Jed Morey and the art of the publishing pivot

Pressing on: New York Financial Press might not have been an alt-news standout, but it's a mighty fine vector site, according to Jed Morey.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

New York Financial Press, we hardly knew ye.

But founder Jed Morey knew enough, at least, to clearly envision the best destiny for his startup alternative-news website – and it wasn’t reporting day-old deals and spinning market coverage just like everyone else.

That would never do for Morey, the self-styled publisher of the Long Island Press and head of a namesake marketing/journalism empire with a reputation for the unconventional.

So the New York Financial Press, launched in April 2016 by Syosset-based Morey Publishing as an “alternative financial news journal” that would dive deeper than earnings statements and trading indexes (not to be confused with the Wall Street-based media company founded in 2005 by Pierre Alexandre) – is now feeding Mayava Capital Inc., a Syosset startup created to facilitate small-business lending.

At least, the New York Financial Press website is feeding the marketplace-lending brokerage. In February, the Press’ domain became one of six “vector sites” carrying visitors directly to the Mayava Capital mothership

The other five sites – each focused on lending in a particular vertical market, such as healthcare or transportation or IT – were created by Morey et al specifically to usher visitors directly into Mayava Capital’s arms. Morey described the vector sites as “very informational and nothing I would categorize as a news site.”

From birth, New York Financial Press was different – but the attention it was garnering from investors and brokers and other lending-interested parties was a spot-on match.

“We covered a number of different disciplines on the site, but the core of it was really marketplace lending,” Morey told Innovate LI. “That’s really where [New York Financial Press] was evolving anyway, so we decided that it would have more weight and heft contributing to the brokerage than as a glorified marketplace-lending news environment.”

“We” are Morey and his silent partner in Mayava Capital, a private individual and Long Island entrepreneur of some repute. Morey isn’t naming names – only that it’s a “true entrepreneur” with “a number of businesses” – but noted a shared interest in “fintech website development,” which involves technical innovations in the financial sector, including upgrades in financial literacy and education and the use of crypto-currencies like bitcoin.

The mutual interest led Morey and his fellow LI entrepreneur to launch Mayava Capital in late 2015. The startup has since attracted numerous lending partners, including Fundera, PowerUp Lending Group Ltd. and BFS Capital, among others.

And now it’s attracted New York Financial Press, a much better path for his 2016 startup than to be adrift on the alternative-news sea, according to Morey.

“It just made a lot of sense,” the CEO said, noting the Press domain – which became a Mayava Capital feeder about four weeks ago – has already “helped us tremendously with SEO and lead generation.”

“We’re primarily an inbound lead-generation marketing firm,” Morey added. “This was a very smart play for us and it’s helped our metrics across the board.”

It’s one of the key reasons Mayava Capital is already attracting “a couple thousand visitors a month,” Morey noted, labeling it a par-for-the-course pace for a relatively new marketplace-lending brokerage.

“We’re happy with that, because it’s organic,” Morey said. “The brokerage is doing well and we’re going to be able to grow that footprint this year exponentially. It’s really found its niche.”

While “finding a niche” can be difficult to quantify, Morey likened Mayava Capital’s web-traffic increases to growth on some of the startup’s partner websites, where a 10 percent increase in monthly traffic is about average, according to Morey.

“That’s usually about how these things go,” he said. “And the early returns (for Mayava Capital) demonstrate the same.

“It’s funny, how much of a formula it becomes,” Morey added. “We’re very good at inbound marketing strategy, and these things become very predictable over time.”