Mondy July 16 2018, Daily News Digest

market implied inflation

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingTree to acquire Student Loan Hero. SoFi to go after brokerage business. British Business Bank talking about backing Funding Circle loans. Funding Circle slashes US exposure. Duanrong raises $45M. Today’s main analysis: Deep dive on inflation. Today’s thought-provoking articles: New LendingClub account performance. New York state’s recommendations for online lending. Is there subprime auto loan bubble […]

market implied inflation

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United States

LendingTree, Inc. Announces Agreement To Acquire Student Loan Hero (Payment Week) Rated: AAA

LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Student Loan Hero, Inc., a personal finance website dedicated to helping student loan borrowers manage their student debt.  Student Loan Hero offers current and former students in-depth financial comparison tools, educational resources, and unbiased, personalized advice.

We are going after the brokerage business, says SoFi CEO (CNBC) Rated: AAA

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto discusses the company’s “modern take on the checking account” and where he seeing the next big investment opportunity, including cryptocurrency.

Rising Inflation, Deep-Dive on Inflation Trends (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Consumer credit increased by $26.4 Bn in May, the largest monthly jump in 6 months, to an all-time high of $3.9 Tn. Growth was driven by a $9.8 Bn increase in revolving credit card debt. Credit growth has been averaging 7.6% fueling consumer spend-driven GDP growth. The Fed’s latest G-19 report can be found here.

Source: Federal Reserve, PeerIQ

Rising US Inflation

US CPI rose by 2.9% YoY, its highest reading since March 2012. This week we look at various inflation measures and how they stack up against the Fed’s 2% inflation target.

Measured Inflation vs the Fed’s Inflation Target

Source: BLS, BEA, PeerIQ
Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

New LendingClub Account Performance – Q2 2018 (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

The current status of my LendingClub account is very typical for new investors. A handful of loans have been paid in full while just a couple have entered either grace period or the late 31-120 days stage. A majority of the loans are issued and current.

Below is a screenshot of my target allocation shortly after account setup with about half of my capital allocated to LendingClub notes.

Source: Lending Club

Below is a screenshot as of today with all $5,000 invested which now closely resembles my target allocation.

Source: Lending Club

DFS Releases Recommendations for Online Lending (deBanked), Rated: AAA

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) released a report on Wednesday on the subject of online lending in the state. The report was mandated by a billsigned by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 1 of last year.

Source: New York Department of Financial Services

Access the full report here.

Loan applicants are reverse engineering the online lending algorithms (Tearsheet) Rated: A

Online lenders are assailed by fraudsters on all fronts. There were 1579 data breaches in the U.S. in 2017, 302 of which resulted in the exposure of full credit and debit card numbers. Because online finance frees up applicants from having to show up physically to a bank, it also opens up opportunities for identity fraud. This really is the other side of phishing and identity hacks. Once data ends up in the hands of criminals, the next step is to monetize it by taking out fraudulent loans.

Kabbage claims that 95 percent of its customers have a fully-automated underwriting experience.  “By getting customers to connect their Amazon, Square, eBay, and business bank accounts, Kabbage gets a direct view into the finances of a small business borrower,” said Yaakov Erlichman, vice president of fraud and underwriting strategy at Kabbage. “We have more than two million live data connections. It’s really hard to fake live business data.”

You Accidentally Sent $ 149 to a Stranger on Venmo? Good Luck Getting It Back (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

With the rise of money-transfer apps such as PayPal Holdings Inc.’s Venmo, it’s never been easier for people to send money to their friends. It’s also never been easier to accidentally send money to a total stranger.

Getting the money back is often far more difficult: Many digital payments are irreversible.

For the recipient, it’s the equivalent of finding cash on the sidewalk— except it comes with a moral quandary.

Baker Hill Inks Loan Origination Deal with West Texas State Bank (Finovate) Rated: A

One month after bringing its loan origination platform to $5.6-billion North Carolina-based First Bank, Baker Hill is back in the news. The fintech is teaming up with West Texas State Bank (WTSB) to support efficient loan growth with its NextGen Loan Origination for Commercial and Consumer Lending platform. The technology, in the words of West Texas State Bank Chief Lending Officer and COO Les Robbins, will help the bank “streamline the origination process with … roles-based, intuitive lending solutions.”

Uphold To Bring Crypto-Backed Credit To Members With Libra Credit Partnership (Block Tribune) Rated: A

Cryptocurrency platform Uphold has partnered with crypto lending platform Libra Credit to offer its users access to a variety of Libra Credit products.

Founded by former PayPal financial technology veterans, Libra Credit is an ethereum-based lending network that facilitates open access to credit anywhere and anytime. Libra Credit offers a seamless digital lending process that can be completed in five steps: application, verification and credit assessment, confirmation, collateral deposit, and disbursement. The platform focuses on a dual-credit risk scoring mechanism that considers the creditworthiness of the pledged collateral as well as the credit information of the borrower. Borrowers will be able to pledge any crypto-assets as collateral and receive loans in their desired asset.

How to Choose Your First Real Estate Crowdfunding Investment (U.S. News) Rated: A

Crowdfunded real estate investments account for $2.5 billion of the $7 trillion commercial real estate market, according to CFX Markets. There’s major growth potential in the industry as more investors lock in on the benefits of investing in real estate through crowdfunding platforms.

United Kingdom

British Business Bank in talks to back £150m of Funding Circle loans (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle’s listed investment trust is in talks with the British Business Bank (BBB) about providing further funding through the peer-to-peer platform.

It comes as the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) reported its net asset value (NAV) had increased from £308m to £165m in the year to March 2018, while its NAV total return was 14.9 per cent.

FCIF highlighted a structured finance transaction with Citibank to fund loans through the Funding Circle platform as one of its major deals last year, and also revealed it was in talks with the BBB about providing up to £150m of funding.

Funding Circle slashes US exposure after dividend cut (Citywire) Rated: AAA

Funding Circle SME Income (FCIF) will reduce exposure to US loans after the increased cost of hedging the dollar saw the listed peer-to-peer fund cut its dividend.

Last month, the alternative lender to small businesses said it would cut its annual dividend of 6.5p per share to between 5p and 6p, after a ‘material increase’ in the cost of removing the impact of changes in the value of the dollar on its portfolio.

However, a ‘partial reallocation of capital deployment away from the US and towards the UK and continental Europe’ will see North American loans fall by up to 10% from 25% of the £329 million portfolio.

LendInvest partners Onfido for digital verification services (Verdict) Rated: A

Instead of the need for paper forms, LendInvest BTL applicants can now confirm their identity online by incorporating Onfido’s proprietary technology into its digital application system.

The new solution not only eliminates the needs for certified physical copy documents and saves time, but also it makes the mortgage application process easier for both brokers and their clients

Plans are also being considered to add Onfido technology into the onboarding process used for LendInvest’s online investment platform in the future.

UK Peer to Peer Lender Lending Works Raises £2.8 Million in New Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Lending Works has received £2.8 million in funding in a round led by Maven Capital Partners, with £800,000 of backing from Pollen Street Capital and NVM Private Equity. The UK peer to peer lender said proceeds will be used to fuel growth including loan customer acquisition via other channels.

Founded in 2014, Lending Works has originated approximately £115 million in loans with £32 million (27%) in the first half of 2018. – 27% of which (£32 million) was distributed in the first half of 2018 alone. Lending Works expects to originate £100 million in loans during 2018. The P2P lender is also a member of the UK Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) – the association that represents leading P2P platforms.

Another robo-adviser enters the fray: Tiller lets you invest in passive AND active funds – so how does it compare? (This is Money) Rated: A

Another player has entered the increasingly crowded ‘robo-advice’ space to cater for modest investors who have been priced out of conventional financial advice.

The new service, called Tiller, will pit against the likes of Nutmeg and Moneyfarm in a bid to win the custom of those investing smaller amounts who are under-served by financial advisers.

Like many of its competitors, Tiller creates a personalised portfolio which is rebalanced if necessary, buying and selling depending on what the markets do.

China

There’s No Subprime Bubble in China Auto Loans (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Slowing car sales and tightening credit look like a toxic combination for China’s auto-financing industry, which has exploded in the past few years. Concerns the sector is heading for a subprime-like meltdown may be overblown, though.

Sales in the world’s largest car market rose 2.3 percent in June from a year earlier, data showed last week. While faster than several analysts expected, growth decelerated from an 8 percent pace in May. Compared with the previous month, deliveries fell about 1 percent in June.

The cooling coincides with Beijing’s quest to deleverage the financial system, which has led to tighter liquidity, reduced access to credit and, in theory, squeezed consumer discretionary spending. In a report last week, analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein linked the weakness in car sales to a slowdown in peer-to-peer lending, pointing to “the deflation of what amounts to a subprime (P2P) auto bubble.”

Source: Bloomberg

Chinese Fintech Platform Duanrong.com Raises $ 45M Series B Round (China Money Network) Rated: AAA

China Money Network’s DealShot provides detailed information on venture capital and private equity deals in China on a daily basis.

Here you can find out where Chinese investors have been investing their money each workday.

