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 – ISA / IFISA

 

What Investment reports a survey of ISA intentions among 600 independent financial advisers.

 

“The majority (83 per cent) feel their clients are put off investing in stock and shares due to the risk of losing money, followed by concerns of an overstretched (49 per cent) and volatile (46 per cent) market.

the surveyed advisers are correct in their assumption, with only one in seven (15 per cent) adults planning to invest in a stocks and shares ISA this coming tax year (2018/19), according to a parallel survey of UK adults.The alternate online survey was also carried out by Opinium, a strategic insight agency of over 2000 UK adults, from 28 December 2017 to 2 January 2018.While an equal number of adults are concerned with losing money (33 per cent) and volatility (32 per cent), many also worry about the level of returns (20 per cent).  Some also do not feel they are informed enough on the market (23 per cent), [Editor: as a generalisation, a growing sentiment among investors].These anxieties aren’t restricted to the stock market.While 48 per cent are planning to invest their ISA allowance this coming tax year (2018/19) in cash, low interest rates are deterring many savers – nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) listed returns as something that has, or would, put them off investing more in a cash ISA next year. The recent research suggests that both advisers and their clients are struggling to find a solution that they are comfortable with for their ISA planning.” 

2. UK – P2P/IFISA

Crowdfundinsider reports an initiative in the UK IFISA market.

Goji, a UK direct lending investment manager and platform,  has partnered with Prestige-Prime group, a specialist alternative investment lender, to launch an ISA-eligible Renewables Lending Bond which aims to provide financial advisers and wealth managers with an opportunity to earn a steady return from a portfolio of UK renewable infrastructure projects. The Goji-managed Renewables Lending Bond provides a low-risk, fixed-impact investment that protects against volatility and can add diversification to a client’s portfolio through exposure to Direct Lending.”

 

 

3. International – Crowdfunding

 

Belgium’s crowdfunding market has doubled in one year to over 22 million euros invested in 80 funding operations, according to the annual barometer of the FinTech Belgium Federation, which represents professionals in this sector (start-up, scale-up and investors) – reports The Brussels Times.

 

“Look&Fin is the biggest lender in this sector, providing a total of 15.2 million euros for 46 operations, and thus accounting for close to 70% of the market, followed by MyMicroInvest, which financed 19 operations for a total of 4.3 million euros. The last of the top three, Bolero, funded eight operations to the sum of 1.4 million euros.

Meanwhile, the market for this alternative mode of financing has become more professional by concentrating on a more limited number of platforms certified by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) or which depend on a banking establishment, the federation says.

The barometer is based on data from six equity crowdfunding and crowd lending platforms, provided voluntarily by the platforms themselves or freely accessible on their websites, excluding donations which do not fall under Belgian regulations.”

 

 

4. International – AltFi

Newsmaker carries a press release for a commercial report on venture capital worldwide.

 

Venture Capital Investment Market 2018

Fintech solutions provide alternative finance firms with a platform for investors to directly come across companies and individuals looking for equity financing and debt. The technology has enabled new players to take faster decisions, engage with customers more precisely, and run operations at low cost-to-income ratios compared with traditional banks. The low-interest rates offered in the alternative finance sector have lowered the defaults rate and led investors to seek high-yielding assets. The main areas of focus for investors are lending, money transfers, blockchain, payment processing, and wealth management among others. Several VC firms are investing in fintech startups, wherein the firms are exploring software to develop financial planning and other portfolio management tasks. These startups aim to disrupt traditionally modeled corporations. Of late, many banks are coming forward and partnering with alternative lenders, a trend that has taken over the banking and fintech sector. For banks, these collaborations are expected to increase the customer base and improve their footprint, while for alternative lenders, it will bring in more customers and capital.

The analysts forecast the global venture capital investment market to grow at a CAGR of 27.48% during the period 2018-2022.’

 

5. International – Crowdfunding

Crowdfundinsider reports a major conference in Israel.

 

“OurCrowd is arguably a vital variable in the rise of Israel’s claim to be the leading nation when it comes to entrepreneurial innovation. The country has established itself as a hotbed for early stage tech firms in a diverse array of sectors. Today, most all multinational corporations have established a presence in Israel to be close to the startup action and the opportunity to invest in, or acquire, a promising early stage tech firm. Perhaps one of the best recent examples of a successful Israeli tech firms is the acquisition by Intel of MobilEye last year. Mobileye was purchased for more than $15 billion while simultaneously establishing Israel as a world leader in the hot autonomous driving technology sector.

Across the country during 2017, Israeli high-tech companies raised $5.24 billion in 620 transactions continuing 5 years of consecutive investment growth, according to a report by IVC research center. Israeli VC funds invested $814 million in 2017 – the highest amount since 2013. Remember, Israel is a country with a population of 8.5 million – less than the state of Michigan.”