Ausin fintech startup Joust Labs raises $2.6M for growth

The data from CB Insights also showed that neo-bank funding in 2018 was 10 times as 2015. And CB Insights found that in 2018, there were 1,700 …

Austin-based Joust Labs, a startup that provides a banking platform for self-employed workers, said Monday that it has raised $2.6 million.

The “neo-bank,” an alternative bank that offers digital financial services, said the latest funds would go toward helping the company expand its platform and reach more customers. Joust’s customers include freelancers, entrepreneurs and small- to mid-sized companies.

PTB Ventures led the funding round. Accion Venture Lab, Financial Venture Studio and Techstars also joined the round.

“At Joust, we understand the growing market of self-employed workers, freelancers and small businesses, and their need for an all-in-one banking solution—especially one that gives them the same benefits enjoyed by major corporations,” Joust CEO and founder Lamine Zarrad said in a written statement. “Our platform not only saves time, but also reduces uncertainty and mitigates the risk of late and non-payment.”

The company offers users financial services including a bank account and payments processing through a mobile platform. Joust has six full-time employees in Austin and plans to grow to 15 employees by the end of the year.

Dave Fields, founder and managing partner of PTB Ventures, said the company helps freelancers that require a narrowed focus in their banking tools.

“Freelancers require credit and banking products that mirror the user experience of the consumer market but the product sophistication of the small business market,” Fields said in a written statement. “Existing financial market infrastructure just isn’t built to provide this bundle. Through the use of contextual data and proprietary risk algorithms, Joust reduces the cost, complexity and risk of becoming a solopreneur.”

Neo-banks have become increasingly popular for venture capitalists. According to a New York Times report in November, American neo-banks received four times as much funding as they did in 2017. The data from CB Insights also showed that neo-bank funding in 2018 was 10 times as 2015.

And CB Insights found that in 2018, there were 1,700 financial tech deals worth nearly $40 billion.

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Bengaluru-based Rupeek raises $30 mn from Bertelsmann, Accel, Sequoia Capital

Existing investors Accel and Sequoia Capital India also participated in the round. The fresh funds, which will be infused in two tranches, will be used …

Bengaluru-based Rupeek, which operates an online marketplace for gold loans, raised $30 million in a funding round led by investment firm Bertelsmann India. Existing investors Accel and Sequoia Capital India also participated in the round.

The fresh funds, which will be infused in two tranches, will be used towards product development and market expansion, the company said in a statement on Monday.

“We would like to bring transparency in the lending space and protect retail investor interest at all costs. We will be using our proprietary tech hardware to ensure standardization, fairness, and scalability in gold purity assessment. The investment will also help us rapidly scale across new markets,” said Sumit Maniyar, founder and chief executive, Rupeek, in a statement.

Rupeek is currently disbursing gold loans at an annual run rate of more than $150 million and is growing 20% month-on-month. The organized gold loan disbursal in India was estimated at $90 billion per year, the company said. India currently holds 27,000 tonnes of gold worth more than $1 trillion, out of which only 6-7% is monetized through the organised market. The unorganized market is estimated to be three times the size of the organized gold loan market.

India currently imports 750 tonnes of gold annually without contributing to the GDP multiplier as most of the imported gold sits idle in the form of jewellery. Rupeek believes that gold loans can be an effective gold monetisation mechanism.

“Gold is integral to the Indian way of life and monetization of gold assets in the country represents a massive opportunity. Rupeek is perfectly poised to capitalize on this unique opportunity based on its innovative business model,” said Anand Daniel, partner at Accel.

“The belief that Rupeek was uniquely positioned to disrupt the gold loan market is what led to Sequoia India’s early partnership with them”, said G.V. Ravishankar, managing director, Sequoia Capital India. “Their efficient use of technology to scale the credit evaluation and disbursement process has resulted in over 10x growth in the last 12 months. Today, their business model is contributing significantly towards creating a strong value proposition for banks to provide credit access to small businesses at affordable rates,” he added.

Started in 2015 as an asset-backed lending marketplace, Rupeek leverages technology to operate with a branchless model. Offering a 30 minutes doorstep service for gold loans, Rupeek’s platform offers on-demand pickup and return of the valuables.

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Short Interest in First Capital, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCAP) Rises By 506.5%

Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of First Capital by 59.6% during the 2nd quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now …

First Capital logoFirst Capital, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCAP) saw a large increase in short interest in the month of July. As of July 15th, there was short interest totalling 92,800 shares, an increase of 506.5% from the June 15th total of 15,300 shares. Approximately 2.9% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 11,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 8.4 days.

Shares of FCAP opened at $55.57 on Monday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $52.83. The company has a market cap of $188.92 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.38 and a beta of -0.20. First Capital has a 1-year low of $33.72 and a 1-year high of $57.95.

