News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Construction workers eat lunch 200 feet up in the air.

1.UK – P2P/FinTech

 

P2PFN on developments at Ethlend, a cryptocurrency lending platform.

“ETHLEND has added four new crypto tokens that can be posted as collateral by borrowers on the peer-to-peer lending platform.

Users were asked to vote on new tokens to add at the end of 2018.

The winners were Selfkey, which backs a digital identity platform, bank settlement software token Paxos – ODEM, which supports educational exchange, and ledger storage provider Quant.

“If you need a vacation, a car or have to pay your bills and you hold digital assets but do not want to sell them yet, ETHLend provides a solution for you to get liquidity in a different manner: taking a loan using tokens as collateral,” ETHLend said.

It comes after the lender revealed last month that it is in talks with peer-to-peer lending platforms in the UK about providing technology that will enable them to offer crypto-backed finance.

The crypto P2P lender – which lets borrowers request loan amounts and post other digital currencies as collateral as well as paying interest on the loans – has already started providing its software for a Swiss P2P platform called Cashare and is now working on an entry into the UK.”

 

2. US – SMEs

Forbes reports:

“Bootstrapping a startup business can be a romanticized idea. It can also work if you’re passionate and willing to put in the hustle. For those that can pull it off, it may bring even more rewards. Though, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any downsides. Make sure you know the trade offs and which route is really going to get you where you want to go.

 

More here:  The Pros And Cons Of Bootstrapping Startups - forbes.com

 

3. US – FinTech

 

Coin Telegraph tries to work out where the reliable cryptocurrency figures might be:

 

Blockchain-based prediction market Augur is reportedly significantly overestimating its usage, a founding partner of cryptocurrency hedge fund Tetras Capital claimed on social media on Jan. 10.

The latest criticism of the project, Alex Sunnarborg took Augur to task following publication of its most recent weekly report showing the amount of money circulating within its markets.

Specifically, the report claims around $2 million is currently involved in wagers set up by users. Sunnarborg, however, notes the figure includes wagers which have already closed.

“Augur metrics showing ~$2 (million) ‘total money at stake’ include markets that have already ended,” he tweeted, adding:

“If we exclude markets that have ended there is (less than $100,000) total money at stake on Augur.”

The largest wager still active is a bet on the market cap of Ether (ETH) overtaking that of Bitcoin(BTC) by the end of this year.

As Cointelegraph reported, cryptocurrency figures have pointed out an apparent discrepancy in Augur’s user numbers versus the amount the company raised in its 2017 initial coin offering (ICO).

In a blog post last month, Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song alleged that based on an average daily user base of just 25, each participant was worth $3.65 million of the ICO market cap.

“Amazingly, this is one of the success stories for an altcoin/ICO!” Song commented, while noting that Augur had produced better results than other ICO projects which failed to bring a product to market.

At the same time, the CEO of cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX forecast a renaissance for ICOs within the next 18 months, countering the 2018 bear market which saw some tokens lose more than 90 percent of their value.”


4. International – FinTech

 

Crowdfundinsider on recent research into “Insurtech”.

 

“Early this month, the China Insurance and Pension Research Center of the National Finance Research Institute of Tsinghua University released the “2018 Global Insurtech Report by Subsector“. The report provides case studies of Insurtech companies in health insurance, UBI auto insurance, property insurance, cyber-security insurance, SME insurance, agricultural insurance, and P2P model insurance.

The publication has a total of more than 130,000 words, including 37 case studies, 8 industry reviews, covering more than 400 representative insurance technology companies around the world, and analyzing their business models, financing status, founding team, development, and evaluation. The “2018 Global Insurtech Report by Subsector” is a continuation to the “2018 Global Insurance Technology Report” released in the spring of 2018.”

 

5. International – FinTech

  

Indico Capital Partners has launched a new venture capital fund, reports Crowdfundinsider.

“According to a release from the group, the Lisbon based fund has raised €41 million from global LPs calling it the first major Lisbon based fund.

The fund aims to identify and invest in the “most promising Iberian early-stage startups”, in particularly those based out of Portugal. The fund will target investments in Fintech, as well as other tech sectors such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cybersecurity and Marketplaces and B2C Platforms.

Founded by Stephan Morais, Ricardo Torgal and Cristina Fonseca, Partners at Indico Capital Partners, the group believes that Portugal is an up and coming tech hub in Europe.

The Managing General Partner, Stephan Morais, who is the former head of corporate VC Caixa Capital, General Partner Ricardo Torgal (also a former Caixa Capital senior investor) and Venture Partner Cristina Fonseca (co-founder and shareholder of Talkdesk) are expected to bring much experience to the table.”