News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Construction workers eat lunch 200 feet up in the air.

1. UK - P2P

Money blogger Laurence, who blogs as, decided to pay a visit to Kuflink, on of the platforms he invests on. He's posted an office tour and an interview with CEO Naridar Khattoare.

Get To Know Kuflink – Financial Thing.

2. UK - Alt-Fi reports that one-fifth of homebuyers investigate altenative finance when looking for a  mortgage. The figures come from the last five years - we'd be interested to see that broken down year on year.

Original story on FT Adviser

3. UK - P2P

The bears and bulls are talking about the Funding Circle IPO 

Investors Chronicle calls it 'one for the brave.'

City A.M. is more optimistic. It notes that the company posted recent results, showing it almost doubled revenue in 2017, making £94.5m compared to 2016’s £50.9m.

4. International - Fintech

Innovation in banking is like the story of David and Goliath. So says Goncalo de Vasconcelos, of Syndicate Room, in a piece on Forbes.

He introduces his ideas with a few words of self-deprecation, but there's a sting in the tail. 

"Yes, making this list is probably one of the most arrogant things I could do. Here I am, giving advice to organisations that employ hundreds of thousands of people much brighter than I am. But perhaps it’s that distance that makes what I have to say potentially valuable.

"Speaking with a lot of different senior managers at banks on a weekly basis, I’ve found that the same issues seem to crop up again and again across the industry. Having spent many months mulling it over, these are the key suggestions I would give to any established banking professional."

His ideas are very interesting, and grounded in experience. 

Read more of Goncalo de Vasconcelos' ideas on Forbes.

5. International - Equity

An Italian company is crowdfunding a cannabis delivery service. JustMary offers to deliver cannabis  to your home.  Cannabis is strictly regulated in Italy; it's legal for medical and industrial uses and possession is decriminalized for recreational use - but growing it at home is not, hence the tagline 'a domicilio e in incognito' ('To your home, anonymously.')

We're not sure how Just Mary's business model passes through the legal loopholes,but the  company is already a success in Milan, and is raising money to expand into other cities like Turin and Bologna.

4.8% equity is offered at a valuation of one million euros.

The full story is covered in Wired Italia. 

A domicilio e in incognito: arriva la startup della cannabis delivery

6. International - Fintech

Mexico's Financial Technology Institutions Law (“Fintech Law”) comes into force this eek, and two local experts offer a summary of the provisions on Lexology.

Henceforward, Mexican fintech companies must comply with a series of standards including capitalization, risk prevention, cybersecurity, customer identification and preventing money-laundering. 

Requirements to Operate as Fintech is on Lexology

BankingTech reports that Mexico is looking for a 'crypto and AI boost' from the new regulations.

7. International – Crowdfunding

The Guardian reviews Imran Khan's first month as Prime Minister of Pakistan, including what it calls "an almost certainly futile effort" to crowdfund the construction of an £11bn dam in the north-east of the country. 

Climbdowns, cheese and crowdfunding  | World news | The Guardian