MANAGEMENT,BUSINESS STRATEGY

Fundbox Announces Partnerships: Adds Former Goldman Sachs Exec as Chief Product Offer with a Vision of Expanding Payment Capabilities

Fundbox | June 27, 2022

Fundbox Announces Partnerships:
Fundbox, a small business embedded working capital platform, announced today that it has partnered with Galileo Financial Technologies, an open API platform that enables unique and differentiated financial solutions, and MetaBank®, N.A., a leading economic empowerment company, to accelerate its product roadmap and bring innovative products to market. In addition, jin Hwang, who most recently served as Head of Product - Platform at Marcus by Goldman Sachs and previously led the product team at Intuit QuickBooks Capital, has been appointed as Fundbox's new Chief Product Officer.

Fundbox's collaboration with two leading fintech infrastructure companies, as well as the appointment of a Chief Product Officer, are part of a larger effort to expand its working capital platform. Fundbox has seen significant growth and rapid adoption of the product, with payment volume increasing by more than 80% quarter over quarter, and the median active customer using it more than five times per month for applications such as payroll, inventory, and rent.

Fundbox solutions are available to business owners through embedded experiences with business systems and accounting solutions, as well as directly through the Fundbox website and mobile app. Fundbox's platform has enabled access to over $3 billion in working capital and has connected with half a million businesses.

“Our new partnership with Galileo and MetaBank enables us to expand and scale payment offerings on our platform, We will introduce a number of new Flex Pay capabilities later this year, including a bill pay functionality where customers can make fast and easy payments to third party merchants on the platform.”

-Prashant Fuloria, CEO of Fundbox.

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FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Valley Bank Launches Community Lending Platform

Valley Bank | September 09, 2022

Valley National Bank today announced the launch of a Community Lending platform to streamline processing as it ramps up its efforts to provide more financial products, resources and connections to women and minority-owned businesses. In 2021, Valley made more than 6,181 small business loans in low-to-moderate-income census tracts and to businesses with a gross annual revenue of $1 million or less. Valley’s Community Lending Team, which focuses specifically on providing financing solutions to women and minority-owned small businesses within this space, quickly realized the need for a separate platform to organize the program across the Bank’s four states. This new platform makes the application and lending process much easier and faster by reducing a great deal of paperwork that would normally take weeks to process. The new platform offers women and minority-owned businesses easier access to traditional products such as payroll, commercial mortgages and merchant services, while also looking at qualifications for loans with a different lens. Instead of just considering traditional requirements related to cash flow and having three years of business history, the bank is also considering personal and business credit scores. Under the leadership of National Director of Community Lending Thais R. Sullivan, the department now consists of 15 dedicated professionals and reaches across Valley Bank’s U.S. footprint from New York south through Florida, into underserved communities where businesses often don’t qualify for traditional lending. “The Community Lending team is committed to looking at financing for these small businesses differently,” said Sullivan. “We examine their growth potential rather than their current size to determine how we can help drive long-term growth. The launch of this platform will help us as we help small businesses along the path to growth and future success.” Sullivan and her team of experienced professionals worked to create the products, resources and relationships to ensure the Community Lending team could provide timely access to the crucial elements to help businesses in need. The regional leaders for Community Lending are: Luis De La Hoz, Regional Director of Community Lending New Jersey Martine Pierre-Paul, Regional Director of Community Lending Florida/Alabama Michael Warrington, Regional Director of Community Lending New York “During the pandemic we became painfully aware how many businesses weren’t in a position to qualify for emergency funding programs like the Paycheck Protection Program,” said Sullivan. “Minority-owned businesses in particular were less likely to apply, not because they didn’t need the funding, but because they weren’t set up to qualify.” With a lack of professional relationships or experienced mentors that could help find paths to financing, many small business owners lacked the vital documentation needed to obtain a traditional loan. In addition to providing access to its own banking products and services, Valley Bank’s Community Lending solutions include leveraging strong partnerships with national and regional organizations that can provide additional education, mentorship and financing resources. These organizations include such groups as the Small Business Administration (SBA), Palm Beach County Black Business Investment Corporation (BBIC), and National Entrepreneurship Association (NEC). Valley Bank’s Community Lending team members have been working with underserved small businesses for more than two years to create custom financial solutions that make a difference. As two examples: Juan Garay, a disabled veteran and president of Facility Services Solutions Group in Edison, New Jersey, first turned to Valley Bank in 2020. “Valley helped to connect us with loans and grant opportunities,” Garay said, “and guided us in certifying our organization as a Disabled Veteran Owned Business, Minority Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise.” Dr. Angie Mason, DPT, OTR/L and Dr. Tyre Patterson, DPT were struggling to get financing for their startup business Dynamic Duo PT+ in West Palm Beach, Florida, despite having over a decade of experience in their field. “Valley Bank provided us real financial guidance and connected us to other professionals we needed to help our business thrive,” said Dr. Angie Mason. “We opened the doors to our office in May of this year.” About Valley As the principal subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp, Valley National Bank is a regional bank with approximately $54 billion in assets. Valley is committed to giving people and businesses the power to succeed. Valley operates many convenient branch locations across New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama, and is committed to providing the most convenient service, the latest innovations and an experienced and knowledgeable team dedicated to meeting customer needs. Helping communities grow and prosper is the heart of Valley’s corporate citizenship philosophy. To learn more about Valley, go to www.valley.com or call our Customer Service Center at 800-522-4100.

