Top Brands to Offer Afterpay in Canada

Buy Now Pay Later

Afterpay, the leader in “Buy Now, Pay Later” payments, today announced that it has partnered with several top fashion, apparel and beauty retailers in Canada, including Urban Outfitters, lululemon, Pandora and Shiseido (NARS, Laura Mercier, Cle de Peau, Shiseido) – offering shoppers a more flexible and convenient way to pay for all of their spring and summer must-haves.

These brands join Afterpay just as it releases its Bi-Annual Fashion and Beauty Trend Report for Spring/Summer 2021, which reveals that Canadian shoppers are still committed to the comfort-infused lifestyle brought on by the pandemic, while also purchasing more fashion- and beauty-forward items for the new Spring season.

According to Afterpay consumer data, Canadian shoppers are maintaining their comfortable work-from-home wardrobes, with athleisure and loungewear continuing to fill their shopping carts. That said, shoppers are also looking ahead to getting outdoors again – buying items such as jeans, sneakers and bodysuits, as well as jewelry staples like earrings, rings and bracelets. Canadian consumers are also replenishing their beauty shelves with everyday makeup items including lipstick, foundation, eyeshadow and mascara.

Shakaila Forbes-Bell, Consumer Fashion Psychologist for Afterpay said: “After a year of lockdowns, many people have assimilated to laid back fashion styles, keeping the comfort-dressing trend alive. As we head into a new season, Canadian consumers are turning to fun accessories as an easy way to break up the uniformity of loungewear. Additionally, ‘The Lipstick Effect’ is a phenomenon whereby people turn to small luxuries like beauty products during times of uncertainty, so it’s no surprise that makeup is top of mind for consumers.”  

Melissa Davis, Head of North America for Afterpay said: “As we kick off the spring shopping season, we are thrilled to partner with such prominent new brands in Canada and give our customers more places to pay with flexibility and convenience. Merchants offering Afterpay attract new and engaged young shoppers, resulting in increased sales, larger basket sizes and higher conversion – which is especially apparent during peak shopping periods such as this one. We’re proud to expand our network of brands consumers love, and bring value to a new set of merchants in Canada.”

The new merchants will join Afterpay’s already wide network of nearly 86,000 global retailers, which allow customers to receive items immediately and pay over time, with no fees. Merchants benefit from Afterpay’s highly-engaged customer base of nearly 15 million, and during March 2021, Afterpay referred approximately 35 million customers to its merchant partners via its Shop Directory.

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Healthcare Excellence Canada Supports Essential Care Partners To Safely Re-enter Health & Care Settings During Covid-19

Canada healthcare

Healthcare Excellence Canada has launched a program to support the safe presence of essential care partners in hospitals, long-term care homes and other health and care settings during COVID-19, including during lockdowns.

The pandemic led to blanket visitor restrictions that prohibited essential care partners from being with loved ones in health and care settings. Although the restrictive policies were put in place with the best intentions, they have contributed to other risks and unintended harm to patients and families, as well as moral distress to staff.

To help healthcare organizations safely re-integrate, welcome and engage essential care partners as part of their care teams during COVID-19 and beyond, Healthcare Excellence Canada has launched Essential Together. This program is based on co-created policy guidance that can be applied to all health and care settings in Canada, regardless of their pandemic status.

To specifically support essential care partners with loved ones in long-term care, Healthcare Excellence Canada has also published a new resource – Safely Re-entering Long-Term Care Homes During COVID-19: A Resource for Essential Care PartnersCreated by essential care partners for essential care partners, it includes detail about what to expect while entering a home and being part of the care team during the pandemic.

“Essential care partners are different from general visitors. An essential care partner is a person who provides physical, psychological and emotional support, as deemed important by a patient, resident, or client,” says Lisa Poole, who was one of the caregiver advisors who contributed to creating the resource and is advising the ongoing design of the Essential Together program.

“This can include support in decision-making, care coordination and continuity of care, including things like assistance with meals, recreation and hygiene,” Poole adds. 

“Evidence suggests that with proper support and education, family and essential care partners can safely participate in care during the pandemic, contributing to better care, well-being, and experiences,” says Jennifer Zelmer, President and CEO of Healthcare Excellence Canada.

