Monthly Archives: March 2011

Bonderman, Stephens Invest in EBay Merchant-Lender Kabbage – Bloomberg

Merchant-lending startup Kabbage Inc., which advances as much as $12,000 to EBay Inc. sellers to buy inventory, raised $6.7 million in venture funding from investors including TPG Capital’s David Bonderman and Warren Stephens of Stephens Inc.

The round of capital, led by BlueRun Ventures with money from United Parcel Service Inc., will be used to expand Atlanta- based Kabbage into marketplaces such as Amazon.com Inc. and Overstock.com Inc., develop software and hire more people, founder and Chief Executive Officer Rob Frohwein said.

Kabbage, which takes its name from a slang expression for money, targets sellers with annual sales of $15,000 to $3 million who are overlooked or rejected by traditional lenders because of their credit scores or lack of collateral.

Stephens, the CEO and owner of Little Rock, Arkansas-based Stephens Inc., said he invested because retailers and merchants need more access to capital.

Kabbage “doesn’t have to dominate a big segment of the market to make the company really successful,” Stephens said in a telephone interview. “It’s very targeted and there’s tons of people in it and if they get just a meaningful share of the market, the company will do very well.”

Stephens was connected to Kabbage through co-founder and Chairman Marc Gorlin, whom he’s known for several years. Stephens also was an investor in a previous company Gorlin co- founded called VerticalOne.

Bonderman, the billionaire who runs Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG Capital, has known Gorlin for years through family connections and past business deals, Gorlin said. Kabbage approached him about a possible investment and he agreed, Gorlin said.

via Bonderman, Stephens Invest in EBay Merchant-Lender Kabbage – Bloomberg.

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Inside Philanthropy: Philanthropy boosts marketplace of ideas

In the shadows of the battered U.S. auto industry, United Way for Southeastern Michigan is getting $27.1 million from General Motors to help five area high schools boost their graduation rates and help rebuild the region’s skilled workforce.

In North Carolina’s self-wounded banking capital, a group of seven foundations has pledged a total of $40.5 million for a $55 million effort to improve the lowest-performing schools in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

In North Carolina’s politically- and demographically-torn capital, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Wake Education Partnership have released a consultant’s student-assignment plan for the Wake County schools that aims to balance students’ choice in attending schools near their homes with the need to maintain diversity in the schools.

And in five or six of North Carolina’s poorest counties, the Winston-Salem-based Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust for the first time will focus half the $18 million to $19 million in health funds it has to invest throughout the entire state each year, with the goal of strengthening the work of a broad range of local organizations that can help improve health in those mainly rural counties.

All those efforts are rooted in an abiding belief in the very idea of community, the idea that we sink or swim together and that fixing problems requires a broad range of voices, resources and players working for a shared goal.

Trying to spur change in those communities is the philanthropic sector – United Way and a major corporation in Detroit, charitable foundations in Charlotte, business leaders and a local education fund in Raleigh, and a charitable foundation in some of North Carolina’s poorest counties.

The goal of those and a growing number of other philanthropic investors throughout the U.S. is to serve as a catalyst, trying to spur change and make a difference by working in partnership with government, business and nonprofits to address needs that affect the entire community.

via Inside Philanthropy: Philanthropy boosts marketplace of ideas.

The Benefits of Involving Your Children in Philanthropy and Volunteering

Many problems parents struggle with can be improved, if not solved, by involving them in charitable and volunteer activities, according to Richard Morris and Jayne Pearl, co-authors of Kids, Wealth, and Consequences: Ensuring a Responsible Financial Future for the Next Generation (Bloomberg, a Wiley imprint, 2010).

aMany parents worry that their children are spoiled and entitled; others worry their children feel guilty about living a comfortable lifestyle when so many other people are suffering,a say Morris and Pearl. aSome families have a hard time giving as much to charitable causes than they have in the past. Another common problem is that lots of parents feel they donat know enough to teach their kids all they need to know about money, or they are uncomfortable talking about it at all.a

The authors point out that each of these concerns can be addressed by involving children in giving decisions and helping out at community and other charitable causes. For instance, they explain, aParents can inspire their kids to become philanthropic by inviting them to participate in identifying and researching causes the family can support

via The Benefits of Involving Your Children in Philanthropy and Volunteering.