“We were looking for an entrepreneurial bank,” said Mike Rozman, CEO and co-founder of online lending platform, BoeFly. “There aren’t a lot of them out there. We needed to find that leadership who thought entrepreneurially; it wasn’t going to work otherwise.”
He’s speaking about the recent announcement that ConnectOne Bancorp will acquire BoeFly, LLC, with the deal predicted to close sometime in the second quarter. ConnectOne Bancorp’s subsidiary, ConnectOne Bank, offers both commercial and consumer banking and lending products and services through 29 offices located in New York and New Jersey.
BoeFly is an online business lending marketplace that offers a suite of technology products designed to connect franchisors, small business owners, lenders and professional loan brokers across the United States. Rozman and his partners were looking for a bank partner that could help broaden their array of services.
Frank Sorrentino, ConnectOne’s chairman and CEO, didn’t come up through the world of banking, said Rozman. “He’s a business guy. And he recognized that banks he was working with weren’t meeting his needs.” And so as the head of a bank today, Sorrentino is aligning the bank’s services with the needs of the business community, which Rozman says is the entrepreneurial focus they were searching for.
Over the past years, BoeFly has “looked at how a small business owner secures financing,” said Rozman. “We want to make it more efficient for them, and I think we’ve done a great job doing that.” In fact, BoeFly’s online lending platform has supported more than $5 billion of financing including franchise financing, small business loans, loan sales and commercial financing.
But, small business owners have other financial needs, he said. “How do they manage their cash? How do they charge their clients? How do they make payments? One of the things I am excited about is bringing the full line of products from the bank and making them available” to BoeFly clients.
“We are most focused on giving the business owner an efficient path to financing, but we know they have other needs, and we can bring those products to bear,” said Rozman. BoeFly will remain an independent brand within the bank. Rozman will be President of the new BoeFly division, and he’ll be joined by BoeFly’s current employees.
And, he says, ConnectOne’s management understands that what has made BoeFly successful in the past is their relationships with a variety of banks that use the platform to fund these business owners. “BoeFly has to be independent,” he said. “There’s not one single lender that can meet the borrowing needs of every customer.” With ConnectOne, they can deliver more services, “while at the same time remaining true to that marketplace solution.”
For more information on BoeFly, contact Mike Rozman at [email protected], or at (617) 266-3263.