing the opportunities this transaction offers to both companies. Velocity’s national footprint and operational capabilities will significantly expand our ability to grow customer relationships and origination volume.” Kyle Perry, Century’s Chief Executive Officer “We are very excited to partner with a proven leader in Kyle and accelerate the growth of the Century platform in this important lending segment. We believe the long-term demographic trends will be a strong tailwind for the healthcare lending area in particular,” said Chris Farrar, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The ability to offer government-insured products to our brokers will drive incremental origination growth and enables further expansion of our product menu in the future.” About Velocity Financial, Inc. Based in Westlake Village, California, Velocity Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VEL) is a vertically integrated real estate finance company that originates and manages investor loans secured by 1-4 unit residential rental and small commercial properties. Velocity originates loans nationwide across an extensive network of independent mortgage brokers it has built and refined over 17 years. About Century Founded in 1992, Century provides government-insured mortgage financing for the multifamily housing industry, senior living and long-term care facilities and hospitals. Century is an approved Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) mortgagee and Governmental National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”) issuer/servicer, including approvals for FHA Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) and LEAN healthcare lender programs. Century also acts as financial advisor for non-FHA insured transactions and will assist in arranging Bridge-to-HUD financing. Century is a relationship driven lender that not only originates, processes, underwrites and funds its own loans, but also services its loans during both the construction and permanent loan stages – enabling it to form long term relationships with clients. Century’s mission is to provide its clients with personalized, responsive, and professional service while focusing on their immediate financing needs and long-term goals.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

LegalShield Partners with NEWITY to Empower, Protect and Equip Small Businesses with Legal Services and Solutions

LegalShield | May 20, 2022

As we continue to spotlight small businesses during May, LegalShield, the leading provider of membership-based legal services and identity theft protection plans, announces a partnership with NEWITY, the small business marketplace dedicated to creating equitable access to SBA loans and trusted business service providers. As NEWITY’s official legal services provider, its 115,000 small business members will have access to LegalShield’s Small Business Legal Plans, services, and network of provider law firms Our organization cares deeply about the success and sustainability of small businesses and providing them with the tools and resources needed to survive and thrive. It’s important to us to partner with other organizations, like NEWITY, who are champions for small businesses so together, we can create a meaningful impact, said Jeff Bell, CEO of LegalShield. “We are committed to helping our community access the best business resources that enable their growth and profitability, LegalShield’s affordable legal and cyber protection tools are essential to protect the businesses our members have worked so hard to build.” -Luke LaHaie, Co-CEO and Co-Founder at NEWITY LegalShield has legal plans to help small business owners and entrepreneurs make smarter, safer business decisions. From launch phase to growth phase and beyond, members can connect to professional lawyers for advice, guidance and to assist with all legal needs pertaining to the business. NEWITY members will also have access to IDShield for Business, which provides businesses and employers with cybersecurity protection tools, reputation management, recovery services and more. About LegalShield A trailblazer in the democratization of affordable access to legal advice, counsel, protection, and representation, LegalShield is the world's largest platform for legal, identity, and reputation management services protecting individuals and businesses across North America. Founded in 1972, LegalShield, and its privacy management company, IDShield, has provided individuals, families, businesses, and employers with tools and services needed to affordably live a just and secure life. Through technology and innovation, LegalShield is disrupting the traditional legal system and transforming how and where people receive legal guidance and services, with access to thousands of qualified, trusted attorneys and law firms. To learn more about LegalShield and IDShield products and services, visit LegalShield.com and IDShield.com. About NEWITY NEWITY is America's Small Business Marketplace, focused on empowering entrepreneurs with access to trusted service providers and affordable loan solutions – all in one place. NEWITY was founded in 2020 to better service Paycheck Protection Program loans. Today, NEWITY uses leading technologies to help small businesses access services that make running their business more efficient and more profitable. To join NEWITY’s growing small business community, visit NEWITYmarket.com.

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TECHNOLOGY

OYO UK partners with PredictHQ to drive more accurate forecasts with AI and data-driven demand solutions

