News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd in nightclub, seen from a DJ point of view

1. UK – FinTech 

P2P Finance News reports on CBILs in direct lending: 

“Assetz Capital has seen an uptake in applications for the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) as the nation heads towards the application deadline of 30 September. 

Stuart Law (pictured), chief executive of Assetz Capital, which became the second peer-to-peer lender to be approved to participate in the scheme in May, said the platform has funding lines for at least £150m in CBILS lending and has been very busy with applications over the past few weeks. 

“It’s been very busy, we’ve seen huge activity and lots of companies putting in applications,” said Law. 

“We’ve seen a continuous huge uptake over the past few weeks. 

“We’re sure there will definitely be people who will miss the deadline because they’ve left it too late. I’m sure we’ll get applications on 30 September as will all accredited lenders.” 

Meanwhile, LendingCrowd, which was accredited for CBILS at the start of July, reported it had not seen a huge rise in applications of late, but a steady flow. 

“The number of applications have been quite steady, but we expect to see a rise nearer the deadline,” said a spokesperson from LendingCrowd.

2. UK - FinTech 

 

AltFi reports: 

“Following rumours swirling around Curve’s alleged Series C fundraiseCrowdcube tested the waters with existing investors in the fintech last week.  

Crowdcube sent an email, seen by AltFi, to its members who had previously invested in Curve and asking if they would partake in a second campaign for the fintech.  

The email asked existing investors in the all-your-cards-in-one fintech: “If the opportunity was available, would you be interested in investing in Curve again?”  

Crowdcube also appeared to imply that Curve is looking to raise £100m, a figure that had been floated around but remained unconfirmed by the fintech.  

The email read: “Curve may be looking to raise over £100m in an upcoming Series C round.”  

Another indication that Curve is in the process of fundraising, CEO and founder Shachar Bialick ceased to be a “person with significant control” according to an update posted to Companies House yesterday that was backdated to 24 March 2020.  

The removal of Bialick’s control could signal a dilution of his stake in the fintech which is part and parcel of bringing an investor on board.” 

 

3. UK – FinTech 

 

How corporate venture capital “could close the gender gap for entrepreneurs”. Fast Company reports: 

“The data indicate that we still have a long way to go. In 2019, less than 3% of all VC funds went to women-led companies, more than 90% of all decision-makers at VC firms were men, and despite representing 39% of the nation’s business owners, women accounted for only 4% of all business revenues. When we factor in race and ethnicity, the journey to gender equity becomes even more strenuous. Black women, for instance, represent a meager 0.2% of all venture-backed founders, less than 4% of the VC workforce—virtually none of whom are calling the shots—and just 3.5% of women business owners. 

While this is objectively wrong, it’s also bad for business. Gender equity is a massive untapped resource in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. VCs could expand their projected returns to investors by $4.4 trillion by committing to equitable investing practices. What will it take to catalyze the efforts necessary to achieve gender equity in entrepreneurship? Corporate venture capital (CVC) may be able to lead the way.” 

4. International – FinTech 

European fintech startups are being invited to apply to a new 'hackcelerator' programme designed to ease their expansion into the Asean market. Finextra reports: 

“Coordinated by Accelpoint Accelerator, the programme will see European firms get the opportunity to present their businesses in front of a group of investors, experts and corporate representatives during the Singapore Fintech Festival at the Global FinTech Hackcelerator Demo Day in December.

The winner of the European edition of the contest will receive an award of S$20,000, participate in a 12-week virtual programme with experts from Singapore, get six months free access to the APIX Innovation sandbox, mentorship, and access to a network of potential clients and venture capitalists.” 

 

5. International – FinTech 

 

Remote working specialist, Deel, gets new funding. AltFi reports: 

“The start-up has raised a remarkable $44m in the past five months completely remotely following a $14m Series A back in May backed by Andreessen Horowitz and, most recently, a $30m Series B first reported by TechCrunch yesterday.  

Deel’s latest funding round was led by Spark Capital, which has invested in the likes of Plaid, Twitter, Slack and Grammarly.  

Alex Bouaziz, CEO and co-founder of Deel, told TechCrunch: “We want to give access to services that remote workforces have typically not had access to.”  

“We want to be the platform for employees and contractors who are working abroad. We want to give them all the same level of care as employees working in the main office.”  

The fintech enables employers to hire and pay remote workers in over 100 currencies from anywhere in the world by helping them navigate local laws, complex tax systems and international payroll processes.   

Deel removes the often-expensive legal fees and hours of due diligence that companies go through when hiring staff from other countries.”