News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1. UK – FinTech

AltFi reports:

“Open banking provider Yapily has been selected by European digital wealth manager Moneyfarm to provide its open banking integration with UK and Italian banks. 

The move by Moneyfarm means customers will be able to instantly top-up or make withdrawals from their investment portfolios directly to and from their bank accounts, without the need for card payments. 

“This contributes hugely to our mission to empower investors globally to make confident choices, so they can create a more financially secure future for themselves,” said Moneyfarm CEO Giovanni Dapra. 

“We’ve seen a sizable shift towards open banking, and the benefits that it brings to all our customers in terms of enabling them to make better financial decisions." 

Moneyfarm today manages the assets of over 45,000 people and has raised over €115m of funding since its launch in 2011.”


2. UK – FinTech

Scommerce (social commerce news) has the latest on Zopa’s moves into banking.


“Zopa, the world’s first peer-to-peer lender having launched as far back as 2005, is moving into banking after the fintech company confirmed it has secured a full banking license. It’s almost four years since Zopa publicly announced its ambition to expand into offering banking services.

At the time that declaration of intent surprised the alternative finance sector but in hindsight, with the p2p lending sector struggling at the onset of its first recession, Zopa’s move to diversify now looks astute. On announcing its banking license yesterday, Zopa confirmed that it intends to launch a bank offering services including savings accounts and a credit card.

There is a feeling that Zopa securing a banking license marks a new stage in the evolution of the p2p lending sector, which was seen as offering an alternative to traditional lenders. But just exactly what the development will mean longer term is more difficult to forecast.

Will Zopa somehow successfully combine peer-to-peer lending with more traditional bank lending? Or will the fintech slowly move away from its origins to become an online-only bank in the same style as the likes of Starling and Monzo?”



3. UK - FinTech

Listed venture capital firm Draper Esprit has seen the value of its portfolio rise by 18 per cent in the year to 31 March, now worth £703m, according to AltFi. 

“While its profits were just £40m (down from £111m in 2019), its net asset value (NAV) grew by 6 per cent to 555p as a result of rising tech valuations. 

Looking to this year CEO Martin Davies said he believes Draper’s portfolio will perform well despite Covid-19, he said: 

“Our portfolio companies are likely to be at the vanguard of this recovery given the likely acceleration of trends such as cloud infrastructure, online gaming and entertainment, digital healthcare, remote financial services and automation as a result of the changes made by countries, corporations and individuals.” 

In the space of FY2020 Draper added 9 companies to its portfolio including ThoughtMachine which it invested £16.5m in as part of the cloud banking player’s Series B round in March 2020 and Freetrade which it invested £4m in October 2019. 

Draper Esprit partner Vinoth Jayakumar told AltFi: “The biggest fintech uplift has obviously come from Revolut, which is a driver of NAV for us as they’ve gone from a valuation of £1.7bn to £5.5bn in the space of 24 months, so that’s been key on the B2C side.” 

In total Draper has now invested  £7.4m in Revolut, a stake that was worth £21.7m during the fintech's latest funding round.”

4. UK – FinTech

Business West has launched an online business hub to connect borrowers, lenders and investors.

“An online service promising impartial financial advice for Swindon firms on funding options has been launched by Business West, the region’s largest business organisation.

According to Business West, which runs the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, its Finance Hub will be free from confusing jargon or any hard sell, enabling businesses to decide what sort of finance options work best for them even before they consult an investor or a lender. 

It has been launched at a time when businesses are faced with an increasingly complex lending landscape and with their finances pushed to breaking point as a result of coronavirus lockdown.

It will provide impartial and unbiased information and signposting, laying out in a straightforward and easy-to-understand way the various funding options available and how to access them.

It will be helmed by Business West access to finance specialist Ed Tellwright, who works alongside innovative companies to help them secure the finance they need to fund expansion.”


5. International – FinTech

Digital investors in Indonesia are getting the sustainability message. Crowdfundinsider reports:

“Digital technology startups need venture capital or some other type of reliable funding to grow and expand their operations. Several foreign investors have been supporting Indonesian startups which are a critical part of the trillion-dollar economy.

Investors have been investing in selected qualified Indonesian start-ups, called unicorns, or private firms valued at more than $1 billion.

As reported by the Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s Fintech and larger start-up ecosystem is going through a change where investors are prioritizing initiatives focused on sustainable growth.”