Nav CEO Helping SMBs Avoid Online Lending Pitfalls

PYMNTS.com | January 27, 2020

In the wake of the financial crisis, banks’ pullback from small- to medium-sized business (SMB) lending yielded a flood of technology-driven players stepping in to fill the SMB credit gap. Entrepreneurs today have more choices than ever before as to how and where they access financing, but in many ways, that journey to capital hasn’t gotten any easier. According to Nav’s newly-appointed CEO Greg Ott, the current market sees an estimated $4 trillion in SMB debt origination each year. Much of that financing, however, is facilitated through inefficient processes that can heighten costs, limit transparency for borrowers, and increase risk for lenders.

Spotlight

Make sure each of your business’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware and update regularly. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors. All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install updates automatically. Set antivirus software to run a scan after each update.


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TECHNOLOGY

Codat Launches New Flagship Risk Product Assess for Smarter SMB Risk Decisioning

Codat | May 12, 2022

Codat, the universal API for small business data, announced the general availability launch of Assess, its new flagship risk product that enables smarter credit decisions on small to medium-sized businesses with real-time customer data via a single API. Codat built Assess in response to lender requests for a product that would support faster business decisions without increasing risks. Since Assess was made available to existing clients, 25 financial service providers have already made use of the new product, and it has been used in the underwriting process for more than 271 small businesses. With multi-platform coverage and the ability to build and manage multiple integrations, Assess pulls real-time accounting, commerce, and banking data from the software customers already use. Codat also cross-references data sources to verify accuracy. "Over the last 5 years, many millions of financial datasets have been processed via Codat's infrastructure, The financial ratios, intelligent categorization and validation that Assess offers is the culmination of the scale of our experience and copious feedback from customers. It will help credit providers underwrite faster and smarter, providing a lifeline for some of the millions of businesses in the US who have fewer than 15 cash buffer days." -Pete Lord, Codat's CEO. Before Assess, lenders had to first collect, then enrich and verify SMB data, making underwriting a manual, lengthy task. Many categorized and calculated ratios needed by hand, which meant the process was not only slow but prone to error, impacting risk ratios and difficult to scale. Assess enables SMB customers to share their data easily and then automatically enriches data, auto-generating ratios and metrics ready to be plugged into credit models. This reduces the time it takes to underwrite and gets much needed finance in the hands of the SMB faster. "We've traditionally had to oversee ratios and metrics calculations that are fed into our scoring engine. As financial reports are often erroneous and miscategorized, this resulted in discrepant scoring and, ultimately, customer loss, We recently had the privilege of being part of the beta testing for Assess, which introduced a set of pre-calculated ratios and metrics and an auto-categories feature. It has reduced our development resources dramatically and yielded precise account classification, enabling us to increase customer acquisition." -Dan Shapir, CTO and co-founder of Precise Finance Last year, the number of small businesses in the United States grew to 32.5 million, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, underscoring the need for customized lending and data services for this growing market. As Codat continues to expand its customer base and strategic growth initiatives, it launched Sync for Commerce, which automatically synchronizes sales data with accounting platforms, last month. Another product designed to ease the administrative burden for SMBs, Sync for Commerce radically simplifies the reconciliation process. ABOUT CODAT Codat is the universal API for small business data. Codat's API provides real-time connectivity to enable software providers and financial institutions to build integrated products for their SMB customers. Codat clients range from corporate card providers and forecasting software to lenders, and use cases span automatic reconciliation, loan decisioning, and more. Codat was founded in 2017 and has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and Sydney. For more information, visit www.codat.io.

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FINANCE

National Funding Announces Strategic Growth Investment in Finova Capital

National Funding | March 24, 2022

National Funding, Inc., one of the largest U.S. specialty finance companies serving small- and medium-sized businesses, announced it has made a strategic growth investment in Finova Capital, a business lender focused on merchant finance and the payments industry. National Funding’s significant investment in Finova comes on the heels of market momentum for both financial services companies. Finova Capital will continue to operate as an independent business unit with its current leadership and platform. Finova Capital’s suite of products complements and expands National Funding’s small business loan and working capital funding offerings. With its combined 50+ years of experience in financing and merchant acquiring and one million merchants served, Finova Capital primarily supports ISOs, processors, and POS equipment manufacturers. In addition, it works with partners to build leasing programs that allow merchants to conserve capital while accessing the latest technology. Finova Capital’s suite of services includes point of sale (POS) equipment financing solutions, working capital loans, term loans, and merchant cash advances. “Our significant investment in Finova Capital supports our vision of providing whatever products it takes to help small businesses to succeed. Finova’s leaders mirror National Funding’s commitment to modern technology and trusted relationships, and we are pleased to provide access to banking and liquidity opportunities to support its growth.” National Funding CEO Dave Gilbert “The Finova team greatly appreciates Dave Gilbert’s vote of confidence in our business model, business philosophy, and leadership team. The National Funding investment will allow us to focus on continuous product and platform enhancements that we believe will result in significant value for our merchant clients and referral partners,” said Finova CEO Bob Neagle. About Finova Capital Finova Capital is a new kind of merchant finance partner. The company is backed by decades of experience and is dedicated to transparency and acquirer growth. Founded in New Jersey by best-in-industry merchant finance experts and powered by retention-focused products and acquirer-enabling technology, Finova is quickly building relationships where acquirers and merchants all win. About National Funding, Inc. Founded in 1999, National Funding is a leading U.S. specialty finance company serving small- and medium-sized businesses. The Company’s foundation serves American small business owners by providing funding solutions to meet their needs to reinvest in their day-to-day operations and help them grow. National Funding has provided more than $4.5 billion in working capital and equipment leasing for more than 80,000 small- to medium-sized businesses nationwide. In addition, National Funding’s digital funding process has elevated its digital capabilities by delivering a fast and simple online application.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

