Thursday September 21 2018, Daily News Digest

Chinese companies surge on debut after US IPOs

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingClub spent $6.4M to relocate two executives. Funding Circle to price IPO between 420-530 pence. Funding Circle to set valuation at $2.4B after IPO. Qatar fund to invest in Lufax. X Financial completes IPO. Today’s main analysis: Fintech investors like ‘stodgy’, not ‘sexy’. Prospa has written $750M in loans. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How machine learning helps P2P […]

Chinese companies surge on debut after US IPOs

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

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News Summary

United States

Some Companies Spend Plenty to Lure Executives Willing to Relocate (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

Some businesses have gone so far as to shell out millions to move key players from miles away. LendingClub Corp. LC -2.63% spent nearly $6.4 million to bring two new top officers and their families to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2017, according to an analysis of data from company proxies by research firm Equilar Inc. That sum largely reflects $3 million in relocation bonuses for Steve Allocca, the new president, and Thomas Casey, LendingClub’s chief financial officer. Both men moved from less-costly cities in Texas.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Fintech investors like ‘stodgy more than sexy’ (Financial Planning) Rated: AAA

A good chunk of the money being invested in wealth management and banking technology is going toward funding artificial intelligence-driven tools.

But forget the popular concept of conversational, British-voiced computers, chatbots or even cute robot assistants greeting customers at branches; the applications that investors want in on are focused on improving operational efficiency.

The industry’s current methods of handling compliance issues, back-office processing, clearing and settlements, he says, are ripe for reinvention.

Source: Financial Planning

How Does Machine Learning Help Peer to Peer Online Marketplaces Succeed? (Tech Pluto) Rated: AAA

Machine learning technology brings a real ROI to peer to peer marketplace owners. Airbnb, a company known for their personalized approach to each customer has seen a significant growth in the number of bookings after they started using machine learning. Other popular P2P marketplaces such as Etsy, Uber, Lending Club also apply intelligent algorithms to increase their conversion rates and acquire a competitive advantage.

Machine learning helps leading marketplaces and companies that provide AI consulting services develop features that bring tangible value to business and consumers. So how exactly do P2P marketplace companies use this cutting-edge technology? Let’s find out.

Predicting which products a user will like is a widely adopted use case for machine learning. A variety of digital products today have recommender systems powered by this technology. In the past product recommendation systems were based on hard-coded rules. Those rules determined what item to show to a user based on some predefined scenarios. For example, if a user buys a fancy red dress, she’s likely to also buy shoes that match this dress.

SoFi’s Former Head Of Venture Strikes Out On His Own (Benzinga) Rated: A

For this installment, Benzinga interviewed an intriguing fintech venture capitalist: Logan Allin, general partner at Fin Venture Capital and former head of venture at SoFi.

Allin’s career has been largely spent “in and around” financial services, he said, including stints at SoFi, City National Bank and Invesco Ltd. IVZ. He launched Fin Venture Capital in April with a focus on the global fintech sector, greenfield areas and B2B and B2B2C players in particular.

BZ: Fintech funding rounds are getting larger, some consolidation is occurring and the space in general is maturing — is there still room for small startups to have a major impact? What verticals are ripe for disruption?

According to Pitchbook’s data, the U.S. funding environment is skewed increasingly to growth and late stage startups and is on pace to surpass $100 billion in deal value for the first time since the dot-com era.

Indeed, there was $57.5 billion of VC invested in U.S. companies through the first half of the year, and the second quarter of 2018 is higher than six of the past 10 full-year totals. Despite the volume, the deal count has remained stable due to later-stage entry points and larger round sizes, and as a result, deployment is at a slower pace than seen in 2013-2015.

You’re seeing a move toward larger fund sizes with the same investment period as they’ve always had, five years, which leads to larger check requirements per deal and thus a move downstream to growth and late-stage rounds where the valuation math and round sizes align.

Goldman Sachs nears deal to sell its fintech app – WSJ (Reuters) Rated: A

Goldman Sachs is in advanced talks with several financial companies to spin off ‘Simon’, its three-year-old app that sells financial products to retail investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on.wsj.com/2OzaWmf on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, HSBC Holdings , Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo and insurer Prudential Financial have expressed interest for a stake in the business, the report said.

The deal, which would value the app at around $100 million, is likely to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Lendio Franchising Growth Soars, Doubling Amount of Loans Funded Quarter Over Quarter Since Inception (Lendio) Rated: A

LendingTree Announces Startup Innovators Program at LEND360 (PR Newswire) Rated: A

LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today announced it will sponsor a $10,000 award to be given at LEND360 to the fintech startup with the most cutting-edge solutions propelling the online lending ecosystem forward.

As the desire to enter the fintech space continues to heat up, LEND360’s Startup Innovators Program will highlight startup organizations’ crucial part of the fintech ecosystem, bringing new and innovative thinking to the industry.

LEND360 will be held October 8-10, 2018 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.

iCapital Buys Bank of America Alt Feeder Fund Ops (Wealth Management) Rated: A

Alternative investing platform iCapital Network announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Bank of America to acquire the bank’s alternative investment feeder fund operations. iCapital expects the volume on its platform to more than quadruple as a result, growing from $6 billion in invested capital across 14,000 underlying accounts to $25 billion across nearly 70,000 accounts.

Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust account holders and advisors will continue to use their existing interfaces and their client relationships, but the inner workings of the system will be improved, said Lawrence Calcano, CEO of iCapital.

More Americans With Low Credit Scores Buying Homes (Laredo Morning Times) Rated: A

If you have a low credit score and want to buy a home, your odds of getting a loan have improved. A study by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) shows that credit scores for new mortgage originations have been dropping, suggesting that lenders are slowly relaxing the tight credit policies imposed after the housing crisis.

According to the study, new mortgage loans with credit scores less than 700 increased from 21.9% of all mortgage loans in 2009 to 29.7% in 2017. These include scores in the subprime market that can reach down into the 400s. (While the typical lower credit score limit is 620 for conforming loans and 500 for FHA loans, loans may be granted at even lower credit scores with extenuating circumstances.)

The shift in average credit scores is driven by FHA loans – as expected by the lower acceptance criteria for FHA loans. The latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae shows that only 16.7% of conventional mortgage loan originations in July 2018 were associated with FICO scores less than 700.For FHA loans, over 65% of FHA loans went to borrowers with scores below 700.

2Wheel Partners With Affirm to Offer 0% Financing (Motorcycle & Powersports News) Rated: A

Affirm Inc., a financial technology company, provides transparent alternatives to traditional credit. Customers can select the Affirm payment option at checkout and quickly and easily receive real-time approval of their loan amount. The payment terms are clearly stated with no hidden fees or compounding interest.

5 Surprising Traits of Digital Banking Winners (Financial Brand) Rated: A

Ever since JP Morgan declared itself a technology company that provides financial services — not the other way around — analysts and investors have been scrambling to discern which banking companies are doing tech well, and which are not. They know the institutions that harness the power of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data, and more importantly, the applied business insights these technologies can generate, will be the banks that will be the winners in the long run.

“Long term I think this will determine the split between winners and losers,” one investor told the Financial Times in a story on AI and banking earlier this year.

New Research Indicates Non-Prime Hispanics Have a Leg up on Financial Health (Market Watch) Rated: A

When it comes to personal finances, Hispanics in the U.S. are more stable and optimistic than other groups studied. A newly released study from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC) found that non-prime Hispanics – or those with credit scores below 700 – experience higher levels of employment and less volatile monthly income. When compared to the broader non-prime community, non-prime Hispanics in the U.S. are:

  • 65% more likely to plan for major expenses
  • 86% more likely to feel financially stable
  • 38% more likely to save money each month
  • 20% less likely to have had a vacation expense in the last 12 months
  • 23% less likely to spend on routine medical expenses
  • 50% more likely to be able to cover a $1200 unexpected expense
  • 3x more likely to regularly pay using a smartphone
  • 20% less likely to have a credit card
  • 25% less likely to have a personal retirement account
  • 2x more likely to regularly give money to a child or grandchild
  • 40% more likely to be employed

Why those high-profile bank glitches just won’t stop (American Banker) Rated: A

The glitch that left SunTrust customers without access to mobile and online banking for two days is just the latest digital snafu to afflict the banking industry. Upgrades by banks or their vendors that went haywire have resulted in multiple outages this past year.

So it begs the question: If there’s such potential for an upgrade to go wrong, why aren’t banks more prepared for the eventuality, instead of scrambling to get service back up and running?

Industry experts bear some bad news about the state of technology in banking: Banks can’t really be proactive enough to prevent the problems.

Why do state regulators want to limit consumer choice? (American Banker) Rated: A

The decision by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to begin accepting applications for special purpose national bank charters from fintech companies promotes innovation, gives consumers and businesses greater choice and creates economic growth and opportunity.

It is also good for America’s dual banking system, which the president of Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services ignore in their recent articles and statements.

Fed will have the say on key parts of OCC’s fintech charter (American Banker) Rated: A

The Federal Reserve is under increasing pressure to provide clarity on whether nonbank fintech firms that receive a special federal charter will have direct access to central bank lending and to the U.S. payment systems.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency confirmed in July that it would accept applications from fintech firms for a “special-purpose” national bank charter, although the new license has been legally challenged by state regulators.

But many experts say the OCC’s charter would lose value if the Fed did not allow direct entry to fintech firms. Those firms now, for example, can access the payments system only through bank partners.

White Oak Healthcare Finance Refinances Texas SNFs for Granite Investment Group (Digital Journal) Rated: B

White Oak Healthcare Finance, LLC (“White Oak”), today announced it acted as sole lender and administrative agent on the funding of a $33.2 million senior credit facility for Granite Investment Group (“Granite”). The funds were used to refinance a portfolio of four skilled nursing facilities in Texas.

Granite Investment Group is a privately held, real estate investment firm focused on multi-family, senior housing, and post-acute care.

AlphaFlow Continues Expansion with Launch of New York Office, Hiring of Fintech Executives Stephan Leccese and John Woodruff (PR Newswire) Rated: B

AlphaFlow, the first automated alternative investment platform for real estate, announced today the opening of a new office in New York City. The office launch and expansion operations will be helmed by recently hired fintech executive Stephan Leccese, who joins the firm as Vice President of Partnerships & Servicing.  John Woodruff, a former credit fund senior analyst, will be joining Stephan in New York, serving as Vice President of Investments.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle to price 71.4 mln IPO shares between 420-530 pence (Nasdaq) Rated: AAA

British peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle plans to sell up to 71.4 million new shares in its initial public offering for between 420 pence and 530 pence per share.

Funding Circle, which expects to list in October with a valuation of more than 1.5 billion pounds ($1.92 billion), said it plans to raise gross proceeds of about 300 million pounds.

Peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle to be valued up to $ 2.4 billion after IPO (CNBC) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle announced the pricing range for its initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday that could value the company up to around £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion).

The British fintech firm said the price range of the offer has been set at 420 pence to 530 pence per share. The flotation will comprise a maximum of 71.4 million new shares and a secondary component to be determined.

After the completion of the IPO, the issued share capital of the company is expected to comprise between 329.7 million and 345 million shares.

Is real estate crowdfunding the investment option for you? (Born2Invest) Rated: A

Equity crowdfunding has been a great alternative investment for many, but there are other principles that branched out from it. Some investors direct their funds not only on startups that offer unique products or services as others become virtual landlords through property crowdfunding.

Platforms like LendInvest, Landbay and Lendy have risen to make real estate investing more interesting because of higher returns. Some sources suggest that peer-to-peer lending (P2P) schemes like crowdfunding in real estate allow for returns in excess of 5-6 percent compared to traditional real estate investment trusts (REITs).

There are three ways to get into real estate crowdfunding: P2P, debt crowdfunding and virtual buy-to-let.

China

China’s Online Lender Lufax Attracts Potential Investment From Qatar Fund (Gooruf) Rated: AAA

China’s online lender Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co. (Lufax) has attracted a potential investment from sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

QIA has been negotiating the probable purchase of a minority stake in Lufax with an estimated price range of about US$500 million to US$1 billion, said Bloomberg citing the source.

The company has been aiming to file for an initial public offering in Hong Kong since 2017, but only to witness its flotation on ice because of Beijing’s probes into online lenders.

Fintech / Peer to Peer Lender X Financial Trades on NYSE (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Chinese peer to peer lending platform X Financial (NYSE: XYF) completed its initial public offering (IPO) today trading shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. were joint book runners on the IPO.

The IPO saw the Class A ordinary shares priced at $9.50. The offering was for 11 million American Depository Shares (ADSs) thus representing a raise of about $104.5 million. Shares initially traded much higher jumping to over $20/share at one point but are now currently hovering around $13/share.

The underwriters have been granted an option to purchase up to 1,650,000 additional ADSs at the IPO price less the underwriting discount.

X Financial on IPO: We Have Built One of the Strongest Fintech Businesses in China (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Earlier today, China based X Financial (NYSE:FXE) traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in its initial public offering raising approximately $104.5 million as 11 million shares were floated at $9.50/share. The shares quickly jumped higher in early trading and eventually closed about 25% higher than the offer price. X Financial, a peer to peer lender and Fintech platform, is part of a growing group of Chinese firms deciding to list their shares on US exchanges. In fact, this was the 9th Chinese company to list on the NYSE this year.

X Financial reports experiencing dramatic growth in the past few years. Top line revenue was approximately USD $270 million for all of 2017. As of the first six months of 2018, the company had already topped this number (USD $279.3) as it appears to be on track to double the year prior total.

Investors Love Chinese Tech Stocks (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer online lender X Financial soared on its first day of New York trading, adding to a string of frenzied U.S. debuts by Chinese technology companies.

Source Bloomberg

Banks give China’s Web lenders a second life (The Business Times) Rated: A

China’s online lenders have found an unlikely lifeline. Investors are fleeing the country’s US$200 billion peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sector as regulators crack down. The funding squeeze has pushed many companies to team up with traditional banks that they once sought to disrupt.

Beijing is reining in the country’s non-bank lending sector. Strict rules, such as caps on loan balances for sites matching small borrowers with individual investors, have shut down hundreds of unruly upstarts. Regulators delayed a June deadline for companies to apply for licences, putting larger groups in legal limbo. New York-listed Yirendai has seen its market value more than halve to US$1 billion since the start of the year.

The stakes are huge. Chinese consumer finance – which includes credit card loans, e-commerce credit, and unsecured personal loans – is on track to top 11 trillion yuan (S$2.2 trillion) by 2020, up from four trillion yuan in 2015, according to Oliver Wyman. But banks prefer to lend to customers with credit histories, which much of the population lacks. They often spurn private corporate borrowers for similar reasons. That has opened the door for P2P operators as well as Web giants like Ant Financial.

Lending hand (Breaking Views) Rated: A

China’s online lenders have found an unlikely lifeline. Investors are fleeing the country’s $200 billion peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sector as regulators crack down. The funding squeeze has pushed many companies to team up with traditional banks that they once sought to disrupt.

Beijing is reining in the country’s non-bank lending sector. Strict rules, such as caps on loan balances for sites matching small borrowers with individual investors, have shut down hundreds of unruly upstarts. Regulators delayed a June deadline for companies to apply for licenses, putting larger groups in legal limbo. New York-listed Yirendai has seen its market value more than halve to $1 billion since the start of the year.

The stakes are huge. Chinese consumer finance – which includes credit card loans, e-commerce credit, and unsecured personal loans – is on track to top 11 trillion yuan ($1.6 trillion) by 2020, up from 4 trillion yuan in 2015, according to Oliver Wyman. But banks prefer to lend to customers with credit histories, which much of the population lacks. They often spurn private corporate borrowers for similar reasons. That has opened the door for P2P operators as well as web giants like Ant Financial.

China Rapid Finance to Participate in DBS Fintech Corporate Day (Acrofan) Rated: B

China Rapid Finance (NYSE: XRF), a leading online consumer finance platform in China, today announced that its Chief Executive Officer Zane Wang will participate in the DBS Fintech Corporate Day, to be held at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore on Thursday, September 27, 2018.

The Company will also host investor meetings throughout the day.  Attendance at the conference is by invitation only.  Interested investors should contact your DBS sales representative to secure a meeting time.

International

Growth of Investor Numbers on P2P Lending Marketplaces (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

The disadvantage of showing indexed numbers for growth is that it gives smaller, younger an advantage as their percentage increase of investor base is likely still higher because they come from smaller absolut numbers. An example for this effect is Peerberry where percentage growth of investors is rapid, but the absolute number as of Sep, 1st has reached only 2468 investors as it is a very young marketplace.

Source: P2P Banking

ETHLend Blockchain Crypto Lending Launches New Tech Firm Aave To Induce Innovation (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

Decentralized, peer-to-peer (P2P) financial marketplace, ETHLend has recently revealed the launch of a new tech firm dubbed, Aave. The reason for creating Aave is to induce consumers to come up with innovative ways to expand on “evolving and imaginative technology”. Simply put, the team is working towards bridging the gap centralized players like PayPal and Coinbase have left behind.

Aave will serve as the parent company for ETHLend and the team will remain the same. In other words, the CEO for Aave will be that of ETHLend, Stani Kulechov, Jordan Lazaro will serve as COO, Nolvia Serrano is the CMO, Mika Soyring is the CFO and Ville Valkonen is the CCO.

Australia

Fintech Prospa has now written $ 750 million in loans (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Fintech Prospa, a lender to small business which in June postponed an ASX-listing after being pinged about unfair loans terms, says it has now written $750 million in loans.

Loans for the year to June were $367 million, a 70% increase on the previous 12 months and 9% higher than prospectus forecasts with strong momentum in the fourth quarter.

For the six months to June 2018, loans hit $211 million, up 16% on prospectus forecasts and up 61% on the previous corresponding period.

MENA

OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $ 1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

In many ways, OurCrowd epitomizes the aspirations of what investment crowdfunding has the potential to deliver for both issuers and investors. By providing access to quality deals to smaller (accredited) investors, OurCrowd has opened up an asset class previously closed off to all but the very fortunate. On OurCrowd, you can find yourself investing alongside some of the biggest names in venture capital – at the exact same terms – an important distinction. It is also important to note that OurCrowd has skin in the game for each offering it lists on the platform – thus interests are aligned: OurCrowd wants the company to succeed and it also very much wants to see a return on its own investment. These qualities make OurCrowd a compelling option for investors that are willing to shoulder an element of portfolio risk that can also drive some outsized returns.

OurCrowd is based in Israel – where many of its investments are made – but its vision is to empower investors globally and fund companies regardless of geographic borders. This is what you want to see in the digitized, internet fueled Fintech age.

Build a real estate portfolio starting with as little as $ 1000 (AME Info) Rated: A

Real estate crowdfunding comes to Dubai in the form of Smart Crowd

In the US, investors are utilizing crowdfunding sites like Realty Mogul, CrowdStreet, and Fundrise to start and/or build their portfolios, Investopedia notes.

Smart Crowd, an innovative new digital real estate investment platform that supports crowd-funding endeavors in the real estate sector, is trying to fill in a similar role in the region.

Asia

P2P operations launched in Hyderabad (Telangana Today) Rated: AAA

LenDenClub, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, launched its operations in Hyderabad. It will also expand to other cities later.

LenDenClub chose Hyderabad as the city is a major hub of the IT industry and houses a large number of young professionals, who are among the largest users of digital lending services in the country. It expects 10 per cent of its loan requests originate from Telangana in the next six months.

It is aiming to disburse loans worth Rs 100 crore in 12 months.

European Union

INLOCK Signs MoU with Institutional Lending Provider – Partners with Major CEE Crypto ATM Manufacturer to Test Its Platform (Bitcoin News) Rated: B

INLOCK, a crypto lending platform where licensed lenders can compete for borrowers who want to use their cryptocurrency as collateral for loans, announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an institutional lending provider and entered a partnership with one of the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEE) region’s biggest crypto ATM manufacturers to test its Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The company launched the ICO for its ILK token on September 15, the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse.

The CEE region’s crypto ATM manufacturer plans to integrate INLOCK’s services into all of its machines, enabling users to directly take out loans and receive funding in cash within hours. The crypto ATM manufacturer will act as a matching service provider by forwarding customers to INLOCK.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Algorithmic Trading in Real Estate Investing

AlphaFlow

A secular growth trend in the real estate market and a growing US economy is expected to be a strong tailwind for real estate financing companies and should have a commensurable positive effect on asset management companies in the space. AlphaFlow, a California registered investment advisor, is amongst the first and fastest growing automated real […]

AlphaFlow

A secular growth trend in the real estate market and a growing US economy is expected to be a strong tailwind for real estate financing companies and should have a commensurable positive effect on asset management companies in the space. AlphaFlow, a California registered investment advisor, is amongst the first and fastest growing automated real estate investment services in the US. The company launched operations in 2015. Its first avatar was focused on bringing consolidated reporting, transparency, and insights to real-estate crowdfunding investments on multiple platforms. The company, under Founder and CEO Ray Sturm (formerly founder of RealtyShares), has now graduated to cutting-edge algorithmic investing.

Meet The New AlphaFlow

The company has raised a total of $6.4 million with $4.1 million coming in the latest funding round (September 2017). The round was led by Hedge Fund titan Steven Cohen’s Point72 Ventures while other marquee names likes Social Capital and Y Combinator also joined in the raise. The funds are being deployed to build infrastructure, develop underwriting resources, finance partnerships with leading online lenders & investors, and to update the company’s technology.

AlphaFlow launched the industry’s first fund allowing investors to diversify their portfolios through multiple real estate loans with an option to reinvest earnings automatically. Investors now have a true opportunity to diversify.

In March 2017, AlphaFlow launched an Automated Investment Platform incorporating SMA (Separately Managed Accounts) and artificial intelligence technology offering portfolio optimization and diversification services in a way that each client has his unique asset portfolio at minimal cost. This relieved clients from the hassle of managing their portfolios as the entire administration and monitoring is in the hands of experienced professionals.

The AlphaFlow Working Model

AlphaFlow is working on an asset management model and not a marketplace lending model. The company stands out from the crowd because its investments are spread across 75-100 loans aiming at net returns of 8-10% and targeting lower LTVs.

 

Source: AlphaFlow.com

Loans are purchased/underwritten from lending platforms after performing a detailed due diligence process. Each client’s portfolio is under automatic review on a daily basis to keep it diversified. Loan underwriting is not a fully automated process, however. The algorithm and allocation methodology used are proprietary while loans not fulfilling predefined criteria are rejected. This ensures that the fund is not on an auto-underwriting mode and every loan is analyzed to evaluate suitability for client’s portfolio.

The platform charges a fee of 1% on invested capital and its loans are usually for a tenure of 6-12 months. The minimum investment amount is $10,000 for each investor. AlphaFlow currently has over 280 investors on board.

Normally, loans are repaid earlier than the credit period sanctioned, where AlphaFlow’s automatic system re-balances the entire portfolio. Also, the portfolio of each client is re-balanced with the addition of new loans to the platform.

The Current Scenario

Sturm shares his thoughts on the real estate crowdfunding industry freely. “Most platforms are facing challenges related to managing customer acquisition costs (CAC),” he says, “which have started topping $5,000. Growing competition further fuels the CAC. Though VC funding has been strong in the segment, this has shifted the balance towards institutional investors as compared to originally empowering retail investors. The winner in the space will be the one who can control his CAC and develop an artificial intelligence-powered underwriting technology.”

With sufficient capital in hand, AlphaFlow is now looking for partnerships with online lenders to expand its business reach. Its criteria for selecting partners is to focus on their underwriting technology, reporting infrastructure, and transparency. Another challenge the industry as a whole is facing is that it has become harder to determine which lender is doing better. For an investor, it is fundamental to their job, but transparency has taken a hit in the current ecosystem.

Future Prospects

A changing economic environment will lead to shifting trends in the housing market, in terms of job growth, affordability, increased demand, and nominal interest rates. Credit models need to be able to stomach this shift. AlphaFlow is still building out its technology, but the solution developed has helped it lower delinquency rates by more than 80 percent as compared to the rest of the industry. Also, most platforms talk about the need to synthesize information using AI and machine learning, but few have done it well.

Real estate crowdfunding firms will need artificial intelligence to analyze all the data points on scale, and it will soon become uneconomical to hire a massive team to execute all these repetitive tasks. Moreover, profitability is not the function of growth alone. AI-empowered smart underwriting will be the key differentiator, Sturm believes. He shares that it is always easy to grow by underwriting bad deals, but it is suicide in the long run when capital deployed is not able to hit target returns or, even worse, if principal is destroyed during the process.

AlphaFlow became a Registered Investment Advisor to showcase to investors that it is on their side and that it has a fiduciary duty to protect their interests. Serious players in the segment will have to move in this direction to achieve scale in the asset management industry and better serve their customers.

Although AlphaFlow is doing well with its present underwriting model and clients are satisfied with the results, it is always searching for improvements that can be incorporated into the system. It is also considering multiple avenues to get a diversified exposure in the real estate industry. It might go for a combination of debt and equity deals for better exposure. Different duration debt deals may be targeted (2 or 3 years tenure) with a locked interest rate of 5 percent. To be a market-driven company, strategies will need to be reframed accordingly.

Integration of blockchain technology can transform the entire operational aspect of the real estate industry. But Sturm believes it is still a long way from maturing enough for real estate investing. The technology is currently not on his road map, but he might get interested if someone is able to introduce a breakthrough product.

Conclusion

To achieve scale and a strong position in the industry, AlphaFlow will keep investing in data science and engineering. In today’s fintech world, that is the only moat a business can cross.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

Tuesday January 9 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingTree purchase APR

News Comments Today’s main news: IEG Holdings wants to turn Lending Club into a balance sheet lender. Groundfloor launches nationwide. Crowd2Fund launches 30M GBP fundraise. China may get a second consumer credit bureau. Klarna expands e-commerce footprint. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree releases mortgage offer report for December. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Are corporations posting fake comments on government regulatory websites? History […]

LendingTree purchase APR

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Asia

Canada

News Summary

United States

IEG HOLDINGS (IEGH) LAUNCHES TENDER OFFER FOR UP TO 4.99% OF LENDINGCLUB (LC) (Zacks.com), Rated: AAA

On January 5, 2017, IEG Holdings (OTC:IEGH) launched a tender offer for up to 4.99% of LendingClub (NYSE:LC).
– Management believes it can convert LendingClub from a broker of loans into a balance sheet lender

Groundfloor Expands Historic Qualification Under Regulation A To Launch Nationwide (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Non-accredited and accredited investors in all 50 states can now participate in real estate crowdfunding investment opportunities with Groundfloor. Groundfloor, the first issuer qualified by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to offer real estate debt investments via Regulation A that are available to non-accredited investors, today announced that it has received qualification as an issuer under Tier 2 of Regulation A. The qualification allows over 150 million additional investors to access real estate investment opportunities that have been previously unavailable to them, tripling Groundfloor’s addressable market.

