Cubed with Elliott Limb | E296
Jason talks to Elliott Limb, founder and CEO of Cubed. It is a company assisting fintech companies scale, while mitigating the high failure rates commonly faced by startups.
- 00:21 Elliott discusses Cubed's mission, which is to help fintech companies overcome high failure rates. Cubed serves as growth partners, actively involved in running and growing fintech businesses.
- 06:45: Elliott acknowledges that the cultural divide between traditional finance and fintech is a common issue. He mentions that this divide is gradually improving, but it has been a significant challenge in the past.
- 09:37: Jason seeks advice from Elliott on how to prevent the challenge of knowing when to decline potential sales and engage in the difficult conversations with clients who demand hyper-specific, non-scalable solutions that offer significant financial incentives for custom development work.
- 10.25: Companies should take a more strategic approach rather than jumping straight into execution, even if it means walking away from potentially lucrative opportunities initially.
- 14:51: Jason acknowledges that for technical founders and entrepreneurs, constantly seeking funding can be frustrating and time-consuming.
- 16:39: Jason and Elliott discuss common issues faced by fintech companies and methodologies for course correction.
- 23:57: Elliott's assessment suggests that the fintech industry faces unique challenges related to due diligence, investor experience, and rapid funding cycles, which could contribute to a higher failure rate compared to other sectors in the venture capital market.
- 36:02: Elliott is driven by the goal of making the market better and increasing innovation within the fintech sector.
3 Key Points
- Elliott provides a holistic view of the challenges and responsibilities that both start-ups and investors face in the fintech industry. He highlights the need for strategic planning, rigorous measurement, and a strong focus on team execution to improve success rates.
- Elliott explains that Cubed's involvement with fintech companies from the venture capital side usually happens for three main reasons: Due Diligence Support, Portfolio Review and Turnaround Assistance.
- Jason and Elliott highlight the need for fintech founders to strike a balance between loyalty to early employees and the necessity of bringing in diverse talent that can help the company navigate the challenges of growth and innovation.
- “Building a great piece of software is not enough for success; you must consider distribution and other business aspects.” – Jason
- “Companies should position their technology in a way that clearly demonstrates how it will improve the customer's business and provide a sustainable business model.” – Elliot
- “Companies often hire experienced individuals but fail to provide the necessary enablement and alignment to ensure success.” - Elliot
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312. Dwolla Revisited with Dave Glaser | E31224:42In this episode of Fintech Impact, host Jason Pereira interviews Dave Glaser, the CEO of Dwolla, a leading digital payment solution that empowers third parties to offer streamlined and unified payment processing services. Dwolla's innovative platform facilitates efficient and secure digital transactions, revolutionizing the way businesses handle payments.Episode Highlights:05:36: Dave delves into the global theme of account-to-account processing, highlighting its rapid adoption in the U.S. This period coincided with the rise of fintech and the increased need for remote access to funds, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.07:30: The conversation touches on Dwolla's evolving responsibility, moving from a B2C to a B2B provider. Dwolla now focuses on servicing businesses that interface with millions of consumers in their networks.11:25: Dave agrees with Jason's assessment, tracing the history of the ACH system and its evolution as money became more digital. He highlights the continuous innovation, from mainframe connectivity to modern cloud-based systems and mobile apps, democratizing access to exchanging money.13:36: Dave explains the significance of businesses digitally transforming their systems, processes, and moving to modern app-based, cloud-based systems. Dwolla aims to provide account-to-account solutions, emphasizing their lower cost, speed, and competitiveness compared to traditional methods.16:17: Dave delves into the motivators for banks, stating that deposits are the primary source of revenue, guiding banks in their decisions and incentivizing their actions. He emphasizes that while banks add value-added services, deposits remain the core focus.21:05: Dave identifies competition as the most significant challenge, emphasizing the fierce competition in the payment space. He highlights the necessity for efficiency, focus, strategic hiring, partnerships, and optimal resource utilization in the face of strong competition.Key Points:Dwolla is a leader in the United States for B2B enterprises processing account-to-account payments, with a focus on providing efficient and low-cost solutions for consumers and small businesses.Over the years, Dwolla has pivoted its focus from providing payments for consumers