Just months after it announced a $33 million Series B, Chicago-based M1 Finance today disclosed a $45 Series C.

The new financing event was led by Left Lane Capital, the same investor that led M1’s Series B. Bear in mind that so-called inside rounds are now a bullish sign in 2020, as opposed to in prior VC eras when they were viewed more cooly. Other M1 investors include Jump Capital, Clocktower Technology Ventures and Chicago Ventures, though only the first two appear to have taken part in this round.

Per M1, the Series C comes just 120 days after it raised a Series B. A good question is why M1 has raised more capital, and why Left Lane Capital wanted to lead two rounds for the consumer-focused fintech provider. Going back to our prior coverage, we can figure it out.

Chicago’s M1 Finance, a consumer-focused fintech platform, reaches $1B under management

In February, we reported that M1 Finance had reached the $1 billion assets under management mark, or AUM.

The startup combines three different traditional fintech services into one (roboadvising, neobanking and lending), allowing it to price the package aggressively. The model appears to be working. When M1 raised its Series B a few months later in June, it had reached the $1.45 billion AUM, or about 45% growth in just over a quarter. That’s very good.

Today, the company announced that it has surpassed the $2 billion AUM mark, up more than 38% in the last four months.

M1 posted slower AUM growth in percentage terms and greater growth in raw AUM over a similar time frame heading into its Series C. But regardless of that nuance, the company’s AUM grew quickly.

M1 Finance raises $33M Series B as it reaches $1.45B AUM

That fact helps explain its new

Executive Summary

Over the past few decades, the financial services industry seems to have moved away from its mission of serving clients and supporting the economy in favor of enriching itself. How can this be fixed? Regulation is a critical piece of the puzzle. But, even within the constraints of existing structures, research indicates that well-intentioned finance professionals can buck the stereotypes and succeed without extracting value from the rest of society.  Virtuous role models serve their customers’ interests faithfully, but not in ways that cause harm to other stakeholders. They treat their colleagues with dignity and promote diversity within their organizations and across the industry. And they use their skill sets and networks to contribute to the world beyond their job.

Illustration by Erre Gálvez

Finance can be a force for good in society but, over the past few decades, structural and behavioral changes have pushed the industry away from its mission of serving clients and supporting the economy in favor of enriching itself. At worst, financial services firms are mired in conflicts of interests, cloaked in opacity and complexity, and skewed by information asymmetry. Many of my students are keen to work in finance but concerned about being corrupted as soon as they walk into their first jobs. What can be done to restore confidence in the industry?

Regulation is a critical piece of the puzzle. But even within the constraints of existing structures, my research indicates that well-intentioned finance professionals can buck the stereotypes and succeed without extracting value from the rest of society. And we can all look to them as role models. In studying dozens of such individuals and firms, I found a few patterns. In simple terms, they serve their customers’ interests faithfully, but not in ways that cause harm to other stakeholders. They

The analysis concludes Biden’s plan would raise $2.8 trillion over the next decade from higher taxes on businesses, corporations and the wealthiest households. Over that time, AEI projects the higher taxes would reduce economic growth by a relatively modest 0.16 percent.

The plan would “make the tax code more progressive,” AEI’s Kyle Pomerlau and Grant Seiter write. And after slightly crimping growth in its first decade, it would “reduce debt-to-GDP in the second decade, leading to slightly higher GDP. However, in the long term, his plan would not raise enough to stabilize debt-to-GDP and would lead to a 0.18 percent smaller economy.”

The macroeconomic drag the AEI model anticipates roughly aligns with other analyses from the Tax Foundation and the Penn Wharton Budget Model, Pomerlau notes. In other words, rolling back most of the Trump tax cuts wouldn’t bring about the economic Armageddon the Trump campaign has depicted.

Neither would it jack up taxes on every American. 

Vice President Pence made that claim during his debate with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.),  Biden’s running mate, last week. The AEI analysis finds the top 1 percent of taxpayers would see a 14.2 percent hit to their after-tax income next year. The rest of the top 5 percent would face a small uptick in their burden. But everyone else would receive an after-tax income bump. The largest such increase, of 11.3 percent, would go to the bottom 10 percent, thanks to a temporary expansion of the child tax credit, according to AEI.

The analysis finds that starting in 2030, the Biden plan would impose “modest” tax hikes on the bottom 95 percent of earners, which it attributes to higher taxes on businesses. That would appear to violate Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000



Equitas Small Finance Bank may launch IPO on October 20


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Equitas Small Finance Bank may launch IPO on October 20

The initial public offer (IPO) of Equitas Small Finance Bank (ESFB) is expected to be launched on October 20, 2020. The issue was earlier scheduled for subscription by the end of March 2020. However, the offer was put on hold due to the spread of COVID-19 disease.

Equitas Small Finance Bank (ESFB) had earlier filed the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) on December 16, 2019.

The fresh issue of equity shares for its proposed IPO was revised recently downward to Rs 280 crore from Rs 550 crore planned earlier. The IPO consists of a fresh issue of 8 crore equity shares and an offer for sale of 7.2 crore equity shares.

“The size of the fresh issue has been reduced from up to Rs 5,500 million (Rs 550 crore) to up to Rs 2,800 million (Rs 280 crore) and the number of equity shares offered through the offer for sale by the company (EHL) has been reduced from up to 80,000,000 equity shares to up to 72,000,000 equity shares,” EHL said in a regulatory filing.

Reportedly, merchant bankers might have fixed the price band at Rs 34-35 per share and the closing date for the issue could be October 22, 2020. The total issue size could be Rs 532 crore, as per the price band.

JM Financial, Edelweiss Financial Services and IIFL Securities have been appointed as book-running lead managers to the ESFB IPO.

As per the additional information to its DRHP filed with the market regulator, promoter Equitas Holdings held 95.49 per cent stake in Equitas Small Finance Bank. The offer includes a reservation of up to Rs 1 crore worth of shares for eligible employees of Equitas Small Finance Bank and Rs 51 crore

AG Ferguson says the company agreed to pay $100,000 for failing to maintain records related to ads that ran from 2012 through 2019.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Editor’s note: The above video aired at an earlier date.

Twitter is the latest social media giant to pay for violations of Washington state’s campaign finance disclosure rules. 

Attorney General Bob Ferguson says the company agreed to pay $100,000 for failing to maintain records related to ads that ran from 2012 through 2019, when Twitter banned political advertising. 

Companies are required to maintain records about who paid for ads, when they ran, how much they cost, and the name of the candidate or measure supported or opposed. 

Facebook and Google have also agreed to settlements of $200,000 each, though Ferguson filed a second lawsuit against Facebook in April.

The law requires commercial advertisers to maintain the following information regarding ads they sell so that the information is available for public inspection:

  • The name of the candidate or measure supported or opposed;
  • The dates the advertiser provided the service;
  • The name and address of the person who sponsored the advertising; and
  • The total cost of the advertising, who paid for it (which may be different than the sponsor) and what method of payment they used.

The state sued Facebook again for selling political ads without disclosing all necessary information about who’s behind them. 

Attorney General Bob Ferguson first sued Facebook over the issue in 2018, with the company agreeing to a $238,00 settlement. 

Rather than comply with all of the disclosure requirements of Washington campaign finance law, Facebook said it would no longer sell political ads in Washington state.

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