TECHNOLOGY

Trinet Launches Enhanced Technology Platform to Improve Service to Small and Medium-sized Businesses

Trinet | May 04, 2022

Trinet Launches Enhanced Technology
Trinet announced the launch of its enhanced customer-facing technology platform. The platform is designed to meet the demands of today's evolving workforce with a modern look and feel that will deliver a more visual, intuitive and optimized experience across devices.

TriNet's clients will benefit from powerful features such as Workforce Analytics Dashboards, Document Management, Mobile onboarding, and a Knowledge Center that will assist them in making better-informed decisions and optimizing workflows. As a result, SMBs can now do a more significant number of HR functions more quickly and with less effort.

"TriNet's enhanced platform does an amazing job helping us manage the increasing volume of HR tasks. It's very easy to navigate, and the new dashboard acts as a shortcut to get all the relevant information we need quickly. The overall design and experience has been extremely positive."

-Monica Zsamboky, Chief of Staff of N2G, a Trinet Customer

Among the platform's key updated features are the following:
  • Modern look and feel
  •  Dashboard and visualizations
  •  Simplified navigation
  • Document management
  •  Knowledge center

Spotlight

Two of the greatest challenges facing the world in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for Agenda 2030 are universal energy access (SDG7) and gender equality and women’s empowerment (SDG5). Can SDG7 and SDG5 mutually support one another? This review of ENERGIA’s Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) programme makes it clear that, first, women’s energy entrepreneurship should indeed be adopted as an essential strategy.


Other News
FINANCE

Raistone Teams Up with Mastercard to Accelerate Working Capital Payments for Small- and-Medium-Sized Businesses

Raistone | April 06, 2022

Raistone today announced a collaboration with Mastercard set to simplify business-to-business (B2B) finance payments and speed up access to working capital for small- and-medium-sized businesses ("SMBs"). Using Mastercard's virtual card technology, Raistone will tap into secure payment innovation to streamline finance approval processes that can exclude SMBs from accessing essential funds needed to sustain and scale their business. This innovative use of virtual cards promotes diversity and inclusion by extending convenient financial tools to the companies that need them most. The partnership enables automated financing to suppliers via virtual cards without requiring the involvement of their customers. In addition, women- and minority-owned business enterprises can join with no enrollment fees through the end of 2022. "Together with Mastercard, Raistone is making it easier than ever for businesses to get paid on invoices that would otherwise take months for reimbursement. By using existing credit card rails and infrastructure, Raistone is able to reach and help businesses of all sizes, saving them both time and money so they can get back to doing what they do best. We're excited to support small- and medium-sized businesses, particularly at a time when many companies are on the road to recovery or experiencing high growth." Dave Skirzenski, CEO of Raistone Raistone's new virtual card program is being deployed directly to SMBs as well as integrated into customer-facing software provided by Raistone's large enterprise partners. A key advantage to SMBs is rapid sign-up through their existing platforms, enabling businesses to drastically reduce their operational burden and get paid in a matter of days. Commenting on the collaboration, Claire Thompson, EVP Global Trade, Mastercard Enterprise Partnerships said, "We have a responsibility to advance a more equitable and sustainable future for organizations of all sizes, particularly when liquidity is vital during volatile times. Integrating Mastercard's virtual card technology within Raistone's customer facing software, allows us to significantly improve cashflow through quicker payments, supporting daily operations and fueling growth. With an embedded finance experience, we are accelerating easier access to secure working capital, ensuring that businesses have the means to manage and grow their business". About Raistone Raistone was born with the vision of equalizing access to working capital and meeting the demand for working capital on a global scale. A world-leading fintech collaboratively owned by a full-service broker dealer, $30 billion family office, a $900 billion wealth manager, and an international bank, Raistone enables the financing of billions of dollars in transactions every year. Its best-in-class technology coupled with unparalleled access to institutional capital extends financing to companies of all sizes, fully integrated with the same software platforms they already use. Raistone works to ensure that all businesses have access to their money, on their terms.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Citi to Exit Consumer, Small Business and Middle Market Banking Operations in Mexico

