News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1. UK – SMEs

Forbes runs through the gamut of traditional and altfi funding options available to SMEs.

2. UK – AltFi

Funding for property ventures in Wales. The Development Bank of Wales reports:

“The Wales Property Fund is financed entirely by Welsh Government with the Development Bank of Wales having invested £24 million in property deals in 2018/19 to part-fund 320 housing units and 8,690 square feet of commercial space. Loans between £150,000 and £4 million for terms less than 24 months are available for small and medium sized developers. Short-term finance from £250,000 up to £5 million is available for commercial projects. Over £137 million is currently available including a Stalled Sites Fund of £40 million to enable developers to unlock stalled residential housing projects.”


3. UK – AltFi


UK Tech News brings news of a “post-cookie world” and “dynamic consent management”.


“In an impending post-cookie world where dynamic consent management is key,  integrated European Data Marketing platform mediarithmics has secured an €8 million funding round from existing (Jaïna Capital, Ventech) and new investors (Alliance Entreprendre, Adelie Capital)  to scale its technology solutions.

“mediarithmics was launched in 2013 to create an agile, scalable data marketing solution. The current environment, and particularly the scheduled end of third-party cookies, supports the mediarithmics vision: all market players have to rely on a flexible, open and scalable platform engineered to seamlessly adapt to technological evolutions,” comments mediarithmics founder & CEO Stéphane Dugelay.

“This capital will enable our team to enhance capabilities while expanding our reach across Europe and the UK. Our optimised platform allows customers to continue direct-marketing while respecting consumer choice.”

Over the last 3 years, mediarithmics’ customer base has increased to service the majority of the Retail and Technology markets in France. This funding round will enable mediarithmics to accelerate its international expansion with a similar model – focusing on UK and Canada in particular.”


4. UK – AltFi

The FinTech Times comes up with dodgy metaphor of the week, with an article on challenger banks as the eternal “mistresses” of finance. 

“Bank Challenger Have Always Claimed They Are A On A Digital Mission To Shake Up The Banking Industry Figures, However Research From Curve Shows That Even Among The Keenest Early Adopters, Traditional Banks Are Still Used For Four In Every Five Purchases.

The challenger banks have always claimed they are a on a digital mission to shake up the banking industry with slick apps and new features which make managing money, and collecting rewards, far more user friendly.

However, the latest research from Curve would suggest they still have a long way to go. The service that allows customers to manage multiple bank cards through a single platform believes it is a unique position to research spending habits for those who have a choice between challenger and high street accounts.

The result may make uncomfortable reading for the challengers. When given the choice, Curve users pick their high street card over a challenger’s for more than four in every five transactions.

This finding prompted Curve to delve deeper to better understand consumer behaviour among those who have a choice of using either a high street or challenger bank. The conclusion will make unsettling reading for the new brands. Only Monzo appears to be making any major sign of inroads in competing with the high street in a year when we have already seen the closure of N26 and NatWest’s, Bo.

Curve, CEO Shachar Bialick, believes its figures prove investors backing the challenger banks may be in for an uncomfortable surprise when they look beyond the promise of disruption and focus on actual day-to-day statistics.”


5. UK – FinTech


AltFi looks at the FinTech sectors which are thriving or just surviving.

“Public market confidence is returning, especially in the US where fintech stocks have outperformed listed SaaS and Consumer equities, and the recent S-1 filing of $2.1bn insurtech Lemonade is a strongly positive signal.

This side of the pond listed fintech investor Augmentum Fintech and lender Funding Circle are both now trading at or above their pre-Covid-19 stock prices.

However, with central banks setting interest rates at historic lows and the prospect of a global recession very much looming, venture capital is growing far more selective about which fintechs get funded (as the recent woes of Monzo and Monese demonstrate).

What coronavirus has done, in effect, is accelerate change and adoption in certain segments of fintech, while slowing change in others.

“The best way to look at fintech now is industry by industry, we need to decompose the various segments, because the underlying structural drivers are still there,” Charles Delingpole, CEO of financial compliance group ComplyAdvantage, told AltFi.

Here we’ll take a look at some of the fintech verticals which are thriving, and others which are just surviving.”