News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1.UK – FinTech

AltFi reports:


Tink has appointed Stripe’s former head of EMEA banking, Rafael Plantier, as its new country manager for the UK and Ireland.

Plantier will look to expand Tink’s UK work, which currently includes partnerships with companies like NatWest, PayPal and Klarna.

“The UK and Ireland is charging ahead of the rest of Europe in its open banking journey,” said Plantier.

“It’s a brilliant launchpad for challenger banks and fintechs, and a thriving hub of investment and innovation. I’m excited to be right at the heart of the open banking revolution and look forward to this new leadership challenge to turbocharge Tink’s growth in the UK and Irish market.”

Tink’s pitch to banks, fintechs and startups is to use one API which lets their customers access aggregated financial data, initiate payments, etc.

Earlier this year NatWest announced it will partner with Tink to operate the personal finance management features of its UK banking app going forward.

PayPal also revealed its involvement in Tink’s €56m Series D, of which it’s understood to have taken a sizable €10m chunk of.”


2. UK – FinTech

Business Cloud reports:

“FinTech mortgage lender M:QUBE has secured £5m in seed funding shortly before its planned launch early next year.

The lender claims to have digitised and automated the entire mortage application process.

It uses brokers to verify the accuracy of customer data before applications are submitted, speeding up the process.

It intends to launch into the buy-to-let sector, working exclusively with mortgage brokers, before securing FCA authorisation to offer deals for owner occupiers.

The firm is backed by European VC’s AV8 ventures, its lead investor, with participation from JamJar Investments and IQ Capital.

The firm was founded in 2017 by CEO Stuart Cheetham and Richard Fitch.”


3. UK – FinTech


AltFi reports:

“Six partnerships between fintechs and community lenders have been awarded £150,000 each in funding to develop new innovative solutions to bridge the gap left by the collapse of the payday lending industry.

In direct response to the demise of firms such as Wonga, which collapsed amid controversial lending, the Affordable Credit Challenge, run by Nesta Challenges in partnership with HM Treasury aims to make credit more accessible and affordable. 

Research conducted to mark the launch of the Challenge revealed eight in ten (82 per cent) people think more needs to be done to ensure there are alternatives to high-cost lenders and 75 per cent believe not-for-profit, community lenders need more support to succeed. 

Solutions include alternative credit scoring to make it easier for people to access affordable loans, using open banking to monitor borrowers’ behaviour and reduce interest rates over time, and a credit facility specifically for a frozen food shop in school holidays when low-income households often turn to high-cost credit to cover grocery bills.”


4. US – AltFi


Crowdfundinsider reports:


“Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton has re-affirmed his belief that retail investors should have a compliant path to access more private securities offerings.

While initial public offerings (IPOs) have morphed into an exit opportunity for big money where retail investors end up holding the bag, and most wealth is captured in private securities offerings, Chair Clayton is looking to right this societal wrong that disenfranchises much of the population.”


5. International – AltFi

Professional Adviser reports on expected future expansion of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment funds.

“In a paper looking at the future of ESG investing, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has predicted that assets under management in ESG equity funds based in Europe will rise by €1trn by 2030.

Over the past two years, flows into ESG funds have gone up eight-fold, while the number of ESG funds available in the market now surpasses 1,000, a 40-times increase in the past decade.

Europe is the leader in this space, however even in the European Union ESG funds make up just 7% of total assets.

In its paper entitled ESG Matters - Europe: Great for the world, good for returns, BofAML analysts predict ESG investing in EU equities will rise by €800m-€1.1bn by the end of the decade, with one in three funds to be focused on ESG investing.

This shift will partly be driven by regulation, the analysts have said. Since 2017, the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive has already required around 6,000 EU companies to publish ESG data in their annual results.

At the same time, there are a growing number of regulatory requirements putting pressure on companies to take ESG into effect, such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), as well as a rising number of voluntary disclosures initiatives as the UN Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”