Citi | January 12, 2022

Citi today announced that it intends to exit the consumer, small business and middle market banking operations of Citibanamex as part of its strategic refresh. Citi will continue to operate a locally-licensed banking business in Mexico through its global Institutional Clients Group. Citi has operated in Mexico for more than a century and the country will remain among Citi’s top institutional markets outside of the U.S. Citi will continue to invest in and grow those institutional banking operations, along with its Private Banking franchise. “The decision to exit the consumer, small business and middle market banking businesses in Mexico is fully aligned with the principles of our strategy refresh – we’ll be able to direct our resources to opportunities aligned with our core strengths and competitive advantages, focus on businesses that benefit from connectivity to our global network, and we will further simplify our bank.” Citi CEO Jane Fraser Fraser continued, “Mexico is a priority market for Citi – that will not change. We expect Mexico to be a major recipient of global investment and trade flows in the years ahead, and we are confident about the country’s trajectory. Citi is uniquely positioned to support cross-border capital markets activity and trade flows in and out of Mexico for our institutional clients and we will continue to make material investments in our institutional operations and market-leading hub there.” Citi’s planned divestitures of its consumer businesses across Mexico, Asia and Europe are aligned with the repositioning of its consumer operations to focus on wealth centers globally as well as payments and lending and a targeted retail presence in the U.S. Banco Nacional de México is a leading bank in Mexico with an iconic brand and rich history. Citi has made meaningful investments in this business over the course of the last two decades, greatly enhancing its digital and mobile banking capabilities, strengthening its technology infrastructure, modernizing its branch and ATM network, deepening relationships with key customer segments and advancing its financial inclusion efforts. “The strategy refresh Citi has undertaken will result in a stronger, more focused bank,” said Mark Mason, Citi’s Chief Financial Officer. “We will execute a targeted consumer strategy, double down in wealth, and focus on our higher-returning institutional businesses where we have competitive advantages. Our emphasis is on opportunities where our global network uniquely positions us to support clients who are growing and facing an ever-changing set of complex dynamics around the world.” The businesses in the intended exit include the Mexico consumer and small business banking operations, reported as part of Citi’s Global Consumer Banking segment, as well as the Mexico middle market banking business, reported in Citi’s Institutional Clients Group segment. The Mexico consumer and small business banking operations included in the intended exit represent the entirety of the Latin America Global Consumer Banking unit. In the first three quarters of 2021, the businesses Citi intends to exit together accounted for approximately $3.5 billion in revenue, $1.2 billion in earnings before tax, $44 billion in assets, and $4 billion in average allocated TCE. Additional information about the operations Citi intends to exit in Mexico will be included in the 2021 fourth quarter earnings report on January 14, 2022. A link to Citi’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed today regarding the exit can be found here. The method and timing of Citi’s exit from its consumer, small business and middle market banking operations in Mexico, which could include a sale or a public market alternative, will be determined by Citi and will be aligned with its objectives of maximizing shareholder value and strengthening both the businesses that Citi will exit and those it will retain. The exit process is subject to various conditions and approvals, including applicable regulatory approvals in both the U.S. and Mexico. About Citi Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

Wishpond Announces Acquisition of Viral Loops - a Leading Provider of Referral Marketing Solutions

Wishpond Technologies Ltd. | April 05, 2022

Wishpond Technologies Ltd., a provider of marketing-focused online business solutions, is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition (the "Acquisition") of certain assets and specified liabilities constituting substantially all of the business and assets of Viral Loops Limited ("Viral Loops") pursuant to an asset purchase agreement (the "APA") effective April 1, 2022. Headquartered in London, England, Viral Loops is a referral marketing software platform that helps companies acquire new customers and increase sales through the power of word-of-mouth and referral marketing. "We are very pleased to announce our first acquisition of 2022 and the fifth acquisition since Wishpond went public in December 2020. Viral Loops has built a company with tremendous brand recognition in the industry and has demonstrated consistent, strong revenue and EBITDA growth. Besides growing Viral Loops as a stand-alone business, we believe there are tremendous cross-sell opportunities for offering referral marketing solutions to Wishpond's existing customer base of over 3,000 small to medium sized businesses. We are thrilled to welcome the Viral Loops team to the growing Wishpond family." Ali Tajskandar, Chairman and CEO of Wishpond Founded in 2016, Viral Loops helps businesses unlock their viral growth through powerful referral marketing solutions. It allows businesses to design, create and manage referral programs that reinforce customer loyalty, attract new customers and decrease customer acquisition costs. Viral Loops provides its customers with customizable templates for referral marketing campaigns where customers can refer their network in exchange for rewards. Viral Loops' technology tracks and manages the effectiveness and results of the referral program and enables customers to manage the distribution of the rewards and discounts arising from the campaign. Viral Loops has strong revenue growth and over 15% EBITDA margins. Revenue in 2021 was US$800,000 generated from more than 700 diversified customers, half of whom are based in the United States. Viral Loops will continue to maintain its brand, website and client relationships, while Wishpond will provide operational support and cross selling opportunities. Wishpond expects Viral Loops product and services will enhance Wishpond's current product offerings and increase customer lifetime value. "We are thrilled that the Viral Loops team will be joining Wishpond," said Savvas Zortikis, CEO of Viral Loops. "Wishpond has established a model for servicing the online marketing needs of small and mid-sized enterprises. We believe that the Viral Loops technology will continue to flourish under Wishpond and that our customers will be well served under the Wishpond banner." In consideration for the acquisition of Viral Loops, Wishpond anticipates the total purchase price to be approximately US$2,300,000, consisting of an upfront payment of US$1,380,000 from cash on hand and a one-year performance earn-out in the expected amount of US$920,000 (the "Earn-Out"). The Earn-Out, which is based on a percentage of revenue of the acquired Viral Loops business, will be paid quarterly and may be paid in cash, common shares of Wishpond ("Shares"), or a combination thereof, at the Company's discretion. Any Shares that are issued will be at a deemed price per Share equal to the 10 trading day volume weighted average price of the Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange (the "TSXV"), subject to certain minimum share price requirements as per the APA and as permitted and approved by the TSXV. About Wishpond Technologies Ltd. Based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Wishpond is a provider of marketing-focused online business solutions. Wishpond's vision is to become the leading provider of digital marketing solutions that empower entrepreneurs to achieve success online. The Company offers an "all-in-one" marketing suite that provides companies with marketing, promotion, lead generation, and sales conversion capabilities on one integrated platform. Wishpond replaces disparate marketing solutions with an easy-to-use product, for a fraction of the cost. Wishpond serves over 3,000 customers who are primarily small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in a wide variety of industries. The Company has developed cutting-edge marketing technology solutions and continues to add new features and applications with great velocity. The Company employs a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model where substantially all the Company's revenue is subscription-based recurring revenue which provides excellent revenue predictability and cash flow visibility. Wishpond is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker "WISH", and on the OTCQX Best Market under the ticker "WPNDF".