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MANAGEMENT

Capital CDC Supports Local Economic Development and Business Resources in New Mexico

Capital CDC | September 27, 2022

Capital CDC strives to make a difference in the communities we serve through unwavering advocacy and reinvestment in local economic development.Recently, Capital CDC donated $15,000 to WESST, a non-profit, small business development and training organization committed to growing New Mexico's economy by cultivating entrepreneurship. Since 2013, Capital CDC has provided financial donations to non-profits and economic development organizations in New Mexico totaling $124,500. Capital CDC contributes to these types of organizations annually to help grow the resources available for small businesses in New Mexico. "We are so grateful for the generous gift we recently received from Capital CDC! Thank you for supporting WESST's transformational work with New Mexico small businesses. With this support, WESST continues providing supportive business services and access to capital for the diverse entrepreneurs who need it most. This work wouldn't be possible without partners like you!" Katie Knipe, VP of Development at WESST.

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TECHNOLOGY,FINANCE

Capital One Business and Melio Launch Fully Integrated Accounts Payable Solution for Small Businesses

Melio | July 14, 2022

Melio, a leading B2B payments platform for small businesses, announced the launch of a fully integrated accounts payable solution with Capital One Business. This strategic partnership will enable Capital One small business cardholders to pay their vendors and suppliers with a card – even if they do not accept credit cards – directly from their Capital One Business account. Small businesses across the country continue to use time-consuming and costly methods to pay their vendors, with many still manually writing and mailing checks. Melio's payments technology for small businesses enables credit cards to be accepted everywhere, saving businesses valuable time and money that would otherwise be spent mailing checks or managing wire transfers. Through this multi-year strategic partnership, Capital One Business cardholders will have access to more flexible payment options and streamlined workflows from their Capital One Business account, enabling them to better manage their cash flow while also earning unlimited rewards and cash-back on purchases. "At Capital One, we recognize the power that adoption of payments technology can generate for businesses. In fact, a recent Capital One survey found that more than a third of small and mid-sized business leaders cite investing in automated, real-time, or fully integrated payables as a top priority over the next year, Through our partnership with the innovative team at Melio, we are proud to deliver this capability to our customers and continue to help transform how they do business." -Rebecca Silver, vice president, small business card at Capital One. We are delighted to expand on our strategic partnership with Capital One to increase access to cash management tools for small businesses, especially at a time when cash flow is so critical," said Matan Bar, Melio's co-founder and CEO. "Melio and Capital One share a common passion for helping small businesses succeed, and we are excited to have been selected as the default embedded accounts payable solution for Capital One Business cardholders. Last June, the two companies announced the creation of a strategic partnership to equip a segment of Capital One Business customers with increased access to accounts payable cash flow management tools for small businesses. Capital One Ventures the financial institution's corporate venture capital arm – also joined Melio's Series C funding round last year with a strategic investment. About Melio: Melio's mission is to keep small business in business, helping them improve their cash flow and workflow, gain more control over their finances, and optimize their business's financial health. Melio was founded by CEO Matan Bar, CTO Ilan Atias, and Ziv Paz in 2018, with headquarters in New York, an R&D center in Tel Aviv, and western U.S. headquarters in Colorado. The company has raised $506 million to date. Melio's smart B2B online payment solution is tailor-made for small businesses' needs. It is a free, simple, and secure solution that allows small businesses and their suppliers to transfer and receive payments quickly and easily. About Capital One Business: Capital One® offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses, and commercial clients. Capital One Business offers a diverse suite of financial products, tools, and services designed specifically for small businesses, including credit cards with unlimited rewards and banking products and services. Capital One Business is committed to fueling the courageous entrepreneurial spirit that's at the heart of American small businesses. We are focused on listening to and learning from the millions of businesses we serve every day to make sure our products, services, and experiences work as hard as they do.

