Money2020 hosted its virtual version, MoneyFest, this week. Four days of a single track consisting primarily of 15-20 min presentations or interviews followed by Q&A. The startup pitch contest, was a bit different this year with only 2 finalists pitching at the event. Leading up to the event, 13 companies pitched in the semi-finals over a 3-week period via Linkedin Live.
Watch the Moneyfest pitches (free registration required)
– Semi-final #1: BeamAndGo, Buckle, Goodworld
– Semi-final #2: Rightfoot, FinMkt, Home Lending Pal, Railz, Anvil
– Semi-final #3: HAWK:AI, Identiq, Sparkir, Track, AgUnity
– Finals: FinMkt, Goodworld
The two finalists* were FinMkt (founded in 2011), and non-profit fundraising platform Goodworld, (founded 2014, raised $3.4M). This is a bit of a departure for Money 2020 which historically required contestants to be early-stage. But this year the criteria did not mention any maximum age or funding, only that the startup needed to have a solution in market. When the competition was announced pre-pandemic, there was talk of a $25k cash prize as well as potential investments of $250k from participating VCs. However, that appears to have been nixed in the scaled-down pandemic edition.
In a split decision, the winner was FinMkt selected by 2 of the 3 judges participating live. The New York City-based startup was originally founded in 2011 as Crowdnetic, then rebranded in 2016 as FinMkt. In Sep 2015, the company launched Lendvious, a loan marketplace to connect consumers to multiple lenders. Then last summer (2020), FinMkt then pivoted the technology to a multi-lender point-of-sale financing platform partnering with Porch among others.
Its POS-financing system uses multiple lenders to create price compeitition and the ability to serve a wider variety of borrowers. In the Q&A session, CFO Nathan Barber explained that FinMkt serves prime, near-prime, and sub-prime borrowers. Merchants have the option to limit participating lenders. In outlining a use case of a home contractor, he said that the application would typically take about 2 minutes, then within another 2 minutes, the borrower would be looking at real credit offers.
FinMkt makes money by charging the lender 1% to 4% of the loan amount. They also get a fee from the merchant. They also charge partners a SaaS fee for the lending platform to certain custom partners.
Description: POS financing marketplace
Business model: B2B2C two-sided marketplace with ecommerce merchants and lenders
Raised $11.9M (per Crunchbase)
$5M in Aug 2019
$5M in Nov 2017
$1.9 in Feb 2014
- Partnered with Porch for POS financing (per Yahoo Finance, 30 June 2020)
- PenFed is using the Porch/Finmkt partnership to power its home improvement lending (per Bank Innovations, 24 June 2020)
*A third startup, AgUnity, won its heat, but for some reason did not participate in the finals.