In 2017, Groundfloor saw tremendous growth of over 380% in origination volume and 786% in revenue, prior to announcing a partnership with its first institutional investor, Direct Access Capital (DAC).2 Groundfloor lends in 27 states, and has self-originated over $50 million in loans for 398 real estate projects earning individual investor portfolios average annualized returns of 11.74 percent to date. Groundfloor has also raised $9.1M in venture capital from leading fintech VCs and angel investors.

LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for December (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree®, the online loan marketplace, today released its monthly Mortgage Offers Report which analyzes data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree.com by lenders on LendingTree’s network. The purpose of the report is to empower consumers by providing additional information on how their credit profile affects their loan prospects.

Source: Purchase APR by Credit Score Range (PRNewsfoto/LendingTree)
  • December’s best offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 3.80% for conforming 30-year fixed purchase loans, up from 3.75% in November. Refinance loan offers were up 1 bps to 3.70%.
  • For the average borrower, purchase APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans offered on LendingTree’s platform were up 12 bps to 4.42%, the highest since July 2016. The loan note rate hit the highest since March 2016 at 4.32% and was up 14 bps from November.
  • Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+) saw offered APRs of 4.26% in December, vs 4.56% for consumers with scores of 680-719. The APR spread of 30 bps between these score ranges was 3 bps wider than in November and the widest since this data series began in April 2016. The spread represents nearly $15,000 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30-years for the average purchase loan amount of $233,586. The additional costs are due to higher interest rates, larger fees or a combination of the two.
  • Refinance APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans were up 7 bps to 4.31%. The credit score bracket spread widened to 24 from 20 bps, amounting to $12,000 in extra costs over the life of the loan for lower credit score borrowers given an average refinance loan of $241,973.
  • Average proposed purchase down payments have been rising for 8 months and reached $63,740.
Source: Purchase Mortgage Offers by Credit Score (PRNewsfoto/LendingTree)

Many Comments Critical of ‘Fiduciary’ Rule Are Fake (WSJ), Rated: AAA

A significant number of fake comments appear among thousands criticizing a proposed federal rule meant to prevent conflicts of interest in retirement advice, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Consider the experience of Robert Schubert, a Devon, Pa., salesperson. A comment posted in his name on the Labor Department website opposed the rule, saying: “I do not need, do not want and object to any federal interference in my retirement planning.”

In an interview, Mr. Schubert said the comment was a fraud. He didn’t post it and doesn’t agree with it. “I am disgusted that people can post comments using my name,” Mr. Schubert said.

Mr. Schubert is among 50 people who responded to a survey last week conducted by research firm Mercury Analytics for The Journal—40%, or 20 of whom said they didn’t post the comment listed under their name, address, phone number and email.

The Journal previously found fraudulent postings under names and email addresses at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. The Journal’s findings were cited by calls from Congress to delay the repeal of the FCC’s net-neutrality rule.

Corporate Powers Are Stealing Online Identities, Posting Fake Comments to Push for Consumer Law Repeals (Alternet), Rated: A

A pattern of cyber deception is appearing across the federal government in the nooks and crannies of the process where White House directives or Congress’ laws are turned into the rules Americans must abide by—or in the Trump era, are repealed.

Hundreds of thousands of comments, purportedly made by Americans, have come in over the electronic transom to at least five different federal agencies calling for an end to Obama-era consumer protections and other regulations that impede profits, a series of investigative reports by the Wall Street Journal found. Except, the people who supposedly sent these comments never did.

Wrapping up 2017 (PeerIQ), Rated: A

The US economy added 148k jobs in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%. The jobs number was below economists’ estimates of 190k, but average hourly earnings rose 2.5%, a strong increase, and a metric that market participants are watching as a precursor to higher inflation.

In regulatory news, Indiana is planning legislation that would cap the interest rate on personal loans at 36%, down from the current cap of 391% on payday loans. If passed, this legislation would affect the payday lending industry and some experts have expressed concerns that this may crimp credit availability to the neediest individuals. The US government is also considering updating the credit scoring methodology used in evaluating mortgage applications, to use competitors to FICO score like VantageScore, with the hope that the new scores would expand mortgage credit access to borrowers.

Apollo Global Management and Värde Partners have agreed to acquire a 40.5% stake in OneMain Financial, the non-prime lender spun off by Citigroup after the financial crisis, from Fortress Investment Group.

 

 

Edison Partners makes $ 15M investment in fintech (ROI-NJ), Rated: A

Growth equity investment firm Edison Partners has invested $15 million into MoneyLion, a digital personal finance platform based in New York City.

Student Loan Startup Frank Secures $ 10 Million During Series A Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Frank, a New York-based student loan startup, announced this week that it has secured $10 million through its Series A  Funding Round, which was led by Apollo Global Management, with participation from Reach Capital, and Aleph. This funding round brought its total funding amount to $15.5 million.

Digital financial advice startup SuperEd raises $ 5 million from key investors and staff (Smart Company), Rated: A

Digital superannuation advice startup SuperEd has completed a $5 million capital raise from both external investors and staff members to ramp up its expansion, with the 2012-founded company betting on digital advice being a big deal for fund managers going forward.

Credit Karma Teams with American Express to Offer Advance Tax Refund (Finovate), Rated: A

Earlybird Advance is a no-fee, no-interest loan from MetaBank that allows users who file through Credit Karma to claim from $500 to $1,000 of their tax refund as soon as 24 hours after the IRS accepts their tax return. This is a step up from the three-to-four week time period it generally takes for taxpayers to receive their funds.

Testimonial Tree Partners With J4 Mortgage Solutions to Offer Online Review Software to Mortgage Lenders and Title Companies (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Testimonial Tree announces its new alliance with J4 Mortgage Solutions, LLC, a mortgage technology consulting firm, to add online reviews and automated feedback to its suite of tech services.

The Future Of Financial Advice Requires AI With A Human Touch (FA-Magazine), Rated: A

“Digital leaders report an 8.6 percent increase in revenue, an 11.3 percent rise in productivity, and a 6.3 percent improvement in market share. Advanced firms now generate 32 percent of their revenue through digital channels, and expect that amount to rise to 48 percent by 2022,” the study pointed out.

Digital leaders acknowledge what will be the growing importance of AI in the digital transformation of industry from the front office to the back office over the next five years. According to the study, while more than half of the digital leaders are already using AI to increase productivity, some 40 percent are extending AI applications to investment management as well.

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA and U.S. Bank Partner to Expand Access to Credit for Small Businesses (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) – a mission-driven non-profit lender dedicated to improving communities and transforming lives – announced today that it has partnered with U.S. Bank to deliver a new solution for connecting small business borrowers with responsible lending options from community-based lenders across the country.

There are approximately 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S., accounting for more than 63 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and 2013. However, the Federal Reserve Bank’s 2016 Small Business Credit Surveyfound the most common challenge facing small businesses was “credit availability or securing funds for expansion.”

Predicting Comptroller Otting’s Impact on Fintech (Lend360), Rated: A

Second, Comptroller Otting may be helpful to Fintech companies in addressing important issues such as the Second Circuit’s decision in Madden v. Midland Funding and the so-called “true lender” issue.  For example, the OCC could adopt a rule or issue interpretative guidance: (1) providing that loans funded by a bank in its own name as creditor are fully subject to Section 85 and other provisions of the National Bank Act for their entire term; and (2) emphasizing that banks that make loans are expected to manage and supervise the lending process in accordance with OCC guidance and will be subject to regulatory consequences if and to the extent that loan programs are unsafe or unsound or fail to comply with applicable law.  (The rule should apply in the same way to federal savings banks and their governing statute, the Home Owners’ Loan Act.)  In other words, it is the origination of the loan by a supervised bank (and the attendant legal consequences if the loans are improperly originated), and not whether the bank retains the predominant economic interest in the loan, that should govern the regulatory treatment of the loan under federal law.

 

Consider Alternative Funds to Hedge Against a Market Downturn (NASDAQ), Rated: A

To ease your anxiety, you might consider adding a small dose of alternative investments–things that zig when the stock market zags–to your portfolio, even if it means giving up some potential returns.

Wells Fargo Investment Institute, the research and strategy arm of the giant bank, recommends a 23% allotment to various alternative investments for moderate-risk investors, for example, up from 16% two years ago. At Altfest Personal Wealth Management, in New York, 15% of client assets are invested in alternatives, up from 10% last year.

Market-neutral funds. If your goal is to invest in an asset that doesn’t move in sync with the S&P 500, consider a market-neutral fund, such as a merger-arbitrage fund.

Options-based funds allow you to maintain your stock exposure–or even put new money in the market–with some degree of safety.

Long-short stock funds. These funds bet on some stocks and against others with the goal of delivering respectable returns with low volatility. The funds have been 15% to 25% less volatile than an S&P 500-stock index fund over the past decade.

CLSA Top Three Books For 2018 (ValueWalk), Rated: A

What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high-net-worth entrepreneur, and a twenty-something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans.

“The Unbanking of America”

Why I Joined MetaProp As An EIR (LinkedIn), Rated: A

I recently left RealtyShares, the online marketplace for real estate investing, as CEO after founding the company in my living room back in 2013.

When Zach realized I was leaving the CEO role at RealtyShares, he reached out and asked if I wanted to get involved with MetaProp, the first real estate technology incubator based out of NYC.

This opportunity would give me a chance to pursue my passion in real estate technology through a different lens while mentoring startup founders and CEOs and helping them as they embark on the same journey I embarked on four years ago.

AlphaFlow Appoints Chris Woida As Co-Chief Investment Officer (AlphaFlow), Rated: A

AlphaFlow, the first automated alternative investment platform for real estate, announced today that Chris Woida has joined the company as co-Chief Investment Officer. Woida will serve as co-CIO alongside the firm’s CEO Ray Sturm, who will act as both CEO and co-CIO.

Woida brings over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, previously helping build BlackRock’s smart beta and factor-based platforms and serving as the lead investment strategist for its flagship style-factor hedge fund during his seven years with the company. Most recently, he served as Managing Director, Head of Index Solutions at Axioma, a provider of enterprise market risk and portfolio analytics solutions. In this role, Woida helped the index business expand into derivatives, fixed income and alternative data sources, including AI and ESG.

MPOWER Financing Hires Lutz Braum, Fintech and Higher Ed Marketing Veteran (Cleveland19), Rated: B

MPOWER Financing, a public benefit corporation focused on removing financial barriers to higher education in the U.S., has appointed Lutz Braum as its vice president of marketing and business development.

Finova Financial’s New Fundraising Process Leverages Cryptocurrency to Serve Non-Accredited Investors (Finovate), Rated: B

Alternative lender Finova Financial introduced a new product this week that will offer non-accredited investors access to regulated public securities offerings.

The new offering is called the JOBS Crypto Offering (JCO) and will allow investors to use cryptocurrency to invest in equity ownership of previously privately-held companies.

Read more about Finova’s JCO offering here.

Is it possible to land a car loan with no down payment? (Bankrate), Rated: B

Buying a car is a significant investment, with the average new car costing $34,968 in 2017.

The average down payment for a used car is generally 10 percent of the purchase price; if you’re buying a new car, you can expect to pay slightly more, probably between 12 and 20 percent.

LENDINGTREE, LEADSCON ANNOUNCE $ 25,000 INNOVATION CHALLENGE IN LAS VEGAS (Business Insider), Rated: B

LendingTree®, the online loan marketplace, and Access Intelligence, a business information and marketing company, today announced a new initiative to showcase the top innovations in financial technology (fintech) lead generation at LeadsCon Las Vegas this March.

Startups and established businesses from around the world can apply today for a chance to receive exposure, bragging rights and $25,000 in cash.

United Kingdom

IFISA first-mover Crowd2Fund kicks off £30m fundraise, eyes £1bn valuation by 2022 (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Crowd2Fund has embarked on an ambitious series of fundraises that it hopes will see £30m raised within the next 24 months.

The peer-to-peer lender, one of the first to launch an Innovative Finance ISA, has already raised £1.5m from 113 of its own investors (all of whom are either sophisticated or high net worth individuals). More shares were made available after demand exceeded the initial target of £1m. These investors have bought shares in the company at a valuation of £33m. The capital is being raised through Crowd2Fund’s platform.

UK consumer lending not driven by subprime borrowers, regulators say (Daily Mail), Rated: A

Rapid growth in Britain’s consumer credit has been driven by borrowing by people with good credit scores, not subprime lending, according to research from regulators on Monday.

Unsecured consumer lending grew at near double-digit rates in 2016 and 2017, and concern that lenders had overestimated their borrowers’ creditworthiness led the Bank of England to tell them in September to hold 10 billion pounds ($13.54 billion) of extra capital.

However, research jointly published by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and a BoE blog showed that two-thirds of outstanding lending as of November 2016 was held by borrowers with credit scores in the top 30 percent.

Here’s everything you need to know about business finance (UKTech.news), Rated: A

Wherever you are on your life cycle, knowing the financing options available to you is a crucial part of growing and running your business.

Equity Funding

Equity finance can be used at various stages of your business life cycle and giving up equity can be a big decision.

Private equity

Private equity focuses on more medium to long term investment and will usually involve the development of the product and a new management structure to improve the performance of the business.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding aims to connect businesses with a large number of potential investors via a shared online platform.

Debt Funding

Debt finance is usually used as a means of long term investment or funding working capital.

Peer to Peer (P2P) lending

P2P lending brings individual borrowers and lenders together via an online platform by by-passing traditional banks with the aim of achieving better rates for all.

Asset finance

Assets can be purchased via leasing or hire purchase agreements which can assist the cash flow of the business. The asset is not fully paid for upfront but over a fixed period of time and the lease or hire purchase agreement is secured on the asset being financed.

Debt factoring

A debt factor will take on the sales ledger of the business and chase money owed by your customers. The factor will advance most of the value of the outstanding sales invoices to the business with the balance being paid once the customers have fully repaid their debt.

China

China Fintech: 2nd consumer credit bureau in sight now (EJ Insight), Rated: AAA

Last week, on January 4, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) accepted a license application for consumer credit bureau led by the National Internet Finance Association of China. As of now, the Credit Reference Center of the central bank is the only consumer credit bureau in China.

Consumer loan securitization boom put on hold as China clamps down on leverage (Reuters), Rated: A

A boom in asset-backed securities issued by micro-lenders aiming to expand in China’s fast-growing online credit market looks set to slow this year amid growing regulatory scrutiny.

Rules announced on Dec. 1 limited the amount of lending backed by the products the companies can make. They were also required to consolidate them on their balance sheets.

Ant Financial is the largest issuer of consumer loan securities, accounting for 60 percent of all issues in 2017, according to Reuters calculations based on data from China Securitisation Analytics.

Its two Chongqing-based micro-loan companies had total net capital of 10.6 billion yuan, but issued 265.1 billion yuan in loans by the end of June, according to CIB Research, a unit of Industrial Bank Co (601166.SS). Outstanding loan securities issued by the two units have exceeded 250 billion yuan, it said.

Growth in China’s financial technology has only just begun, CEO says (CNBC), Rated: A

China’s burgeoning financial technology industry went through plenty of ups and downs last year, but growing pains experienced in the sector aren’t fazing one local player.

But increased competition in the space doesn’t suggest the sector is overcrowded, according to David Ye, the co-founder and CEO of Jianpu Technology.

“In China, we have close to 9,000 microfinance companies, we have close to 2,000 peer-to-peer companies. Only four of them got listed … It’s just a tiny drop of water in the big blue ocean,” he said.

This firm’s fintech play is connecting financial services in China from CNBC.

European Union

Klarna Payments Expands eCommerce Footprint with ACI Worldwide (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, today announced an extended partnership with Klarna, leveraging ACI’s UP eCommerce Payments solution. This will enable online businesses in 10 major markets, including the U.S. and U.K., to easily integrate Klarna’s payment products, and offer shoppers a fast and frictionless checkout process that can improve conversion rates immediately.

International

History of Ripple (BuyRipple.com), Rated: AAA

Source: BuyRipple.com

Cryptocurrency markets: Top 10 coins with greatest 24-hour change 8 Jan 2018 (finder), Rated: A

3. ETHLend (LEND) +32%

The peer to peer lending platform has seen a decent spike after it featured heavily across exchange Coinspot’s Facebook page as they look too soon be listed on the exchange. That exposure has also highlighted the achievements the Estonian company has made recently, including launching its fiat based loans at the end of 2017.

Crypto cards just suffered a major setback (Financial Times), Rated: A

Strict terms and conditions usually govern the circumstances in which prepay cards can be issued by unlicensed (non-bank) institutions due to their popularity with the unbanked or low-credit community as well as their propensity to be taken advantage of for money laundering reasons. These T&Cs tend to be jurisdiction dependent, and can in some cases restrict the types of funds that can be loaded onto cards by source (for example the source of funds might be restricted to welfare payments and/or employer compensation for services rendered).

Take as an example the following condition attached to a card brought to market by an outfit called TenX:

LOADING FUNDS TO YOUR ACCOUNT

Five.1 Your Card is a payout card tied to an account directly or indirectly established by an employer or other such corporate payor (each, a “Payor”) on behalf of a consumer to which electronic funds transfers of the consumer’s wages or other compensation are made on a recurring basis, whether the account is operated or managed by the employer, a third party payout processor, or a depository institution. Only funds from a Payor may be loaded to your Account In case of errors or questions about the funds loaded to your Account, contact your payout provider.

How will lenders meet identity verification challenges in 2018? (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Online lenders will start to move away from the social security number (SSN) as a personal identifier.

Big data and machine learning will take centre stage in the drive for better identity verification.

Larger online lenders will bring more of their fraud-fighting efforts in-house.

Online financial institutions will begin to adopt blockchain.

Cybersecurity startups raked in $ 7.6 billion in VC money in 2017 — twice as much as the year before (Business Insider), Rated: B

Globally, venture investors put $7.6 billion in cybersecurity companies last year, which was up from $3.8 billion in 2016, according to the research firm. The number of cybersecurity-related investments jumped to 548 in 2017 from 467 deals the year before.

Global spending on cybersecurity was estimated to reach $83.5 billion in 2017, and that number could hit $119.9 billion in 2021, according to an IDC report from October.

India

FinTech Trends That Will Shape The Industry In 2018 (BW Disrupt), Rated: A

Banks will increasingly start looking at startups in the FinTech, RegTech and InsurTech space as their extended innovation arms with a view to collaborate with them.

The BharatQR code, a unique interoperable payment acceptance solution developed by the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), Mastercard and Visa will enable point of sale (POS) transactions to be made more seamlessly. Along with banks, payment wallets like Paytm and MobiKwik will continue to make huge investments to leverage this new standard.

Startups in this space are likely to well as adoption by banks and other financial institutions rises in AI, ML, NLP (Natural Language Processing) and NLG (Natural Language Generation).

Asia

How one woman beat the odds to start-up success (Myanmar Times), Rated: AAA

In credit-scarce Myanmar, obstacles abound for budding entrepreneurs with bright ideas, big potential and dry pockets. With banks reluctant to lend to individuals without appropriate collateral and proven track records, many small businesses ultimately fail.

Ma Khin Yadana is among those with a success story behind her garment business, which she started from scratch around five years ago.

To get back on her feet, Ma Khin Yadana sought help from a small business group on Facebook, where she met with other garment shop owners across Myanmar who were willing to invest in start-up businesses like hers by extending credit via a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending system. In return, the funds would be paid back with interest within 15 days.

However, the constant pressure of having to repay loans has begun to take a toll on the young entrepreneur. “Most of the loans from investors are on six-month terms. So far, I have 70 investors to whom I must repay K100 million in total.

When the loans are due, I have to repay in full plus interest. The main problem is the 15pc interest rate, which is too high,” she said.

In mid-2017, with higher levels of debt coming due, Ma Khin Yadana negotiated with investors for lower interest rates of 10pc.

Canada

CIBC Innovation Banking unit launched to help grow startups (Finextra), Rated: A

Today, CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) introduced CIBC Innovation Banking, a full-service business that delivers strategic advice and funding to North American technology and innovation clients at each stage of their business cycle, from start up to IPO and beyond.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday October 16 2017, Daily News Digest

fintech financing

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi withdraws banking application. SoFi completes largest loan securitization to date. Retailer sues Kabbage. New UK marketplace loan deal mandated. OakNorth achieves unicorn status with 154M GBP raise. PPdai plans $350M U.S. IPO. Linked Finance gets 2M Euro equity investment. Today’s main analysis: Q3 2017 FinTech Insights Report (must-read). New generation of high net worth individuals spur […]

fintech financing

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Middle East

Africa

News Summary

United States

SoFi withdraws U.S. banking application, citing leadership change (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Student online lender Social Finance Inc said on Friday that it is withdrawing its application for a bank license in the wake of the departure of a number of senior executives, including co-founder and former Chief Executive Mike Cagney.

SoFi Completes its Largest Loan Securitization to Date (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today the closing of a $776.7 million offering of SoFi Professional Loan Program 2017-E notes.

SoFi 2017-E marks the company’s largest asset-backed securities issue to date and its 10th ABS transaction this year, bringing SoFi’s total issuance for 2017 to $5.375 billion.  Since inception, SoFi has closed 30 transactions totaling $12.4 billion in issuance.  With the closing of SoFi 2017-E, SoFi maintains its position as a top ten ABS sponsor. The recent transaction was heavily subscribed with orders totaling $2.3 billion.

Wealth Management Firm GENCapital Partners with SoFi and Celebrates One-Year Anniversary (Digital Journal), Rated: A

GENCapital is proud to announce a partnership with SoFi, a new kind of finance and lending company. In addition, GENCapital celebrated its one-year anniversary in September.

FT Partners Research Publishes Q3 2017 FinTech Insights Report (FT Partners Email), Rated: AAA

Highlights of the Q3 2017 report:

  • Q3 2017 financing volume of $5.1 bn was lower than in Q2 2017 ($8.8 bn), but higher than in Q1 2017 ($4.3 bn). This quarter saw the second highest financing deal count ever at 412 transactions, only behind Q1 2016, which had 438.
  • Financing volume year-to-date is tracking just below 2016’s record level and is on pace for the second strongest year ever. This is even more impressive considering that 2016 was skewed by a handful of megadeals in China.
  • The Banking sector continues to be the most active sector this year in both the number of transactions (356 year-to-date) and financing volume ($6.3 bn year-to-date).
  • 2017 FinTech financing volume in Europe ($5.3 bn) is already more than 2x the financing volume of 2016 for the region ($2.6 bn).
  • Q3 2017 M&A volume ($32.9 bn) was the highest since Q4 2015 ($50.5 bn), which included Visa’s $23.4 bn acquisition of Visa Europe. This quarter had eight $1 billion+ M&A deals, which is the most since Q4 2015 (which also had eight).
  • So far this year, 57% of the total global M&A dollar volume is comprised of international targets, although only 38% of the number of transactions represents international targets.
Source: FT Partners

Get the full report here.

Mass. Retailer Sues Over Alleged High-Interest Loan Scheme (Law360), Rated: AAA

A Massachusetts clothing and sports retailer filed suit in federal court Thursday alleging that financial technology company Kabbage Inc. evaded state law by offering high-interest loans through an industrial bank based in Utah, which places no ceiling on interest rates for commercial loans, all the while serving as the true lender.

NRO Boston LLC and owner Alice Indelicato accuse Kabbage and Celtic Bank Corp. of devastating the retailer with their “rent-a-bank” scheme, whereby the bank was listed as the lender for loans in order to get….

Lending Club founder Renaud Laplanche opens up on his ‘frustrating’ exit and new startup Upgrade (Business Insider), Rated: A

Renaud Laplanche tries to “keep a positive attitude rather than focus on my frustration” when it comes to Lending Club.

“It was very, very frustrating. I’m not commenting on the story, but the best way to actually understand what really happened is to read the filings. I think the press made it sound a lot worse, a lot more sensational, than it really was.”

Upgrade raised $60 million (£45.7 million) in April, the biggest ever Series A funding round for a US fintech startup. Many of Lending Club’s original investors have backed the business and Jefferies, an investment bank burned by Lending Club’s loan term scandal, has signed up to buy loans from Upgrade — a vindication for Laplanche.

Now he is focused on “what can I learn from it, what can I do better. Upgrade has been part of that.”

Global Debt Registry Verifies Over $ 1.5 Billion in Loans (AltFi), Rated: A

Global Debt Registry (GDR), the asset certainty company known for its loan validation expertise, today announced it has exceeded a $1.5 Billion of loans issued by digital lending platforms and verified by the Company’s suite of due diligence solutions. On the heels of the GDR’s announcement of its successful SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 attestations last week, this achievement confirms the Company’s role as a leader in online lending’s ongoing expansion, driving capital growth in the sector by providing certainty and transparency around investors’ online lending portfolios and protection against risks surrounding the loan data integrity.

Amex targets Square, PayPal in small-biz lending (American Banker), Rated: A

In the digital age, a lot has changed about how businesses operate — and a lot of new data is being generated in the process.

This creates new possibilities for judging a consumer or merchant’s creditworthiness. Square and PayPal have been taking advantage of this for years with models that rely on a merchant’s sales history to determine their likelihood to repay a loan, and American Express is ready to compete.

Redpoint Capital Group, LLC Enters into Credit Services Agreement with Elevate Credit, Inc. Subsidiaries (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Redpoint Capital Group, LLC (“Redpoint”), an alternative investment company focused on providing financing across an array of asset-based strategies, announced it has entered into two additional Credit Agreements with two separate wholly owned subsidiaries of Elevate Credit, Inc.

Rise Credit Service of Ohio, LLC entered into a Credit Services Agreement with Redpoint Asset Funding Ohio, LLC (“Redpoint Ohio”) whereby Rise Credit Service of Ohio, LLC acts as a credit service organization on behalf of consumers for certain loans originated, funded and collected by Redpoint Ohio.

Furthermore, Rise Credit Services of Texas, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, entered into a Credit Services Agreement with Redpoint Capital Asset Funding, LLC (“Redpoint”) whereby Rise Credit Services of Texas, LLC acts as a credit access business on behalf of consumers for certain loans originated, funded and collected by Redpoint.

In addition to the agreements with Redpoint and Redpoint Ohio described above, Rise Credit Services of Texas, LLC, Rise Credit, LLC and the Company also entered into new guarantees of certain receivables of the Company and its subsidiaries held by Redpoint and Redpoint Ohio.

True Link Financial Secures $ 8 Million Series A Round (PR Newswire), Rated: A

True Link Financial, the financial services provider for seniors, announced today that it has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by QED Investors, with additional investment from Radicle Impact and Initialized Capital. In conjunction with the investment, QED’s Founding Partner Frank Rotman will join True Link’s Board of Directors. With this latest round True Link has raised $15.8 million since the company’s founding in 2012.

