TECHNOLOGY

Yotpo Grow, An Accelerator Program Designed for Small Businesses Accepting Applications

Yotpo | March 07, 2022

Yotpo announced a call for applications for its Yotpo Grow brand incubator program. Yotpo, is an eCommerce marketing platform that helps brand strengthen their relationships with consumers. Yotpo Grow's brand incubator program is designed to accelerate small businesses from frequently underrepresented communities. Ten Black-owned brands will be selected to receive eCommerce-first marketing solutions for customer advocacy, engagement, and retention, as well as access to events, workshops, and marketing opportunities throughout the year.

In 2021, the firm launched the Yotpo Grow accelerator program to promote emerging brands by providing them with the community support, expertise, and resources necessary to grow online sales and retain consumers. Sir Dogwood, CanDid Art, AVEC, Karen Jai Home, Your Sustainable Home, and Alaffia comprised the inaugural class of Yotpo Grow.

Sir Dogwood experienced a 54% open rate for review request emails, a 10% referral conversion rate, and a 47x improvement in ROI with Yotpo Grow's four SMS campaigns each month. Additionally, other Yotpo Grows companies had quantifiable success as a result of the initiative.

"We are incredibly proud of the success of the first class of Yotpo Grow companies. We started Yotpo Grow to capitalize on our strengths as a company while finding new ways to engage and support our community. Yotpo Grow has been a passion project for our team and it's incredible to see the impact from supporting these inspiring brands. We can't wait to see what the class of 2022 has to offer."

Kate Bould, Brand Marketing Senior Manager at Yotpo

Spotlight

Thinking of relocating to the UAE? Want to know what it's like, living and working in this innovative and multicultural country? We at HRsource have spent several years with our ears to the ground, gathering insights and data as well lots of interesting facts about the place many of us now call home. And asked some of our favourite clients to tell you all about it.


Other News
SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

New digital growth partnership to spotlight ecommerce success for UK startups

Outfund, Diginius | June 14, 2021

The UK’s largest ecommerce investor and a leading digital insights specialist have joined forces to help accelerate business transition online. And the news comes at a time when firms across all sectors are seeking to capitalise on the rapid growth of online sales and marketing, with the UK e-commerce market projected to reach over £80.67bn in 2021. Upstart Outfund has partnered with Diginius, a London-based technology company, who specialise in digital marketing and ecommerce solutions, which has already acquired big brand attention with the likes of Dreams, Thomas Lyte and Skinny Dip onboard. And with the latest ONS figures for April indicating a strong continued demand for online sales, the new venture seems well placed to solidify business’ reputation in an increasingly competitive ecommerce sphere: “We’re delighted to be joining forces with Outfund,” said Diginius CEO Nate Burke. “Today’s digital market is booming, but it’s an ever more saturated landscape that needs to deliver a unique differentiator and a genuine chance for skilled startups to succeed. “What this partnership enables is for firms to not only to get the financial support they need, but also the real-time insight and perspective on which marketplaces are performing successfully, and which present the most avenues for growth, all tailored to the individual needs of the client and their sector.” Outfund, which has already helped deliver growth for the likes of Onto and The Vegan Kind, two firms in increasingly popular spheres of electric car and vegan food subscriptions, recently announced an £100m commitment to ecommerce and subscription-based firms over the next 12 months. The business has already raised over £37m, delivering a service that helps online businesses accelerate their online activities without giving away equity. And with Diginius partnership now sealed, Outfund CEO Daniel Lipinski believes more firms can look to make their mark on the ecommerce landscape: “Outfund and Diginius both provide critical services for e-commerce and SaaS companies - funding and PPC/analytics respectively. “Whilst almost all businesses will require these services throughout their existence, in most instances it is done so in isolation. “Through our partnership with Diginius, we are combining our funding with their analytics expertise so that these areas work synonymously, with the ultimate goal of driving our shared client’s growth to new heights.” With data integration and support across all major marketing and advertising platforms, Diginius empowers organisations to achieve maximum impact from their online sales and activities. For more information, visit https://www.diginius.com/. Further details on Outfund can be found at https://www.out.fund/.

