Members of Forbes Finance Council have been off to a busy start this year, with new projects, companies, acquisitions and funding, along with many exciting accolades. Below, we highlight 10 members and their big news.
PAX Financial Recognized As ‘Happiest Company’
Darryl Lyons, co-founder and CEO of financial advisory PAX Financial Group, is pleased to announce that his company was recognized by TINYpulse, creator of employee feedback and engagement software, as a 2017 “Happiest Company.” In fact, PAX Financial Group was one of just 41 businesses across the globe — and the only company in the finance and insurance category — to be awarded this distinction.
Varo Money Raises $45 Million In Series B Funding
Varo Money CEO Colin Walsh reports that the mobile banking startup has raised $45 million in its recently closed series B round of funding. This brings Varo’s total funding to $78 million raised in under two years. The most recent round was led by Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm and existing investor, and The Rise Fund, a global equity firm committed to making a social impact. “We founded Varo because we believe that customers simply deserve better banking options,” said Walsh in a press release. “As a company, we are extremely motivated by our mission of improving consumer financial health, which is why we are so honored by this investment from The Rise Fund and continued support from Warburg Pincus and our community of investors.”
GoMedigap To Be Acquired By eHealth
Richard Cantu, co-president of Medicare supplement insurance agency GoMedigap, is excited to share that the company recently agreed to be acquired by leading private online health insurance exchange eHealth in a $20 million cash-and-stock deal. In a press release, eHealth CEO Scott Flanders noted, “We are very excited to join forces with GoMedigap. Its co-CEOs, Richard Cantu and Kevin Walbrick, have built a successful Medicare Supplement business that excels across key areas of digital marketing, customer engagement and efficient sales execution. The transaction fits well into our strategy of rapidly expanding eHealth’s presence in the Medicare Supplement market to complement our successful and growing Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business.”
Summit CPA Welcomes Tom Wadelton
Jody Grunden, co-founder and CEO of virtual CFO services provider Summit CPA Group, announces that Tom Wadelton has joined his team after more than 27 years of experience at Eli Lilly and Company. Wadelton began his career with an interest in the IT field, receiving an undergraduate degree in computer technology before going on to earn an MBA. During his time with Eli Lilly, Wadelton rotated through several business areas, focusing on forecasting and reporting on spending. When the company offered an early retirement last December, he took it. But, having heard about Summit CPA Group at an awards ceremony last May, Wadelton decided to take on a whole new phase in his career, while experiencing a new, distributed team model. His decision to start work again so soon after retiring also coincides with his top piece of financial advice: “Get out of debt. Stay out of debt.” Wadelton has been enjoying Summit’s small size and innovation and looks forward to bringing his existing finance skills to the business owners he works with.
Mylestone Offers $25,000 In Awards For Nonprofits
Financial planning and benefits firm Mylestone Financial Services, LLC, recently announced that it is sponsoring $25,000 in awards through the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, according to Myleston CEO Amir Eyal. The 24th annual Advancement In Management (AIM) Award is open to nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC, Maryland or Virginia and recognizes exceptional achievement in organizational management with a $20,000 cash grant for the winner, as well as $2,500 grants for up to two honorable mentions. Eyal told the Center, “It takes a very special leader to foster a focused culture that motivates a group of diverse individuals to accomplish great things. This is especially the case when the expectations that those leaders set were greatly exceeded and it resulted in wonderful improvements to our community. By celebrating their outstanding organizational management, we can ultimately learn from their success, and hopefully elevate ourselves to make improvements on our end that can positively impact more people.”
Cashforce Raises 2 Million Euros In Series A Funding
Nicolas Christiaen, founder and CEO of cash management solution Cashforce, reports that the company’s recent series A funding round raised 2 million euros led by Volta Ventures and Michel Akkermans. Cashforce plans to use the financing to fuel its global growth and accelerate its international roll-out, expanding the staff and scaling up operations. “Cash management & Treasury is evolving from a focus on data acquisition to Treasury automation and data analysis, enabling Treasury departments to bridge the gap between the Finance and other operational departments and enable data-driven strategic decision making,” said Christiaen in a recent press release. “This investment also re-confirms our investors’ confidence in the leadership that Cashforce has established in the Treasury space, our continued rapid growth and the potential to re-define the category.”
sweetFrog Wins Recognition, Continues To Expand
Managing partner of M&A advisory Boxwood Partners and CEO of sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt Patrick Galleher is proud to share that sweetFrog recently received two great honors. The company was named America’s Best Frozen Yogurt in a taste test by The Daily Meal and was also named a Top New Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine, ranking 42 on the magazine’s Franchise 500 2018 list. The nation’s leading frozen yogurt chain, sweetFrog has been rapidly expanding across the country and internationally, opening 44 new units in the past year — a 64% year-over-year increase. The new units include traditional brick-and-mortar, non-traditional and mobile locations. In a press release, Galleher said, “We’ve developed multiple different franchise opportunities that allow our franchise partners to make sweetFrog accessible to customers in any market. The fantastic franchise partners operating these mobile and non-traditional locations will create success stories we can replicate in national and international markets.”
MedicareFAQ Receives BBB Accreditation
David Haass, COO of Medicare supplement insurance agency MedicareFAQ, is happy to report that his company has received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, which will allow MedicareFAQ to build trust in the brand through relationships with other trusted brands. Haass believes the BBB seal will help potential customers feel comfortable in choosing to work with the company as one of a select group of businesses that live up to the BBB’s Principles for Trust: “Build Trust, Advertise Honestly, Tell the Truth, Be Transparent, Honor Promises, Be Responsive, Embody Integrity, Safeguard Privacy.”
QuickBridge Offers Three-Day Internship
Ben Gold, president of alternative lender QuickBridge, announces that his company is joining forces with non-profit organization OC United and the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), in order to fund a three-day internship program. The program, open to CSUF Guardian Scholars, will include 24 hours of on-site training at QuickBridge headquarters and comes with a scholarship award of $1,000 for each of the three chosen recipients. “While the interns learn and benefit from us, we are learning and gaining from them as well,” Gold said in a recent press release. “We find their questions often help our team identify areas we can improve upon, and they offer a fresh perspective on things that may have become automatic for us. The mentoring program has afforded our team members the opportunity to act in a leadership role—improving their own personal skill development.”
Jade Sullivan Launches Pogo Insurance
Jade Sullivan, co-founder of online business insurance platform Pogo Insurance, is proud to announce the company’s recent launch. Operating as of mid-December 2017, Pogo is an online commercial insurance platform for entrepreneurs, consultants, freelancers and self-employed business owners, helping small businesses get the right insurance at the best price by comparing top insurers for free with just one form. Along with partner Hannah Sullivan and Hannah’s father, Steve Love, Jade Sullivan began the company to help people who work for themselves get the right business insurance easily. “You have enough headaches when you’re self-employed or starting a business,” she said. “So we decided to help with this one small part.” The Sullivans explained more about why they launched their business and where they see the insurance industry headed in a recent interview with LegalNet.inc.
These are just a handful of Forbes Councils members’ recent exciting achievements. Read about what other members are working on here.
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