The 45 million seniors in America – the largest and fastest-growing segment of the population – are facing new challenges. Average lifespans increased by more than thirty years over the 20th Century, stretching savings further and layering in new medical costs. Since the time today’s retirees entered the workforce, the percentage of workers with a pension has dropped by more than half. 5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s today, and more than 16 million will have the disease by 2050. And according to True Link’s groundbreaking 2015 study, financial fraud costs the aging a whopping $36 billion a year. In short, people are living longer with fewer resources and more risks.

The company’s customer base has grown twentyfold in the last three years. Its cards division is the first Silicon Valley startup debit card issuer to turn a profit, and its robo-advisor is Silicon Valley’s first robo-advisor to turn a profit.

Could online lending become the next systemic risk? (American Banker), Rated: A

When banks resisted expanding credit in the years following the financial crisis and passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, online marketplace lending seized on what seemed like a niche opportunity: targeting the credit markets deserted by banks.

But with issuance of marketplace securitizations now exploding — rising 300% cumulatively in the past two years — the idea of online lending as a niche is quickly deteriorating.

Google and Amazon are ready to disrupt small business lending, former Obama advisor says (CNBC), Rated: A

Tech behemoths Google and Amazon are poised to put competitive pressure on traditional banks in the small business lending arena, one of former President Barack Obama‘s cabinet members said Tuesday.

Karen Mills, who served as Obama’s administrator for small businesses, told CNBC that the tech giants would probably push to disrupt the market and deal a blow to established lenders.

“I think they are going to dominate the market, and that is the next phase that’s coming,” she told the LendIt Europe fintech conference in London.

SBA Lending Activity in FY17 Shows Consistent Growth (PR Newswire), Rated: A

The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced fiscal year 2017 lending numbers showing increasing loan levels in small business lending through the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, as well as increases in lending to women, veterans and emerging communities.

SBA approved over 68,000 loans in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs in FY17.  These programs provided over $30 billion to small businesses.

In FY17, the 7(a) program supported a consistent number of loans — more than $25.44 billion combined across 62,430 loans.  The SBA continues to streamline and improve access to its loan program for small loans and emerging communities, delivering more than $5 billion in smaller loans of $350,000 or less in FY17.

7(a) lending to women-owned businesses (both majority and minority owned) grew in total dollar and volume.  FY17 lending exceeded $7.5 billion, an increase of $298 million from FY16.

FY17 504 lending to women-owned businesses reached $955.2 million, a $277 million increase over the previous fiscal year. Loans to veterans totaled $1.15 billion for 7(a) and 504 lending.

Ray Sturm of AlphaFlow (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • What AlphaFlow does and why it is unique in real estate investing.
  • The real estate platforms they are working with today.
  • Why they are looking to also work with offline hard money lenders.
  • How they decide which platforms to work with.
  • Details of their own proprietary real estate analytics platform.
  • The area of the real estate market they focus on.
  • The average duration, rate and LTV of the loans they invest in.
  • Why they decided to become a Registered Investment Advisor.
  • The types of investors coming to their platform today.
  • How they are able to get new investors a diversified portfolio with days.
  • The tech they are using to connect to the real estate platforms.
  • Some of the big names that participated in their recent seed round.
  • Ray’s view on the real estate crowdfunding space in general.
  • How Ray thinks about the long term direction of AlphaFlow.

    

P2B Investor Program Allows Community Banks to Lend More with Marketplace Lending Partnership (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

P2B Investor has launched an interesting partnership program that is good for banks, good for borrowers and good for P2Bi. Banks, typically smaller banks, would like to lend more to SMEs but are risk averse due to multiple reasons. P2B Investor’s new program allows the bank to buy the first half of the loan with their low cost of capital, and P2Bi marketplace buys the second half. Thus the SME has a hybrid line of credit to finance its cash needs.

Payday loans rule could change in 2019 (MSN), Rated: A

Consumers who are caught in a financial squeeze might one day be able to skip the payday loan store and turn to banks and credit unions for lower-cost, quick-fix loans.

Congress could move to overturn the rule — but some say that’s unlikely.

What could change: Lenders eventually would be required to research upfront whether borrowers could afford to repay all or most of  their short-term loans at once — including payday loans and auto title loans — and longer-term loans with “balloon” payments.

What won’t change: People who are cash-strapped still will be looking for ways to cover their bills.

AutoGravity Is Fintech’s Answer To Car Shopping (Benzinga), Rated: A

AutoGravity, a fintech platform for car shopping, has been nationally available for less than a year. The app’s been downloaded more than 750,000 times and processed more than $1 billion in financing requests.

Of the 20 largest automotive lenders, AutoGravity has some form of an agreement with 19, said chief marketing officer Serge Vartanov.

The app’s momentum is building: 100,000 of its downloads came in the month of August alone.

AutoGravity is now available in 49 states after kicking off with a soft launch in California.

While AutoGravity doesn’t disclose its overall lender portfolio, it has previously announced partnerships with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and Hyundai Capital and a $30 million investment from Volkswagen and Daimler Financial Services.

Cardplatforms disrupts the financial services market (Biz Journals), Rated: A

The Boca Raton fintech company has grown revenues by nearly 400 percent in 2016.

CarGurus races up 72% in a week with 4 strong pops (NASDAQ), Rated: A

CarGurus and three medical device companies each had a strong debut, averaging a first-day pop of 45%.

Issuer
Business
Deal Size
($mm)
Market Cap
at IPO ($mm)
Price vs.
midpoint
First day
return
Return
at 10/13
CarGurus ( CARG ) $150 $1,798 14% 72% 78%
 Online marketplace for buyers and sellers of new and used cars.

The rise of a new kind of finance is setting off alarm bells at the Fed (Business Insider), Rated: A

The challenge is that regulatory bureaucracies in Washington, including the Federal Reserve, may be too slow to react to new technology — from cryptocurrencies and blockchain to crowdfunding — in the same way policymakers missed the risks embedded in the “innovations” in mortgage finance that ultimately fueled the worst housing bust and financial crisis in modern history.

“We’re not going to call it banking — we’re going to call it something else,” Bullard said.

The Unbanking of America, by Lisa Servon (Patheos), Rated: A

Add in the number of people suffering because of the poor economy, especially millennials in the Gig Economy, living from paycheck to paycheck, unable to accumulate enough money for emergency savings, and Americans’ use of businesses such as check cashing companies or payday lenders or other alternate lenders, is entirely rational, in her portrayal, and it’s wrong for policymakers to act as if all Americans need to do is to be told they should get a bank account and that’s that.

Servon’s research for the book consisted, in part, of actually working at a check cashing service and a payday lender.

She then concludes the book by talking about “innovators.”  She profiles a start-up that intends to provide an alternate credit-scoring model that takes into account other types of financial behavior that’s not typically incorporated into the mainstream credit bureaus’ credit scores, and a start-up that intends to make it cheaper to transfer money from one person to another, and a bank, KeyBank, that is more mission-oriented than the usual faceless big corporate bank.

One thing she entirely fails to mention is the fact that interest rates have dropped so dramatically.

A second development in the banking world that she neglects to mention is the rise in prepaid debit cards.

And the third missing item is that of competition.

Corporate Boards Should be Demanding Management Answer These 5 Questions About Company Culture (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

  1. Is the leadership team operating with a high level of professionalism and integrity? Do they value diversity and inclusion?
  2. Do legal and HR have a seat at the table in making key strategy, organizational and business decisions?
  3. Does the company have published policies, processes and trainings so employees easily understand what type of behavior is unacceptable and what to do if they have a problem?
  4. What is the company’s strategy to create a diverse and inclusive environment on the board and in the office?
  5. Does the board have oversight and access to management, so as to be informed about the company’s internal controls and policies and when the same are violated?

Is the way the CFPB handles enforcement about to change? (Housingwire), Rated: B

But regardless of what happens to Cordray, the way the CFPB handles enforcement could be changing as we speak, because the CFPB’s enforcement director is apparently leaving the bureau.

Anthony Alexis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s enforcement chief, is stepping down after more than two years overseeing the agency’s efforts to combat abuses by the financial industry, a departure certain to fuel speculation that Director Richard Cordray will leave soon to pursue the Ohio governorship.

Alexis, a former Mayer Brown partner who was named enforcement director in 2015 after holding the role in an interim capacity, announced his departure plans to CFPB staff Thursday afternoon, according to a former CFPB attorney who is familiar with the matter.

BREAKING: Auto Racer, Atty Guilty Of Running Criminal Payday Loan Empire (Lexis Nexis), Rated: B

A Manhattan jury on Friday found auto racer Scott Tucker and his attorney Timothy Muir guilty of operating a $2 billion criminal payday loan empire that preyed on millions of vulnerable borrowers and entered into sham deals with Native American tribes.

FINRA ratchets up fintech engagement (FinancialPlanning), Rated: B

FINRA was looking to ratchet up engagement with industry players, he said.

To that end, the regulator has hosted roundtable discussions around the country with fintech firms, robos, vendors, and traditional broker-dealers’ technology departments to get a better handle on how the business is changing, Cook said. Later this month, FINRA will convene a new fintech advisory committee.

United Kingdom

New UK marketplace loan deal mandated (Global Capital), Rated: AAA

The transaction, MOCA 2017-1, will be offered in three tranches and is backed by 31,153  Zopa loans with a total outstanding balance of £208.96m. The loans have an average current balance of £6,708 and a weighted average seasoning of 4.5 months. The average interest rate is 7.2%.

Challenger bank OakNorth nabs £154m, claims unicorn status (AltFi), Rated: AAA

OakNorth, a challenger bank focussed on lending to high growth businesses and property developers, has raised £154m in equity money in a round that values the company at £934m (approximately $1.3bn). The fundraise pushes the firm into “unicorn” territory – a term reserved for private tech firms with a valuation north of a billion dollars.

The money comes from The Clermont Group, Toscafund and Coltrane, which together have purchased a 16 per cent stake in the challenger bank. OakNorth says the money will be used to boost its lending by an additional £1.5bn.

This £4bn problem is stunting SME growth (City A.M.), Rated: A

Every year, tens of thousands of small businesses see their loan applications refused by the big banks.

In fact, figures from the British Business Bank (BBB) indicate that this amounts to around £4bn in loans annually – a staggering figure when you consider that this is preventing businesses from being able to reach their full potential.

SMEs are expected to contribute £241bn to the British economy by 2025, up 19 per cent from last year’s figure of £202bn, according to research from challenger bank Hampshire Trust Bank and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Seen and Heard at LendIt Europe: The Future of Finance (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

“Data that the bank holds on the consumer belongs to the consumer and not the bank.”

Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE, Global Head of Fintech at EY

“Banks have outdated technology. To change that takes a lot of effort. From where they are starting, it is not easy.”

Jaidev Janardana, CEO of Zopa

“Users do not really care about the tech. They just know it works.”

Radoslav Albrecht, CEO and founder of BitBond

“As for Cost of Capital. Marketplace lending has access to a very wide range of cost of capital. A lot of platforms sell loans to banks. You have Credit Unions buying loans. Credit Unions have a return target of 2 to 3%. Lower than Goldman Sachs. Marketplace Lenders have access to similar cost of capital.”

Renaud Laplanche, CEO and founder of Upgrade

“The biggest myth of all is that Banks and other financial services are advantaged at this.  They have all the data. The truth is the data is fragmented across all different tech stacks and it is difficult to utilize. Very expensive and slow. The data is in the wrong place.”

Antony Jenkins, CEO and founder of 10X Future Technologies

BitRent Opens New Horizons for Investors (The Merkle), Rated: A

Blockchain platform BitRent announced a revolutionary solution in the area of new-built property: commercial and residential property shared investing at an early stage of construction and total control over construction process in real time by means of modules and structures chipping. The company operates on blockchain technology and smart-contracts protocol. BitRent platform’s mission is to make real estate investing easy, transparent and profitable all over the world.

Christine Farnish on the changing role of the P2PFA (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

There are changes ahead for the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA). The self-regulated trade body has been shaping industry standards for six years, but as alternative lending enters the mainstream, even the P2PFA has to be willing to evolve.

However, the next board meeting – set to be held in November – is expected to focus on an update to the P2PFA rules, membership criteria, and the association’s role in the wider regulatory community.

The departure of RateSetter and LendInvest (which no longer defines itself as a P2P lender) has brought the P2PFA’s market share down to around 50 per cent of the UK’s P2P sector. Current members include Funding Circle, Zopa, MarketInvoice, Landbay, ThinCats, Lending Works and newest member Folk2Folk but no new members have joined since February of this year. However, Farnish rejected rumours that the association is “a closed shop”.

For now, the P2PFA is focused on reviewing its own rules and Farnish confirmed that a revised version of these rules will be published before the end of the year.

Robo-advice in ten points  (London School of Economics and Political Science), Rated: A

The asset management industry is currently in a state of flux, and the manner in which individuals and institutions interact with their wealth managers is on the cusp of dramatic change. Digitisation and increased use of technology should mean that we are at the point of a low-cost revolution.

Robo-advice in ten points:

  • Robo-advice is online
  • The key is probably cost: Robo-advisors can be 60-70 per cent cheaper than traditional solutions and can provide savings of 1 percentage point per year of assets. Over a lifetime of investing, this would make £100,000s of difference to millions of investors in the UK alone.
  • Growth is strong: Whilst still only a fraction of the market, the assets under management of major players are growing between 50 and 100 per cent per year, and new entrants and concepts are developing all the time. There are currently over 100 robo-advisors in Europe with most based in either Germany or the UK.
  • There is a long way to go: Nutmeg, the UKs’ largest robo, has $1bn in assets, but Legal and General, the UK’s largest traditional asset manager, has over $1 trillion – a thousand times larger. Data in the US is similar, with BlackRock having $6 trillion under management and Betterment, the largest US robo, having a fraction of this.
  • On-boarding is a noted differentiator, but also a concern: The faster process and fact finding may not always be up to date with regulations or as rigorous as it should be.
  • Millennials are less important than predicted: Most of the original players in this nascent market targeted millennials. But older, wealthier and still tech-savvy baby boomers have become core clients.
  • Robo-advisors mainly use ETFs
  • Future robo-advisors will be more sophisticated
  • Robo-advice aids financial inclusion: Both the regulator and the industry are hoping that robo-advice will improve participation and access to the investment process.
  • Robo-advisors typically use Modern Portfolio Theory: Robo-advisors typically use mean-variance optimisation for asset selection, but future solutions are likely to use Liability Driven Investment (LDI) frameworks  for portfolio construction.

Ignoring women: Banking’s £130bn a year own goal? (AltFi), Rated: B

Financial services firms could be missing a £130bn opportunity by not winning over women, according to a new report.

UK financial institutions are failing to connect with female customers at every stage of the buying journey, from advertising to offerings and funds, finds Kantar’s latest research. It shows financial advertising and marketing strategies fail to communicate trustworthiness, dependability or understanding – particularly to women, 65 per cent of whom report low confidence in their financial institutions, compared to 55 per cent of men.

Only 38 per cent of women claim to feel ‘in control of their financial future’ compared to 51 per cent of men.

China

Chinese P2P Lending Platform PPdai.com Plans $ 350M IPO In US (China Money Network), Rated: AAA

Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform PPdai.com will seek an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, the company said in a filing, marking the latest Chinese financial technology company to go public. PPdai.com is currently values as a unicorn on China Money Network’s China Unicorn List with a US$2 billion valuation.

The company aims to raise as much as US$350 million through the IPO, though it has not determined the listing price or the number of shares to be offered, according to an IPO prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

This week, China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) announced that it had grant an operation license to Shenzhen Wei Min Insurance Agency Co. Ltd. Tencent owns a majority stake (57.8%) of this new insurer.

On October 10thAlipay announced to introduce house rental service in eight cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Chengdu, Xi’an and Zhengzhou). Users can enter the credit renting platform by searching “rent” in Alipay. If users’ Sesame Credit is above 650, they can enjoy deposit exemption and pay rent monthly.

Hexindai, a less well-known online consumer finance platform, is going to be listed in the US.  Hexindai plans to raise $80 million in this IPO.

October 10th marked the 92th birthday of the world-renowned Palace Museum. It was on the same day that the museum started to embrace a brand new era of digital payment. 

Li Ka-shing shows strong backing for Hong Kong’s fintech sector with MioTech funding (SCMP), Rate: A

Horizons Ventures, Li’s private investment arm, led a US$7 million Series A funding round for MioTech, one of just a few Chinese tech companies in the firm’s portfolio.

Qudian IPO: What Investors Need to Know (The Motley Fool), Rated: B

The Chinese micro-lending specialist is about to hit the U.S. stock market following an IPO early next week. Millions of Chinese consumers and businesses tap Qudian for credit, but does this make the stock a potential buy?

Qudian’s sweet spot is consumer loans. According to a study from Oliver Wyman commissioned by the company, it was the top small lender in the country in terms of number of active borrowers and volume of transactions as of June 30.

These loans are fairly small, even by local standards, and typically have short durations. There sure are a lot of them, though — in the first six months of this year, the company dispensed a total of around 38.2 billion yuan ($5.8 billion).

Over Ten Chinese P2P Lending Platforms expand to Southeast Asian Market (Xing Ping She), Rated: B

Recently, the PINTEC Group has announced a joint venture in Singapore to enter the Southeast Asian market with robo-adviser as its entry point. So far, there are more than 10 Chinese Internet finance companies layout in the Southeast Asian market,including Lufax, Dianrong.com, etc.

Yu-Hang Guo, the co-founder& co-chief executive of Dianrong.com, said that China’s internet finance companies have concentrated on the southeast Asian market, there are active plans as well as passive responses. With Chinese regulations tightening, many of them are looking abroad for growth. It is reported that cash loans, P2P and third-party data services have become the three most promising businesses in the Southeast Asian market.

Actually, before the small and medium-sized internet finance platforms have been set foot, industry faucets such as Ant Financial have already started to move and accelerate into the digital payment market in Southeast Asian.

European Union

Linked Finance Secures €2 Million Equity Investment (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Ireland-based peer-to-peer lending company Linked Finance announced on Thursday it secured €2m in equity funding to support its plans for expansion. The funding round was led by the company’s original venture capital backers, Frontline Ventures. The platform has now lent over €34.5 million to Irish SMEs since its launch in 2013, with more than €16.9 million already repaid to its lenders.

The Revolut founder on why his people work 12-13 hours a day (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

So far this year, Revolut, which started as a foreign exchange card linked to an app, has launched business accounts, loans, loyalty offers, mobile phone insurance, a bill splitting feature, a subscription “Premium” account, a chatbot, and more. Oh, and raised $66 million.

“The vision is very simple,” Storonsky said. “At the moment in the world, all banks are very local. As a result, you always struggle with international activity. That means you always need to open new bank accounts, issue new cards, set up a new credit profile.

“Nowadays people are all international. Banks are not providing this service. The vision for us is alternative global banking. Anyone in the world can just download the Revolut app and set up a local bank account to access any services they need.”

‘A lot of people work on weekends’

It’s a bold ambition. But can the business sustain this pace? I had heard from people in the industry — startup founders, PRs, former staff — that Revolut’s working culture can be tough: long hours, aggressive targets, burn out.

“We are not about long hours — we are about getting shit done,” Storonsky said. “If people have this mentality, they work long hours because they want it.”

It should be said that all the company’s Glassdoor reviews are five-star reviews, even those that mention the hours. “This company is highly addictive,” one reads.

German fintech Compeon scoops €12m fundraise (AltFi), Rated: A

A credit brokerage platform by the name of Compeon has raised €12m in a series B fundraising round. The round was led by existing investor Tengelmann Ventures, with btov Partners and Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures also participating.

Compeon processed a total of €2.5bn in loan requests in 2016, with an average loan request of €700,000.

Israel’s Migdal Partners Decentralized P2P Lending Platform Lendoit (Finance Magnates), Rated: B

Lendoit, a new decentralized P2P lending platform, has announced that it has partnered with one of Israel’s biggest institutional investment firms, Migdal Investment Banking. Established in 1965 and part of Migdal Capital Markets Group, it currently manages assets valued at $9 billion for thousands of clients in the Israeli private, business and public sectors.

International

PRIVATE CREDIT INDUSTRY: SUPPLY AND DEMAND (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

The Alternative Credit Council, an affiliate of the Alternative Investment Management Association, has put out a paper on the present state of the private credit industry, considering both the demand (from borrowers) for its services and the supply (from investors) of capital to lend.

In preparing this paper, the ACC has partnered with Dechert LLP, an international law firm that specializes in financial and regulatory intricacies, to research and present a discussion of how private credit has managed to “cement its place in the lending landscape globally.”

One of the points of the paper is that private credit so understood is no longer stuck in the midmarket. It is moving outward in both directions.

On the other side of the market, there continue to be a number of borrowers who are good risks yet whose needs are not being met by the banking system, which is undergoing its own uneasy transformation in the face of regulatory pressure.

The top three characteristics of private credit that borrowers value most are: the speed of decision making, the ability to develop complex structures, and the flexibility of terms.

FinTech builds on blockchain for international mobile payments (Computerworld), Rated: A

IBM has partnered with a Polynesian payments system provider and an open-source FinTech payment network to implement a new international exchange based on a blockchain electronic ledger.

The new payment network uses IBM’s Blockchain Platform, a cloud service, to enable the electronic exchange of 12 different currencies across Pacific Islands as well as Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

KlickEx Group, a United Nations-funded, Pacific-region financial services company, and Stellar.org, a nonprofit organization that supports an open-source blockchain network for financial services, are backing the new cross-border payments service.

How to Get a Loan with Bad Credit (The Global Dispatch), Rated: B

If your bank does not agree to your request, start exploring alternative lenders. Do not limit your options to institutions. Your friends or family members can lend you the cash you need to handle an emergency. Peer to peer lending is a great alternative to banks, which allows you to borrow from individuals instead of institutions.

You can easily access a quick loan with bad credit online if you have a stable and verifiable source of income. Online lenders run your credit history but will approve your loan request with proof that you can repay in time. In most cases, the lenders offer payday loans that fall due on your next payday. You must be careful when applying for a personal loan online. Most of the search results you will get are from marketing companies and not direct lenders.

Australia

TSYS’ ProPay Sets Up Shop In Australia (PYMNTS), Rated: A

TSYS’ merchant services company ProPay is expanding into new territory.

The company announced in a press release this week that ProPay has launched in Australia, bringing small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) there to its merchant acquiring payment network and enabling them to efficiently accept card payments. The solution is built for direct-selling companies, micro merchants, distributors and payment facilitators.

Australian Government Agencies Flagged For Company Card Fraud (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Australian government agencies are reportedly plagued by company card fraud and misuse, according to new analysis from media company Fairfax Media. By certain accounts, some agencies are seeing more than $100,000 in misspend.

Fairfax analysts found an array of instances in which government purchasing cards were used for personal use, including one that attempted to use a Weather Bureau card for a transaction surpassing $1,000, an Able Seaman who repaid nearly $2,350 after misusing a card and one employee at the Foreign Affairs department who was fired after spending more than $7,000 on the department’s credit card, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The ABS had 156 cases of inappropriate spend on its cards, Fairfax found, valuing more than $43,000 in misspend.

India

P2P lenders seek clarity from RBI on appointment of trustee (Livemint), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platforms in India have requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow non-bank trust companies to act as trustees for fund transfers between the participants—investors and borrowers—on their platforms.

“It took us six months to get a trustee. Most of the bank promoted trustees were unwilling to come on board as the industry is nascent,” said Mukesh Bubna, founder and chief executive at Monexo Innovations Ltd, a Mumbai-based P2P platform.

“This creates a monopoly. A limited number of trustees managing transactions for multiple P2P firms may lead to conflict of interest and also a higher fee being charged by the trustees for managing the escrow accounts,” said Raghavendra Pratap Singh, co-founder at i2iFunding.com, a Noida-based P2P platform.

So far, the firms have informally reached out to the regulator, said two people close to the development. They requested anonymity. They are expected to send formal feedback to the regulator soon.

Email sent to RBI did not elicit any response.

Why RBI should ease regulations for P2P lenders (VC Circle), Rated: A

For the sake of brevity, below are summarised certain key issues of the P2P directions after taking into consideration various arguments in the central bank’s consultation paper:

  1. P2P entities as NBFCs
  2. Ambiguous definition of P2P lending – The term “or otherwise” in the definition does not clarify whether P2P lending is restricted only to online platforms.
  3. Net-owned fund and leverage ratio – The RBI in its directions stated that any NBFC-P2P platform needs to have net-owned funds of more than Rs 2 crore or as is prescribed by the central bank.
  4. Limit on lending – However, the P2P directions state that loans are subject to a cap of Rs 10,00,000.
  5. Exempting non-institutional lenders from regulation
  6. Are NBFC-P2Ps intermediaries for banks?

How tech has relaxed Mumbai’s monopoly on finance (India Times), Rated: AAA

Six months after he founded payment gateway company Razorpay in 2013, Harshil Mathur was looking to shift his headquarters from Jaipur. Of his three options — Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru, Mathur chose the tech hub of Bengaluru over the financial capital, Mumbai.

Source: Times of India

With the rise of tech startups that focus on financial services, the traditional banking landscape is transforming — and Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru are competing to become the country’s fintech capital. Mumbai is still the financial capital as it is home to major banks and financial institutions, but it is technology that is becoming integral to finance.

Source: Times of India

Watch out for these 5 fintech platforms to revolutionise business in India (Business Standard), Rated: B

A marketplace lending platform in India, Rubique empowers individuals and SMBs with an easy and smoother access to across a wide range of loan, credit card, and products.

LoanTap is a fintech platform delivering flexible EMI free loan products to salaried professionals.

India’s largest peer to peer lending website, Faircent is a platform where people who have spare money, use the means of lending it directly as a form of loan, thereby eliminating intermediaries and their margins.

Having started as an online mobile recharge and bill payments app. Paytm in a short span of time has scaled to over 250 million registered users.

CreditMantri is a multi-services platform that helps borrowers secure loans from its partner financiers.

Asia

A new generation of HNWIs spur shift in investment (Asia Asset), Rated: AAA

HNWIs’ wealth growth remains led by Asia, with ongoing gains from an increasingly affluent middle class, enhanced productivity, and property price gains.

As the largest HNWI market, the US has been the beneficiary of a sustained rally in the equities market, driven by capital inflow and currency appreciation. The recent resurgence in mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings is also driving wealth growth.

By comparison, Europe remains beset by low yields and flagging economic growth, characterised predominantly by inherited wealth and ‘old money’.

Research from around 940 Asian shows a clear shift towards engagement of financial investment professionals over self-management.

Also notable is the shift in allocation from domestic to international equities. In 2013, there was a 60:40 split favouring domestic equities, but this has reversed to favour international stocks through to 2017.