“Leading organizations have worked with their communities over the last year on creative ways to re-integrate essential care partners, practices that are evolving as vaccines roll out,” says Zelmer.

“Programs like Essential Together offer ways to share this knowledge so more people can benefit.”

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Mackenzie Investments Earth Day Study: COVID Has Increased Canadians’ Interest in Sustainable Investing

Earth Day

A new sustainable investing study conducted by Mackenzie Investments to mark Earth Day has revealed that the global pandemic has contributed to an increased interest in sustainable investing among Canadians.

A majority of respondents (55 per cent) indicated that, as a result of COVID, they are now more likely to consider how their investing decisions can make a positive impact on society. Further, 69 per cent reported that they feel it is increasingly important to invest in a sustainable manner.

The study also identified the top issues Canadians who currently hold sustainable investments will be supporting moving forward. These include:

  • climate change/environment (66 per cent);
  • human rights (50 per cent); and
  • gender diversity/equality (41 per cent).

Of the almost one-third of Canadian investors who currently  invest sustainably, 69 per cent plan to increase their holdings within two years. Moreover, one-third of investors who don’t currently hold any sustainable funds plan on adding them to their portfolios within the next few years.

“It’s encouraging that sustainable investing is gaining significant traction among Canadians,” said Fate Saghir, SVP & Head of Sustainable Investing, Mackenzie Investments. “Though it shouldn’t come as a big surprise – Canadians tend to be very aware of the world around them and the impact we have on our society.”

“For those unsure how to get started, it’s important to share your personal priorities with your advisor, understand the investment objectives of the funds you’re investing in and ensure that you research the top holdings in your funds and portfolios. That way, you can align your investments with your values and your financial future,” she added.

Barriers to Increased Adoption

The study found that one of the barriers to increased sustainable investing adoption among Canadians is the view (40 per cent) that it will lead to lower returns.

Ms. Saghir noted that this concern is unfounded and referenced  a recent Morningstar  study which found that the majority of sustainable funds (64 of 87) that were ranked and rated by Morningstar outperformed their category peers on a risk-adjusted basis after fees for the 2020 calendar year.

Mackenzie’s approach to sustainable investing provides Canadians with the opportunity to invest with impact through funds that are designed to generate long-term competitive returns while supporting positive ESG outcomes. The firm aims to build sustainability into its culture, corporate practices, and every investment decision it makes and has signaled the importance of sustainability by identifying it as a key strategic priority for the overall business.

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Butchershop Creative Acquires Maniak, A Digital-First Design and Technology Firm

Creative Design

Butchershop®, the global brand experience agency, has acquired Maniak™, a digital-first design and technology firm based in Guadalajara, Mexico. As a fast-growing independent agency, the move marks Butchershop’s continued investment in digital brand experience and innovation. Underscored by its most successful year to date in 2020 amidst the pandemic, Butchershop specializes in building brands in the new economy for B2B and B2C clients across health and wellness, hospitality, DTC and consumer products, fintech, crypto/blockchain, data + AI, SaaS and cybersecurity verticals. Past and current clients include BFA Industries, Okta, Databricks, Nike, Mountain Hardwear, and Real Chemistry. By combining proprietary brand discovery tactics, strategy, creative storytelling, brand design, digital experiences and solutions under one roof with Maniak, Butchershop will bring greater value to client partners and teams internationally. 

Founded over a decade ago by entrepreneurs Christian and Carlos Dominguez, Maniak has evolved over time with focus points in hardware, SaaS, digital media and marketing, serving markets in the US, Europe and Latin America. As a Butchershop company, Maniak will operate under the helm of Hector Garcia, who will transition from CEO of Maniak to Chief Innovation Officer of Butchershop. The addition of Maniak’s 56-person digital team advances Butchershop’s level of technical sophistication to build impactful eCommerce experiences, softwares, native applications, and unique digital brand experiences.

“Carlos, Christian and Hector have built an incredible team and practice. Maniak’s culture is something special which matters in this business. As an international agency, we are focusing our efforts to provide client partners with solutions for connecting their brand, business, and product to their customers and internal cultures,” says Trevor Hubbard, Global Butchershop CEO. “We’re continuing to invest heavily in the ‘digitization of brand’ to solve problems and create opportunities for our client partners. And Maniak is a key part of our collective growth.”

