News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowdfunding: join the team, share the work, enjoy the returns

1. UK- P2P Lending

The peer-to-peer property lender Relendex has increased its maximum loan size to £5m, after successfully securing new lines of funding.

High-value loans are strategically important to the platform, which will allocate funds to new-build residential, redevelopment and bridging loans.

Read more on Development Finance Today

2. UK- Fintech

A personal and household financial productivity app called Brilliant Bills (do such things exist?) is attracting attention this week.

It is the invention of a former Barclays tech boss, Simon Woodiwiss. woodiwiss was formerly head of operations and technology at Barclays Investment Bank

The Fintech company has launched a campaign on Seedrs to raise £350k at a pre-money valuation of "1.8 million. The funds will be spent on version 2.0 of the app, and a digital marketing campaign,

The full story is covered on Business Cloud.

3. UK- Equity

The British Business Bank has appointed a new head of patient capital activities . "Patient Capital" means investment capital allocated in expectation of long-term returns - that's "patient"  as in "prepared to wait."

Catherine Lewis La Torre has been with the British Business Bank Group since 2016, and has many years experience in venture capital and private equity fund management. 

British Patient Capital invests £2.5bn of government funding in UK venture and growth capital, and manages an additional £500m in managed funds, designed to boost the availability of patient capital.

Full details of this story are available on Peer2Peer Finance News

4. US- Equity

We know women get treated differently, but Forbes has some good news for female entrepreneurs. It looks like gender bias sometimes make people think more highly of female business owners.

The research,"A woman's place is in the… startup!" was undertaken by academics from three American business schools and published in  the Journal of Business Venturing.

"Evidence shows that "the crowd" - small-scale individual investors - doesn't share the prejudices of  venture capitalists. VC investors tend to have a funding bias against women. But in crowdfunding, the researchers found, women have an advantage.

"Crowdfunding investors see female entrepreneurs as more trustworthy; this perception leads to higher overall investment in female-led ventures over male-led ventures. In this instance, gender bias works in their favor."

Forbes has all the details of the research.

The original research is available on ResearchGate (registration may be required.)  

5. International - Entrepreneurship

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has launched a new initiative help women entrepreneurs in Asia and the Pacific. The project was launched on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

"Women who establish businesses have the potential to achieve economic independence, overcome extreme poverty and improve the well-being of their families and communities. However, many women entrepreneurs face major disadvantages in accessing sufficient finance and technology that prevent them from achieving their full potential."

ESCAP plans to address the challenges and constraints faced by women entrepreneurs through "a holistic, multi-pronged approach" integrating innovative financing mechanisms and providing access to technology.

More about supporting Asia's female entrepreneurs in the Eurasia Review

6. International - Equity

Crowdcube continues to advance in Spain, and on Friday, the equity platform a major new range of benefits and added value services for startups who have raised money on Crowdcube.

Spanish startups will now have access to Amazon Launchpad. 

Crowdfund Insider reports:  “Amazon Launchpad is a program specially designed for companies that have raised capital through crowdfunding platforms, venture capital firms or accelerators. This partnership expansion is a step further in [Crowdcube's] relationship with Amazon, with whom we also partnered to provide eligible companies with membership to the Amazon Web Services Activate programme.” 

The original story is on Crowdfund Insider 

7. International- SME Financing

Arab News reports on crowdfunding as a new way of closing the financing gap for SMEs and entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia 

"Raising funds is a difficulty (for SMEs) globally. But it is even a greater challenge for Saudi-based entrepreneurs.

"Startups and SMEs here face immense difficulties securing finance from conventional sources such as bank financing, as well as bearing the burden of debt repayment during the initial stages of their development."