News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1. UK - SMEs

P2P Finance News chronicles success in alternative SME funding:

“FINANCE aggregator Alternative Business Funding (ABF) has hailed the success of the government’s Bank Referral Scheme after helping three firms secure funding within hours of being rejected by their mainstream financial institution.

The Bank Referral Scheme was launched in November 2016, mandating nine of the UK’s high-street banks to pass on the details of rejected business borrowers to designated finance aggregator platforms, who can then make referrals to alternative finance firms such as peer-to-peer lenders.

One small business referred to the ABF platform received funding through alternative finance provider Iwoca within two hours, another within three hours, and the third customer received funding just 24 hours after registering.

All three businesses had initially been turned down for funding by Barclays, RBS and HSBC respectively before being referred to ABF through the Bank Referral Scheme.”

SMEs accessing loans ‘within hours’ through Bank Referral Scheme

2. UK – P2P


Kuflink is expanding its team, reports P2PFN:


“Asset-backed peer-to-peer platform Kuflink has expanded its short-term finance division, Kuflink Bridging, with a new hire.

Hiran Patel has been appointed as an underwriter on the bridging team, where he will support lending growth across the platform.

Patel has more than ten years’ experience in the finance industry and previously worked as an underwriter at Equifinance.

“Following the launch of our quick bridge product at the tail end of 2018, we’ve seen a huge spike in uptake from new brokers as well as familiar faces” said Narinder Khattoare, chief executive of Kuflink.

“Hiran joining the team will help us to meet this growing demand, maintain our high standards and continue improving upon our already award-winning bridging service.”

Khattoare added that the new hire will help to support its team as it embarks on its busiest year to date.”

3. US – FinTech


Crowdfundinsider reports:


“Ripple,  a provider of enterprise blockchain solutions for payments, announced on Tuesday 13 new financial institutions have signed up for the company’s payment network, RippleNet. It was revealed that the companies now in the network are the following: 

  • Euro Exim Bank
  • SendFriend
  • JNFX
  • FTCS
  • Ahli Bank of Kuwait
  • Transpaygo
  • BFC Bahrain
  • ConnectPay
  • GMT
  • WorldCom Finance
  • Olympia Trust Company
  • Pontual/USEND
  • Rendimento

With these additions, Ripple reported that there are now more than 200 customers signed up for RippleNet. Ripple then noted that JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank will use the digital asset XRP to source liquidity on-demand when sending payments on behalf of their customers.

4. US – FinTech

Crowdfund Insider runs a personalised forecast piece on FinTech:

“Sophisticated services previously only available to the posh class are filtering down to the more plebeian types. Underbanked demographics now have access to services which were once inaccessible or simply too expensive.

Access to capital for creative entrepreneurs has enriched the economies in a growing number of jurisdictions. As we all know by now, smaller businesses create the bulk of jobs and wealth so policies that encourage risk-taking are vital to a healthy economy.

As for blockchain, including digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs), this sector of Fintech is in the midst of a profound shift. The bloom is off the rose for ICOs.Rampant fraud and manipulation, once tolerated, is now the target of regulators wrath – as it should be. Yet questions persist as to whether, or not, blockchain is more about hype than actual potential. Do we really need a better database?

What to Expect in Fintech for 2019 | Crowdfund Insider

5. International – FinTech reports:

“In an ecosystem of disruption, opportunities abound, and the gaps in trade finance availability become an attractive target for alternative finance players.

One of them is Hong Kong-based Velotrade, which, last month, became the first accounts receivable (AR) financing (also known as factoring) company to secure a Type One Regulated Activity license by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. The license adds confidence for investors interested in diversifying via AR financing, often considered too risky a space, the company said in its announcement. In addition, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can gain from having an alternative to traditional bank loans, and trade financing to fulfill their global trade needs.

Research from East & Partners Asia, released in 2015, found that over one-tenth of Asian companies had utilized AR financing in the past 18 months, more than doubling the tool’s adoption rate from 5.3 percent in January 2014.”

AltFin's Role Evolves Amid Tense Global Trade |