FastPay Celebrates Crossing the $1B Threshold at AAPC Regional Conference

On December 5th, FastPay was a key sponsor of the American Association of Political Consultants’ (AAPC) 2018 Austin Regional Conference. The day was anchored around Texas post-election discussions from Democrats and Republicans, along with a featured keynote from one of our customers who worked on the Ted Cruz campaign. Naturally, the phenomenal election year media spending was a hot topic.

At the event, FastPay networked with attendees, discussing our media payment solution, FastPay Political, which was created specifically for buying and selling political media. We also shared news of our recent milestone — crossing the threshold to over $1 billion in political payment transactions.

The FastPay milestone follows the trajectory of the 2018 mid-term election cycle. “Overall, the 2018 midterms had the largest midterm election spend ever,” according to “The total media spend was reported at just over $5.2 billion. The CRP estimates it to be a 35 percent increase over 2014 in nominal dollars.”

The major advantage that FastPay political media clients gained was sending payments at any time of day, with no cutoff times or FedEx deadlines to consider. This was a significant benefit for agencies, considering the unprecedented volume of spending that was occurring. Also, thanks to the efficiency, flexibility, and speed of the application, they could take on more campaigns and candidates during this cycle, allowing them to do even more business.

“The 2018 elections were the most successful cycle for FastPay since 2014,” said Michael Wehner, GM/SVP of Payment Solutions at FastPay. “One client told us that thanks to FastPay they were able to devote more time to their clients and less time worrying about getting payments out the door. It’s great validation to hear how our solution is helping agencies provide better service to their clients.

“We’re happy our team could share our company’s and our clients’ success this election year with the attendees at the AAPC gathering. It is the perfect opportunity for people in the political industry to share best practices. We are proud to support the organization and its members.”

NY Roundtable Recap: Growth Capital and Exits in Digital Media

In partnership with Fox Rothschild, Attorneys at Law, FastPay hosted a NY roundtable discussion with managing directors from KPMG Investment Banking Group, Eastward Capital, and Quake Capital Partners.

The panel discussion was centered around Growth Capital and Exits in the Digital Media Space and included CEO and Co-Founder, Anne Kavanagh, of Steereo, who just completed her first-round equity raise.

Together, the panel navigated the challenges that go along with raising capital, managing a debt stack, and selling a company.

Below are some highlights and thoughts from the panel:

Raising Capital

The panel emphasized the importance of evaluating your needs when choosing capital. Amy Coveny, Managing Partner at Quake Capital, expressed the idea that founders should only take VC money if their business model is repeatable and ready for scale. She also explained how important it is that founders do their diligence on their investors. Referrals from past companies that have been both successful and unsuccessful are equally important.  

Chris Bodnar, investment partner from Eastward, highlighted how many financing options are available to companies today. He explained that this is a relatively new phenomenon and founders should take advantage of these new resources. Chris also highlighted the effectiveness of receivable financing as a resource far cheaper than dilution.


  • Don’t give away equity if you have a strong balance sheet. Debt is always cheaper.
  • If you need to scale and grow quickly, identify investors who will give you more than just a check. You should expect your equity partners to add value!
  • Choose investors who work with companies you could partner with.

Managing Debt Stacks

In this segment the panel touched on the importance of good communication between capital partners of a company. Chris Bodnar shared his experiences on effective pairings between receivable and term lenders. He explained how pairing facilities like this can be beneficial for all parties involved, and bring down the overall blended cost of capital. Chris encouraged founders to facilitate meetings between their different capital partners in the mutual interest of seeing the company succeed.

The panel also agreed on the importance of not over-borrowing, maintaining a clean cap table, and maximizing runway.


  • You can effectively pair a receivable lender and term lender through good communication! This will ultimately bring down your blended cost of capital and help the company remain liquid.
  • Be careful when raising money, don’t over borrow. Receivable financing is a great way to avoid a messy cap table and streamline operations.
  • Be careful of traps! Higher valuation offers may seem more attractive on the surface but often have caveats that make them more expensive in the long run.

Exit Strategies  

In the final segment, the group turned their attention towards exit strategies. Roddy Moon of KPMG stressed how important it was for companies, looking to exit, to hit their KPIs. He explained that missing projections in the quarters leading up to a sale can have a drastic impact on valuations and that CEOs should be mindful of this when beginning exit negotiations. Roddy also went on to say that founders should not try to time the market on an exit, but evaluate based on company specific conditions. Roddy finished with an overview of the M&A landscape, adding that the market continues to remain robust headed into 2019. The panel agreed founders should speak with multiple firms before picking an advisor to guide their exit.  


