News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd of women talking at a business event

Herewith today's SME, AltFi and FinTech briefing:

1. UK – FinTech


Draper Esprit, the Dublin-listed venture capital firm which has been an investor in Revolut and Transferwise, has reported a year-on-year jump in pre-tax profits from £39m to £59m in the six months to September 30, according to AltFi.

“Draper Esprit Chief Investment Officer Simon Cook cited positive trading performances from a number of its investments including tech start-up Graphcore, consumer review website Trustpilot and cloud-based call centre business Aircall, as helping its six-month performance.

The company also cited funding rounds for data analytics company Ravenpack and Pollen, an influencer marketing company, as underpinning its performance.

Simon Cook, Chief Investment Officer at Draper Esprit, said: "We have recorded a strong first six-month performance and our 12 percent fair value increase during the period means that we are on track to deliver our stated 20% annualised portfolio return target." 


2. UK – FinTech


Meanwhile, the news is darker elsewhere in the sector.

Augmentum Fintech has delayed the publication of its interim results, citing uncertainty of the value of its holding in peer-to-peer lender Zopa.

The financial results were due to be published today (November 26) but have been pushed back to early December, the venture capital investment trust said in a statement.

Zopa is reported to be looking to raise £100m to launch its bank. Zopa was granted a banking licence in December last year, with restrictions.

It needs to raise the funds before December 3 as it looks to meet regulatory requirements.”


3. UK – AltFi

Bond Review offers its own take on the FCA clampdown on mini-bonds.

Crowdfundinsider on US developments in crypto regulation and transfers.

“US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Justin Muzinich delivered a speech this week where he addressed the emerging landscape of digital currencies. Muzinich commented on the “broader innovation trends that are shaping our banking and financial system.”


5. International – FinTech

Scams involving new financial technologies comprise a 110 billion yuan ($16 billion USD) industry in China, according to the publishers of three blue books covering the current state of Fintech, Regtech and blockchain in China, according to Crowdfundinsider.

“While producing some conveniences, new financial technologies like cryptocurrencies are also, “trigger(ing) many new forms of crime,” including, “cross-border MLM crimes and telecommunication network fraud,” Chinese state media outlet CCTV reports.