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Business/Tech/Apps/Technology/CEO

GreenSky Credit surpasses 17,000 retailers

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Veteran entrepreneur David Zalik started GreenSky credit back in 2006. The impetus behind the formation of the company was Zalik’s insight that far too many deals were being lost by home improvement companies when the homeowners were faced with estimates that were far higher than what they believed the cost of their remodeling projects would be. Zalik saw an opportunity to create a company that would serve as an instant point-of-sale lender, allowing average homeowners to essentially have access to the same kind of bridge financing that professional real estate developers use every day.

But the real key behind the success of GreenSky Credit was Zalik’s ability to create the technology that would link lenders, contractors, retailers and homeowners at the point of sale and on an instant basis. This technology is what forms the core of GreenSky Credit. And with more than a dozen of the largest lenders in the nation as partners, including Sun Trust, Fifth Third Bancorp and Region’s Bank, GreenSky Credit has been able to push through billions of dollars in home renovation projects that would otherwise have likely never happened.

Expanding to new domains

By 2010, Zalik saw how well his idea was being put into practice. GreenSky Credit was doing more than $1 billion in loans each year, almost all stemming from point-of-sale lending for home improvement projects. He began wondering if opportunities for providing consumer-level bridge financing for big-ticket items or services existed in other industries. Soon, he would get his answer.

Today, GreenSky Credit has expanded to more than 17,000 retailers across dozens of industries. The firm has taken the same business model that served so well in the home remodeling business and has applied it to everything from medical procedures to window replacement and roofing. The key behind the company’s success has been the fact that its borrowers all tend to be in the upper echelons of creditworthiness. With an average FICO score of 760, the average GreenSky customer is well above average in terms of ability to pay back loans. And this has resulted in lenders that actually vie among themselves for a chance to lend through GreenSky’s interface.

 

https://www.kununu.com/us/greensky-credit/reviews

Tech/Apps

Classroom Communication Made Simple

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If you have kids in school, you’ll understand just how important it is to be involved in your child’s classroom life. Behavior, grades, and learning topics are just a few things that usually wait to be known until parent teacher conferences. Now there’s an app called ClassDojo that’s here to eliminate the barriers and encourage teacher, parent and student connection. This is a classroom communication platform that allows you to communicate to your child’s teacher as well as see daily activities. Their teachers can even send photos and videos directly to you with this continually growing app!

ClassDojo is working to create a community between parents and teachers, bridging the gap we’ve all known too well for far too long. Knowledge is power, and in the case, it’s the power to create a new and positive culture in classrooms and schools. So far the app is actively used by teachers in over 85,000 schools. This ranges from public schools to charter and even to private. It’s clear that teachers everywhere are falling in love with this app. The current majority of teachers that use the app are kindergarten through eighth grade.

Not only is it extremely useful, ClassDojo is extremely safe. They value all of their users, whether you’re a teacher or a parent. While they haven’t yet earned revenue, they are staying away from making profits off of their user’s data. The CTO, Liam Don, even said, “Privacy is a huge concern any time kids are involved,” and that’s what we should expect to hear from those protecting information on our children.

This communication platform is intended to keep on improving. They hope to offer premium features as well as make school payments easier. Personally, I’m always nervous handing my child a check to bring in for a school field trip. Lunch money can be another nerve wrecker! What if they lose it? Who wouldn’t be nervous? Modern technology advances focus greatly on simplifying and improving our lives. ClassDojo does just that for us, and even more importantly, for our kids too.

Read more about ClassDojo here: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/classdojo

Business/Tech

Shaygan Kheradpir Returns To The Technology Industry With Coriant

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The Coriant brand has made a large splash in the technology industry since the company was formed in 2013 through its innovative approach to expanding its customer base to include as many global industries as possible. Coriant was spun out of the technology development department of Siemens and has been developed further under the Coriant leadership of CEO Pat DiPietro. However, the leadership of DiPietro was always designed to be a short term option for Coriant before he was to return to the parent company of Marlin Equity Partners. Coriant has now turned to experienced technology executive Shaygan Kheradpir to take on the leadership role of DiPietro, and push forward the Coriant brand to new levels of success.

Shaygan Kheradpir has been involved in the technology industry for more than 30 years and will bring this wealth of experience to developing the Coriant brand into the future. Coriant will benefit from the experience Shaygan Kheradpir has in developing new technologies and in improving profits for the many different industries he has worked in.

Just like every step Shaygan Kheradpir has taken in his career he has not entered the Coriant company without first taking on a large level of research into the company. Early in 2015 Kheradpir began working with Marlin Equity Partners and Pat DiPietro to conduct a review of the company before taking over as CEO; this review has given Kheradpir a good understanding of the company and should allow him the opportunity to develop new technologies as he did with GTE Labs and Verizon.

Coriant has been growing at a fast pace to now employ more than 3,000 people and provide networking services for companies in more than 100 countries. Shaygan Kheradpir has been tasked with increasing the level of profits available to Coriant and making sure the development of new technologies is completed at the highest level. Coriant will continue its work challenging the status quo of the traditional leaders in the technology industry with new products and services delivered by Shaygan Kheradpir.