Company Round Lead Investor Participants Sector Headquarters
Duanrong.com Series C Lanua Asia fund Fintech Beijing
LemonBox Seed Round Y Combinator, Guangjian Lab E-commerce Beijing
58 Suyun Series A InnoVision Capital Cainiao Network, Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF), Qianhai Fund of Funds, 58 Daojia Logistics Tianjin
Honor Alliance Series A Angel Around Investment Fund Enterprise services Beijing
ASR Microelectronic Series B IDG Capital, Wanrong Hongtu Fund Smart Hardware Shanghai
Hash World Series A+ Shunwei Capital Danhua Capital Blockchain Beijing
EON Protocol Angel Round UpHonest Capital, BGOGO, Fission Capital Blockchain
Paopao Hero Series A undisclosed Consumer Upgrade Guangzhou
Haowujiayi Pre-A undisclosed E-commerce Shenzhen
51signing.com Series A Fenbushi Capital, DL Capitals Enterprise services Beijing
Viva Vision Biotech Series B Healthcare Shanghai
iBanker Pre-A Button Capital Mindfulness Capital, AC Capital Education Beijing
Soushi88.com Series A Ferry Venture Capital Buhuo Ventures E-commerce Guangzhou
IPSTAR Pre-A miHoYo Volcanics Venture, Shenzhen Huode Qianhai Fund Management Co., Ltd Media & Entertainment Shanghai
Huaqiang PCB Series B Cowin Capital, China Merchants Bank E-commerce Shenzhen

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Toutiao Marches into the Fintech Market with Cash Loan Products

China’s leading digital media platform Toutiao has long denied the potential of entering the financial markets. However, it is reported this week that a series of cash loan products have launched on Toutiao’s app without too much marketing.

The product Fangxinjie (literally meaning reliable lending) was listed within Toutiao’s digital wallet with credit up to200,000 yuan and daily interest low to 0.03%.

Fintech Startup xyb100 Secures ¥200 Million B Round Funding led by Japanese Financial Institution Credit Saison

This week, fintech startup xyb100 announced that it had secured 200 million B round funding by famous Japanese financial institution Credit Saison.

European Union

Fundvisory Raises €1.8M From Macif and Aviva France (Coverager) Rated: AAA

Fundvisory, the Paris-based startup that offers a white-label robo-advisory solution has raised 1.8 million euros from Aviva France and Macif.

Founded in 2015, Fundvisory provides automated and modular robo-advisory tools such as portfolio monitoring, risk profiling and compliance to help financial institutions digitize their financial advisory services. Led by Nicolas Gonzalez and Romain Deguest, the startup previously raised 300,000 euros from friends and family, and is currently a team of 10 according to LinkedIn.

India

RBI Grants NBFC-P2P Certification to Cashkumar (Silicon India) Rated: AAA

According to a recent Morgan Stanley report, Indian P2P lending industry is estimated to cross the $4 billion mark by 2021. Owing top such pleasing industry forecast, along with the additional support schemes & initiatives from the Government, the fintech players in India have garnered a lot of momentum. In this light, Cashkumar, one of India’s leading P2P lending companies, announced that it has been granted the NBFC-P2P license from RBI (Reserve Bank of India). With this, Cashkumar joins the list of the very few fintech firms who hold the NBFC-P2P accreditation. Post this, the company focuses on providing loans between  20,000-100,000 with tenures of 3-12 months and offering only to salaried individuals.

Asia

Japanese startup Paidy raises $ 55M Series C to let people shop online without a credit card (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

Paidy, a fintech startup that enables Japanese consumers to shop online without using a credit card, announced today that it has raised a $55 million Series C. The round was led by Japanese trade conglomerate Itochu Corporation, with participation from Goldman Sachs.

The Tokyo-based startup says this brings its total funding so far to $80 million, including a $15 million Series B announced two years ago. One notable fact about Paidy’s funding is that it’s raised a sizable amount for Japanese startup, especially one with non-Japanese founders (its CEO and co-founder is Canadian and Goldman Sachs alum Russell Cummer, left in the photo above with CTO and co-founder Lee Smith).

Bambu raises $ 3m in Series A funding (FinTech Futures) Rated: A

Bambu CEO and founder Ned Phillips says it has topped growth targets for the year, and points to seven new clients in Asia and the US that were slated to go live soon.

He adds: “Our next ambitious goal is to get a million end users on the platform by 2019.”

Also participating in the round were Singapore family office Octava and Japanese fintech investor Mamoru Taniya.

The funding takes Bambu’s total capital to more than $4 million.

Lendr wins Asian award for innovative partnership (Manila Standard) Rated: B

Lendr, the digital lending platform of FINTQnologies Corp., bagged the ‘Most Innovative Partnership Strategy’ award at the 21st Annual Telecom Asia Awards on June 26 in Singapore.

MENA

Generation Start-up: Smart Crowd helps micro-investors build wealth, brick by brick (The National) Rated: AAA

In the case of Smart Crowd, the platform enables fractional ownership of real estate. Investors can purchase a stake in a rental property for as little as Dh5,000 ($1,300), ‘co-owning’ the asset along with tens, hundreds (or thousands, depending on the size and value of the unit) of other people.

They can hold their stake for as long as they wish, collecting the rent from it, or sell it and use the proceeds to invest in something else listed on the platform. Or they can use accumulated returns to buy a property on their own.

Smart Crowd is licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, the regulator of Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai’s financial free zone, to provide crowdfunding services for real estate. It won regulatory approval in January, obtained an operating licence in April, and in June completed its first transaction – the acquisition of a Dh365,000 studio in Remraam generating a gross annual yield of 10.8 per cent (approximately 8.6 per cent with fees), the founders say.

Big data for bigger opportunities (Khaleej Times) Rated: A

Businesses in Dubai are not sparing any efforts to tap possible avenues to boost sales and growth, and the latest trend is that firms specialising in big data are unlocking opportunities to study customer preferences, loyalties and any segment that will help boost customer numbers.

Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. But it’s not the amount of data that’s important: it’s what organisations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analysed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves, according to the definition given by SAS Institute.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday April 26 2018, Daily News Digest

Hong Kong IPO

News Comments Today’s main news: FTC says LendingClub misled customers on fees. Credit Karma expands ID theft monitoring to include dark web data. Two startup robos were top performers in Q1. Shanlin Finance leaders charged with operating Ponzi scheme. TransferWise launches borderless accounts in European nations. Today’s main analysis: Small-dollar loans. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Elevate’s safe credit. Hong Kong makes […]

Hong Kong IPO

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United States

Lending Club misled customers about hidden fees, regulators say (CNN Money) Rated: AAA

The Federal Trade Commission said the company, which connects borrowers to investors without banks in the middle, “lures” customers with the promise of no hidden fees.

Instead, Lending Club deducts money up front — hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, the FTC said.

The FTC also accused Lending Club (LC) of falsely leading customers to believe they have been approved for a loan.

The FTC further accused Lending Club of withdrawing double payments from the accounts of its customers and charging customers who had canceled auto-payments or already paid off their loans.

LendingClub (LC) Said FTC Allegations are Unwarranted (Street Insider) Rated: A

Following an inquiry that began in May 2016, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought an action against LendingClub(NYSE: LC) earlier today in the Northern District of California alleging that certain LendingClub practices do not, or in the past did not, comply with the requirements of the FTC and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Acts.

LendingClub believes that the allegations in the FTC’s complaint are legally and factually unwarranted. The company is disappointed that it was not possible to resolve this matter constructively with the agency’s current leadership and intends to oppose the claims and work towards an early resolution of the matter in Federal Court. Additional information about the complaint and LendingClub’s response are on its blog.

Why LendingClub Corp Stock Plunged Today (Motley Fool) Rated: B

Shares of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) are down by about 15% as of 3:30 p.m. EDT after the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with deceiving customers.

Elevate Provides Safe Credit To People Banks Can’t Serve With FICO (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Providing credit to 160 million Americans who are being ignored by banks sounds like a great business. And indeed, Elevate, which does just that, has been growing faster than Lending Club, SoFi, or OnDeck and is more profitable than any of them, said Ken Rees, the company’s CEO .

“Forty percent of Americans show monthly income swings of 30%. The majority of Americans need access to emergency credit but the banks have pulled back. Credit is particularly important because they have very low savings.”

Credit Karma expands its identity theft monitoring tool to include dark web data (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

After introducing a free identity monitoring tool for its users late last year, Credit Karma is widening the scope of its fraud-fighting scans to include data from the dark web.

Credit Karma’s  existing ID-monitoring tool searches 4.5 billion public breaches for a user’s personal data, but the improved service will scour additional breaches culled from the dark web. Added up, the tool will now search through 13 billion data breaches.

The company estimates that 65 percent of its users have experienced a data breach, whether they know it or not, so Credit Karma is well-positioned to issue a wake-up call about protecting identifying information online.

2 New Robo-Advisors Among the Top Performers in Q1 (ThinkAdvisor) Rated: AAA

Two relative newcomers to the robo-advisor space are among the industry’s top three performers in the first quarter, according to the latest Robo Report from BackEnd Benchmarking.

SoFi Wealth Management, which launched in May 2017 as an offshoot from the SoFi online lending platform, took first place; TIAA SRI, the socially responsible investment portfolio of its TIAA Personal Portfolio robo, placed third; and sandwiched between the two was Schwab Intelligent Portfolios.

All three robos lost money in the first quarter in their taxable, balanced portfolios, split roughly 60/40 between stocks and bonds, but they performed better than other digital advisors and the overall stock market, which was down 0.76%, for the S&P 500. Their losses ranged from 0.14% for SoFi and 0.45% for TIAA SRI.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios excelled largely because of its fixed income allocation, which included high-yield bonds and international debt, according to the Robo Report. It placed first for fixed income performance not only for the first quarter of 2018 but for the one-year and two-year trailing periods.

