News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1. UK – FinTech 

SME financial management and FX payments fintech Neo is today launching a new international multi-currency SME bank account, according to AltFi.

“The new account will enable finance teams and CFOs to streamline their processes, managing cash flow, payments and currency transfers all in the one place. 

Neo, which is available across all European countries including the UK, offers FX swaps and options in up to 80 currencies for hedging and risk management purposes. 

Laurent Descout, CEO and founder of Neo, told AltFi: “From the very first day we wanted Neo to be cross-border. One of the biggest problems our clients face is that, even when you have a large company, as soon as you cross the border you can encounter issues.” 

“Even in Europe, we have seen that banks don’t always offer the same services from one side of the border to the other, which can become extremely problematic as soon as you want to open a branch subsidiary, you have to completely re-do everything,” he added. 

Neo's multi-currency account comes with a fully registered International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and is fully MiFID II and PSD2 compliant.” 

2. UK – FinTech 

UK TechNews reports: 

“The “new normal” is a term that has been used with increasing regularity over recent months. It refers to the lasting changes COVID-19 will have on people’s day-to-day lives. 

From social distancing to new health and safety measures, remote working to travel restrictions, exactly what the “new normal” is going to look like will only become clear over time. However, what is already becoming apparent is that demand for technology is going to rise. 

With people cut adrift from the physical world, digital solutions have already become increasingly important for both consumers and businesses. Zoom stands as a testament to that; unable to meet in person, colleagues, friends, and family turned to technology to keep connected. On its quarterly earnings call webinar in June, the video conferencing tool reported a total revenue of $328.2 million in the three months to 30 April 2020, a 169% increase from the same period last year. 

Not only have consumers relied on technology for everything from managing their financial affairs to ordering groceries online, but industry sectors that have hitherto not been the most forthcoming in their adoption of tech have suddenly looked to digitise many of their processes. Pubs are now reliant on taking online bookings, barber shops are using contactless payments instead of accepting cash, and cafés have replaced paper loyalty cards with rewards apps; examples can be seen all around us. 

As a result, the technology sector as a whole – as broad and multifarious as it is – has been one of the few parts of the UK’s private sector to perform well during the immensely difficult coronavirus pandemic.” 


3. UK – FinTech 

Proplend has hit the £100m lending milestone, according to P2P Finance News. 

“The peer-to-peer commercial property lender’s statistics show it has funded £174m-worth of property and paid almost £10m of interest before fees and £45m of capital. 

Brian Bartaby (pictured), chief executive of Proplend, thanked the platform’s staff as well as its borrowers, intermediaries, equity investors and lenders. 

“For me, P2P property lending was never really a new industry, it was just a repurpose of a long term well-established institutional asset class of commercial real estate loan syndication,” Bartaby said in a LinkedIn post. 

“Proplend just reduced the size of the loans being syndicated and increased the number of participants in each loan by lowering the barrier to entry.” 

Bartaby promised more products for borrowers and lenders as the platform targets its next £100m of lending. 

It has been a busy period for Proplend, which apologised for delays in four loan realisations last month and has also been working to restore liquidity on its secondary market. 



4. UK – FinTech 


ClearBank, the UK's first new clearing bank in some 250 years, is to offer multi-currency bank accounts via Application Programming Interface (API) linked to JP Morgan. AltFi reports: 

“Later this year, ClearBank will offer more than 30 multi-currency bank accounts, so its customers can shift funds between accounts with real-time foreign exchange pricing. 

ClearBank says it is the first clearing bank, which offers clearing services to other banks to offer the service via API, which means customers can view all of their bank account information in one place. 

The other clearing banks are Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and The Royal Bank of Scotland. 

ClearBank said it customers will benefit from “increased liquidity, improved visibility into cash flows, and greater control as the need to transfer funds to third party accounts is removed”. 

As cash management provider to ClearBank, JP Morgan will provide access to multiple currencies and pricing all via API.” 


5. US – FinTech 

Crowdfundinisder on the new craze, DeFi. 

“MANTRA DAO (distributed autonomous organization), a community-governed decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that aims to make staking, lending, and governance more accessible to traders and investors, is teaming up with the developers of TomoChain, which describes itself as a “diversified and robust” DeFi ecosystem. 

MANTRA DAO will be integrated with TomoChain and the native TOMO token will be accessible via MANTRA’s platform as well, so that it may be used for staking and lending. The token may be used to run a (transaction) validator Masternode on TomoChain. TomoChain will also be listing MANTRA DAO’s native OM token on the TomoDEX (decentralized or non-custodial exchange), which is run via TomoChain. The token may be used for spot trading. 

Council Member John Patrick Mullin, the co-founder at MANTRA DAO, stated that his team will be working with TomoChain community members on various opportunities in the DeFi space. 

As mentioned in a blog post by MANTRA DAO: 

“TomoChain is … committed towards a decentralized future empowered by blockchain technology. Its DeFi platform offers almost zero fees and immediate transaction confirmation by scaling up to 100 times that of the Ethereum transaction speed.” 

TomoChain uses a special blockchain consensus algorithm, called the Proof-of-Stake Voting consensus. Its core layer is maintained by the Masternode network, which is a “decentralized, safe, cost-effective, and instant transactional system” for developing dApps. MANTRA DAO will be operating one of these Masternodes, which means it will be helping to secure the TomoChain network. 

TomoChain provides a mobile wallet that allows users to store, transfer, and stake TOMO tokens. They can also transfer these tokens and use dApps on TomoChain. TomoChain also offers on-chain staking services that let users secure the chain while earning TOMO as rewards.”