If you work, invest, cover, or follow the P2P space these days you may have at one point over the past six months had reason for pause. There has been concern, outrage, and negative coverage of the marketplace lending space as volatile, unregulated, and perhaps worst of all no better than the big banks that they set out to disrupt.
In layman's terms, people would say the peer-to-peer loan providers have come up short on the promises of a brighter future for the loan markets.
Flaws in the model? Perhaps... A lack of institutional oversight? That doesn't sound totally wrong...Too broad a business model? Absolutely!
Fundamentally, Gen 1 of the P2P model has many of the key elements to correctly reshape the loan markets that we need. It's that broad business model mentioned above that sticks out to me as worrisome.
That is why Gen 2 of P2P marketplace lending or P2.0P as I am deeming it is worth watching closely. These newly emerging startups just may have an intuitive solution to solving the broad business model issue that has been plaguing marketplace lending recently.
Simple.Innovative.Change, an idea that turned into a LinkedIn article, that turned into a blog, that turned into a collaborative discussion hub bringing together founders, VCs, incubators, PR firms, and policy setters.
As the vision and goals of S.I.C come into focus, I feel it is important to reflect on what S.I.C is all about. At its core S.I.C is about the people first. Without incredible founders like David Aronson of Peanut Butter that gave S.I.C a chance to get off the ground, this discussion hub would be nothing more than an idea. It's been a progress filled 2016 and as 2017 begins to unfold, S.I.C is focused on growing the conversation.
In an effort to accomplish this goal S.I.C is expanding the Fireside Chat program into a year round series called the S.I.Connection with the goal to Connect, Collaborate and Change the Fintech ecosystem. It will also be accompanied by a new landing page to highlight each and everyone of the amazing founders that joins the S.I.C team of founders. Check it out here.
And as 2017 kicks off, lets check out some of the 2016 highlights below..
Have you ever thought about why is it that you get paid every couple of weeks or worse yet maybe only once a month? I mean the reality is as soon as you finish working an hour you should have access to the money you just earned.
And yet due to institutional practices and a lack of technological capability millions of Americans are left trying to live in between paychecks with no money in their wallets. This leads to a reality of financial struggle for millions of workers despite having earned wages just sitting there in thin air inaccessible to them.
Thus an industry has arisen to service this time between paychecks. Payday loans and overdraft fees are now an industry that surpasses over $100 billion a year in fees targeted at increasing the struggle experienced especially by low income individuals.
A new solution is needed badly. Safwan Shah and his team at PayActiv just may have a simplistic but powerful answer to solving this problem. Check out our discussion below to learn more…
A Few Good Minutes with CFSI Managing Director, Ryan Falvey: Changing the Game of Financial Inclusion!
The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) is a truly unique not-for-profit that is helping to shape the future of finance by investing both its time, dollars and resources to companies that have the potential to change the game.
I recently sat down with Ryan Falvey, Managing Director of CFSI to discuss how he and his team are helping to create powerful collaboration to bring to market amazing companies like Earnup, an S.I.C shortlist member.
Check out our discussion below to learn more about CFSI and the bright days that light ahead for Fintech.
What happens when you combine one part Google, one part real estate and one part online lending into one fintech startup? What you end up with is PeerStreet, a new investment platform for real estate debt where accredited investors can contribute to real estate projects they believe in in the form of crowdfunded debt.
Brett Crosby, a former founder of Google Analytics turned fintech entrepreneur, is out to change the game of real estate investing through innovative big data analytics and strategic loan originator partnerships.
PeerStreet’s mission is as powerful as its analytical tools. Check out my discussion with Crosby below and learn more about investing in real estate debt…
Picking and choosing your bank products like you pick and choose your TV streaming products is inching closer to reality every day. With more and more Fintech’s finding creative solutions to provide consumer-centric experiences and more and more financial institutions realizing the need to serve an evolving consumer base, the “bank-as-a-platform” is slowly melding into reality.
Enter stage left, Railsbank with an innovative solution to tie the regulatory compliance capabilities of the banking firms with the consumer-centric and cost effectiveness of the Fintech’s.
Railsbank is being touted as the first real solution to providing a “bank-as-a-platform” service. Leave it to Nigel Verdon, a seasoned Fintech founding veteran and financial minded stalwart to be the face of this change.
S.I.C. recently sat down with him to discuss this meaningful change in the industry and how he and his team at Railsbank are providing a simplified solution to providing a vast set of banking services to consumers in a truly innovative way.
How do you take a boring investment class, fixed income and invigorate some life into it? You implement a technology enabled approach to investing in mortgage backed securities, you ask yourself how do I make investing in mortgages simple yet transparent, and you give the investor total control to toggle their investments at a granular level.
That is how Income& is changing the game of Fixed Income. This isn’t your Grandpa’s bond portfolio. This is a new age where fixed income doesn’t need to mean low returns in conjunction with low visibility. Income&’s fixed income product the PRIMO is about finding pockets of misunderstood risk and capitalizing on it with new forms of technology that put the investor in the driver’s seat.