HSBC, with US$112 billion of private bank client assets under management (AUM) in its core Hong Kong and Singapore markets, is building upon its existing investment platform and network as a new entrant to the Australian market as of November 2016.

Fintech Start-Up fidentiaX Introduces World’s 1st Marketplace for Tradable Insurance Policies (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Fintech start-up fidentiaX is in the developmental phase of creating the world’s first marketplace for tradable insurance policies by disrupting the status quo by empowering policyholders to monetise policies on the blockchain. fidentiaX will also be setting up fidentiaX Open Source Foundation (fSOF) to proliferate the embracing of blockchain technology for the insurance industry.

In 2016 alone, the total market size for insurance premiums in the 40 OECD reporting countries was estimated to be in the north of $3.86 trillion dollars and Asia is projected to the be fastest-growing market for life insurance with an estimated real annual compounded growth rate of 10.2%.

fidentiaX’s marketplace will be a membership-based ecosystem focusing on the key stakeholders and providing the following services:

  • Policy ledger – Break traditional reliance on intermediaries by creating a digital ledger for policyholders.
  • Trustless Marketplace – Provides a platform for buyers and sellers to connect and trade policies via the blockchain.
Middle East

Kuwaiti Fintech Startup Ajar Online Closes Second Investment Round Led by BECO Capital (Albawaba), Rated: AAA

Ajar Online, a fintech startup based in Kuwait, closed a second investment in a round led by Dubai-based venture firm BECO Capital, followed by an investment from Sharq Ventures, since late 2016.

The service allows tenants to pay their rent online, at anytime and anywhere via SMS and email in less than 60 seconds. Simplifying the rent collection process for landlords and providing efficient property management tools to save time, reduce cost and take the right decisions.

Africa

Discovery Gets Go-ahead to Operate a Bank (Tech Financials), Rated: AAA

The South African Registrar of Banks has given the go-ahead for Discovery, South Africa’s medical scheme operator and financial services group, to operate a retail bank.

The firm announced on Monday that NewDisc Limited (to be renamed Discovery Bank Limited) has been granted a banking licence in South Africa by the Registrar in terms of Section 17(1) of the Banks Act.

The company plans to operate a retail bank to be known as Discovery Bank by 2018.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday September 21 2017, Daily News Digest

RateSetter

News Comments Today’s main news: RateSetter surpasses $150M in loans. New York AG requests cybersecurity safeguards from Experian, TransUnion. Point72 Ventures leads AlphaFlow’s $4.1M seed round. Cross River appoints VP of Government Affairs to focus on regulatory framework. Clarity Money passes 500,000 user milestone. MarketInvoice’s losses doubled last year. Raisin expands into the UK with acquisition. Today’s main analysis: Millennial investors don’t […]

RateSetter

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United States

Real estate investment platform AlphaFlow picks up $ 4.1 mln seed (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA

AlphaFlow, an automated alternative investment platform for real estate, announced today the closing of a $4.1 million seed round funding, led by Resolute Ventures and Point72 Ventures, the venture capital arm of Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management. Other investment partners include Upside Partnership, Social Capital, Y Combinator, Clocktower Technology Ventures, an affiliate of Drobny Capital, Red Swan Ventures, and more.

AlphaFlow’s seed round comes two years after the company was established by CEO and former RealtyShares Co-Founder, Ray Sturm. AlphaFlow plans to use the funding to continue scaling successful partnerships with lenders and investors, both accredited individuals and investment managers.

AlphaFlow Optimized Portfolios are available for investment professionals such as endowments, pension funds, RIAs, and wealth managers, as well as by independent investors seeking uncorrelated returns through short‐term, higher‐yielding real estate loans backed by properties.

To date, AlphaFlow’s flagship product, AlphaFlow Optimized Portfolios, boasts broad diversification across hundreds of loans in 29 states, average LTV of 72%, and target net returns between 8 to 10%. With this seed round funding, AlphaFlow intends to continue to innovate in the application of sophisticated finance mechanisms to scale within the investment industry.

Another Study Confirms It – Millennial Investors Don’t Know What They Are Doing (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

Millennial investors are woefully underprepared for the next financial crisis according to a survey conducted by online real estate crowdfunding service Fundrise.

The Fundrise survey suggests that 67.2% of millennial investors are not prepared for the next crisis, and 47.1% feel that there is nothing that they can do to prepare for it. With 83 million millennials in the US holding an average of $75,500 in assets, this means the largest generation is at risk of losing $3.1 trillion in the next financial crisis assuming a repeat of the 50% drawdown seen last time around.

According to an annual study by Charles Schwab, 56% of millennial investors say ETFs are their investment of choice, compared to only 23% of seniors.

77.8% of respondents said that they had no interest in investing outside of the stock market while 42% of millennials surveyed said that they did not know whether it was important to invest outside of the stock market.

Source: ValueWalk

Cross River Appoints VP of Government Affairs (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Cross River, the financial services organization that merges the established expertise of a bank with the innovation and product offering of a technology company, announced today the appointment of Phil Goldfeder as VP of Government Affairs. Goldfeder will lead a team at Cross River working with regulatory agencies and policy makers in Washington, D.C., as well as state governments across the U.S., to implement appropriate regulatory frameworks that will encourage innovation while ensuring consumer protection.

Clarity Money Passes 500,000 User Milestone (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Clarity Money, the personal finance app that acts as the “Champion of your Money,” today announced that it reached 500,000 users on September 4, 2017, less than seven months after launching on iOS.

This milestone builds upon Clarity Money’s tremendous momentum in 2017, which has included:

  • Two successful rounds of funding, from noted investors such as Citi Ventures and Soros Capital
  • A nomination for the 21st Annual Webby Awards in the financial and banking services categories for mobile apps
  • Being a featured personal finance app on the Apple App Store and debuting as Apple’s #1 app under “New Apps We Love” in the Apple Store days after launching

NY AG Wants To Know About TransUnion, Experian Cybersecurity (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

TransUnion and Experian, two of The Big Three credit reporting companies, have received letters from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman inquring them about their cybersecurity safeguards in the wake of the massive data breach at rival Equifax.

According to a news report in The Associated Press, the attorney general wants the two companies to describe what security systems they have in place and what changes they are implementing since data on 143 million U.S. customers at Equifax was breached.

New York’s attorney general wants to know if the companies would waive fees for consumers that needed credit freezes because of the hack.

Equifax breach has banks tightening their defenses, counseling customers (Information Management), Rated: A

Asking bankers to comment on the Equifax data breach generally evokes a cone of silenceforged out of a combination of sympathy and fear — I’m not going to speak about it because it could happen to me.

A few, though, will acknowledge the toll the breach has taken on their customers and their security departments, which have scrambled to ensure they won’t share (or haven’t shared) Equifax’s fate.

Another banker, Jim Hanlon, the chief technology officer at Dedham Savings Bank in Boston, was astounded that Equifax did not catch its breach more quickly.

“We have 60,000 customers,” he said. “If somebody came into our network and was looking at 100 files, that would raise a flag with us. If somebody’s accessing millions of records, how is something not alerting them to that fact? That’s the concerning piece to me. The documentation said they take network security seriously. But there should have been a red flag somewhere.”

Equifax’s security team detected and blocked suspicious network traffic associated with its U.S. online dispute portal web application on July 29. But the company’s investigation found that hackers had access to certain files containing personal information from May 13 through July 30.

The Equifax Breach: What You Need to Do Now (Parade), Rated: A

While I don’t have all the answers, financial/debt attorney and author of Life & Debt Leslie H. Tayne of Tayne Law Group, P.C., has some great suggestions.

Q: What can consumers affected by the breach do now to protect their information?

A: For starters, sign up for credit monitoring so that future account fraud and identify theft attempts will be noted and immediately brought to your attention. Next, get in the habit of regularly monitoring your bank and credit cards on your end for any suspicious activity. While you’re online, update your account passwords using long, strong, unique passwords for every single account.

Q: Should you freeze your credit so that no one can use your information illegally?

A: There are pros and cons to freezing your credit. The biggest pro of freezing your credit is that no one can apply for credit in your name. But that no one includes yourself, meaning it could create delays and problems when credit is needed quickly in the case of applying for a loan, credit cards or jobs or if seeking insurance, looking to buy or rent a home or contracting with a utility company during the freeze period. Yes, you can unfreeze your credit at any time, but this is also time consuming and may involve having to pay a fee.

Q: It doesn’t sound like freezing your credit is the best option right now.

A: With these types of drawbacks, a better avenue to consider may be signing up for a fraud alert.

Q: What else do consumers need to know or be on the lookout for going forward?

A: A key concern emerging from the Equifax security breach that consumers need to watch out for are cons and phishing scams. They need be wary of anyone who may approach them impersonating financial or government institutions or general companies who may come across offering support in resolving their data breach.

To Survival: Listen, Learn, Repeat (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

While it may not be the oldest credit union around, the Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) of Tukwila, Washington, has been in business since the days of the Great Depression. Founded in 1935, BECU began as a credit union for employees of the Boeing Company aircraft manufacturing firm. Today, at 82 years old, BECU is looking pretty fit for its age. It currently holds more than $17.2 billion in assets and services more than 1 million members, placing it in among the top five U.S. credit unions for cash assets — and that’s without a steady diet of kale and spinach smoothies.

But, a common element with which older financial institutions must contend is new players arriving on the scene and throwing older players’ relevance into question.

Should older institutions treat these younger upstarts as rivals or as potential partners?

Doug Marshall, BECU’s senior vice president of retail, recently told PYMNTS that BECU has chosen the latter approach.

BECU has approached approximately 60 organizations in the FinTech space to explore opportunities for collaboration, Marshall said. Among the companies approached is Even, a supply-side marketplace lending company. An official partnership has not yet been established, but BECU turned to the company to explore innovations for the credit union’s own lending habits and to help members “smooth their cash flow.”

A few years ago, BECU launched an updated mobile app in partnership with MX, a technology solutions provider for financial services companies. Marshall said BECU was excited to see how members would embrace the newly-launched app. When it went live, however, it became clear they weren’t thrilled.

“We did quite [a lot] of research before we deployed,” Marshall said. “But, in some ways, we didn’t ask one of the most fundamental questions.”

According to Marshall, one of the important lessons that younger FinTechs can teach older credit unions about staying relevant is to not be afraid to fail.

“Lesson three is pivot quickly,” Marshall said. “That’s the magic of a FinTech partnership. We were able to respond and [quickly] deploy a fix.”

Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor tells advisers to embrace technology (Investment News), Rated: A

Imagine financial technology that can create personal portfolio indexes for individual investors or a computer program that can assign forward-looking performance ratings for mutual funds and ETFs.

That’s the way Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor thinks when he imagines where technology is heading, and why he believes financial advisers need to run toward technological innovation to avoid being left in the digital dust.

He compared the initial fear of robo-advice platforms to fears from the threat of online brokerage trading in the 1990s.

“The online trading platforms were supposed to put everyone out of business, but they were just absorbed into the mainstream,” he said.

Impact Housing REIT, LLC Launches $ 35 Million Equity Crowdfunding Opportunity Focused Housing Crisis in America (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Impact Housing REIT, LLC (ImpactHousing.com), a new apartment real estate investment trust led by Edward (“Eddie”) P. Lorin, a 30-year multifamily real estate veteran, is pleased to announce that its $35 million direct public offering under Regulation A+ has been qualified by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is now open for investment. All investors – accredited and unaccredited, domestic and international – can invest directly in Impact Housing REIT Series A equity round for as little as $1,000.

Poor housing conditions due to a rising economy, extreme weather conditions, and poverty is effecting our health, quality of life, and country, as a whole. Impact Housing is the first REIT in the country using the new equity crowdfunding laws to focus on America’s housing crisis, specifically on creating affordable, livable, distinctive multifamily communities for America’s working people and their families.

Employing a strategy that Mr. Lorin has refined over decades, Impact Housing plans to buy neglected, poorly managed apartment buildings throughout the U.S., and transform them into thriving, healthy, family-oriented communities. Upgrades typically include new amenities, refreshed and upgraded interiors, resort style pools, playgrounds, state-of-the-art fitness centers, BBQs, dog parks, community gardens and open space social areas.

The technology enabling this online investment offering is backed by CrowdStreet, a leading provider of real estate fundraising and investor management solutions.

HOW AI APPS FOR BANKS ARE CHANGING THE FACE OF THE FINANCIAL SECTOR (TechGenix), Rated: A

Long before chatbots popped up as interesting business-use cases, long before mobile banking applications offered military-grade secure transactions, and much before focused analytics tools for banking made themselves known, AI apps for banks augmented by machine learning and deep learning began creating an impact in the world of banking.

The following factors make the financial sector a highly targeted market for all kinds of AI apps for banks:

  • Massive amounts of structured data from the past.
  • Consistency in data recording and archiving practices across financial institutions.
  • Quantitative nature of finance and banking business practices and operations.
  • Accuracy in data records.

AI apps for banks: Smart portfolio management for end users

These applications help banks build an online accessible tool that considers user preferences, personal demographic information, earning power, and wealth sources, and then matches these with their financial goals. In parallel, these systems take real-time market data and factor in parameters like a customer’s credit history, risk aversion, and lifestyle practices, creating a very robust portfolio of investment and saving instruments across asset classes.

Mobile banking applications like Moven and Simple leverage the idea of using algorithms that grow smarter with time. More precisely, they grow smarter by handling more data and measuring more results.

These AI-based applications can integrate with a user’s online bank accounts, debit and credit cards, and e-wallets to track their expenses, present advice on better expense management practices, and help them choose more suitable financial products that sit well with their financial habits, liquidity requirements, and short-term saving goals.

Automated hedge fund management

These models collate inputs from several sources of real-time financial information from the major financial markets of the world. Also, these models incorporate quantified inputs regarding sentiments in the financial markets.

Self-learning security systems for fraud detection

AI-based fraud detections tools of today leverage the principles of deep learning and machine learning, and are already beginning to incorporate the benefits of neural learning, and hence have tremendous potential in cybersecurity, particularly for the banking sector.

PeerStreet Named One of the Top Ten Startups to Work For in Los Angeles (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Real estate crowdfunding platform PeerStreet announced on Tuesday it was named one of the Top Ten Startups to Work For in Los Angeles. The list was created by Zippia, an online startup career platform.

LendUp Appoints Jotaka Eaddy As New VP of Policy, Strategic Engagement & Impact (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

LendUp, a socially responsible online lender on a mission to redefine financial services for the emerging middle class, announced on Wednesday it has appointed Jotaka Eaddy as its new Vice President of Policy, Strategic Engagement, and Impact. Eaddy previously served as LendUp’s Head of Government Affairs.

LendUp has now saved borrowers nearly $135 million in interest and fees. The lender expects to surpass $200 million by the end of the year.

Need Money Fast? 4 Options for Small Business Owners (Entrepreneur), Rated: B

There’s an extremely fine line you have to walk when scaling. If you expand too quickly, hire too many employees, and order excess inventory, you could deplete your financial resources and crash. But if you don’t take any chances or prepare your business for growth, you won’t be able to respond in an efficient manner when you finally get the big break you’ve been waiting for.

So, what, exactly, can you do when you are ready and need money to expand? Here are four options.

1. Online lenders

If you need a sizable loan, you’ll still need to go through a traditional bank or lender. However, if you need only a modest amount of cash, online lending msy be the way to go.

2. Personal installment loans

If you’re really in a bind and need some quick cash, a personal installment loan might be the way to go. A lender simply checks your credit score and processes your request.

3. Line-of-credit loans

With a line of credit, your business gets approved for a certain amount of money for a specified period of time — typically one year.

4. Receivable financing (factoring)

The factor advances a portion of the receivables — likely 75 to 90 percent of the value — and then holds on to the remaining portion. It’s a good solution for businesses that have orders coming in, but don’t have the money to fill those orders.

United Kingdom

MarketInvoice’s losses doubled in 2016 (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

MARKETINVOICE saw its losses double during 2016, as the peer-to-peer invoice finance platform continues to use funds to scale up.

Its latest accounts on Companies House for 2016 showed a loss before taxation of £6m, increasing from £3.1m in 2015.

This is despite turnover increasing from £4.1m to £4.4m and an increasing number of invoices getting funded, at £442m, compared with £328m a year before.

Deposit marketplace fintech enters UK via acquisition (AltFi), Rated: AAA

A leading European deposit marketplace has acquired Manchester-based fintech PBF Solutions as part of its entry into the UK market. Raisin will target UK savers with its marketplace of savings accounts, while also offering an end-to-end deposit raising solution for UK banks and other firms.

Founded in Berlin in 2013, Raisin is already partnered with 40 banks and financial institutions across Europe. In the past four years the firm has also attracted over €4.3bn in what it calls “marketplace deposits”.

PBF will become Raisin UK, and will significantly increase the size of its UK-based operations over the coming months. CEO Kevin Mountford will take charge of Raisin’s UK expansion.

Lendable: the next generation lending platform that can give borrowers a small loan within two hours (Independent), Rated: A

By taking advantage of the large amount of data available in the UK at a time when consumer lending was evolving fast, Kissinger and his team conceived of a new kind of online lending that they claim is faster and more efficient than larger peer-to-peer lenders Zopa and Ratesetter.

Since 2014, they have built the third largest unsecured consumer lending platform in the UK by 2016 volume, even though – at 4.6 per cent – their market share is still small. So far it has lent a comparatively small £80m to around 20,000 borrowers. Zopa, by comparison, has approved £2.62bn in loans since 2005.

But with a growth rate of 430 per cent in the last year, Lendable is expanding quickly. It aims to be the fastest lender to decide on applications and transfer cash in the market, getting funds of between £1,000 and £15,000 in the borrower’s account in as little as two hours.

Power to the people: Meet the P2P lender that uses a centuries-old way of lending (City A.M.), Rated: A

But for many rural businesses, Folk2Folk has been a saving grace. The peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform has helped struggling companies in a time of need, and in some cases prevented an entire community from caving in on itself.

“We don’t exist as a platform that wants to talk solely about interest rates,” says Giles Cross, the company’s chief marketing officer. “Rather, our purpose is to sustain local and rural communities around the UK – where people want to club together to make a difference.”

A large proportion of the businesses that use Folk2Folk are startups that have been starved of funding, largely because they don’t have a long-standing track record.

The House Crowd Says Investor Confidence at Record High (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

The House Crowd, a UK property crowdfunding platform, is reporting “record levels of investor confidence”. According to the platform, the House Crowd is experiencing high demand for its property-backed peer-to-peer lending products, with over 1,270 people having invested in one. The House Crowd states that 66% of its investors now repeatedly reinvesting their capital through the business.

FCA’s Bailey calls for govt action on debt crisis (FT Adviser), Rated: B

Higher UK interest rates could spark a consumer debt crisis unless the government intervenes, according to Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

More than 8.3m adults in the UK are struggling under the burden of debt – a higher proportion of the population than in 2016, according to figures from the Money Advice Service.

Its data revealed 15.9 per cent of the UK population is living with a debt problem, up from 15.4 per cent in 2016.

China

Social Media Giant Tencent Gets Into Old-School Finance (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Tencent Holdings Ltd., China’s largest social media firm, is entering the traditional finance industry by investing in CICC International Capital Corp., a move that may help the investment bank’s expansion in wealth management.

Shares of CICC jumped by a record after it said Tencent is paying HK$2.9 billion ($372 million) for roughly 5 percent of China’s oldest investment bank. The companies will team up on marketing and data analysis, according to an exchange filing.

Source: Bloomberg Technology

Ping An Securities deploys Finastra technology to boost revenue and enter new markets (The Asset), Rated: A

Ping An Securities has implemented FusionCapital from Finastra throughout its operations in Greater China.

The business, part of China’s Ping An Group, is now using the flexible Finastra platform to help extend its securities brokerage capabilities on a global scale – meaning it can boost revenues as it enters new markets.

Ping An Bank launched intelligent investment services (01Caijing), Rated: A

China Ping An “simple life” conference held in Shanghai. Ping An Bank mobile banking business – “safe pocket bank” launched a smart investment service (referred to as “safe intellectual investment”), the first open to ordinary investors to use. The service uses the Black-Litterman model (BL model) and the quantitative asset allocation method, which are widely used by overseas investment bankers, and develop personalized investment plan according to the customer’s risk appetite.

International

Japan wants to roll back regulations for financial technology startups — here’s why it could be bad for the US (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Japan’s push to attract innovative financial technology startups to the country could spell trouble for the US.

On Wednesday at the New York Stock Exchange, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was moving forward with a plan to roll back regulations on some fintech startups to help spur the development of emerging technology and drive growth in the country.

As such, Abe is pushing for a regulatory sandbox program that would allow fintechs, startups looking to automate or digitize aspects of financial services, to operate and scale without meeting existing regulations.

While such an environment is understood to exist in Silicon Valley more broadly, Berenguer said, those hoping to break through specifically in the financial industry in the US are often required to subscribe to the same regulations as their much larger peers.

That often means paying lawyers to ensure compliance, costs that can force entrepreneurs to put off investing in their product and team. This creates a sort of Catch-22 for some startups. Venture-capital backers are less likely to give entrepreneurs money without a product, but it’s more difficult to create a product with less money when also paying legal costs. Berenguer says this has made financial technology harder to break into relative to the overall tech industry.

Singapore, UK sandbox

Some companies, he said, are seeking greener pastures in Singapore and the UK, where a sandbox program has existed for some time.

Where the huge SoftBank-Saudi tech fund is investing (Money), Rated: AAA

The Softbank Vision Fund was unveiled less than a year ago, backed by Saudi Arabia and Japan’s SoftBank (SFTBF). By May it had raised $93 billion, out of a planned $100 billion, to spend on technology businesses of the future.

Saudi Arabia is the biggest Vision Fund investor, followed by SoftBank. Other investors include Apple (AAPLTech30), Qualcomm (QCOMTech30), Foxconn, Shar (SHCAY)p and Mubadala, the sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates.

It’s already invested in 10 firms, leading funding rounds worth at least $7.7 billion.

Here’s what it has backed so far this year:

  • Slack
  • OYO
  • Fanatics
  • WeWork
  • Roivant
  • Guardant Health
  • Nvidia
  • Flipkart
  • Brain Corp
  • Plenty
Australia

P2P lender surpasses $ 150m in loans (Broker News), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has now reached the $150m mark in loans facilitated thanks to a rapid influx of lenders into the platform.

Millennial investors have helped to drive this growth, especially in RateSetter’s one-month market where these younger demographics make up 72% of the lender’s investors since the firm launched in 2014. This is followed by the one-year market where Millennials make up 40% of all investors.

Investment in the platform has risen by 50% over the last five months alone after RateSetter hit the $100m loan milestone in March. There are now more than 7,700 investors registered with the platform, making RateSetter the largest P2P lender in Australia.

For the one-month market, the average amount invested has increased from $3,777 two years ago to $11,483 today.

Source: Broker News
India

In Game Of Loans, RBI Arms A New Player (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Amit Parker, 26, needed money for his father’s heart surgery. Banks refused to lend as he had delayed repayments on a motorcycle loan three years ago. The travel firm executive tried his luck at Lenden Club (Lenden is Hindi for give-and-take), an online portal that connects individual borrowers with lenders. He managed to get Rs 70,000.

Most of these are small-ticket transactions, and the market is small. A few hundred such loans are disbursed a month with only the young with poor credit record or the tech-savvy borrowing, Rajiv Raj, co-founder of credit-scoring platform CreditVidya, told BloombergQuint. Adoption could improve once the central bank comes out with guidelines.

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday provided that clarity, bringing P2P lending platforms on a par with non-bank finance companies. And the opportunity is huge. More than 30 such startups have come up in the last four years, including Faircent, i2ifunding, Lenden Club and Billionloans.

Yet, since it involves lending to people with poor credit scores, interest rates can go as high as 28 percent. That didn’t deter Parker from taking another Rs 1.5-lakh loan on Lenden Club. He wishes to continue borrowing on the platform.

Millennials are the most active lenders and borrowers, Rajat Gandhi, co-founder of Faircent, said over the phone. About 60 percent of its 18,000 members are below 35 years. For its Mumbai-based rival Lenden Club, more than two-thirds of its users are 30-40 years old.

They largely borrow to improve lifestyle.

Loan marketplace Rubique targetting 250 pct growth in disbursement, 300 pct in revenue (Financial Express), Rated: A

Does the launch of your mobile app mean that you are shifting your focus to individual borrowers from SMEs?

From day one, we have maintained that our take on the opportunity in the financial space is not focused on retail or SME. The Indian financial sector is largely influencer-driven. Whenever, someone wants a loan, they go through an influencer, whether a chartered accountant or a financial advisor.

How much have you disbursed through your platform so far in FY18?

Last year, we did Rs 1,000 crore in disbursements, of which 60% was in the SME category and 40% in the retail category. This year, as a company, in the first four months (April-July), we did Rs 500 crore worth of disbursements and we have been clocking very healthy revenue. This month, we are touching around Rs 3 crore in revenue. We had been going at a monthly average of about Rs 2 crore in revenues so far. This year, we are targeting almost 250% growth over last year (in disbursements) and a healthy revenue growth. Last year, the revenue was Rs 15.5 crore. This year, we are targeting an almost 300% jump and we expect to cross `45 crore.

Buying a car this festive season? Consider these factors when comparing car loans (India Times), Rated: A

Many people wait for the festival season to make big-ticket purchases like buying a car. That is because banks and non-banking finances companies (NBFCs) usually lower their lending rates on car loans and even have offers such as writing off processing fees.

Source: India Times

“The only benefit of availing a car loan through the dealer is the slight convenience. Dealers tend to push the customer towards their captive finance arms or towards banks where they get higher commissions. So, when a customer compares the offer from the dealer with more banks or at online marketplaces, they will typically find lower interest rates and better terms than those offered by the car dealer,” says Gaurav Gupta, CEO, MyLoanCare.in, an online loans marketplace.

Source: India Times

Remittance firms should consider fintech start-ups as partners rather than competitors (The National), Rated: A

A recent Statista report estimates that fintech will be worth around US$20 billion by 2017.

For instance, 2016 GCC-wide figures by Statista showed that a full 57 per cent of banks and financial services providers saw fintech startups in their operational space as potential partners, while only 22 per cent saw them as competition.

Fintech start-ups tend to be technologically led. They harness mobile tech, social networks and a well-designed user interface to bring services directly to customers. But this technology-first model is most useful in the first and last mile fulfilment, ie, when a customer requests a transaction, or is notified of its completion. When it comes to actual transaction processing, fintech startups often lack the size, scale and well-developed treasury functions needed to fulfil global requests.

But mutually beneficial fintech partnerships can be a game changer. We are heading for what might be called a hybrid model – where a transaction is initiated in-app but is then handled by conventional partners through systems that are already compliant with regulations and have a robust track record of transaction fulfilment.

