News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd at a concert

1, UK – FinTech 


Mode, a UK fintech startup established by Jonathan Rowland, co-founder and director of UK challenger Redwood Bank, is looking to raise £7.5 million through a float on the London Stock Exchange, according to Finextra. 

“The company's ambition is to transform the Mode app, that enables users to manage their sterling, euro and bitcoin from a single platform, into a super app, offering banking, payment, investment, loyalty and digital asset features, all in one.

The company also intends to leverage existing partnership with Alipay and Tencent to provide a bridge for UK and European businesses to the Chinese consumer market. Last month, the firm appointed appointed former Alipay Emea chief Rita Liu as chief commercial officer.

The prospectus states: "The net proceeds from the issue of the Shares will be used to cover technology costs to develop the intellectual property of the platforms and marketing costs to build awareness amongst businesses and consumers, placing fees (including brokerage and placement agent fees), corporate and legal fees, licence costs to cover our European roll-out, regulatory capital for the E-Money Institution (EMI) licence and other working capital." 


2. UK – FinTech 


London is the leading EdTech hub in Europe according to research published by London & Partners and Dealroom, to coincide with London Tech Week 2020. UK Tech News reports:


“Best in Class: Global Trends in EdTech from a London Perspective explores EdTech VC-led investment trends since 2014, comparing countries and cities in terms of deal value and deal count, and considers the impact of coronavirus on the accelerated adoption of EdTech and the growth of the sector. 

The report reveals that London is the top destination for EdTech investment in Europe, featuring as the only European city in the global EdTech top 10 by total VC investment value.” 

3. UK – AltFi 

Finextra reports: 

“The Banking Protocol, a UK-wide scheme that enables bank branch staff to alert their local police force when they suspect a customer is being scammed, it to be extended to cover attempted bank transfers made by customers through telephone and online banking. 

The extension of the scheme comes as bank branch staff worked with the police to stop £19 million of fraud in the first half of 2020, according to the latest figures from UK Finance.

Under the Protocol, police are called to the branch to investigate suspected fraud and arrest any suspects still on the scene.

£19.3 million of fraud was prevented and over 100 arrests were made through the scheme between January and June 2020. The latest figures mean the scheme has prevented victims losing a total of £116 million of fraud and led to 744 arrests since it was first introduced three years ago by UK Finance, National Trading Standards and local police forces.

A range of scams that trick elderly and vulnerable customers into withdrawing cash from their branch have been prevented, including courier scams, romance fraud and rogue traders. Customers helped through the initiative are typically aged 65 or above, with some over 100 years old.

Branch staff are trained to spot the warning signs that suggest someone may have fallen for one of these scams and make an emergency call to the police. 3,250 calls have been made in the first six months of this year through the scheme, including 637 in June.” 


4. International – FinTech 

AltFi reports: 

“Payment processing firm Square has partnered with Mastercard and the Falkland Island’s government to bring debit and credit card payments to the islands.  

Mastercard introduced the Falklands’ government to Square to help the Island’s small businesses join the cashless revolution, installing Square’s terminals in businesses across the Islands.  

Jack Dorsey, CEO and founder of Square and Twitter, said: “Running a business is always hard, and these business owners have the added challenge of being in one of the most remote places on earth. Connecting the Falklands is a big step in creating a more inclusive global economy.”  

With only one bank branch and cash machine, most payments were made by cash as banking and compliance issues make it difficult for smaller businesses to sign up to accept card payments.  

Small business owners would often have to accept foreign currencies to avoid losing a sale, but now with the introduction of Square’s payment terminals, SMEs can accept both debit and credit cards.” 


5. International – FinTech 

AltFi reports more expansion from Revolut: 

“Digital banking service Revolut has today officially launched in Japan after a successful beta launch.  

Revolut had already launched premium accounts in Japan but has now expanded the offering in the country to include its popular free accounts.  

The fintech first received authorisation to operate in Japan in 2018 from the country’s regulator, and garnered 10,000 eager users for its beta launch, largely consisting of expatriates living in the country.  

In a bid to tear down financial borders, Revolut users in Japan will be able to send money instantly and for free to other Revolut customers across the world including the UK, US, Australia and Singapore.  

Nikolay Storonsky, CEO and founder of Revolut, said: “When spending or transferring money overseas, most people are unaware of the hidden fees that banks are charging them.”