MANAGEMENT

Trainual Focuses on Small Business Success with the World's First Business Playbook Software

Trainual | September 30, 2021

Trainual , a leading SaaS platform that dramatically boosts small businesses' ability to scale through better onboarding and training, unveiled the world's first business playbook software yesterday during their first annual user conference.The major product upgrade now empowers small businesses to build their playbooks (or how-to guides for running their company) in the same way they naturally work every day. This includes easily documenting and sharing information about their company, people, policies, and processes - allowing small businesses to scale and grow in record time. These fundamentals were born out of Trainual founder Chris Ronzio's latest book: The Business Playbook.

"As a small business owner myself, I've experienced firsthand the many challenges of onboarding, training, and scaling fast,To really help small businesses when it comes to transferring knowledge, we needed a product that matched exactly how they operate every day, especially when it comes to documenting processes and onboarding new hires. This next generation of Trainual is truly a reflection of that, of how people learn about a business in real life."

-said Chris Ronzio, CEO and founder of Trainual.

The all-new Trainual now consists of four key changes, each built specifically with small businesses in mind:

New navigation - Trainual's new layout mimics how small businesses naturally operate daily - from a larger picture of their company to how individuals fit in and, finally, to exactly what teams need to know. The new navigation directly reflects this, saving time and ensuring a more organized experience.

Org chart - The org chart feature gives an easy-to-digest, visual representation of where each team member fits into the company, who they report to, and who's on what team.

Roles & responsibilities - This makes it easy to assign accountability to each team member, eliminates duplicate efforts by clearly showing who does what, and allows teams to link actual Trainual or website content to a responsibility. As a result, these features add a whole new level of context for other team members or new employees.

Collections to organize content - Customers can now group their processes into individual categories called "Collections" by team, department, topic - whatever works!
Additionally, Trainual launched a brand-new plan called "Build," specifically created and priced for small businesses with 5 employees or less.

The company held its first-ever Insider Summit event yesterday, exclusively for Trainual customers, where attendees got a sneak peek at the all-new platform before it went live later that day.

About Trainual:
Trainual, the world's first business playbook software, transforms the way small businesses onboard, train, and scale their teams. With its affordable and easy-to-use platform, organizations can dramatically reduce the time it takes to get employees up to speed while making every need-to-know instantly accessible from anywhere in the world. Thousands of small businesses in over 180 countries build their business playbooks and grow their teams with Trainual.


Spotlight

Hear the term ‘small business’ and you’ll probably have in mind a small shop or accountancy firm; a plumber, a café owner or builder perhaps. Dedicated organisations with a handful of employees, or sole-traders working full-time to make a living. These traditional small businesses are well known, highly visible and are regularly referred to as the backbone of the Australian economy.


Other News
FINANCE

BayFirst Financial Corp. Launches LoanBud, a Nationwide Lender Focused on Serving the Self-Employed