  • Pay attention to how much capital you’ve raised.
  • Hit your numbers. Don’t miss your KPIs when looking to exit.
  • Don’t try to time the market on an exit.
  • M&A markets remain robust. Hire the right advisors, do your diligence and speak with multiple options before picking an investment bank. Smaller boutique firms may be less flashy but offer good value!

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the New York FastPay Roundtable!

Boom or Bust?  Marketing and Ad Tech Investment Dollars Projected to Fall 75% in 2019

According to a recent Forrester research report, investment dollars for marketing and ad tech startups are expected to fall 75% in 2019. This should come as no surprise in an industry that has seen tremendous growth in recent years from what seems like a never-ending stream of both advertising dollars and rounds of capital from hungry investors across the globe.

Marketing and ad tech consolidation is happening every day as larger media, tech companies, and agencies acquire new platforms and niche companies from across the ecosystem to bring order in the still overwhelmingly complex ecosystem. Ultimately, these companies are trying to help marketers reach the right customer, at the right time, and across any device with the ability to measure the impact. Terms like AI, VR, and blockchain have replaced big data, omnichannel, programmatic, and native as the new buzzwords helping some gain an edge over others.

Companies with proven technology, established revenue streams, and sound business strategies will continue to thrive despite fewer investment dollars. Other startups may have joined the party too late, already burned through several rounds of funding, or shifted their business strategies and are destined to become footnotes of history in one of the most booming sectors since the dotcom craze.

While the marketplace will ultimately pick the winners and losers, FastPay continues to provide capital for media and tech companies with proven business models.

FastPay recently partnered with ad tech platform, VideoAmp, because of their unique offering and position in the market. According to VideoAmp CFO, Tom Schmitt, “Our partnership with FastPay allows us to accelerate our investment in strategic elements of our business and gain market share in a dynamic environment. With FastPay, we’re able to double-down on our product investment, making our customers and investors incredibly successful.”

FastPay has multiple lending sources to help inject capital, while not diluting equity investments for clients. “Our rich analytics and deep industry expertise allow us to provide our clients more capital than banks and generic providers. Unlike traditional lenders who are becoming more and more conservative, we continue to lean into the industry and not shy away from it,” stated Maytal Shainberg, SVP of Origination and Business Development.  

As the marketplace continues to mature, FastPay’s collective experience and network of industry relationships will continue to help clients navigate media and tech’s complex financial ecosystem.

LA Roundtable Recap: Debt vs Equity

Debt vs Equity Roundtable


On November 15th, FastPay hosted a panel on the topic of Debt vs Equity, moderated by FastPay’s own, David Bensimon. In partnership with Gunderson Dettmer, the panel featured four industry experts, and the room was filled with thought leaders looking to gain insights on how to grow their companies and network with peers over breakfast. Below is a quick summary of the event:

Debt vs Equity Highlights

  • Take debt when you can
  • Raise equity – two schools of thought:
    1. Be careful not to raise too much too quickly
    2. Raise money now, because you don’t know when the bubble is going to burst

Debt vs Equity Roundtable

Debt for working capital. Equity for growth.

Lori Murphree, of Diamond Capital Advisors, shared that “debt is cheaper at the end of the day, most people don’t realize that. If you’re going to sell your company for hundreds of millions of dollars, do the math!” She also mentioned, “you always want an AR lender that you can use for working capital. If you are going to raise equity, try to raise some debt to go with it.”

17 percent of $100MM > 100 percent of $1MM

There are things to be careful of when taking on Venture Capital, including being aware of how much ownership of your company you are willing to give up. Laurent Grill, of Luma Launch, said if you partner with the right VC and have a good growth plan, the goal of taking on VC money is to grow rapidly. As long as you don’t mind giving up control, “17 percent of a hundred million dollar company is better than 100 percent of a million dollar company.”

Venture funds -> Revenue growth

Matthew Levin, founder of automotive publishing company Donut Media, suggested, “have a plan in place before taking on investment… [As a content company] we have faced the unique challenge of balancing both growing our audience and financing the business.” He advised founders to think about: “the right time to take on equity and how that equity returns audience size that will ultimately turn into revenue.”

Tips to raise money

Founders should be networking with potential investors months before they are actually looking for funding. Dulari Amin, of Synergy Ventures, gave insights on what founders should do. “Talk to your mentors, professors, your army, anyone who has good connections and can bolster your credibility factor and get you in the door with a known VC in town. They can help introduce you to potential investors.”

