News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd of women talking at a business event

1.UK – P2P

P2P Finance News reports:

“MORE than 150,000 lenders were invested in 321,483 loans facilitated by Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) platforms at the end of the second quarter, which the trade body deemed “a record level of involvement in the sector”.

Cumulative lending through the association’s eight platforms — CrowdProperty, Crowdstacker, Folk2Folk, Funding Circle, Landbay, Lending Works, ThinCats and Zopa — surpassed £11.3bn as of the end of June, according to data released by the self-regulatory body.

Funding Circle is the largest P2P lender among the P2PFA platform members, having lent out a cumulative total of £5.4bn as of the end of the second quarter. It is followed by Zopa at £4.5bn, with ThinCats in third place with just over £491m.

While cumulative lending among P2PFA members grew over the period, there was a slowdown in new lending compared to the first quarter of the year. £814m of new loans were made in the second quarter, compared to £866m in the first three months of 2019.”

2. UK – SMEs

Tide, a UK-based SME challenger bank, announced on Wednesday it is set to launch its new paid plan, Tide Plus. According to Tide, Tide Plus is an upgraded account that gives users “additional support” for running their businesses, according to Crowdfundinsider.

According to Tide, the upgraded membership will offer a range of additional features to aid in the smooth running of businesses, which includes the following:

  • Dedicated phone support available 9 am to 6 pm UK time
  • Prioritized in-app messaging support
  • Exclusive matte black, smooth feel, Tide Plus card
  • Dedicated 24/7 legal helpline (provided by a law firm)  for contract queries, advice on legislation, regulation, disputes, and other queries
  • 20 free transfers per month

3. UK - P2P/AltFi

P2P Finance News reports:

"SHARES in GLI Finance skidded 28 per cent lower in morning trading, after the alternative finance firm reported a “disappointing” half-year loss.

The Aim-listed firm posted a £6.1m overall loss in the six months to 30 June 2019, although this was a year-on-year improvement from a £9.3m loss in the first half of 2018.

Net assets dropped to £44m from £50.2m last year and group revenue was £100,000 lower at £7.1m.

The Aim-listed company said the overall result was impacted by a £5.2m writedown in its Fintech Ventures portfolio, which which invests in fintech lending platforms.

“It is disappointing to again be reporting further write downs in the Fintech Ventures portfolio,” said GLI chief executive Andrew Whelan.

“As we have previously outlined, we are largely a passenger on this journey and due to capital constraints, we have not been able to follow our money into these platforms.”

4. UK - AltFi

AltFi reports:

"Bud, the financial technology startup which licenses its technology to banks including HSBC, has shed around 20 staff from its marketing team.

The move, first reported by The Telegraph, was described by Bud as a “refocusing” as the company increases its hiring in other areas like sales and engineering.

“We’re adapting our strategy to focus 100% on delivering value to business customers and that means we need some people with a different skillset to deliver it,” said CEO Ed Maslaveckas.

Earlier this year Bud raised $20m in funding from a collection of banks including HSBC, Goldman Sachs, ANZ, Investec’s INVC fund, and InnoCells.”

5. International – FinTech

New hires at Revolut.

Revolut has made a raft of new senior hires including two new CEOs for its operations in Ireland and Lithuania.

It has appointed banking veteran Virgilijus Mirkės as CEO of Revolut Lithuania, where it holds a banking license, alongside a new CFO, CRO, CTO and a range of other roles in Compliance, AML, Credit and Treasury for the country.

Revolut has also hired Ulster Bank Chief Administrative Officer, Joe Heneghan, as CEO of Revolut Ireland.

Mirkės is now responsible for Revolut’s overall operations in Lithuania including recruiting and co-managing its team in Vilnius, working with senior management to define and implement the European strategy for Revolut’s regulated entities, primarily focusing on payment, deposit and credit products, and developing a strong relationship with regulators in Lithuania and beyond.”