Even Staff

2015-12-09

What The Heck Is "Marketplace Lending?"

“Alternative financing,” “marketplace lending,” “crowdfunding” -- these buzzwords are here to stay, so we think it’s time to define them. As these financial products have grown in popularity, the awareness of how vast this landscape stretches has remained flat. Here’s a breakdown of what these terms mean and the countless opportunities they provide.

 

What is alternative finance?

 

The alternative finance revolution came about because the banking industry tightened its lending practices after the Financial Crisis. Unfortunately, demand for loans during the post-crisis economic recovery exploded, and borrowers were forced to start looking for alternatives to traditional financing. Marketplace lending, crowdfunding, and alternative investing are just three examples of modern products and services that technology and innovation have now made available to customers for the first time.

 

Marketplace Lending

 

Marketplace lending involves the use of online platforms to obtain loans from sources other than traditional banks. Marketplace lending directly connects potential borrowers with potential lenders online instead of the typical trip to the local bank to apply for a loan. There are marketplace lending platforms geared toward consumers (Prosper, Avant, Upstart) as well as platforms focused on small business (Kabbage, LendingClub, On Deck). In addition to marketplace lending, another new source of alternative finance is crowdfunding. Crowdfunding involves pooling the capital of a number of small investors to reach a fundraising goal. Borrowers can use crowdfunding sites such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter and EquityNet to fund anything from weddings to home improvements to small business ideas.

 

Alternative investing: Motifs, robo-advisors and more

Alternative finance is not all about lending. In recent years, a number of new non-traditional investment opportunities have sprung up as well. One of these new alternative investment strategies is motif investing. The popularity of ETFs has exploded in the past decade, and the company Motif Investing takes the idea of an ETF one step further. Like ETFs, “motifs” are collections of stocks that represent a common theme. However, unlike ETFs, Motif Investing customers can hand-select their own basket of up to 30 stocks for each motif. In that sense, motifs are like homemade ETFs. Robo-advisors are another modern alternative spin on traditional financial advisors. Platforms like Betterment and Wealthfront offer customers automated money management services, including the use of algorithm-based trading advice. Robo-advisors typically offer customers low-cost financial advice by eliminating the middle man and providing customers direct access to the same statistics that human financial advisors typically use to make investment decisions. With robo-advisors, modern investors no longer have to pay exorbitant fees for the “human touch.” Robo-advisors use the same underlying market principles that human financial advisors use.

 

Neo-banks

 

Perhaps no innovation sums up the spirit of the alternative financing revolution more than neo-banks. Neo-banks are a new breed of banks that lack physical brick-and-mortar branches and instead offer mobile and technology-centric banking services to modern customers. Banking is done via mobile phones or local ATMs, and the savings that the neo-banks log by choosing not to operate branch locations can be passed on to the customer in the form of lower fees or invested in superior digital support and 24/7 customer service. Top neo-banks are all FDIC insured and include names like Moven, Simple and GoBank.

 

Doing better than the status quo

 

The terminology of alternative finance can be confusing at first, but the ideas behind it are elegantly simple. The simplest idea of all is the driving force behind all alternative finance ideas: doing better than the status quo. The Internet and mobile age has ushered in the first major challenge to the traditional big-bank model. With all the modern alternatives out there, why should bank customers be satisfied with the way things have always been done?

 

Disclaimer: The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the suitability of any Even Financial product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional. Any information or statistical data sourced by Even Financial through hyperlinks, from third-party websites, are provided for informational purposes only. While Even Financial finds these sources to be accurate, it does not endorse or guarantee any third-party content