Founders Christian and Carlos will operate and lead a new joint venture created by the acquisition: ImaginedBy™, a smart incubator focused on building and launching digital SaaS products and platforms from the company’s braintrust and products partnerships with outside venture-backed founders. Leveraging the combined brand, business and product acumen of Butchershop and the technology capabilities of Maniak, several ImaginedBy™ funded projects are currently underway, including Priio™, a self-service SaaS platform that helps teams with prioritization, clarity and risk mitigation, launching in Spring 2021.

The acquisition of Maniak formalizes a longstanding working relationship between the two agencies. As part of Butchershop’s extended global partnership network, the US-, Europe- and Mexico-based teams are adept at decentralized collaboration. Most recently, the Maniak team has helped Butchershop win several innovative digital brand experience projects with companies like Exabeam, Snappy, BFA, ShapeTX, Voyo Adventures, and Okta.

“We are ready to build upon years of collaboration with Butchershop to open a new world of possibility as a united team, leveling up the existing digital know-how of Butchershop and scaling technological expertise and bandwidth,” said Chief Innovation Officer Hector Garcia. “Combining Maniak’s digital expertise with the renowned brand work that Butchershop is known for, we’ll be able to offer a wide-range of custom solutions for client partners ready to evolve their digital brand experiences, products and transformations.” 

With their first major acquisition, Butchershop is better positioned for accelerated growth. The agency has grown its global footprint and resources, increasing headcount by 19% in the last three months in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco and opened an office in Graz, Austria to better serve evolving and emerging client needs in the DACH market with venture firms, startup founders, and multinational brands. The diversity in client partner verticals and industries has helped the agency build long-term sustainability, adapting to market swings and shifts in real time.

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Client Focused Real Estate with Mid-Western Charm

Real estate

Dubbed the Real Estate Brokerage Company of the Year for the state of Missouri, Radius Realty is a business that offers much more than simply buying and selling. From renovations to portfolio management, Radius Realty seeks to provide its customers a service for every aspect of its industry.

Based in the metropolitan state of Missouri, USA, the mid-west makes an attractive home for many born and bred citizens and those coming to the region from afar. Being the 30th richest state in the United States, it is the home to many lucrative businesses and enterprises, but one of the most thriving industries it has is real estate. One company standing out in this market is Radius Realty, a real estate brokerage business that abides by the motto of ‘caring for all the Real Estate and Construction needs in your Radius!’ By holding to this, it shows its customers its dedication to premium and top of the line property brokering in its area. Furthermore, its service being strictly region based has meant that it has developed a reputation for excellence there, generating a large base of knowledge within its ranks. When working with clients, be they a young family, an older person, a first-time buyer, or another amongst its diverse target market, it can give them the best recommendations of places and properties. Through this and a dedication to warm and friendly customer service, it has secured a multitude of glowing reviews from its customers.

Many of its clients comment on its excellent portfolio management, and the personable and amiable nature of its staff in every stage of the process from initial contact to contract negotiation. Having been licensed since 2009, it has also seen the growth, death, and birth of many of the most influential trends and developments in its industry. Thus, it uses the most cutting edge in cloud-based technology for its website and internally within the business, ensuring that all facets of its operation are streamlined and effective. In this way, it can keep track of information, organise assets, and make processes as easy as possible for the client. It has sold and managed single-family homes, multi-family residentials, commercial properties, and many more, and knows the market like the back of its hand. It also has expertise with helping its clients break into real estate investment without the wall of jargon or overcomplicated methodologies getting in the way. It can assist in managing client’s portfolios through its team of exemplary staff, who are consistently on the ball and keeping an eye on the fluctuations in the market. Its representatives are all confident, competent, and highly trained, with a core focus on taking the stress out of the real estate agency.