and small businesses directly to offering its API for the banking network.Dwolla is adapting to the evolving trends in the industry by focusing on providing faster payment methods and open banking tools through its platform.Tweetable Quotes:"Banks are primarily driven by deposits. Deposits are always at the core for banks and the way they think about things." - Dave Glasser"Competition in the payment space is fierce. Start-ups in this space have to be very efficient, very focused, very driven." - Dave Glasser"I get to bring account-to-account payments and open banking innovations to the US. I can't wait to get out of bed every day to do it." - Dave GlasserResource Mentioned:Facebook – Jason Pereira's FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira's LinkedInWoodgate.com – Sponsorhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/daglaser/https://www.dwolla.com/
312. Investipal with Cameron Howe | E31119:45Jason interviews Cameron Howe, CEO and Co-founder of Investipal. Originally designed for DIY investors, Investipal has evolved into a versatile online platform that also serves advisors, offering enhanced tools for portfolio research and management. The conversation emphasizes Investipal's commitment to financial literacy, particularly among younger generations, and the value of remaining a calculated, revenue-focused, and durable company despite being bootstrapped.Episode Highlights:04:00: The discussion focuses on unifying the advisor experience through research and development. Investipal aims to streamline the fragmented advisor tools, providing a more cohesive and personalized experience for users.08:31: Jason brings up the transition from a DIY tool to serving advisors, inquiring about the feedback that led to this shift. He also asks about the feedback from advisors on what was missing from their previous tools.13:18: Cameron talks about Investipal's focus on private assets, catering to advisors dealing with alternative exposures. The goal is to optimize client accounts by incorporating private assets into the portfolio management solution.14:47: Cameron clarifies that Investipal aims to own the investment management side while integrating with financial planning and client-related tools. The focus is on providing a comprehensive solution for investment management and portfolio optimization.16:38: Cameron discusses the challenge of being bootstrapped, emphasizing the need for calculated risks with limited assets. Despite the slower growth, being revenue and profit-focused has allowed for a more durable and diligent approach.Key Points:Originally a DIY tool, Investipal has evolved into a platform serving both individual investors and advisors, positioning itself between discount brokerage firms and managed services.Investipal seeks to unify the advisor experience by connecting various tools for risk assessment, research, portfolio management, and client communication, providing a streamlined and cohesive solution.Investipal aims to focus on owning the investment management side, catering to mid-market advisors.Tweetable Quotes:"Investipal focuses on owning the investment management side, offering a comprehensive yet cost-effective solution for mid-market advisors, while integrating with financial planning tools." - Cameron Howe"We want to instill financial literacy, especially among younger generations, and provide streamlined tools for long-term wealth building, not just for advisors but for the general retail population." - Cameron Howe"Being bootstrapped forced us to take calculated risks, ensuring a more durable company that remains revenue and profit-focused, rather than succumbing to the fast-paced VC cycle." - Cameron HoweResource Mentioned:Facebook – Jason Pereira's FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira's LinkedInWoodgate.com – Sponsorhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/cameronhowe/?original_referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Egoogle%2Ecom%2F&originalSubdomain=cahttps://www.investipal.co/Podcast Editing
310. Legal Wills with Tim Hewson | E31028:18Jason interviews Tim Hewson, CEO of LegalWills, an online platform providing millions of users with a simple and accessible solution for creating legal and compliant wills. Tim discusses the importance of having a will, the challenges of estate planning, and how Legal Wills aims to demystify the process.Episode Highlights:00:34: Tim introduces the topic of legal wills, emphasizing their significance and the need for everyone to have one. He discusses the mission of making will preparation affordable and accessible to everyone.01:04: Tim outlines the mission of LegalWills, emphasizing the removal of barriers to will preparation. He discusses the accessibility and affordability aspects, considering it a vital document for everyone.07:36: Tim introduces the Key Holder concept, allowing users to securely share information with designated individuals when needed. He explains the Messages service, enabling users to leave specific messages for their loved ones after their passing.10:53: Jason commends LegalWills for allowing users to pick and choose services. He highlights the importance of having a Power of Attorney for young adults turning 18, and he appreciates