Friday, August 9, 2019

“Now fintech startups can get access to 50+ marquee investors. Apply for the FInD programme today! - YourStory” plus 2 more

“Now fintech startups can get access to 50+ marquee investors. Apply for the FInD programme today! - YourStory” plus 2 more


Now fintech startups can get access to 50+ marquee investors. Apply for the FInD programme today! - YourStory

Posted: 08 Aug 2019 09:34 PM PDT

In the B2B, B2C, B2B2C and B2E space, the fintech sector is emerging as an investor magnet. While this is true, there are many startups which fail to receive the funding they deserve because they can't present their business in the best possible light to potential investors. There are also large financial sector and non-financial sector corporates who are looking for fintechs to solve some of their use cases but are unable to find the right fintech. This impacts everyone, from startup founders, to investors to corporates and end-consumers because lack of funds means that potentially profitable and game-changing ideas are never brought to fruition.

Realising this gap, Mumbai Fintech Hub launched the FInD programme where fintech startups can apply, get funded and get connected with corporates to solve their specific use cases.

Feature image

A matchmaking programme for fintech startups, investors and corporates

FInD (FinTech Investment and Deals) is a programme supported by industry, ecosystem players, and "Mumbai Fintech Hub" - An initiative by Government of Maharashtra to catalyse funding access and strategic partnerships between fintechs, investors, and corporates. It is primarily a platform created to ease the funding process for fintech startups and, at the same time, give them an opportunity to create solutions for identified use cases by corporates, financial institutions, banks, etc. This is a global platform and not limited to Maharashtra alone.

The programme's vision is to bridge the knowledge asymmetry between investors, corporates and startups, through a precise matchmaking process, so that deserving and innovative ideas that can make a difference get access to funding and partnership opportunities. Startups get access to standardised templates to pitch to investors, easy access to corporates, B+ Series funding from international investors and masterclasses by industry experts on various topics related to creating a winnable pitch. This cuts down the time taken to raise a funding round for a startup and makes the process easier.

Reasons you should apply

  • 50+ marquee investors on board: Startups have the chance to connect with more than 50 marquee investors in India, including Blume Ventures, Indian Angels Network, Mayfield, SAIF partners, Orios Venture, Kae Capital, among others. Apart from venture capitalists, the programme also has debt funds, family offices and international investors.
  • No carry – The programme doesn't take any cut from funds raised through the platform.
  • Faster closure on deal - The amount of time taken by a startup to raise funds (especially the first round) is significantly lower as founders are introduced to all the 50 interested investors concurrently and thus close the deal much quicker.
  • Fintech-focused investors – Often, founders don't know which investor to approach and may end up connecting with those VCs who do not necessarily want to invest in the fintech vertical. On FInD, there is a focused approach where only investors with fintech interests are on board.
  • Strategic partnerships - Startups can easily connect with banks, financial institutions and corporates on the platform, which would otherwise have taken them longer. They have the opportunity to make these institutions their clients.
  • B-plan masterclass and pitch workshops – Startups can opt for high-quality masterclass sessions by PwC to prepare a bulletproof B-plan, and get help from MEDICI's design studio and services to sharpen their pitches.

Register and give your startup the funding it deserves

Once you register, partners like MEDICI and PwC evaluate, score and recommend suitable startups to the right investors and corporates. Please note that registration is free. The only payment is a one-time nominal investor unlock fee to start a conversation with an investor, if the match is a success.

So, hurry up and apply for FInD programme 2019. The last date to apply is August 24, 2019. For further queries, you can write to support@mfhfind.com or call/whatsapp +91 9324279763

Brex Corporate Card For Startups Review - Bankrate.com

Posted: 06 Aug 2019 08:56 AM PDT

Bankrate Rating

If you're a new startup or small business owner looking to build your business' credit history and earn significant rewards on business-related purchases, the Brex Corporate Card was made with you in mind.

You'll earn rewards on rideshares, travel, restaurants and more — all for no annual fee (but other fees may apply). Unfortunately, the card doesn't come with a welcome bonus or introductory APR offer, but it does have a quick and easy application process. Once approved, you can start using your new virtual card right away.

Here are the details:

With the Brex Corporate Card, you'll earn 7X points on rideshares, 4X on travel booked through Brex, 3X on restaurants, 2X on recurring software and 1X on everything else. Points can be redeemed for statement credit or travel via Brex's travel portal.

The card's list of travel partners includes the following:

  • Aeromexico – Club Premier
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Air France KLM – Flying Blue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer

Under the rideshare category, your small business or startup can earn points for Uber, Lyft, taxi rides and more. The recurring software category rewards you for monthly subscriptions like GitHub and Slack.

You won't be charged an annual fee, but there isn't a welcome bonus or introductory APR offer. The card is, though, part of the Mastercard network, meaning you can expect widespread acceptance.

Is this card right for you?

The Brex Corporate Card was designed with startup and small business owners in mind. Many of the traditional pain points business owners face when trying to find a corporate card have been taken into account with the creation of this card, and you don't need an extensive credit history or excellent credit to qualify.

Brex's proprietary underwriting process means that cardholders can expect spending limits 10 to 20X higher than competing business cards. There's also no personal guarantee, meaning your card application won't require a personal credit check or security deposit.

This a charge card, so you'll have to pay your balance in full each month. To qualify, you'll need a $100,000 bank balance.

