News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd investors talk, listen and analyse the data

1. UK - Equity / P2P Lending

You can lend money on peer-to-peer lending platforms, but what do you do if you want to take an equity stake in one of them? Or several?

P2P Finance blog has an article addressing that question. Ahead of the Funding Circle IPO, the piece looks at ten lending platforms that have already done equity raises on crowdfunding platforms.

"There are shares of mulitple other interesting fintechs available on the Seedrs secondary market, including Commuter Club which has an interesting connection to p2p lending: The loans for the transport tickets were financed first by Ratesetter lenders and now by Zopa lenders. There is usually good availability of Commuter Club shares on the secondary market.

"P2P-Banking has a pre-launch notification service for upcoming new Seedrs campaigns. Sign up and you get a head start on new campaigns which might potentially include Assetz Exchange, a new Brickowner round and p2p lending startup Neo Finance.

"While there are other sources for shares in p2p lending companies, Seedrs is a good place to start looking."

The article on P2P Banking offers information and insight.

2. UK - P2P Lending

The comparison platform Orca Money (featured in last Tuesday's News Briefing) has already raised and surpassed its target of £500,000 on Seedrs.

Crowdfund Insider reports that the money will be used to grow the customer base, develop Orca’s research service, and integrate with more lenders (including prearing to expand into Europe.) The Orca platform currently integrates with 5 UK P2P platforms, and has 11 others in its sales pipeline. Orca has built up an "organic" user base of P2P investors (avg. 6,000+ monthly web sessions and 2,000+, compliant subscribers). 

Read the full story on Crowdfund Insider.

3. UK - P2P Lending

Peer2Peer Finance News has published its annual survey of the market.

The survey looks at ways platforms and investors are responding to the ever-changing P2P world, and says "while the sector will continue to provide a viable alternative to the mainstream for both investors and borrowers, it looks like pricing may start to get tighter.

"The majority of industry professionals surveyed do not expect borrower rates to decrease...  Ultimately [our survry] suggests the cost of P2P borrowing will not get any cheaper, although it may still be compared to mainstream banks where rates are also increasing off the back of the Bank of England base rate hike."

The P2P sector has also become more concerned about its own business growth. 

More details on Peer2Peer Finance News.

4. UK - Regulation

The British government is keen to promote diversity and inclusivity in entreprenurship and investing. Now, HM Treasury has announced a review into the barriers faced by women in business.

There isn't a consultation or a call for information at the moment. The project is to be led by Alison Rose, a senior executive of Royal Bank of Scotland. 

Recent government statistics have revealed that women are half as likely as men to be involved in starting up a business and that only one in five small and medium sized companies are run by women. Treasury exchequer secretary Robert Jenrick wants to break down the barriers. 

Official announcement on the government website GOV.UK

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales reports the projectlaunch.

5. International - Biotech

China is determined to build its biotech sector, and is targeting American startups with its cash. Reuters reporters accompanied Chinese-American scientist Zhi Hong.

"Hong had raised $260 million - much of it from Chinese and Asian investors - with a strategy to bring U.S. biotechnology drugs to China, the world’s second-largest prescription drug market and home to a rapidly growing biotech sector.

"[Hong's company] Brii Biosciences is now discussing partnerships with about a dozen drugmakers, which it aims to help by conducting clinical trials in China, applying for governmental approval and eventually negotiating reimbursement in a bid to capitalize on China’s stated plan to become the next global player in biopharma."

The full story is reported on Reuters

6. International - Entrepreneurship

Japan Today profiles the founder of a Japanese crowdfunding platform, her motives and her story in a report prepared for a Western audience, with the help of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) 

Crowdfunder Bears Cancer And Cynics To Raise Billions