Asia

Used-car dealer taps fintech for one-stop ease (SGSME.sg), Rated: A

A USED-CAR dealership has tapped fintech to offer a paperless and hassle-free one-stop service to buyers, who can make an electronic deposit for a preferred model and submit an online car loan application, complete with insurance cover.

Orchard Credit, best known for its four decades in the vehicle financing business, recently set up a dedicated used-car showroom to provide the full range of car services to its customers.

Orchard Credit also pioneered the car loan aggregator. It is the only dealer which offers online car loans from nine banks and financial institutions – DBS, Hitachi Capital, HL Bank, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered, Sing Investments and Finance, Tokyo Century and UOB.

INDONESIAN peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup KoinWorks launches a new programme under its KoinPintar category of loans in collaboration with Binus Online Learning.

Benedicto says that KoinWorks will cover a maximum of 80% of the fees based an applicant’s finances. Loans with a flat interest rate between 9% to 12.5% will be offered to cover the rest.

How technology is changing equity trading (The Asset), Rated: A

The widespread use of algorithmic trading has lessened the need for interaction between the buyside and sellside, and brought with it increased reliability, faster speeds and lower costs. However, it also brings technology-related risks and a lack of transparency.

The widespread use of algorithmic trading – basically the process of using computers programmed to follow a defined set of instructions for placing a trade – means that it is no longer necessary for the buyside traders to speak to their counterparts every time they make a trade.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday July 13 2017, Daily News Digest

alternative lending deal tracker

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi aims for 12 ABS deals in 2017. Funding Circle’s business boomed after Brexit. Dianrong acquires Quark Finance asset-origination operations. Mambu recognized as European growth excellence leader. Santander invests in three fintechs. Today’s main analysis: Europe’s alt finance market hits $9.1B in Q1. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How non-prime millennials struggle. Top 40 payments trailblazers. United […]

alternative lending deal tracker

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News Summary

United States

SoFi preps new deal, aims for 12 in 2017 (Global Capital), Rated: AAA

Online lender SoFi is on track to sell its eighth ABS this month and is said to be looking to bring as many as 12 deals through year end across student loan refinancing and consumer loan platforms.

Money Management by Non-Prime Millennials: How They Struggle and Worry More Than Their Peers (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Young people have always struggled with money, but for non-prime Millennials today, managing their personal finances is especially hard, according to the final two studies in a series of Millennial-focused reports by Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class.

According to the research, 58 percent of non-prime Millennials – those with credit scores below 700 – find themselves living paycheck-to-paycheck and 41 percent run out of money every other month, or more often.

Additional key findings include:

  • 13 percent of non-prime Millennials admit that it is difficult to predict their month-to-month income
  • 13 percent regularly overdraft their savings or checking accounts
  • 64 percent say that they have too much debt right now, twice as likely as prime
  • Only 37 percent of non-prime Millennials express any confidence that they could come up with $1,200 for an emergency expense in a month
  • Non-prime Millennials are 71 percent less likely to turn to credit cards if they needed to come up with $1,200, compared to their prime counterparts
  • Are more likely to experience unexpected car repairs or non-routine medical expenses
  • Are 45 percent less likely than prime Millennials to maintain a monthly budget
  • Are 58 percent less likely than prime Millennials to put aside money for savings

Invesco co-launches robo-advice platform for financial advisers (AltFi), Rated: A

The U.S. platform will provide a digital space for financial advisers to open new accounts.

Investment management giant Invesco is continuing its foray into digital wealth management.

The company is co-launching a U.S.-based platform for financial advisers through its wealth management solution company, Jemsteps. The site is for financial advisors affiliated with Advisor Group, an American network of independent financial advisory firms.

Funding Circle Names New Chief Compliance Officer for US (Corporate Counsel), Rated: A

Funding Circle Ltd. has named Richard Stephenson as its U.S. chief compliance officer. He joins the San Francisco-based small business lending platform after working in financial services for three decades, most recently as the CCO of Silicon Valley Bank.

Stephenson has also held various senior roles with financial institutions and in private practice, including at Bank of America, Union Bank, Washington Mutual Bank and Mechanics Bank.

For a fintech company, particularly one that partakes in lending, Hodges said it has been important to prioritize compliance, given all of the uncertainties in the regulatory space.

Sindeo is back in the mortgage business after acquisition (Inman), Rated: A

“Renren, one of Sindeo’s investors, has acquired Sindeo and all of its assets,” Nick Stamos, one of Sindeo’s co-founders, told Inman in a statement. “We are excited to work closely with the Renren team to execute on our original mission of offering homebuyers a straightforward path to home ownership and refinancing.” He did not disclose the terms or the sum of the acquisition.

Ex-Merrill Lynch FAs with $ 1B in Assets Go Indie (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

A team of Merrill Lynch financial advisors has jumped ship to launch a new independent wealth management practice, according to a press release from Dynasty Financial Partners, with whom the team has partnered.

Celenza, who’s been an advisor for close to 20 years and with Merrill Lynch for six of them, says the decision to go independent was prompted in part by the ability to access “a greatly expanded selection of investment capabilities, lending platforms, sophisticated insurance products, planning resources, capital market solutions, and alternative manager opportunities.”

Treasury quietly looking at revamping CRA (American Banker), Rated: A

The Treasury Department is embarking on an effort to revise the implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act, a law many community groups say is out of step with modern banking practices and that institutions say has devolved into a compliance exercise.

Tucked away in Treasury Department’s regulatory reform report released last month was a nascent effort to reform the way regulators implement the CRA — a law intended to compel banks to offer loans and financial services to low- and moderate-income areas.

Backed by Israeli Bond Funds, Moinian Capital Partners Rides the Nonbank Lending Wave (Commercial Observer), Rated: A

When the Moinian Group tapped Morgan Stanley and UBS alumnus Jonathan Chassin to lead its newly formed real estate lending platform, Moinian Capital Partners, in February, it was a testament to the Joseph Moinian-led firm’s ambitions to become the latest developer to expand its business into the realm of financing.

Thus far, Moinian Capital Partners has sought to focus its energies on “smaller, $50 million to $100 million development deals where we can quote the whole loan,” Chassin said—the sorts of projects that often have greater difficulty securing funds from more established debt lenders.

The operation is also finding success in the market for mezzanine debt, where its flexibility as a nonbank means it can provide “additional terms that other lenders don’t,” Chassin said. “Where banks and traditional mezz funds are doing five-year deals as a rule, we can quote six- or seven-[year terms]. We can do bridge deals because we understand the basis and understand the market.”

Coinsource Launches Five Bitcoin ATMs in Phoenix (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Coinsource, a bitcoin ATM network, announced on Monday it launched five new machines in Phoenix Metropolitan Area, marking its first venture into Arizona. According to the company, the bulk installation caps off a strong first and second quarter, with it installing 50 machines so far this year, now with a portfolio of 116 machines across 10 states. The five new Bitcoin ATMs have been installed in Phoenix, Peoria, and Mesa.

CrediFi enables real time streaming of real estate deal and client data directly into Salesforce (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CrediFi Corp., the market intelligence and deal discovery engine for commercial real estate (CRE) finance, has announced the launch of a new solution that seamlessly streams CrediFi data into the Salesforce® CRM platform with the click of a button.

CrediFi simplifies the work of CRE dealmakers by serving as the one-stop-shop for data and analytics on commercial properties and loans as well as CRE owners and lenders. Now, CrediFi enables users to sync its vast repository of CRE data seamlessly and directly into Salesforce.

The launch of CrediFi for Salesforce® follows the April launch of CredifX, an online marketplace for CRE financing, and CrediFi recently secured $13 million for its Series B funding.  Michael Helpern has joined CrediFi’s team as Head of Strategy, and will oversee further innovation of solutions for this market. Mr. Helpern brings with him over a decade of experience in commercial real estate brokerage, at firms including Marcus & Millichap and CBRE.

Thales provides database encryption solution for Beyond Platform’s peer-to-peer lending service (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Thales announces internet-based financial services technology company Beyond Platform has adopted Vormetric Transparent Encryption from Thales to deliver a secure credit evaluation model for its peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform.

Beyond Platform wanted to implement a data security system that offered a security level required by the major banks in order to comply with the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) in South Korea. In addition, the solution needed to pass a security review by NongHyup Bank (an agricultural and retail bank in South Korea)  with whom Beyond Platform was developing a joint P2P lending service. Beyond Platform adopted Vormetric Transparent Encryption from Thales to encrypt structured and unstructured data in an enterprise system. As a result, it met the database encryption requirements and passed the bank security review, opening the floodgate for developing and launching P2P services. In addition, the company has built a reputation among customers as a reliable and safe P2P provider.

Vormetric Transparent Encryption is a kernel-level encryption solution that encrypts all file types including logs and images as well as database data, so there is no need for enterprises to purchase a separate encryption solution for database encryption and unstructured data encryption.

EPHESOFT SECURES $ 15M SERIES A FUNDING FROM MERCATO PARTNERS (Ephesoft), Rated: A

Ephesoft Inc., the developer of document capture and analytics solutions that extract meaning from unstructured content, today announced that it has completed a $15 million Series A financing round. Mercato Partners, a trusted growth capital partner, is the exclusive investor in this round. The investment will be used to accelerate Ephesoft’s product development while expanding operations, market presence and sales channels. Joe Kaiser of Mercato Partners will join the Ephesoft Board of Directors as part of the investment.

Founded in 2010, Ephesoft has developed advanced machine learning solutions that capture, extract and analyze unstructured content. The company has over 500 customers globally ranging from financial services, Federal government, insurance, mortgage and healthcare sectors.

Why Chicago is the best city to launch a fintech company (Crain’s Chicago Business), Rated: A

Chicago was recently ranked among the top five global fintech hubs by Deloitte and the Global FinTech Hubs Federation, thanks in part to FinTEx Chicago’s strong advocacy. Further, fintech and financial services companies even account for 14 percent of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the region, according to Crain’s 2017 Fast 50.

And most important, the financial sector is driving real job growth in the city. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of March, year-over-year employment in Chicago’s financial sector grew 3.6 percent—more than double gains in the next-highest industry. That also trounces growth of 2.2 percent in the financial sector nationally.

AlphaFlow Launches “Tax Implications of Crowdfunding” eBook (Benzinga), Rated: B

To help investors more effectively evaluate real estate crowdfunding investment opportunities and their potential tax implications, AlphaFlow has released its inaugural eBook: “Tax Implications Of Crowdfunding.” This 23-page eBook, written by AlphaFlow and Sundin & Fish, CPA, closely examines the top tax issues investors must consider as they invest across the real estate crowdfunding industry.

  • A few of the topics discussed in this eBook include:
  • Types of crowdfunding platforms
  • Differences between debt and equity deals
  • Federal and state tax issues
  • Pros and cons of using self-directed IRAs
  • Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI)
  • Tax planning and strategies

Ballard Spahr closes San Diego office (Bloomberg Law), Rated: B

Ballard Spahr, which recently lost two partners to Dinsmore & Shohl, said it has closed its office in San Diego, transferring other lawyers from the city to its Los Angeles office. (Legal Intelligencer)

United Kingdom

Funding Circle CEO Says Business Boomed After Brexit (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

ThinCats teams up with Alderburn Finance to fund Scottish marine trainer (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THINCATS has sealed a deal with commercial finance broker Alderburn Finance and Stream Marine Training (SMT) to help the latter step up its cost efficiency and growth plans.

The peer-to-peer lending platform, which channels funds to small- and medium-sized enterprises, will help the Scottish training specialist cut time and overall costs as it plan to boost its consultancy services to the global maritime, oil and gas, renewables and construction sectors.

Edinburgh-based Alderburn Finance acted as a loan sponsor, as it vetted the borrower’s funding application and assisted ThinCats in the origination process.

Navigating a complex market (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Despite being around for many years, direct lending, which also encompasses peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, has only recently been recognised as a mainstream asset class.

There are several fundamental things to consider if you are thinking about direct lending as an addition to your investment portfolio.

  • Your objectives: Be clear about your objectives and your appetite for risk. Why are you investing?
  • Timing: Investing in direct lending can be more effective if you keep your money invested for at least 12 months.
  • Diversification: Diversification is also an effective tactic.
  • Loan opportunities: A good rule of thumb is to use the RADAR principle: reason, assets, duration, amount, repayment.
  • Investing for Capital Growth or Income: The concept of compounding applies to direct lending in the same way as other investments.
  • Taking control: Finally, it’s good to stay pro-active.

 

China

Dianrong Acquires Asset-Origination Operations of Quark Finance (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Dianrong today announced the acquisition of Quark Finance’s asset-origination operations, including the new Credit Studio platform. This transaction will significantly expand and strengthen Dianrong’s existing asset-generation capabilities across China.

Quark Finance operates 71 borrower service centers in 47 Chinese cities. These centers provide comprehensive loan underwriting data collection and servicing. Dianrong already operates 28 technology-enabled borrower service centers in 27 cities in China.

Additionally, Quark Finance owns and operates Credit Studio, a platform that provides data analysis through automated and human interactions to achieve mass-production credit evaluations and processing. Credit Studio leverages Dianrong’s technology to minimize manual activities and lower operational risks, expenses and processing time. Marketplace-lending assets generated by Credit Studio are available to Dianrong and Quark Finance lenders.

By combining Quark Finance’s borrower network with Dianrong’s existing local footprint and fintech capabilities, Dianrong is adding significant scale to its overall asset-generation capabilities. The combination also adds new distribution channels for Dianrong’s borrower lending products and services.

Wang Zhengyu: It will take more time to make profit for China Rapid Finance (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Recently, China Rapid Finance held a media briefing on IPO issues and Q1 financial report. Just before the meeting, Wang Zhengyu, the CEO of China Rapid Finance, revealed that the company currently is still in the loss. Although, it doesn’t mean a bad management for the company, it’s just a problem of time to make money.

In Q1 2017, China Rapid Finance’s net loss is $149 million, decresed by 46 percent on the basis of the earlier time. The net revenue is $10.5 million, declined by 20 percent compared with the beginning of the year. In fact, China Rapid Finance has been being losed for two consecutive years, the loss amount in 2016 and 2017 were $33.366 million and $3002.6 million respectively. In 2014, the profit was only $131,000.

European Union

MAMBU RECOGNISED AS EUROPEAN GROWTH EXCELLENCE LEADER (Financial IT), Rated: AAA

Mambu, the SaaS banking engine powering innovative loan and deposit products, today announced that they have been named the European Growth Excellence Leader for Native Cloud SaaS Banking and Lending by research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan’s global team of analysts and consultants research a wide range of markets across multiple sectors and geographies identifying companies that maintain consistently high standards for delivering customer value, which translates into growth above the industry average.  The award recognises the company which excelled in driving growth and is best-in-class in three key areas: meeting customer demand, fostering brand loyalty and carving out a unique, sustainable market niche.

Santander Buys Stakes in Three Startups as Botin Pushes Into Fintech (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest lender, bought minority stakes in three financial-technology firms as Chairman Ana Botin makes machine learning a hallmark of her growth plan.

Pixoneye’s algorithms can build a profile of a consumer from photographs stored on his or her smartphone or other device, while Gridspace utilizes artificial intelligence to analyze the sentiments of people on phone calls with customer service representatives.

Europe’s alternative finance market hits $ 9.1 billion in first quarter (Consultancy.uk), Rated: AAA

The alternative finance economy for mid-market players across Europe hit $9.1 billion in closed deals across the first quarter of 2017. Deal activity in the relatively new segment hit more than a 1000 accumulative deals this year, with the UK remaining out ahead in terms of closed deals – at almost 400. Fundraising for buyouts remains the driving force for turning to alternative lending platforms.

In response to demand, marketplace lenders (MPLs) have sprung up – usually as online platforms – which, through a range of new mechanisms, offer an easy means for peer-to-peer lending across a range of segments – with low returns on other forms of assets continuing to entice investors to the market.

Source: Consultancy.uk

In total around 1011 deals were completed in the past 18 quarters across the burgeoning market, with 612 of those in Europe and 399 in the UK – making the UK by far the largest contributor in terms of activity.

In the UK the most deals took place in the technology, media & communications segment, at 19% of all deals, followed by the business, infrastructure & professional services segments, at 18%. Human capital represented 6% of deals in the UK, while financial services firms accounted for 10% of closures.

Source: Consultancy.uk

ECN Reminder to Complete Cross Border Crowdfunding Survey (Crowddfund Insider), Rated: A

The European Crowdfunding Network (ECN) is reminding alternative finance industry types to complete the survey on cross-border crowdfunding and online lending (IE P2P lending, marketplace lending etc.).  The survey deadline is 12 Noon this Friday, July 14th.

The survey focuses only on crowdfunding models that entail a financial return, notably:

  • investment-based crowdfunding (where companies issue equity or debt instruments to crowd-investors through a platform) and
  • lending-based crowdfunding (where companies or individuals seek to obtain funds from the public through platforms in the form of a loan agreement)

Paycock Enters Russian Fintech Market with Its Convenient Mobile Payment Service (MarketWatch), Rated: A

The K-ICT Born2Global Centre, a major Korean government agency under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), announced that Paycock, one of its member companies, has signed a business MOU with AEB IT, a Russian financial IT corporation. As a result, Paycock will now begin commercializing its mobile payment solution to satisfy the needs of the Russian financial market, which is expected to undergo rapid growth in the near future.

Paycock Check is a mobile payment service that does not require a card-reading device, as the entire payment process is conducted using only a smartphone camera and near field communication (NFC) technology.

Fintech lender strikes partnership with major Italian bank (AltFi), Rated: A

iwoca has announced a strategic partnership with Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo. The fintech lending platform will now sell its credit products into the Italian banking group’s SME client-base.

Intesa Sanpaolo is one of the biggest banking groups in Europe, with a market capitalisation of €42.7bn. The company boasts over 11.1 million customers in Italy alone, but is also active across Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

International

Top 40 Payments Functions Trailblazers (Everest Group), Rated: AAA

Australia

Why a majority of Australians don’t know about peer-to-peer lending (news.com.au), Rated: A

New research by Finder.com.au has found despite the sector growing from one to eight lenders since it launched in Australia in 2012, 65 per cent of consumers don’t know about it and women are less likely than men to understand and use it.

Finder’s research found that only 8 per cent of women would consider using a P2P lender, compared with 20 per cent of men, and three-quarters of women do not know what it is.

Finder’s data shows 63 per cent growth in P2P users in the past six months, while data from some providers shows 195 per cent growth last financial year.

India

Accel-backed Good Methods Global acqui-hires fintech startup Save Your Money (VC Circle), Rated: AAA

Save Your Money (SYM), a fintech startup that offers an automated micro-saving platform, has been acqui-hired by health-tech startup Good Methods Global (GMG), a company statement said.

What is LoanAdda doing to make itself profitable in a crowded market? (Your Story), Rated: A

But all this was far from the mind of Anshuman Mishra (39), when he set up LoanAdda in 2015 to make loans available to large sections of people left out from the purview of the informal and formal banking channels.

As someone who was responsible for managing ICICI Bank’s priority sector lending business, he was acutely aware of the limited access to credit for unbanked customers and poor guidance in facilitating loans.

Today, 78 percent of LoanAdda’s customers are first-time loan takers. Moreover, LoanAdda’s technology algorithm follows its own logic while measuring the eligibility of a certain customer to take loans and throws up the best possible product to the consumer.

Currently, LoanAdda has tie-ups with more than 42 banks to provide home, business, personal, gold and collateral loans on its platform. Through a partnership with India Infoline, an NBFC, the company also gives out its own loans.

Anshuman says that 50-60 percent of LoanAdda’s customers are salaried people with a monthly salary of less than Rs 40,000. The average ticket size is Rs 3.39 lakh for unsecured loans and Rs 34 lakh for secured loans. However, 70-75 percent of all loan takers on the platform get loans of less than Rs 30 lakh.

Why Indians Should Invest in Peer-to-Peer Lending (BW Disrupt), Rated: B

Online peer-to-peer lending as a prospective investment class offers many unique propositions.

  • Net Returns and Interest Yields

While savings accounts or fixed deposits usually yield interest rates of 6% to 8% on average, Mutual funds on the other hand, offer returns averaging at 9% to 13%, with some funds yielding up to 15% p.a. Compare this to online P2P loans, which can generate average net returns of 18% to 22% p.a for lenders.

  • No Lock-in period, enjoy benefits of compounding interest
  • Risk Mitigation

As with any debt-based investment, there is a risk of default in online P2P lending as well. But since the premise on which P2P lending is based is similar to that of debt instruments, the capital risk is lower, and there are ways to mitigate it. One of these is diversification.

Asia

Singapore and Thailand Central Banks Unite in FinTech Deal (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have entered a FinTech Cooperation Agreement (CA) to further develop and enhance the existing financial ecosystem in the ASEAN region.

The agreement aims to “develop a richer financial ecosystem” in both countries and South-East Asia, an announcement revealed. As per the agreement, both central banks will also share information on new and emerging market trends in an era of micro-financing and digitization as well as their impact on traditional regulatory practices.

Vertex Ventures invests $ 2m in Turnkey Lender (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

Turnkey Lender, a cloud- based loan management system, has raised $2 million venture investment from Vertex Ventures. The venture offers a SaaS solution that employs machine learning and data analysis to understand potential loan applicants, ranging from small scale to large scale loans.

Turnkey Lender has previously received seed funding from SMRK VC Fund. The initial development for the company was done in the Ukraine, where it has its roots. It is currently headquartered in Singapore, where the team believes that can have greater flexibility in approaching the different financial needs of their international clients.

Investment proceeds will be used to engage in expanding business operations across the region, product development and talent acquisition. The company told DEALSTREETASIA that the primary growth markets it if focusing on are Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.

Bank Mandiri invests in cashless payment startup (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: A

The venture capital unit of Indonesia’s largest lender by assets, Bank Mandiri, on Wednesday said it is leading a $2 million funding round for local financial technology startup Cashlez, which claims to offer a portable, more user-friendly alternative to electronic data capture machines.

Cashlez’s “mobile point of sales” system runs on a slim card-reader device operated with a smartphone application.

Canada

John D. Orr, Senior Banker and Investor, Joins FutureVault as Chief Executive Officer and a Significant Investor (PR Newswire), Rated: A

FutureVault, a personal and business information management company, has named banking executive, lawyer, entrepreneur and investment professional John D. Orr as Chief Executive Officer. In addition to joining the management team, Mr. Orr has made a significant personal investment in the Company for a material ownership position.

Launched commercially in North America in late 2016 after two years of development, FutureVault has created an advanced cloud-based information management platform with patents pending. In an increasingly digital world, characterized by volume, complexity and risk, FutureVault’s secure platform provides both individuals and businesses with the tools and intelligence to select, retain and optimize all their information. The platform represents a new category: an intelligent, secure, encrypted, auditable repository for all the information in one’s life or business. FutureVault’s product suite and feature set accommodate a broad range of customer information management needs, from a relatively straightforward individual’s requirements to those of a multi-jurisdictional business or a large family office.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday May 15 2017, Daily News Digest

alternative lending

News Comments Today’s main news: New York sues OCC. SoFi prez to leave for biotech firm. RateSetter clarifies types of lending. Prudential chairman to join RateSetter. JP Morgan launches virtual branch in China. BNI Europa invests in MarketInvoice. Nubank reports $39M net loss. Today’s main analysis: How bad Brexit will be for UK households. Alt lending deals on pace for new low. […]

alternative lending

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United States

United Kingdom

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European Union

International

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Asia

South America

Philippines

News Summary

United States

New York regulator sues U.S. OCC over ‘fintech’ charters (Reuters), Rated: AAA

New York’s banking regulator on Friday sued the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency over its decision to offer special-purpose charters that would let online lenders and other “fintech” companies do business nationwide.

In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Manhattan, Maria Vullo, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, called the decision to grant the national charters “lawless, ill-conceived and destabilizing of financial markets” that are properly and most effectively regulated by the state.

Weekly Industry Update: Future of Fintech & OnDeck Earnings (PeerIQ Email), Rated: AAA

PeerIQ held a panel discussion this Tuesday titled, “What’s Next in Fintech Lending” featuring speakers including moderator, Peter Rudegeair (WSJ), and panelists Ram Ahluwalia (PeerIQ), Zhengyuan Lu (Victory Park), William Black (Moody’s Investors Service) and Greg Nowak (Pepper Hamilton). Discussion centered on credit performance, regulatory developments, and company news. Access the full replay here.

Also, Michael Gilroy, a Cannan Partners VC, penned an op-ed in American Banker, “Fintech’s Future is In the Backend”.

OnDeck released earnings this past Monday. The stock was down 7% on earnings day and, remarkably, trades slightly above book value, fueling M&A speculation and investor interest. Gross revenues and loan loss provisions were up 48% and 82% respectively from the prior year period. Tighter underwriting criteria slowed origination growth to 1%. Guidance for sale of loans thru the marketplace channel reduced from 18% to 5%. Balance sheet funding is now central.

  • Our interpretation is that OnDeck is taking actions that are at least consistent with pursuing a bank charter:
  • Bank regulator friendly actions – OnDeck has gradually lowered rates over time, tightened underwriting, and announced a focus on profitability rather than growth (targeting 2018 GAAP profitability).
  • Increasing bank executive on board and management – Seasoned banking executive, Jim Rosenthal (former COO of Morgan Stanley), joined OnDeck’s board. Seasoned banking personnel are a key requirement ahead of any bank charter approval.
  • Continued focus on originating loans under the JPM bank-approved credit policy.

A PeerIQ analysis shows that a shift to deposit funding would create ~$30 to $40 Mn in savings by reducing financing costs from ~5.9% to funding costs observed in the brokered CD market.

SoFi President Nino Fanlo to Leave Firm for Biotech Startup (WSJ), Rated: AAA

The No. 2 executive at online lender Social Finance Inc. is exiting the company to take a senior job at a biotechnology startup.

Nino Fanlo, SoFi’s president and chief financial officer, is leaving the firm at the end of the month to take over as finance chief at Human Longevity Inc., a four-year-old genomics company, the two companies said. After that time, Mr. Fanlo plans to remain a board observer and adviser to SoFi.

On an interim basis, Mr. Fanlo’s duties will be assumed by Steven Freiberg, a former top executive at E*Trade Financial Corp. ETFC -1.43% and Citigroup Inc. who joined SoFi’s board earlier this year. The company plans to launch a formal search for Mr. Fanlo’s successor.

The next battlefield for Alipay and WeChat is in the US (The Asset), Rated: AAA

As the two most successful payment platforms in China, Alipay and WeChat both share aspirations for overseas expansion.

In China’s domestic online payment market, which is now the largest in the world, Alipay accounts for 42.7% of online payments, while Tenpay (WeChat) accounts for 19.2%, as of Q4 2016.

