Dallas Fintech Names Industry Heavyweights to Advisory Board After Oversubscribed $3.5M Seed Round

Dallas VC-turned-entrepreneur Joe Beard and financier Joel Radtke are innovating debt capital delivery at CollateralEdge.

It's a mission: The founders want to reduce the barriers for businesses to access lower-cost bank financing. By partnering with the banks, the founders can solve problems for all stakeholders with their tech solution that's backed by high-powered capital partners.

CollateralEdge, a Dallas-based fintech that emerged from stealth last month with a high-powered cap table and an over-subscribed $3.5 million seed round, has announced its advisory board—which features some big names as well.

Last month, Dallas Innovates wrote about CollateralEdge’s founding story as it emerged from stealth. Its founders, Joe Beard and Joel Radtke, are providing banks with a risk-mitigation tool they say can efficiently increase lending capacity without compromising credit quality.

The innovative tech solution helps regional and community banks safely extend debt capital to more businesses, boosting local economic growth, the founders say. They believe their solution could help fuel the future of the American economy.

CollateralEdge investors

Besides the leading Dallas venture firm Perot Jain, CollateralEdge’s funding round includes investments by Kneeland Youngblood, founding partner of Pharos Capital Group; Sheldon Stein, president of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and a former vice chairman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Derek Alley, CEO of VCC Construction; and Capital Factory CEO Josh Baer—who says he’s excited to watch Beard and Radtke “create the next fintech unicorn—right here in Texas.”

CollateralEdge’s founders “bring extraordinary experience and industry know-how to middle-market lending,” Stein said in a statement. “Their creative approach is going to transform debt capital delivery and fuel economies in communities across the country.” 

Alley says the company’s investors and advisors have “the experience, contacts, and resources to support the company in addressing such an enormous opportunity in the banking market. Joe and Joel understand the value of experience and are building the company the right way to prepare for growth and scale.”

The founders say they will use the seed round to expand their team and product capabilities, while accelerating their go-forward strategy and partnerships with community and regional banks.

Solving a long-term problem in middle-market lending

Beard, a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army captain, went on to receive an MBA from Columbia University before serving in investment banking posts at Bank of America, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch. Later, as a venture capitalist at Perot Jain, he invested in over 45 deals across five years.

“The problem we’re solving at CollateralEdge is vast, ongoing, and has plagued the middle market lending industry for decades,” said Beard, CEO of CollateralEdge, in a statement. “The beauty of our solution is that it solves a problem for all stakeholders. The business owner has more efficient access to lower cost debt, and the community or regional bank has an opportunity to win and retain more long-term business customers.”

“CollateralEdge not only gives banks an opportunity to yield a greater profit, but it also facilitates the bank’s ability to help the businesses in their communities thrive,” Beard added.

His co-founder, Radtke, a Harvard graduate who worked in investment banking roles at Credit Suisse and Alex Brown & Sons before shifting to private equity, says one edge CollateralEdge provides is working with the banks. That’s something many other fintechs aren’t doing.

“Where many fintech companies have found success by going around the bank, we’re taking a different approach by partnering directly with banks to help them offer more competitive solutions,” said Radtke, who serves as president and COO of CollateralEdge. “Our solution complements the bank’s workflow and is integrated into the day-to-day underwriting process. It will also enhance the menu of financing options a relationship officer can deliver to a client, all while mitigating the risk to the bank.”

Advisory board is a mix of investment, tech, and banking leaders

The CollateralEdge advisory board includes:

Darcy Anderson, the vice chairman at Hillwood Management, where he works closely with Ross Perot, Jr. on the Perot family oil, real estate, and investment businesses. Like Beard, Anderson graduated from West Point and completed five years of active duty. He’s also the Texas co-chairman for Spirit of America, a nonprofit that raises funds for special projects in support of U.S. special forces deployed worldwide.

R. David Kelly, managing director and co-founder of Serra Real Estate Capital, who has over 35 years of real estate and capital markets experience. Kelly also has significant experience in governance and strategic planning, notably in the public sector. He’s the former chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority and the Teacher’s Retirement System of Texas. 

James Watkins, a senior managing director at the Isaac-Milstein Group, a global financial sector advisory group. Prior to joining the advisory firm, Watkins spent nearly four decades at the FDIC, most recently serving as the senior deputy director of supervisory examinations, where he led all safety and soundness programs at a national level. Watkins is a recognized expert in credit risk assessment, complex regulatory application, and community banking. 

Josh Baer, the founder and CEO of Capital Factory, a coworking community and mentorship-based accelerator designed to help startups find their first investors, customers, and employees. Capital Factory is recognized as the most active early-stage investment group inTexas. Baer founded his first startup in 1996 in his college dorm at Carnegie Mellon University and now teaches a class at the University of Texas for student entrepreneurs.

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