News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowdfunding -takes many hands to make it work

1.UK – P2P

PEER-TO-PEER lending platform ThinCats has appointed two new sales and marketing executives, as its hiring spree continues, according to P2P Finance News.

The alternative finance specialist has named Tony Smedley (pictured) as head of sales operations, and Richard Wilson as head of marketing, as part of a new push to “ramp up the provision of vital funding for small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMES).”

Smedley has more than 20 years experience in the business finance marketplace, and previously worked as Midlands regional managing director at the SME-focused Aldermore Bank. He has also worked as national head of medium and small business sales at Barclays Bank, sales financing division.



2. UK – P2P


P2P Finance News reports the launch of a new player, aimed at funding SMEs.

“A NEW funding platform is aiming to make it easier for small- and medium-sized (SME) businesses to access loans, equity and grants.

The online platform has been created by Swoop, which is a rebrand of BizFly.

The firm says it holds a database of over 400 lenders and has created its new platform to engage a greater pool of SMEs.

P2P lenders accessible via the platform include Funding Circle, Zopa, Growth Street, RateSetter and MarketInvoice.

“The current platform is very much the first step in our aspirations to create an all-encompassing tool for SMEs to help them in their everyday business lives,” said Swoop in an email.”



3. International – P2P


Talk Vietnam voices concerns that P2P may be used for dark purposes.

“Peer to Peer Lending (P2P), under which lenders and borrowers connect via apps, has been developing rapidly in Vietnam. P2P lending has been developing rapidly in Vietnam Nguyen Thi Thinh, 20, a petty merchant in HCMC, said she borrowed money this way recently. Under current laws, only credit institutions have the right to mobilize and lend capital. This means that P2P is still outlawed. The State Bank has not licensed any company in the field. The reporter, when contacting, was told that he would have to pay the interest rate of 1.5 percent per month, plus the fee of VND2,000 a day for every VND1 million worth of loan, and the interest rate and fee may change at different moments. US$1=VND22,000 RELATED NEWS Fintechs, with technology and big data, jump into consumer lending market Foreign capital flows into consumer loans Tran Thuy.”

4. International – P2P


Australian Broker reports the expansion of OnDeck Down Under.

“Innovating access to finance for SMEs, OnDeck is turning to its broker network to assist in delivering a projected $2bn in business capital by 2020 

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the Australian economy. Defined as businesses with annual turnover in the range of $100,000 to $50m, their contribution to GDP stands at 57% and they are responsible for the employment of more than two thirds of the nation’s workforce.

Naturally, the owners and directors of SMEs are ambitious people who want their businesses to thrive. Data published last year by Canstar confirms that one in 10 SMEs are actively engaged in a growth strategy, and 45% aim to expand operations within three years.

However, in order to thrive, SMEs need capital, and, as confirmed by Scottish Pacific’s SME Growth Index, the availability of credit is a primary hindrance to growth for 64% of these businesses.”


5. International – FinTech


Silvio Schembri, the Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy, and Innovation has announced the launch of the government’s first official blockchain event. The Delta Summit will become Malta’s official blockchain event as it seeks to become the blockchain island, reports Crowdfundinsider.

“Schembri said that the Delta Summit will serve as a platform to exhibit the work done so far within this sector. During a recent fireside chat,  Schembri announced that 3 bills—the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill, the Virtual Financial Asset Bill, and the Innovation Technological Services Arrangements Bill—are now online and can be accessed.

“This puts Malta a step away from becoming the first world jurisdiction to regulate this sector”, said Schembri.

Tim Draper, the well known VC and crypto advocate, lauded the Maltese government’s efforts in this sector.

“This is my first time in the blockchain island. Congratulations for the early start and the big lead on other countries. By setting up the regulator you are putting Malta at the top of the list”, said Draper.

Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat invited all those in the blockchain industry and the digital world to be in Malta for the Delta Summit.”

6. International – FinTech


The Economic Times of India examines Chineses inward investment into the sector.


“Several digital lending startups have been receiving a unique set of visitors in recent months: Chinese lending companies looking to set shop in the country. At least half a dozen Chinese financial-technology companies have held multiple meetings with the founders of digital lending startups in India for investment as well as partnership opportunities, according to domestic entrepreneurs involved in those discussions. 

While India’s rapidly growing fintech sector appears greener to the Chinese companies because of a regulatory clampdown back home, domestic firms stand to benefit from their Chinese counterparts’ ability to innovate and robust business models. 

“We started looking at the India market in October. I have made several trips to do the groundwork for our market entry since then,” said James Chan, chief executive for Asia-Pacific at WeCash.”

7. International – FinTech 

Crowdfundinisder reports a high-profile deal.


OurCrowd and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, subsidiary of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the intent of Ourcrowd promoting access to capital for Sanpaolo startups.

Global crowdfunding platform OurCrowd reports it has made significant strides in Western Europe, expanding its leadership in London and Madrid, increasing its investor base across multiple regions and introducing formal relationships with key multinational corporations. As an institutional partner, Intesa will provide tailored access for its corporate and SME clients into OurCrowd’s hightech portfolio. The partnership seeks to boost innovation in multiple technologies and industrial sectors.”