In addition, its services are run by dedicated teams of admins, construction service, property management, and real estate brokerage experts. This allows for each department to handle the services Radius Realty offers through delegated and specialist individuals, enhancing the depth to which each staff member has a mastery over their area of expertise. It is this commitment to consistently delivering quality service that has earned it a multitude of accolades and credits. This includes being amongst the Forbes Real Estate Council’s Official Members for the years of 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively. Furthermore, it achieved the Expertise award for Best Property Managers in St Louis in 2020, and was lauded as the Most Trusted Real Estate Brokerage company in the BUILD Real Estate & Property Awards.

It acknowledges that when it comes to renting, buying, and selling properties, each customer is looking for something different. This has led to the development of personalised and empathic services that cut to the heart of the client’s requirements and tend to their every need until the right solution is found. Its experienced Realtors help its clients to navigate a process that can be tricky, and it offers a free home evaluation report that strengthens its working relationship with the client from the word go. Its well-designed and intuitive online platform allows for quick and easy searching through elegantly designed filters and informative listings.

Alongside this and its investment services, it also offers renovations – whether regarding a home the client owns or a house they are flipping for profit, Radius Realty seeks to provide the means for excellent and uncomplicated renovations. It believes that no matter the job, it has the right team to help. When it starts work with a client, it makes a promise to them to ensure wealth and comfort now and in the future, helping them to make their vision of ‘home’ a reality. In this way, even throughout lockdown, it has not let itself be stopped. Currently working remotely through phone calls and maintenance request applications, it is staunchly still providing excellent service in unprecedented times. It wishes to take a moment to thank its clients for their patience in this, looking forward to seeing them again in the future when in person services can again resume.

For more information, please contact Christopher Long at www.radiusrealty.com

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Wishpond Launches Marketing Funnels Product Enabling SMBs to Improve Their Online Success

Digital Marketing

The Marketing Funnels product significantly increases the effectiveness of marketing websites and campaigns by turning marketing leads into customers.

Wishpond Technologies Ltd., an emerging leader in all-in-one digital marketing solutions that empower businesses to achieve success online, is pleased to announce another expansion to the Wishpond platform with its new Marketing Funnels product. Wishpond’s Marketing Funnels helps businesses and entrepreneurs monetize their website traffic by converting clicks and marketing leads into customers through an online step-by-step funnel process.  The Marketing Funnels product is easy to setup and collects user data using a series of online forms and selection pages. The end result for businesses is more leads, higher conversion rates, better insights on customers, more targeted follow-ups and improved online sales.

“We’re dedicated to finding new ways for small businesses to achieve better success online,” said Jordan Gutierrez, Wishpond’s Chief Operating Officer. “Often, the specific steps users go through on a website will determine the success or failure of a campaign. Wishpond’s Marketing Funnels gives businesses full control over what users will see, and when. It enables businesses to create websites and campaigns with higher conversion rates and reduced shopping cart abandonment rates, resulting in a better return on investment (ROI).  The impact can be remarkable.”

While Marketing Funnels was primarily designed to help increase front-end conversion rates, it has the added benefit of being able to reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment. According to data from the Baymard Institute, the average shopping cart abandonment rate in 2020 was 69.57%. By being able to send targeted follow-up emails and SMS messages, businesses now have the power to re-engage users by sending them back to the exact step in the sales process they dropped out on.

Marketing Funnels are particularly valuable for businesses in industries where there are lengthy information requests or cumbersome forms needed to process customer requests. Common use cases for this include online product sales, mortgage applications, small business loans, vacation planning, life insurance/group benefit applications, course registrations, pricing requests, service quotes and more.

Marketing Funnels can also be used in tandem with other marketing campaigns to increase the lifetime value of customers by adding upsell options to ecommerce pages and stores.  Wishpond’s new Marketing Funnels product also operates synergistically with our recently announced Wishpond Payments product to increase upsell opportunities and ROI at throughout the purchasing process.

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Argentina Becomes the Second Country That Invested the Most in Bogota in 2020

Argentina economy

Quality of human talent, as well as economic stability, were determining factors for Argentine companies to invest more than 155 million dollars in the city.

 Bogota is becoming an increasingly important investment destination for Argentine companies. According to figures analyzed by Invest in Bogota for the period 2016-2020, year after year, the number of new investment and expansion projects that arrived in the city from the Latin-American country remained constantly on the rise, except for 2020.

