News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd in nightclub, seen from a DJ point of view

1.UK – FinTech

Industry body Innovate Finance has appointed Mike Carter to lead its recently-established 36H Group, which took over from the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association in January. Funding Circle 

“Carter has been appointed to the role of Head of Platform Lending, tasked with managing the group at a time that its alternative lender members like Funding Circle are poised to play a significant role in supporting thousands of UK SMEs.

“Obviously, in common with all other markets, the immediate priorities of the sector are to manage their businesses through this unprecedented economic storm while still serving their customers, and many of the platforms have already implemented measures to combat the downturn,” said Carter.

Earlier this month Innovate Finance urged the government on behalf of its members to extend much-needed liquidity to the non-bank lending sector, so that it could in-turn continue to support the millions of SMEs facing a cash crunch.”


2. US – AltFi

Invezz reports JP Morgan’s cash raise to expand its AltFi operation.

JP. Morgan plans to raise about £8 billion to boost its spend during this Covid-19 pandemic period. The firm’s alternative-investment division said the amount would enable them to sail through the current crashed economy.

“The magnitude of these dislocations is so significant. To get some of these markets functioning, you need a lot of capital,” JPMorgan’s global head of alternatives Anton Pil said during a Monday interview.

According to the executive, the firm is set to raise between £4 to £8 billion from its sponsors including sovereign-wealth funds, pension schemes, private banks, to name a few.

The sum will be allocated as follows: £2.4 billion for real estate activities, £2.4 billion to go towards credit and £3.2 billion for transport and infrastructure. Once the additional capital is raised, the firm will focus on financing leveraged loans and commercial real estate, liquid macro-strategies including thematic equities, commodities, foreign exchange, as well as private equity and special situations.


3. US – FinTech


AltFi reports:

“US-based investment app Stash has announced the closure of a $112m Series F funding round and was led by money marketplace LendingTree.

According to TechCrunch the close of the latest funding round could put the valuation of the company at around $812m.

Other notable investors in the round include T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Breyer Capital, Goodwater Capital, Greenspring Associates, Union Square Ventures and Entree Capital.

Stash’s goal is to help everyday investors “access to the tools, guidance and confidence” needed to invest and grow personal wealth. 

As well as its investment platform, the banking service also offers basic bank accounts, retirement accounts and custodial accounts for parents looking to invest on a child’s behalf.

In the first quarter of 2020 Stash also said it saw a 100 per cent increase in weekly customer deposits across both its banking and investment platforms.

The New York-based fintech has 4.5m users and hit a milestone of over $1bn in assets under management on its platform.”


4. International – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider reports:

“Tencent Holdings Ltd., a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company whose subsidiaries offer various Internet-related products and services, has introduced a blockchain accelerator program. Tencent, which is among the world’s most valuable companies and also one of the largest VC firms and investment corporations, says it will mentor 30 companies and help them implement various distributed ledger technology (DLT)-enabled solutions.

The tech giant’s program is called the Tencent Industrial Accelerator. It is currently accepting applications, according to the Shenzhen-based firm’s official website. The deadline or final date for turning in applications is June 6, 2020.

Tencent’s accelerator will take applications from early-stage DLT firms and established businesses that may be interested in offering blockchain-powered products. However, a project or company must have finalized at least one investment round in order to be eligible for the accelerator program.”


5. International – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider reports:

“CoinList Trade has added another digital asset to its list of crypto available to trade.

CoinList Trade is a crypto exchange that was announced last year but opened for trading a few weeks ago. If you are curious as to which virtual currency you can currently trade and where (IE which countries/states), you may view the list here.

Today, CoinList has announced it will offer trading in Orchid digital currency (OXT).

Orchid is the “crypto powered VPN” and is a privacy network. According to CoinList:

“…. anyone can buy and sell bandwidth using the Orchid digital currency (OXT). Users can browse privately and access content without being limited by their geography. With its decentralized design, multi-hop architecture, and Open Source ethos, Orchid offers users unprecedented digital privacy in a trustless context. Learn more about OXT and Orchid.