News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1.UK – P2P

P2P Finance News reports that Goji is targeting IFAs.

“PEER-TO-PEER investment manager Goji is planning to boost the take-up of its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) among advisers after securing a multi-million pound investment backed by Anthemis and AXA Strategic Ventures.

Jake Wombwell-Povey, chief executive of Goji, said the company has received positive feedback for its platform and Diversified Lending Bond, which launched in January 2017. It now wants to focus on building a sustainable business and has made several hires to help it achieve this goal. The next three months will see Goji roll out its IFISA to the financial adviser market.

 “We have made some great progress but a lot of advisers are waiting to see our track record through the initial 12 month milestone period,” said Wombwell-Povey. “We are coming up to that milestone and we’re on course to make a return of above six per cent. That will be another sign of our credibility, which will enable financial advisers to rest assured that Goji has a great investment product and we’re here to stay.”

Goji plans to launch a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) wrapper in the summer. Goji also intends to introduce its platform as a service offering.”


2. UK – P2P

Oro Bulletin offers technical analysis of Funding Circle’s investment trust share price.

“After a recent indicator scan, we have noted that Span A is currently higher than Span B for shares of Funding Circle Sme Income Fund Limited (FCIF.L). Traders may be paying close attention as this signal may indicate a possible bullish move.

Funding Circle Sme Income Fund Limited (FCIF.L) presently has a 14-day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) of -100.42. Typically, the CCI oscillates above and below a zero line. Normal oscillations tend to stay in the range of -100 to +100. A CCI reading of +100 may represent overbought conditions, while readings near -100 may indicate oversold territory. Although the CCI indicator was developed for commodities, it has become a popular tool for equity evaluation as well. Checking on another technical indicator, the 14-day RSI is currently sitting at 43.40.

Many traders will use a combination of moving averages with different time frames to help review stock trend direction. One of the more popular combinations is to use the 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Investors may use the 200-day MA to help smooth out the data a get a clearer long-term picture. They may look to the 50-day or 20-day to get a better grasp of what is going on with the stock in the near-term. Presently, the 200-day moving average is at 101.59 and the 50-day is 103.51.”


3. UK – P2P/Real Estate


THE GOVERNMENT has been increasing its support for homebuyers and now peer-to-peer platforms are adding themselves to the solutions, according to P2P Finance News.

“Several firms are coming on to the market that enable retail investors to finance mortgage deposits. JustLend is in the process of launching BankOf, a P2P platform that funds borrowers’ mortgage deposits, stamp duty costs or even solicitor’s fees.

It follows Property Pact, a similar proposition which was set up last September by former mortgage broker and developer Errol Woodhouse. Property Pact investors can fund from £5,000 to £25,000 into each loan and receive an annual rate of five per cent over the Bank of England base rate quarterly.

But Woodhouse said finding the right type of borrowers was taking a bit longer than expected. “At first borrowers didn’t understand what we were offering and many applicants didn’t have good credit histories,” he explained. “Instead we opted for a Facebook campaign in December and got 47 pre-registrations who we now have to meet with.

“I don’t suppose all will meet our criteria as there will be a lot of boxes to tick before they get on the platform.

“We want to ensure we have the right type of borrowers for our interested lenders before going live.”


4. UK – Crowdfunding/AltFi


Financial Advisor IQ reprises an opinion piece on how crowdfunding platforms can help IFAs do their due diligence.


“More and more investors and financial advisors are able to get in on early stage companies and initial public offerings thanks to equity crowdfunding, Steven Morris writes on And while many investors treat equity crowdfunding as a decision they make with their heart, advisors can steer them to make sure it’s made smartly as well, he writes.

Fortunately, there’s been a “successful alignment” in equity crowdfunding between considerations of financial fundamentals and positive social impact, according to Morris, founding partner and CEO of biotech firm BIOLIFE4D. But advisors should still help investors make the right choice by doing due diligence through comprehensive review of all filings and disclosures, he writes.

Advisors also need to study the markets targeted by the companies in these equity crowdfunding deals to ensure commercial viability, according to Morris. It’s also important to assess the company’s leadership, because equity crowdfunding “does attract a genre of people who are looking to make fast money,” he writes.”


5. UK – SMEs/AltFi

Tame Bay reports:

“The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a new fintech platform to provide small businesses and self-employed people with greater access to funding to help them grow and develop their enterprise..

The FSB Funding Platform is fully regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and developed by business finance platform Finpoint. It aims to help potential borrowers get access to funding by matching them with more than 100 money providers. A wide range of funding options will be provided for businesses and self-employed communities through the platform. This includes peer-to-peer lending, with Assetz Capital, RateSetter, and Funding Circle.

The platform will help businesses and self-employed people to fund business growth, with research from a pilot of the platform showing many firms are being held back as a result of high costs. The average amount a small business applies for from an alternative finance provider was found to be £39,000 in the survey, with equipment purchases and working capital for short-term operations or late payments being among the top reasons for businesses seeking finance.

The service will be free to FSB members with fees only payable in some cases for arranging lines of credit.” 


6. International – FinTech 

Global Coin Report carries a piece on an early attempt to identify ICOs linked to commercial businesses. 

Genie ICO apparently identifies “the opportunity to invest in an ICO that was designed to fund growth in an already operational company, a large portion of the risk would be removed from the equation.

With Genie ICO, investors have the opportunity to do just that.

Its related company, Crowd Genie is one of the few licensed and fully operational peer-to-peer digital lending platforms in Singapore and the company was granted a “Dealing in Securities” license by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the nation’s central bank (so, equivalent of the Federal Reserve in the US) in March 2017.

The company isn’t raising cash the development of a brand-new concept, therefore, but is instead looking to use any capital raised through its offering as a means with which to drive the large-scale expansion of its existing operations.

So, what is Crowd Genie?

The company has developed a platform that connects borrowers with lenders in real time and has built this platform using the blockchain technology. The utilization of a blockchain as a foundation on which the platform rests means that there is no need for middlemen or third parties when it comes to the mechanics of transferring funds, which, in turn, results in a removal of the unnecessary fees associated with doing so in the current landscape.

To put this another way, through the platform that Crowd Genie has built, lenders can gain quick and easy access to borrowers and vice versa with practically no (and certainly no fees related) costs of doing so.

So where does the ICO come into the equation?

The company is issuing tokens (ERC20 compliant) called CGC, towards a goal of a $35 million hard cap, amounting to a total issue of 60 million CGCs. The conversion rate is 1ETH for 400 GCG. There’s a minimum purchase of 0.1ETH, with no limit to a maximum purchase. During the first two weeks of the issue, there’s a 25% bonus on any tokens acquired. During week three, this dips to 15% and, during week four, the bonus comes in at 5%.”

7. International – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider on a cryptocurrency deal involving a Korean crypto exchange.

“Pundi X, a cryptocurrency point-of-sale (“POS”) solution provider announced over the weekend it has formed a partnership with Coinnest, which is described as the fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in Korea, announced a strategic partnership. According to Pundi X, Coinnest will be the first Korean cryptocurrency exchange to list the PXS token and to launch 300,000 Pundi X Passcards, the NFC-enabled physical multi-currency (fiat and cryptocurrencies) wallet.

Pundi X reported that Coinnest has more than 500,000 members registered and its platform offers a selection of cryptocurrencies for trading among all the exchange platforms in Korea, which includes BTC, BCH, BTG, BCD, ETH, ETC, WTC, HSR, QTUM, NEO, INK, TRON, TSL, ENT, ADA, GAS, MCO, KNC, BT2, BT1 and others.”