Data from Iresearch show that mobile payments in China totalled US$5.5 trillion in 2016. In the US, the equivalent figure was only US$112 billion, according to Forrester.

A Birdseye Views Of Alternative Finance (PYMNTS), Rated: A

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has kicked off an inquiry into the U.S.’ SME finance space to understand how lenders lend to small businesses — or even define what they are.

The bureau has requested information from industry stakeholders to kick off its inquiry and also released a white paper to explore SME lending, in which it concluded there is a “current lack of comprehensive data in this area.”

The bureau has requested information from industry stakeholders to kick off its inquiry and also released a white paper to explore SME lending, in which it concluded there is a “current lack of comprehensive data in this area.”

$34.2 trillion is held by the world’s shadow banking market, with the U.S. holding the most of that money than anyone else in the world, according to the latest data from the global Financial Stability Board (FSB).

57.4 percent of U.K. SMEs are unaware of alternative lending options, finds the newest analysis from Close Brothers in its Business Barometer. Just over a third, the report found, said they are familiar with how invoice financing works.

OnDeck shares fell 8 percent last week immediately following the alternative lender’s announcement that it would be increasing credit requirements further in an effort to boost long-term profitability.

The 1 percent decline in loan origination volume posted by Lending Club could have investors worried as analysts said progress for the alternative lender has, on a whole, stalled.

The 1 percent decline in loan origination volume posted by Lending Club could have investors worried as analysts said progress for the alternative lender has, on a whole, stalled.

Ron Suber of Prosper Marketplace to Keynote at LEND360 (Lend360 Email), Rate: A

Join Prosper Marketplace President Ron Suber on Thursday, October 12, at 9:00 AM CT as he discusses the opportunities on the horizon in marketplace lending and how non-banks are solidifying their role in providing financial services.
Ron will also explore how the industry can work together and invent ways to deliver much needed access to credit to millions of consumers and small businesses.

New York joins common state licensing platform for fintechs (American Banker), Rated: A

The New York State Department of Financial Services announced Thursday it will allow fintech companies to register through a common platform used by a majority of state regulators, marking another step toward better regulatory coordination that will help states compete with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s fintech charter.

Upstart Loans with Interest Rates Calculated by AI (Nanalyze), Rated: A

Founded in 2012, San Carlos California startup Upstart has taken in $85.65 million in funding so far from the likes of Peter Thiel, Mark Cuban, Google Ventures, and Khosla Ventures among many others. The Company first unveiled their peer to peer (P2P) lending product in May of 2014 and since then they have originated over $700 million in loans with an average loan size of around $12,000:

We’re not really sure what to make of that double-digit interest rate for a used car loan but that seems to be normal for Upstart since they claim that their average borrower pays 12% for a loan.

Whereas in peer-to-peer platforms like Lending Club you are allowed to select the loans you want to take part in for as little as $25, Upstart allocates loans to lenders randomly with  a minimum requirement of $100. The minimum amount you need to invest to use the platform is $5,000 and that means that you have a 98.9% chance of achieving a rate of return greater than zero. You can also expect an average return of 5.8% using the platform.

From a lenders point of view, it doesn’t appear that AI gives you that much value add. You get around the same rate and the same likelihood of a positive return.

Lending Club Upstart
A 1.55% 3.19%
B 3.16% 3.65%
C 5.91% 5.47%
D 9.72% 13.62%
E 14.09% 11.59%
Total 5.476% 5.483%

River North marketplace lending fund reaches $ 72m, joins Fidelity investor platform (AltFi), Rated: A

Back in September 2016 River North, an alternative asset manager based in Chicago, launched a new fund targeting income investors and offering exposure solely to marketplace – often called P2P – lending.

The fund is a registered 1940 Act closed-end interval fund dedicated to the rapidly growing marketplace lending online lending asset class.

Since inception, the fund has returned 4.46 per cent, which is largely inline with expectations.

Source: River North

InterNex Capital Raises $ 3.85 Million in Oversubscribed Offering (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Digital asset-based lender InterNex Capital (“InterNex”) raised $3.85 million from family offices and private investors in an oversubscribed seed offering. The convertible notes offering, which originally targeted $2.5 million, closed last week.

InterNex was founded in May 2015 by former GE Capital senior executives & fintech experts. The company’s digital lending platform offers small- and mid-sized businesses an optimized client experience while enhancing asset-based underwriting and monitoring reliability through integrated technology, data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Small- and mid-sized businesses are heavily underserved when it comes to their working capital needs. The seed offering closed on the heels of InterNex securing a $100 million debt financing from 400 Capital Management in late 2016 and growing its digital asset-based revolving line of credit financing solution. InterNex has funded over $5 million to its business clients to date.

SOFI’S 2017 NURSING SCHOOL RANKINGS—WHAT YOU’LL MAKE AND WHAT YOU’LL OWE (SoFi), Rated: A

The mean wage for registered nurses is $72,180 a year, and rises to over $100,000 for nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists, who make a mean annual salary of about $164,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

But nurses can also end up carrying tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Graduate nursing students have a median debt of $40,000-$54,999, according to a 2017 loan survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Just under a third have to swallow the bitter pill of owing $70,000 or more.

Nursing grads from all of our 10 least lucrative schools had more debt owed than salary paid.

It’s worth noting that one of our least lucrative schools–-Seton Hall University, one of U.S. News & World Report’s top 100 graduate nursing schools–-is in the same state (New Jersey) as one of our most lucrative schools, Fairleigh Dickinson. Seton Hall nursing grads earn an average of $87,510 a year, but have to pay back over 1.5 times as much.

“When Markets Quake” Online Banks and Their Past, Present and Future” (Orchard Platform), Rated: A

It seems like every few months, or so, another article or paper appears that retells the history of online lending. Orchard published one a few years back, and I’ve written one or two on the subject before joining the team last year. And although I personally have no interest in retreading that ground anytime soon as a writer, I do keep up with the reading. The latest example, “When Markets Quake” Online Banks and Their Past, Present and Future,” comes out of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, written by Marshall Lux and Martin Chorzempa.

The authors paint a mostly positive picture of a rapidly evolving industry—acknowledging the fits, starts, and bumps experienced over its short lifespan, doubtless there will be more as we head into the next leg of the credit cycle but confident that the industry will survive (in one form or another) and that the innovation demonstrated by online lenders will likely continue to have “significant benefits for the financial economy.” 

The pair also provides examples of how banks and online lenders are working together today. The 2016 partnership between Avant and Regions Bank resulted in a co-branded portal that channeled borrowers to one or the other company based on underwriting criteria, and SoFi has sold more than $1 billion of its loans to banks and insurers.

The co-authors also voice concerns about the risk of standardizing loans to allow for a more liquid secondary market via open-end funds—because of the liquidity mismatch between the open-end fund (often with daily liquidity) and the underlying asset (loans with three-to-five-year maturities).

AlphaFlow Adds Veteran Fintech Executive AdaPia d’Errico To Management Team (AlphaFlow Email), Rated: A

AlphaFlow, the first automated portfolio service for real estate investments, announced today that veteran fintech executive AdaPia d’Errico has joined the company as Chief Operating Officer to scale the investor platform and expand AlphaFlow’s customer channels.  Ms. d’Errico is nationally recognized for growing businesses through brand advocacy and designing innovative platforms that build engaged communities. She has been at the forefront of real estate crowdfunding since 2014, advocating the power of increased transparency, education and technology to provide opportunities in real estate investments.

Ms. d’Errico’s career spans retail banking, investment management, intellectual property and brand development, and financial technology. Most recently she was Chief Marketing Officer at Patch of Land where she led brand, marketing strategy and operations, and built the investor platform. Prior to Patch of Land, she provided brand and online growth strategy services to consumer and media companies in the US and the UK, and co-founded two businesses.  Ms. d’Errico has over 10 years of experience in banking and investment management with a focus on customer management, client communications and investor relations.

AlphaFlow continues to grow its team with key people from the marketplace lending industry; earlier this year the company hired Miles Deamer, an early LendingHome employee who scaled lending operations there. Mr. Deamer is responsible for portfolio management along with Mr. Sturm.

AlphaFlow Optimized Portfolios are a truly passive, highly diversified and fully transparent managed portfolio service, bringing to real estate what ETFs brought to stocks. For a low minimum investment, each client’s capital is invested in 1st lien real estate loans to produce a personal portfolio of 75-100 notes spread across 15+ states, selected, rebalanced and managed by portfolio managers with the help of smart automation, algorithms and analytics.

SoFi is One Quirky Lender, But It’s Working (Fortune), Rated: A

Fast-forward seven years and SoFi is on fire, the rare example of a startup that hasn’t seemed to flounder after advertising during the Super Bowl.

Whatever SoFi is doing is working. Cagney says the company originated $8 billion in loans last year, a figure that will double this year. He reckons the company will earn $200 million on a pre-tax basis in 2017 on revenues of $650 million.

Podcast 100: A Retrospective With the Lend Academy Team (Lend Academy), Rated: B

For our 100th episode I thought we would do something a little different. We decided to bring the Lend Academy team (pictured above) together to get their perspective on their favorite episodes in the first 100 podcasts.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • Mike Cagney of SoFi (podcast 89) highlights:
    • The speed, scale and unparalleled execution that is SoFi.
    • The user experience when taking a loan at SoFi.
    • The club-like feel that SoFi promotes among its customer base.
  • Stephen Dash of Credible (podcast 78) highlights:
    • How deeply integrated they are with their lending partners.
    • The concept of customer co-ownership because you can’t offer them everything.
    • The idea of intermediation as a way to better serve customers.
  • Todd Nelson of Lightstream (podcast 73) highlights:
    • A great example of a bank (SunTrust) buying an online lending platform.
    • They are under the radar, they have built one of the top five online consumer lenders.
    • Many years before Marcus by Goldman Sachs Lightstream was originating loans.
  • Andrea Jung of Grameen (podcast 95) highlights:
    • How they underwrite risky entrepreneurs with a tiny 0.3% default rate.
    • The importance of social support for successful loan payback.
  • Brew Johnson of Peerstreet (podcast 58) highlights:
    • How grounded they are in data analytics.
    • The importance of finding good partners for a steady stream of borrowers.
  • The Founders of Streetshares (podcast 71) highlights:
    • Using an affinity model to create a unique community driven business.
    • Their groundbreaking offering for non-accredited investors.
  • Brendan Ross of Direct Lending Investments (podcast 74) highlights:
    • The incredible growth record of the DLI fund.
    • The way Brendan was able to negotiate protection for his investors.
    • Their consistent track record as seen in Peter’s quarterly reports.

Ally to Add Digital Signature and Contract Management Capability to Clearlane (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Customers looking to finance or refinance their vehicles through Ally’s newly launched auto finance marketplace, Clearlane, will soon be able to complete financing online through a new digital signing capability. Built on top of the industry’s leading digital transaction management platform, the SmartSign technology from eOriginal will be incorporated into the Clearlane platform in July 2017, and will allow customers to sign and submit their financing documents online or via mobile devices, facilitating a more efficient transaction.

A top banker explains why he left Wells Fargo to join a tech company (Business Insider), Rated: B

DeVall, who served as Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo for two years, recently joined Tipalti, a California-based fintech company that seeks to simplify business to business transactions. He joined the company in March as its director of alliances and business development after a career of more than a decade in banking.

United Kingdom

Mark Carney on how bad Brexit will be for the UK’s household finances (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

On Thursday afternoon, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney did what he does every three months and took questions from the press after the bank released its Quarterly Inflation Report.

As Carney made clear, sclerotic wage growth is not something that is solely happening because of Brexit, and in the past handful of decades myriad factors — including but certainly not limited to the rise of zero-hours contracts and the waning influence of trade unions — have helped subdue the speed at which pay packets are growing.

However, with the return of inflation since June last year, a real and painful squeeze is underway for British households. Inflation, at the last reading, is running at 2.3%, while wage growth was just 2.2%. Inflation’s surge from close to zero reflects the growing cost of imports triggered by the crash in the pound since the referendum.

RateSetter clarifies types of lending (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

NEW MONEY invested through RateSetter’s platform may be matched to existing wholesale loans, the firm said on Friday.

The ‘big three’ peer-to-peer lender announced in late 2016 that it was winding down its wholesale loan book as the activity may be in breach of regulations.

RateSetter lands FTSE 100 heavyweight as new chairman (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The chairman of global insurance giant Prudential is joining to board of online lender RateSetter as non-executive chairman.

Paul Manduca will join the board of the peer-to-peer lender in June and will become chair on July 17 when current chairman Alan Hughes’ three-year term expires.

The appointment of a veteran of public markets will likely fuel speculation that RateSetter could soon look to list on the stock market.

LendInvest Finances 66 Affordable Homes in Key Crossrail Town (Landlord News), Rated: A

LendInvest, a leading specialist mortgage lender, has completed its largest development finance deal to date with an experienced borrower, who will build 66 new affordable homes in West Drayton, Hillingdon, a town set to benefit from a Crossrail station in 2019.

LendInvest has been working with the borrower since June 2016, when it provided a bridging loan to acquire the site, while the client applied for enhanced planning for 53 new homes. The borrower then transitioned to a £17m development loan to finance the construction.

The total loan provision for both sites is £21m, with the total gross development value forecast to exceed £31m.

makepositive secures £1m funding round (London Loves Business), Rated: B

makepositive, a London-based consultancy that helps firms to make better use of Salesforce, has raised £1m, made up of £800k in equity finance plus a £200k loan facility from P2P provider RateSetter Business Finance. The additional funding has enabled the business to invest in consultants, sales and marketing as well as in R & D to support the creation of new solutions on the Salesforce platform.

UCL Will Host the P2P Financial Systems International Workshop 2017, July 20-21 (Crypto Insider), Rated: B

The upcoming P2P Financial Systems International Workshop 2017 (P2PFISY) will be held at University College London (UCL), Wilkins Building, on 20-21 July 2017. Partners of the event are the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, De Netherlandsche Bank, and the Bank of Canada with the patronage of the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (UCL CBT).

China

JP Morgan launches virtual branch in China (The Asset), Rated: AAA

JP Morgan has launched a virtual branch in China. The service eliminates the need to be physically present at bank branches. JP Morgan hopes to reduce manual interventions and improve turnaround times through faster transaction processing.

P2P Industry News (Xing Ping She Email), Rated: A

DYCD and Jingdong Finance issued 625M RMB
On May 12th , Diyichedai, a Chinese P2P lending platform focused on auto loans, announced that they have jointed with Jingdong Finance to issue an 625 million RMB ABS of “Zhejing•Weirong-7 ABS trust plan”, and Zhejin Trust acted as trustee agency of the basic assets. The product was launched in otc structured financing market, consisted of ABS products based on used car financial assets.

According to DYCD, Jingdong Finance took part in the program as the credit monitoring services agency, monitoring the basic assets of duration in real time. Up to now, with the uproar of ABS origination in China, it has already become one of the most important source of finance for auto financing companies.

Yu’E Bao Rates Back to 4%, Banks Shrug
Recently, the annualized interest return for 7days of Yu’E Bao, the world’s biggest money funds, has reached over 4%. It is the first time for the rates back to this level after June 2015. Up to Q1 of this year, Yu’E Bao’s accumulative assets up to around 1.14 trillion RMB.

It was revealed that the reason for the increase of Yu’E Bao’s rates was based on the regulator intensifying control on the leverage ratio, along with the liquidity of the financial system has been keeping tightening. As one of the “Big 2” online payments in China, Alipay has been proposing the cash free time. However, unlike official banks, Alipay is not allowed to pay interests directly to their customers according to related Financial Regulatory Policy. Therefore, it created “Yu’E Bao” to provide financial services on Alipay account.

Great interest in peer-to-peer lending (Startup Ticker), Rated: B

Lendity connects alternative lending platforms with the traditional banking system using its infrastructure and technology.

Lendity has been accelerated by F10, Switzerland’s Fintech accelerator founded by SIX, PwC and Julius Baer.

The event proofed that there is a great interest in investing in peer-to-peer lending, marketplace lending, crowdlending and factoring. 200 participants flocked to the event.

European Union

Fintech lender MarketInvoice gets a boost as Portuguese bank puts £45 million on its platform (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Portuguese bank BNI Europa has agreed to lend £45 million ($57.87 million) over MarketInvoice, a UK peer-to-peer lender for small businesses.

MarketInvoice recently launched a new product, Pro, that allows small businesses to access a rolling credit line and Coelho namechecks this as a reason BNI signed on.

BNI Europa was launched in 2014 and is Portugal’s fastest growing digital-only bank.

Contrarian Lending Marketplace Younited Credit Crosses €500 million Milestone (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Since it opened for business in 2012, French lending startup Younited Credit has thrived by implementing strategic choices that ran contrary to common practice among lending marketplaces. It was the first of its kind (and still is the only one so far) to get a full banking license and to start fueling its growth through loan securitization.

What sets Younited Credit apart from its competitors is not so much its record growth, as how the company achieved it and how this positions it for the future.

Whereas other lending marketplaces opt for a broker or other financial intermediary status, and often, like Lending Club in the US and Auxmoney in Germany, use a fronting bank to actually issue the loans, Charles Egly and his partners decided that Younited Credit should get its own banking license, an agreement as a credit institution and investment service provider. This came at very high cost in terms of capital requirements, including €5 million in equity plus a €3 million buffer, as well as in financing the two years needed to obtain the agreement from the French regulator, the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution.

The faster Younited Credit grows, the more its needs large institutional lenders. Major international institutional investors such as the Dutch insurer Aegon, investment companies Zencap, Eiffel Investment Group and Hexagone Finance are investing through Younited Credit. The company favors institutional investors with patient money such as insurers, investment funds and family offices, rather than the more volatile ones, such as hedge funds.

Millennial wealth gap leads to concerns over intragenerational fairness (The Herald), Rated: A

Online property lending is becoming big business in the UK, generating £700 million worth of investment in 2015 alone. Newer entrants to the industry include Bricklane, which is selling its own property ISA, and Octopus Choice, which offers a target rate of 4.2 per cent.

A further boost has been provided by the introduction of the Innovative Finance ISA, which shields all P2P returns from tax, although only a handful of providers have regulatory permission to sell the product so far, including Lending Crowd, Landbay and LandlordInvest.

The trend is being driven not just by institutional investors but young web-savvy investors who are disillusioned with poor rates of savings. One P2P platform – ThinCats – reckons that millennials are four times more likely to choose this option as those aged over 55.

Property investors also need to note the difference between P2P lending and crowdfunding, which is the category that Housecrowd falls into. Haaris Ahmed, founder of property crowdfunding platform uOwn, said P2P lending consisted of property-backed loans where a lender will pay an interest rate that is “set in stone”, unless a borrower was to default.

Registration for LendIt Europe 2017 is Now Open (Lend Academy), Rated: B

Our 2017 event will be a little different to last year. Similar to what we have done at our USA event we are expanding to include other aspects of fintech beyond online lending. While we will still be covering lending in some depth we also want to highlight the innovations happening in other areas of financial services.

Early confirmed keynote speakers include Jaidev Janardana, the CEO of Zopa, Francesco Brenna, an Executive Partner at IBM Global Business Services and Shane Williams, the co-head of UBS Smartwealth. Our current confirmed speakers are here and if you are interested in becoming a speaker at LendIt Europe 2017 you can submit an application here.

The launch price of £795 is in effect until June 2nd, but as a Lend Academy reader you can receive an additional 15% discount by using the code LENDACADEMYVIP at checkout. The discount code is always good for 15% off but you will receive the best pricing if you purchase before midnight on June 2nd. You can register now on the LendIt website.

International

Alternative Lending Deals On Pace For New Low (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

Today, 8 of the 22 global private fintech companies valued at $1B or more are alternative lenders. But 11 years after the founding of Lending Club, investments to private alternative lending companies are hitting new lows, according to CB Insights data.

China Rapid Finance, which last year raised funds at a $1B valuation, went public last month at a $350M valuation.

Deals and dollars to alternative lending companies trended up between 2012 through 2015. Funding saw a 188% funding increase from $1.54B in 2014 to a record $4.43B in 2015 across 94 deals. But at the current run rate, 2017 will see a dip to approximately 42 deals worth $2.01B. And this funding run-rate is actually inflated by SoFi’s $500M Series F, which represents 73% of funding in the year-to-date. The full-year total could come in far lower than $2B.

Alternative lending companies saw both deals and dollars retreat on a year-over-year basis in 2016 with 78 deals worth approximately $2.45B in funding.

Digging into the quarterly data, Q2’15 saw a record 30 deals worth approximately $1.45B in funding.

Q3’15 was a record quarter for funding with approximately $2.14B invested across 24 deals.

India

Indian millennials are taking to peer-to-peer lending for investment (India Times), Rated: A

When 28-year-old Karan Lalchandani had to take a call on expanding his investment portfolio, he steered away from the common options -real estate, equities and precious metal.Instead, he took a small loan on peer-to-peer (p2p) lending platform Faircent.

Lalchandani is part of a growing tribe of young professionals who, not happy with the rate of return or long lock-in period that traditional investment options have, are looking at the p2p lending model.

According to Rajat Gandhi, chief executive of Faircent, about 60% of the 10,000 lenders on the platform are under the age of 35, with a significant chunk being under 30. “Most 30-year-olds haven’t experienced a good asset class.This offers quick returns monthon-month,“ he said.

This trend has been visible across various p2p lending platforms like Lendbox and i2iFunding, many of which rely solely on social media to reach out to this lender profile. Chaudhary, for instance, came across p2p lending through a simple online search on investment options.

Should you invest in Bitcoins, crowd funding, P2P lending? (India Times), Rated: A

After dabbling in traditional investment avenues like stocks, fixed deposits, gold, mutual funds and real estate, some investors are
venturing into more adventurous territory—digital currency, crowdfunding and P2P funding—to make their wealth grow.

There are a little over 15 million bitcoins in circulation today and no more than 21 million will be mined ever, making the virtual currency attractive to investors. The rising demand for and lack of supply of have pushed up the price of bitcoins from $16 per coin in 2013 to $1,700 today.

P2P platforms have brought lenders and borrowers closer. Technology allows easy credit to borrowers, while lenders earn high returns on idle funds. Chennai-based Jose Joseph, 45, has been lending on P2P platforms since 2015. On the Rs 1 lakh he has put in so far, he has earned an average return of 20%.

Microfinance and P2P lending – Twin Brothers? (Telangana Today), Rated: B

Microfinance consists in providing of financial help to low-income families or individuals who traditionally lack access to banking and loans (a.k.a. the “unbanked”).

Going by the above, there is no relationship or link between microfinance loan product and peer to peer lending. Urban MFIs have a income household parameter of minimum 1.6 lacs per annum. Do they have an individual income parameter? If yes, they could partner with P2P platforms and lend on the platform.Going by what we have above, it is not possible to design a P2P platform to suit the needs of microfinance landscape. But it is a very important question to ask how MFIs can decrease their operational and transactional costs using technology. This is being addressed since almost 10 years with less success. Is it really possible to successfully implement BC/CSP model?

Asia

Indonesian P2P lending platform Taralite raises US$ 6.3M, aims to build “world class” R&D team (e27), Rated: AAA

Jakarta-based P2P lending platform Taralite today announced that it has a raised a funding round from Japanese fintech conglomerate SBI Group.

It operates a US$300 million finTech-focussed fund.

To achieve this, it partners with various online marketplaces and booking platform such as Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Lazada, MatahariMall, and Airy Rooms.

Taralite offers swift application processes and affordable loans starting from 0.99 per cent per month. It claimed to have disbursed loans to 1,000 borrowers with more than 70 per cent retention rate.

South America

Nubank reported a net loss of $ 39 million (Conexao Fintech), Rated: AAA

Nubank, Brazil’s biggest Fintech startup, reported a net loss of BRL 122 million last year. In 2015, the loss had been BRL 32.7 million. Operating income in the period was BRL 77.09 million, a significant expansion of BRL 10.4 million from the previous year.

In order to finance the operations with the rotary – whose rates vary from 2.75% to 14% per month – Nubank allocates part of its card receivables portfolio to a fund. The portfolio totals BRL 1.4 billion, while the receivables fund closed 2016 with approximately BRL 150 million.

Philippines

Peer-to-peer lending The Basics and The Benefits (Manila Bulletin), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending, sometimes referred to as “social lending”, allows individuals to borrow and lend money without the intervention of standard or official financial institutions, like banks.

  1. It’s hassle-free.
  2. It’s a win-win process.
  3. Hello flexible fees!
  4. It’s user-friendly.
  5. Enter into a new community

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday March 9 2017, Daily News Digest

Thursday March 9 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Kabbage’s prices $525M securitization. LendIt announces industry award winners. AlphaFlow launches automated real estate investing platform. Zhong An to sell 5-10% stake ahead of IPO. Ant Financial invests in Mynt. Atom Bank raises $102M for mobile-only bank. Today’s main analysis: Is the short-term credit cycle ready to roll over? TU bolsters fraud prevention exchange. Today’s thought-provoking […]

Thursday March 9 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

  • LendIt Awards winners and PitchIt competition. GP:”In my eyes, Scott Sanborn winning best executive of the year is the award that stands out the most. The second award that was interesting is for Zopa winning best consumer lender award while also being the oldest (started in 2005!). Note: Zopa was also nominated among the most innovative platforms. Being the oldest, the one that stands out and among the most innovating is outstanding and certainly worthy of an award. A healthy industry that is growing also needs its celebrations. Having awards is a great way to bond the industry together and make it into an industry celebration. ”  AT: “Congratulations to all awards winners.”
  • Kabbage prices $525M securitization. GP:” ABS on small and medium business loans are less usual than on unsecured person. This securitization seem quite hot. Senior are anticipated to be rated A by Kroll. Expected to close arond March 20. Significantly oversubscribed. We can conclude that the SME securitization market is looking strong. We should look at the next OnDeck securitization with this in mind and hopefully be able to differentiate the market trends vs the company effect in that securitization. “
  • AlphaFlow launches new automated real estate investing platform.
  • Second sign in as many days that the short-term credit cycle will turn over. GP:” The articles on AlphaFlow are a mixed bag. One should critically evaluate the contents beyond the title. The defaults in auto and p2p are inching up as TransUnion showed recently. But very little and I wonder if it’s really significative. In p2p the defaults had inched up last year but it seemed to have been due to companies focused on growth too much. Recently OnDeck’s reserves for losses had to more then triple, however we haven’t seen this in their competitors. Perhaps not yet. I would conclude that we should watch what is going on but not panic, yet. “
  • TU bolsters fraud prevention exchange. AT: “As the number of consumers with personal loans rises the potential for fraud increases. This should be an area of concern for all lenders.”
  • Data aggregation for lending decisions.
  • CreditEase addresses top FinTech trends at LendIt.
  • Election years can disrupt Fintech too. AT: “Regulation is going to be a big discussion for the industry this year and next.”
  • StreetShares partners with Nor-Cal FDC.
  • Qapital raises $12M to expand Fintech app to more areas.