Source: Think Advisor

Small-dollar loans (Lexology) Rated: AAA

The Trump Administration has also taken notable steps to ease the burden placed on the payday lending industry. These include terminating the Obama-era “Operation Choke Point,” which was designed to discourage banks from doing business with payday lenders,11 as well as removing payday-bank partnership restrictions for at least one payday lender.12 This signals a significant departure from regulatory constraints put in place a decade ago prohibiting affiliations between national banks and payday lenders that sought to circumvent state interest rate caps.13

In addition to established market participants targeting borrowers with high credit scores, new internet-based startups are offering small-dollar loans to non-prime borrowers, directly targeting the payday lenders’ customer base. Fintechs aim to compete with traditional payday lenders by marketing a more customer-centric approach, as well as flexible terms and lower fees. These new market entrants generally rely on the use of AI-driven scoring products and non-traditional data analytics to assess a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition to fair lending considerations, these new online startups generally rely on mobile devices and related technology to host their software and undertake lending decisions, thereby raising privacy and cybersecurity concerns.

Source: Lexology

Navient reports higher earnings in first quarter (Delaware Business Now) Rated: A

Wilmington-based Navient reported higher earnings in the first quarter as the company expanded its segment reporting to reflect a broader array of businesses.

Results that included the origination of $500 million of private education refinance loans, a 43 percent decrease in private education loan charge-offs and a 32 percent increase in business processing fee revenue from the year-ago quarter.

For the first-quarter 2018, GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) net income was $126 million compared with $88 million ($0.30 diluted earnings per share) for the year-ago quarter.

California merchant accuses lender of ‘rent-a-bank’ scheme (Rueters) Rated: A

Utah-based Celtic Bank and Georgia-based lender Kabbage Inc have been hit with a proposed class action accusing them of creating a “rent-a-bank” arrangement to issue high-interest loans to small businesses in California and evade the state’s usury laws.

The case was removed by Celtic Bank to federal court in Los Angeles on Tuesday after being filed last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

How employees build and shape the rock-solid cultures at 5 local tech companies (Built In Chicago) Rated: A

What is the foundation of Enova’s culture?

If I may grossly generalize and speak for the majority of the millennial workforce, workplace culture is a big job-hunting factor. Of course, we want to make decent salaries and have access to good health insurance. We also want to be spending those 40 or more hours per week with people we enjoy working with, tackling independent and collaborative work, constantly learning new things, and developing our skills — all of which Enova does a great job of cultivating.

What is the foundation of Avant’s culture?

Avant’s culture is based a lot around letting the best idea win. No matter what part of the business someone is in, if they have an idea that really shines through and will resolve the issue at hand, they are heard. In my experience, even if you’re not in your domain, people will listen to you as long as you come in with a clear spec. If you ask for something and have a good explanation as to why it’s needed, you can get it.

 

 

CEO of student loan marketplace LendEDU admits the name of the founder of a partner site is fake (CNBC) Rated: A

A spokesman cited in publications, including a CNBC story in March about students using their financial aid money to invest in cryptocurrencies, is a fake, the CEO of a partner website has admitted.

Nate Matherson, CEO of student loan refinancing company, LendEDU, said he started The Student Loan Report — studentloans.net — in 2016.

 

Where to Get a Loan of $ 5,000 or Less (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

Many online lenders have personal loans that offer more flexibility. Some lenders set borrowing minimums as low as $1,000.

Pros: Some online lenders offer flexible repayment plans. For example, Avant allows you to make changes to your upcoming payments online, including the amount and date of your current or future payments. The company says it’s willing to work with you if you’re unable to make a payment, making it easier to repay your loan.

Kirsten Gillibrand Unveils A Public Option For Banking (Huffington Post) Rated: A

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is introducing legislation Wednesday that would require every U.S. post office to provide basic banking services, an ambitious step aimed at improving the lives of Americans with limited financial resources.

The postal system’s 30,000 locations touch every community. A majority ― 59 percent ― are in so-called banking deserts, or zip codes that have either no bank branches or just one.

Upgrade Personal Loans Review: Low Rates and Free Credit Monitoring (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

Upgrade is an online lender that primarily offers unsecured personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000. You can use these loans for a variety of purposes, including home improvement, debt consolidation, or a big purchase.

As unsecured loans, these personal loans don’t require any collateral.

Source: Student Loan Hero

How to Cope With the High Costs of Infertility (US News) Rated: A

According to the National Survey of Family Growth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy and more than 85,000 women in the U.S. undergo in vitro fertilization each year.

According to a 2015 study about the sentiment, costs and financial impact of fertility treatments in the U.S. by Prosper Marketplace, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, nearly half of those polled said that prices impacted the level of treatment they sought. Almost 34 percent of those women surveyed had to stop treatment due to the financial burden. Meanwhile, 70 percent of participants reported acquiring some degree of debt in their quest to conceive with more than 26 percent taking on over $30,000 of debt. The cost of treatments was also the single largest factor for those respondents who initially decided to delay fertility treatment at nearly 82 percent.

Washington Wants to Weaken Bank Rules. Not Every Regulator Agrees. (The New York Times) Rated: A

In recent weeks, federal banking regulators have proposed softening a requirement that puts a hard limit on how much the largest banks can borrow. The rule, known as the supplementary leverage ratio, requires that banks prepare for a disaster by maintaining a certain level of capital on their balance sheets based on their total size.

Banks have long complained that the rule is too restrictive and makes it harder for them to do business, including lending, in important markets. They have asserted that the ratio is too blunt of an instrument and often the strictest of the various capital requirements that were put in place after the crisis.

Which Is Best: REITs or Real Estate Crowdfunding? (US News) Rated: A

Who can invest in REITs and real estate crowdfunding? The best investors for REITs and real estate crowdfunding might not be the same. Joseph Hogue, chartered financial analyst and owner of Crowd 101, a crowdfunding website, says that although real estate crowdfunding is less work than direct investment in properties, it still involves more due diligence than REIT investing.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of REITs and real estate crowdfunding? For hands-on investors, who want to customize their real estate investing, crowdfunding fits the bill, says Javier Benson, senior vice president of strategy and implementation at crowdfunding site RealtyShares. RealtyShares specializes in funding commercial real estate projects valued at more than $50 million, certainly not a market for the individual investor.

Benson summarizes the benefits of real estate crowdfunding: “lower fee loads, increased transparency and the opportunity to select individual projects.”

Lenders reject 9% of CT loan applications (Hartford Business) Rated: A

Mortgage lenders rejected 9 percent of loan applications in recent years from Greater Hartford borrowers, which is the nation’s 10th worst denial rate, according to a recent study.

The study by national lending exchange marketplace Lending Tree said lenders denied mortgage shoppers in Hartford, West Hartford and East Hartford at a high rate mainly due to insufficient debt-to-income ratios and collateral.

Hartford’s would-be borrowers ranked second in the nation for cities where collateral issues resulted in their mortgage denial, which amounts to 24 percent of its denials.

LendingTree and COMPLY2018 Announce the Kraken Innovation Award (PR Newswire) Rated: B

COMPLY2018 announces that LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, will award one company as The Most Innovative Company during the annual RegTech and Compliance Conference May 16-17 in New York City.

United Kingdom

Growth Street Celebrates Full FCA Authorization & New GrowthLine Lending Product: Need to Borrow £2M? (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

UK alternative finance firm Growth Street has been granted full FCA authorization,  a significant milestone for Growth Street, which had been operating as an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited since 2016.

Growth Street has simultaneously rolled out an update to its flagship business lending product, GrowthLine. The firm is now accepting applications from businesses looking to borrow up to £2M, a substantial increase from the previous maximum limit of £1M.

Borrowers unaware of how to check loan providers as scams increase (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

A THIRD of personal loan applicants have admitted they weren’t confident about how to check if their provider was legitimate, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed.

Research by the City watchdog found 36 per cent of those who took out a loan product in the past three years didn’t do any checks to ensure the legitimacy of their loan provider.

The FCA has revealed that more than £3.5m has been lost to loan fee fraud and said reports to its consumer helpline on this issue had increased by 44 per cent.

China

Eight charged in China over ‘Ponzi scheme posing as P2P lender’ that took US$ 9 billion (China Morning Post) Rated: AAA

Eight ringleaders of the Shanghai-based Shanlin Finance have been charged with illegally obtaining deposits and taken into custody, according to local public prosecutor the Shanghai Pudong district People’s Procuratorate, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The scheme was disguised as a peer-to-peer lending platform, police said. Shanlin’s online lending platforms and mobile apps have been suspended from service.

Big Bang Means Buyer Beware in Hong Kong IPOs (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. will allow innovative companies that use shares with weighted voting rights to apply for IPOs starting April 30, and will also admit unprofitable biotech firms. That’s a landmark departure from the exchange’s longstanding adherence to the one-share-one-vote principle and the requirement for a three-year profit track record.

China has also opened the door for companies listed on its National Equities Exchange and Quotations market – an over-the-counter trading venue that’s developed something of a reputation as a casino – to sell H shares in Hong Kong.

Looser entry rules will create a vastly different market.

