News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

a panel of experts at Another Crowd

1.UK – AltFi

David Prosser reports in Forbes:

“Britain may finally be getting better at turning startups into scale-ups. New research from the market analyst Beauhurst reveals there has been a 23% increase in the number of privately-owned scale-up businesses in the U.K. over the past 12 months. Beauhurst’s Scaleup Index, which drills down into every scale-up business making its data publicly available, reveals the U.K. is now host to 5,456 such companies—up from 4,420 a year ago. A further 249 scale-up businesses are listed on the London Stock Exchange’s junior Alternative I”


2. UK – P2P

The Daily Mail reports on crunch time for Zopa’s banking licence application.

  • Zopa has been in the process of trying to become a bank since 2016
  • It was granted a 'licence with restrictions' last December
  • This limited it to total deposits of £50,000 to test its systems
  • It has now been revealed it requires more money to meet BofE requirements 


3. UK – P2P

Last month, the FCA sent a letter to 65 peer-to-peer platforms whose operations they felt were not up to scratch. AltFi runs an opinion piece from a player who didn’t get a warning.

“Now, not being among the recipients, I have to declare that we've not actually been made privy to the precise contents of the letter. However, every one of us in the P2P industry has a vested interest in the FCA raising the bar to a level that excludes anyone but the most scrupulous. Not because it removes competition – the more the merrier – but because every bad actor in the market reflects badly on the rest of us.

We can’t stress too strongly that the charlatans, the incompetents and those who take risks beyond their expertise need to clean up their acts or clear out altogether. When you’re dealing with other people’s money there’s no room for half measures.

So we welcome wholeheartedly the points noted in The Times (who have seen a copy) that the FCA have asked those firms to address in their 7-page missive.

Their criticisms include weaknesses in disclosure of information to clients, opaque charging structures and inadequate record keeping.”


4. International – AltFi

Bloomberg reports on Korean investors’ appetite for income-bearing alternative assets.

“A hunt for yield is prompting South Korean investors to pile tens of billions of dollars into unconventional assets abroad, raising risks of losses on unfamiliar products.

Holdings of overseas alternative assets such as real estate, infrastructure, private equity and debt, and hedge funds by investors in Asia’s fourth-largest economy rose to at least about 201 trillion won ($173 billion) this year, a record, according to data compiled by Samsung Securities Co. and Korea Investors Service Inc. That compares with 158 trillion won held by fund managers, pension funds, insurers and brokerages at the end of 2018 and 118 trillion won in 2017.

Korean investors are joining peers around the world in putting more money in alternative assets as equity and bond returns sag. The global amount of such products under management has risen more than three-fold over the past decade to $9.5 trillion in 2018, and it’s forecast to grow to $14 trillion in 2023, according to Preqin data. The assets can expose buyers to bigger risks than conventional securities, because they are often less liquid with less information about them available to the public.”


5. International – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider reports:

BnkToTheFuture alongside Coinstreet Partners has invested in US Broker-Dealer BMI Capital, according to a company release. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

BnkToTheFuture said it plans to bring security tokens to institutional investors in both the US and Asia facilitated by the BMI Capital. BnkToTheFuture aims to “reach a wider pool of investors and launch new US compliant security token offerings. Coinstreet Partners specializes in arranging institutional investor roadshows across Asia.”