Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 11/25: What year is it? Comcast price increases, Amazon outage, Salesforce on verge of a big acquisition

Exton-based SCTE to merge with, be folded in under CableLabs

SCTE celebrating 50th Anniversary last year

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), based in Exton, along with its international arm the ISTE, plans to merge with a larger industry group, CableLabs. 

The two have sign a letter of intent, and final approval by membership is expected by December 10.

No cutbacks to staff at either orgnization is expected.

The 51 year-old SCTE employs about 120. Louisville, Colorado-based CableLabs employs more than 200.

The two organizations, which develop technical standards for the cable industry, decided their missions had merged. Both are aiming to support the industry’s “10G” architecture. 10G is cable’s answer to the wireless industry’s “5G”.

SCTE last year celebrated its 50th anniversary in Exton.

Mark Dzuban would remain president and CEO of SCTE-ISBE, which would function as a subsidiary of CableLabs, headed by president and CEO Phil McKinney.

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights November 23-24

Philly EnterpriseTech Weekend Highlights: Malone on Cable Vertical Integration; The spectacular financial failures of Fisker Automobiles

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Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights November 18-19

Customers Bancorp readies spinoff of its BankMobile subsidiary

Tom Paine

West Reading-based Customers Bancorp plans to spin off its BankMobile technology business, which will merge with a SPAC and become a publicly listed company. Its BankMobile subsidiary, offering services to college students and thru T-Mobile and other white label accounts, has been a pioneer in the emerging mobile banking business. It attacks the traditional branch economics of most banks. Customers is spinning off the technology business behind BankMobile, not the mobile bank itself.

BankMobile was developed internally by Customers and launched in 2015.  in late 2015, it acquired Higher One, a student loan disbursement company and a partner of Customers.

The spinoff is expected to be completed by year-end. Customers says BankMobile has 2 million customer accounts. Its shares are expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BMTX.

Customers seriously considered a similar proposal in 2018, but that deal fell through because of regulatory issues.

The merger transaction is valued at $140 million. Megalith Financial Acquisition Corp (MFAC), the SPAC vehicle, is the merger partner. Customers will still own 46.7% of the new company, to be known as BM Technologies when listed. That way, Customers would still participate in BM Technologies’ potential upside, while avoiding regulatory hurdles that would hinder the venture if it stayed under its full ownership.

Jay Sidhu, Customers’ CEO, built it from a tiny bank to one with $12 billion in assets as of March 2020.

Luvleen Sidhu, his daughter,  is the Co-Founder, CEO and Chief Strategy Officer at BankMobile. She got her BA from Harvard, according to her LinkedIn Profile, and also attended executive programs at Harvard and Stanford Business Schools.

BankMobile reported its first quarterly profit last year: $890,000 in the third quarter on revenue of $24 million, Customers said.

Just yesterday, BankMobile announced a new partnership with Prudential Financial.

Also, BankMobile has been named 1 off 11 partners of the revised Google Pay, which was unveiled today.

Philly resident Stessa Cohen, a veteran Gartner banking analyst, set off a year ago as a Strategic technology advisor and analyst, under her own shingle (Pivotassets). She started off in banking with the former Philly bank CoreStates. She’s followed bankMobile since its beginnings. I spoke with Stessa by phone.

Cohen saw bankMobile as unique “challenger” bank, though now there’s more competition in the mobile space. But she doesn’t see mobile being a standalone solution in most cases. Rather, she emphasizes it as being part of strategy of reimagining and extending the branch. Most people still needs branches, she believes, but they are going to be different than before.

Going public will give BM Technologies more freedom to keep up with best-of-breed technologies. Its probably been constrained as part of Customers. It will have more financial flexibility.

One thing Cohen doesn’t feel she knows enough about is the quality of its technology stack. It hasn’t been a huge investment by Customers, and things have advanced in the five years since its founding. Has BankMobile kept up? (Note: BankMobile just hired a new Chief Digital Officer.)

Lastly, she wanted to mention that she thinks Philly has the potential. to be a leader in FinTech.

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 11/17: Martino sees Philly becoming Sports Betting Capital of the US ; Amazon opens online pharmacy

Ben Franklin (NE) TechVentures’ annual Venture Idol competition is tomorrow night; Virtual and free this year

Tom Paine

Bethlehem isn’t that far away, but its the headquarters for a different Ben Franklin Region – Northeast Pennsylvania. It does some things differently from the way Ben Franklin Technology Partners Southeastern PA does: I like both models and if you’re active in the Philly Tech Scene its worth it to familiarize yourself with our northern neighbors.

A good way to do that is to “attend” tomorrow night’s free and virtual – this year – Ben Franklin TechVentures’ Venture Idol competition. It opens with a panel discussion among 4 area venture capitalists, including Bullpen Capital’s Paul Martino, on current venture market conditions.

Following that will be the venture competition between 3 startuups who have already survived a rigorous selection process. Ben Franklin describes it as a cross between Shark Tank and American Idol. A total of $15,000 will be invested among the three startups according to how the audience votes, which can include you.

The event starts at 6PM tomorrow, November 17. Registration and more information is available here.

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Philly EnterpriseTech Weekend Highlights 11/13 – 11/15