the affordability of LegalWills' solution.14:49: Tim explains that LegalWills covers a broad range of scenarios, including lifetime interest trusts for blended families. The service evolves over time to address various situations, and currently, there are few cases that they do not cover.18:15: Tim responds to the criticism of LegalWills' affordability by questioning the high charges for simple wills by some law firms. He argues that basic wills shouldn't cost as much as they often do, and he highlights the issue of lawyers overcharging for relatively straightforward services.24:28: Jason and Tim emphasize the emotional impact on families left to deal with disorganized estates and stress the importance of creating a will to prevent conflicts and contempt among family members.Key Points:LegalWills aims to simplify estate planning, catering to diverse needs, including those of blended families.Tim discusses the challenge of balancing growth and service quality as Legal Wills has steadily expanded without external funding.The platform has made a positive impact on users and charities, emphasizing the importance of organized estate planning for individuals and Tweetable Quotes:"Writing a will shouldn't be about dying; it's part of financial planning. Organize your affairs while you're well; it's a gift to your loved ones.”"We're on a mission to demystify wills. Losing the legalese can make the process more accessible. It's about clear instructions, not complex language.”"Every person who used our service is better off—over a million users and counting. Helping families and charities with organized estate planning is what keeps us going.”Resource Mentioned:Facebook – Jason Pereira's FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira's LinkedInWoodgate.com – Sponsorhttps://legalwills.company/https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhewson/?originalSubdomain=caPodcast Editing
309. Elements Revisited with Reese Harper | E30935:07Jason welcomes back Reese Harper, the CEO of Elements. It is a platform designed to provide faster and more effective financial advice. The innovative approach of Elements simplifies financial diagnostics, making it accessible to a diverse audience. The episode explores the evolving landscape of financial services and the need for simplicity and accessibility in wealth management.Episode Highlights:01:10: Reese transitions to discussing Elements, introducing it as a platform for faster and simpler financial vital signs. He also describes Elements as providing diagnostic reports for present-day financial health, comparing it to medical diagnostics.06:01: Reese refers to the Hippocratic Oath and avoiding unnecessary costs, discussing the difficulty in providing low-cost solutions for meaningful conversations. He also highlights the importance of not forcing clients to incur costs that aren't truly transformational for their stage of wealth.11:45: Jason acknowledges the value of addressing fundamental financial problems before delving into long-term planning.17:36: Reese introduces "Elements Money" as a nurture campaign, aiming to circulate personalized material tailored to each client's financial elements.23:58: Reese recounts a client's journey to building liquidity, demonstrating the effectiveness of personalized financial planning through "Elements Money."31:13: Reese narrows down the idea of giving back to one hour a week, suggesting an industry-wide commitment. He also notes the biggest challenge for Elements has been introducing a new category in an industry resistant to change.32:59: Jason asks Reese about the excitement that keeps him motivated, with Reese expressing joy in continuous learning and the pursuit of meaning in his work.Key Points:Elements serves as a platform for assessing financial vitals, offering a quick and accessible way to analyse a client's current financial situation.Financial vitals, unlike traditional planning, address the present needs and concerns of clients, providing insights that complement the future-oriented approach of financial planning.Reese emphasizes the challenge in convincing clients, especially those with lower wealth levels, of the value of financial planning. Elements aims to bridge this gap by facilitating meaningful conversations at a lower cost.Tweetable Quotes:"Financial vitals are the pulse of your wealth, offering a real-time diagnosis, while financial planning paints the visionary picture of where your finances can journey in the long run. Both are essential for a holistic financial strategy.”“Elements provides a simpler, faster set of financial vital signs that can be understood and acted upon by anyone, regardless of wealth level.”"Championing a shift in the industry, Reese Harper highlights the need for professionals to offer low-cost, meaningful conversations. Elements provides a solution, empowering individuals to engage in transformative financial discussions without hefty fees.”Resource Mentioned:Facebook – Jason Pereira's FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira's LinkedInWoodgate.com – Sponsorhttps://www.advisersoftware.com/Podcast Editing
