News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd in nightclub, seen from a DJ point of view

1. UK – P2P

P2P Finance News reports on a cryptocurrency offering:

“CELSIUS, an Ethereum-based peer-to-peer lending platform, is set to launch during this quarter.

Lenders will receive up to seven per cent year by depositing coins into the Celsius Wallet that are lent out to the platform’s network of members, according to

“Today’s lending market is built for big banks and futures exchanges to rake in profits while providing no benefit for coin lenders and borrowers,” said Celsius founder Alex Mashinsky, quoted on the company’s website.

“Through blockchain, we’re building Celsius to shift the power and earnings back to the coin holders and provide more favourable borrow rates to both sides of the marketplace.”

Furthermore, Celsius borrowers can raise their limits and lower interest payments if they have guarantors who are willing to vouch for them.

New York-headquartered Celsius is not the only cryptocurrency firm tapping into the world of P2P lending.

As Peer2Peer Finance News previously reported, Sikoba, founded by Luxembourg-based financial consultant and researcher Aleksander Kampa, is offering ERC-20 tokens in return for backing a platform that provides a P2P IOU system, extending lines of credit to users who know each other around the world.

And ETHLend, founded by Finland-based Stani Kulechov, is offering LEND tokens to fund a P2P lending platform that issues loans in Ethereum.

Conversely, P2P lenders are tapping into the cryptocurrency space. Crowd for Angels launched a cryptocurrency token for bond investors last November.”


2. UK – P2P


P2P Finance News on Assetz Capital’s alleged technical issues:


“ASSETZ Capital has attributed account display issues to a high level of traffic on its website, following an ISA-led increase in investor demand.

Several investors have taken to the P2P Independent Forum to express concerns about their investments or account details not showing up.

Users say the peer-to-peer secured business lender – which revamped its website at the end of last year – often displays a page saying the servers are busy.

“It seems every single time and it usually takes three or four attempts to invest my spare funds,” one user said.

“I thought the recent updates were supposed to have improved things?”


3. UK – SEIS


FT Adviser on the launch of a new SEIS fund:


“Symvan has launched its third Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) Technology fund.

Kealan Doyle, co-founder of Symvan Capital, said regulatory pressure was moving SEIS investors away from traditional low risk, asset-backed businesses, creating a "sweet spot" for the technology sector.

Mr Doyle said the fund will invest in early stage technology companies.

He said: "Given what we know about what investment returns associated with successful high-growth firms and sectors, this potentially offers very attractive investment returns for UK investors.  

"The risks in investing in early-stage venture capital is high but the UK government has provided tax-efficient wrappers that dramatically alters the risk/return trade-off for investors in high growth companies, making such investments an integral part of most investment portfolios."


4. US – P2P


An announcement of a Funding Circle link up in the US:


“Funding Circle, the world's leading lending platform for small businesses, and INTRUST Bank, a regional bank headquartered in Kansas, today announced a strategic partnership to support the growth of US small businesses. The partnership will be rolled out in various stages with the initial phase consisting of INTRUST funding US small business loans originated through Funding Circle. The later stages would include growing the investment with the intention to extend into a multi-year funding program and joint digital and direct marketing campaigns.

INTRUST joins more than 70,000 investors globally – including individuals, financial institutions, government, and the listed Funding Circle SME Income Fund – who have provided $5 billion in transparent and affordable financing to more than 40,000 businesses through Funding Circle, creating 100,000 jobs*. Through the partnership, INTRUST will support access to credit for hundreds of US entrepreneurs, spurring job creation and boosting the American economy." 

5. US – Equity


Polygon on the equity gaming market.


“Fig, the equity investment platform for games, was down more than 28 percent in 2017. The platform raised only $5.6 million, after raising more than $7.8 million in 2016.

Fig blends equity investment with traditional rewards-based crowdfunding. That means anyone can choose to invest in any of the games on the platform regardless of their net worth. Or, they can instead choose to pledge a fixed amount and receive games and other incentives for their money.”