In other First Capital news, Director Dana L. Huber bought 1,986 shares of First Capital stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 31st. The shares were bought at an average price of $48.74 per share, with a total value of $96,797.64. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 8,195 shares in the company, valued at $399,424.30. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Dana L. Huber bought 1,000 shares of First Capital stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $50.00 per share, for a total transaction of $50,000.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 8,195 shares in the company, valued at approximately $409,750. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 6,152 shares of company stock valued at $328,367. 4.53% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of First Capital by 59.6% during the 2nd quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 814 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $41,000 after purchasing an additional 304 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in First Capital by 338.4% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 890 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $44,000 after acquiring an additional 687 shares during the period. Strs Ohio purchased a new position in First Capital during the 2nd quarter valued at about $45,000. Deutsche Bank AG purchased a new position in First Capital during the 4th quarter valued at about $50,000. Finally, O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in First Capital during the 1st quarter valued at about $80,000. 5.37% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Separately, ValuEngine lowered shares of First Capital from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st.

About First Capital

First Capital, Inc operates as the bank holding company for First Harrison Bank that provides various banking services to individuals and business customers. The company offers a range of deposit instruments, including non-interest bearing checking accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, money market accounts, regular savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and retirement savings plans.

Read More: What are the advantages of the Stochastic Momentum Index?

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Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Challenges the Global Financial System

One that uses strictly Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). … Fourth, DeFi securely stores the funds on a global distributed ledger that can be viewed …
Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Challenges the Global Financial System 101
Source: iStock/johan10
Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Challenges the Global Financial System 102

Juan Villaverde is an econometrician and mathematician devoted to the analysis of cryptocurrencies since 2012. He leads the Weiss Ratings team of analysts and computer programmers who created Weiss cryptocurrency ratings.

_____________

Do you still think crypto is a scam? That smart contracts are useless?

If so, please allow me to introduce you to a phenomenon you may not know about. Decentralized Finance, or what the crypto crowd calls “DeFi.”

I’m talking about a soon-to-be, separate, parallel universe in the world of finance. One that uses strictly Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

1xBit

To get a quick, big-picture understanding, consider these three fundamental differences between DeFi and the traditional financial system:

Fundamental difference #1: Who or what makes decisions.

The traditional financial system lives or dies based on the strength, stability, authority and trustworthiness of big financial institutions and the governments that regulate them. If a big bank goes under or a government defaults, the entire system can melt down.

Hard to believe? Then ask the customers of Washington Mutual, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. Or talk to the people of Argentina, Uruguay, Greece, Russia and Venezuela.

In contrast, a decentralized financial system lives or dies based on the strength of its protocols, cryptography and smart contracts.

Watch the latest reports by Block TV.

Weak players or shady characters are summarily kicked out.

Fundamental Difference #2: How to apply for a loan.

In the old world of traditional finance, you apply for a loan at your bank (or neighborhood loan shark). You give them info on your credit history, property, liquid assets. Subtly or overtly, they may even consider where you went to school, where you live and what you do for a living.

Then they then boil it down to this simple question: Can you be trusted?

In the new world of DeFi, as I’ll explain in a moment, the process is fully automated and decentralized.

Fundamental difference #3: How credit ratings are created.

Finding the answer to the “can-you-be-trusted” question is a cumbersome process. Even after thorough due diligence, the final credit-rating number is still just a guess.

And in the boom-bust cycles that have dominated the global economy for centuries, it swings from extreme to extreme.

  • In the extreme stage of a boom cycle, lenders go wild with speculation — ignoring risks or, worse, rigging their ratings process.
  • In the extreme stage of a bust cycle, they shut out even the worthiest of borrowers, lending strictly to those who don’t need the money in the first place.
  • In between those extremes, the biggest deal-killer is the fact that most participants know credit ratings are just a guess, leading to ever-present uncertainty in the lending process.

Which leads us to …

The Mandate of the traditional financial system

Traditionally, lenders will err on the side of caution, summarily shutting out billions of people around the world. Whether big or small, they simply do not have the bandwidth to accurately evaluate the credit of billions of would-be borrowers.

At the end of the day, it boils down to an issue of scale:

The traditional financial system is simply unable to scale up to a level that opens capital access to anyone or any company anywhere in the world with a good credit history.

DeFi is.

The traditional financial system sorely lacks mechanisms for …

1. Anywhere-to-anywhere, cross-border lending on a mass scale. Lenders in highly liquid regions of the industrial world can rarely connect with small borrowers in emerging markets.

2. Peer-to-peer lending. It’s almost impossible for small borrowers or lenders to bypass intermediaries. Those intermediaries incur high costs and must charge substantial fees (or spreads). For small — and even large — investors to become lenders, the best they can typically do is buy shares in a bank, specialized fund or hedge fund.

3. Peer-to-peer money transfers. Money is often unable to travel to where it’s needed the most. And when it does, intermediaries often take the lion’s share of any profits generated by these transfers. Liquidity often dries up precisely where it’s most needed, especially in the wake of natural or manmade disasters.

4. Transparency in the lending process. Key facts on where or how to apply for a loan, why you’re accepted or rejected, and what to do next are shrouded under a cloud of secrecy.

DeFi has these mechanisms … and more.

DLT-powered Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is among the only sustainable solutions

As we’ve seen time and again, foreign aid and charity can sometimes help. But they aren’t sustainable or scalable.