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TECHNOLOGY

Interlaced.io Announces Acquisition of Grove Technologies

Interlaced.io | June 23, 2022

Interlaced.io, a leading managed IT services provider, announced today the acquisition of Grove Technologies, a high-performing IT Service Provider based in the DC Metro Area. Founded by Jon Brown in 2014, Grove has grown to be a staple name in providing services to Apple-integrated and cybersecurity-focused small businesses. “Partnering with Jon Brown and the Grove Technologies Team will improve our ability to bring Interlaced’s world-class IT services to innovative and fast-growing SMBs in the DC Market. We’re excited about the strong Mac-focus and cybersecurity expertise the Grove team brings to the table. I look forward to seeing our combined capabilities serving both Grove and Interlaced clients, current and future,” -Jeff Gaines, President of Interlaced.io. Grove will continue to operate as a stand-alone brand with close collaboration and mutual support with Interlaced. This acquisition serves to deepen the technical and non-technical capabilities available to both Grove and Interlaced clients across the country. Jon Brown, Founder of Grove, will remain on staff and continue to oversee the DC Market, and the rest of the team at Grove Technologies will remain in their current roles servicing Grove’s innovative group of clients. This new partnership is going to help us continue to grow and provide world-class IT support services to our clients. We’re really excited to be backed by such a well established team and brand that can help take Grove Technologies to the next level, said Brown. About Interlaced Interlaced was founded in 2009 with the goal of transforming how small businesses leverage Apple Technology. Since then, Interlaced has grown into a modern MSP, adding capabilities and expertise in both Apple and PC management, project management, cloud, security, and mobile device management. In 2018, Interlaced joined the Evergreen Services Group portfolio and joined the Executech Family of Companies in November of 2019. In October of 2021, Interlaced acquired Three18 Inc., a Los Angeles based MSP. The acquisition of Grove Technologies represents the second acquisition Interlaced has completed in recent months. To learn more about Interlaced, visit https://interlaced.io/. About Grove Grove Technologies was started in 2014 out of a desire to provide amazing Apple-focused IT support services to the Washington DC area. What set Grove apart early on was its client-focused approach to IT support, offering outsourced IT made easy. Grove’s approach to IT is to match the right technology solutions for our clients’ needs. In 2020 Channel Futures ranked Grove Technologies the #17th best IT Service Provider nationwide and in 2021, Grove was ranked #6 on its IT Companies to watch via the Channel Futures NextGen 101 list. To learn more about Grove Technologies and our core offerings check out our website at https://grovetech.co/.

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TECHNOLOGY

Thumbtack Announces Front Desk – a First-of-its-Kind Concierge Service – to Help Small Businesses Grow More Sustainably

Thumbtack | March 10, 2022

Thumbtack, the modern home management platform, today announced the launch of its latest offering for local professionals: Front Desk. This new concierge service is personalized to help small businesses turn even more potential customers into confirmed jobs. Now, hundreds of thousands of small business owners can optimize their operations to be more efficient and more profitable. “Today, our Front Desk team responds to inquiries in 2 minutes, which means customers are finding help faster than ever and pros are growing their businesses more sustainably. We’re helping pros spend less time in the office or on the phone — and more time on the job. In the future, we envision Front Desk helping independent business owners manage more of their growth factors on Thumbtack. Chat is just the beginning.” Jeff Grant, COO at Thumbtack The labor shortage has severely impacted the home improvement, repair, and maintenance industries with 52 percent of home pros reporting difficulty hiring in our recent Economic Sentiment Survey. Despite the shortage of available qualified workers, home pros are busier than ever – 73 percent expect their company's financial situation to be the same or better in the next quarter. And, they're seeking help to keep up with demand — with more than one third (36 percent) attempting to fill full or part-time positions last quarter. Our new Front Desk offering helps pros minimize the effects of the labor shortage by giving them peace of mind that their customers are getting near instant, effective, and high-quality support while allowing them to focus on their craft. “The Front Desk team has been phenomenal. Customers reach out to us at all times of the day, including at night,” said Michele Bottone, owner of Lazy B Fencing and Staining. “Prior to using Front Desk, we wouldn’t see the messages until the next day because we are out in the field or at home with family. Now it doesn’t matter when customers reach out because they get responded to right away and it’s helped us engage them more efficiently. The customers also enjoy the quick response from our team. It’s been great!” To start, Thumbtack’s Front Desk team conducts an onboarding call with each pro to understand their business goals and preferences in order to set up personalized responses for future customers – much like a personal assistant. From there, based on the package that best fits each pro’s needs, the Front Desk team handles messaging with customers on behalf of the pro (days, evenings, even weekends) and books jobs for them based on their availability and any other personal preferences. Customers get a personalized experience depending on the independent pro they’ve reached out to. During initial testing of Front Desk, local service professionals saw, on average, 20 percent higher job conversion, and 28 percent higher customer satisfaction ratings. To learn more about Thumbtack, download the app (available on iOS and Android). About Thumbtack Thumbtack is a technology leader building the modern home management platform. Through the Thumbtack app, homeowners can effortlessly manage their homes — confidently knowing what to do, when to do it, and who to hire. Bringing the $500 billion home services industry online, Thumbtack empowers millions of homeowners to fix, maintain, and improve their most valuable asset. Hundreds of thousands of local service professionals, from painters and plumbers to photographers and math tutors, use the Thumbtack platform to grow their business each year.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

