News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1.UK – FinTech

The British Bank announces four news lenders in its CBIL:

“Today the British Business Bank has announced that it has approved four new lenders for accreditation under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. The new CBILS lenders are Allied Irish Bank (GB)/AIB (NI)[1], ThinCats, Paragon Bank and IGF (Independent Growth Finance).

Following their approval, each lender will be putting in place the operations required to start lending under the scheme and will confirm shortly the dates from which they will be ready to start receiving CBILS applications from smaller businesses across the UK.

More than 80% of the UK’s smaller businesses have a finance relationship with CBILS’ 50+ accredited lenders. The British Business Bank is accelerating at pace the onboarding of new lenders to further extend the scheme’s reach.

It was originally announced at Budget that an initial £1bn of government-backed lending would be available through CBILS. The government subsequently announced that it would be a demand-led programme, providing whatever the market needs.”

2. UK – FinTech


Listed venture capital firm Draper Esprit has hired the London Stock Exchange’s former head of tech and life sciences as its new marketing director, reports AltFi.

James Clark, who has been at the Exchange for four years, will join Draper’s platform team to focus on marketing and branding of the firm, its funds and Draper’s portfolio activity.

Clark is also on the Tech Nation UK Future 50 Advisory Board, is a mentor at the InnovX Business Accelerator in Bucharest and spoke at the AltFi London Summit 2019.

“James has a solid track record of using his marketing expertise to help dynamic businesses cut through the noise and establish relevance and credibility,” said Draper CEO Martin Davis.

“He also has an in-depth understanding both of venture capital and early stage businesses and the listed company environment.”

Last month Draper led an $83m funding round in banking-as-a-service player Thought Machine, adding to a portfolio that also includes Revolut, Freetrade, Crowdcube, Transferwise and Seedrs.

3. UK - FinTech


AltFi runs a virus opinion piece:

“COVID-19 has sent the world into a state of emergency and daily life into a new normal centred around staying home. Financial markets have been pushed into a steep nosedive and the world is bracing itself for the economic fallout the pandemic will leave. 

Fintech lenders can and must be allowed to contribute to overcoming the ensuing global economic crisis. They can be part of a meaningful legacy of this virus. To be empowered to do so, they need strong support not only of governments and regulators but also of their investor partners. 

Sitting working from my living room in week four of the UK’s lockdown (interrupted regularly by an energetic toddler), life has changed immeasurably in an incredibly short space of time. Agile working is the new norm and the pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance technology plays in our daily lives. 

Stagnant economic growth now seems a best-case scenario in the short to mid-term, with fears of global recession very real. What is certain in these times of great economic uncertainty is that cash liquidity will be under a hard squeeze for many businesses and individuals as a result of measures taken to stymie the spread of infection. 

Lending businesses will play a crucial role in plugging this liquidity gap, whether under government-backed programmes or otherwise. The extent of their effectiveness in quickly meeting liquidity needs will be a determinative factor for economic recovery.”



4. UK – AltFi

Bond Review reports on the collapse of Blackmore:


“After months of delayed and missing payments and failure to file legally-required accounts, Blackmore Bonds is finally to be taken out back and put out of investors’ misery.

Administrators Duff and Phelps have been appointed by a security trustee (presumably Oak Fund Services (Guernsey) Limited), according to IFA trade rag Money Marketing. The news is little surprise as D&P were originally approached by Blackmore investors in January, seeking answers after months of delayed and missing interest payments.

Duff and Phelps are experienced in winding up investment schemes; they are currently raking over the ashes of collapsed care home scheme Carlauren and were also administrators of one of the biggest of the previous wave of investment scheme collapses, the Connaught Income Fund which collapsed in 2012 causing £118m in investor losses.”



5. US – FinTech

P2PMoneyshop asks whether crypto portfolios can be enhanced by using mainstream-finance tools.