News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

pied piper followed by children

1. UK – FinTech 

FT Adviser reports: 

The City watchdog has revealed it will be repeating its Covid-19 survey to probe advisers on their financial resilience but some advisers raised concerns after receiving the email.  



2. UK - FinTech 


Three years after Starling Bank launched its third-party Marketplace, the team is shifting its strategy and exploring new business models. AltFi reports: 

Starling launched its Marketplace on 12 September 2017, becoming the first digital bank to debut a comprehensive third-party offering with day one integrations from fintechs like Flux and MoneyBox. 

Marketplace initially let consumers to share their financial data between these apps and services, becoming one of the first mainstream examples of Open Banking. 

In the years since, has Marketplace undergone a series of changes, both in strategy and leadership, before becoming the responsibility of Anna Mitchell in May 2019. 

Mitchell joined Starling as product lead last February—coincidentally the same week that the bank would be awarded £100m from Banking Competition Remedies as part of a grant which would “heavily influence” its Marketplace strategy. 

She quickly picked up Marketplace responsibilities reporting directly to Starling’s chief banking officer Helen Bierton—a role which had been juggled between execs since the departure of Megan Caywood as chief platform officer in December 2018.” 

3. UK – FinTech 

File this one under “Believe it when I see it” – though acquisitions will doubtless continue. Finextra reports: 

“Some of the UK's biggest banks have signed a government-backed pledge to improve collaboration with fintech firms. 

Launched by Tech Nation with support from HM Treasury, the Fintech Pledge is designed to boost the sector by helping to establish efficient and transparent commercial partnerships between banks and fintech firms.

Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and Santander have already signed the pledge, the key principles of which require them to provide clear guidance to technology firms on the onboarding process.

The banks will - within six months of signing the pledge - provide a dedicated landing page and a named contact, as well as guidance and feedback to firms looking for partnerships.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury says: “The UK is already the best place in the world to start and grow a Fintech, and we’re committed to that remaining the case as our economy bounces back. So I welcome the Fintech Pledge from some of our leading banks and look forward to more firms becoming signatories.” 


4. International – FinTech 


UK TechNews reports: 

Cred, a global digital asset lending and borrowing platform, announced today that it has joined Visa’s Fast Track program, speeding up the process of integrating with Visa. Acceptance into this program allows Cred to more easily leverage the reach, capabilities, and security that Visa offers. 

Through Fast Track, Cred will leverage several Visa capabilities to facilitate lending and borrowing of digital assets around the world. This includes sending interest payments directly to customer bank accounts through Visa’s network, issuing Crypto Line of Credit (C-LOC) cards that allow customers to access a credit line without liquidating their crypto assets, and an easy way to acquire digital assets using Visa payment products.” 

5. International – FinTech 


Klarna has become Europe’s highest-valued private fintech, following a $650m (£504m) funding round. AltFi reports: 

“The Swedish payments company is now valued at $10.65bn (£8.26bn).  

The deal pushes Klarna ahead of Revolut and Checkout, which had all been valued at $5.5bn (£4.27bn) before Klarna’s latest fundraise, according to CB Insights’ unicorn tracker. 

The raise is higher than the $500m (£388m) it had been tipped to be. Sources have previously said the funding round could be the last before Klarna undergoes an IPO. 

Klarna’s fundraise, which makes it the fourth highest-valued private fintech globally, was led by Silver Lake with financing also from GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and BlackRock and HMI Capital. 

Merian Chrysalis, TCV, Northzone and Bonnier have also acquired shares in Klarna, whose buy-now-pay-later alternative credit-card model has proved particularly popular in Europe. 

Current investors in Klarna include Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.