News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

All kinds of people, all kinds of ideas. Share and exchange in the crowd.

1.UK – P2P 

Bankless Times reports a new strategic alliance:

 

“Business finance company MarketInvoice joins a select group of leading alternative finance firms on NatWest’s Capital Connections panel.

Capital Connections helps SMEs to access alternative sources of capital after being unable to secure traditional financial backing. Business customers are signposted to the panel of innovative sources of finance including equity crowdfunding, marketplace lenders and now invoice financing.

MarketInvoice helps businesses get paid faster by unlocking cash tied up in unpaid invoices. Businesses can choose to fund specific invoices or their whole ledger, based on funding needs. The range of invoice finance solutions help to improve cash flow, quickly and easily. It’s a simple way to get paid upfront, without having to wait out lengthy payment terms.

Last month, MarketInvoice reached the milestone of funding £2b worth of invoices and business loans to UK companies. Launched in 2011, the company has provided business finance solutions to thousands of businesses across the UK who employ more than 19,000 people. During this time over 90,000 invoices have been funded to 93 countries. In 2017, MarketInvoice almost doubled the average amount advanced to UK businesses – from £606,000 in 2016 to £1.14m.

2. UK – FinTech

Crowdfundinsder reports major expansion plans by digital challenger bank Revolut.

 

“Cash is king no more. Today’s society is all about mobility and the digitization of all forms of finance. How consumers spend and manage their money has changed dramatically in recent years and that pace of change is accelerating. Revolut is a new breed of banks that has replaced the corner branch with a robust smartphone app that reduces cost while providing superior services. Revolut has grown rapidly, jumping from zero to 1.5 million users in less than three years. A cashless (or at least less cash focused) is near and according to Revolut co-founder and COO Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut is going to lead the way.

 

Yatsenko says that non-cash transactions grew by 10.5% in 2017 representing more than 522.4 billion transactions worldwide. The advent of Blockchain tech is accelerating this transition to a world where using cash is the exception and not the norm. This is an opportunity for a digital first banks like Revolut, a bank that has expanded across Europe and has other countries like the US in its sites.



 

3. UK – FinTech

 

UKTN reports a £5.4 million raise for vTime, a virtual-reality business tool.

“Liverpool-based vTime, a virtual reality social network, has raised £5.4m in Series A funding.

The round was led by Deepbridge Capital and MSIF, a Liverpool-based institutional loan and equity provider.

vTime claims to have amassed almost a million downloads across six different platforms since December 2015.

Martin Kenwright, vTime’s CEO, says the Series A will help the business grow across the globe. The money will also be used to bolster product development and fuel R&D for the brand’s AR proposals – which will launch later in the year.

Kenwright said: “vTime offers users the most immersive and intuitive way to engage with others in VR from wherever they are.”

 

 

4. US – FinTech

 

Mortgage Professional America reports a new digital credit platform:

“Digital mortgage platform Approved and LendingQB, a provider of SaaS loan origination technology, have partnered to introduce a digital mortgage and wholesale submission platform for lenders and their broker networks.

Approved offers brokers and lenders a white-labeled borrower point of sale to improve loan application, automate original document collection, and track milestones online. The platform was launched with select lenders and brokers across the country.”


 

5. International – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider reports a key agreement on blockchain standards:

“On Tuesday, April 10th, 22 European countries signed an declaration vowing to cooperate as partners in the development and deployment of blockchain tech across European jurisdictions.

According to the declaration, “Cooperation on a European Blockchain Partnership,” earnest efforts to “reaffirm” Europe’s “leading role” globally in blockchain began in October 2017, when, “The European Council asked the European Commission to present a European approach to blockchain…”

In February 2018, The European Commission created an “EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum” and promised to invest some € 300 in blockchain development through a program called Horizon 2020, a program promoting cooperation between EU member states and relevant private enterprise.

Signatories spoke highly of blockchain’s properties:

“Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are seen as particularly promising in ensuring more security, integrity and transparency when delivering services, enforcing regulations and ensuring efficiency in legal compliance…across borders within the Digital Single Market.”

Noting that blockchain has the potential, “transform digital services in Europe,” signatories declared:

“Europe is well placed to take a global leadership position in the development and application of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies…Blockchain-based services have the potential to enable more decentralised, trusted, user-centric digital services, and stimulate new business models benefiting our society and the economy. Such services will create opportunities to enhance services in both public and private sectors, notably making better use of public sector information while preserving data integrity, and providing better control of data by citizens and organisations interacting with public administrations, reducing fraud, improving recordkeeping, access, transparency and auditability, within and across borders.”

Cooperation, say the signatories, will prevent a “fragmented approach” and assist in deployment of interoperable chains and ledgers. Standards of cooperation will likely produce more efficient harmonized regulations and contribute to competitive scaling.”