Advantages
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • No personal guarantee (no SSN or personal credit check required)
  • Limited credit may qualify
  • High spending limit compared to similar cards
  • Expense management tools like QuickBooks® and Expensify®
Disadvantages
  • No introductory APR offer
  • No welcome bonus
  • $100,000 bank balance required to qualify for Brex

How much are the rewards worth?

Say your startup spends $500 a month on rideshares, $1,000 a month on travel booked through Brex, $500 on restaurants and $300 a month on recurring software purchases. By the end of your first year of card membership, you'd earn 115,200 points or $1,152 worth of rewards.

How to use this card

The application process for the Brex Corporate Card is relatively quick. Your physical cards should arrive three to five business days after approval, and you can use your virtual card in the meantime. You'll receive up to five employee cards for free ⁠— all cards thereafter cost $5 a piece.

Brex also offers a mobile app that allows for expense tracking with automatic receipt matching. Submit your receipts by text, email or uploading to your online account.

Your payment information will be reported to Dun & Bradstreet and Experian, helping to build your small business or startup's credit history.

Other card perks include 24/7 concierge assistance during travel, 24/7 fraud monitoring and protection against unauthorized transactions.

The bottom line

The Brex Corporate Card is one of the best corporate cards available to help you get started earning rewards on your startup or small business' purchases. Its simple application process and leniency toward credit history make it a standout among more traditional business cards.

Snack Video offers bite-sized tutorials for info-hungry, time-crunched startups - GeekWire

Posted: 08 Aug 2019 03:00 PM PDT

The Snack Team, from left to right: Sunny Wu, Gordon Sun, Duncan Keith, Anting Chen, and Karalyn Smith. (Snack Photo)

Startup founders and employees have a reputation for working outlandishly long hours as they race to build their business before running out of money.

Knowing that time is at a premium, Seattle-based startup Snack Video Technologies offers 3-minutes-or-less videos that provide "mobile micro-learning experiences" for fellow entrepreneurs desperate for relevant, quick information. The videos cover topics including how to do product validation, incorporate a company, and even office yoga to relieve the pressure of those long days.

Snack launched in August 2018, founded by Sunny Wu, CEO, and Gordon Sun, CTO. The service uses AI to figure out which stage a startup is at and recommends content that addresses the next pieces of knowledge the team will need to keep growing.

Wu and Sun got the idea for Snack after considering how inefficient a channel like YouTube was for providing this information.

The Snack interface. (Snack Image)

"Just think about the idea of wading through long videos from here or there, just to find the piece [of information] you need, and then do it again and again every time when you need an answer," Wu said. "A lot of time gets wasted."

The duo reached out to approximately 50 other founders to learn about their information needs. That included Praveen Seshadri, CEO and founder of AppSheet, who wanted a cheaper, simpler HR compliance training for his team, leading Snack to launch a test channel of HR micro-training. Five companies are currently testing the pilot.

Over the past 15 years, Wu has founded multiple companies in the U.S. and China. Sun has worked as an engineer at Qualtrics, Zulily, IMDB, and Microsoft. The company has three additional employees.

Snack is currently creating most of the videos for its app, and is acquiring other content. They're hoping that users will eventually contribute tutorials themselves, sharing information for the community in a manner akin to the software engineering exchanged on GitHub.

"Snack's big vision is to build the biggest bite-sized, visual knowledge base in the world," Wu said.

The internet already provides a variety of training videos beyond YouTube, including services such as LinkedIn Learning and longer courses from sites including Coursera and Alison.

Snack offers a free trial for potential users. Customers can sign up for services costing $1, $3 or $9 per employee per month that's billed annually, with the most expensive rate providing unlimited programs and access and increased support.

We caught up with Wu for this Startup Spotlight, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire.

What does your company do? Snack is an AI-driven mobile learning app that delivers short-form videos to help startup team members learn in minutes. Every video is three minutes or less and covers what startup team members demand, from learning to training.

Inspiration hit us when: Inspiration hit us every time we talked with our users. Without those conversations, we would not have made it this far.

VC, Angel or Bootstrap: Our seed round was funded by Sogou, a New York Stock Exchange AI and search engine company based in Beijing. We shared our belief in the value of creating a bite-sized, visual knowledge base as the long term goal. In addition, Snack is authorized to adopt search engine and AI technologies from Sogou along with the investment, which brings significant value to the team.

Our 'secret sauce' is: Gordon and I have been founders for decades, so we know the pains and gains in the journey well. This makes us the best people to understand our target user, and to create the best solution for them.

The smartest move we've made so far: We started the Snack Originals production from day one with an affordable formula to generate content in-house and through our content partners. This strategy allowed us to get through a difficult period of no content generated by users and provided a demonstration of how bite-sized content could be created. It is also a critical intellectual property pool for Snack.

Gordon Sun (left) and Sunny Wu, founders of Snack Video Technologies. (Snack Photo)

The biggest mistake we've made so far: Not enough communication with our users and potential users at the beginning. We realized that communication is critical and should have been consistent from day one.

Which leading entrepreneur or executive would you most want working in your corner? I admire people who dare to be unique, push things to the limit and then make an impact. With respect, I'd love to have the late Steve Jobs on my team, to be inspired by his outstanding vision, and to bring out the maximum potential of the team.

Our favorite team-building activity is: Ping-pong in the kitchen area of our office building. We used to play it every day with different groups. It is a combination of strategy, tactics, collaboration and workout! It also helps pull the team together and break social barriers.

The biggest thing we look for when hiring is: You must be a quick learner and be passionate about what we are doing.

What's the one piece of advice you'd give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: Don't just stay with ideas: do it, validate it. Learning and growing happen with action.

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