We look for synergy with our Sortis Financial platform and our existing portfolio companies. Our goal is to add value in addition to our financial investment through our platform, expertise and relationships. From our roots as a bank holding company, we have a deep experience in the financial services and technology. Below are some notable investments in the firm’s history.
In January 2013, a consortium of investors led by Sortis, a Portland-based private lender and advisory firm, recapitalized a Portland, Oregon-based bank holding company, Merchants Bancorp (DBA MBank), saving the institution from potential failure. MBank was brought back to profitability through the leadership of Jef Baker, the current Sortis Holdings CEO. The $116 million of bank assets were sold in early 2017 to Riverview Community Bank and the holding company was subsequently merged with Sortis. The newly combined firm retained publicly traded Merchants Bancorp holding company and will be rename Sortis Holdings, Inc. trading under the ticker (SOHI).
The first acquisition for Sortis Holdings was ClearSpring Loan Services in March of 2017. ClearSpring Loan Services was a mortgage servicer based in Dallas Texas with more than $2 billion under management. They are currently a vendor for top-tier banks, hedge funds, private investors and government-sponsored enterprises. The company is licensed as a servicer, lender and debt collector.
Sortis Holdings will integrate our existing servicing business and our recently acquired private lending operations into the ClearSpring platform, which will be rebranded under the Sortis Financial name and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sortis Holdings. The lending division will operate as a satellite office based in Portland, Oregon. Sortis Holdings’ acquisition of ClearSpring greatly enhances our expertise in the mortgage marketplace and gives us a platform to rapidly scale our origination business nationwide. Additionally, ClearSpring’s experience as a special servicer gives unique insight into the residential distressed debt markets.
Sortis Holdings (SOHI) has completed a strategic investment with Mobile Capital Group, a mobile virtual card app that powers specialty finance companies with the instantaneous delivery of cash to the customer. Few companies are in a regulatory position to support compliant financing activity on a national scale. Sortis’ ready-made regulatory and operational origination platform, combined with our servicing operations, has the ability to scale a fintech company like Mobile Capital Group nationwide.
Mobile Capital was founded by Mike Sobek, a payments industry pioneer and founder of Store Financial, an early player in the pre-paid card business. Mobile Capital is launching IOUBenefits, its own specialty finance product as well as working with several other specialty finance lenders to provide them their patent pending ‘instant cash’ technology. Sortis Holdings will provide Mobile Capital and its future lending partners with a nationwide origination and servicing platform through our subsidiary Sortis Financial. The combination of Mobile Capital and the Sortis Financial platform provides a turnkey nationwide mobile lending solution for specialty finance lenders. As part of the transaction Sortis Holdings acquired a 10% interest in Mobile Capital with an option to acquire another 10% interest in future funding rounds.
In May of 2017, Sortis Holdings made an equity investment in Seed, the world’s first mobile business bank dedicated to opening accounts online as well servicing the financial needs of small business. Seed was founded by Brian Merritt and Ryan Hildebrand, former executives at consumer banking startup Simple. Seed recently completed a nationwide launch of its mobile banking service and has begun to take on customers from a 5,000-company waiting list. Seed provides a unique platform that allows businesses to integrate banking with other popular services including Stripe, Square and Slack.
Sortis was an original investor in Seed and just completed a follow-on investment of $750,000 to close out the seed funding round. Seed currently partners with The Bancorp, Member FDIC, to offer a business checking account and Visa® Business Debit Card, and places tools such as accounting and expense tracking at business owners’ fingertips, allowing them to spend less time managing their money and more time running their business. Seed accounts include features such as bill payment, mobile check deposit, electronic transfers, domestic wire transfers, ATM access and debit cards. Accounts are FDIC insured.
MedZERO Inc. is a joint venture developed by Sortis Holdings and Kansas City, Missouri-based Mobile Capital Group.
MedZERO is the world's first mobile lending platform dedicated to the healthcare industry. Designed to meet a growing problem, medZERO helps people pay for their ever-increasing share of personal healthcare costs. An employer benefit, medZERO enables employees to pay out-of-pocket medical bills without incurring credit card interest or borrowing against their 401(k)s.
MedZERO is a mobile application and lending platform that provides employees of participating businesses immediate access to funds to pay medical bills with 0% interest and no fees. Payments are made with a pre-paid virtual Mastercard and repayment is completed over 12 months directly from payroll deductions.