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

Weave & Vetter Launch Integration to Serve Communications Solutions to American Veterinarians

Weave | January 21, 2022

Weave, the all-in-one customer communication platform for small business, and Vetter, the leading animal healthcare software technology company, announce their integration in an attempt to provide veterinarians and their front office staff with a comprehensive business solution designed to free up time spent on traditional business tasks. With this integration, Weave will automatically sync with Vetter’s data, eliminating the need for manual data uploads. Because of this automated sync, Vetter users will be able to see real-time updates to their daily calendars and patient contact information. This sync between Weave and Vetter also enables automated birthday messages, automated recall texts, confirmation writebacks, review auto-texts, and tracks patient text preferences, so offices only send messages to those who have given them permission to do so. “We couldn’t be more excited about this integration with Vetter and how it will help us achieve our mission to enable small businesses everywhere to unify, modernize and personalize every customer interaction. This integration will help veterinary practices around the world utilize our unique business solutions so they can spend more time caring for and connecting with patients and less time on the tedious tasks of running a business.” Roy Banks, CEO of Weave Vetter, the leading animal healthcare technology company, is trusted by more than 1,500 veterinarians. "We're thrilled to partner with Weave to help veterinary practices build strong, lasting relationships with their clients by bridging our practice management solution with Weave's communication solutions," said Sagi Solomon, General Manager and Founder of Vetter. "Vetter and Weave share a passion for developing innovative solutions that streamline the day-to-day operations of veterinary practices so they can spend more time caring for their patients and clients." Integration Features & Benefits Data Sync – Keep all your client contact and appointment info current with regular, automatic updates from your database to Weave. Reviews Auto-Texting – Grow your practice by sending a quick text after each appointment that invites customers to leave a Google or Facebook review. Confirmation Writebacks- Update your practice management system with how pet owners respond to appointment confirmation texts, so your schedule is always up to date. Customized Messaging – Create and send messages unique to each veterinarian, appointment type, and appointment status. Birthday Greetings – Delight your customers each year on their pet’s special day by sending them personalized Birthday Greetings automatically. Text Preferences – Track which pet owners prefer text communications, only sending messages to those who have opted in. Mobile Calendar – Know who your next patient is by quickly referencing your schedule on Weave’s mobile app. About Weave Weave is the all-in-one customer communication and engagement platform for small business. From the first phone call to the final invoice and every touchpoint in between, Weave connects the entire customer journey. Weave’s software solutions transform how local businesses attract, communicate with and engage customers to grow their business. The first Utah company to join Y Combinator, Weave has set the bar for Utah startup achievement & work culture. In the past year, Weave has been included in the Forbes Cloud 100, Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies in America, and Glassdoor Best Places to Work. About Vetter Vetter Software, a DaySmart Company, offers better business tools for the world’s veterinarians. Our cloud practice management software is used by more than 1,500 practices to automate manual tasks, streamline workflows, and improve visibility into the health of their businesses.

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Spotlight

Two of the greatest challenges facing the world in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for Agenda 2030 are universal energy access (SDG7) and gender equality and women’s empowerment (SDG5). Can SDG7 and SDG5 mutually support one another? This review of ENERGIA’s Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) programme makes it clear that, first, women’s energy entrepreneurship should indeed be adopted as an essential strategy.

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