Stay tuned for more tips from FastPay!

Coming To America: Grow Big or Grow Home?

Coming To America: Grow Big or Grow Home?

Last week saw the great and the good of the adtech world descend on The Ivy to share the lessons and scars of US expansion.

Hosted by yours truly at FastPayBen Titchmarsh of Propeller PR guided a panel of fantastic industry spokespeople through an advice-led discussion that followed the growth of a hypothetical adtech firm from inception to US expansion and exit plan.

Adam Ludwin of Captify and Abeed Janmohamed of Volando provided the ‘been there done that’ point of view as founders that have successfully established US bases, whilst Mark Williams at Results International did a sterling job of detailing the nuanced differences between UK and US investor attitudes. For those confident they are in the right position to make the jump across the Atlantic, we had some interesting takeaways…

US venture capital isn’t compulsory for US success

Many founders feel that a big valuation from US VCs provide the answer to their problems, yet this can be disheartening when many Silicon Valley investors want to see triple digit growth before they even bat an eyelid. With East Coast funds zoning in on double digit growth, European funds remain an attractive option. As ever, finding a venture capital partner should always come down the money involved and who you trust.

Founders must not be put off by overconfident US competition either. It was post-Series B for Captify (around £8 million), when a US competitor with £50 million in the war chest came over to compete. It wasn’t long before said competitor shut up shop as the technology wasn’t quite there.

Before rushing off to new locations, Mark advises that it’s vital to make sure the home market is stable. The cost of expansion is often underestimated; overconfidence can often lead to executives not building in failure and re-hiring staff to the plan.

You can’t enforce culture

We all speak the same language, but the US can a big culture shock for British entrepreneurs. Adam needed to overcome Captify’s Britishness when opening Captify’s US office, and found they nailed the culture when the balance of British to American staff was about three in 10. It takes time to nurture culture and nobody cares if you’re the hottest thing in Europe – you’re a start-up all over again in the US.

On the money front, $1m doesn’t even make a dent in sales and marketing, with salaries averaging at double compared to the UK.

Stateside, investors have a different mentality too. Whilst European investors are poring over EBITDA, out in the US, culture plays a big part and belief in a founder’s vision can often trump pure financials. They back teams and often ‘bad tech, great team’ wins out over ‘good tech, shit team’.

Preparation is key – exhaust all options

What came across loud and clear from our founders is the old adage of failing to prepare is preparing to fail. US expansion is not something one should rush into. Deals in adtech have decreased and it’s now about established businesses positioning for an exit. There’s still a diverse range of potential acquirers including broadcasters, telcos, agency networks, consulting firms and private equity. As with any move, US expansion should only ever feed into an overarching growth strategy.

The panel agreed that founders should exhaust all debt options before diving straight into equity. However, for companies that have already secured investment, debt can also complement equity by providing cash flow solutions without further dilution of ownership. Debt is much more cost effective in the long run and faster to obtain – Abeed and Adam both highlighted the sheer time commitment involved in campaigning for equity raises, and if founders aren’t careful this can impact on the day to day growth of the company. With debt options, the finance team can apply for a loan or alternative finance pretty easily. When you consider that payment terms in the US are even longer than the often stretched timeline that vendors face in the UK, it is essential for founder to factor in working capital solutions early on to ensure success.


Follow The Money – Political Ad Spend Heating to Record Levels With 50 Days to Midterm Elections

In today’s increasingly heated midterm elections, advertising spending is also heating up — and the dollars are being spent in surprising areas, say leading political media reporting organizations.

According to Borrell Associates, spending in 2018 is 6.5 percent higher than in 2014, with total spend estimated to be $8.8 billion versus $8.3 billion in the previous midterm elections.  

What’s more, digital is not king, despite massive growth during the last two cycles. Broadcast and cable are capturing over 50 percent of all political media revenue. Online and digital account for 20 percent. Often overlooked print and radio advertising fall in at 8.1 and 7.7 percent respectively.

The breakdown continues with $2.4 billion predicted to be spent on broadcast TV ads, including House, Senate, and state and local office races — a 14 percent increase from 2014, according to Kantar Media as reported by Bloomberg. Further, campaign spending on local cable TV ads will grow more than 40 percent to $850 million. Expenditures for Internet ads will more than double to reach $600 million.

More than half of political spending will be local — state level or below. In fact, Borrell advises media and consultants to understand local audiences, so they can deliver highly targeted matching of ads to audiences.