United Kingdom

European Union

China

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

Kabbage prices $ 525m securitisation (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Kabbage, a pioneering financial services, technology and data platform, today announced that on March 7, 2017, it priced $525 million of fixed-rate, asset-backed notes in a private securitization transaction.

The facility is expandable to $1.5 billion. The notes will be issued in four classes by Kabbage Asset Securitization LLC, a newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary of Kabbage Inc. The senior class of notes is anticipated to be rated “A(sf)” on the closing date by Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA). Guggenheim Securities is serving as sole structuring advisor and initial purchaser of the notes. The securitization is expected to close on or about March 20, 2017, and is subject to customary closing conditions.

The securitization was significantly oversubscribed with interest from top-tier institutional investors. This represents the largest asset-backed securitization of small business loans in the online lending industry, next to Kabbage’s prior, expandable, ABS note issuance in March 2014.

LendIt Names PitchIt Competition And LendIt Industry Award Winners (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendIt, the world’s largest show in lending and fintech, today announced the startup winner for its fifth PitchIt competition and 18 winners for its first LendIt Industry Awards in various categories including Innovator of the Year, FinTech Woman of the Year and Executive of the Year.

PitchIt is a leading global competition for fintech startups to earn mentorship, endorsement and exposure to institutions, investors and broad visibility. Out of eight PitchIt finalists, the judges winner as well as the audience winner was awarded to Nova Credit, the world’s first cross-border credit reporting agency. Nova Credit is fundamentally changing the way immigrants secure loans by enabling individuals to transfer their overseas data.

  • Best Journalist Coverage – George Popescu, Editor in Chief, Lending Times
  • Emerging Real Estate Platform – PeerStreet
  • Top Fund Manager – Prime Meridian Capital Management
  • International Innovator of the Year – Trulioo
  • Top Law Firm – Chapman and Cutler
  • Top Accounting Firm – Deloitte
  • Top Fintech Equity Investor – QED Investors
  • Most Innovative Bank – Cross River Bank
  • Top Service Provider – First Associates Loan Servicing
  • Best in Show – Deloitte – awarded to the best exhibitor at LendIt, judged on booth design and impression as well as staff conviction and enthusiasm.

AlphaFlow Launches New Investment Platform to Bring Automated Investing to Real Estate (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

AlphaFlow, the leader in passive online real estate investment, today announced it has launched AlphaFlow Managed Portfolios. The company will build, manage, and rebalance a portfolio of 75-100 real estate loans for investors. This marks the first automated real estate investment service of its kind.

AlphaFlow provides clients with a first-of-its-kind set it and forget it automated service to build and manage a real estate portfolio. The company’s founders have been at the forefront of the disruption in real estate investing. In 2013, Sturm co-founded RealtyShares, one of the largest real estate crowdfunding platforms. Three years later, AlphaFlow was the first to offer funds that allowed investors to participate in loans across multiple real estate crowdfunding platforms with a single investment. AlphaFlow Managed Portfolios bring similarly innovative benefits to investors, including daily portfolio rebalancing that automatically reviews portfolios on a daily basis for opportunities to reallocate investments in order to increase diversification.

While many investors have embraced online equity investing, the real estate industry has traditionally been slow to change. As a result, the options available today are fairly limited for passive investors. AlphaFlow believes that in the next ten years, everyone will have some type of real estate in their investment portfolio.

The Second Sign In As Many Days That The Market Is Ready To Roll Over (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

It has now been widely known that there is a bubble in the United States automobile market and recent exposes about subprime financing and recent commentary from dealerships about heavily discounted and incentivize selling have led us to this conclusion in a relatively straightforward fashion.

We also believe that the first loan default cracks would show in peer-to-peer lending, a riskier and lower credit worthy form of lending that exists in the spot where bankers simply used to not lend. Just days ago, we saw Lending Club, arguably the most popular peer-to-peer lender, report that delinquencies had risen significantly.

More importantly, this news pushes us further into our thesis that the short term credit cycle is likely about to turn over.

This was always a two pronged thesis: peer to peer lending and the auto market. With the second piece now falling into the puzzle, we think this is a great time to reiterate our notion that the market has hit its peak and that we think this is a great time to get hedged. In addition to having about 60% of our portfolio long and about 40% short at this time, we have also added some short-term S&P 500 puts to further hedge our long positions.

TransUnion Bolsters Fraud Prevention Exchange as Online Fraudsters Continue to Impact Personal Loan Delinquency Rates (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Newly released TransUnion (TRU) data found that as personal loan delinquency rates rise, online fraud, which includes loan stacking, continues to make significant contributions to these increases. Serious delinquency rates (90+ days past due) at the conclusion of 2016 for personal loans originated in 2015 rose to 6.22%, up nearly 3% from the year-end 2015 delinquency rate of 6.05% for loans originated in 2014.*

Serious delinquency rates (90+ days past due) for personal loans with characteristics of online fraud stood at 11.02% at the end of 2016 for loans originated in 2015. Online fraud includes fraudulent loan stacking, which involves attempting to secure multiple loans from one or more lenders within a short period of time. While down from the 11.81% rate at the conclusion of 2015 for loans originated in 2014, it represents even more borrowers because of the continued growth in the personal loan space.

To combat online fraud, TransUnion has further expanded its Fraud Prevention Exchange to offer insights from the entire network of available TransUnion customer data — not just from Exchange members. These newest updates were unveiled today at LendIt USA 2017, a lending and FinTech conference.

The Exchange enables lenders to:

  • Reduce fraud losses without impacting the consumer experience and lending timelines.
  • Receive real-time alerts (within seconds) to mitigate instances where lenders don’t discover problematic accounts until days or weeks have passed and losses may have been incubating unknowingly inside live loans.
  • Utilize TransUnion’s vast network of customers inside and outside of the Exchange for more insight into originations fraud.
  • Quickly adjust and adapt to evolving fraud threats and trends.

Data aggregation’s new frontier: Lending decisions (American Banker), Rated: A

Financial data aggregation, long used to power digital personal financial management tools, has found a more moneymaking role — speeding up underwriting decisions.

Rather than faxing in documents or submitting PDFs of data downloaded from multiple websites, consumers and small-business owners are granting online lenders permission to use aggregation technology to grab their financial transaction data.

So long as the technology is working as intended, lenders will gain something they may have not been privy to before — years’ worth of transaction data, such as cash flows that aggregators think lenders should crunch as part of their credit analysis in addition to credit history data. And sure, banks may already count some applicants as customers and have access to their financial transactions. However, most consumers have multiple bank accounts that lenders would also need to mine.

Lenders in other countries like Australia and Europe appear to be further along than U.S. banks — especially in building open application programming interfaces to simplify the flow of data among apps.

CreditEase Addresses Top FinTech Trends at LendIt USA 2017 Conference in New York (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

CreditEase, China’s leading fintech company announced today that its subsidiary company, Yirendai (YRD), an leading online digital consumer financial service platform, together with CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund and CreditEase Offshore Private Credit Fund (“OPCF”) delivered a series of keynote speeches at the 2017 LendIt USA conference in New York from March 6 to 7.  LendIt annual conferences are recognized as one of the largest global fintech industry events dedicated to connecting the global fintech and lending communities.

On the main stage, Yirendai executives delivered a keynote speech named From Big to Strong: China FinTech Entering a New Era. Yihan Fang and Yang Cao of Yirendai shared with the audience the latest fintech industry trends in China, regulatory environment of online marketplace lending in China, and industry’s current challenges. In addition, Yirendai announced the launch of Yirendai Enabling Platform (“YEP”), a technology platform that enables partner companies to utilize Yirendai’s data acquisition, anti-fraud technology, as well as customer acquisition capabilities, to help optimize industry’s efficiency and enhance customer experience.

Anju Patwardhan, Senior Partner of CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund and member of Investment Committee delivered a keynote speech on financial inclusion issues for the middle class and also discussed the latest trends in fintech globally. CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, launched in December 2015, is a venture fund investing in growth-stage fintech companies globally. The Fund has an equivalent of USD 1 billion in total committed capital.

LendIt: Election years can disrupt fintech, too (Housingwire), Rated: A

Congressman Patrick McHenry, a representative of North Carolina’s 10th congressional district and a member of the Republican Party, gave one of the first major speeches on the topic. Congressman McHenry has been a vocal proponent of fintech regulation overhaul and he discussed his priorities, beginning with the modernization of infrastructure underlying the IRS income verification form (4506T), which is used by lenders to make underwriting decisions (the form is currently manually handled by the IRS and takes 2- 8 business days for processing).

A counter-point to this speech was provided by Amias Gerety, who served in the U.S. Treasury during President Obama’s time in office. He outlined the ways in which the Treasury Department currently engages with emerging fintech companies through discussions, white papers and, eventually, changes in policy.

He addressed some of the popular requests of fintech companies including the demands for a “regulatory sandbox” for startups to innovate without the shackles of regulation.

Lastly, he discussed the shadow of the crisis on regulators’ minds as it relates to financial innovation, since many of the products that caused the 2008 recession were considered  “innovative” at the time. He encouraged companies to think about innovating across the whole spectrum of the customer value chain of acquisition, user experience, underwriting, funding and servicing / collections, since the last two stages of funding and servicing / collections tended to get overlooked during a growth cycle but tend to result in “immense bad behavior” during a downturn.

The third notable speech for the day was delivered by Thomas Curry, the Comptroller of Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. He highlighted the power of  “responsible innovation” by fintech companies to expand financial inclusion.

He confirmed that the OCC has the necessary authority and highlighted their capabilities, including “…experienced examiners who specialize in banking technology, have expert knowledge of payment systems, credit, and consumer protection, and know where companies can face pitfalls.”

He confirmed that the OCC has the necessary authority and highlighted their capabilities, including “…experienced examiners who specialize in banking technology, have expert knowledge of payment systems, credit, and consumer protection, and know where companies can face pitfalls.”

StreetShares Partners with Nor-Cal FDC to Serve California Veteran, Small Business Owners and Government Contractors (PR Newswire), Rated: A

As part of the statewide California bizWin™ and VetBizWin™ Initiatives, StreetShares has partnered with Nor-Cal FDC (Northern California Financial Development Corporation) to provide contract financing and small business lending solutions to California small and veteran-owned businesses.

As a Nor-Cal FDC premium partner, StreetShares will work with the Nor-Cal FDC Small Business Finance Support Team to assist small business and veteran business owners in obtaining funding needed to win new opportunities.

Qapital Raises $ 12M To Expand Its Fintech App Into More Areas (PYMNTS.com), Rated: A

Qapital, the FinTech startup, raised $12 million in venture funding to expand its app that enables users to make goals and save money to reach those goals.

With the app, users can integrate their checking, savings and credit card accounts, so in addition to setting financial goals, they can stay on top of their finances.

By including debit cards into the product, the report noted that it gives the startup a new revenue stream, because it can make money from the interchange fees.

United Kingdom

Zopa bags top consumer lender award (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA reaffirmed its leading position in the peer-to-peer consumer space last night as it won the accolade of top consumer lending platform at LendIt’s awards in New York.

The world’s oldest P2P lender fended off competition from US consumer-finance heavyweights such as SoFi and Avant, bagging top scores on loan performance, volume, growth, and product diversity from a panel of 30 industry experts.

The new award caps off a bumper month for the platform, which posted record lending figures for February. It originated more than £81m of new loans last month – £24m more than the same month last year.

Forming new partnerships will be a key strategy going forward, according to Zopa’s chief product officer Andrew Lawson.

The P2P platform, which has so far focused exclusively on unsecured lending, is also looking to expand its range of loans and maturities. As Peer-to-Peer Finance News previously reported, this may include a move into the secured auto finance space.

Atom Bank raises $ 102M at $ 320M valuation for a mobile-only bank for millennials (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Atom Bank, a startup out of the U.K. that has built a mobile-only bank targeting consumers between the ages of 18 and 34, has raised another £83 million ($102 million) in funding led by BBVA, the Spanish bank and owner of Simple in the U.S. The funding gives Atom a post-money valuation of £261 million ($320 million), TechCrunch has confirmed with the company. BBVA also led Atom’s previous $128 million round in November 2015.

Robo-advice case study: Munnypot (Banking Technology), Rated: A

Munnypot looks like the archetypal disruptor. It is a sophisticated robo-advice service that allows consumers to manage their savings digitally. The platform makes straightforward and easy to understand financial advice available to everyone, at a fraction of the cost of most financial advisors or wealth managers.

First, from 2012, regulatory changes were introduced to provide much greater transparency to consumers, particularly around pricing. These changes have, however, made advice less affordable for people without large savings pots. This has contributed to the “advice gap” of 16 million people in the UK who could take advantage of financial advice if it were simpler and cheaper.

Second, the UK’s simplified tax rules similarly paved the way for providing advice to consumers on a range of more straightforward financial products.

Third, changing customer behaviour means most people are now comfortable with using technology for more and more purchases, whether via websites or apps.

Alternative lenders berate Chancellor for ineffective first budget (AltFi), Rated: A

Stuart Law, CEO and co-founder of secured business lending platform Assetz Capital, has berated Philip Hammond for delivering no news of any import for small businesses – “or indeed their lenders” – in his first budget as Chancellor.

Law said that Hammond has missed a chance to remove a “fatal flaw” from the Innovative Finance ISA tax wrapper, which allows investors to shelter peer-to-peer investments from income tax. The existing rules do not allow investors to spread their annual ISA allowance across multiple peer-to-peer platforms, which Law believes is making diversification “very difficult”.

Ex-ING Direct boss joins RateSetter board (Investor Daily), Rated: B

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has appointed former ING Direct chief executive Vaughn Richtor to its Australian board of directors.

European Union

PAYPAL FUNDS FINTECH PROF ROLE (Delano), Rated: AAA

The FNR Pearl chair in fintech will be jointly funded over five years by online payment giant PayPal and the National Research Fund (FNR), the government said in a press release following the signing of a memorandum of understanding on 6 March.

The chair will be established at the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Center for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT).

Personetics to Present Its Cognitive Banking Applications at Fintech 2017 in Zurich, Switzerland (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Personetics, the leading provider of cognitive applications for the financial services sector, will present at Fintech 2017, Switzerland’s most influential fintech conference, which will take place in Zurich 9 March.

Personetics will be presenting a session entitled “Personalized Guidance: Turning Customer Data into a Delightful Customer Experience” at 10:50.

China

Zhong An plans to sell 5-10 percent stake ahead of IPO (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Zhong An Online Property and Casualty Insurance plans to sell 5-10 percent of the company to a couple of strategic investors, to raise up to 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion), ahead of a planned initial public offering in mainland China, according to four people with direct knowledge of the matter.

China’s first internet-only insurer, whose current major shareholders include two of China’s largest Internet companies – Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial affiliate with 16 percent and Tencent Holdings Ltd with 12 percent – is in early talks with potential investors, according to the sources who declined to be named.

China’s Biggest Blockchain Backer Launches Startup Accelerator (CoinDesk), Rated: A

A blockchain venture backed by Chinese conglomerate Wanxiang Group has launched a new startup accelerator.

The kick-off, which formally took place on 22nd February, comes soon after Wanxiang pledged to spend as much as $30bn on a smart cities initiative, set to be invested over a seven-year period. As part of that plan, Wanxiang, best known as the country’s biggest makers of automotive parts, said it would look to fund blockchain entrepreneurs.

The investors would be expected to commit at least 1 billion yuan each and the new funds would be used by Zhong An to expand its business and buy time before securing a green light from regulators for the IPO, one of the people said.

India

No misuse of Aadhaar biometrics, says UIDAI (The Indian Express), Rated: A

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which maintains the database of Aadhaar numbers, said on Sunday that there was no misuse of Aadhaar biometrics, which allegedly led to identity theft and financial loss.

Furthermore, with reference to the incident of misuse of biometrics reported in a newspaper, the UIDAI said it was an isolated case of an employee working with a bank’s business correspondent’s company making an attempt to misuse biometrics, which was detected by the authority’s internal security system and subsequently actions were initiated under the Aadhaar Act.

Asia

Ant Financial invests in Globe Telecom’s Mynt (Telecomasia.net), Rated: AAA

Alibaba’s Ant Financial is making its first foray into the Philippines via partnership with Ayala and an investment into Globe Telecom’s Fintech business unit Mynt.

Alibaba’s Ant Financial is making its first foray into the Philippines via partnership with Ayala and an investment into Globe Telecom’s Fintech business unit Mynt.

The flowering field of fintech (Infographic) (Tech in Asia), Rated: AAA

So, why are fintech firms so popular? What makes them better than other finance companies? One of the key reasons is that they have very stable and predictable business models, making people feel safe about their products and/or services. Investors are also attracted to businesses with predictable business models, as the risk is lower. Fintech companies are also low-cost yet deliver exceptional service.

 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday March 7 2017, Daily News Digest

p2p industry growth

News Comments Today’s main news: Ron Suber’s updates on MPL. Amazon’s history points the way for online lending. Best Egg exceeds $3B in personal loans.eOriginal to lead Fannie Mae’s next-gen electric vault. Experian joins MLA. First FinTech fund for inclusion of the underserved raises $141 mil. Trillion Fund up for sale. Today’s main analysis: How to join the P2P lending […]

p2p industry growth

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Israel

Asia

News Summary

United States

Amazon’s history points the way for online lending: Lending Club CEO (American Banker), Rated: AAA

As the online lending sector seeks to rebound from a wrenching year, it should look to Amazon for inspiration, the CEO of industry bellwether Lending Club said.

In many ways where online lending is in 2017 parallels the early days of online retail, Scott Sanborn said at the LendIt conference in New York on Monday. In that situation, new entrants disrupted an established industry, before going through a period of pain and change themselves during the dot-com bubble.

The original online retailers that survived and thrived after that period reinvented and expanded what they did, Sanborn said, citing Amazon as the prime example.

Much like how Amazon went from selling books to selling cloud services, Sanborn predicted online lenders that succeed well into the future will change how they do business.

eOriginal to Lead Fannie Mae’s Next Generation Electronic Vault (PRWeb), Rated: AAA

eOriginal, Inc., the trusted expert in digital transaction management, has been selected as the technology solution provider for the Fannie Mae next generation electronic vault (eVault). Fannie Mae is committed to enhancing the digital mortgage revolution and removing obstacles to eMortgage adoption through a modern, secure, and scalable platform. eOriginal’s hosted platform enables the secure management of electronically signed assets (eNotes) throughout their post-execution lifecycle.

By utilizing eOriginal’s hosted solution, Fannie Mae will accelerate deployment and greatly reduce costs for ongoing support efforts. The movement to cloud-based/vendor-hosted solutions is an industry best-practice that the lending community is embracing.

How To Join The P2P Lending Revolution And Earn +10% Yields (Forbes), Rated: AAA

In 1999, I was a partner in launching one of the world’s first pure online banks. At the time, the idea was controversial to say the least.

Since launching our online bank, the industry has, in fits and starts, adopted the technologies necessary to provide some form of online banking to their clients.

While earning fees on deposits, overdrawn checks, and so forth are an important component of the typical bank’s revenue statement, the real juice comes from lending.

And that’s where the banks have a real problem.

With the credit freeze locking out many ordinary Americans, the door opened wide for Peer-to-Peer lending platforms. A radical new approach to lending, P2P platforms act as intermediaries between borrowers and investors, bypassing the traditional gatekeepers of credit… the banks.

In 10 short years, P2P lending has facilitated over $35 billion of loans in the US.

Loans made through P2P platforms currently account for just 3% of the total unsecured consumer loans in the US.

Given the positives, the P2P share of unsecured consumer loans is projected to enjoy a compounded annual growth rate of 47%, rising to 8.4% of the market by 2020.

With P2P investing thriving in the sub $250k space, banks are beginning to take note. As a senior banker friend of ours commented, the bankers are now paying very close attention to the rising competition.

Unlike the Boomers, Millennials have no loyalty or connection with banks. That’s why they are twice as likely to switch banks. Over 94% consumers under the age of 35 are active users of online banking.

Already about one-third of 18-to 34-year-olds have used P2P lending, with the average age for Lending Club users just 30.

Prosper President Ron Suber Updates on Marketplace Lending Industry (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Ron Suber, the President of Prosper and a perennial keynote speaker at the annual LendIt conference, delivered a rousing update on the status of marketplace lending.

The previous 12 months have been tough on the online lending sector, funding dried up as institutional money panicked leaving platforms gasping for cash. Platforms were compelled to revisit operating models looking for efficiencies while honing the credit process. Yet the platforms that have survived stand to benefit and grow from the new resilience and confidence created from shared survival.

The key to future success included the following foundational elements: loan performance, data transparency, platform profitability, customer acquisition, and automation.

 

Ron Suber LendItUSA 2017 Presentation by CrowdfundInsider on Scribd

Experian joins Marketplace Lending Association (Finextra), Rated: AAA

As part of our commitment to driving responsible financial innovation, Experian has joined the Marketplace Lending Association as an associate member.

Now more than ever, the financial industry is seeking new and innovative ways to provide valuable financial services to consumers and businesses. Experian has been at the forefront, and is leading this charge by focusing on combining technology with the power of data to help drive an economy that is continually changing. This is critical, especially in the marketplace lending sector, which has brought many innovations to the market over the last decade.

Experian is already an active partner with many of the nation’s leading marketplace lenders, providing powerful data, analytics and consulting services to consumer and small-business lenders. We are uniquely positioned to help marketplace lenders attract more consumers to our platform, reduce fraud risk and navigate the complex world of regulatory and compliance.

First FinTech Fund for Inclusion of the Underserved Raises $ 141 Million (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA

The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund closed with $141 million in capital contributions. This is a global non-profit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world with economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. It is managed by Quona Capital, which invests in entrepreneurs and growth-oriented businesses seeking to change how financial services are delivered in emerging markets.

Altisource launches mortgage trading platform (Housingwire), Rated: A

Altisource Portfolio Solutions, a provider of real estate, mortgage and technology services, announced the launch of its new mortgage trading platform – noteXchange.

noteXchange is a secondary market trading platform that brings buyers and sellers together. It enables communication, shorter sales cycles and automated processes, according to the company.

The platform creates a uniform, compliant, secure and efficient technology solution in the mortgage trading market. It is designed to replace the current system of transacting through spreadsheets and email.

This move comes as no surprise to HousingWire readers, who read in the March magazine about mortgage companies increasing their securityafter a record number of hacks.

Credit Cards, Friends and Family and Savings Aren’t Helping Nonprime Americans (BusinessWire), Rated: A

It’s no secret that nonprime (subprime) Americans have limited personal resources to weather unexpected expenses – but new data from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class reveals that informal, relationship-based options for emergency loans are largely unavailable as well. According to research released today by the Center, which researches and reports on the realities of being nonprime in America, almost 70 percent of nonprime Americans couldn’t cover an urgent expense of $500 or more with their savings and 64 percent wouldn’t be able to borrow that amount from friends and family. These findings complement the Federal Reserve Board’s 2016 finding that 46 percent of Americans do not have $400 in savings to cover an emergency expense.

This latest study focuses on how nonprime Americans – defined as those having a credit score below 700 – borrow money as they are largely barred from traditional prime products, like personal loans from banks or even loans from new online lending companies that are focused on prime consumers.

Additional key findings include:

  • 71 percent would not be able to borrow $2,000 from family or friends if an urgent need arose
  • 72 percent of nonprime Americans would not be able to put $500 on a credit card
  • 80 percent would not be able to put $2,000 on a credit card
  • 59 percent said they “regularly” carry a credit card balance
  • Only 1 in 5 nonprime Americans have borrowed from friends or family in the last 12 months
  • 7 percent use overdraft protection strategically, using it to cover expenses for which they did not have money

ID Analytics’ Online Lending Network Helps Members Reduce Fraud (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

ID Analytics LLC, a leader in consumer risk management, today announced that the company’s Online Lending Network has helped reduce fraud for members. The Online Lending Network is a consortium formed to enhance responsible lending, help protect consumers and businesses, and address credit and fraud risks. Early research shows that 1.5 percent of online loan applicants were seen applying at or seeking offers from other lenders within six hours of submitting their application, and this group was found to be twice as risky as the average online loan applicant.

PeerStreet Integrates with Betterment via Quovo to Provide More Detailed Investment Overview (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

PeerStreet, an award-winning platform for investing in real estate backed loans, has announced an integration with Betterment, the largest independent online investment advisor. Using account aggregation through Quovo, customers of both Betterment and PeerStreet can view their PeerStreet positions within the context of their investment portfolio on the Betterment dashboard.

Customers of both services are increasingly seeking an easy way to see their all of their investments in one place, even across multiple investment platforms. Integrations with Betterment and similar financial services have become one of the top requests from PeerStreet users. Both PeerStreet and Betterment were able to quickly respond to their clients’ needs using Quovo, the industry leader in financial account connectivity, to aggregate and integrate consumer financial data.

This integration is another example of both PeerStreet and Betterment using technology to help provide greater transparency, ease of use and control. It stems from a core philosophy of listening to customers and being responsive to requests that fundamentally improve the user experience, even across multiple platforms.

LendIt keynote: Online lending is an industry built to last (Housingwire), Rated: A

At first look, it seemed to be an unlikely crowd for a conference involving technology-focused disruptors, but perhaps the formality of the event was indicative of the startups in attendance – growing companies beginning to rub shoulders with the establishment.

Prosper and its peers Lending Club and OnDeck are part of the “older guard” of fintech companies, and find themselves at the front lines of conversations with regulators, banks, venture capitalists and private equity firms.

Looking to the future, Mr. Suber is convinced that in order to grow sustainably and in order to be “built to last”, the next evolution of online lenders involves partnering with banks to find long-term capital and achieve profitability. He believes there are five ways for banks to engage with online lending:

  • Loan Sales: Banks purchase loans through online lending platforms to diversify asset base and gain access to assets they don’t directly underwrite
  • Lenders as a Service: Banks utilize lending platforms created by startups for origination and servicing that can be leveraged in discussions with regulators
  • Vendor relationships: Banks can leverage, securitize, custody cash, and serve as trustees for online lenders
  • M&A advisory: Banks can help fulfill every entrepreneurs’ dream of an exit
  • Greenfield operations: Some banks build their own online platforms while taking advantage of their low cost of capital

Best Egg Exceeds Billion in Personal Loans with Focus on Debt Consolidation (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Best Egg announced today its loan origination has surpassed $3 billion as it reaches its third year in business. With its A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Best Egg is a personal loan product that leverages technology to simplify and speed the process for getting a loan.

Online personal loans have surged over the past three years. Consumers were underserved by the options available from the incumbent banks and credit unions, which are many times saddled with slow processes, small loan amounts, and lack of product innovation. TransUnion’s February 2017 Quarterly Industry Insights Report highlights significant growth in personal loan uptake over the last few years.

