News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd airport

1.UK – FinTech

The Irish Times reports:

Ivano Cafolla is well rehearsed in Dublin’s social scene. Promoting events, venues and nightclubs has always been part of his CV so it’s no surprise that his new venture would involve the same industry, only this time it incorporates tech, in the shape of his new app Zazu.

“We are a booking and payments facilitator for the bar, restaurant and nightclub industry,” explains Cafolla. “I always wanted my own venue and I got the chance to take my own venue on which was No.5 Vinoteca, a piano and cocktail bar and from that Zazu came because of my frustration with the lack of consumer facing booking apps. When we had the Italian guy trying to spell the Irish name, the email would always be wrong or the Irish guys trying to spell the Italian names or different nationalities’ names, the details were always wrong. That’s where the app comes in handy.”

There are two versions of the app, one for consumers and the other for the merchants. The app is available on all mobile platforms and is aimed at both domestic and corporate use.”


2. UK – P2P


P2P Finance News reports on re-branding in the sector.

“REBRANDS are in fashion among peer-to-peer lenders.

In recent weeks RateSetter has unveiled a new look and website while Welendus is planning a name change.

We look at the key ways P2P lenders are relaunching themselves.


A logo is one of a firm’s biggest marketing tools, making them memorable and recognisable.

The logo is often one of the first things that is changed in a relaunch.

In 2016, Zopa moved from the orange, grey and yellow logo it had sported since 2005 to the green and white it is known for today.

Similarly, MarketInvoice dropped its orange and grey logo in 2017 for a new, blue design, with the slogan ‘let’s make it happen’.

Funding Circle also changed its logo in 2017, dropping its white and purple arrows for more structured shapes in different shades of purple.

In the same year, ThinCats altered its logo to a simple T, although it has retained its black and white colour theme.”

On brand! How P2P lenders are reinventing themselves

3. UK - P2P


Funding Circle founder Samir Desai (pictured) earned more than £4m last year, having cashed in some of his shares at the time of the peer-to-peer lender’s stock market flotation, according to P2PFN..

“Desai took home a salary of £210,000 last year, according to Funding Circle’s annual report, a four per cent increase from his salary of £202,000 in 2017.

The majority of his total remuneration of £4.081m came from cashing in share options.

He received £3.87m from shares that vested at the time of the initial public offering (IPO) and were converted into ordinary shares, a Funding Circle spokesperson confirmed to Peer2Peer Finance News.

Immediately prior to IPO Desai held 3,845,968 vested and 2,237,532 unvested shares, the annual report said. The offer price at IPO was £4.40 but Funding Circle’s shares have had a rather volatile few months and are now trading at £3.12 as of Wednesday afternoon.”


4. US – FinTech


Crowdfund Insider reports on a new Crypto platform.


“As the heady days of initial coin offerings continue to dim, proponents of digital securities are moving to leverage blockchain to issue digital assets in a regulated and compliant manner. In the US, if you issue a tokenized offering it is pretty much a security and thus must adhere to existing law.

A new legion of platforms and offerings are moving to take advantage of blockchain tech seeking to provide both trading and investing opportunities. For now, these offerings are largely available only for institutional and HNW/accredited investors.

Arca is one of these new digital asset platforms seeking to lead the transition from analog to digital. An asset manager and fund creator for digital assets, the company blends traditional finance and blockchain based securities. Arca currently has four different products and services:

  • Actively managed private funds provide
  • Arca Treasury Management
  • Arca Digital Securities Structure
  • Arca US Treasury Coin

Arca UST Coins, a stablecoin issued by Arca, is an industry first. A registration statement was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last November with a goal of allowing it to trade publicly and potentially open to all investors. The coins or tokens are expected to have an average portfolio duration of around 8 years. The initial net asset value (NAV) is set at $1 with a minimum investment of $1000.00.”

5. International – AltFi


The investor looks at crowdfunding in Korea.


“The amount of crowdfunding in South Korea gained about 37 percent in the first quarter of this year, data showed on April 11, after the government softened rules to help small and medium-sized firms raise more funds via crowdfunding. 

According to the data by the Financial Services Commission, 43 companies raised a combined 11.4 billion won ($10 million) in the first quarter, up 37.3 percent from a quarter ago.”