Ready Capital Small Business Lending Scales Up with LenderAI

Ready Capital & LenderAI | May 10, 2022

Ready Capital Corporation (NYSE: RC) ("Ready Capital" or the "Company") announced another Company record for small loan closings (loans from $10,000 to $350,000) funding over fifty-five (55) SBA 7(a) small loans in April. The Company attributes this success and continuous growth to using a technology platform called LenderAI by iBusiness Funding LLC ("iBusiness Funding"), which is now available to all lenders. "LenderAI has enabled us to scale up and support the smallest businesses, a key objective for us,"Traditionally, it has been extremely difficult to scale SBA 7(a) operations, especially for lower loan amounts offered to the smallest businesses. This was the perfect opportunity to employ iBusiness Funding's LenderAI technology." -John Moshier, President of Small Business Lending at Ready Capital. Ready Capital's Small Loan Lending program has gone from funding 84 loans in 2021 to 150+ loans in the first four months of this year. This growth has been enabled by iBusiness Funding's LenderAI technology, a full suite of tools including digital application flow as well as automated decisioning, origination, underwriting and closing, all in a convenient and user-friendly platform. "Our core mission when expanding the SBA small loan program was to help the smallest businesses, making affordable lending available to support economic development and underserved communities, enderAI has enabled our 7(a) small loan products. The technology platform allows us to process loans for smaller businesses, who have fewer capital options, by digitizing their documents and inputs, giving them access to capital while allowing them to stay focused on their businesses." -Justin Levy, President of Ready Capital Small Balance Lending We believe our LenderAI technology has drastically improved document collection and processing, streamlining both the borrower and lender experience, said Katy Forte Seybold, iBusiness Funding Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy. We're thrilled Ready Capital has successfully leveraged our LenderAI technology and we're hoping many more lenders will for all loan sizes. There's little risk to trying it out, with bank level security, flexible core platform integrations and, for a limited time, it's free to try with no implementation fees. Ready Capital continues breaking company records with a focus on the smallest and most underserved borrowers. iBusiness Funding is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ready Capital. About iBusiness Funding, LLC iBusiness Funding LLC ("iBusiness"), established in 2015 and acquired by Ready Capital Corporation in 2019, is a technology Software and Services Provider that provides small business lending solutions to financial institutions. Over 130,000 loans have been funded through iBusiness' technology amounting to more than $6 billion. About Ready Capital Corporation Ready Capital Corporation (NYSE: RC) is a multi-strategy real estate finance company that originates, acquires, finances and services small to medium balance commercial loans. Ready Capital specializes in loans backed by commercial real estate, including agency multifamily, investor and bridge as well as SBA 7(a) business loans. Headquartered in New York, New York, Ready Capital employs over 600 professionals nationwide. The company is externally managed and advised by Waterfall Asset Management, LLC.

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Spotlight

Thinking of relocating to the UAE? Want to know what it's like, living and working in this innovative and multicultural country? We at HRsource have spent several years with our ears to the ground, gathering insights and data as well lots of interesting facts about the place many of us now call home. And asked some of our favourite clients to tell you all about it.

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