Episode 6

Published on:

5th Mar 2024

Mike Shum, Co-Founder & CEO of Cascade, a fintech focused on modernizing the private debt and alternative credit market

Cascade is a fintech platform democratizing access to institutional debt. Co-Founder & CEO Mike Shum and Co-Founder and COO Kyle Meade built a platform to help companies streamline complicated and time-consuming debt processes. Whether raising debt for the first time, or already using multiple debt facilities, Cascade can help.

Cascade website

Mike Shum's LinkedIn

On this episode of ATLalts, Mike Shum, the Co-Founder and CEO of Cascade, shares his journey and the mission of the company. Mike discusses the challenges in the private debt market and how Cascade is building solutions to simplify and streamline the process. Mike also provides insights on preparing for accessing institutional debt and the importance of the structuring phase in the debt raise process. In this conversation with ATLalts host Andres Sandate Mike discusses the importance of valuation and terms in debt financing. Mike emphasizes that price and size are not the primary concerns for early-stage founders, but rather factors such as leverage and flexibility should get more attention. Mike explains that interest rate is just one component of a term sheet and that founders should consider other factors like upfront fees and unused capital fees. Mike highlights the significance of eligibility criteria and concentration limits. Mike discusses the monitoring and compliance aspect of debt deals, emphasizing the need for accurate and real-time reporting. Mike concludes by explaining how Cascade provides solutions for asset managers in the private credit space and shares the company's vision for the future.


  • Price and size are not the primary concerns in debt financing; factors like leverage and flexibility are important considerations as well, particularly for early-stage companies.
  • Interest rate is just one component of a term sheet; founders should consider other factors like upfront fees and unused capital fees.
  • Eligibility criteria and concentration limits are crucial aspects of debt deals that often get overlooked by founders who prioritize price and size.
  • Accurate data and real-time monitoring and compliance are essential for successful debt deals.
  • Cascade provides solutions for asset managers in the private credit space and aims to streamline the debt management process.
  • The private credit market is growing rapidly, and Cascade envisions becoming a one-stop shop for managing all aspects of the debt stack.
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About the Podcast

Alternative investments
ATLalts is a podcast for those interested in learning about alternative investments and alternative asset classes through interviews with investors, asset owners, and industry practitioners. ATLalts explores venture capital, private equity, real estate, credit, private debt, distressed, hedge funds, commodities, FX, currencies, infrastructure, structured products, digital assets, multi-alternatives, secondaries, collectibles, farmland, timberland, and more specialized alternative assets such as life settlements, aircraft leasing, royalties, litigation funding, and marine finance.
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About your host

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Andres Sandate

Andres Sandate is the host of ATLalts. Andres has extensive knowledge of alternative investments with professional experience working in asset management, capital markets, securities, and investment banking going back nearly 20 years. He has held senior leadership roles working in private credit, hedge funds, private equity real estate, multi-asset alternative investment and placement agents. Andres is a Registered Financial Advisor with Gramercy Park Wealth Advisors, LLC and GPWA, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC and holds the Series 7, 66, and 79 FINRA licenses. He is Founder and CEO of Endurance Strategies, LLC (www.endurancestrategies.com) and President and Member of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Alternative Funds Association (www.theSEAFA.com). Andres earned an MBA and a BS from The University of Kansas and is a native of Newton, Kansas. Andres and his wife Heidi (McElroy) Sandate have three school-aged children and reside in Smyrna, GA (Atlanta). Email andres@atlalts.com