AlphaFlow Announces New Investment Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On Monday, AlphaFlow announced the launch of its new investment platform, AlphaFlow Managed Portfolios.

Sturm claimed that he, along with co-founder and CTO of AlphaFlow, Bogdan Cirlig, launched the industry’s first multi-platform funds.

The AlphaFlow Managed Portfolios platform will do the following:

  • Build, monitor, and automatically rebalance a portfolio of 75-100 real estate loans for investors
  • AlphaFlow Advanced Analytics drive every investment decision
  • Investors earn 8-10% with the protection of real estate collateral
  • Simple 1% AUM fee, with no additional hidden costs

Fidelity’s New Robo Ups Ante for Advisors (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

After launching its robo for retail investors last summer, Fidelity Investments is forging ahead on a revamped technology platform for advisors. By mid-year, the asset manager and financial services custodian expects to offer its 3,000-plus customer base of RIAs and brokerages a whole new set of online tools to manage client portfolios.

But Fidelity isn’t the only industry heavyweight trying to develop robo technologies for advisors, says Sean McDermott, an analyst with Corporate Insight in New York.

SigFig, which includes backing by UBS and Eaton Vance, is one such rival listed by the veteran robo analyst as already making significant inroads.

Another established player in U.S. wealth management is FutureAdvisor, McDermott adds. FutureAdvisor is owned by asset manager BlackRock.

EULER HERMES DIGITAL AGENCY, FLOWCAST PARTNER: CREDIT INSURANCE BENEFITS FROM AI (Euler Hermes), Rated: A

Euler Hermes, the world’s leading trade credit insurer, today announced a pioneering partnership between its Digital Agency and Flowcast, a fintech company focused on revolutionizing trade and supply chain finance with artificial intelligence (AI). The announcement was made as the partners attended LendIt USA, a major lending and fintech conference in New York this week.

Euler Hermes provides trade credit insurance solutions to protect companies against non-payment of accounts receivables by customers. Its Digital Agency recently launched its first breakthrough product – Single Invoice Cover – which protects B2B companies from non-payment, transaction by transaction, while optimizing end-to-end supply chains by extending the optimal credit terms to buyers. Based on a proprietary API (application program interface), it creates a seamless process for businesses, while facilitating a comprehensive and granular management of credit exposure.

Flowcast will use its strength in analyzing transaction data to significantly evolve the concept by developing smart algorithms to create the foundation of an innovative underwriting solution within Single Invoice Cover. Benefits include improved working capital and financing along the supply chain.

Based on invoice-level data, Flowcast has developed smart algorithms that predict a range of risk parameters, such as the probabilities of default or expected timing of invoice payment – critical factors for business. The process applies sophisticated machine learning techniques that significantly outperform more traditional models. EHDA and Flowcast are working together to extend the scope and the performance of these models to “reinvent” trade credit insurance and risk management offerings, particularly at the transaction and Single Invoice Cover levels.

Innovative Lending Platform Association and Coalition for Responsible Business Finance Join Forces (PR Newswire), Rated: B

The Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA) and the Coalition for Responsible Business Finance (CRBF) today announced they are joining forces and will now operate as the ILPA – the leading trade organization representing a diverse group of online lending and service companies serving small businesses. Joining ILPA’s existing members, OnDeck® (NYSE: ONDK), Kabbage® and CAN Capital, are CRBF member companies Breakout Capital, Enova International’s The Business Backer™, PayNet and Orion First Financial. United by a shared commitment to the health and success of small businesses in America, the newly expanded ILPA is dedicated to advancing best practices and standards that support responsible innovation and access to capital for small businesses.

In addition, leading national small business organizations that formerly served as the CRBF Advisory Board will now represent small business customers as formal advisors to the ILPA. The Advisory Board includes individuals from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the National Small Business Association (NSBA), the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and new representatives from the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). These small business organizations have provided key input into the collective group’s best practices and standards initiatives over the past year, ensuring that the needs of their small business constituents are addressed.

United Kingdom

Trillion Fund P2P & Crowdfunding Platform Up for Sale (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Trillion Fund, a peer to peer lending and crowdfunding platform that also offers white label services is up for sale. The company announced today that it was putting all assets on the auction block. Trillion Fund initially launched as a renewable energy investment platform but struggled to gain traction as the market for renewable energy projects shifted in the UK – in part due to changes in governmental support. Trillion Fund is now inviting offers from businesses looking to enter the P2P lending sector.

Burton expects the purchase opportunity to be of interest to firms considering an entry into the P2P sector as the platform is fully operational and approved by the UK government.

LendInvest: “The UK Risks Losing Another Generation of Property Entrepreneurs” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

LendInvest, an online property finance marketplace, is demanding the government to revise its treatment of small and medium-sized property investment and development companies. Noting that four in five SMEhouse builders have disappeared since last housebuilding boom, LendInvest is calling on the government to recognize the positive contribution they can make to resolving the UK’s deep-rooted housing crisis.

In a new report entitled Starting Small To Build More Homes: a blueprint for better policymaking for property SME market LendInvest shares industry evidence to examine the root cause – and subsequent impact – of challenges faced by property SMEs such as constrained access to finance and distorted policy around regulation, taxation and access to land.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Four in five housebuilders have gone out of business since the last housebuilding boom
    By returning to the same level of market plurality as in 2007, we could build 25,000 more homes every year
  • Small housebuilders were responsible for 3 in 8 of the UK’s new homes before 1990, today they only deliver 1 in 8
  • The British Business Bank has yet to allocate funding for property firms
  • The Homes & Communities Agency must lend a weighty £56m a month to achieve its target to supply £3 billion of housebuilding finance by March 2021

LendInvest Start Small to Build More Homes by CrowdfundInsider on Scribd

Assetz Capital CEO Stuart Law Predicts Boost for P2P Sector in Upcoming Budget (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Stuart Law, CEO and co-founder of P2P lender Assetz Capital, expects a boost for the peer to peer lending sector in the upcoming budget. Specifically, Law believes a small business tax rise and IFISA rule change could boost the online lending sector.

Law said that businesses and investors remain in limbo since the Brexit vote.

Technology: The power of crowdfunding (IPE), Rated: A

BrickVest has deals worth £250m (€294m) in its platform at the moment, and estimates that figure will increase by £50m-70m at the end of the first quarter of this year.

Institutional investment through credit lines and co-investments is underpinning the industry, making up 73% of the market, according to O’Roarty. In the UK, retail investors account for 75% of the funds raised – although regulatory concerns about the suitability of retail investors could change the landscape in the future.

PropertyCrowd is finalising its first deal, a gross loan of £1.28m, with participation through PropertyCrowd standing at £432,000 (the firm will take on a maximum 50% debt participation).

Its first non-exchange-traded e-REIT, offered to both accredited and non-accredited investors, was oversubscribed by 403% in four hours when it launched in December 2015. In February, Rise Companies Corporation, which owns Fundrise, raised more than $14m in equity online, offering investors the ability to own a share in the platform itself.

As with all new markets, crowdfunding real estate platforms will inevitably experience their share of growing pains. They will also have to get larger. In 2015, the sector totalled only $600m – the total commercial real estate market stands at $704bn.

Millennial Money Matters podcast: Episode 3, Funding Circle (AltFi), Rated: A

In episode 3 of Millennial Money Matters, we look at Funding Circle, one of the leading lights of financial technology in the UK.

Israel

Property Investment In Israel Is Evolving To Offer Ample and Flexible Opportunities (Haaretz), Rated: AAA

There are several conditions in Israel’s economy that are driving an interest in investment properties. The most obvious is the increasingly high sale prices. The average price of owner-occupied residencies in Israel rose by 4.01% during the year to Q1 2016, to ILS1,423,000 (US$369,107), from annual price rises of 6% in Q4 2015, 5.2% to Q3, and 7.3% to Q2, and 7.6% to Q1, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The main reason for the continued rise in house prices is the supply shortage, due to low construction volumes.

One of the more innovative programs to enter the property investment market is the crowd-funding method that a number of leading companies are taking ownership of. Crowdfunding, adopted by high-tech startups as an alternative means to raise funds, was limited in Israel by Israel’s Securities Law until 2016. Section 15 of the law dictated that any offer or sale of shares to the public (i.e. to more than 35 potential investors) requires the issuance of a prospectus approved by the Securities Authority; a timely and costly endeavor, formerly rendering crowdfunding prohibitive in Israel.

Although Crowdfunding for real estate is a relatively new space, crowdfunding for real estate platforms were responsible for raising over $100 million in 2015 alone for hundreds of real estate properties across the U.S.  Real Estate crowdfunding platforms in Israel offer an opportunity for virtually any pocket and the way it works is very simple.

Asia

Bank Mandiri bets on peer-to-peer lender (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: AAA

The venture capital arm of Bank Mandiri, Indonesia’s largest state-owned bank by assets, on Tuesday said it has acquired a stake in peer-to-peer lending startup Amartha Mikro Fintek.

Amartha Mikro develops credit-scoring technology that evaluates small businesses that conventional banks have deemed too risky to lend to. It then connects them with individual lenders over a website.

It specializes in loans under 10 million rupiah ($750) and has a network of agents in Java that helps potential customers submit online applications.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

August 26th 2016, Daily News Digest

August 26th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s most interesting news: Lufax is eyeing a 2017 IPO. Interesting numbers: Lufax volume is about 120x larger than Lending Club’s. Even with Lending Club’s valuation at $2bil,  Lufax’s valuation should be $140 bil, 7x the $18.5bil valuation received in the last round. The math is intriguing anyway you put it. Other news […]

August 26th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

India

  • A good article on the 5 things needed to build p2p in India. A few obvious things ( anonymity of borrowers and investors, regulation, coming together as p2p industry). One wishful thinking: better tax treatment and tax incentives. I am not sure why would India favor one financial market over other ones. And a really good suggestion: mandatory report of all loans to Credit Bureaus. That will lower the barriers of entry and will create more innovation as established companies will have a smaller  underwriting edge over new entrants.

China

News Summary

 

United States

Online Lender SoFi: We are Not Too Worried about Wall Street Competition (Video), (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Bradford said they were not really that worried. The market is huge. SoFi is more focused on marketing execution and providing high-value services to their customers. What was cut from the video clip (embedded below) was that Bradford stated they were doing just fine regarding loans. In fact, they had just had one of their best days ever.

FICO: Poorly Conceived FinTech Lending Models Could Have Unintended Consequences, (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Recent trouble at marketplace lenders such as Lending Club has led many in the industry to say the fintech bubble is bursting. Whether or not this proves to be true, it is important to explore the unintended dangers posed by some of the new ways fintech companies are attempting to assess risk, as Dr. Andrew Jennings, senior vice president for Scores, posted on the FICO Blog.

“For example, should regulators (or the lenders themselves) today take a closer look at risk models in China where delinquency rates are near 25 percent in the P2P lending market? By comparison, delinquencies on credit cards in China are in the 3-5 percent range. At the very least, this indicates a possible need for new risk tools to guide underwriting policies in P2P lending.”

For example, transparency is important in credit markets because it helps ensure greater fairness and accessibility. If a consumer receives a low FICO® Score, a reason code like “balances too high” is clear and actionable. “But if, for example, a score uses data on a person’s educational background, what can be done when the score is low?” Jennings wrote. “Tell that person that should have attended a better college or read a different subject or attained a higher grade?”

“Such data is often predictive but would be problematic on many of the key requirements of a best-in-class risk model. Designers of alternative credit-risk scores may not intend to illegally harm anyone, but the unintended dangers of their models may result in unreliable lending decisions and/or widespread bias against certain groups of people.”

Founded in 1956 and based in Silicon Valley, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 165 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 100 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to helping people get credit, to ensuring that millions of airplanes and rental cars are in the right place at the right time. Learn more at

Yirendai Drops 18% After China Imposes Limits on Lending by Peer-to-Peer Platform (NYSE:YRD), (Consumer Eagle), Rated: A

ADRs of Yirendai (NYSE:YRD), which is engaged in online consumer finance marketplace business in China, plummeted 18% in heavy volume after a Bloomberg report said the Asian nation imposed limits on lending by peer-to-peer platforms to individuals and companies.

An individual can borrow as much as 1 million yuan ($150,000) from P2P sites, including a maximum of 200,000 yuan from any one site, the China Banking Regulatory Commission was cited as saying in Beijing on Wednesday.

Corporate borrowers are capped at five times those levels, according to the report. Meanwhile, an affiliated person Zhenao Asset Management (Shanghai) Ltd said late Tuesday it filed Form 144 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 17.8 million shares of the company. The volume of intraday trading stood at about 4.5 million shares compared with the stock’s three-month daily average of almost 944,000.

Lundin Law PC Announces an Investigation of Yirendai Ltd. and Advises Investors with Losses to Contact the Firm, (Business Wire), Rated: A

Lundin Law PC ( announces that it is investigating claims against Yirendai Ltd. (“Yirendai” or the “Company”) (NYSE: YRD) concerning possible violations of federal securities laws.

On August 24, 2016, Bloomberg reported that China imposed limits on peer-to-peer lending and placed a new regulations cap on individual borrowing at 1 million yuan. When this news was announced, shares of Yirendai fell in value.

Clickbait: American Banker Article Declares Marketplace Lending Unsustainable, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Baker states, “it should be obvious now that marketplace lending is unsustainable.” A pretty strong statement for a sector of alternative finance that has, until recently, experienced dramatic growth.

If you look at Lending Club, their origination fee is between 1% to 6%. In Q2 the average per loan stood at 5.13%. If you would like to learn more, Lending Club explains it all here. But this is not sufficient to support Lending Club and its brethren, according to Baker, and thus marketplace lending is doomed. Even while online lending is booming around the globe apparently there is no hope for these Fintech firms.

A senior marketplace lending industry executive shared their perspective with Crowdfund Insider;

“There will continue to be people who have never operated businesses who will continue to write stories for click bate that will be proven wrong over the quality and performance of MPL over time. The search for yield continues around the world and the investors coming to MPL today are never stronger given our ability to meet their requirements for performance, risk and sustainability going forward.”

During the past year, Baker has been a regular contributor to American Banker.  His topic of choice?  Why alternative lending is not going to work out and why banks are superior.

He is a self-described as an “old, stodgy banker”.  Baker is Managing Principal of Broadmoor Consulting. He is also a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Before Broadmoor, Baker spent many years working for traditional finance firms like Union Bank and TD Bank. At Broadmore he consults for, you guessed it, really big banks. Baker advises marketplace lenders to shift to something more sustainable – like becoming a bank or a balance sheet lender. Let’s revisit this one in a few quarters.

Wall Street Lobbyist to Head Online Lending Trade Group, (Bloomberg Technology), Rated: A

Nat Hoopes, executive director of the trade group comprising the biggest Wall Street banks’ chief executive officers, is making the jump to fintech.

Hoopes will lead the Marketplace Lending Association, whose founding members include online lenders LendingClub Corp., Prosper Marketplace Inc. and Funding Circle Ltd, starting next month.

One SME Lender’s Take On Regulation And Transparency, (Pymnts.com), Rated: A

One of these lenders, Clearinghouse Community Development Financial Institution, better known as Clearinghouse CDFI, offers an interesting view into the state of SME finance.

Clearinghouse CDFI’s status as a B Corp means the company has a higher level of transparency in its operations than some other players. “We’ve made a concerted effort to disclose our finances with our employees,” he said. “We share our revenue numbers, spending decisions and where we anticipate our finances will be in the next three years.”

But Clearinghouse CDFI is a part of a program by the U.S. Treasury Department that certifies CDFIs to serve underserved parts of the community.

That lack of transparency, he added, “needs to change.”

Focusing on the western states of California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, Clearinghouse CDFI’s Bystry says small businesses in this region have a particular agenda when it comes to their working capital needs.

“We’ve seen a higher level of interest expressed for real estate and construction loans,” he said of the trends he’s witnessed among SME borrowers in the western U.S. “Because real estate in California tends to be expensive and cost-prohibitive, many small businesses do not own real estate. So, there is a real need, and we see this trend line growing.”

If compliance kills, will AI come to the rescue?, (Tradestreaming), Rated: AAA

Over 400 new rules were created as part of DFA, including the creation of a new regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Dale Wilson, CEO of First State Bank in San Diego, Texas, explained this vividly in his testimony to the Financial Services Committee on Dodd-Frank. “During the last decade, the regulatory burden for community banks has multiplied tenfold,” he said. “Since the passage of Dodd-Frank there are 80 fewer Texas banks. These banks didn’t fail…. [they] could not maintain profitability with regulatory cost increasing between 50-200 percent.”

Major ongoing regulatory concerns for banks include Anti-Money Laundering investigations, or Know Your Customer rules, which require banks to gather and infer more information about customers, to determine the risk in onboarding new clients. Banks are also subject to regular compliance reporting and periodic stress tests that check their ability to sustain a crisis.

By automating the process, banks can achieve an order of magnitude change in spending, said Michael Henry, general manager for KPMG’s global automated platform business for compliance and regulatory reporting.

Though it might be too late for some smaller banks that were forced to shut down by the burden of compliance costs, big banks with shrinking margins will certainly benefit from new technology.

 AlphaFlow Diversification Fund 3 is Now Live for Investment, (Email), Rated: AAA

AlphaFlow Fund 1 (See here) ultimately invested across five real estate crowdfunding platforms after reviewing potential investments across eight different platforms. AlphaFlow may choose to work with additional platforms in the future, but at this point we found these five platforms to have the combination of underwriting processes, risk-adjusted returns, and procedures / performance in handling delinquencies / defaults that best fits our desired investment profile.

Platforms in AlphaFlow Fund 1:

Fund That Flip
LendingHome
Patch of Land
PeerStreet
Sharestates

We are pleased to let you know that AlphaFlow Fund 1, LP ( “Fund 1”) is now fully invested and earning returns. The Fund 1 portfolio now contains 77 loans with a weighted average return of
10.0% (net of AlphaFlow’s 1% AUM fee) and a weighted average LTV of 68.6%, with all loans secured by first liens on the underlying properties. The Fund 1 portfolio is invested across 5 different platforms, with investments in 20 states across the country. As such, the Fund 1 portfolio is currently more diversified than 98.5% of AlphaFlow portfolios of users invested in the real estate crowdfunding industry.

Given the proliferation of platforms in the space, it’s not surprising that better borrowers who last year may have paid 11% or 12% interest for their loans are now paying 8% or 9%.

United Kingdom

Awareness of marketplace lenders high with consumers and SMEs, but take-up remains low, (Deloitte), Rated: AAA

Despite 53% of UK* consumers being aware of marketplace lenders (MPLs), just 4% of this group have borrowed from one and only 5% have lent, according to Deloitte’s UK research,Marketplace lending: A temporary phenomenon.

Tomlinson continued: “Despite the challenges, MPLs do have an opportunity to carve out a niche market and can do so by exploiting their market-leading user experience and boosting word-of-mouth recommendations. These benefits could decrease customer acquisition costs, making MPLs a more viable option. As more MPLs become fully authorised by the FCA, issues surrounding trust and security could lessen. In turn, we may well see banks become more open to partnering with them to enhance their overall customer proposition.”

Lending Works Reflects on the Brexit Economy Two Months Later, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Lending Works noted the Brexit’s positives included borrowing getting cheaper (thanks to Bank of England’s rates being cut), the stock market is continuing to hold, UK consumer spending also increased last month and the property market has yet to experience a significant change.

Last month, Lending Works an internal poll of 1600 investors and the results indicate that a majority of investors intend on maintaining or increasing their P2P investments.

The numbers were:

  • 62% plan to maintain current investment levels in P2P in the short-term, while one in five plan to increase them as a direct result of Brexit
  • 7%  plan to reduce their P2P investments
  • 12% are not yet certain

Peer-to-peer lending: the risks and rewards, (Moneywise), Rated: A

To date, there have been no high-profile P2P failures in the UK, but a few hundred investors were burned by niche lender Quakle in 2012, caused by the company lending too much to poor quality borrowers.

Further afield, Swedish P2P lender TrustBuddy collapsed in October 2015. TrustBuddy sat at the riskier end of the market, offering 12% interest via high-risk unsecured personal loans. It emerged the company had adopted Ponzi-style practices, using money from new investors to service existing bad debts, according to the firm’s statement “in violation of [lenders’] instructions or without their permission”.

Investors in TrustBuddy faced losing at least 25% of the money recovered in liquidation, to say nothing of the millions that weren’t recovered.This story reminds everyone of the golden rule of investment: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Largest UK P2P lending websites by funds raised, (SMN Weekly), Rated: AAA

  • Zopa, Since 2005 when the website was launched, about 150,000 people have received £1.62 billion in personal loans. The website uses a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending model. The average loan size is £7,300,but loans could be as low as £10 or as high as £1 million.
  • Funding Circle : Funding Circle is a loan-based crowdfunding website. It has helped businesses borrow from lenders about £1.5 billion in total. Loans range from £5,000 to £1.0 million. The website has 51,495 registered lenders and 15,000 businesses that borrow.
  • RateSetter : ateSetter is a brand operated by Retail Money Market Ltd. Since its launch in September 2010, some £1.4 billion has been raised through the platform. Both personal and business loans can be obtained through RateSetter. Investors can earn a return of up to 4.8% and borrowers can borrow at 7.6% representative annual percentage rate. The platform offers prospective clients to invest a combined minimum £1,000 for a period of one year and get a £100 bonus in the rolling market.
  • ThinCats: ThinCats is an online peer to peer lending platform for secured business loans. It is a brand of Business Loan Network Ltd. The platform claims to ensure an average of 9% interest rate. Investors make bids with a minimum amount of £1,000. More than £188.5 million have changed hands within the ThinCats community.
  • BridgeCrowd: This is a platform created for the purpose of directly connecting businesses that want to borrow and lend money between each other without the assistance of banks. The only requirement is that borrowers need to mortgage a property they own (the maximum loan to value is 70% of the property’s value). Borrowers pay a monthly interest of up to 1.5% on the loan they receive, most of which goes to the lenders and a small portion of it goes to the platform developer. BridgeCrowd has facilitated the lending and borrowing of more than £68.5 million in total.
  • LandBay: LandBay provides P2P lending on buy‐to‐let mortgages.  It is among UK’s fastest growing P2P lending platforms. LandBay has facilitating the lending of nearly £43 million so far. Retail and institutional investors can build a portfolio and start with as little as £100 and earn up to 3.99%.
  • LendingCrowd: Launched in late 2014, the platform has more than 1,700 investor signed up. By January 2016, there were more than  £4.5 million loaned through the platform.
  • Buzzbnk : Buzzbnk presents itself as the UK’s first crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platform for social enterprises and charities. Buzzbnk merged with Trillion Fund Ltd November 1, 2014. Buzzbnk.org continues after the merger on its mission to help social enterprises and charities raise the funding and support they need. More than 141 projects have received funding through Buzzbnk of a combined nearly £1.1 million.
  • ReBuilding Society: Although launched in September 2012, the platform funded its first deal in January 2013. Some £10.4 million in loans have been secured through the platform out of £28 million pledged. Loans have a default rate of 9.6% and an average gross yield of 16.9%. Loan range in sizes from £25,000 to £2 million.
  • Money&Co. : This is a lending website for businesses that offers crowdfunding, business loans, P2B and P2P lending. Businesses can finance growth with flexible loans of up to £3 million and lenders earn typical annual returns of between 6%-10%. The platform is operated by Denmark Square Ltd.
Australia

Online loan marketplace HashChing has a new product designed just for start-ups, (Australian Anthill), Rated: A

The terms and conditions include;

  • Available to start-up business owners with no credit scoring
  • Self employed (min 3 month ABN) or PAYG
  • 24 per cent interest (fixed) / 6.69 per cent comparison
  • 54 per cent interest (variable) / 6.77 per cent comparison
  • Loan to value ratio – maximum 80 per cent

“As start-up founders ourselves, we know first hand how hard it is to secure finance,” said Mandeep Sodhi, CEO of HashChing.

Since launching, more than 1200 mortgage brokers across the country have signed up to the platform providing great deals to customers.

India

5 imperatives for India P2P Lending Marketplace adoption, (Monexo), Rated: A

India has a lot of informal lending within families, friends, businesses as well as semi-organized in the form of “Chit-Funds”. Peer-to-Peer lending done online to complete strangers is at the same stage as e-commerce was in year 2000.

1. From Consultation to Guidelines: Mr. Rajan, ex-Governor of RBI and his team must be applauded for their pro-active approach to craft a consultation paper with clear articulation upcoming guidelines.

2. Anonymity of Borrowers and Lenders:  Lenders make their decision based on key parameters of borrowers without knowing the borrower’s name.

3. Making Peer-to-Peer Lending interest earning – Income Tax free:  Recently, the government has published that MSMEs have a credit gap of Rs. 15 lakh crores . With the GOI initiative for “Make in India” – these gaps will increase as traditional lenders (banks, NBFCs) have stayed away from lending to MSMEs without collateral.  This will require an incentive – similar to what we have seen in the past for insurance, mutual fund investments as well as donations.  Today, all interest income is taxed in the hands of the individuals. It will be a great incentive and allow for rapid adoption if along with the RBI guidelines, we can have Income Tax Department looking at making income from P2P lending tax free in the hands of the individuals.

TDS deduction by non-individual on interest payment: Currently businesses are required to deduct Tax at Source for interest payment to allow them to claim the interest paid as an expense for tax calculations.

4. Mandatory to report loans to all the Credit Bureaus

5. Coming together of Peer-to-Peer Lending platforms for minimum standards beyond guideline

China

Chinese Online Lender Lufax Eyes Hong Kong IPO, (Wall Street Journal), Rated: A

Chinese online lender Lufax is gearing up for an initial public offering in Hong Kong potentially before the end of 2017, its chief financial officer said, in a major test of investor appetite for China’s burgeoning fintech industry. Lufax recorded 3.2 trillion yuan ($482 billion) in total transactions in the first half of this year, with more than 23 million registered users, its parent Ping An Group said in its interim earnings report last week.

Lufax—valued at $18.5 billion in its latest funding round—was earlier considering a listing on a proposed new technology-focused board in Shanghai, but a plan to set up the so-called Strategic Emerging Industries Board wasn’t included in a five-year plan issued by China’s cabinet in March.

Lufax isn’t planning to have another funding round before the IPO, he added.

Ant Financial Services Group, valued at $60 billion after an April funding round, has said it plans to go public eventually, but doesn’t have a timetable for the listing.

Lufax and other Chinese online lenders have modeled themselves after U.S. peer-to-peer lenders such as LendingClub Inc. LendingClub has a market capitalization of only $2 billion, less than half of its $5.4 billion valuation at its IPO. The share price of smaller Chinese online lender Yirendai Ltd., however, has tripled since the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in December.

Author:

George Popescu