The Fall of Peer-to-Peer Lending in China (Caixin Global) Rated: A

P2P lending, which was designed to bypass traditional lending by matching individual borrowers and lenders, began to flourish on the Chinese mainland in 2011 as the government encouraged the wider use of technology to expand financial services to small businesses and individuals. At P2P lending’s peak in late 2015, there were more than 3,300 platforms operating, according to Wandaizhijia, a portal site that tracks the sector.

However, due to the absence of unified regulations, a great proportion of P2P lenders began collecting cash from investors, offering high returns. A market worth more than 1 trillion yuan ($158 billion) quickly developed.

China’s online lenders reel from industry shake-out (Financial Times) Rated: A

A survey by FT Confidential Research shows the online lending industry in China continues to consolidate from new regulations; the days of significant growth and platform expansion have ended as the government looks to weed out the smaller players; since 2016 the government has capped borrowing limits, shut down secondary markets and forced platforms to file with local regulators

European Union

Fintech unicorn Transferwise launches a ‘borderless’ account in Sweden, Finland and Denmark (Business Insider Nordic) Rated: AAA

Transferwise is today rolling out a “borderless” consumer account and linked debit card, which will let people hold money in multiple currencies.

The service, which Transferwise says is the first one of its kind, has been openly trialed among a few thousand customers since January, and goes live globally including in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Norway will follow later on.

This means that people will be able to transfer and spend money abroad, with little or no exchange or mark-up fees. They will also be able to make withdrawals through a Mastercard debit card. The debit card will me made available for larger businesses later in 2018.

RBS plans to move 1m users to new challenger bank, says report (AltFi News) Rated: A

According to an insider at the Royal Bank of Scotland, the bank has set an internal target of switching more than 1m users from Natwest to its latest project, a “next generation mobile-only bank”, in time for its debut in the third quarter of 2018.

In another interesting move, the insider has said that RBS’ mobile-only bank will be pursuing a marketplace business model, aiming to forge third-party partnerships as its primary source of revenue over lending. This is a model that is now well-known in the digital banking sector, hailed by dominant players like Monzo and Starling Bank as the future of next generation banking.

GDPR and financial advice: Processing data on children (Professional Adviser) Rated: A

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) makes special mention of children and, for the purposes of the regulation, consent cannot be granted without parental approval by anyone under the age of 13. Upon their 13thbirthday, data subjects can freely consent to how their data is processed – in other words, they can sign up to newsletters and appropriate alerts.

Unlikely as it may be that a 13-year-old will be signing up for newsletters from financial advisers, advice firms will still be processing large amounts of data on under-13s. Taking Intelligent Office as an example, there are currently more than 75,000 records of people under the age of 13 and so it is important that appropriate checks are in place and that parental consent has been granted at the beginning of the process.

Deposit Solutions shows potential of open banking (Euromoney) Rated: A

However, don’t tell that to Deposit Solutions. The Hamburg-based provider of an open-banking platform that lets deposit-rich banks offer their account holders insured savings products from other banks is growing fast. It launched its own business-to-consumer marketplace Zinspilot in September 2015 and by the end of 2016 had transmitted $1 billion in deposits.

Deposit Solutions also has 50 banks in 16 European countries on its B2B platform. These include Deutsche Bank, FFB – the German subsidiary of Fidelity – and MünchenerHyp in Germany, and Atom Bank and Close Brothers in the UK.

So-called product banks, such as Atom, that are seeking funding, but don’t want to invest in a traditional deposit-gathering infrastructure, can offer terms to so-called client banks, such as Deutsche, with lots of customers, but already an excess of deposits.

International

Inside Santander’s plans to digitize money (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

The Spanish banking giant’s U.K. arm recently launched One Pay FX, a mobile payments service for its U.K. debit card holders that want to send payments to people in Euro Zone countries and the U.S. It’s the first market-ready product built on blockchain technology, Ripple’s xCurrent protocol, for retail customers. It had been running as a pilot for employees for the last 18 months.

Santander, one of the founding members of R3 CEV, a prominent consortium of banks investing in the company’s blockchain technology for financial applications, soon became one of the first members to exit the group as it concentrated on other payments-focused group work like the Utility Settlement Coin — “a tokenized version of central bank money,” in Faura’s words — and the Global Payments Steering Group.

Source: Tearsheet

This MBA Loan Provider Is Helping International Students Start New Careers Abroad (Business Because) Rated: A

According to BusinessBecause data, 90% of MBA applicants would consider studying abroad. At the same time, over 60% say they wouldn’t be able to pursue an MBA without financial aid.

Prodigy Finance has lent more than $505 million in loans to over 10,300 students globally. Those loans have enabled international students such as Alex Brack, originally from Brazil and a recent MBA graduate for The F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, to thrive.

ZPER Secures Crypto Mobile Wallet with Trustonic (Global Banking and Finance Review) Rated: B

Following an increase in incidents such as the January 2018 theft of $425 million from Coincheck Inc, ZPER, the decentralised peer-to-peer (P2P) financial ecosystem, is launching the most secure cryptocurrency wallet available. ZPER is achieving this by embedding advanced security solutions from app and device security leader, Trustonic, to provide best-in-class protection. This move is in response to growing concerns about the vulnerability of cryptocurrencies when stored in exchanges.

Australia

 

Instant cash loan machines may target most vulnerable with quick dollars, financial counsellor says (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Rated: A

The emergence of instant cash loan machines across parts of New South Wales has sparked fears about low-income families being potentially caught in a debt trap.

The machines, which look like ATMs, only require identification and bank details before users are approved for cash loans almost immediately.

Financial counsellors have expressed concern about the devices, which they say appear to be popping up in low socio-economic areas.

India

 

RentoMojo is using machine learning to create credit profiles of users (Tech Circle) Rated: AAA

It raised $10 million (Rs 64.3 crore) in a Series B round of funding led by Bain Capital Ventures and Renaud Laplanche, a French-American entrepreneur. The company had earlier raised $2 million in a pre-Series A round from Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India in November 2016.

Asia

Emerging Asian leaders in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency to watch out (Finextra) Rated: A

Crowd-Genie, an Asia-wide cross-border lending platform, concluded its ICO on March 1, raising over $5.5 million. Under the stewardship of CEO and Co-Founder,Akshay Mehra, Genie is aiming to build a private capital hub using smart contracts to make borrowing safer, cheaper and more efficient. Mehra is certified in CMFAS by the MAS and has over 15 years industry experience. His goal of creating a tokenized lending platform puts him at the forefront of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology in Asia.

Under Mehra’s leadership, Crowd Genie’s goal is to develop a Business Loans Asset Exchange on which lenders can enhance their liquidity by transferring asset ownership. Crowd Genie Financial Services Pte. Ltd. is one of a handful of licensed platforms in Singapore to hold a ‘Dealing in Securities’ license by MAS and GenieICO’s token – CGC – was listed on the Cobinhood exchange on March 19.

Latin America

Brazilian bank IPO tests disruption potential of fintech firms (Reuters) Rated: AAA

The first initial public offering (IPO) by a Brazilian retail bank in nearly a decade, set to price on Thursday, will test if investors expect new technologies to give smaller lenders a fighting chance against Brazil’s dominant big four banks.

Banco Inter SA, a tiny mortgage lender that has reinvented itself as a purely online bank, is the first in a wave of feisty digital challengers planning to go public – and looking to trade at higher multiples than many of Brazil’s largest lenders.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday April 2 2018, Daily News Digest

PeerIQ

News Comments Today’s main news: Landbay raises 1.2M GBP on Seedrs. Yirendai issues quarterly earnings results. Betterment boosts human advice. Flender to raise 50M Euro. Cash Suvidha raisess $1M. Today’s main analysis: The VC and PE markets in Canada. Today’s thought-provoking articles: PeerIQ’s credit facility management suite. Is community bank SMB lending eroding? Africa’s big blockchain potential. United States Betterment’s rise […]

PeerIQ

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Robo Pioneer Betterment Goes Upscale, Boosts Human Advice (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: AAA

Now with $13.5 billion in assets under management, the firm claims to be the largest independent online financial advisor. Indeed, its high-net-worth offering, or Prime Plan, has been embraced by investors with accounts ranging from $100,000 to many millions, according to Holeman.

Betterment, founded in 2008 as an automated digital-only advice platform, now has 340,000 customers, ranging from millennials to 85-year-olds, with an average age of 37 and an average balance just under $40,000.

How have your fees changed?

Before, we didn’t have the ability to talk with a human advisor; now we have certified financial planners. There are two levels of pricing: the basic digital plan [no minimum account size], which is 0.25% per year and our premium plan [$100,000 minimum account] for 0.4% per year to talk with a certified financial planner on an unlimited basis.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US GDP growth for the 4th quarter was revised upwards from 2.5% to 2.9%, capping an impressive 2017. Consumer spending has driven the bulk of GDP growth and it will be relevant to see if this trend continues given the weak retail sales in Q1 and softening in some leading economic indicators. Core PCE, the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator rose 1.8% YoY in February. Personal spending rose 0.2% while incomes rose 0.4% MoM suggesting that Americans are saving more – a long-term positive for growth – although a short-term pressure on retail sales and consumer spending.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite

The Credit Facility Management Suite provides:

  • Dashboard overview of multiple facilities across various asset classes
  • Daily Covenant Calculation and Monitoring
  • Time Series Visualization and Projections
  • Automated Borrowing Base Report Generation
  • Collateral Cashflow Projections
  • Scenario Analysis
Source PeerIQ

 

Is community bank small business lending eroding? (Banking Exchange), Rated: AAA

Quarles, speaking March 26 at a HOPE Global Forum, told of recent meetings he had had with owners of very small businesses. He noted that their comments jibed with trends the central bank has seen. A key one is that small businesses still face gaps in available credit although more than two-thirds of those studied by the Fed request less than $100,000 and many less than $25,000.

