Banking group Barclays US announced on Monday plans to create more than 300 new customer service jobs in its Wilmington, Delaware headquarters.
According to Barclays US, The Council on Development Finance (CDF) approved Barclays for Delaware Strategic Fund monies totaling nearly $2.5 million, including a Performance Grant of almost $1.3 million; a $1 million Training Grant; and a Capital Expenditures Grant of $207,000. The grants are performance-based and will be paid out over a period of three years after the company meets milestones prescribed by the CDF. Governor John Carney made a statement:
“The addition of more than 300 new jobs from Barclays is welcome news as we work to bolster our economy from the impact of COVID-19. Today’s announcement reaffirms that Delaware remains a great place for any company to put down roots, grow and create jobs. Delaware has a talented and dedicated workforce, an ideal location and quality of life that’s second to none. We stand ready to support businesses looking to grow and to provide good-paying jobs for Delawareans.”
Denny Nealon, President of Barclays US Consumer Bank, further commented:
“Coupled with the support we’re providing to nonprofit organizations in Delaware through our global $125 million COVID-19 Community Aid Package, our ongoing hiring efforts reflect Barclays’ long-standing commitment to the Wilmington community. We’d like to thank to State of Delaware and City of Wilmington for their continued support and partnership.”
New Castle County Executive, Matt Meyer, then added that the addition of 300 jobs at Barclays is great news for Wilmington and Delaware, and once again speaks to why New Castle County is a “great place to live, work and play.”
“We appreciate Barclays’ continued commitment to job creation and civic participation in New Castle County. New Castle County is committed to supporting Barclays and the growing local FinTech ecosystem.”
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Insurtech Lemonade Prices IPO Higher than Expected, Shares Pop on First Day of Trading on NYSE, OurCrowd Books Another Win for Investors
Lemonade (NYSE:LMND), a fast-growing Insurtech firm, completed its initial public offering (IPO) today on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Earlier today it was reported that at the last minute Lemonade bumped up its planned offering price to $29 a share. Apparently, that was not quite enough as demand outstripped supply in early trading and shares opened at around $50 a share as the price rocketed higher.
At the IPO price of $29/share, Lemonade grossed $319 million (before commissions and expenses). The fact that investment management firm Baillie Gifford, based in Edinburgh, indicated its interest in purchasing around $100 million of equity in Lemonade probably helped boost overall share demand.
Daniel Schreiber, Lemonade CEO, told CNBC that early trades were not indicative of the story of the company but there is an opportunity to transform insurance – even while shares moved significantly higher:
“We will look at the price of our shares every couple of years and not every minute.”
Lemonade is a digital-first insurance platform that seeks to align the interests of customers with the business. The company was formed based on the fact that most people hate their insurance providers combined with the reality that insurance is a huge industry that is in dire need of digital disruption. Since platform launch, Lemonade has expanded its services to 28 different states in the US as well as Germany and the Netherlands in Europe. Lemonade is licensed in 41 states and expects to cover the entire country in the following months. Also on the road map is to provide insurance services in 31 different European countries.
As it stands today, Lemonade offers homeowners and renters insurance but the Insurtech is building a model that can be applied to various insurance verticals. Renters insurance starts at just $5 a month and homeowners insurance starts at just $25 month.
On its website, Lemonade highlights all of the big-name insurance companies that have seen their customers switch their business to their platform due to its focus on customer service.
Lemonade explains their approach:
“Traditional insurance companies make money by keeping the money they don’t pay out in claims. This means whenever they pay your claim, they lose profit. This is why getting your claims paid fast and in full is sometimes so hard. Lemonade was built differently. We take a fixed fee out of your monthly payments, pay reinsurance (and some unavoidable expenses), and use the rest for paying out claims. In essence, we treat premiums as if they were still your money and return unclaimed remainders in our annual ‘Giveback’.”
Insiders believe that, overall, insurance is incredibly ripe for disruption and the Lemonade team did it right by building a world-class platform while bringing in great people to transform insurance.
One of the early investors was global crowdfunding platform OurCrowd. While not the biggest investor in the company – a list that includes names like Sequoia and Softbank, OurCrowd provided an opportunity for smaller investors to get into the company at a far lower level thus helping to validate the investment crowdfunding platform’s mission.
Crowdfund Insider spoke with OurCrowd CEO and founder Jon Medved on the day of the IPO. He had this to say:
“We are delighted with today’s IPO for lemonade we are proud of their spectacular team and what they achieved so far and we look forward to very exciting additional chapters in this emerging story. This is yet another one of Ourcrowds IPOs which have proven that investors in next-generation platforms can get early and important access to quality deals just like institutional investors.”
Since its inception, OurCrowd has backed several companies that have IPOed like Beyond Meat, Uber, and Rewalk. So far, OurCrowd has booked over 35 exits for its platform investors.
At the time of writing, shares in Lemonade were trading at over $62/share thus more than doubling its IPO price.
Have a crowdfunding offering you’d like to share? Submit an offering for consideration using our Submit a Tip form and we may share it on our site!
Fintech Company Nth Round A Viable Option for Startups and SMEs During Covid-19
Nth Round, founded in 2018 and based in Philadelphia, is a “comprehensive equity management platform for companies of all stages and sizes” and can enable startups and SMEs to “manage equity, engage shareholders, and facilitate liquidity in an all-in-one secure environment” according to its website.
No one can underestimate the financial strain Covid-19 has put on startups – especially where funding is concerned. However, the services offered by Nth Round’s are perhaps more important now than ever before. Having raised USD$4.3 million in seed funding initially, Nth Round is an invaluable lifeline for companies in need of accessing their liquidity.
Nth Round’s website stresses, “we envision a time in the near future when founders, family members, investors, and key employees will be free to buy or sell their shares at any time, without worry, hassle, or prohibitive fees.” Of the range of services offered, Nth Round can provide: employee incentives, ownership transference, stakeholder management and unlocking liquidity. Free resources are also offered to “educate fledgling enterprises” on how to expand.
In June 2020, Nth Round expanded their operations and partnered with to provide investors with real-time, 24/7 access to their investment portfolio information. Chris McConnell, Founder of Nth Round and HBS alumni said, “our one-stop-shop platform will serve to assist the Stockton team in distributing in real-time, all relevant investment-related materials, while most importantly giving Stockton the opportunity to powerfully and uniquely showcase new prospective additions to the Stockton portfolio”.
What’s more, Sean Myers, Stockton’s Head of Acquisitions and Development, added, “Powered by Nth Round, our private, proprietary program enables our investors to access financial reports, K-1’s, tax information, and periodic operating updates about the properties in which they have invested”. The investment management process can surely enhance investor’s clarity, convenience and transparency.
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