FUNDING

FinTech Leader DigniFi Announces Bridge Funding to Support Continued Growth

DigniFi, Brigade Capital Management | August 01, 2022 | Read time : 02:00 min

Bridge Funding
Today, DigniFi, a leading fintech platform for the automotive industry, announced a new partnership with asset manager Brigade Capital Management, LP (“Brigade”). Among other investments across the fixed income spectrum, Brigade provides tailored capital solutions to specialty finance companies and is widely respected for its capital markets expertise and broad network of institutional investors.

This initial recapitalization empowers DigniFi to execute its three-year growth strategy centered on operational stability, product development and commercialization, and expansion into transportation-adjacent markets and ecosystems.

A representative from Brigade will join DigniFi’s Board of Directors as an Advisor and Observer.

About DigniFi
DigniFi is a FinTech company and leader in the world of transportation. We help auto dealers and small businesses across the country grow their revenue and delight their customers with visionary, inclusive financing. Our technology simplifies the loan application process and enables small businesses to offer on-the-spot financing, for auto repairs, parts and accessory purchases, and maintenance packages. All credit products are originated by WebBank, Member FDIC. To date, DigniFi has helped over 6,000 small businesses across the nation secure almost $200 million in incremental transactions. For more information, visit DigniFi.com.

Spotlight

Nearly every state levies a business or corporate income tax. Like federal taxes, your state tax requirement depends on the legal structure of your business. For example, if your business is an LLC, the LLC is taxed separately from the owners of the business, while sole proprietors report their personal and business income taxes using the same form used to report their business taxes.


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INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

First Dollar and DriveWealth Partner to Power Embedded Investing

First Dollar and DriveWealth | September 14, 2022

First Dollar, a technology company that builds healthcare benefits infrastructure, today announced a new partnership with DriveWealth, a global fintech investment rail and pioneer in fractional investing, to power a Health Savings Account (HSA) investing experience inside of their API-driven Health Wallet Platform. Benefit providers like health plans, financial institutions, & TPAs partner with First Dollar to power modern benefits that can be white labeled and embedded inside of their existing card and member portal. With this partnership, consumers with HSAs will be able to invest in fractional shares as well as access a diverse portfolio of equities and ETFs, all within their Health Wallet dashboard. More consumers than ever are investing a portion of their Health Savings Account (HSA)— Devenir's Mid-Year report calculates a 45% year-over-year growth in 2021 at $34.4 billion AUM. First Dollar's partnership with DriveWealth ensures all members have a frictionless investing experience. Like the First Dollar Health Wallet platform today, consumers will be able to access the HSA investment experience in multiple languages (beginning with English and Spanish), a key to unblocking access to an in-demand and central benefit of the HSA. "Partnering with DriveWealth was a no-brainer, Their APIs give us the flexibility to take the clean and simple approach to UX that First Dollar's embeddable benefits platform is known for and expand that vision to the historically complex world of investments. We now have the freedom to continuously adapt our product for both our English and Spanish speakers, opening up access to those who have historically been excluded from the investment experience." -Izamar Loredo, Senior Product Manager at First Dollar We're thrilled to partner with the First Dollar team, whose customer-first values align with ours here at DriveWealth, First Dollar's unique offerings have provided customers with a gateway to the best health plan for their needs. Through this partnership, we're excited to equip First Dollar customers with seamless HSA investing capabilities to help them take greater control of their financial futures, said Stan Smith, Managing Director of DriveHSA, powered by DriveWealth. About First Dollar First Dollar is a technology company that builds healthcare benefits infrastructure. Our health wallet platform gives benefit providers the tools they need to launch tax-advantaged accounts, supplemental benefits, or whatever they dream up next. About DriveWealth DriveWealth, a global fintech investment rail and pioneer of fractional equities trading, is a visionary technology company that empowers more than 100 partners around the world to engage their customers by placing the markets in the palm of their hands. We believe the future is fractional, transactional, and mobile. Every mobile device should be a gateway to accessing investing and savings products, services, advice, and assistance for global citizens of all ages, wealth stages, and levels of financial expertise. DriveWealth's consultative support and cloud-based, modern technology platform allow partners to seamlessly offer branded investing experiences to drive customer acquisition, loyalty, retention, and revenue growth.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT,INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