308. Facet with Anders Jones | E30831:45Jason talks to Andres Jones, Co-founder, and CEO of Facet. It is a fintech company challenging traditional financial planning models and aims to introduce an advanced form of financial planning to underserviced markets often neglected by the industry. They use a subscription-based approach, focusing on a broader definition of financial planning beyond retirement. The company emerged in response to industry challenges, notably the failure of the DOL fiduciary rule.Episode Highlights:01:19: Anders provides a snapshot of Facet's inception in 2016, emphasizing the disruptive intent to reshape financial planning with a subscription-based model.04:34: Anders illustrates the depth of Facet's service, sharing anecdotes about clients seeking assistance with major life events like having a baby.08:08: Anders expands on Facet's client-centric approach, emphasizing assistance across different life milestones, showcasing the company's comprehensive financial planning perspective.10:28: Anders discusses the facet philosophy, highlighting principles like maintaining a six-month emergency fund before investing, emphasizing the right order of operations.13:20: Anders discusses metrics like member per planner ratio, client satisfaction, retention, and the importance of activation—ensuring clients act on provided advice.17:24: Jason inquiries about the onboarding experience at Facet, prompting Anders to explain the two-call process led by a separate membership team to understand the client's needs and introduce Facet's services.20:33: Anders highlights the focus on understanding the emotional aspects and the "why" behind a client's financial goals, aiming for a personalized and meaningful planning approach.26:32: Jason discusses the challenges of serving clients with lower income or assets, and Anders mentions his optimism about technology advancements enabling lower-cost solutions in the future.30:10: Anders highlights two motivating factors: Facet's mission-driven culture, where team members share stories about changing members' lives, and having an incredible team that makes the hard work of building a business enjoyable.Key Points: Facet operates with a strong mission-oriented culture, emphasizing the team's commitment to changing financial planning for the better.The discussion explores challenges when clients outgrow advisors and the potential for AI to drive down costs, making financial planning more accessible.Despite virtual work success, Anders expresses a preference for in-person collaboration, especially in creative aspects of the business.Tweetable Quotes:"Financial planning, when done well, looks at everything in your life that money touches, not just what your money is doing and what it'll be doing in 40 years." - Anders"The AUM-based business model for retail clients does not make sense. It does not align the cost that you're paying with the value that you're receiving." - Anders"Our ideal member is someone in their late 20s to early 40s, figuring out how to 'adult' and wanting help, or pre-retirees focused on the next 5 to 10 years." - AndersResource Mentioned:Facebook – Jason Pereira's FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira's LinkedInWoodgate.com – Sponsorhttps://facet.com/
307. Year in Review 2023 with Guy Anderson | E30728:46On today's episode, Jason and Guy will reflect on 51 impactful episodes of Fintech Impact. From CRM evolution to the rise of AI in finance, this conversation explores cutting-edge trends and thought-provoking discussions that shaped the year, sharing insights into cybersecurity, marketing, and innovative solutions revolutionizing the advisory landscape.Episode Highlights:01:28: Jason shares insights from his speaking engagements at Future Proof and the IFP event, discussing the importance of technology in bridging the gap between advisors and the next generation of clients.02:56: Jason explores the pervasive nature of fintech, emphasizing its role as a tool for advisors to enhance value and service while staying competitive.08:37: Jason reflects on standout episodes from the year, mentioning Luminent's approach to understanding clients' values and Elements, a tool for efficient financial collaboration. He highlights the importance of these innovations in reshaping onboarding processes and improving financial advice delivery.11:48 Jason discusses Kepler's approach to traffic generation by partnering with organizations that already have financial traffic and New Retirement Wealth's integration of a DIY financial planning tool within existing platforms.14:44: Transitioning to the topic of a repeat interviewee, Guy asks Jason about Conquest and its role as an AI-driven solution in the market.17:28: Jason provides insights into UnderwriteMe, a tool specializing in insurance underwriting. He highlights its unique approach of conducting a medical and financial fact-finding process before recommending insurance policies.22:54: Guy expresses amazement at UnderwriteMe's ability to provide newcomers in the insurance industry with the same insights as seasoned professionals. He notes that the tool seems to level the playing field, reducing the need for extensive industry experience.Key Points:Discussion revolves around ground breaking achievements of fintech companies, notably one making significant strides in the Canadian enterprise market and securing