Last year, despite the fact that the pandemic slowed the growth that had been registered in terms of projects, Invest in Bogota accompanied six new investments or expansion of Argentine companies in the Bogota Region, a figure that made it the second country that invested the most in the capital, only below the United States.

One of the most outstanding investment projects that Bogota received during the past year was from Mercadolibre, that launched a technology and innovation Center, the first of its characteristics that the company developed in Colombia, and which, according to the company, will become the engine to promote the development and growth of its operation in the local market and in Latin America.

“In the last five years, Bogota received investments from Argentina for more than 155 million dollars through 31 projects, which generated more than 3,800 direct jobs”, highlights the Executive Director of Invest in Bogota, Juan Gabriel Pérez, who adds that the city, based on its strengths and what learned from the pandemic, has been strengthened and hopes to resume the path of growth in terms of investment this year.

Another of the outstanding examples of Argentine companies that have trusted Bogota and that have made the city fundamental for their international operations is Globant. This IT and software development company already has more than 3,500 employees in Colombia, most of whom are in Bogotá. In addition, the workforce that it has throughout the country is already equivalent to 30% of the total employees that the company has throughout the world.

Analyzing the behavior of Argentine investments in Bogotá during the last five years, 2019 appears as the period in which the largest number of projects arrived (nine in total), with companies in sectors such as software and IT services, corporate services, and textiles, mainly.

In 2021, Invest in Bogota expects to carry out at least two virtual campaigns in which it will promote investment by Argentine companies in sectors such as information technology and services outsourcing, creative industries, life sciences, value-added manufacturing and infrastructure.

For these reasons, Argentine companies invest in Colombia:

Conditions such as economic and political stability, as well as the country’s good investment climate, are usually decisive for international companies, including Argentine ones, which decide to locate in Colombia and in its capital.

“Colombia, without a doubt, and I have been saying this for 20 years in this BPO sector, has a series of benefits and virtues that make the country a very attractive place for investment”, highlights the CEO Apex America Colombia, Álvaro Pinzón, who includes in this list aspects such as labor legislation, the quality and adaptability of human talent and the geographical position of the country.

Apex America, an Argentine service outsourcing company that arrived in the country in August 2019 and that has invested about 10 million dollars, has found in Colombia and Bogota the ideal destination not only for its customer service operations, but also for the development of technological and digital solutions such as virtual agents and conversation analysis tools, both in voice and written, which are used to improve the consumer experience.

“At this moment in which the economic reactivation is advancing, we see in foreign investment a pillar of development, growth and opportunities. Colombia has a wide potential for the arrival and diversification of Argentine investment in our territory with tax incentives, clear rules and legal security, in addition to providing an export and near-shoring platform, thanks to the 17 current trade agreements that allow us to access a market of more than 1,600 million consumers in the world”, said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.

Thanks to the international trade agreements signed by Colombia with other countries, companies located in Bogota have direct access to the Colombian market – of US $ 271 billion – one of the largest and most dynamic in Latin America.

“It is logical to be in Colombia, a country that has given great importance to sectors such as BPO and that allows you to have a different commercial position than other countries in the region can give you. Emphasizing Bogota, this is a city located in the center of the continent, with very good air connectivity, access to international markets thanks to the country’s free trade agreements and ethical and well-trained people, factors that make it easier to think about scalable operations”, adds Martín Ruiz, Legal and Corporate Affairs Manager of Skytel, a BPO company with headquarters in Buenos Aires and which has 400 employees.

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Cuba Accesses US$23.9 Million Grant From Green Climate Fund For Coastal Resilience Project

Cuba

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved US$23.9 million in finance for a coastal resilience project along Cuba’s southern coastline.

GCF financing will be provided during the project’s first 8 years and will complement US$20.3 million of dedicated financing that will be provided by the Government of Cuba for the implementation of an ecosystem-based adaptation approach for coastal protection. The 30-year ‘Mi Costa’ project will enhance climate resilience for over 440,000 Cubans and protect vulnerable coastal habitats.

Delivered by the Environment Agency of the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the innovative project will accelerate the ambition of the Cuban Government’s contribution to the Paris Agreement, enhancing ecosystem-based adaptation approaches for 1,300 kilometers of coastline across 24 municipalities. It will also provide an important basis of support for the implementation of the “State Plan to Manage Climate Change ‘Tarea Vida’ (Life Task).”