OYO | March 16, 2022

OYO, the leading travel technology brand today announced a partnership with PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company, to provide OYO with the necessary data and insights to drive demand and enable smarter pricing and packaging of its rooms. The collaboration will see OYO use PredictHQ's enriched and verified event data and allow OYO to use data and AI, to empower patrons and guests, turning the challenges of a post-pandemic era into opportunities for the future. It will also see OYO become a more data and tech-focused company that makes data-informed decisions, and enables guests to easily research, book and change their reservations and allow patrons to prepare for busy and quiet periods as effectively as possible. "The pandemic blew demand patterns to pieces, but there is a lot for travel companies to be optimistic about if they're armed with the right data. With domestic travel being super competitive and as international and business travel rebound, it's never been more important for accommodation providers to uncover and quickly act adapt to events driving surges in demand, to ensure they are ready to meet very welcome influxes of guests." PredictHQ CEO & Co-Founder Campbell Brown "We work with many of the world's largest accommodation providers, and the partnership with OYO, especially given their focus on providing a cutting-edge user experience for their customers, is one we're very proud of." Welcoming PredictHQ as a partner, Aman Aneja, Director of Revenue Management at OYO UK says, "While OYO has always been a tech-first, data-driven organisation, the collaboration with PredictHQ offers us additional data and deeper insights to deliver more value and solutions to our patrons and guests." He adds, "OYO is accelerating its innovation in travel and hospitality by implementing fresh tech that can accommodate and adapt to new customer expectations. This is a requirement to remain a healthy business in today's reality, but equally important is to offer new technologies that exceed current customer expectations and preferences." "Technology-led businesses have emerged from the pandemic in a stronger position, which is why it was so important for OYO to invest in technology, and learn to do more from less so that we are positioned to be the best partner for our patrons and the best brand for guests," concludes Aman. PredictHQ covers 19 categories of events, including sports, conferences, school and college holidays, and unscheduled events such as severe weather and natural disasters. About PredictHQ PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company, empowers global organizations to anticipate changes in demand for their products and services. PredictHQ's demand intelligence API aggregates events from hundreds of sources and verifies, enriches, and ranks them by predicted impact so companies can proactively discover catalysts that will impact demand. With PredictHQ, businesses gain a leg up on the competition and remain confident in their ability to meet customers' ever-changing needs. About OYO OYO is a global platform that empowers entrepreneurs and small businesses with hotels and homes by providing full-stack technology that increases revenue and eases operations; bringing easy-to-book, affordable, and trusted accommodation to customers around the world. OYO offers 40+ integrated products and solutions to patrons who operate over 157,000 hotel and home storefronts across India, Europe, Southeast Asia and 35 countries.

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IMPACT

Bubblr, Inc Launches Community App Based Licensing Opportunity

Bubblr Inc. | December 22, 2021

Bubblr Inc., an ethical technology company focused on the development of Open Source 3.0 tools for the advancement of a better Internet, today announces another licensing for their Open Source Platform. Two weeks ago, Bubblr announced their first licensing agreement with media company UFF (Ultimate Football Fan). UFF and AFTV (Arsenal Football TV). Now Bubblr is adding the community app-based licensing opportunity as an entirely different marketing channel geared towards helping local communities. Utilizing Bubblr, Inc's open source app templates, a city or a town can build their own community app as a platform for local businesses. Many small businesses already subscribe to single-purpose app platforms. Example market sectors dominated by single-purpose apps include fast-food, hotels/accommodation, restaurants, trades-people and ticketing. These single-purpose apps are typically very costly for small businesses, often involving significant monthly subscriptions combined with a percentage of any sales generated through the apps. The Bubblr open-source app templates make it easy for towns and cities to build multi-purpose community apps for any market sector quickly. Initially, these community apps will operate on a freemium model. Eventually, local businesses will be charged a low-cost monthly subscription fee to be listed on the community app. The community will retain most of the revenue generated by these community apps, with Bubblr, Inc. charging a license fee. These community apps will provide a much needed new revenue source for hard-pressed local services. Bubblr, Inc. are already in negotiation with several candidate towns/cities to become the candidate for their own community app. Bubblr expects to make an announcement for its first community app licensee in January 2022. "All of the back-end development work to provide these community apps has already been completed. We are already in the process of building the open-source community app templates that will be completed by March 2022. From a business point of view, it is a win for all parties involved. Local businesses get a new low-cost marketing channel. Local communities get a new revenue source. Bubblr, Inc. does not have to pick up the high cost of acquisition of the local businesses or local app users." Bubblr, Inc.'s Chief Technology Officer Steve Morris About Bubblr, Inc. Bubblr, Inc. is an ethical technology company focused on mobile-first technology that aims to bring back privacy to users, trust in online content, and sustainability to the digital marketplace. Our mission is to empower developers to join in our commitment to improve the Internet and create a new Ethical Internet Ecosystem (EIE) by leveraging our intellectual property through our open-source platform advanced digital tools that enable the building of fair-forward digital solutions.

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Spotlight

NPV $104K Reduction in implementation effort compared to on-premises solution 45% Costs avoided in back-end hardware and Microsoft server licenses $594,444 Savings over three years from elimination of third-party communication tools $209,250 Time saved each day due to anytime, anywhere access for mobile workers 1 hour We’re quicker to respond to new projects, and new data can be shared quicker among the team. It gives us greater efficiency all-round.

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