a major contract in the US.Ariza, a tool introduced, uses a quadrant system to understand individual retirement preferences, emphasizing the need to tailor strategies based on behavioural preferences like certainty, variability, commitment, and optionality."Underwrite Me" is highlighted for revolutionizing the insurance application process, conducting preliminary medical and financial fact-finding to enable users to compare policies based on health criteria, reducing surprises for clients.Tweetable Quotes:"The AI wave in #Fintech is real, but it's not just automation. It's about enhancing advisor-client interactions, process management, and making technology truly adaptive.” - Jason"2024 in Fintech: Brace for the next wave! AI adoption accelerates, with platforms integrating intelligent agents. The future is not just automation; it's smart, adaptive solutions.” - Jason“Reflecting on 2023 in Fintech Impact: A diverse journey from cybersecurity to marketing, featuring leaders, experts, and the big players in the Fintech space.” - JasonResource Mentioned:Facebook – Jason Pereira's FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira's LinkedInWoodgate.com – SponsorPodcast Editing
306. MPower Financing with Manu Smadja | E30626:23Jason talks to Manu Smadja, CEO and Co-Founder of MPower Financing. MPower Financing is a company that specialises in lending loan to international students because they have their own specific challenges that are encountered by many people who come to a foreign country.Episode Highlights:02:30: Manu elaborates on his realization about the ongoing challenges faced by international students, citing personal experiences, and the turning point a decade ago when a student approached him for financial help, sparking the idea for MPower.03:13: Manu shares the pivotal moment when a student was on the verge of dropping out due to a small financial shortfall. This event led him to question why no one was addressing this issue and motivated him to establish Empower in April 2014.05:40: Jason discusses the challenges of issuing loans to young people with no credit history or assets, and Manu emphasizes the need for alternative data sources.07:11: Manu discusses the complexity of acquiring customers overseas and the challenge of servicing loans globally, which has been a focus for their company.13:09: Manu highlights the importance of character, creditworthiness, and the proof of capability demonstrated during the selection and integration process for international students.14:09: Manu explains how MPower leverages data on placement rates, graduation rates, and post-graduation salaries as part of their compelling value proposition.18:32: Manu compares the traditional loan process to MPower's approach, emphasizing the company's role in making the market for students who can't secure loans locally and providing a better experience for those who can.25:27: Manu emphasizes that the impact on students helps the team stay motivated and focused on understanding and addressing the needs of the students.Key Points:A leader in international student financing, MPower Financing focuses on empowering students from 200 countries attending over 400 universities in the US and Canada.The company's mission is to address the unique financial obstacles encountered by students studying abroad.MPower Financing leverages alternative data for credit assessment, providing loans to international students who may face challenges securing loans in their home countries.Tweetable Quotes:"Leveraging data on placement rates, graduation, and post-grad salaries, MPower Financing ensures a compelling value proposition for students worldwide.”"MPower Financing was born out of the realization that small financial shortfalls were pushing international students to drop out. We aim to bridge these gaps and make education accessible.""In lending to international students, we challenge the misnomer of treating no-file students like bad-file ones. Credit is a trajectory, and we leverage alternative data to understand and support their unique journeys."Resources Mentioned:https://www.mpowerfinancing.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/esmadja/Facebook – Jason Pereira's FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira's LinkedInWoodgate.com – SponsorPodcast Editing
305. Ian McKenna | E30534:33Jason talks to Ian McKenna, founder of advisersoftware.com. Ian is a guru of advisor technology in the UK and has a great lens on both the UK and technology around the world. He is here to capture his and Jason’s casual and informative discussions about the industry's past, present, and future, offering listeners a valuable perspective on the fintech landscape.Episode Highlights:02:08: Ian introduces advisorsoftware.com, initially focused on UK advice technology but evolving into a global platform to address the international nature of financial planning.03:48: Jason and Ian plan to delve into various topics, starting with the evolution of software in the UK and then expanding to a global perspective.05:16: Ian envisions a future where Fintech seamlessly integrates into everyday digital life globally, making it the norm rather than a separate entity.11:57: Jason and Ian explore the irony that tougher