LoanBud | April 21, 2022

BayFirst Financial Corp. announced that First Home Bank (d/b/a BayFirst Bank), its wholly-owned subsidiary, has launched LoanBud, a lending division designed specifically to serve self-employed homebuyers and small business owners across the U.S. LoanBud provides the option to qualify for a mortgage loan without tax returns and underwrites each self-employed borrower's income before providing a pre-approval letter. LoanBud also offers government-backed Small Business Administration (SBA) loans up to $5 million – making it a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs, freelancers and business owners looking to get the home and business financing they require. This division is the first of its kind for the Bank as it combines both residential and small business lending services, creating synergy between two typically separate lines of business. “As a nationwide lender focused on assisting those facing unnecessary challenges in their pursuit of financing, we are proud to now provide a comprehensive solution for self-employed individuals looking to buy a home or grow their business,” said Anthony N. Leo, CEO of BayFirst. “When it comes to residential mortgages, lenders don't thoroughly review self-employment income documentation up front and many self-employed homebuyers who receive a pre-approval letter are later denied a mortgage. As the future of work changes, more homebuyers are being impacted by lenders who base mortgage approval on tax returns only. LoanBud is proud to serve as a residential mortgage lender that gives self-employed homebuyers the tools and resources to make smart homebuying decisions and secure a mortgage, while also supporting their businesses through SBA lending.” More than one in three workers, 53 million people, are part of America’s independent workforce, according to a study from UpWork. In a new survey from LoanBud conducted by Pollfish, 53% of self-employed home buyers reported having trouble securing mortgage approval because of tax return requirements, with 63% saying they wished lenders offered additional qualification options. In addition, half of the survey respondents received pre-approval from a lender based on self-employment income information that was later denied. “LoanBud is solving two major problems for self-employed homebuyers seeking a mortgage. First, we offer the option to qualify using bank statements or 1099s instead of tax returns. Second, whether they use tax returns or alternative documentation, we underwrite each applicant’s income up front, giving our customers confidence that their loan will close once they find a home to purchase.” Burke Purcell, Director of LoanBud Business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs face unique challenges seeking approval for a home loan because most banks still qualify people based on the net income reported on tax returns after deductions and write-offs. LoanBud offers more mortgage options, including qualifying using bank statements or 1099s instead of tax returns. Its lenders are trained to understand the income of self-employed borrowers seeking assistance with buying a home or obtaining a small business loan, saving them time and money. The launch of LoanBud further solidifies First Home Bank’s commitment to serving every member of the community as it positions the Bank to better support a wide range – and growing number – of self-employed professionals who might otherwise be denied access to the capital they need to realize the dream of home and business ownership. About LoanBud LoanBud is a division of First Home Bank. LoanBud’s mission is to become the number one lender in the country for self-employed people by providing mortgages and SBA-backed loans to entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners. About BayFirst Financial Corp. BayFirst Financial Corp. (f/k/a First Home Bancorp, Inc.) is a registered bank holding company which commenced operations on September 1, 2000. Its primary source of income is from its wholly owned subsidiary, First Home Bank d/b/a BayFirst Bank, which commenced business operations on February 12, 1999. First Home Bank is a Federal Reserve member and a state-chartered banking institution. The Bank operates seven full-service office locations, 23 mortgage loan production offices and is in the top 25 by dollar volume and by number of units originated nationwide through the second quarter ended March 31, 2022, of SBA's 2022 fiscal year. BayFirst Financial Corp., through the Bank, offers a broad range of commercial and consumer banking services including various types of deposit accounts and loans for businesses and individuals. As of December 31, 2021, BayFirst Financial Corp. had $917.10 million in total assets.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Everlane Equity Partners Invests in demandDrive

Everlane Equity Partners | February 19, 2022

Everlane Equity Partners ("Everlane") today announced a strategic investment in demandDrive, LLC and Data Fuel, LLC (collectively "demandDrive" or the "Company"), a provider of sales development and lead generation services. Everlane is a Boston-based private equity firm focused on partnerships with growing service companies. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts with approximately 175 employees, demandDrive offers sales and marketing enablement services to its growing client base across the country. The Company specializes in recruiting, training and outsourcing Sales Development Representatives ("SDRs") that generate actionable sales opportunities for clients' in-house sales and marketing resources. demandDrive also delivers high-quality and actionable top-of-funnel leads. demandDrive's strong recruiting pipeline, coupled with its dedicated SDR development process and resources, enables the Company to build successful demand generation programs quickly and cost-effectively for clients. "We are proud of the organization we've built over the past decade and thankful for all of the support from our clients, management, and team members to get to this point in our Company's evolution. After all the hard work, we still see this as just the beginning, and we're excited for what is ahead for demandDrive in partnership with Everlane." Lindsay Frey, Co-Founder and President of demandDrive Dan Paul, Co-Founder and Managing Director added, "We look forward to working with the Everlane team as we continue our strong growth trajectory and commitment to investing in resources and offerings that enable us to deliver the highest level of service to our clients and accelerated growth opportunity for our employees." "We are pleased to announce our partnership with the demandDrive team," said Evan Horton, Managing Partner at Everlane. "The Company alleviates a major pain point we see across many businesses as it is often harder to justify significant investments in in-house demand generation resources that can take a lot of time to prove out their effectiveness and tend to see a higher level of turnover." Harry Banks, Operating Partner at Everlane emphasized, "Consistent with our other outsourced services investments, we believe this combination of seasoned professionals, technology, and proven processes will provide significant value to the market." Daniel Vetrano, Vice President at Everlane added, "demandDrive operates in a large, fragmented and growing industry that offers significant opportunity to add capabilities via acquisition and broaden the Company's portfolio of services." About demandDrive demandDrive provides sales development and demand generation services to clients nationwide. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, the Company's offering includes sales and marketing enablement solutions with a specialization in recruiting, training and outsourcing SDRs. The Company has experience servicing clients across a wide variety of end markets and has particular expertise in supporting business-to-business technology companies. About Everlane Equity Partners Everlane Equity Partners is a Boston-based private capital provider focused on equity investments in high-quality companies that are well-positioned for future growth. Everlane utilizes its fully committed capital base and experience investing in small capitalization and middle market companies to accelerate value creation alongside management teams that have meaningful go-forward financial participation in their businesses. Everlane is flexible in its approach, structuring both majority and minority partnerships across primarily services industries such as business, consumer, financial, healthcare, industrial and IT services.