Who’s lending to small businesses?

“Large banks’ share of small business lending has grown,” said Quarles, “especially among the smallest loans. This represents a change from 20 years ago when small businesses relied more on a relationship with local community banks for access to credit.”

Quarles shared figures for loans under $100,000. He said that small banks of less than $1 billion hold 19% of such loans—versus 60% two decades ago. By contrast, he said, that 60% share is now held by banks with $50 billion or more in assets.

Quarles next discussed nonbank alternative lenders. This included fintech specialists as well as large technology firms that extend credit to merchants who are part of their customer bases. (Quarles did not mention names, but examples of the former would include online lender Kabbage and the former would include Amazon, which grants credit to small firms that are part of its base.)

Tech ever-widening domain for community banks (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

“Anybody who doesn’t believe that is kidding themselves,” says James Beckwith, president and CEO at $972.8 million-assets Five Star Bank in Rocklin, Calif.

The attractiveness of tech-based marketplace lending, for example, is only going to increase, Beckwith says. Also, payments innovations, going on inside and outside banking, can’t be ignored by consumer or business bankers.

Marlin Secures $ 300,000,000 Forward Flow Agreement to Expand Equipment Financing for Small Businesses (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ:MRLN) a leading provider of credit products and services to small businesses, today announced that it has entered into a forward flow sale agreement with Varadero Capital, L.P., a leading alternative asset management firm, to sell up to $300,000,000 in equipment leases and loans to be originated by Marlin.

Technology jobs in the Chicago area are up, but that’s not the whole story (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A

Unlike at Enova, the overall number of technology jobs in the Chicago region grew at a modest pace last year, both at tech firms and in other industries.

Even before Chicago entered the cutthroat competition last fall to win Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, the city promoted the growth. Emanuel’s office issued at least eight news releases in 2017 on technology companies planning to hire. One of them named more than a dozen companies with hiring goals by the end of 2017.

Enova was on that list, with an aim to hire 75. Instead, it brought on 128 new people, raising its total employee count to 1,145.

And analytics was only the second-fastest-growing team at Enova last year.

 

LendIt Fintech USA 2018 Preview Show (Lend Academy), Rated: A

This year we have the LendIt Content Team on the show discussing all the different aspects of the event and how attendees can get the most out of their time at LendIt Fintech USA 2018.

 

United Kingdom

Landbay Returns to Seedrs & Quickly Raises £1.2 Million in Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lender Landbay has launched another equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs and quickly secured more than £1.2 million in funding. This news comes less than a month after the online lending platform announced it hit its £100 million in lending milestone.

Deposit rates are a joke, so investors should consider peer-to-peer lending (The Times), Rated: A

Irish investors who want a regular return on their capital but are not happy to hand their money to the banks — where deposit rates are in the doldrums — have been exploring peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

EasyMoney launches second IFISA with higher returns (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: A

EASYMONEY, part of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easy family of brands, has launched a second Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that offers higher returns than its first tax wrapper.

The recently-launched peer-to-peer lending platform said on Saturday that its ‘balanced’ IFISA allows individuals to invest in a broader range of property-backed loans, with a target interest rate of 7.28 per cent. Loans written for the ‘balanced’ IFISA are limited to 75% loan-to-value (LTV).

China

Yirendai (YRD) Issues Quarterly Earnings Results (The Lincolnian Online), Rated: AAA

Yirendai (NYSE:YRD) announced its earnings results on Wednesday, March 14th. The technology company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.25, Briefing.comreports. Yirendai had a return on equity of 66.32% and a net margin of 24.69%. The company had revenue of $280.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.27 million.

China’s P2P lenders brace for renewed regulatory crackdown (Financial Times), Rated AAA

Thousands of online lenders could be facing extinction as China rolls out a new licensing framework, amid complaints about a lack of clarity on how the regime will work. The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

 

European Union

Peer-to-peer lending start-up Flender to announce €50m debt round (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Dublin-headquartered fintech start-up Flender, whose backers include former EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winner Mark Roden, is set to announce a €50 million debt financing round to fund its expansion.

Having secured more than £500,000 (€569,000) to fund itself through crowdfunding, Flender announced plans to raise a £2 million (€2.2 million) funding round and £20 million (€22.7 million) in leveraged debt finance last August after receiving full authorisation from the UK financial regulator to operate in Britain.

Dutch Startup Aims To Boost Earnings Of P2P Services (Cointelegraph), Rated: A

Dutch Startup “BotBird” is launching a set of services that aims to bring together different aspects of the blockchain. While the services alone are well known amongst crypto investors the set combined might make a big difference in the scene altogether.

Lending

Crypto lending took a flight last year with lending programs popping up nearly every day. The promise was simple: Invest some bitcoin or Ethereum, get the counter value returned in alt coins minted by those lending programs and earn a certain percent of interest daily.

Escrow

Besides the fact that they actually focus on operating a sustainable service by offering a maximum of up to 10% monthly interest they also offer investment protection by 

International

Big banks on notice as tech groups ramp up pressure (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Technology companies are set to take a big chunk of customers from banks, as they intensify their challenge to traditional lenders across a range of mass-market financial services, say industry executives and analysts. Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

SALT: Leverage Your Blockchain Assets to Secure Cash Loans (SludgeFeed), Rated: A

One such project is SALT, a lending platform that was a built to facilitate the creation of lending agreements using blockchain assets as collateral. Through the SALT platform, individuals and businesses are able to access the largely illiquid value of their blockchain assets by putting these assets up as collateral in return for fiat loans. These lending agreements are secure, as their terms are automatically enforced through smart contracts and once a loan is repaid, crypto assets are returned to the borrower. Therefore, the SALT platform is designed for individuals and businesses that are needing immediate cash infusions but are unwilling or unable to liquidate their cryptocurrency holdings.

Source SludgeFeed

It’s important to note that there are no origination fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties on any fixed rate term loans arranged through the SALT platform, which is very different than traditional lending systems.

Why ZPER is a Smart Investment Choice (NewsBTC), Rated: B

Against this backdrop, P2P financing has now added a new twist with a decentralized P2P finance platform, ZPER. The platform has its basis on blockchain technology and will transcend borders and currency limitations, generating innovation in the global P2P market.

 

India

Fintech Startup Cash Suvidha Raises $ 1 M in Pre-Series A Funding (Next Billion), Rated: AAA

Delhi-based online lending platform Cash Suvidha has raised $1 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round from Initia Holdings; Vipin Agarwal, Partner in India Industrial Growth Fund and others.

The company will use the funding to increase the loan books of the company and to further strengthen its technological infrastructure.

Peer to Peer Lending Market is Anticipated Significant Growth due to Earliest Adopters of Latest Technologies (Digital Journal), Rated: A

The ‘Global and Chinese Peer to Peer Lending Industry, 2013-2023 Market Research Report’ is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Peer to Peer Lending industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Peer to Peer Lending manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.

Firstly, the report provides a basic overview of the industry including its definition, applications and manufacturing technology. Then, the report explores the international and Chinese major industry players in detail. In this part, the report presents the company profile, product specifications, capacity, production value, and 2013-2018 market shares for each company.

Canada

THE VC AND PE MARKETS IN CANADA (AllAboutAlpha), Rated: AAA

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) has posted what it calls an “overview” of the VC and PE Markets in that country in 2017. It reports growth in both of those markets, although growth at distinct velocities.

In 2016 there were 542 deals in the PE space. In 2017 there were 603. In 2016 the total valuation of those deals was $13.8 billion. In 2017 nearly twice that, $26.3 billion.

Looking at exits, 2016 was a slump and 2017 was a recovery. In 2016 there were only 33 exits with a total value of $0.6 billion. In 2017, though, there were 39 exits with a total valuation of $1.7 billion. A little arithmetic indicates that the average value of one of those 2017 exits was about $43 million. The average value of one of the 2016 exits was about $18 million.

More about Private Equity

Breaking down the PE highlights by city, the paper tells us that 15% of the action (89 deals totaling $6.7 billion) went to Montreal-based companies. Companies based in Calgary and Montérègie each received a 9% share. This meant 54 deals for Calgary and 53 for Montérègie.

Breaking down the highlights by sector, 19% of the PE deals closed in industry/manufacturing. The next largest share was in information and communications technology (ICT), a 16% share. The report tells us that both of these two top sectors “have been receiving a steadily increasing share of PE deal flow since 2013 when industrial and manufacturing captured only a 14% share” and ICT got 10%.

Download the full report here.

Africa

Blockchain’s big potential in Africa (Venture Beat), Rated: AAA

At the beginning of March, some of the brightest minds from the blockchain world joined representatives from the financial, legal, and global technology industries to discuss widespread blockchain adoption. But the event wasn’t held in fintech hub London, or startup mecca San Francisco. It was in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the fourth edition of the Blockchain Africa conference hosted at the Microsoft HQ.

Emerging blockchain hubs

While still in their early growth stages compared to the crypto hubs in central and eastern Europe and Switzerland, blockchain communities in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Sudan are growing steady.