Investment Banking Firm Outcome Capital Launches Advisory Practice

Outcome Capital | August 26, 2022

Outcome Capital, a highly specialized life science and healthcare investment banking group, today announced the formal launch of an Advisory Services Practice in response to demand from client companies and their Boards for earlier access to Outcome’s broad scientific, clinical, financial and strategy capabilities. The firm’s advisory services will include bespoke tax and accounting solutions provided by Michaele Esdale, PhD, CPA, who joined the firm earlier this year. “We are excited to offer our Advisory Practice as a complement to our investment banking services, and Michaele’s deep accounting background deepens the breadth of our services to enable full-scope analysis. Her additional services will provide our clients with end-to-end, strategy creation to financial service offerings that clients will benefit from significantly,” - Arnold Freedman To meet Outcome’s deep commitment to the life science sector, the firm has already assisted numerous innovative companies, family offices and venture firms seeking “pre-transaction” guidance and support in anticipation of future exit events and capital requirements. The company will now formally offer life science and healthcare management, Boards and investors with access to the firm’s strategic and financial expertise through the new Advisory Services Practice. Services provided will include proprietary data and analytics platforms, modeling and valuation frameworks, portfolio management expertise, financial statement analysis, earnings optimization, exit planning and scenario analysis, along with a myriad of corporate development services. In addition to Dr. Esdale, these services will be provided by Outcome’s legacy strategy and finance groups, led by Co-Founders and Managing Directors Oded Ben-Joseph, PhD, MBA and Arnold Freedman, along with senior management: Ellen Baron, PhD; Paul Mieyal, PhD, CFA; Karl Hess; Craig Steger; Michael Casasanta, PhD; Thomas Busby and Nicholas Frame, PhD. Dr. Ben-Joseph commented, Technologies can all too easily drift from what the market is truly seeking, and a strong corporate development function reduces extraneous costs and increases the likelihood of transacting. Curiously, however, one of the last positions filled for many life science companies is related to corporate development, which is an instrumental role in our industry. Since Outcome’s inception, we have found management teams at a disadvantage when initiating transaction work too late and we often represent clients who have conveyed their regret in not engaging sooner after seeing the benefits we can offer. Therefore, although our team has already been undertaking this strategic work routinely, we are looking forward to formally offering services to address these corporate development needs. Dr. Esdale is a CPA with over twenty years of experience spanning accounting and taxation in a variety of senior public and private roles. Prior to Outcome Capital, Dr. Esdale spent nearly two decades in academia, authoring over 30 publications in both academic and professional journals. Concurrent to her time in academia, Dr. Esdale was a national tax instructor for PwC and KPMG, where she taught a wide variety of topics including mergers and acquisitions, corporate tax and the ins and outs of net operating losses. Dr. Esdale’s operational expertise includes CFO and COO positions for a technology company that provided clinical trial data-sharing software to multinational pharmaceutical companies. She is a 2019 Boston Business Journal 40 Under 40 Honoree. Dr. Esdale commented, I am looking forward to the opportunity to assist growth-stage companies with business optimization strategies. The financial advisory services we provide assist in maximizing current profitability and instituting best practices, while also serving to implement necessary infrastructure for future growth and exit strategies. About Outcome Capital Outcome Capital is a highly specialized life science and healthcare advisory and investment banking firm, providing innovative companies with a value-added, market-aligned approach to mergers & acquisitions, partnering and corporate finance. The firm leverages its proven ‘strategy-led execution’ approach to value enhancement by assisting management teams and their boards in navigating both financial and corporate markets and implementing the best path for success. The firm’s strength stems from its multi-disciplinary, industry experts who draw from their broad relationships and a wide range of scientific, operational, strategic and transactional expertise across the value chain. Comprised of former CEOs, business development executives, venture capitalists, PhD/MD-level scientists and clinicians, and experienced commercialization experts, our team is driven to propel innovation from bench to bedside.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

