Dealmakers West in Laguna Niguel
Dealmakers West in Laguna Niguel

Dealmakers West ignites multi-million-dollar deals

The second iteration of the Fintech Nexus’ Dealmakers event — this time held on the West Coast on Aug. 30 and 31 — lived up to its namesake with one confirmed partnership already in the books.

On Aug. 30, Coromandel Capital, a secured lender and regular in the Fintech Nexus community, announced a $25-million deal with Nectar, an alternative cash flow provider for real estate and rental operators.

Coromandel has flourished in the Fintech Nexus ecosystem, allocating over $300 million in debt capital to many venture-backed fintechs that frequent the space.

“Coromandel Capital is thrilled to work with Nectar,” Luke Powell, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Coromandel Capital, said. “We believe Nectar provides a much-needed service to owners and operators in the short-term rental market.”

This Dealmakers West networking conference was held in Laguna Niguel, Calif., at the Ritz-Carlton.

The agreement was one of many reached; while enjoying excursions and yoga, bumping elbows with the Yankees as they visited town, more than 150 C-Suite attendees met over 1,000 times for in-person pitches and handshakes.

“Nectar is committed to building a better solution for short-term rental entrepreneurs who
are ready to scale,” Derrick Barker, Co-Founder and CEO at Nectar, said. “This deal with Coromandel Capital will help us fund more of those entrepreneurs in our pipeline, and we are excited to work with a team that so fully understands our vision,”

A unique mix of privacy and adventure

Fintech Nexus CEO Bo Brustkern said the conference was a special time.

“The Ritz Carlton resort in Laguna Beach offered just that: a special mix of privacy with a dash of adventure,” he said. “Our 150 guests engaged in over 1,000 high-impact meetings and then enjoyed casual networking on e-bikes, surfboards, helicopters, by the pool, and on the lawn.”

It was a getaway-inspired work experience, marking the second since the brand launched with Dealmakers East.

“This year, we introduced the Dealmakers concept to our community, which was welcomed with great enthusiasm,” Brustkern said. “Following the success of Dealmakers East in Miami in February, we wanted to select a place that could act as a sanctuary for the kind of intimate gathering we were trying to design.”

No keynotes. No panels.

Like the prior networking experience, it was a post-Covid-inspired in-person extravaganza, a speed dating approach 100% focused on one-on-one meetings.

Dealmakers included double-opt-in, 1:1 meetings, and activities encouraging business networking and fun with a hand-picked and closely monitored attendee ratio to ensure the right balance of fintechs, investors, and financial institutions.

Jeff Meyers, Venture Investing at Citi, said, “I loved the format, the ‘unconference conference.’ I had 17 scheduled meetings and countless other impromptu meetings as well.”

Attendees took advantage of the curated activities, like helicopter tours and bike rides across the California coastline.

Alex Thiele, CIO of Thiele Capital Management, said, “Dealmakers is a great way to connect with a range of financial professionals and source new business.”

Shanu Yadav, EVP and head of Corporate Dev at Fide Financial, said the format was excellent and allowed for good conversations.

Productive, and room to grow

Chairman Peter Renton said people were delighted and had a great time; some said it was their most productive experience since hitting the conference circuit back in 1981.

“We always measure our success by the feedback from our attendees and sponsors. For Dealmakers West, it was universally positive,” Renton said. “Everyone loved the quality of their meetings; the location was nothing short of spectacular, and the networking experiences were really well received. It far exceeded our already high expectations.


Like the down payment on a house, the first year a firm runs a new product is the hard work before the payoff, and season one of Dealmakers is in as a tight-knit Fintech Nexus fan favorite.

“It’s good, and according to plan, now we’ve got it, we’ve sold the event,” Renton said. “I think we’ll have a good chance of making this a financial success next year.”

Brustkern said this time around; the trip was a family vacation opportunity.

“Perhaps my favorite part was seeing all the families. There’s nothing quite so wonderful as meeting a colleague’s spouse & kids. We had some amazing plus-ones,” he said. “I met a newly pinned nurse, a professional opera singer, and a winemaker… and their babies, toddlers, and teenagers too.”

Bo and Peter at the Sunset Social, day one of Dealmakers West in Laguna Beach.
Bo and Peter at the Sunset Social, day one of Dealmakers West in Laguna Beach.
  • Kevin Travers

    Intensely energetic news reporter asking questions covering the collision between Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and everywhere in-between. Studied history at the University of Delaware, learned to write at the Review, and debanked.