6+ things to know in #MiamiTech: News deluge from SellersFi, JourneyTrack, Novo, eMerge Americas, Locality Bank, Apogee Indigo, Social Mobile, ClassWallet, BRIC & more

1

SellersFi now can provide Amazon e-commerce sellers with significant credit lines

SellersFi, the Weston-based e-commerce fintech scaleup, today announced a financing solution with Amazon that will provide eligible Amazon sellers with access to credit lines of up to $10 million through Amazon Lending.

“SellersFi was launched seven years ago to address e-commerce sellers’ paramount challenge: to secure the right capital to grow their businesses,” said Ricardo Pero, co-founder and CEO of SellersFi. “This relationship with Amazon highlights our dedication to transforming e-commerce financing to empower small and medium-sized businesses with the accessible financial tools they need to focus their energy and aspirations on amplifying their businesses and attaining exceptional growth.”

Hurdles that sellers face in building successful online businesses include competition, order fulfillment, visitor conversion, marketing and others. Even when effectively addressing those factors, however, nearly a third of e-commerce startups fail due to running out of money, according to research by Marketing Signals. These lines of credit from SellersFi and Amazon Lending are meant to support sellers experiencing such challenges.

SellersFi currently offers working capital, prepaid debit cards and digital wallets with insurance, business credit and debit, and checking accounts in the pipeline.

READ MORE: Scaleup SellersFi closes $300M credit facility, plus equity raise from Citi and Mitsubishi

2

JourneyTrack closes $2 million seed round

Ania Rodriguez and her team have built a SaaS experience management platform to help companies deliver exceptional experiences for their customers. Her startup JourneyTrack enables companies to create personas and end-to-end customer journeys.

Refresh Miami reported in October that JourneyTrack had raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Now the Miami based startup has closed its $2 million seed round that was led by Portland-based Elevate Capital and included Orlando-based through DeepWork Capital.

“What JourneyTrack does is allows these end-to-end experiences to be understood and tracked and connected across different divisions, which is a huge pain point that exists today,” said Rodriguez, JourneyTrack’s CEO who gained key insights as a longtime user experience consultant for Fortune 1000 companies, told Refresh Miami in an earlier interview. “Our mission is to humanize the customer experience.”

READ MORE: Miami-based JourneyTrack raises $1.5M in seed funding from Elevate Capital, DeepWork

3

Novo launching payroll platform for small businesses

When it comes to payroll for small businesses, many payroll offerings have high fees, burdensome cash-on-hand requirements, and either clunky or non-existent integrations between payroll and business bank accounts. Miami-based Novo, the financial solutions platform for small businesses, has responded by offering its own payroll solution.

Working with Check, the leading payroll infrastructure company that pioneered the ability for platforms to embed payroll into their products, Novo has launched Novo Payroll, a  solution that is fully integrated into Novo’s platform of small business banking, budgeting, and working capital solutions, enabling small businesses to manage their finances from a single platform.

Novo Payroll features affordable and flat rate pricing ($35/month, plus a small fee per worker), next-day payments, an easy way for small businesses to access working capital to cover cash shortfalls around payroll, and more. It’s available in all 50 states. Read more in Banking Dive here.

READ MORE: Q&A with Novo’s Michael Rangel on empowering small businesses to make a positive impact on their local communities

4

eMerge Americas announces Girls Who Code founder will be a keynote

Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code and CEO of Moms First, will keynote eMerge Americas 2024, the annual technology conference coming April 18-19 to the the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Saujani will discuss entrepreneurship, women’s leadership, and social change initiatives, including her recent partnership with OpenAI to create an AI-powered tool for comprehensive information on paid family leave. Her keynote is part of the broader experience spotlighting AI and quantum technology. 

“She is a trailblazer and her dedication to driving social change in the tech industry aligns perfectly with our company’s mission to foster a sustainable, dynamic, and innovative ecosystem. We are excited to have her join us on the Main Stage in April and believe her presence will inspire and captivate our attendees,” said Melissa Medina, CEO of eMerge Americas. 

For over a decade, Saujani has built movements that advocate for women’s and girls’ economic empowerment. She has tirelessly worked to close the gender gap in the tech sector and, most recently, has advocated for programs to support mothers impacted by the pandemic. She recently announced a groundbreaking partnership with leading AI research organization,  OpenAI, to launch PaidLeave.ai, a ChatGPT-powered AI tool offering comprehensive information on paid family leave.

eMerge also recently announced that this year’s conference will feature an AI pavilion.