Breef and Newity Partner to Help Small Businesses Grow With Easy Access to Vetted Marketing Service Providers

Breef | March 07, 2022

Breef (www.breef.com), the world’s first online agency marketplace, has announced a partnership with NEWITY, the small business marketplace dedicated to supporting equitable access to SBA loans and trusted business service providers. As NEWITY’s official Marketing Services Partner, Breef is helping NEWITY’s growing community of 115,000 small business members more easily access marketing agency resources and extend their growth opportunities. Breef provides brands with access to more than 6,000 vetted, boutique agencies that deliver more than 40 project types. From brand creative and public relations to digital marketing, web development, and design, Breef connects companies with vetted agency partners in under seven days, simplifying the marketing outsourcing process to drive measurable business outcomes. Businesses using Breef have reported savings on average of 35% per project compared with traditional agency spend — allowing small businesses to get more out of their advertising and marketing budget. “We are committed to introducing our community to resources that will help their businesses grow and become more profitable,” said Luke LaHaie, Co-CEO and Co-Founder at NEWITY. “Breef allows us to fulfill this commitment by providing access to essential marketing tools and relationships that in the past have been reserved for only the largest companies with significant marketing budgets.” Through this partnership, NEWITY members will gain access to Breef’s innovative platform and dedicated expert support to help guide their marketing project planning, budgeting, and scoping processes. “At Breef, we give users both the tools and technology to make outsourcing to agencies accessible and affordable. We’re thrilled to be a dedicated resource to NEWITY’s community and help guide its small businesses to marketing success.” George Raptis, Co-Founder at Breef In a step to provide integrated services that help small businesses via this partnership, Breef plans to roll out NEWITY’s suite of loan offerings to its community. Breef will start with the SBA 7(a) loan — a core component of NEWITY’s offering — which commenced initially with PPP loans during the early phase of Covid. ”By providing equitable access to SBA 7(a) loans via our simplified online application, small businesses are able to quickly obtain the inexpensive working capital they desperately need to grow their businesses,” said LaHaie. “By spending these funds on growth initiatives, such as marketing and advertising, our small business members can grow their market share and profitability without having to contribute more equity to their businesses.” About Breef Founded in 2019 by Emily Bibb and George Raptis, Breef is redefining the future of work by taking the agency online. The company’s technology is the first of its kind to streamline the agency outsourcing process and facilitate high-value, high-consideration projects. Breef’s proprietary platform allows brands to manage and service all agency projects, pitches, and payments, facilitating efficiencies within today’s distributed workforce. The platform hosts more than 6,000 vetted agencies and is used by hundreds of world-leading brands, transacting millions of dollars in projects each month. Breef operates from its headquarters in New York City. 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.

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IMPACT

H&R Block Continues Partnership with Nextdoor® to Connect Neighbors and Improve Communities Across the Country

H&R Block | February 24, 2022

H&R Block announces its third consecutive year of partnership with Nextdoor to find and execute 10 community improvement projects through Block's Make Every Block Better community impact platform. Now through March 31, people can nominate their neighborhood for a project that helps improve the places and spaces where neighborhoods convene. The call for community improvement projects supports neighborhoods and involves small businesses, ultimately positively impacting millions of Americans. The companies will narrow the submissions and bring 10 winning projects to life. Nominations are open for the following categories: neighborhood beautification, neighborhood cleanup, park renewal, community garden and more. In the last two years, this partnership between H&R Block and Nextdoor has received nearly 4,000 submissions narrowed down to 20 projects across the country. The chosen neighborhoods came together to build gardens, community spaces, murals, revitalizations and even a butterfly sanctuary. One example includes a playground project in New Jersey’s West Milford neighborhood that continues to bring life to the community. “The local kids and parents are spending more time together and helping to build better relationships with neighbors at the playground, but it has also increased our community pride.” Elisabeth Kenney, a resident of West Milford, N.J. This partnership is just one way H&R Block is working to Make Every Block Better through its community impact platform, which launched in 2019. To date, the company has supported more than 258 communities and 304,000 small businesses, with H&R Block associates volunteering more than 205,000 hours. About H&R Block H&R Block, Inc. provides help and inspires confidence in its clients and communities everywhere through global tax preparation services, financial products, and small-business solutions. The company blends digital innovation with human expertise and care as it helps people get the best outcome at tax time and also be better with money using its mobile banking app, Spruce. Through Block Advisors and Wave, the company helps small-business owners thrive with innovative products like Wave Money, a small-business banking and bookkeeping solution, and the only business bank account to manage bookkeeping automatically. About Nextdoor Nextdoor is where you connect to the neighborhoods that matter to you so you can belong. Kindness is core to our purpose: to cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on. Neighbors around the world turn to Nextdoor daily to receive trusted information, give and get help, get things done, and build real-world connections with those nearby neighbors, businesses, and public services.

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Spotlight

Make sure each of your business’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware and update regularly. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors. All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install updates automatically. Set antivirus software to run a scan after each update.

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