News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd concert

1. UK – P2P

P2P Finance News reports that “the shift away from peer-to-peer investments by some alternative lending-focused investment trusts is having mixed results.

Over the past year, P2P Global Investments (P2PGI), VPC Specialty Lending Investments and Ranger Direct Lending (RDL) have moved away from pure P2P to boost returns and narrow their discounts, while the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) has remained true to its roots, all with varying outcomes.

The FCIF investment trust solely backs loans originated via the Funding Circle platform and saw its net asset value (NAV) return 6.9 percent last year, while trading on a healthy premium.”

 

2. UK – Equity

City A.M. reports that Crowdcube is losing money and needs a capital injection.

“Exeter-based Crowdcube has posted losses for another year, as revenues slump due to sources of new campaigns on the platform drying up.

Despite its status as one of the UK’s largest crowdfunding platforms, and having previously raised an additional £1m in growth capital last May, its operating loss for the year ending last September came in at £4.7m, slightly reduced from £5.4m in 2016.

Though the average size of a completed pitch increased average revenues per campaign by 19 per cent, the number of pitches completed in 2017 overall fell into decline, resulting in an actual 5 per cent decrease in revenue for the year.

The group’s average staffing numbers also dropped to 79, despite previous growth plans involving a large intake of employees in 2016, increasing its initial numbers from 54 to 85.”

 

3. UK – ISA

Muckle runs the rule over the uptake of the IFISA…

“The ISA has been running for almost 20 years and over that time has established itself as one of the most popular products for individual investors. At the end of the 2017 the total market value of Cash and Stocks & Shares ISAs stood at a whopping £585 billion, with 12.7 million accounts being subscribed to during the year.”

4. US – AltFi

Silicon Valley platform Crowdera is not only free for non-profits, but also offers them value-added services like fundraising strategy, digital marketing, and PR, reports YourStory.

 

How Crowdera doubles up as a crowdfunding platform and donor management agency for NGOs - YourStory.com

5. US – FinTech

Coin Announcer reports that Shivom has finalised its first to exchanges for the OMX token.

Shivom is an emerging blockchain marketplace, developed for healthcare experts to meet and add their apps and services, using a more organized genomics ecosystem. It also serves as a platform for contributors to gain exclusive access to their genomic data, and to directly have control over its access, choosing who to access it and who not to access it. They are offered rewards as motivation to share their genomic data.

Shivom is poised to become the first blockchain based integrated solution for genome data donors and patients. It is going to further become the basis for an open web marketplace where other providers such as Hospitals, medical research organizations, patient support groups, pharmaceuticals, and health insurance companies meet up for the purpose of adding up their apps and services.”

 

6. US – FinTech

Security tokens are the future of investments, according to Crowdfundinsider.

“The speculation fueled initial coin offering (ICO) industry is quickly morphing into a legitimate sector of finance as securities on blockchain seem poised to become the norm.

At the first Security Token Summit held in New York City last week, a series of speakers discussed the emerging market with some individuals postulating that efficiencies driven by distributed ledger technology (DLT) will create a new era of investments. Smaller issuers will be enabled to more easily offer equity or debt while all companies will benefit from a low friction ecosystem that allows both the issuance and trading of securities.

While the investment crowdfunding industry came to life with the advent of the JOBS Act of 2012, uptake has been slow when contrasting to the hyperkinetic ICO market. The merging of online capital formation and better tech may be exactly what early stage companies need.”

 

7. International – FinTech

 

Crowdfundinisder reports on slow movement in India from official bodies in the crypto space.

“In April of this year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) commented on the status of cryptocurrencies. The RBI stated

“we have decided to ring fence the RBI regulated entities from the risk of dealing with entities associated with virtual currencies. They are required to stop having business relationship with entities dealing with virtual currencies forthwith and unwind the existing relationship in a period of three months time.”

The RBI also commented on the potential of blockchain to improve efficiencies and stated they have created an “inter-departmental committee in Reserve Bank of India who will produce a report and they will explore the feasibility and desirability of issuing a digital currency.”

Last week, as revealed in a series of tweets by Blockchain Lawyer it appears the RBI did little research before banning access to banking services for blockchain based companies. This was uncovered in a Right to Information request…

 

Perhaps this is a situation of, if you don’t understand it, ban it. But it is more than a touch ironic that public officials acknowledge the potential of blockchain (or distributed ledger technology) on one hand and then on the other hand shut down the possibility for any crypto company to operate in India. Innovation and change almost always entails risk and it appears that RBI officials fear this change could result in untenable level of insecurity. Since India is the 7th largest economy in the world, perhaps it would be worthwhile if they follow through on their commitment to research the emerging technology?”