BitHub Africa , based in Nairobi, is a blockchain accelerator for local startups founded in December 2015.

Tackling real problems

To date, blockchain adoption has been sporadic across Africa, but the emerging use cases are tackling real social, economic, and political problems affecting hundreds of millions of people every day:

Fighting corruption.

Combatting inflation.  In Zimbabwe, which has seen rapid inflation in recent years, Bitcoin sales have soared as locals rush to protect their savings before they devalue.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday April 2 2018, Daily News Digest

PeerIQ

News Comments Today’s main news: Landbay raises 1.2M GBP on Seedrs. Yirendai issues quarterly earnings results. Betterment boosts human advice. Flender to raise 50M Euro. Cash Suvidha raisess $1M. Today’s main analysis: The VC and PE markets in Canada. Today’s thought-provoking articles: PeerIQ’s credit facility management suite. Is community bank SMB lending eroding? Africa’s big blockchain potential. United States Betterment’s rise […]

PeerIQ

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Robo Pioneer Betterment Goes Upscale, Boosts Human Advice (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: AAA

Now with $13.5 billion in assets under management, the firm claims to be the largest independent online financial advisor. Indeed, its high-net-worth offering, or Prime Plan, has been embraced by investors with accounts ranging from $100,000 to many millions, according to Holeman.

Betterment, founded in 2008 as an automated digital-only advice platform, now has 340,000 customers, ranging from millennials to 85-year-olds, with an average age of 37 and an average balance just under $40,000.

How have your fees changed?

Before, we didn’t have the ability to talk with a human advisor; now we have certified financial planners. There are two levels of pricing: the basic digital plan [no minimum account size], which is 0.25% per year and our premium plan [$100,000 minimum account] for 0.4% per year to talk with a certified financial planner on an unlimited basis.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US GDP growth for the 4th quarter was revised upwards from 2.5% to 2.9%, capping an impressive 2017. Consumer spending has driven the bulk of GDP growth and it will be relevant to see if this trend continues given the weak retail sales in Q1 and softening in some leading economic indicators. Core PCE, the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator rose 1.8% YoY in February. Personal spending rose 0.2% while incomes rose 0.4% MoM suggesting that Americans are saving more – a long-term positive for growth – although a short-term pressure on retail sales and consumer spending.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite

The Credit Facility Management Suite provides:

  • Dashboard overview of multiple facilities across various asset classes
  • Daily Covenant Calculation and Monitoring
  • Time Series Visualization and Projections
  • Automated Borrowing Base Report Generation
  • Collateral Cashflow Projections
  • Scenario Analysis
Source PeerIQ

 

Is community bank small business lending eroding? (Banking Exchange), Rated: AAA

Quarles, speaking March 26 at a HOPE Global Forum, told of recent meetings he had had with owners of very small businesses. He noted that their comments jibed with trends the central bank has seen. A key one is that small businesses still face gaps in available credit although more than two-thirds of those studied by the Fed request less than $100,000 and many less than $25,000.

Who’s lending to small businesses?

“Large banks’ share of small business lending has grown,” said Quarles, “especially among the smallest loans. This represents a change from 20 years ago when small businesses relied more on a relationship with local community banks for access to credit.”

Quarles shared figures for loans under $100,000. He said that small banks of less than $1 billion hold 19% of such loans—versus 60% two decades ago. By contrast, he said, that 60% share is now held by banks with $50 billion or more in assets.

Quarles next discussed nonbank alternative lenders. This included fintech specialists as well as large technology firms that extend credit to merchants who are part of their customer bases. (Quarles did not mention names, but examples of the former would include online lender Kabbage and the former would include Amazon, which grants credit to small firms that are part of its base.)

Tech ever-widening domain for community banks (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

“Anybody who doesn’t believe that is kidding themselves,” says James Beckwith, president and CEO at $972.8 million-assets Five Star Bank in Rocklin, Calif.

The attractiveness of tech-based marketplace lending, for example, is only going to increase, Beckwith says. Also, payments innovations, going on inside and outside banking, can’t be ignored by consumer or business bankers.

Marlin Secures $ 300,000,000 Forward Flow Agreement to Expand Equipment Financing for Small Businesses (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ:MRLN) a leading provider of credit products and services to small businesses, today announced that it has entered into a forward flow sale agreement with Varadero Capital, L.P., a leading alternative asset management firm, to sell up to $300,000,000 in equipment leases and loans to be originated by Marlin.

Technology jobs in the Chicago area are up, but that’s not the whole story (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A

Unlike at Enova, the overall number of technology jobs in the Chicago region grew at a modest pace last year, both at tech firms and in other industries.

Even before Chicago entered the cutthroat competition last fall to win Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, the city promoted the growth. Emanuel’s office issued at least eight news releases in 2017 on technology companies planning to hire. One of them named more than a dozen companies with hiring goals by the end of 2017.

Enova was on that list, with an aim to hire 75. Instead, it brought on 128 new people, raising its total employee count to 1,145.

And analytics was only the second-fastest-growing team at Enova last year.

 

LendIt Fintech USA 2018 Preview Show (Lend Academy), Rated: A

This year we have the LendIt Content Team on the show discussing all the different aspects of the event and how attendees can get the most out of their time at LendIt Fintech USA 2018.

 

United Kingdom

Landbay Returns to Seedrs & Quickly Raises £1.2 Million in Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lender Landbay has launched another equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs and quickly secured more than £1.2 million in funding. This news comes less than a month after the online lending platform announced it hit its £100 million in lending milestone.

Deposit rates are a joke, so investors should consider peer-to-peer lending (The Times), Rated: A

Irish investors who want a regular return on their capital but are not happy to hand their money to the banks — where deposit rates are in the doldrums — have been exploring peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

EasyMoney launches second IFISA with higher returns (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: A

EASYMONEY, part of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easy family of brands, has launched a second Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that offers higher returns than its first tax wrapper.

The recently-launched peer-to-peer lending platform said on Saturday that its ‘balanced’ IFISA allows individuals to invest in a broader range of property-backed loans, with a target interest rate of 7.28 per cent. Loans written for the ‘balanced’ IFISA are limited to 75% loan-to-value (LTV).

China

Yirendai (YRD) Issues Quarterly Earnings Results (The Lincolnian Online), Rated: AAA

Yirendai (NYSE:YRD) announced its earnings results on Wednesday, March 14th. The technology company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.25, Briefing.comreports. Yirendai had a return on equity of 66.32% and a net margin of 24.69%. The company had revenue of $280.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.27 million.

China’s P2P lenders brace for renewed regulatory crackdown (Financial Times), Rated AAA

Thousands of online lenders could be facing extinction as China rolls out a new licensing framework, amid complaints about a lack of clarity on how the regime will work. The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

 

European Union

Peer-to-peer lending start-up Flender to announce €50m debt round (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Dublin-headquartered fintech start-up Flender, whose backers include former EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winner Mark Roden, is set to announce a €50 million debt financing round to fund its expansion.

Having secured more than £500,000 (€569,000) to fund itself through crowdfunding, Flender announced plans to raise a £2 million (€2.2 million) funding round and £20 million (€22.7 million) in leveraged debt finance last August after receiving full authorisation from the UK financial regulator to operate in Britain.

Dutch Startup Aims To Boost Earnings Of P2P Services (Cointelegraph), Rated: A

Dutch Startup “BotBird” is launching a set of services that aims to bring together different aspects of the blockchain. While the services alone are well known amongst crypto investors the set combined might make a big difference in the scene altogether.

Lending

Crypto lending took a flight last year with lending programs popping up nearly every day. The promise was simple: Invest some bitcoin or Ethereum, get the counter value returned in alt coins minted by those lending programs and earn a certain percent of interest daily.

Escrow

Besides the fact that they actually focus on operating a sustainable service by offering a maximum of up to 10% monthly interest they also offer investment protection by 

International

Big banks on notice as tech groups ramp up pressure (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Technology companies are set to take a big chunk of customers from banks, as they intensify their challenge to traditional lenders across a range of mass-market financial services, say industry executives and analysts. Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

SALT: Leverage Your Blockchain Assets to Secure Cash Loans (SludgeFeed), Rated: A

One such project is SALT, a lending platform that was a built to facilitate the creation of lending agreements using blockchain assets as collateral. Through the SALT platform, individuals and businesses are able to access the largely illiquid value of their blockchain assets by putting these assets up as collateral in return for fiat loans. These lending agreements are secure, as their terms are automatically enforced through smart contracts and once a loan is repaid, crypto assets are returned to the borrower. Therefore, the SALT platform is designed for individuals and businesses that are needing immediate cash infusions but are unwilling or unable to liquidate their cryptocurrency holdings.

Source SludgeFeed

It’s important to note that there are no origination fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties on any fixed rate term loans arranged through the SALT platform, which is very different than traditional lending systems.

Why ZPER is a Smart Investment Choice (NewsBTC), Rated: B

Against this backdrop, P2P financing has now added a new twist with a decentralized P2P finance platform, ZPER. The platform has its basis on blockchain technology and will transcend borders and currency limitations, generating innovation in the global P2P market.

 

India

Fintech Startup Cash Suvidha Raises $ 1 M in Pre-Series A Funding (Next Billion), Rated: AAA

Delhi-based online lending platform Cash Suvidha has raised $1 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round from Initia Holdings; Vipin Agarwal, Partner in India Industrial Growth Fund and others.