READ MORE: Why eMerge Americas is putting healthtech innovation front and center at 2024 conference

5

Locality Bank admitted to SBA’s Preferred Lender Program

Locality Bank of Fort Lauderdale received membership approval to the Small Business Administration’s Preferred Lender Program. This designation is given to a select number of lenders nationwide, allowing them to make credit and lending decisions on behalf of the SBA.

What this means is that the tech-forward Locality Bank now has the delegated authority to approve SBA loan credit decisions without prior SBA review. This status not only streamlines the loan process but also accelerates the approval, closing, and funding phases. By reducing bureaucratic hurdles, it ensures small businesses have quicker access to capital, a critical factor in their growth and success.

Locality Bank also received SBA Express and SBA Export Express authority, which allows the bank to provide SBA guaranteed working capital lines of credit under the SBA’s Express Program, which has less stringent eligibility, documentation, and monitoring requirements than other SBA programs. Additionally, Locality Bank is now a member of the SBA’s Lender Match Program, which pairs potential business clients with SBA Preferred Lenders. Earning these designations and participating in the Lender Match program further strengthens Locality Banks’s commitment to empowering local business owners and prioritizing flexible, streamlined banking options for all its clients.

Locality Bank features a technology-centric platform that meets clients on the go, allowing them to easily manage their finances wherever they are. In its first year, Locality Bank managed over $167 million in assets.

6

More #MiamiTech news to note

  • The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce has entered into a strategic partnership with travel tech and fintech startup Apogee Indigo to enhance the experience and savings of travelers to Miami. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce will leverage its large network of Miami travel professionals and businesses to promote Apogee Indigo’s mobile app-based services for inbound travelers that guide inbound travelers to their preferred dining spots, attractions, and shopping in Miami, offering significant savings and an enhanced experience. Travelers visiting Miami can pre-load their Apogee Indigo app with funds at a discounted rate and the full face value of these funds can be spent at partner restaurants, attractions and shops. Using the Apogee Indigo Wallet also unlocks special offers and benefits at partner restaurants.
  • The Boca Raton Innovation Campus is 91% leased after four new tenants have opted to move into the massive life sciences hub: Engineering Express, a building component design firm; Hollywood.com, an entertainment news and ticket sales website; LandAirSea, a GPS tracking system manufacturer; and MODE Architects, a full-service architecture and design firm. The new tenants will start moving into their respective spaces within the 1.7 million-square-foot complex, also known as BRIC, later this year, the South Florida Business Journal reported.
  • Social Mobile, a Hollywood-based leader in delivering custom enterprise mobility solutions, announced the appointment of Geoff Leonard as Chief Revenue Officer. Before joining Social Mobile, Leonard served as the General Manager of North America at CleverTap, a global mobile marketing automation company headquartered in San Francisco, and served as North American Regional Manager of Android Enterprise at Google, successfully launching the world’s first Android Enterprise purpose-built and BYOD projects for renowned clients such as Pitney Bowes and Guardian Health. Prior to Google, Geoff served as Director of Sales at Divide, the company responsible for building the original Android Enterprise framework.
  • Chris Cordes, a senior human resources specialist with more than 13 years of experience working with high growth companies, has been named head of people at Hollywood-based fintech company ClassWallet. In 2023, the company added close to 100 team members while increasing its industry rankings as one of the county’s fastest growing private companies. Cordes will drive the people strategy to attract and retain the best talent, help to showcase the outstanding culture and oversee human resource operations. Previously, Cordes served as global head of human resources for Pico, a provider of technology services for the financial markets community, and was chief people officer at Unqork, the codeless application development platform for enterprises.    
  • READ MORE:  South Florida scaleup ClassWallet raises $95M to continue reshaping how public agencies do business

PLUS

Opportunity knocks

  • Applications are now open for the Built in Miami 2024 program, a collaboration between Venture Miami and The Shrimp Society. The free program is designed to guide you step-by-step on taking your business idea from an idea to a validated product or service prototype. Find out more and apply here.
  • Retail tech company Shipt is opening applications for its small business accelerator LadderUp for retailers in 10 US metro areas, including Miami and Fort. Lauderdale. Selected retailers will receive a $5,000 investment from Shipt and will participate in an 8-week course. Find out more and apply here by Feb. 16.
  • Merge Americas opened applications for its 2024 Startup Accelerator and Showcase. Entrepreneurs have the chance to win a $520,000 investment for their venture. Joining forces with Florida Funders, Medina Ventures and BIP Ventures, eMerge will select 110 startups from across the world for a seven-week program that will culminate in a pitch competition in April. All selected startups will also receive 2 free Tech Passes and prime exhibit space at eMerge Americas. Find out more and apply here by Jan. 31.

ICYMI

Got news? Email Nancy Dahlberg at [email protected] and follow her on X @ndahlberg

Nancy Dahlberg