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HAVEN LIFE
Haven Life’s All-Digital Life Insurance Application Experience Launches on Even Financial’s Leading Life Insurance Search Engine
Even features the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace New York, New York – August 16, 2021 – Even Financial (“Even”), the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, has announced the launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on its life insurance marketplace platform. Leveraging machine learning and advanced data science, Even solves a significant pain point in financial services customer acquisition by seamlessly bridging financial institutions and channel partners via its industry-leading API and embeddable solutions.   With the addition of Haven Term and Haven Simple, Even has further expanded its extensive network of premium life insurance offerings, strengthening its position as the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace. Haven Life, which offers Haven Term and Haven Simple, and is backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), is known for its customer-centric approach and for its commitment to making life insurance more affordable and accessible. Haven Life’s term life insurance offerings will be available on Even properties and via its wholly owned subsidiary LeapLife.   “In these uncertain times, the majority of U.S. adults want the financial security of high-quality life insurance, but are often dissuaded by the complex application process and need to complete an in-person medical exam,” said Phill Rosen, Founder and CEO of Even Financial. “Haven Life’s groundbreaking, all-digital application experience brings tremendous accessibility and peace-of-mind to consumers. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the Even platform.”   The launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on the Even platform enables consumers to get matched with medically underwritten term life insurance policies that they can apply for and, if approved, purchase instantly online. While most Haven Term applicants will need to take a medical exam, Haven Simple applicants do not. Haven Life’s offerings expand the variety of life insurance options already available to consumers through Even’s API.   “Haven Life is committed to meeting life insurance customers wherever they are — and often, it's where they are managing the rest of their financial life," said Wade Seward, Head of Distribution Strategy at Haven Life. "On the heels of introducing even more affordable pricing for the Haven Term product, our partnership with Even Financial allows us to marry that affordability with greater accessibility to offer comprehensive financial protection to shared clients with ease and efficiency.”    Even entered the life insurance industry in 2020 through its acquisition of LeapLife, a leading insurtech and licenced life insurance agency. Since that acquisition, Even has worked with its large network of channel partners to make the process of getting personalized life insurance fast, easy, and accessible for consumers. In addition to Haven Term and Haven Simple, products offered by leading insurance companies including Lincoln Financial Group, Pacific Life, and Mutual of Omaha are available through LeapLife, Even’s life insurance platform. Companies such as TransUnion and Lantern by SoFi rely on Even’s embedded finance marketplaces to power 100% digital personalized life insurance policy quotes for their customers, with live agent support.   Even has continued its rapid growth trajectory in 2021 by reaching over $3 billion in consumer credit issued through its API and expanding its platform to over 800 partners. Earlier this year, Even was named one of “America’s Best Startup Employers'' by Forbes for 2021 and placed in the Top 50 of the 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, which recognizes the fastest growing tech companies in the world.   About Even Financial   Founded in 2014, Even Financial is a B2B fintech company that is transforming the way financial institutions find and connect with consumers. As the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, Even seamlessly bridges financial institutions (such as SoFi) and channel partners (such as TransUnion) via its simple yet robust API and embeddable solutions. Even turns any consumer touchpoint into a comprehensive financial services marketplace with full compliance and security at scale. The company is backed by leading financial services firms and VCs, including American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, Citi Ventures, Fidelity’s F-Prime Capital, Greatpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs, LendingClub, and MassMutual Ventures. Learn more at www.evenfinancial.com.   About Haven Life Insurance Agency   Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life) is re-thinking how people financially protect the ones they love. Haven Life is committed to delivering exceptional products, delightful purchasing experiences, and meaningful moments of service to the modern life insurance customer. Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC21 Haven Term in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company (C.M. Life), Enfield, CT 06082. In New York (DTC-NY), and California (DTC-CA), and other states, it is issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001.    Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Haven Term is available through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life), whose agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527. Both Haven Life and C.M. Life are wholly owned subsidiaries of MassMutual.   Please note that issuing the policy or paying its benefits depends on the applicant’s insurability, based on their answers to the health questions in the application, and their truthfulness.   MassMutual and its subsidiaries C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company are rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of June 1, 2021 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.   Media Contact media@evenfinancial.com    
YAHOO! FINANCE
Yahoo! Finance: Even Financial Reaches $3 Billion In Credit Issued Milestone
Even has surpassed a significant threshold in credit issued, having now facilitated over $3 billion in consumer credit as of July 2021. The milestone is significant in the financial services industry, as Even has also expanded its platform to over 800 partners.    Click below to read more at Yahoo! Finance.
PYMNTS
PYMNTS: Even Launches Embedded Finance App on Salesforce
Now, financial advisors and other businesses will have a way to leverage Even’s platform for their clients. ‘Financial Products for Salesforce’ - Powered by Even, a plug-and-play app available on the Salesforce AppExchange, matches consumers with real-time, personalized financial product offers.   Click below to read more at PYMNTS.com.