3 Startups to Watch: Bond Street, EquityZen, Romit

If you look hard enough, you can find a startup for anything nowadays: you can exchange diamonds through the world’s first P2P diamond exchange, for example, buy a handbag in installments, and invest in big data companies one five-dollar micro-investment at a time, probably all without leaving your house (or even getting up from your couch).

The impact of a successful startup can change an entire industry—cough Facebook cough—which is why we keep our eye on them every week. Below are the three startups to watch:

Bond Street:

Begun two years ago by a Venmo alum and a Spark Capital veteran, this startup aims to take something that is traditionally exhausting for both sides of the operation—small business loans—and make it simple. The team has managed to boil down the whole process to three simple steps: One, connect your online accounts and verify your identity on the Bond Street Platform. Two, wait 48 hours for the company’s “credit experts,” as stated on its page, review your application. Three… get money. Well, okay, receive an offer, review, sign, and get money in a week—but compared to how long small business loans usually take to get approved, that’s practically nothing. The company offers loans ranging from $50,000 to $500,000.

EquityZen:

The wonderful thing about the way industry has developed since the beginning of the Amazon Age is that more and more people are applying the marketplace format to things one never would have thought to apply it: like private investments. New York City-based startup EquityZen is doing just that, providing a B2B marketplace in order to build “a secondary liquidity pressure value,” as the company states, for the private sector—which is not the worst idea considering fewer and fewer companies appear to be fans of the letters I, P, and O, particularly not when they appear in that order. The company has over $380 million in equity to sell in private tech companies (which probably gives investors a wide selection to choose from nowadays)—according to the nifty little metric on the company’s homepage, it’s added $41,178,403 to the pipeline this month alone.

Romit:

This Silicon Valley-based startup is working to partner with merchant banks, payment processors, and others in the industry to do payments its own way—or, you know, to disrupt the world of payments, if the word disrupt is not making you cringe inside at this point like the rest of us. Since launching in December of last year, the company’s payment platform has processed over 280,000 transactions for the merchant banking industry; which is a $7 trillion industry. Romit’s mobile “bank-agonistic” (I will stop putting that term in quotes when someone shows me one of these that is actually bank-secular) wallet enables customers to pay with SMS payment confirmation, stores customer payment methods, and tracks transaction history to make sure its users can securely pay every time, no matter the merchant.

To learn more about fintech startups, join us at Bank Innovation Israel in Tel Aviv on Nov. 1-3.Register here.

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