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FINANCE

OneConnect Inks New Strategic Partnership Agreement with Chengfang Financial Technology

OneConnect | January 10, 2022

OneConnect Financial Technology Co., Ltd. ("OneConnect"), a leading technology-as-a-service platform for financial institutions has today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Chengfang Financial Technology Co. Ltd., (abbreviated as "Chengfang Financial Technology"), a financial technology company established by the People's Bank of China ("PBOC"). Working with shared principles of equal collaboration, joint development, honesty and trustworthiness, both parties will work together to address common pain points in the financial industry, deliver technological innovations, and enhance data processing and governance. Under the agreement, OneConnect and Chengfang Financial Technology will harness cutting-edge technologies -- including AI, cloud computing and big data -- to explore new applications for data privacy technology in bank surveillance systems, promote the introduction and sharing of new data standards, and identify the financial data collaboration and circulation models needed by businesses to meet the requirements for secure cloud computing. In addition, the two parties will carry out research and development in areas such as secure computing technology, blockchain, and graph data; as well as nurture and cultivate new FinTech talents for the future. "This partnership with Chengfang Financial Technology is a significant step forward for OneConnect. China's digital banking sector has continuously remained at the forefront of digital transformation, and technology is at the core of its integrity and innovation. As a FinTech B2B business, OneConnect upholds its responsibility to promote the development of the financial services sector. Together with Chengfang Financial Technology, we will continue to adhere to our ongoing mission: to develop and empower the industry with our unique combination of professional expertise and technology, in order to build a new way forward for digital banking." Wangchun Ye, Chairman of OneConnect A subsidiary of PBOC, Chengfang Financial Technology is entrusted with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the digital banking system for China's central bank. The company performs resource scheduling and operation management for PBOC's network and data centers, and operates its data transfer management platform to provide the entire system with services ranging from network communications and infrastructure to systems maintenance and data transfer. Its partnership with OneConnect promises to accelerate the digitalization of China's banking sector, and cements OneConnect's position as a leader in digital financial development. As the world's leading technology-as-a-service platform for financial institutions, OneConnect harnesses cutting-edge technologies to improve efficiency and services for banks, government agencies and exchanges, while also reducing costs and minimizing risk. OneConnect helps providers accelerate digital transformation across four key pillars: the construction of a digital ecosystem, the cultivation of green finance, the integration of the Greater Bay Area, and the continued development of the FinTech sector. In addition to its partnership with Chengfang Financial Technology, OneConnect has established strategic alliances with the China Securities Regulatory Commission's Technology Supervisory Bureau, Insurance Asset Management Association of China, and China Insurance Asset Registration and Trading System Co., Ltd. The company has also successfully implemented major FinTech projects around the world, including the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's FINI IPO settlement platform, Singapore Stock Exchange's ESG platform, a corporate financing platform for small to medium-sized enterprises in the Guangdong province, Hong Kong's trade finance linkage platform, Guangxi Province's cross-border digital finance platform, the Hainan Provincial Financial Supervisory Bureau's smart integrated financial services platform, and more. OneConnect has also been aggressively exploring and leading the development of privacy computing in recent years, leveraging its advantages in privacy computing technology and cooperation practices. The company has won China Merchants Bank's bid for the "Privacy Computing Platform Interoperability" project, and the two companies will begin working together closely to build China's first multi-party cross-heterogeneous privacy computing platform. The project will be applied to financial scenarios such as financial risk control, anti-fraud, and blacklist query. By collaborating on this platform, both parties will jointly activate the full potential of big data and boost customer business value on the basis of meeting regulatory data privacy protection regulations. Looking ahead, OneConnect plans to continue exploring new partnerships with domestic and foreign organizations, government agencies and financial exchanges; strengthen its technological innovation and IP protection; and improve its R&D capabilities in technology in order to accelerate the digitalization of the global financial services sector.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

