News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd of women talking at a business event

1.UK  - FinTech

AltFi reports some “reimagining” at Revolut.

“Digital banking service Revolut has today unveiled its new ‘financial super app’ that promises to “reimagine and redefine” its offering to customers.

The redesign will enable users to manage their finances all in one place, with two main sections labelled Home and Wealth.

From the Home tab, Revolut’s users will be able to access their open banking-linked accounts as well as other budgeting and analytics tools. 

Through the Wealth tab, users will be able to trade stocks, cryptocurrencies and commodities.

Cryptocurrency trading has been particularly popular for Revolut’s customers,  the number of users buying cryptocurrencies rose 68 per cent from 20 April to 4 May 2020, with the average amount purchased increasing by 57 per cent and the amount bought per trade increased 63 per cent.

In the coming months, Revolut plans to roll out new products and features to its now 12m strong customer base.” 

2. UK – FinTech

UK Tech News reports:

“Bryter, the no-code automation platform that enables anyone to build professional business applications, today announces a $16 million Series A funding round.

The investment round was led by leading enterprise software venture capital firms Dawn Capital and Accel, which led the seed round in 2019. Also participating in the round were existing investors Notion Capital and the fund of SaaS veteran Mike Chalfen of Chalfen Ventures.

Founded in 2018, BRYTER is the leading no-code platform for business expert knowledge. While digital transformation and automation reshape industries at a rapid pace, the need for coding resources is often a barrier for companies who increasingly depend on software to succeed.”

3. UK – AltFi

UK Finance has announced a raft of new appointees to its board, including Anne Boden, CEO at Starling Bank, in a move that will bring it to an equal split of men and women, according to AltFi. 

“Other new board members are Ruth Leas, CEO at Investec Bank plc, Beatriz Martin Jimenez, Global IB COO & UK Chief Executive at UBS, Steve Hughes, CEO at Coventry Building Society, Anne Marie Verstraeten, UK Country Head BNP Paribas.

Paul Gallagher, ABN AMRO, Paul Lynam, Secure Trust, Peter Smith, Blockchain, Ian Stuart, HSBC, will be stepping down in line with the expiration of their terms agreed with UK Finance Board.

The UK Finance board, from 1 July 2020 will, therefore, have achieved equal gender representation.

UK Finance represents more than 250 firms in the banking and finance industry. The board is led by UK Finance Chair Bob Wigley.”

4. UK – Equity

Business Matters magazine reports:

“In the 2018-19 tax year, £1.8 billion was invested into 3,905 companies, down from £2 billion the previous year, according to figures released by HM Revenue & Customs. Investment via the Seed Investment Enterprise Scheme (SEIS) has also fallen. In 2018-19, 1,985 companies raised a total of £163 million of funds under the SEIS scheme. This is a decrease from 2017-18 when 2,430 companies raised £195 million.

EIS investors receive 30 per cent income tax relief on investments of up to £1m in return for investing in some of the UK’s most high-risk start-ups, and can invest up to £2m in so-called “knowledge-intensive companies”.

According to accountants Price Bailey, the ‘risk to capital ’ rules, introduced on 1 December 2017, mean that entrepreneurs must demonstrate to HMRC that there is a “significant risk” of a capital loss on their shares exceeding the “net investment return”. This is leading to nearly 1 in 10 applications for Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) being rejected or withdrawn.

Further, it is clear that London still dominates the funding market as 49% of all EIS funding is flowing to companies in the capital. Technology companies also look to be holding strong, attracting 30% of total funding. However, it has been concerning to see a 54% reduction in deals worth £4m or more.”

 

5. International – FinTech

 

News of central bank digital currencies (the UK has Britcoin, by the way). Crowdfundinsider reports:

“The management at RRMine, a global distributed Bitcoin hashrate asset management platform that maintains offices in Hong Kong, notes that blockchain or distributed ledger technology is moving past the early days of digital currency and smart contracts, and is now increasingly focused on the development of decentralized applications (dApps).

The RRMine team confirms that many countries are now experimenting with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

RRMine’s management told Crowdfund Insider that authorities in China have been holding heated discussions about how to regulate Bitcoin (BTC) mining. Two cities in mainland China’s Sichuan province have provided industrial policies on water and electricity consumption, the RRMine team revealed.”