FTFT Signs MOU to Acquire Alpha International Securities

Future FinTech Group Inc. | September 12, 2022

Future FinTech Group Inc., a blockchain application technology developer and a fintech service provider, announced today that on September 1, 2022, Future FinTech (Hong Kong) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Equity Acquisition (the 'MOU') to acquire Alpha International Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd. (Alpha Securities) from Alpha Financial Limited, a firm based in Hong Kong. The purchase price and acquisition terms of the acquisition are to be determined pending due diligence and a financial audit of Alpha Securities by FTFT HK, with a formal acquisition agreement to be executed within 60 days after the parties are satisfied with the results of the due diligence and a mutual agreement as to the terms of the acquisition. The MOU stipulates that for a period of two months, Alpha Financial Limited will not engage in activities with any other party pursuant to the sale of Alpha Securities. The MOU represents terms for a proposed transaction subject to definitive documentation and is non-binding except for its 'Confidentiality and Exclusivity' and 'Governing Law and Dispute Resolution' sections. Steven Xiang, General Manager of Alpha Securities, stated, Alpha Securities mainly focuses on three financial services sectors: Online brokerage services consisting of Hong Kong equities as well as US equities, where we work with our partner, a US brokerage firm, The underwriting and distribution of securities for Hong Kong IPOs, and The underwriting of US dollar-based bonds issued by Chinese municipal cities and companies in Hong Kong. We hold Type 1 'Securities Trading', Type 2 'Futures Contract Trading' and Type 4 'Securities Consulting' financial licenses issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. Mr. Xiang continued, The Alpha Securities management team has substantial international financial markets experience and our principal team members are from well-known financial institutions. We have over 30,000 customer accounts and have underwritten 29 IPOs in Hong Kong since July 2020. In terms of our offshore China US dollar bond issuance, we underwrote approximately US$1.34 billion for nine municipal investment funds and enterprises. "Alpha Securities is committed to providing customers with a full range of financial services in Hong Kong including online brokerage services, IPOs, rights issuances for listed companies, financial advisory services and US dollar-based Chinese municipal and enterprise bond issuance services among our other services." - Alpha Securities' Mr. Xiang Shanchun Huang, Chief Executive Officer of Future FinTech, commented, We believe that this potential acquisition will be synergistic with Nice Talent Asset Management Limited (NTAM), our 90%-owned asset management subsidiary also based in Hong Kong, as well as other financial services businesses that we are developing. We believe that Alpha Securities could also play an important role in our continued transformation as we internationalize and diversify our business and income flows. Our objective is to become a diversified fintech enterprise that optimizes current opportunities and integrates them into a comprehensive and strategic business platform. About Future FinTech Group Inc. Future FinTech Group Inc. is a blockchain application technology developer and fintech service provider incorporated in Florida. The Company's operations include a blockchain-based online shopping mall platform, Chain Cloud Mall (CCM), supply chain financing services, asset management, and cryptocurrency market data services. The Company is also engaged in the development of blockchain based e-Commerce technology and cryptocurrency mining, cryptocurrency investment management as well as financial service technology and business.

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FINTECH

BlackRock Launches Industry’s First BuyWrite Fixed Income ETFs

BlackRock | August 23, 2022

BlackRock today launched a first-of-its-kind suite of fixed income ETFs that provide access to buy-write investment strategies on baskets of fixed income securities: the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond BuyWrite Strategy ETF, iShares High Yield Corporate Bond BuyWrite Strategy ETF and the iShares Investment Grade Corporate Bond BuyWrite Strategy ETF. Each ETF packages two potential income sources into one ticker – premiums generated by selling monthly call options on the underlying ETFs and the yields from each of the underlying ETFs themselves. “The iShares’ bond ETF platform has the world’s largest, comprehensive toolkit1 for individuals and institutions by providing access to the $124 trillion fixed income market with essential building blocks for a wide variety of macroeconomic climates, Market participants have used a buy-write strategy on equities since options were first listed more than 50 years ago. The iShares Bond BuyWrite ETFs introduce these capabilities to fixed income, pioneering new possibilities for an asset class sitting at the center of so many long-term portfolios.” -Carolyn Weinberg, Global Head of Product for ETF and Index Investments, BlackRock Helping Investors; Capital Markets Innovation The iShares BuyWrite ETFs aim to increase yield potential for investors, debuting during the most challenging environment for fixed income in decades due to inflation, hawkish central banks and interest rate volatility. Each iShares BuyWrite ETF seeks to track a designated index from Cboe Global Indices by owning shares of the underlying ETF and selling one-month call options at a strike price at or near the closing price of the ETF the day before the strategy writes the call options. Each month, the iShares BuyWrite ETFs will distribute to shareholders both the call option premiums collected and the underlying funds’ monthly distributions. TLT, HYG and LQD have grown into important financial instruments in the fixed income markets and have some of the most liquid options markets of any ETF2, Our buy-write exposures expand the functionalities of bond ETFs by unlocking a sophisticated use case with a potential to enhance income for investors in this volatile yield environment,said Stephen Laipply, U.S. Head of Bond ETFs at BlackRock. BlackRock pioneered bond ETFs in 2002 with the launch of four products and this space has since grown 23% annually into a $1.7 trillion industry with more than 1,400 offerings.3 Over 20 years, bond ETFs have become fundamental to fixed income investing and BlackRock estimates they will reach $5 trillion in AUM by the end of the decade. About BlackRock BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, we help millions of people build savings that serve them throughout their lives by making investing easier and more affordable. About iShares iShares unlocks opportunity across markets to meet the evolving needs of investors. With more than twenty years of experience, a global line-up of 900+ exchange traded funds (ETFs) and $2.78 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2022, iShares continues to drive progress for the financial industry. iShares funds are powered by the expert portfolio and risk management of BlackRock.

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Spotlight

Nearly every state levies a business or corporate income tax. Like federal taxes, your state tax requirement depends on the legal structure of your business. For example, if your business is an LLC, the LLC is taxed separately from the owners of the business, while sole proprietors report their personal and business income taxes using the same form used to report their business taxes.

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