Income& is one to watch, and I think Brad is the right guy to usher in this new age investment tool. Check out our discussion below.
When planning to buy a house, interested home buyers typically plan their budget in accordance to how much they can afford for the 20% they must put down immediately on the house. But, why is 20% the magic number in the home buying process? 20% is really the amount of cash you need to be able to obtain a reasonable interest rate on your mortgage.
So let us take a typical $400,000 home in the US. The amount of cash that you would want to be able to put down is about $80,000, and hopefully after you do that you have money in the bank for closing cost, repairs, insurance, taxes… and oh yeah your monthly mortgage payment! Needless to say, owning a home is not easy in the US. In fact, many Americans put off buying a home for many years because they cannot afford all of the upfront costs.
Yet home buying is one of the largest wealth drivers for most Americans!
One innovative firm is setting out to find a way to change this barrier to entry and make home buying accessible for normal, working class Americans. S.I.C was lucky to sit down with Jonathan Asmis, Co-Founder of Landed, a S.I.C. shortlist pick to discuss how he thinks about changing the home buying game.
Check out our discussion below…
$200 million dollars! That is how much real estate value has been invested on the RealtyShares platform since launch just a short two years ago. You have likely heard a lot about marketplace platforms over the past few years. RealtyShares is one of those that stands out above the rest as truly being a platform of excellence.
Be sure to learn more and sign up here.
RealtyShares is not only improving the process for entities to access capital for real estate projects, but the team is also improving access to real estate assets for everyday investors.
Check out my discussion with the fascinating Nav Athwal, Founder and CEO of RealtyShares below, and see how he and his team are changing the game of real estate investing!
Whether you realize it or not the millennial generation that grew up amidst the financial collapse is extremely averse to the idea of credit and obtaining credit cards. For an financial economy that is largely driven by the ability to track an individuals credit this can prove to have massive implications for society at large in the coming years.
Luckily, there are innovative firms like Float that are looking to tackle this very issue with an innovative approach to providing an ability to build credit through a debit card.
S.I.C was lucky enough to have an opportunity to sit down and chat with Co-Founder and President, Kevin Bass of Float.
Check out our discussion below and if you are in need of a product to help you build your credit look no further. Sign up here: http://hellofloat.com
Improving the financial health of lower middle class Americans and minorities is both necessary and challenging. Luckily, the financial renaissance we are currently undergoing in the U.S., is seeing the rise of a handful of founders willing to take on these immense challenges with the goal of improving the financial well being of millions of Americans.
One of those founders is Matthew Cooper of Earnup. He is helping to improve the loan process for millions of Americans through a unique tech enabled approach. His socially conscious perspective is helping to forge a new path for millions of Americans struggling with loan repayment.
S.I.C. is fortunate enough to sit down with Matthew to discuss his endeavors both inside and outside of his work that is helping to bring about positive change.
Sometimes I have to take a step back and just think about the fact that many of the billion dollar ideas floating around Silicon Valley these days, and some of the most promising startups of tomorrow are solving the most mainstream, boring business problem.
It's a problem that dates back to the beginning of the industrial revolution when factories became the forefront of production innovation. We're talking about Henry Ford type innovation and the emergence of the Model T assembly line.
So what big problem are the unicorns of the valley hard at work solving now?
No longer are solutions to capacity limited to operations gurus running the likes of Ford and GM plants.
Capacity is now a focal point in all of our worlds and there is opportunity abound for those who can provide an intuitive solution to optimizing capacity utilization.
Every once in a while you stumble upon a product or service that makes you say, why didn’t I think of that? One of the best examples I could think of is Truebill. The big idea: Find all those subscriptions you are still paying for like your inflight Wi-Fi and make sure you never get charged again.
The genius is in its simplicity. The man behind this bright idea is Yahya Mokhtarzada. He’s grown companies before and after speaking with him I have confidence he is about to ride the growth in the subscription economy to build a truly unique and innovative company that is helping to solve a pain point for consumers in this new age of commerce.
Check out our discussion below to hear from Yahya, a really cool guy solving a really cool problem through tech...
Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Dollar Shave Club, Birch Box. Take your pick, the rise of the subscription economy is here and we are all embracing it with open arms. The subscription model is swiftly infiltrating every corner of commerce with new and innovative ways to best serve the consumer.
Be it entertainment, razors, clothing, e-commerce, or anything else you can dream up the rise of the subscription economy is helping consumers to get more of what they want, when they want.
On the enterprise side its led to the emergence of several businesses that are thriving on the subscription model that doesn't require a capital intensive brick and mortar approach.
Subscription growth is exciting, but there are two big questions I have as the subscription economy scales in size for both consumers and enterprises...
Brett, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with S.I.C. It’s great to have an opportunity to speak with a fellow blogger (www.roadlessventured.com/). You have taken an interesting career path that I think we can all learn from.
I’d love to hear more about your work as a founder of two companies, a sports social networking website and a movie and rights managed content startup. And what the transition has been like moving into a VC role, and now investing in startups in the Fintech space specifically.