The island nation of Cuba is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. And while the Cuban Government has made impressive gains towards sustainable development, coastal erosion, flooding, saline intrusion, drought and sea-level rise, threaten these hard-won economic and social gains.

“Impacts from these climate drivers pose an existential threat to coastal settlements and communities. With funding from the Green Climate Fund and support from UNDP, this new project will provide valuable inputs to the Government’s work under Tarea Vida. Together these efforts will help vulnerable populations adapt to risks brought on by climate change,” said Dr. Odalys Goicochea, Director, General Environment Directorate of CITMA.

Projections show that if no intervention is made by the end of the 21st Century, up to 21 coastal communities will disappear entirely in Cuba, with 98 more severely affected by climate-related threats.

Hurricanes have also extensively damaged infrastructure across the island. Hurricane Matthew crossed the eastern end of Cuba in October 2016, causing over US$97 million in damages (2.6 percent of GDP). Hurricanes Ike (2008) and Sandy (2012) cost US$293 million (12.05 percent of GDP) and US$278 million (9.53 percent of GDP) respectively.

“By taking cost-effective ecosystem-based approaches, this innovative project will protect and restore natural habitats, reefs, seagrasses and mangroves, and help communities to protect their environment from the present and future risks posed by these severe tropical storms and hurricanes, sea-level rise and other climate change related risks. A key aspect of the project will be its focus on working with communities and local authorities to fully understand the value of ecosystems to their own resilience and livelihoods,” said Dr. Maritza García, President of the Environment Agency.

In all, the project will restore over 11,000 hectares of mangroves, 3,000 hectares of swamp forest and 900 hectares of grass swamp. These steps will improve the health of over 9,000 hectares of seagrass beds and approximately 134 kilometers of coral reef crests – essential protections from rising seas and storm surges. The project’s integrated ecosystem-based approach will allow coastal ecosystems to act as a layer of protective barriers to climate change impact seen in the form of coastal erosion and flooding while managing saline intrusion.

“The interventions on ecosystems and with the participation of communities will be reflected in the benefit of more than 1.3 million of inhabitants. “Mi Costa” will be a critical contribution to Cuba’s efforts in achieving the Sustainable Developments Goals set in the 2030 Agenda,” said Ms. Maribel Gutiérrez, the UNDP Cuba Resident Representative.

“Mi Costa” builds on the impacts of a highly successful coastal resilience project financed by the Adaptation Fund and implemented also with the support of UNDP and Environment Agency.

This new project will enhance adaptive capacity for vulnerable coastal communities on Cuba’s southern coast by rehabilitating coastal land and seascapes, and their interlinked ecosystems and hydrology, replanting and restoring mangroves and reefs, and strengthening local climate governance and approaches for communities living on the frontlines of the climate crisis. It will be benefitted by leveraging the support of local centers for environmental education, capacity building centers as well as local and national coordination mechanisms as part of the project’s long-term approach to manage climate change.

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Europe’s Order-to-Cash Leader Sidetrade Acquires Major Order-to-Cash Player in North America, Amalto

Company

● An accretive acquisition for $16m.

● The acquisition will provide a perfect synergy with Sidetrade’s Order-to-Cash offer and gives Sidetrade a decisive growth gas pedal in North America.

 

Sidetrade – publisher of an AI powered platform, dedicated to the management of the Order-to-Cash (O2C) cycle – has announced today conclusion of a firm acquisition agreement covering 100% of the capital and the voting rights of Amalto, one of the main players in the dematerialisation of inter-company financial transactions in North America, for an amount of $16m. With this deal, Sidetrade enriches its O2C offering, and accelerates its penetration of the North American market.

Sidetrade’s offer is at $16m in cash for 100% of Amalto’s equity. In addition, the directors could receive an earn-out at the end of 2024 depending on the growth of Amalto’s revenues at that date. Two months after the launch of its Fusion 100 plan aiming for revenue of $100m by 2025, acquiring Amalto allows Sidetrade to reach an important milestone in the execution of its plan with a cumulative revenue that could approach $43m in 2021, including $7m in North America.