The company will use the funding to increase the loan books of the company and to further strengthen its technological infrastructure.

Peer to Peer Lending Market is Anticipated Significant Growth due to Earliest Adopters of Latest Technologies (Digital Journal), Rated: A

The ‘Global and Chinese Peer to Peer Lending Industry, 2013-2023 Market Research Report’ is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Peer to Peer Lending industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Peer to Peer Lending manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.

Firstly, the report provides a basic overview of the industry including its definition, applications and manufacturing technology. Then, the report explores the international and Chinese major industry players in detail. In this part, the report presents the company profile, product specifications, capacity, production value, and 2013-2018 market shares for each company.

Canada

THE VC AND PE MARKETS IN CANADA (AllAboutAlpha), Rated: AAA

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) has posted what it calls an “overview” of the VC and PE Markets in that country in 2017. It reports growth in both of those markets, although growth at distinct velocities.

In 2016 there were 542 deals in the PE space. In 2017 there were 603. In 2016 the total valuation of those deals was $13.8 billion. In 2017 nearly twice that, $26.3 billion.

Looking at exits, 2016 was a slump and 2017 was a recovery. In 2016 there were only 33 exits with a total value of $0.6 billion. In 2017, though, there were 39 exits with a total valuation of $1.7 billion. A little arithmetic indicates that the average value of one of those 2017 exits was about $43 million. The average value of one of the 2016 exits was about $18 million.

More about Private Equity

Breaking down the PE highlights by city, the paper tells us that 15% of the action (89 deals totaling $6.7 billion) went to Montreal-based companies. Companies based in Calgary and Montérègie each received a 9% share. This meant 54 deals for Calgary and 53 for Montérègie.

Breaking down the highlights by sector, 19% of the PE deals closed in industry/manufacturing. The next largest share was in information and communications technology (ICT), a 16% share. The report tells us that both of these two top sectors “have been receiving a steadily increasing share of PE deal flow since 2013 when industrial and manufacturing captured only a 14% share” and ICT got 10%.

Download the full report here.

Africa

Blockchain’s big potential in Africa (Venture Beat), Rated: AAA

At the beginning of March, some of the brightest minds from the blockchain world joined representatives from the financial, legal, and global technology industries to discuss widespread blockchain adoption. But the event wasn’t held in fintech hub London, or startup mecca San Francisco. It was in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the fourth edition of the Blockchain Africa conference hosted at the Microsoft HQ.

Emerging blockchain hubs

While still in their early growth stages compared to the crypto hubs in central and eastern Europe and Switzerland, blockchain communities in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Sudan are growing steady.

BitHub Africa , based in Nairobi, is a blockchain accelerator for local startups founded in December 2015.

Tackling real problems

To date, blockchain adoption has been sporadic across Africa, but the emerging use cases are tackling real social, economic, and political problems affecting hundreds of millions of people every day:

Fighting corruption.

Combatting inflation.  In Zimbabwe, which has seen rapid inflation in recent years, Bitcoin sales have soared as locals rush to protect their savings before they devalue.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday April 2 2018, Daily News Digest

PeerIQ

News Comments Today’s main news: Landbay raises 1.2M GBP on Seedrs. Yirendai issues quarterly earnings results. Betterment boosts human advice. Flender to raise 50M Euro. Cash Suvidha raisess $1M. Today’s main analysis: The VC and PE markets in Canada. Today’s thought-provoking articles: PeerIQ’s credit facility management suite. Is community bank SMB lending eroding? Africa’s big blockchain potential. United States Betterment’s rise […]

PeerIQ

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Other

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United States

Robo Pioneer Betterment Goes Upscale, Boosts Human Advice (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: AAA

Now with $13.5 billion in assets under management, the firm claims to be the largest independent online financial advisor. Indeed, its high-net-worth offering, or Prime Plan, has been embraced by investors with accounts ranging from $100,000 to many millions, according to Holeman.

Betterment, founded in 2008 as an automated digital-only advice platform, now has 340,000 customers, ranging from millennials to 85-year-olds, with an average age of 37 and an average balance just under $40,000.

How have your fees changed?

Before, we didn’t have the ability to talk with a human advisor; now we have certified financial planners. There are two levels of pricing: the basic digital plan [no minimum account size], which is 0.25% per year and our premium plan [$100,000 minimum account] for 0.4% per year to talk with a certified financial planner on an unlimited basis.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US GDP growth for the 4th quarter was revised upwards from 2.5% to 2.9%, capping an impressive 2017. Consumer spending has driven the bulk of GDP growth and it will be relevant to see if this trend continues given the weak retail sales in Q1 and softening in some leading economic indicators. Core PCE, the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator rose 1.8% YoY in February. Personal spending rose 0.2% while incomes rose 0.4% MoM suggesting that Americans are saving more – a long-term positive for growth – although a short-term pressure on retail sales and consumer spending.

PeerIQ’s Credit Facility Management Suite

The Credit Facility Management Suite provides:

  • Dashboard overview of multiple facilities across various asset classes
  • Daily Covenant Calculation and Monitoring
  • Time Series Visualization and Projections
  • Automated Borrowing Base Report Generation
  • Collateral Cashflow Projections
  • Scenario Analysis
Source PeerIQ

 

Is community bank small business lending eroding? (Banking Exchange), Rated: AAA

Quarles, speaking March 26 at a HOPE Global Forum, told of recent meetings he had had with owners of very small businesses. He noted that their comments jibed with trends the central bank has seen. A key one is that small businesses still face gaps in available credit although more than two-thirds of those studied by the Fed request less than $100,000 and many less than $25,000.

Who’s lending to small businesses?

“Large banks’ share of small business lending has grown,” said Quarles, “especially among the smallest loans. This represents a change from 20 years ago when small businesses relied more on a relationship with local community banks for access to credit.”

Quarles shared figures for loans under $100,000. He said that small banks of less than $1 billion hold 19% of such loans—versus 60% two decades ago. By contrast, he said, that 60% share is now held by banks with $50 billion or more in assets.

Quarles next discussed nonbank alternative lenders. This included fintech specialists as well as large technology firms that extend credit to merchants who are part of their customer bases. (Quarles did not mention names, but examples of the former would include online lender Kabbage and the former would include Amazon, which grants credit to small firms that are part of its base.)

Tech ever-widening domain for community banks (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

“Anybody who doesn’t believe that is kidding themselves,” says James Beckwith, president and CEO at $972.8 million-assets Five Star Bank in Rocklin, Calif.

The attractiveness of tech-based marketplace lending, for example, is only going to increase, Beckwith says. Also, payments innovations, going on inside and outside banking, can’t be ignored by consumer or business bankers.

Marlin Secures $ 300,000,000 Forward Flow Agreement to Expand Equipment Financing for Small Businesses (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ:MRLN) a leading provider of credit products and services to small businesses, today announced that it has entered into a forward flow sale agreement with Varadero Capital, L.P., a leading alternative asset management firm, to sell up to $300,000,000 in equipment leases and loans to be originated by Marlin.

Technology jobs in the Chicago area are up, but that’s not the whole story (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A

Unlike at Enova, the overall number of technology jobs in the Chicago region grew at a modest pace last year, both at tech firms and in other industries.

Even before Chicago entered the cutthroat competition last fall to win Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, the city promoted the growth. Emanuel’s office issued at least eight news releases in 2017 on technology companies planning to hire. One of them named more than a dozen companies with hiring goals by the end of 2017.

Enova was on that list, with an aim to hire 75. Instead, it brought on 128 new people, raising its total employee count to 1,145.

And analytics was only the second-fastest-growing team at Enova last year.

 

LendIt Fintech USA 2018 Preview Show (Lend Academy), Rated: A

This year we have the LendIt Content Team on the show discussing all the different aspects of the event and how attendees can get the most out of their time at LendIt Fintech USA 2018.

 

United Kingdom

Landbay Returns to Seedrs & Quickly Raises £1.2 Million in Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK-based peer-to-peer lender Landbay has launched another equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs and quickly secured more than £1.2 million in funding. This news comes less than a month after the online lending platform announced it hit its £100 million in lending milestone.

Deposit rates are a joke, so investors should consider peer-to-peer lending (The Times), Rated: A

Irish investors who want a regular return on their capital but are not happy to hand their money to the banks — where deposit rates are in the doldrums — have been exploring peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

EasyMoney launches second IFISA with higher returns (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: A

EASYMONEY, part of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easy family of brands, has launched a second Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that offers higher returns than its first tax wrapper.

The recently-launched peer-to-peer lending platform said on Saturday that its ‘balanced’ IFISA allows individuals to invest in a broader range of property-backed loans, with a target interest rate of 7.28 per cent. Loans written for the ‘balanced’ IFISA are limited to 75% loan-to-value (LTV).

China

Yirendai (YRD) Issues Quarterly Earnings Results (The Lincolnian Online), Rated: AAA

Yirendai (NYSE:YRD) announced its earnings results on Wednesday, March 14th. The technology company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.25, Briefing.comreports. Yirendai had a return on equity of 66.32% and a net margin of 24.69%. The company had revenue of $280.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.27 million.

China’s P2P lenders brace for renewed regulatory crackdown (Financial Times), Rated AAA

Thousands of online lenders could be facing extinction as China rolls out a new licensing framework, amid complaints about a lack of clarity on how the regime will work. The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

The peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending sector is braced for a second regulatory crackdown as a new “record filing” system kicks off in April. But with the first batch of approvals expected by the end of the month, lenders say they are still in the dark on the filing process itself.