And as we saw in the U.S. subprime crisis of 2008-’09, when government and private lenders pushed out trillions in loans or mortgages to high-risk borrowers, the consequence is catastrophe.

Although still possible, these challenges and disasters are far less likely in a DLT-powered, decentralized financial system.

Here’s why …

First, DeFi uses massive amounts of real-time data processed with sophisticated algorithms to continually balance itself — much like a highly liquid, global foreign-exchange market.

Second, DeFi helps replace much of the time-consuming background checks for borrowers and most of the expensive due diligence by lenders. In fact, if you’re a lender, you don’t even need to know who — or what — the borrower is.

Third, DeFi makes it possible for lenders and investors to entrust their money to proven smart contracts. That money is then aggregated into a pool of liquid funds available to borrowers.

Fourth, DeFi securely stores the funds on a global distributed ledger that can be viewed by anyone with an internet connection.

Think of it as a global bank: You make a deposit. Then, once the institution has your money, it’s free to lend it out.

The critical difference here is that there is no bank. Instead, it’s on a global network, where all the relevant information — and the liquid funds themselves — can travel across the planet as quickly as an email or text message.

Fifth, DeFi supports a more efficient credit market. Interest rates are not distorted by big spreads for intermediaries. Nor are they directly affected by central bank manipulation. Instead, they’re determined by algorithms that automatically adjust interest-rate levels based on supply and demand.

If supply dries up, rates go up. If supplies are abundant, they go down.

This also can help resolve a major current challenge: In North America, Western Europe, Japan and other developed economies, yields are at record lows. But in emerging markets, they’re still very high. And even in the richest countries, many average citizens can’t get a mortgage to buy a new home.

Sixth, DeFi handles collateral more fluidly. When you wish to borrow using a DeFi protocol, you post your assets on a smart contract. Those assets are earmarked as collateral for any funds you wish to borrow. And, if you fail to repay the loan, the protocol will automatically assign your collateral to the lender.

As on the Bitcoin network, there is no human intervention in this process. And there’s also virtually no way to cheat the smart contract.

Does this system already exist in the real world?

Although still experimental, yes!

In fact, what I just described is, to a large extent, what’s already being tested by protocols like Compound, one the first DLT-based lending platforms. (Read more:Decentralized Lending Soars, Staking Gains Traction)

Protocols like these — typically built on Ethereum — are beginning to step away from Bitcoin’s traditional use-case as a store of value. And they are starting to realize Ethereum’s vision of a new financial system.

Their goal: A world in which most rulers are replaced by rules; a world in which those rules are enforced automatically and fairly.

From 30,000 feet, banks and a protocol such as Compound perform a parallel function: They pool assets and make them available to borrowers.

The difference is that with Compound — or any other DLT-based lending application — there is no counterparty risk at the institutional level. Nor is a single company or individual aggregating these assets.

Meanwhile, removing manual, human intervention in the process helps reduce two critical things:

1. Human error in processing loan applications, and

2. Human bias in capital allocation.

Lenders and borrowers meet one another directly, and a cryptographically enforced protocol ensures the rules are observed by all at all times.

But please understand: Just because humans are not involved as intermediaries in day-to-day decision-making doesn’t mean humans aren’t involved at all.

On the contrary, the rules governing how these protocols operate are decided by an aggregate of lenders and borrowers.

It’s the users of these platforms who set the rules, and it’s the Distributed Ledger Technology that enforces them.

It’s almost impossible to cheat the system; the smart contract treats everyone equally. It allows for no priority access or one-off exceptions. The system operates exactly as it was programmed to operate. And if it’s flawed in any way, those flaws become readily evident, mandating prompt fixes.

At the end of the day, the system’s big strength lies in its ability to cut out the middle man, eliminate most fees, and treat everyone equally.

DeFi protocols are also inherently global. You can be anyone anywhere in the world. If you meet the requirements for participating, you’re free to do so. Geography is simply not a criterion.

DeFi cannot discriminate and cannot cheat. And ultimately, that is the future of finance.

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Mobile Banking Software Solution Market by 2019-2026 with Profiling Players like Fiserv, Temenos …

Mobile Banking Software Solution Market by 2019-2026 with Profiling Players like Fiserv, Temenos Group, Infosys, Neptune Software Group.

Mobile Banking Software Solution Market report has recently added by IT Intelligence Markets which helps to make informed business decisions. This research report further identifies the market segmentation along with their sub-types. Various factors are responsible for the market’s growth, which are studied in detail in this research report.

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CR2, SAB Group, Fiserv, Temenos Group, Infosys, Neptune Software Group

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Table of Contents:

  1. Mobile Banking Software Solution Market Overview
  2. Economic Impact on Industry
  3. Market Competition by Manufacturers
  4. Production, Revenue (Value) by Region
  5. Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by Type
  6. Market Analysis by Application
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  8. Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers
  9. Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders
  10. Market Effect Factors Analysis
  11. Mobile Banking Software Solution Market Forecast

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