News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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The essentials are here and will be regularly updated. If you want to be well-informed about the investment crowdfunding scene, and you're short of time, this is the place to visit.

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1.UK – P2P

 

FinExtra reports that Folk2Folk gets up to speed on IFISA transfers.

 

“By allowing ISA transfers from other providers, FOLK2FOLK Lenders can earn tax-free interest of 6.5%pa on their ISA money by lending it to rural and local UK businesses whilst being part of a Local Lending Movement across the UK, helping these businesses to grow, diversify or start-up.

The minimum amount Lenders will be able to transfer will be £20,000 with no maximum limit. There will be no charges from FOLK2FOLK to transfer funds from an existing cash or Stocks & Shares ISA. There may be an exit charge from their existing provider. Funds from Stocks & Shares ISAs will have to be sold into cash to before being transferred to FOLK2FOLK. Transfers above £20,000 will have to be in multiples of £5,000 lump sums.”


2. UK – P2P

 

Business Quarterly reports strong performance from Thin Cats.

“2017 was also an important year for the firm as it achieved full FCA regulation, tripled its monitoring, securities and origination teams, and underwent a full rebranding programme.

The culmination of this work was a record month in December, with just over £12m of funding listed on the ThinCats platform, following the biggest-ever ThinCats-listed loan of £6.7m to the Chelsea Yacht & Boat Company at the end of September.

Overall, 2017 was a successful year of development and growth for the company, demonstrated by an increased origination team that now covers the length and breadth of the country as well as a significant increase in internal credit, securities and monitoring.

Further milestones in 2017 included the conclusion of a £200m funding programme for UK SMEs, alongside institutional investors including Waterfall Asset Management, and made £100m available to manufacturing businesses across the UK, in association with Hennik Edge, a networked advisory team for companies operating in the sector.

Damon Walford, CDO at ThinCats, said: "With considerable funding to deploy, ThinCats Origination has blossomed into a full team of experienced, finance-smart experts.”

 

3. UK – AltFi/SMEs

Leasing Life reports an FSB initiative.

“The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a financial technology platform to match lenders and businesses.

The FSB Funding Platform, developed by Finpoint, uses artificial intelligence matching technology to match applicants with finance providers. A pilot of the platform for FSB members in three UK regions shows that the average amount of finance a small business applies for from an alternative finance provider is £39,000 – half the amount sought from banks, known as ‘traditional finance’.

FSB Funding Platform is regulated by the FCA and offers free access to over 100 lenders with AI technology matching entrepreneurs and businesses wanting funding with the best lenders for their circumstances. The platform also provides access to finance advisors.

FSB’s commercial and operations director Dave Stallon said: “We’re so pleased to be able to offer this exciting platform to our member base. Although it’s harnessing the latest innovations in tech it offers a very simple way to access finance, as well as access to human financial advisers. It will transform the business funding market and is a real step change for small businesses.”

4. UK – AltFi

Money Marketing reports:

“A venture capital trust and enterprise investment scheme business founded by former Hargreaves Lansdown staff is on its way to becoming the largest investment platform for high net worth investors following its acquisition of Clubfinance.

Wealth Club was founded in February 2016 by ex-Hargreaves director Alex Davies and four of his former colleagues to provide HNW individuals and experienced investors access to tax advantageous investments, an area he says is ripe for growth. Clubfinance, founded in 2002, is one of the UK’s largest execution-only VCT brokers.

All Clubfinance employees will move to a separate fund management business, Amberside Financial, which was incorporated in November and is controlled by two Clubfinance directors, David Scrivens and Philip Rhoden. They do not anticipate job losses.

On announcing the acquisition today, Davies said the new business will have more than 8,000 clients and assets under influence to over £435m.”

 

5. International – P2P

 

Digital News Asia on a successful raise for Indonesia’s leading P2P player.

 

“MODALKU Group, pioneer of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in Indonesia, welcomed the start of the year by reaching the Rp 1 trillion (US$74.39 million) mark in total crowdfunded MSME loans across Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia since its inception.

The achievement puts the company’s business growth throughout 2017 as nine times the growth of 2016.

Indonesia is Modalku’s largest market, where more than 50% of total loans, or around Rp 520 billion has been crowdfunded to local MSMEs.

Modalku Group’s total crowdfunded loans is the highest amount reached by any P2P lending platform in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

The number is also financial technology’s contribution towards national financial inclusion efforts and for the MSME segment, which lacks sufficient access to working capital loans.”

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