News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Laptop and cup of coffee

1. UK – FinTech 

 

Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, FinnTech funding saw a slight uptick in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to an AltFi report of new research from Accenture.  

“Fintech investments were up 3.8 per cent in the first half of 2020 to just over £2bn, up from £1.9bn in the first half of 2019.  

The slight increase can largely be attributed to a surge in investment across insurtech and payments startups,  data from CB Insights. analysed by Accenture.  

Investment in insurtech saw the largest increase, increasing by 66 per cent from £97m in 2019 to £161m in 2020 and payments-focused fintechs followed, seeing a 5.3 per cent increase on 2019 to £760m.  

Tom Graham, a managing director in Accenture’s banking practice and its UK fintech lead, said: “While overall investment may look positive in light of COVID-19, where that investment is going reflects the current environment and we expect to see the pandemic bite in the coming months.”   

“Investment surges in areas like payments signal backing for the fintech ‘beneficiaries’ in the pandemic – start-ups who offer technologies that support long-term societal shifts driven by COVID - like digital ways to pay.”   

Accenture’s analysis also showed that investors favoured later stage ventures in the first half of 2020, compared to the first half of last year.” 

2. UK – FinTech 

 

RemitRadar, a UK-based money transfer marketplace, is now seeking £400,000 through its recently launched equity crowdfunding campaign on SeedrsCrowdfundinsider reports: 

“Founded in 2014, RemitRadar describes itself as a money transfer marketplace aggregating major money transfer systems to provide consumers with a “​one-stop “​ money transfer and bill payment solution. 

“RemitRadar was started as an online comparison/aggregation platform for the senders and receivers of money transfers, or remittances. This group (our addressable market) comprises >250 million migrant workers who send money home and >700 million recipients (mostly family members). Their total income is over $2 trillion but they are unbanked, under-served and under-insured.” 

 

3. UK – FinTech 

 

Despite the complete upheaval to the way many of us work, FinTechs have been thriving, not just surviving – according to AltFi, which looks at a number of fund-raising efforts.  

Recent figures show that investment in the UK’s fintechs in the first half of 2020 was slightly up on the same period in 2019, with funding jumping to over £2bn in 2020 compared to £1.9bn in 2019.  

So, to see exactly what it was like AltFi caught up with several fintechs (over a video call) to see what it was like to raise cash remotely.  

One of the biggest funding rounds of not just lockdown, but also 2020 so far, came from French payment processor Checkout.com.  

Towards the end of June, Checkout.com closed a $150m Series B fundraise, that was the largest funding round we had seen under lockdown and tripled its valuation to $5.5bn, now equaling Revolut and Klarna’s valuations.  

Thomas Hovaguimian, CFO of Checkout.com, told AltFi: “Whilst Covid-19 has been catastrophic in terms of human impact and a lot of people and businesses are struggling, we saw a very deliberate window to raise capital in.”  

“And we were lucky because we already knew our existing investors really well and that helped us to narrow down the process and get the whole process done quickly.”  

Hovaguimian added: “We came into this recent raise with very strong recent financial performance and we were confident because we were out-performing our business from the previous year and our investors were confident we would continue to perform well, despite Covid-19.”  

Hovaguimian also revealed to AltFi that the fintech opened the round on 19 May 2020 only to close it exactly a month later on 19 June 2020, meaning that the $150m was raised entirely remotely.” 

 

4. UK – FinTech 

Finextra runs a high-profile blog: 

“How important is fintech in perpetuating and augmenting financial inclusion in emerging markets? Matthew Blake, head of financial services and member of the executive committee at the World Economic Forum believes that the fintech sector’s role in banking the unbanked and underserved is vital. 

In parallel to this, the impact of Covid-19 must be surveyed against geography, lifecycle and sector so that correlation between the maturity of the financial sector of a specific country and the level of GDP the country produces can be measured against the effect the coronavirus will ultimately have on reducing poverty, income inequality and ultimately, financial exclusion. 

Blake clarifies that the results of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s (CCAF) Global Covid-19 FinTech Market Rapid Assessment study will provide advice and guidance to fintech firms so that they can expand access to finance for consumers and small-to-medium sized businesses around the world during and post-Covid-19.” 

 

5. International – FinTech 

 

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com recently announced its Exchange will exit public beta on September 8th. According to Crypto.com, Exchange was launched last November in private beta and opened to the public a month after. Crowdfundinisider reports:   

“Users are able to trade digital assets on one of the most liquid and secure platforms in the market through its web interface, trading API, and Crypto.com App with low fees for both individual and corporate customers. The Exchange will progressively launch in all markets where Crypto.com App is available.” 

Crypto.com further revealed that in celebration of the Exchange exit, it will offer Bitcoin Syndicate Special, featuring BTC at 50% off with $2 million allocation.”