Business/Tech

Handy Revolutionizes The Household Cleaning Industry

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Few companies have ever hit the market that are beneficial to both consumers and job seekers as Handy, an app for customers looking for household cleaning services in their local area. Usually finding a household cleaning company entails doing a detailed search to find the most trusted and affordable company in a local area, but Handy saves customers both time and money by instantly connecting them to cleaning professionals and scheduling cleanings as soon as the next day. Customers can simply download the Handy app, follow a few quick easy steps to schedule a cleaning time, and pay for the service quickly and securely with no hidden fees.

It’s also great for service professionals looking to get into the cleaning business. Handy requires on-the-job experience for all applicants and carefully screens them so that customers are connected with fully qualified individuals. Though handy does select the serviceman for the jobs, the servicemen are essentially independent contractors who then get to set their own hours and essentially work for as much or as little as they want. Some have been fortunate enough to make as much as $1000 in a week, but most of the professionals work about 10 hours a week or less and usually do not use Handy as a full-time source of income.

Handy was started in 2012 by Oisin Hanrahan, a young real estate developer who was having difficulty finding good cleaning professionals when he was out buying living spaces that needed renovating. So he and his friend Umang Dua started up Handy as a way of bringing customers and service professionals together under one roof. Handy has received funding through Highland Capital Partners and General Catalyst Partners among others, reported to be around $50 million. While handy has had some uphill battles they’ve had to deal with during the last few years, the company feels they are starting to make their business model viable for the long term.

Tech/Moble Phone Service

FreedomPop Raises Another $50 Million for International Expansions

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FreedomPop is mobile phone services and a wireless internet provider based in Los Angles, California. It was founded by Stephen Stokols the CEO, and Steve Sesar. The company is backed by DCM Capital, Mangrove Capital, Axiata, and Partech Ventures. It uses Clearwire and Sprint’s network to provide free mobile services including text, voice call, and free data. According to Engadget Reviews, FreedomPop has strong signal quality and services, which is a seriously attractive alternative to larger carriers. FreedomPop’s mission has always been ensuring that all people have access to essential and affordable communication services. With FreedomPop Nationwide Wi-Fi and its auto-connect access, there is no need for authentication pages or manual configuration via device setting.

 

FreedomPop is going beyond traditional business of mobile carriers by providing ways of using mobile devices free of any charges. In efforts to continue its global rollout beyond its home market and launch international products, the company has raised $50 million. These products include free hotspots in over 25 countries and SIM that will enable users to access free data and calls on their devices across multiple regions. This funding appeared just six months after the company raised $30 million with its investors such as Intel. It brings the total raised to $109 million. According to Stokols, the international expansion has been adamant; the UK market is going extremely well with conversion level of 45% after last year launching. Considering that UK was the first international market beyond U.S. in the next 24 months, the number of users in the UK is projected to go beyond 1 million while U.S has over 1 million users.

 

FreedomPop plan is to explore more new markets, and by June this year, the company will cover U.S, the U.K, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. In addition, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic markets will be covered. By the end of this year, its services will extend to 40 countries including Latin America and Asia.

 

Primarily most MVNOs buy messages, data, and minutes from their carriers in bulk and then resell it to their customers. However, FreedomPop buys only data that it uses to offer its unique services. Rather than pre-buying in bulk, it negotiates different usage and pays only what FreedomPop customers use. Recently, FreedomPop has been working on ways of utilizing this technology directly within different carriers’ networks, thus building new service for them and in the process give FreedomPop more diverse revenue.

Tech

Home Service Startup Files Bankruptcy In Less Than 3 Years

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Startup companies came as a packaged deal with the tech boom in the last decade but the chance of them surviving over five years has dwindled. These innovative ideas that grow into startups have been meeting their end because of class action lawsuits that push to redefine their contractors as employees, which in turn drives up labor cost. The home repair startup Homejoy Inc has recently filed for bankruptcy a mere five months after posting on their blog that they would be shutting down their services.

The California based startup brought home and cleaning services to people via mobile app. Instead of booking random workers and hoping for the best Homejoy offered a way to browse home repair and cleaning services before booking an appointment. Initially the company raised $38 million in venture capital from big name investors like Google Ventures and First Round Capital. While the initial funding was met, the company stated in their July blog post that revenue issues and employee lawsuits are what lead to the closing of the company.

However this is not the case for all startup companies, some have flourished despite the low success rate of these newer and smaller companies. Handy Technologies which is a startup that provides similar services as Homejoy, was able to raise $50 million in funding back in November and has continued to expand their services. In total, the company has raised over $110 million in investment capital for their continued expansion. Not only does Handy offer highly recommended cleaning and home repair services they now can send someone to your home to assemble your newly bought Ikea furniture.

Handy was created after the Uber craze had exploded across the United States. Their general goal was to become the ‘Uber of the home repair world’ by offering a simple and easy way to find a home service worker or company. By creating an extensive employment process Handy only hires 3% of those interviewed and performs in-depth background checks. Currently they’re working on expanding to all major cities in the US and have opened up an office in London.