News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

A leopard runnning.

1. UK – FinTech


There are calls for the British Business Bank to play a bigger role in post-Covid recovery. AltFi reports: 

“Taxpayer-backed loans issued by fintechs and others financial institutions supporting companies hurt by coronavirus should be administered beyond their deadlines if needed, according to the founding chairman of the organisation responsible for the loans. 

Ron Emerson, the founding chairman of the British Business Bank (BBB), has called on the organisation to play a bigger role in the post- coronavirus world. 

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Emerson, who led the BBB for nearly three years and is now chairman of lender B-North, said: “What we are seeing is a different economic world where the role of government is going to be central in the way the economy works.” 

“What [Covid] has raised is the whole issue of financial infrastructure in this country across the board, and is it fit for purpose in the 21st Century.” 

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is due to end in early November, six months after its launch while the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) ends September, six months after its launch. 

But the government has said the schemes could be extended beyond their deadline.” 


2. UK – FinTech 

The head of Digital Horizons opines in UK TechNews on Internet 4.0 and where the sector is headed. 

“Today, months into the lockdowns, mask wearing and spiking virus infections, , the reality of working online, endless Zoom meetings, staying connected well beyond normal working hours through apps like Slack, the missed office environments and even the missed commute, and we see both the limitations and the advantages that online life, taken to extremes, delivers. 

Sure, we will all think twice about the real necessity of travelling halfway or even across the world for a meeting or conference, even if a vaccine miraculously ends up protecting us all from COVID-19 and its presumed mutations. Despite the frustrations we’ve all endured from being connected in so many ways, the tools we’re using were developed last decade, and it shows. 

We need next-generation tools, apps and online services to bring us into the Internet 4.0 era of seamless ultra-high speed broadband connectivity, with virtual, augmented, mixed and extended reality collaboration and communication experiences, across smartphones, tablets, notebooks, desktops, and headsets such as Microsoft’s Hololens 2.0, Oculus Rift, etc.” 


3. UK - FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Digital banking app Revolut has netted £63m ($80m) from US private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners in its latest funding round. 

The latest share sale is an extension of a Series D funding round that took place in February, earning Revolut £387 ($500m) and a £4.2bn ($5.5bn) valuation. 

Revolut stated that its valuation remains the same and that the extra money will be used to finance the addition of new features in the US and the roll out of its operations across Europan markets. 

The UK-based digital bank has acquired 12 million registered users since its establishment five years ago but it is still yet to make a profit. In 2018, it reported a £33m loss, more than double the £15m loss in the previous year. However, Revolut did more than quadruple its revenue in that time, from £13m to £58m and the company has stated that it expects to treble revenues again this year.  

The extra funding bolsters Revolut's position as the UK's most valuable fintech startup and it comes at a time when funding for fintechs has declined due to the Covid 19 pandemic.” 


4. UK – AltFi 

AltFi look at Metro Bank’s first decade. 

Metro Bank, which is often hailed as one of the first, and most successful, UK fintechs, is celebrating its 10th birthday this week.  

The bank is getting Heather Small (of M People fame) to help the institution celebrate by performing an exclusive (remote) concert via Metro Bank’s YouTube channel.  

So, as the milestone birthday is just around the corner, we thought it a good idea to take a look back at the last decade of Metro Bank. 


5. International – FinTech 

AI as a support for the FinTech sector, Indian style. Analytics India reports:  

“The Fintech industry is gaining a lot of traction. Of the several use cases that it has, Fintech has got the most visibility in payment gateways, especially with the emergence of UPI. It has dramatically changed the way transactions are conducted. It has also been explored in the credit sector – both in terms of new ways to evaluate risk as well as P2P lending.    

Also, over the last few years, there has been an emergence of Platform-as-a-Service – which allows existing B2C players to enhance their services. This service is expected to make a significant change in digital adoption. 

With a similar vision, Mumbai-based Fintso is providing a backbone for enabling a financial entrepreneur to scale the business. The company offers a holistic service and product basket by increasing client engagement, providing execution and operations support and helping them concentrate on their core activities, by leveraging the Fintso API led platform. To gain more insights into the company and how it is providing a backbone to the entrepreneurs, Analytics India Magazine caught up with George Mitra, who is the CEO and Co-founder at Fintso.”