To help media take advantage of the increasing midterm political spending, FastPay provides several critical capabilities that support automated delivery, receipt and processing of prepaid political advertising payments.

Because FastPay is designed for the media industry, its proprietary technology serves its unique payment needs — including reducing the risks of political ad payment delays and discrepancies. As an added measure of assurance, the FastPay services team follows up to ensure payments are processed in advance of airing ads on TV, cable, online, digital, radio and print.

FastPay further reduces payment risk by offering the ability to automatically populate payment portals with billing information versus relying on human intervention and risking potential payment errors and delays.

While the political landscape is bound to become increasingly volatile up to November 6th, 2018, paying for political advertising along the way doesn’t have to be.

Scripps Plans to Unload Radio Stations: How Will This Impact Your Supplier Payment Destinations?

Last week, E.W. Scripps Co. announced it has agreed to sell the rest of its radio stations to its final buyer SummitMedia. This allows Scripps to exit the radio business after selling all 34 of their radio stations to four distinct buyers.

The announcement is consistent with broader trends in the media industry such as Sinclair’s attempt to buy Tribune, AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, and Discovery’s merger with Scripps Network Interactive. In fact, the first half of 2018 saw more than $300B in mergers and acquisitions announced between media companies compared to just $60B in all 2017.

FastPay’s services team tracks the station group hierarchies for over 60,000 media owners and all ownership changes and all resulting payment policy changes.

For FastPay clients, we proactively monitor such activity to ensure that all supplier payments are issued efficiently and directed to the proper destinations and recipients 100% of the time.

“We have an established infrastructure and seamless process to manage all industry ownership and policy-change events. Whether there is a merger, acquisition or supplier payment acceptance criteria change, FastPay manages all such changes on behalf of our clients,” says Christine Rose, SVP of Client Management.

As further consolidation and new ownerships are finalized, there are likely to be many changes to manage for media finance departments. How will your organization handle 100’s of payment destination changes?


7 Myths of Political Media Payments


Political media is different than traditional media and requires specific know-how when it comes to providing payment services. Tested over multiple campaign cycles, FastPay Political has the industry experience to identify the key myths and facts about political media payments.

  1. Myth: All payments providers have access to the same suppliers

    Maximizing supplier acceptance requires a complete and constantly updated database of suppliers, as well as methods and rules of acceptance established by every supplier. Only FastPay has TROVE, a proprietary database that has been cultivated and grown for more than 5 years. As a result, FastPay’s acceptance rates for electronic payments are 30-100% greater than all of its competitors.

  2. Myth: An accounting system has everything needed to send electronic payments

    Quickbooks and other integrations can be easy to implement, but only a rich set of features can save time and reduce errors for the agency. FastPay’s Quickbooks integration enables clients to submit electronic payments directly from their accounting software and seamlessly updates their accounting data with remittance information. 

  3. Myth: The higher the rebate percentage, the greater the rebate earned

    Possibly the greatest myth! The rebate percentage is an attention grabbing headline (I’m getting 2%!) but the agency is actually paid based on the 2% multiplied by the amount of throughput. FastPay can forecast the rebate for your agency so you can project how much you will earn this season.

  4. Myth: Payment sent = Payment received

    Just because a payment is emailed doesn’t mean the payment has been processed. FastPay sends remittance notifications to media reps and follows up on payments to payees, acting as an extension of the agency’s team. Follow-up and visibility into unclaimed/processed payments and payment status is available to agency personnel from within our easy-to-use online interface.

  5. Myth: All credit card payments are delivered via email

    Many suppliers accept payments exclusively through their own web portals. Only FastPay automates payments to these portals via SitePay, ensuring timely and accurate payments. Other payment providers either have the agency manually key the data into the portal or handle the manual entry for the agency. In either instance, a high volume of payments can burden the agency or cause the provider to run out of time.

  6. Myth: Political media payments experience is a “nice to have” and not critical

    Political media planning and buying is vastly different from traditional and the same goes for payments. Prepayment, communication with suppliers, campaign data, workflow, and credit need to be customized for political media payments. FastPay Political has been tried and tested through multiple political cycles. Unlike other payment providers, FastPay is exclusively committed to media, sending and lending billions of dollars annually to agencies and suppliers.

