News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1.UK – P2P

A new round of working capital at BondMason, according to Crowdfundinsider.


BondMason, an online savings and investments platform that sources investments from across the peer-to-peer (P2P) market for its clients, announced on Tuesday it secured £1.85 million through its latest funding round to drive the growth of the business and fulfill the company’s vision to enable more investors to access returns from direct lending.”


2. UK – P2P


The pre-IPO window dressing continues at Funding Circle. P2P Finance News reports:


“FUNDING Circle’s US division has named PayPal executive Bernardo Martinez as its new managing director.

Martinez, who was previously head of US small business lending at the online payments giant, replaces Sam Hodges, who will become chairman of Funding Circle US.

Prior to PayPal, Martinez was chief product and marketing officer at Banco Dominicano del Progreso and spent six years at Bank of America working within its small business banking division.

The management changes follow rapid growth for the peer-to-peer lending platform in the US, with more than $1bn (£716m) lent in the country since 2014 and $500m in 2017 alone.”


3. UK – FinTech


Crowdfundinsider on a new recruit from the FCA to Cambridge.

“The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) is the leading research authority on global innovations in finance. Over the past several years, CCAF has produced benchmark reports tracking the growth and evolution of all forms of Fintech around the world. These reports have become valued resources for policymakers and regulators everywhere as they have consistently provided unparalleled insight into emerging sectors of Fintech including online capital formation, Blockchain, digital banking and more.

Recently, CCAF hired a new executive to help the Centre with its aspirations to expand its presence around the world. Philip Rowan, former International Lead at the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Innovation Hub, is the new Lead for International Engagement at CCAF.”

4. UK – AltFi

The AltFi media platform's conference is helpfully promoted by Crowdfundinsider.

“The 5th Annual London Summit is scheduled to take place on March 26th during a time of significant change in the UK. Brexit jitters along with dramatic regulatory changes such as Open Banking and PSD2 has created a varied and dynamic environment. Yet alternative finance continues to grow with AltFi estimating that UK loan origination volumes increased by 41.9% to £14.1 billion in 2017. During 2018, this number is predicted to jump by £7 billion.

AltFi says numerous leaders in the Fintech space will be participating including executives from Funding Circle, Tandem and Starling Bank will share their insights on the future of financial services. The speakers will certainly address the opportunities intrinsid to Fintech and alternative finance platforms. Key themes include the broader economic impact of alternative finance, the growth of digital-only banks and opportunities for institutional investors.”

5. UK – SMEs


Bridging & Commercial reports on mainstream banks’ attempts to fund SME needs.


“Banking has changed beyond all recognition over the last decade, following the crash. Many high streets are now without a traditional bank.

A 2016 report from the Federation of Small Businesses estimated that 1,500 previously banked towns had become branchless; banks are compensating for the loss of these branches by increasingly directing customers down digital routes. While numerous small businesses are embracing the shift to digital services – with 94% of SMEs using internet banking – there is still huge value in being able to have a face-to-face conversation. This is particularly true when businesses are making important decisions about the future and are looking to raise finance.

Raw, online data may be universally accessible, but an online app cannot back up the figures with years of finance knowledge, no matter how sophisticated the software. The loss of bank managers from many high streets has also seen the disappearance of the experience needed to quantify the different types of funding needed to take an SME to the next stage of its development. The relationships – and the businesses that rely on them – are being lost.”