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 

Assetz Capital is the first P2P player to join FIBA, according to P2P Finance News.

“ASSETZ Capital has become the first peer-to-peer platform to join the lender committee of the newly-formed Financial Intermediary and Broker Association (FIBA).

The business lending platform will join 10 other providers on the trade body’s committee.

FIBA is the new name that was given to the Association of Bridging Professionals in December to reflect the organisation’s focus on a wider range of finance.

“Assetz Capital is a strong addition to the FIBA lender committee, providing a different voice from specialist property finance that can only enhance our discussions,” Adam Tyler, executive chairman of FIBA, said.”


2. UK – SMEs

 

P2P Finance News reports:

“WOMEN are more likely than men to repay small business loans on time but struggle to access traditional funding, according to new research.

In total, women are 18 per cent more likely to pay back small business loans on time compared to their male counterparts, according to alternative business lender Iwoca.

Iwoca’s data scientists calculated gender-based statistics on loan repayment rates by checking customer application forms for people with female titles and then compared the approximate default rates with applicants with male titles.”


3. UK – FinTech

 

The Telegraph runs the rule over the very new digital banking sector:

“Customers are increasingly seeing digital banks as viable alternatives to the high-street giants.

This new breed of banks offers features such as fee-free spending abroad, tools to track spending, and the ability to temporarily freeze a debit card instantly.

They also appeal to younger people, who are already accustomed to relying on websites and apps rather than physical high street stores for everyday activities such as grocery shopping and ordering a dinner delivery.

But when it comes to the digital banks, there are significant differences in the services being offered.

Here are the names you should know about, what they’re offering, and the downsides to consider.

One common feature is that all of these are run solely through a smartphone or tablet application, with no physical branches.

That means you set up your account, manage your money and carry out other tasks such as ordering a replacement debit card through the app, although you can still speak to their staff on the phone. 

Monzo

Monzo has amassed more than 500,000 customers since it launched in early 2015. It’s a fully licensed bank, and deposits are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for up to £85,000 per customer. That means your money is protected if Monzo goes bust. Customers get a current account that includes all normal banking functions, plus a variety of other tools. Its key features include a spending tracker, which provides a breakdown of how much you’ve spent, where and on what, plus notifications every time the card is used. You can also set spending goals, and the app will notify you if you’re running down your account balance too quickly.

Everything is managed through the app. You can freeze your card temporarily if you’ve lost it, send money, order a new card, check your pin number and more.”

Others surveyed: Revolut, Starling, Atom.

4. UK – FinTech

 

P2P Finance News reports an equity-backed ICO:

“EQUI, the cryptocurrency-backed peer-to-peer investment platform co-founded by entrepreneur Baroness Michelle Mone (pictured) and her billionaire venture capitalist partner Doug Barrowman, is set to launch its public initial coin offering (ICO) next week.

Retail investors will be able to acquire stakes in or lend to early-stage businesses using EQUItokens, for as little as $100 (£72), from 15 March.

“I’ve been in the conventional world of private equity and venture capital for the last 30 years, which is typically the preserve of institutions and ultra-high-net-worths,” Barrowman told Peer2Peer Finance News.

“I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great to open this up to individual investors, people from the crypto community?

“I thought it was a wonderful way to take an old, established industry and combine it with new technology and launch in crypto space.”

A pre-sale, which is running from 1-15 March with a minimum investment of $100,000, had already attracted $7m as of 5 May, said Barrowman.

“Essentially that underpins the success of the platform already,” he added. “What we now want is for hundreds if not thousands of smaller investors to get involved.”


5. US – FinTech

Born2Invest runs a piece arguing that ICOs make crowdfunding as a fundraising method look weak.

 

“Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are changing the landscape for the corporate approach in raising funds and possibly toppling the traditional crowdfunding campaign muddled with regulatory policies.

This approach has allowed businesses to access resources for capital formation, a problem for most companies to expedite growth-generating projects where expenditure is needed.

Being unregulated makes ICOs an attractive deal. Anyone can join ICOs, and the amount of money invested is not capped, and funds raised need not be disclosed to the public. These are just some of the freedoms ICO investors enjoy.

On the downside, ICOs are open to spams and hacking. But even this did not put a halt to its rise.

Crowdfund Insider reported that ICOs garnered $4 billion in 2017 with two digital tokens accounting for half of the amount, Filecoin and Block.one. And this is projected to grow bigger in the months to come.

Crowdfunding, meanwhile, stays within the Security and Exchange Commission’s monitoring and limitations. At the onset, applicants are required to submit several long documents for the regulator to review. Only after its approval can companies participate in the fundraising.

In a separate report from Crowdfund Insider, Ellenoff, Grossman & Schole Managing Partner Doug Ellenoff explained that only accredited investors may pour in funds for investments and that accreditation should come from a third party.”

 

6. International – FinTech

 

The hangover following the crash of Bitcoin MtGox Co is now four years-old. FinanceFeeds reports.

 

Nobuaki Kobayashi, the bankruptcy trustee of ill-fated Bitcoin exchange MtGox Co., Ltd., has earlier today published an update with regard to his work on the case. The documents were distributed at the tenth creditors’ meeting.

The trustee says that the balance in the account that he has secured as of March 6, 2018, is JPY 44,170,278,921, i.e., an increase of approximately JPY 42,956,000,000 from the time of the 9th creditors’ meeting.

The amount of BTC managed by the bankruptcy estate as of March 5, 2018, is 166,344.35827254 BTC. Currently, the trustee is still investigating the existence of additional BTC held by the bankrupt entity. If any BTC is found, he plans to move them to the address which he manages, and he will keep such BTC there.

The amount of BCC managed by the bankruptcy estate as of March 5, 2018, is 168,177.35927254 BCC. The trustee says that to the best of his knowledge, the cryptocurrencies split from BTC of the bankruptcy estate belong to the bankruptcy estate.

The trustee is conducting investigations into whether any BTC or money in other currencies that were possessed by or under the control of the bankrupt entity have disappeared, and if they have, the events leading to such disappearance by delegating such work to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC (and its affiliates) and ReEx Accounting Firm, with the assistance of Payward, the supporting company.”


7. International – FinTech

A PR announcement brings word of the de-listing last P2P player in China, and a prediction that these companies will be based outside China henceforth.

“China-based Jiayin Fintech, parent company to Niwodai, one of chinese largest P2P lending companies, applied delisting from National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ) in China on 7 March.

Jiayin Fintech's main business is offering micro-finance services solution, among which, the part accounting for the largest income is tying qualified individual borrowing needs with the investing demands through Niwodai platform. So this delisting may indicate some trends of P2P industry, according to media in China.

Founded in 2011 in Shanghai, Niwodai is one of the pioneering P2P lending platforms in China to provide online credit microlending services. Depending on the massive data resources and risk-management models, the platform targets for promoting the efficiency of financial services. Up til now, Niwodai has had almost 40 million registered users totaling more than 80 billion RMB trading volume, with the net profit of 400 million RMB in 2017, making it the most progressive one in the country.

According to Jiayin Fintech's delisting bulletin, the reason of delisting is "for the sake of long term development in capital market." In its another official explanation, also indicated "in order to match up with the needs of capital development."

As is well known, the industry had undertaken a fast and furious growth in China in the past several years. However, its attempt to seek access to the capital market has been consecutively uneasy due to regulator's prudence on account of the wildness and unpredictable risks in this new born industry.”