  7. Myth: Top tier 24/7 support is for emergencies only and can be staffed by call center operators

    Political agencies AND media suppliers are working hard, long hours to make sure that media runs as expected. Just one missed payment or unanswered question about the campaign for which a payment is intended can have dire consequences. FastPay customers have access to a dedicated team of political media payment experts 24/7 to assist both agencies and suppliers, greatly reducing the volume of questions the agency has to field when it’s pressed to execute campaigns.

FastForward: The Only Conference Connecting Key Players in Media Finance

FF18 Banner

We are pleased to announce the lineup for our second annual FastForward conference in New York City. This invitation-only conference connects key constituents across the media landscape, from marketers and agencies to media owners. This year’s theme is “Connecting Media Finance.”  

On the afternoon of Thursday, April 26th, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC, FastForward 2018 will unite a diverse group including the industry’s most compelling thought leaders. Highlights include: 

  • Award-winning journalist and this year’s keynote speaker, Ken Auletta, famous for The New Yorker column about media, will share tips from his not-yet-released book, Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Industry (and Everything Else) in a fireside chat with Monica Karo, Chief Client Officer at OMD Worldwide.
  • Michael Slaby, CTO (Obama for America, 2012) and Chief Integration and Innovation Officer (Obama for America, 2008), will host a panel on Politics 2.0, debating the do’s and dont’s of behavioral science.
  • Lindsey Stein, newly-named Editor for Campaign U.S., and Brian Wieser, Senior Analyst at Pivotal, described in AdAge as, “The most quoted man in advertising,” will offer an analysis of the new realities of the agency business.
  • Jordan Bitterman, CMO of IBM Watson and Amy Karr, CEO & Co-Founder of Ventus Advisors, will discuss Blockchain–what’s a breakthrough and what’s a buzzword? 

In addition to these highlighted speakers, there will be many more industry greats on hand for must-hear panels.

Our FastForward Conference features the most debated and leading-edge topics in media finance. Founders, CEOs, CFOs and other C-Suite executives are attending FastForward to join the conversation.

For more information and a full agenda, visit:

FastPay Client Q&A: CHOOZLE

Chatting about Denver’s maturing tech scene with Megan Sullivan-Jenks, director of marketing and communications at Choozle, an innovative digital advertising platform that utilizes consumer data to power real-time programmatic advertising campaigns.
What’s trending on the Denver tech scene?
Denver is a fantastic place for growing tech companies. Not only is there an energizing and supportive community, but Colorado also attracts top talent from all over the country. Over the last year, tech companies large and small have opened offices in Colorado. I am sure we will continue to see this trend as the city continues to mature and flourish.
It seems that VCs have shied away from digital media. Why do you think that is? Who’s been filling the void? 
The ad tech industry is currently in a rapid state of maturation and consolidation, which could be  brought on by the lack of VC funding. The smaller players are barely taking flight while the larger companies have been merging at a rapid rate. Although many competitors are consolidating or closing up shop, a few ad tech companies are looking at non-traditional funding alternatives or staying lean to drive business outcomes. 
How do events like Boulder Startup Week and Denver Startup Week benefit local Colorado businesses?
Denver Startup Week is essentially the Super Bowl for Colorado companies. It has become a celebration of our collaborative successes as startups but it’s also a way to connect with other companies that don’t call Colorado home.
What makes Denver a perfect city for tech startups?

With the mountains as a backdrop, Colorado has done wonders for recruiting and retaining employees, especially since Denver has evolved into a major tech and startup hub. The community and location are what makes Denver attractive for tech startups, but more importantly the companies established here seem to thrive.

What advice do you have for a tech company looking to open an office in Denver?
Get connected! Attend meetup events, network, reach out, and everything in-between. 

In 2017 you branched out to the U.K. What led to that decision?

We at Choozle pride ourselves on being flexible and aspirational. With the major growth in online display advertising in the European market, Choozle recognized a significant opportunity to provide a digital advertising solution there.

For U.K.-based companies looking to expand across the pond, why is Denver a good location to consider?
Denver is a central location between New York and Los Angeles, which makes for easy commuting and time differences. Most of all, commercial real estate prices, and the cost of living, are much more manageable for early startups.
What’s next for Choozle?

Sky’s the limit!

Choozle – Digital Advertising Made Easy® – provides digital advertising software that leverages detailed consumer data to power programmatic advertising campaigns across display, video, mobile and other mediums – all from a single, intuitive interface. Choozle brings programmatic advertising to any marketer or advertiser with independent and self-service digital advertising software. Learn more at

For more information about how FastPay can help your business, please contact Daniel Guthorn at or (714) 745-6179.