Sidetrade plans to finance the operation through bank debt in order to preserve cash for other possible acquisitions. The current cash position is €24m ($28.6m), including treasury stock.

Amalto has offices in Houston (USA), Calgary (Canada) and Paris (France), and is the North American integration specialist for the exchange and automation of O2C documents in the Oil and Gas industry. The business helps companies in a variety of industries where companies face a very high Day Sales Outstanding (DSO); and Environmental, where vertical markets present different business processes. Amalto does 90 percent of its business sales in North America and employs 21 people, including 15 in North America. 

Each year, millions of transactions, representing billions of dollars, are made via Amalto cloud technology. Amalto’s customers include multinational giants such as Chevron, General Electric, and Schlumberger. The company has been able to build sustainable partnerships with its customers who renew their trust over the long term with an attrition rate below 2.5%. It has been rated by global IT advisory firm Gartner as one of three ‘Cool Vendors of Platform and Integration Middleware’.

In 2020 Amalto had revenues of $4.3m and recorded high growth and profitability with EBITDA above 20%. As of 31st December 2020, Amalto had a net cash position of over $1.2m.

Olivier Novasque, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Sidetrade, comments:

“The Amalto deal is a powerful gas pedal for Sidetrade’s international business growth. Amalto’s innovative solutions will enrich our B2B AI platform, and the intention is this will be rapidly available to all Sidetrade customers. Sidetrade’s Cloud has recorded more than $2.4 trillion in business-to-business transactions over the past three years. Combining the technologies and talents of Sidetrade and Amalto will support our mission to be positioned as a true world-class leader in the O2C market.”

“We have been incredibly impressed by Amalto’s expertise in the dematerialisation of financial flows. Their solution has a considerable technological lead, with a unique capacity to automatically integrate invoices in the main accounting systems and purchasing portals. Amalto is a champion of electronic B2B document exchange, with a unique position, focused on management of the entire O2C cycle. Amalto’s experienced teams in Houston and Calgary, and their loyal US and Canadian customer base, made up of large industrial and business service groups, will give Sidetrade great leverage in the North American market.”

Amalto’s shareholder-directors are fully supportive of this operation and expect to pursue the adventure with Sidetrade until at least 2024. To facilitate synergy and carry out the strategic plan, Sidetrade intends to set up a new organisation from day one, resulting in:

  • Emmanuel Thiriez, Co-Founder and CEO of the Amalto group, joining the Sidetrade Executive committee as Chief Customer Officer, and being fully involved in the implementation of the Fusion 100 strategic plan
  • Bryan Pederson, CEO of Amalto Corp, becoming AVP Customer Success, responsible for customer loyalty in North America and reporting to Emmanuel Thiriez
  • The Amalto sales team immediately joining Sidetrade’s US salesforce
  • Sidetrade establishing their US headquarters at Amalto’s Houston office
  • Sidetrade expanding their Canadian business, and setting up their third Tech Hub in Calgary (after those in Birmingham, UK and Boulogne-Billancourt, France)
  • Sidetrade counting on Amalto’s current senior management team to ensure the continuity of product development and customer service.

Amalto shareholder-directors can expect an earn-out by the end of 2024, based on revenue growth of Amalto solutions.

Emmanuel Thiriez, Co-Founder and CEO of Amalto, adds:

“We are very pleased with the prospect of pursuing our adventure with Sidetrade. Being part of the Sidetrade family will allow us to realise our ambition of integrating the best of AI in our solutions and reaching the greatest numbers of businesses. By joining forces, we will strongly accelerate sales development in a buoyant market.”

“Sidetrade presents an impressive value proposition, built on innovation, customer value and growth. Our two firms are perfectly complementary in terms of solutions and geographic coverage. Our clients and products will benefit from synergy very easily due to seamless integration. Together, we will develop innovative solutions to meet the needs of businesses across the globe.”

