News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1.UK – P2P

Sky News reports on the appointment of four banks for Funding Circle’s IPO: 

“The peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle has hired a quartet of ‎banks to prepare the ground for a blockbuster London float that could value it at in excess of £2bn.

Sky News has learnt that Funding Circle this weekend appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Numis Securities to lead one of the biggest-ever listings of a British financial technology company.

An initial public offering (IPO) of the company is anticipated during the second half of the year, when the company will seek to raise hundreds of millions of pounds from the sale of new shares.

Funding Circle, which launched in 2010, has matched lenders to tens of thousands of small business borrowers‎, facilitating loans totalling more than $5bn globally during its seven-year existence.

Its rapid growth has earned it the status of one of the UK's few fintech "unicorns" - companies which have achieved a prized $1bn price-tag.

Some existing investors believe the float will value Funding Circle at well over £1.5bn - far in excess of the $1bn ‎valuation it hit when it raised £82m in January 2017 from investors led by Accel, the blue-chip tech company backer.

Funding Circle's other big shareholders include funds such as Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh-based manager, DST Global, Index Ventures and Rocket Internet.”


2. UK – Equity


Business Quarterly reports:


“Crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube, has joined forces with law firm, Harper Macleod, to target what they believe is still an untapped market of Scottish businesses that could benefit from equity crowdfunding.

Since it was established in 2011, Crowdcube has funded 17 Scottish businesses, raising £19.8m in the process. In 2017 the numbers were £1.7m for three businesses. However, this represents only 6% of its UK market, leaving Scotland lagging behind other parts of the UK when it comes to businesses taking advantage of crowdfunding.

Through the partnership, both organisations will co-operate to ensure equity crowdfunding is considered as part of the funding mix for an increasing number of Scottish growth businesses.

Companies working with both Harper Macleod and Crowdcube can save on the overall cost of conducting their crowdfunding campaign. The partnership will also see the duo raise awareness through a series of events across the country.”

3. UK – FinTech


Crowdfundinsider reports the imminent launch of a crypto-futures index in London:


“LATTICE80, a Fintech Hub that has recently migrated its headquarters from Singapore to London, has announced its intent to launch Altcoin Futures. LATTICE80 expects to reveal details during Money20/20 taking place in Singapore this month.

LATTICE80 is co-founded by Joe Seunghyun Cho, and is backed by his Hedge Fund Marvelstone Group.”

4. UK – FinTech reports:


Israel based crowdfunding company OurCrowd has announced the hiring of Goldman Sachs alternative investments banker Lina White as the head of its newly opened London office – its tenth dedicated location worldwide.

The new London office will support OurCrowd’s growing community of UK investors interested in funding early stage high-growth companies.

With a current reach of 25,000 global investors across its platform, OurCrowd expects to add hundreds of new UK investors through exclusive events, increasing UK deal flow, close collaboration with leading venture capital funds, and helping Israeli startups penetrate the UK market.


5. International – FinTech

Bridging & Commercial reports the publication of proposed European norms for the industry:

“The European Commission has proposed new rules to help crowdfunding platforms to grow across the EU’s single market.


These proposals – which are part of the European Commission’s fintech action plan – will enable crowdfunding platforms to offer their services EU-wide and improve access to this form of finance for start-ups and SMEs.

At present, it is difficult for many crowdfunding platforms to expand into other EU countries, but once these proposals have been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, the proposed regulation will allow platforms to apply for an EU label based on a single set of rules.

Currently, one of the major hurdles is the lack of common rules for crowdfunding across the EU.

This increases compliance and operational costs, which prevents platforms expanding across the EU.

The EU label will allow crowdfunding platforms to offer their services across all countries across the EU.

“To compete globally, Europe's innovative companies need access to capital, space to experiment and scale to grow,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president responsible for financial stability, financial services and Capital Markets Union at the European Commission.”