News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1.UK – P2P

P2P Finance News carries news from a P2P-invested investment trust.

 

“P2P GLOBAL Investments (P2PGI) posted another month of net asset value (NAV) growth in December in spite of challenging market conditions.

The alternative finance-focused fund reported a monthly NAV return per share of 0.78 per cent in what proved to be a difficult month for stock markets across the globe. On an annualised basis, the investment trust’s NAV has returned 9.31 per cent.

Performance was boosted by several one-offs. These include the proceeds from selling two performing loans at a premium to carrying value and an increase in the value of the quoted equity portfolio, as well as the sale of a portfolio of US consumer loans.

The investment manager also completed its annual IFRS 9 provisioning review, which resulted in a small increase in portfolio provisions. This was down to greater global economic uncertainty.”


 

2. UK – AltFi

 

FinSMEs offers an international perspective on lender Growth Street’s recent equity raise.

 

“Growth Street, a London, UK-based business lending platform, raised £7.5m in funding.

The round, which valued Growth Street at £27.5m, was led by Merian Chrysalis, with participation from Zeus Capital, Rob Rankin, Peter Brodnicki, Christiaen van Lanschot, Paolo Cuniberti, and David Giampaolo.

The company intends to continue to expand its business reach.

Led by co-founder and CEO Greg Carter, Growth Street provides SMEs with flexible working capital from £25k up to £2m to help them grow. Its flagship business finance product, GrowthLine, works much like an overdraft: once they’ve given a client a limit, the client can draw down funds and make repayments as often as they like in a given month. And they’ll only pay for what they use: if their balance stays at £0 through a month, that period won’t cost a thing.
To date, the platform has matched £175m of investors’ funds with growing businesses.”

 

3. US – FinTech

 

Thrive Global runs a feature with Funding Bum CEO, Bernardo Pereira.

 “A crowdfunding platform with built-in backers” -  thriveglobal.com

4. International – FinTech

The BBC runs the latest on the unfortunate events surrounding cryptocurrency exchange, Quadriga.

“Canada's largest cryptocurrency exchange is unable to access millions in digital currency following the sudden death of its founder.

Quadriga has filed for creditor protection and estimates that about C$180m ($137m; £105m) in cryptocurrency coins is missing.

It has not been able to locate or secure its cryptocurrency reserves since Gerald Cotten died in December.

Cotten, 30, had sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins.

In court documents filed with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on 31 January, his widow Jennifer Robertson, says the laptop on which Cotten "carried out the companies' business is encrypted and I do not know the password or recovery key".

"Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere," the affidavit states.

The company hired an investigator to see if any information could be retrieved but ongoing efforts have had only "limited success in recovering a few coins" and some information from Cotten's computer and phone.

The company is also investigating whether some of the cryptocurrency could be secured on other exchanges, according to court files.

They say about 115,000 Quadriga users hold balances in their personal accounts in the form of cash obligations and cryptocurrency.

The company estimates it owes about C$250m ($190m; £145m) - including C$70m in hard currency.

The affidavit says the majority of the cryptocurrency was kept by Quadriga in a "cold wallet" or "cold storage", which is located offline and used to secure cryptocurrency from hacking or theft.

 

5. International – SMEs

The Jerusalem Post runs a a feature on gender equality and female CEOs of small businesses.

A better way forward for female entrepreneurs - Opinion - Jerusalem Post