Digital transformation is gaining momentum in global businesses. The number of organisations looking to invest in O2C platforms and paperless transactions has been growing exponentially, and yet, only 5% of businesses have already found the solution they need. The market is ripe, and the potential for international sales is enormous. The acquisition of Amalto permits Sidetrade to expand its footprint in a booming global market and fits perfectly with its Fusion 100 strategic plan in three ways:

 

1. Innovation

Sidetrade will enrich its augmented cash platform for the entire O2C cycle, with two new, high valued added modules:

  • Augmented Order dematerialises all incoming customer orders and automatically integrates them into information systems, regardless of format (e.g. PDF, XML, EDIFACT). This significantly saves time, and increases reliability in revenue management
  • Augmented Invoicing dematerialises, manages and strengthens the reliability of all customer invoices, automatically integrating them into accounting and purchasing systems. The solution enhances customer relations and ensures that billing fully conforms with the customer’s requirements to avoid payment disputes and reduce DSO.

The market launch of these two new modules in Sidetrade’s Augmented Cash platform will give Sidetrade a real competitive edge, with a multitude of new sales opportunities throughout their customer base.

 

2. Regulatory environment

A growing number of countries are expected to make e-invoicing mandatory, as is now the case in the EU, where member countries must adapt their legislation to Directives 2010/45/EU and 2014/55/EU, which seek to facilitate cross-border business transactions through common invoicing standards. Several EU countries have already been e-invoicing obligatory in public sector transactions to simplify tax compliance and cut costs. 

 

3. Geographic expansion

Sidetrade already has a toehold in North America, working with big-name firms such as Expedia, Tech Data, Hearst Magazines and Talend. Now it is time for their North American business to really take off! For Sidetrade, conquering the North American market is fundamental to their ambitious development plan, called Fusion 100. The kick-off operations on North American soil, with sales management recruitment starting in February 2021, is the first step in this plan. Onboarding the members of Amalto’s Houston and Calgary teams is a tremendous opportunity. The Houston operation is a chance for both to raise Sidetrade’s position in the US, and to promote other Sidetrade solutions to Amalto customers. The American market for O2C platforms is estimated at $5bn, which represents 50 percent of the global market, according to Midcap Partners.

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Bank of America and Wells Fargo Most Impersonated in Phishing Cyberattacks

Bank of America
  • Bank of America received 70 complaints of phishing impersonations last year, Wells Fargo received 68
  • Financial services in top 5 most target sectors by phishing attacks

Phishing is a type of cyberattack that uses email, SMS, phone, or social media to entice a victim to share personal information – such as passwords or account numbers – or to download a malicious file that will install viruses onto their device. 

In short, attackers “fish” for a victim by setting a hook and waiting for someone to take the bait. The financial sector is a lucrative target for phishing scammers as users can be more easily persuaded to give up sensitive personal information. 

But which financial organization is the most impersonated in the U.S and what does the public need to be most cautious of?  

To find out, the CrowdStrike data science team submitted an FOIA request to the Federal Trade Commission and asked for the number of phishing scams reported for the largest 50 brands and all U.S. federal agencies.   

According to the CrowdStrike study, Bank of America, one of the world’s leading financial institutions, received 70 complaints for phishing impersonations last year.  

This was closely followed by Wells Fargo, who received 68 complaints last year.

This is particularly concerning, given that Bank of America and Wells Fargo have over 66 million and 70 million customers respectively – these customers rely on their bank for discrete and secure service.  

Elsewhere, retail is the most targeted sector overall (1,335 incidents). Amazon was a big contributor to this and was the most impersonated organization across all sectors (1,262 incidents).  

This comes off the back of Amazon sales soaring as consumers switched to online shopping to protect their personal safety or for convenience while their local stores were forced shut.  

Phishing, as an attack method, is nothing new – it goes back to the mid-1990s when criminals first began stealing passwords from an early online-services website America Online, now known as AOL.  

But the scale of the phishing phenomenon is new. Recently released FBI data shows phishing is now the most popular attack method used by cyber criminals in the U.S., totaling 241,342 victims in 2020 alone. That’s 814 percent more victims than in 2018. 

The 2021 CrowdStrike Global Threat Report put this down to, in part, COVID-19 which has given cyber criminals a unique opportunity to use social engineering techniques to exploit our basic human emotions like greed, curiosity, fear and the desire to help. All of which have been heightened during the pandemic. 

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