News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

People talking and queuing up. One man works on a laptop.

1.UK – P2P

P2P Finance News reports Money&Co.’s move to promote managed portfolio investing.

“MONEY&CO is introducing a managed portfolio product that it says will offer extra security to investors by ensuring more diversification.

The peer-to-peer business lender, which was founded by City ‘superwoman’ Nicola Horlick (pictured), is planning to discontinue single-loan offerings in favour of a “portfolio approach”.

“We are sticking with our successful strategy on loan origination,” said Horlick. “We originate primarily property-backed loans where our lenders take a first charge against the underlying property – typically the loan will be no more than two thirds of the market value of the underlying property asset. We’re also willing to facilitate loans where the security is a business-critical asset (eg. a printing press for a printing company).

“To offer extra security, we’re placing more emphasis on diversification. We’ll be looking to market a portfolio of property- and asset-backed loans to lenders and Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) investors.”


2. UK – P2P

 

FinSMEs carries a press announcement of a round of funding for Welendus.

 

Welendus (PTP Funding Limited), a London, UK-based peer to peer (P2P) lending platform focusing on short term loans, raised funding from the Unicorn Ascension Fund.

UAF has participated in this round as a co-investor alowng with Pontaq.

The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate growth and expand into India.

Led by Nadeem Siam, Co-founder & CEO, Welendus is a peer-to-peer short-term lending platform authorised and regulated by the FCA. The company offers lenders an opportunity to lend (as short-term loans) to a large pool of borrowers. Investors have the ability to choose the risk profile of their borrowers, which in turn determines the annual return on their investment. Borrowers can choose to borrow money starting from £50 and up to £500 with instant decision and same day funding.”

3. UK – AltFi

Money Marketing columnist Nic Cicutti points the finger at the FCA over the LCF affair.

I have said this before and I will say it again: West Riding Personal Financial Solutions’ Neil Liversidge is an adviser I respect hugely. Salty and down to earth, a committed trade body ...

...and the Telegraph reports that LCF administrators are sifting through recorded marketing phone calls as a last resort in attempts to get compensation for investors.

“London Capital & Finance (LCF) ­administrators are investigating recordings of thousands of phone calls in a last-ditch attempt to help furious ­investors recover their money.

The Sunday Telegraph understands Smith & Williamson (S&W) are checking conversations between LCF staff and clients to see if any were given personal advice, which is regulated and therefore eligible for compensation, before they agreed to buy its bonds.

The move is a final hope for thousands who put their savings into LCF, which collapsed in January after taking £236m from more than 11,500 savers.


4. US – FinTech

 

Pymnts.com looks at how AI is affecting credit expansion.

 

Except for a fairly small minority of consumers, everyone more or less relies on access to credit. The FICO-dominated system that is mostly used to evaluate credit worthiness, however, is a problem because it just doesn’t capture consumers’ worthiness to borrowers as well as it could, Girouard said.

Ability to repay, he noted, is a fantastic criteria by which to assess whether or not to give someone a loan — and the credit industry has a long and ignoble history of using people’s inability to handle credit as a tool for harvesting fees and interest revenue. But, he said, the standards that FICO sets miss large sets of modern  consumers who could make excellent borrowers — but they are typically locked out.”

5. International – Equity

 

Crowdfund Insider reports.

 

“Since Australia fixed a glaring shortcoming in the country’s “crowd-sourced funding” regulations, equity crowdfunding has gained a new spring in its step.

Under current Aussie rules, an issuer may raise up to $5 million in an online securities offering. Retail investors are capped at $10,000 per year, per company with sophisticated investors unencumbered by a limit.

Recently, Crowdfund Insider reported on a strong quarter from Birchal. The crowdfunding platform reported it had raised approximately $4.8 million from around 3,300 investors and hosted five successful “CSF” offers, including Australia’s largest crowdfunding offer to date.

Now Equitise, an investment platform that operates both in New Zealand and Australia, has claimed the top spot as Australia’s largest equity crowdfunding platform.

Equitise has reported that since January 2018, Equitise ha raised $8.2 million for seven successful securities offerings ($1.2 million average raise). Approximately 5,500 investors have backed issuers on their site with a 70% success rate for offerings.

Equitise also lists wholesale securities offerings and participated in two IPOs during 2018.”

6. International – FinTech

TechStory reports an Indian deal:

“Digital lending platform has partnered with private life insurance company Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance.

Subsequent to this strategic alliance, Rubique’s digital platform will host the life insurance products offered by Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance.

Rubique will be extending the life insurance products by Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance to all of its existing customers and new customers.

Manav Jeet, Founder and CEO of Rubique said, “We are driven to bring the on demand & relevant suite of financial products for our customers and are glad to announce our partnership with Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company which has bouquet of products catering to multiple customer needs.”