News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

the silicon chip inside her head

1. UK – FinTech 

AltFi reports on a neo bank:

"Few expected the coronavirus to have such a cataclysmic effect on normal life but that’s not to say some companies did not plan for something approximating its disruption. 

Zopa’s CEO Jaidev Janardana says the speed of the crisis was a surprise for many, including the world’s first fintech lender. Moving everybody out of their London and Barcelona offices happened over the course of just three days in mid-March when things started to get serious.  

As the first peer-to-peer lender, having launched in 2005, it has seen out one major global financial crisis already. It is principally a consumer lender but was poised to launch the biggest strategic shift in its history: a ‘next-generation digital bank’ after 4 years of preparation. COVID-19 could have been enough to knock its pivot off course. 

The launch earlier this month, which could prompt Zopa to move on entirely from its peer-to-peer lending origins, which operate as a profitable business, was arguably not ideally suited to a pandemic. But the firm already had a plan.”

2. UK – FinTech

Scottish fintech start-up Nude, which helps people save for their first home, has raised over £3 million after launching a Seedrs crowdfunding campaign and surpassing virtually all of its £3.5m target since going live on July 6. The Herald reports:

“Glasgow-based Nude, a new savings account, financial coach and app, has been designed to “stand up” for first-time buyers and help aspiring homeowners better understand their finances and the home-buying process, enabling them to save and buy their home faster than the current “outdated home-buying experience”.

3. UK – FinTech/SMEs

Since opening its payment processing service in April 2019, Cashplus has reached one million payments with more than £310m transacted in the first year of operation. AltFi reports:

Cashplus, whose primary business is providing small business credit cards, said it has processed a further 200,000 transactions since May at a value of over £30m. 

“The Payments API is a great example of the type of innovative, practical products we want to offer our SME customers, using technology to deliver real benefits for these businesses instead of gimmick features and flashy design,” said chief commercial officer Paul Schooley. 

Its payments API lets SME customers make thousands of automated payments, with the average corporate customers paying a faster payment transaction fee of around 33p. 

The feature rivals that offered by the likes of Stripe, TrueLayer, Plaid and more.”

4. US – FinTech

 

FinExtra reports:

“Privacy.com, a virtual card platform that provides secure payments for businesses and consumers, has announced $10.2M in Series A funding.

The round was led by Teamworthy Ventures with participation from Tusk Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Quiet Capital, Exor Seeds and Rainfall Ventures.

The new funding will fuel the expansion of the Privacy's Card Issuing API, the easiest and most developer-friendly service for businesses of all sizes to issue and manage virtual and physical cards for all their payment needs, including procurement, expense reimbursement, disbursement automation, on-demand services, digital banking, agency services, and more.”

 

 

5. US – AltFi

 

SPACs or special acquisition companies have emerged as a hot sector of finance, according to Crowdfundinsider. SPACs have been around for a long time – the word “again” seems to be missing from CF’s intro. Here’s the nose of the article.

“Recently, Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square announced a $4 billion initial public offering for a SPAC making it the largest ever for a blank check company. The SPAC is anticipated to have a minimum of $5 billion in equity capital and as much as $7 billion if all forward purchases are made. Ackman’s SPAC, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, is looking for “mature unicorns” to possibly acquire. It was also interesting that Ackman is committing Pershing’s own capital to the SPAC said to be from $1 billion or higher.

Year to date, there have been approximately 43 SPAC IPOs raising over $14 billion according to reports. Barron’s said the “SPAC boom” has shifted “into overdrive.” A SPAC can be a fast track to a public listing and immediate liquidity.”