Amber Solutions Closes 2020 With Series B Funding Totaling More Than $8.5 Million

Amber Solutions | January 25, 2021

Company's advances in technology, patent portfolio, industry awards and partner discussions drive increased investor interest. DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA , Jan 25, 2021 - (ACN Newswire) - Amber Solutions, the young Silicon Valley company that is making the digital control of electricity in solid-state architecture a commercial reality, today announced that its 2020 series B funding round raised more than $8.5 million from new and existing investors, following a successful year of secured patents, partner discussions and multiple industry award wins. According to Amber Founder and CEO Thar Casey, the company's progress in 2020 is all the more remarkable given the challenges posed to the business by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns that prevented most, if not all, in person product demonstrations. "2020 presented a challenging business climate, but our commitment to revolutionize the world's building electrical infrastructure helped Amber enter 2021 with increased investment, new patents, as well as multiple industry award wins and nominations," Casey said. "Amber's progress is a sign of the accelerating demand from major electrical product manufacturers for solid-state electrification technologies and its ability to completely disrupt and transform the enormous global market for electrical products and services." In addition to securing patents related to a digital AC/DC Enabler, an AC switch, a digital method to sense ground faults, and super-efficient LED light fixtures in 2020, Amber started 2021 as a BIG Innovations 2021 Award winner, a CES 2021 Innovations Award honoree, and is currently a 2021 Edison Award nominee. Amber's core innovation is a programmable solid-state power system that has a clear path to an even-smaller silicon chip version. Amber's system controls the flow of electricity digitally, enabling unique integration of modern intelligence into building electrical products and infrastructure. The solution introduces the world to a much safer, more reliable and dramatically smarter alternative to the 1970's era electro-mechanical components that are used in nearly all modern electrical infrastructure products. "Amber's patents and innovations are rapidly driving demand for the development of intelligent solid-state based products including two-wire dimmer switches, ultra-efficient commercial LED light fixtures, smart light switches, smart outlets, smart circuit breakers, and more," Casey added. "Based on heightened industry interest, growing investments and ever-increasing energy efficiency goals around the globe, we believe 2021 will be the year solid-state electrification moves from validation to commercialization and mainstream productization." About Amber Solutions Amber Solutions is a leading developer of patented, innovative solid-state technologies for the digital control of electricity. The company's disruptive breakthroughs change the electrical landscape forever for buildings and appliances world-wide. These technologies upgrade power management from 1950's era electro-mechanical to safer, more reliable solid-state architecture with embedded intelligence. Based in Dublin, California, the company is leveraging the expertise of Silicon Valley professionals to deliver a disruptive enhancement to the value and functionality of the world's electrical endpoints and infrastructure. For more information visit www.ambersi.com.

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Spotlight

Hear the term ‘small business’ and you’ll probably have in mind a small shop or accountancy firm; a plumber, a café owner or builder perhaps. Dedicated organisations with a handful of employees, or sole-traders working full-time to make a living. These traditional small businesses are well known, highly visible and are regularly referred to as the backbone of the Australian economy.

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