News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Young woman whispers in friend's ear

1. UK - Equity / P2P Lending

The Evening Standard reports that investors forced Funding Circle to vut the price of its IPO, which formerly valued the company at £1.5 billion.

The price range shrank from previous guidance of between 420p and 530p to between now between 440p and 460p a share.

The Standard told readers: "it is understood top institutional investors in the City were unwilling to pay top whack for a company which has yet to post a profit. 

"Funding Circle maintains it is still on course to sell a total of 71.4 million new shares in the flotation and raise £300 million. 

"The lowered maximum price comes amid jitters over other major floats, including Aston Martin, and is a major blow for the first of the UK’s new breed of peer-to-peer fintech firms to dip their toe in the London market. "

Read the whole story in the Evening Standard.

2. UK - Invoice Lending


MarketInvoice, an alternative finance platform that allows companies to trade their invoices via its online marketplace,  has ambitions to form new strategic partnerships that will increase its reach,  and has started a series B fundraising, according to Peer2Peer Finance News. The firm already has a partnership with Barclays, which has taken a minority stake in the company and offers MarketInvoice services to its customers.

The firm toldiPeer2Peer Finance News it has secured £18.6m in funding to date. “We will continue to invest in building our products and technology to the best in the market, whilst growing and scaling our customer base and our revenue,” said CEO executive Anil Stocker.

“Our existing equity investors are excited about our growth plans and mission, and in 2018 we will further strengthen our business with new strategic partnerships.”

Read more about this story in Peer2Peer Finance News.

3. UK -P2P Lending

Goldman Sachs has launched Marcus, its online lending business, in the UK. Named after Marcus Goldman, a founder of the bank, Goldman Sachs launched Marcus in the USA in in October 2016, where it is positioned as an online lending business for customers seeking loans of $30,000 or less. In the UK it is being positioned as a "high interest savings account." According to the BBC, "savers will be offered 1.5% a year, currently the best rate on the market." 

Des McDaid, Managing Director at Marcus by Goldman Sachs told Business Leader: “Over the last decade savers have been on the wrong end of low interest rates. We’ve spoken in-depth to people across the country and there is a real disillusionment about savings – while most UK adults are diligently trying to save every month, some do not even have a savings account, with low interest rates and complexity being put to blame.

“We want to reverse the trend – literally putting the interest back into savings and make saving worthwhile again. We’ve made the Marcus Online Savings Account as easy as possible to open and manage online, and with our aim to offer a consistently competitive interest rate, we hope our customers will see the benefits – and how, over time, this can add up to help them get to their saving goals that bit quicker.”

Coverage of Goldman Sachs' Marcus product launch on the BBC.

Further coverage of this story on Business Leader.

4. UK -P2P Lending

 

The UK Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) has published data from its member platforms for the second quarter 2018.

Crowdfund Insider reports that the association's  members contributed more than a billion pounds to the UK economy in Q2, with new loans to small businesses particularly strong, reaching nearly £750 million for the quarter, almost £100 million higher than the correspo nding period a year ago.

Total net lending (total lending minus repayments) flow to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) over the same period (£191 million) exceeded the combined net lending of the major high street banks by £60 million (£130 million), according to the P2PFA.

Robert Pettigrew, Director of the P2PFA, told Crowdfund Insider that in the last quarter more than 150,000 investors (including retail investors) facilitated over £1 billion of new lending with nearly three quarters going to UK businesses.

“This growth in the level of peer-to-peer lending underlines the significant impact the sector continues to make to the real economy,” said Pettigrew. “It is clear that peer-to-peer lending is increasingly viewed as an important source of finance by consumers and businesses alike. These quarterly lending statistics demonstrate that peer-to-peer continues to increase choice and competition across the board – helping to consolidate the sector’s place in the financial services market.”

Read the full details of this story on Crowdfund Insider.

Further coverage of this story on Peer2Peer Finance News.


5. US - Fintech

Blockchain

Zeehaus, based in San Francisco, California, is an equity crowdfunding campaign marketplace for investors built on the blockchain - which means a lot of small print and a lot of technology to do your due diligence on.

According to the founder, Justin Lee: "Zeehaus was founded with the goal to help achieve homeownerships by digitalizing the buying process, lowering the cost of acquiring the property as well as monthly housing cost, while enabling a sound investment opportunities for investors. As we expand, you will be able to purchase properties all over the US and beyond."

The details of the Zeechain launch are covered in Technology Startups News
 

6. International -P2P Lending

 
Thailand is the latest country to prepare for regulated peer-to-peer lending.
The Bank of Thailand say its goal is to "widen opportunities for small-business operators to access financial sources."
The country's central bank will take responsibility for retail borrowers, while the securities watchdog will take charge of transactions involving high-net-worth investors.