News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1. UK – SMEs

Starling Bank has integrated three new companies into its Business Marketplace of third-party providers. AltFi reports:

“The digital bank has added work-from-home favourite messaging app Slack, energy switching service Bionic and health insurance provider Equipsme.

Starling’s marketplace, which is used by one-third of its 177,000-strong business customer base, currently offers 26 services that users can link into their banking app.

Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said: “These new Marketplace integrations are bringing added value to our business customers, helping them to save money on utilities, incentivise their staff with health insurance and sync their Starling app with Slack so their teams can enjoy real-time spending notifications wherever they’re working.”

2. UK – FinTech

P2P Finance News reports:

“Lending technology provider Quotevine has launched a new service for asset finance brokers, to help them deliver much-needed funds to small- and medium-sized enterprises impacted by Covid-19.

The firm, which provides software-as-a service solutions to asset, motor and consumer finance companies, believes banks have been too slow in providing funds under government-backed emergency measures. It argues that asset finance companies are ideally placed to fill the funding gap, which is life-threatening for many smaller firms.

Its new Quickstart package offers brokers core licenses, online proposals, e-signature capability, the ability to create own-branded PDF quotations, and a pricing and payment calculation engine, to speed up the process.”


3. UK – FinTech

The FinTech Times reports:

“The Initial Backlash From The Fintech Industry To The Government-Backed Loan Schemes To Help Companies Damaged By Covid-19 Has Been Tempered In Recent Weeks As More Non-Bank Lenders Have Been Accredited To Two Of Its Key Lending Schemes, The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) And The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS).

The anger- which some fintechs still hold- led to some fintechs putting their heads above the parapet, criticising the British Business Bank (BBB), the government-owned development bank which doles out the loans, for giving Barclays, Lloyds and other traditional banks a competitive advantage over fintechs.

In particular, they argued the BBB gave traditional banks a head start by accrediting them to CBILS ahead of fintechs; shut out fintechs from Band of England (BoE) funding accessed by traditional banks; and failed to utilise cutting edge fintech technology to help SMEs devastated by Covid-19.”

4. UK – FinTech

Receipt Bank, the digital accounting platform which rose to prominence through its receipt scanning technology to streamline expenses, has acquired data quality specialist Xavier, according to AltFi.

“Xavier provides an automated check of financial data and produces a financial health score for SMEs helping businesses to reduce accounting errors and keep costs low.

Receipt Bank made the acquisition with a slice of its $73m Series C raise it completed in January of this year from investors including Augmentum Fintech, although it’s not known how much the fintech dished out for Xavier.

The sale comes as Receipt Bank has moved to widen its accounting software offering to its 400,000-strong user base, as well as expanding overseas.”

5. International – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider reports a global survey from the CCAF:

“The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School is partnering with the World Bank Group and the World Economic Forum to launch the Global Covid-19 Fintech Market Rapid Assessment Survey. The CCAF states that empirical data collected will be used to understand Covid-19’s impact on the Fintech markets, how the global Fintech industry has responded and some of the immediate regulatory and policy implications.

The goal of this online survey is to rapidly assess the performance of the global Fintech market and ascertain what kind of regulatory and policy responses might be most appropriate across different Fintech market segments and geographical markets. The survey is directed at firms in Fintech and Digital Financial Services (DFS) markets and will run from June 15th through July 30th, 2020.”