News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd investors talk, listen and analyse the data

1. UK - Equity / P2P

Funding Circle has started trading on the London Stock Exchange. The markets are reacting, and so are the pundits.

Here is a selection of views:

City AM noted the shares were trading at more than 20 per cent lower than initial IPO pricing.

Crowdfund Insider thinks Funding Circle’s IPO may set the tone for future aspiring Fintech firms seeking to offer shares to the public. The Insider also pointed out some current shareholders, including Funding Circle executives and early investors, sold 32 million shares, garnering £141 million. (An exit for somebody then.)

Alt-Fi News interviewed Lending Club’s head of communications Anuj Nayar, who took the opportunity to praise his own company as ‘supremely undervalued’ by comparison with Funding Circle.

"You would arguably have been better off putting your hard-earned dosh into one of the flakier looking borrowers on Funding Circle’s peer-to-peer lending platform than investing in the company’s share flotation." according to Proactive Investors.

2. UK - Equity

Arcis Biotechnology has just closed a £1.25m investment round backed by existing and new investors, and is now turning to the crowd for an additional £0.5m.

The raise is being conducted on specialist life sciences equity crowdfunding platform Capital Cell. The funds will be used for R&D, product development, and to drive international business expansion.

Arcis has developed its product portfolio based on proprietary, rapid, two-step nucleic acid extraction and preservation technology, from a range of biological samples. The company has an extensive patent portfolio. 

For more details of this story, read FinSMEs.

3. UK - Equity

The designer accessories label Hill and Friends is raising money on Seedrs. The company is offering 23.45 per cent equity at a pre-money valuation of £4.1 million.

We understand that EIS reliefs will apply to this investment.

Details and a video are on Business Agent.

This story is also covered in Drapers Online.

4. UK - Fintech

The robo-adviser, which was launched in the UK a year ago, has launched a pension product which includes a service to help savers switch from their existing provider.

The self-invested personal pension (SIPP) has no account minimum the fees are 0.7 per cent for pots of less than £100,000, dropping to 0.5 per cent for more than £100,000.

FT Adviser has the full story.

5. International - Equity

We're reading a new report about investment opportunities in virtual reality "The Business of VR – A guide for startups and investors."The guide is sponsored bySeedingVR.com, which claims to be the only equity crowdfunding portal specific to virtual reality, and the views of CEO Jason Ballor feature prominently.

Seeding VR.com is a platform incorporated in Delaware, USA

n the UK market, SeedingVR operates as http://wwww.seedingvr.co.uk which is regulated by he FCA as an Appointed Representative of ShareIn.

The Business Of VR is published on VR Focus.

6. International - Alt-Fi

The government of Iran is developing a range of new financial products, from Islamic bonds to warrants and insurance-linked securities, in an effort to give local firms more funding options as sanctions put pressure on the country's economy.

From sukuk to warrants, Iran works to deepen capital markets | Reuters