News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd concert

1.UK – FinTech


Money Week runs the rule over robo advisers.  



“In the past few years we’ve seen an explosion of online platforms that pull together disparate ETFs (exchange-traded funds) into a personalised online portfolio. The exact composition will vary based on your own risk tolerance and investment timescale. All are low-cost and the technology is clever – most boast mobile apps and all provide great online tools that allow you to monitor your portfolio.

The first wave of providers include Nutmeg, Scaleable Capital and MoneyFarm, but in the past year we’ve had a slew of new entrants. Some are well-known brands such as IG, Investec and UBS, but there are also less familiar names such as Wealthify, Wealthsimple and Exo.”

2. UK – P2P


Global Banking & Finance on expansion moves at Archover.


ArchOver, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform, has doubled down on its aim to facilitate £100m in loans by hiring financial experts David Swanson and Tom Malley as Head of Lending and Head of Finance respectively.

3. UK – SMEs looks at a new incentive scheme from Barclays.


“Banking group Barclays has introduced a new cashback scheme for flexible asset finance to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to invest in vehicles, equipment, plant and machinery.

The new initiative is supported by the bank's involvement in the ENABLE guarantee programme run by the British Business Bank , the UK government's economic development bank.

The ENABLE programme allows banks to increase their lending to smaller businesses by reducing the amount of capital required to be held against such lending.”

4. UK – AltFi

The FT looks at relaxation of funding process rules.

“The threshold below which UK companies can raise money without the need for publishing a costly investment prospectus is rising to €8m (£7.07m), which experts say should boost public offerings and crowdfunding sites. The current maximum for businesses wishing to tap retail investors is €5m and many slightly larger businesses are deterred by the time and cost required to issue a full prospectus. The move follows changes to the EU’s 2003 Prospectus Directive and takes effect on July 21. Tim Ward, of the Quoted Companies Alliance, said his group had been lobbying for the change. He said a prospectus could cost £500,000 and lots of management time and was not even a useful guide for investors in many companies. “They are very inflexible documents,” he said. “There are whole sections that are not applicable but you still have to explain why they do not apply to you. This will encourage more mature companies on to Aim and other growth markets.” Many smaller companies have been restricted to seeking investment from angels and private equity houses, which are classed as sophisticated investors who need less protection. The prospectus limit was last increased five years ago from €3.5m to €5m. At that time, the QCA recommended a €50m cap while EU governments agreed to €20m. But after talks between the European Parliament, Commission and Council, which represents governments, a compromise was reached at the much lower €5m level.”

5. US – FinTech

Securitize is one of a handful of platforms positioning itself to facilitate the tokenization and trading of securities, according to Crowdfundinsider.

“This will be for funds, companies, and other asset classes. The turnkey platform wants to simplify the process of securities on blockchain from login to the lifetime of the asset. Securitize seeks to enable it all: A one stop digital investment bank of sorts with full automation at a far lower cost. Removing the bankers can remove a lot of unnecessary friction. The company states that Realcoin, and others have already worked with Securitize to raise capital and drive value to both issuer and investor and there is a lot more in the pipeline. For trading of securities, Securitize recently inked an agreement with OpenFinance Network – another emerging Fintech in the blockchain based security space. When the agreement was announced, Juan Hernandez, CEO of OpenFinance said that entering an agreement with Securitize ensures high quality and compliant security tokens will be available on OFN.

Early last month at a security token event in Manhattan, CI had a chance to sit down with Securitize co-founder and President Jamie Finn. He shared a long list of issuers already in the Securitize queue seeking raises from $30 million and up to $700 million (a significant amount of money).”

6. International – FinTech


Crowdfundinsider looks at a German ICO accelerator program.


“Germany-based decentralized venture capital group Iconiq Lab announced on Thursday its latest addition to its ICO accelerator program – Verv, the machine-learning startup behind the VLUX token. The firm confirmed that this new addition comes in as a move to acknowledge and further the universal need for renewable energy through Verv’s peer to peer energy trading platform.

According to Iconiq Lab, Verv has created a peer-to-peer renewable energy trading platform that is based on its IoT smart hub device which can obtain a comprehensive and real-time overview of the electricity consumption of a home using artificial intelligence. Verv’s trading platform allows homeowners with renewable energy sources like solar panels to sell any excess energy directly to their neighbors via the blockchain at the best value for both the ‘prosumer’ and the consumer. In April of 2018, Verv executed the UK’s first physical peer-to-peer trade of energy on the blockchain at this very community. Verv’s goal is to bring down energy bills, especially for those most in need, and this is a great example of their work and commitment to the cause as they look to expand globally.”