regulation, especially in consumer protection, has proven beneficial for financial advisors' success.13:29: Jason reflects on the future landscape, where technology becomes an integral part of every business, echoing the sentiment that companies will be either technology-driven or obsolete.15:18: Ian reflects on the impact of greed in past generations, citing the shift from nationalized utilities to the privatization of shares, ultimately leading to profit-driven organizations.19:39: Jason discusses the global trend in regulation, praising Australia's commitment to the right end state despite occasionally going too far. He acknowledges the UK's balanced approach and the US's focus on the fiduciary duty.23:32: Ian discusses the challenge for US vendors in scaling globally, emphasizing the historical tendency to prioritize the US market and the increasing competition from Australian companies that build with a multi-jurisdictional approach.31:59: Ian shares tricks, such as withholding data, to encourage technology use. He expresses his passion for creating enabling solutions through technology, emphasizing flexibility in savings options.Key Points: Ian McKenna discusses the evolution of advisorsoftware.com from a UK-focused platform to a global solution for international financial planning.Jason and Ian explore challenges faced by banks entering advisory services, regulatory dynamics, and the positive impact of stricter regulations on financial advisors' success.The conversation highlights the increasing importance of technology, envisioning a future where it seamlessly integrates into daily business operations globally.Tweetable Quotes:"Companies will either be technology-driven or obsolete in the future financial landscape." - Jason Pereira"Financial advice should be a utility accessible to all through technology, not a luxury reserved for the wealthy." - Ian McKenna"Flexibility in savings options, like Micro Savings, can empower individuals to save more through technology." - Ian McKennaResource Mentioned:Facebook – Jason Pereira's FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira's LinkedInWoodgate.com – Sponsorhttps://www.advisersoftware.com/Podcast Editing
304. In Charge with Shalicia Harris | E30419:28Jason talks to Shalicia Harris, founder and CEO of In Charge; a platform designed to empower financial advisors in growing their businesses and fostering stronger relationships with clients. The focus is on personalized financial literacy, aiming to empower clients in making informed decisions about their money. The platform enables advisors to seamlessly create tailored campaigns, emphasizing transparency and education to eliminate negative experiences in client-advisor interactions.Episode Highlights:02:03: Shalicia discusses the solution, emphasizing the need for personalized financial literacy to empower clients in making informed decisions about their money.06:37: Shalicia emphasizes the deeper and more personalized customer journey created through market surveys. She mentions the inclusion of market surveys in the insurance world, allowing for a more personalized customer journey.07:00: Shalicia emphasizes the creation of transparency and education as the primary goals. She discusses the importance of making financial information palatable and eliminating negative feelings in client-advisor experiences.12:01: Shalicia introduces the "5 key pillars of personal finances," covering debt, housing, investment, financial resilience, and creditworthiness and describes a 3 to 5-minute assessment and breakdown of client finances.17:49: Shalicia finds excitement in positive feedback, knowing clients feel empowered, and the impact of In Charge in promoting financial literacy.Key Points:Shalicia's goal is to make financial advice more accessible to everyone and eliminate the fear associated with seeking financial guidance.Change management is a significant hurdle in the financial advice industry due to heavy compliance ties. Shalicia highlights the need for overcoming the industry's resistance to change and embracing technologies like AI.In Charge focuses on empowering clients by providing transparency and personalized financial literacy. The platform aims to bridge the knowledge gap, allowing clients to make informed decisions and fostering trust between advisors and clients.Tweetable Quotes:"In Charge is a platform to help advisors be In Charge of the growth around their business and help their clients feel In Charge at the same time." - Shalicia Harris, Founder and CEO of In Charge."Transparency is huge, and education is huge. We're living in an age where the majority of consumers have some sort of high school, college, university degree, and even master's degrees are quite high at this time." - Shalicia Harris"The feedback from clients is that this made me trust my advisor a little bit more because they felt that they weren't hiding things. Transparency itself becomes a part of that trust foundation." - Shalicia HarrisResources Mentioned:Facebook – Jason Pereira's FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira's LinkedInWoodgate.com – Sponsorhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/shalicia-h-8176b0b7/?originalSubdomain=cahttps://beincharge.io/Podcast Editing