News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

a panel of crowdfunding experts at an Another Crowd event

1. UK – Equity


Stealth bank Dozens has closed their crowdfunding round on Seedrs having raised £3.815 million (about $5 million) at a pre-money valuation of £20 million, reports Crowdfund Insider.

Dozens had sought a minimum raise of £3.5 million. According to a release, 2,156 investors from 42 different countries invested in the firm. Seedrs states this is the platforms largest crowdfunding round listed on the platform so far in 2019.

Over time, offerings on the investment crowdfunding platform have moved higher as later stage companies seek to leverage the digital services of Seedrs.

Project Imagine, the parent company of Dozens, previously raised $8 million taking their total funding to £10 million from Hong Kong-based STI Financial Group. Dozens is the first venture from Project Imagine, which aims to bring true innovation in financial services, alongside financial education for consumers.”


2. UK – P2P

P2P Finance News reports.

“PROPLEND has opened up its product range to personal owners of commercial property.

The peer-to-peer property lender – which specialises in secured commercial property mortgages and bridging loans for corporate borrowers – previously only lent to limited companies, partnerships and special purpose vehicles (SPVs).”

3. UK – FinTech

Crowdfund Insider reports:

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced on Wednesday the launch of its online investment service. According to the banking group, the Royal Bank Invest offers customers an opportunity to invest online from  £50, on a self-select or Automated Advice basis. Customers will be able to link their investments to a financial goal and track performance online.”

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced on Wednesday the launch of its online investment service. According to the banking group, the Royal Bank Invest offers customers an opportunity to invest ...


4. International – FinTech

The Block Crypto offers an overview of international attitudes to crypto regulation.

  • The FCA (equivalent to U.S. SEC) is not proposing to regulate what it calls ‘exchange tokens’, which include Bitcoin or Litecoin, or utility tokens in the majority of cases
  • The FCA does expect to regulate ‘security tokens’, by reference to existing capital markets legislation in England and Wales. In short, if a token looks like a security (e.g. it has share or debt like characteristics) it is likely to be caught and will be characterized as a ‘regulated activity’
  • The UK may end up enacting more stringent AML laws than the rest of Europe, which may drive firms to other jurisdictions with more light touch compliance regimes
  • The FCA has strongly hinted that it will ban the sale of crypto derivatives such as contracts for difference and futures to retail investors later this year


5. International – FinTech

Asia First reports:


“Indonesia’s investment watchdog announced that about 144 peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms have been found to be operating illegally. Tongam L. Tobing, chairman of the Investment Alert Tax Force, said the unlicensed platforms include those operating from China, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States. Tongam said that while the Financial Services Authority (OJK) blocked the operation of hundreds of unlicensed P2P lending websites and applications, these could easily be re-established due to the constantly changing nature of information technology, the country’s huge market for online lending, and the public’s lack of understanding of fintech.

Illegal P2P lending platforms attract many borrowers, as they provide easier access to loans, but Tongam said they also charge huge interest rates, fees, and fines. The OJK recently implemented a regulation that would stop the operation of illegal fintech platforms by blocking websites and applications, filing reports to the police, raising public awareness, and releasing a list of licensed companies, said Tongam.”


6. International – FinTech


Xinhuanet runs an announcement.

“HeZhong International Holding, which operates a peer-to-peer lending platform in China, announced terms for its initial public offering (IPO) on the U.S. stock market Wednesday.

The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol "HZ," by offering 1,250,000 ordinary shares at a price of 4 U.S. dollars apiece, according to its prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

ViewTrade Securities is the sole bookrunner on the deal.

Based in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, the company provides services for its online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors.”