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SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

Lendflow Taps Ocrolus to Improve Access to Credit For Small Businesses

Ocrolus | August 16, 2022

Ocrolus, the document and data analysis platform that helps financial services companies make high-quality decisions with trusted data, today announced it is working with Lendflow to quickly and accurately determine the viability of borrowers and provide critical access to capital. Lendflow, a leader in embedded SMB lending, is leveraging Ocrolus' document automation technology to analyze data from documents—such as bank statements, W-2s, and business tax returns—and provide critical insight into a business' revenue, daily balances, and more. Ocrolus provides Lendflow with insights into a borrower's cash flow to determine where a loan application should be routed within its lender network. Lendflow also uses individual cash flow metrics provided by Ocrolus in its credit decisioning engine, which enables lenders to efficiently process SMB credit applications. "In a challenging economic environment with rising interest rates, small businesses are finding it difficult to access credit from traditional financial institutions that are tightening lending criteria in an effort to mitigate risk, "Lendflow has really stepped in to enable every lender, fintech or SaaS company serving SMBs to provide faster, easier, and cheaper access to credit." John Forrester, SVP of Product at Ocrolus "Ocrolus has enabled us to drive efficiencies and automation at scale," said Jon Fry, CEO and Co-founder of Lendflow. "With Ocrolus, our customers can launch new credit products and get to market quickly, as cash flow analysis is at the core of the decisioning process. In turn, they can help their SMB customers with seamless and faster access to financing they didn't have before." Industry leaders, like Lendflow, are increasingly turning to Ocrolus to power better, faster lending decisions through AI-powered automation. Ocrolus has more than 200 customers across small, midmarket, and enterprise segments and added over 40 new customers in the first half of 2022. The company processes more than 200,000 small business loan applications every month. About Ocrolus Ocrolus is a document automation platform that powers the digital lending ecosystem, automating credit decisions across small business, mortgage, and consumer lending. Ocrolus enables financial services firms to make high quality decisions with trusted data and detect fraud with unparalleled efficiency. The company has raised over $100 million from blue-chip fintech investors. Visit ocrolus.com to learn more. About Lendflow Lendflow is a technology leader that provides embedded credit infrastructure for fintechs, lenders and vertical SaaS platforms to build, embed and launch credit products. Lendflow combines a powerful decisioning engine that includes data aggregation, decisioning, monitoring and scoring with a robust marketplace of specialized lenders and contextually embedded product placements. With Lendflow, fintechs can launch credit products in days, SaaS companies can increase customer engagement and retention with embedded credit, lenders can expand their reach to qualified SMBs and SMBs can quickly access capital to power their growth.

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Spotlight

Keith Hall, a registered CPA and small business owner with over 20 years experience is here to help you with your small business questions. In this video, Keith explains the benefits and pitfalls of choosing a corporation as your business entity.

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