 

European Union

Peer-to-peer lending start-up Flender to announce €50m debt round (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Dublin-headquartered fintech start-up Flender, whose backers include former EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winner Mark Roden, is set to announce a €50 million debt financing round to fund its expansion.

Having secured more than £500,000 (€569,000) to fund itself through crowdfunding, Flender announced plans to raise a £2 million (€2.2 million) funding round and £20 million (€22.7 million) in leveraged debt finance last August after receiving full authorisation from the UK financial regulator to operate in Britain.

Dutch Startup Aims To Boost Earnings Of P2P Services (Cointelegraph), Rated: A

Dutch Startup “BotBird” is launching a set of services that aims to bring together different aspects of the blockchain. While the services alone are well known amongst crypto investors the set combined might make a big difference in the scene altogether.

Lending

Crypto lending took a flight last year with lending programs popping up nearly every day. The promise was simple: Invest some bitcoin or Ethereum, get the counter value returned in alt coins minted by those lending programs and earn a certain percent of interest daily.

Escrow

Besides the fact that they actually focus on operating a sustainable service by offering a maximum of up to 10% monthly interest they also offer investment protection by 

International

Big banks on notice as tech groups ramp up pressure (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Technology companies are set to take a big chunk of customers from banks, as they intensify their challenge to traditional lenders across a range of mass-market financial services, say industry executives and analysts. Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, has told the Financial Times that Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation expects to lose market share to digitally focused rivals in many mainstream areas such as payments.

SALT: Leverage Your Blockchain Assets to Secure Cash Loans (SludgeFeed), Rated: A

One such project is SALT, a lending platform that was a built to facilitate the creation of lending agreements using blockchain assets as collateral. Through the SALT platform, individuals and businesses are able to access the largely illiquid value of their blockchain assets by putting these assets up as collateral in return for fiat loans. These lending agreements are secure, as their terms are automatically enforced through smart contracts and once a loan is repaid, crypto assets are returned to the borrower. Therefore, the SALT platform is designed for individuals and businesses that are needing immediate cash infusions but are unwilling or unable to liquidate their cryptocurrency holdings.

Source SludgeFeed

It’s important to note that there are no origination fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties on any fixed rate term loans arranged through the SALT platform, which is very different than traditional lending systems.

Why ZPER is a Smart Investment Choice (NewsBTC), Rated: B

Against this backdrop, P2P financing has now added a new twist with a decentralized P2P finance platform, ZPER. The platform has its basis on blockchain technology and will transcend borders and currency limitations, generating innovation in the global P2P market.

 

India

Fintech Startup Cash Suvidha Raises $ 1 M in Pre-Series A Funding (Next Billion), Rated: AAA

Delhi-based online lending platform Cash Suvidha has raised $1 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round from Initia Holdings; Vipin Agarwal, Partner in India Industrial Growth Fund and others.

The company will use the funding to increase the loan books of the company and to further strengthen its technological infrastructure.

Peer to Peer Lending Market is Anticipated Significant Growth due to Earliest Adopters of Latest Technologies (Digital Journal), Rated: A

The ‘Global and Chinese Peer to Peer Lending Industry, 2013-2023 Market Research Report’ is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Peer to Peer Lending industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Peer to Peer Lending manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.

Firstly, the report provides a basic overview of the industry including its definition, applications and manufacturing technology. Then, the report explores the international and Chinese major industry players in detail. In this part, the report presents the company profile, product specifications, capacity, production value, and 2013-2018 market shares for each company.

Canada

THE VC AND PE MARKETS IN CANADA (AllAboutAlpha), Rated: AAA

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) has posted what it calls an “overview” of the VC and PE Markets in that country in 2017. It reports growth in both of those markets, although growth at distinct velocities.

In 2016 there were 542 deals in the PE space. In 2017 there were 603. In 2016 the total valuation of those deals was $13.8 billion. In 2017 nearly twice that, $26.3 billion.

Looking at exits, 2016 was a slump and 2017 was a recovery. In 2016 there were only 33 exits with a total value of $0.6 billion. In 2017, though, there were 39 exits with a total valuation of $1.7 billion. A little arithmetic indicates that the average value of one of those 2017 exits was about $43 million. The average value of one of the 2016 exits was about $18 million.

More about Private Equity

Breaking down the PE highlights by city, the paper tells us that 15% of the action (89 deals totaling $6.7 billion) went to Montreal-based companies. Companies based in Calgary and Montérègie each received a 9% share. This meant 54 deals for Calgary and 53 for Montérègie.

Breaking down the highlights by sector, 19% of the PE deals closed in industry/manufacturing. The next largest share was in information and communications technology (ICT), a 16% share. The report tells us that both of these two top sectors “have been receiving a steadily increasing share of PE deal flow since 2013 when industrial and manufacturing captured only a 14% share” and ICT got 10%.

Download the full report here.

Africa

Blockchain’s big potential in Africa (Venture Beat), Rated: AAA

At the beginning of March, some of the brightest minds from the blockchain world joined representatives from the financial, legal, and global technology industries to discuss widespread blockchain adoption. But the event wasn’t held in fintech hub London, or startup mecca San Francisco. It was in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the fourth edition of the Blockchain Africa conference hosted at the Microsoft HQ.

Emerging blockchain hubs

While still in their early growth stages compared to the crypto hubs in central and eastern Europe and Switzerland, blockchain communities in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Sudan are growing steady.

BitHub Africa , based in Nairobi, is a blockchain accelerator for local startups founded in December 2015.

Tackling real problems

To date, blockchain adoption has been sporadic across Africa, but the emerging use cases are tackling real social, economic, and political problems affecting hundreds of millions of people every day:

Fighting corruption.

Combatting inflation.  In Zimbabwe, which has seen rapid inflation in recent years, Bitcoin sales have soared as locals rush to protect their savings before they devalue.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday February 13 2018, Daily News Digest

china asset-backed securities

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi’s adjusted 2017 profit was $126M. Funding Circle lent over 117M GBP in January. CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund invests in Fair. FT Partners advises Yapstone on $71M Series C round. LendingKart raises Rs1,129 crore. Today’s main analysis: Why China isn’t worried about the slowdown in asset-backed securities. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Goldman’s fintech approach to […]

china asset-backed securities

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United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Canada

MENA

News Summary

United States

Fintech SoFi blames missed earnings on borrowers skipping payments, increased hiring costs (San Francisco Business Times), Rated: AAA

SoFi said it made an adjusted profit of $126 million after pulling in revenue of $547 million for all of 2017, but did not break out figures for the fourth quarter.

(MarketWatch), Rated: A

SoFi Turns Losers Into Winners (and Investors) with the So Money Sweepstakes (PR Newswire), Rated: A

From February 12th through 16th, SoFi will award $25 in a SoFi Wealth account to 200 losers of HQ Trivia each day. To enter for a chance to win, all people need to do is Tweet to @SoFi on Twitter with a screenshot of their HQ loss screen and the hashtag #SoMoneyEntry. In addition to the $25, winners will also receive SoFi’s new card game, “So Money,” featuring playful questions that aim to encourage people to talk more openly about their financial lives.

Goldman Sachs is taking a fintech approach to grow its consumer lending business (Econsultancy), Rated: AAA

Two of the biggest proofs of Goldman’s transformation were its launch of GS Bank, a internet bank with a $1 deposit requirement, and Marcus, an online consumer lending platform through which well-qualified consumers could obtain personal loans of up to $30,000. GS Bank has since been merged into Marcus, which now serves as Goldman’s consumer brand.

As QZ pointed out, “Goldman thinks it can make $1 billion in extra revenue from its consumer lending business over the next three years, as much as it expects for its trading operations.”

As detailed by the Wall Street Journal, Goldman is reportedly in talks with Apple to offer buyers of Apple devices financing at point-of-sale. “Customers purchasing a $1,000 iPhone X could take out a loan from Goldman instead of charging it to credit cards that often carry high interest rates,” the Journal explained.

This type of financing is big business: by one estimate, $80bn of the $200bn consumers borrowed using retailer-affiliated credit cards or point-of-sale loans went towards big-ticket items including electronic gadgets.

Source: Econsultancy

The Future of Banking (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Increase

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a major role in banking for both the short-term and long-term. First, we will see AI help banks with fraud mitigation. Today, most fraud is detected through computer patterns that alert a fraud team who would then take the necessary steps to try to prevent or mitigate the threat. Now that technology has made access to money fast and easy, the transaction volume has increased exponentially.

Banks and Non-Banks Will Form Closer Partnerships

By tapping into a non-bank’s customer base, it will lower the bank’s cost of acquisition while providing more value for the customer. Banks will also realize that non-banks provide them with valuable data from their customer bases that they can leverage to provide a customized banking experience as well as a source for additional revenue streams.

There Will Be More Competition in the Digital Banking Space

Whether it’s JPMorgan Chase with Finn, or Greenhouse by Wells Fargo, big banks are entering into the digital banking space full force with the hope of attracting young consumers. Then you have digital banks like Ally, USAA and Capital One 360 who truly made a major effort in 2017 to attract millennials by tweaking their product, tone, messaging and branding to make sure they start penetrating that segment. We will continue to see that this year.

You still have niche financial products like Sofi that focuses on student loans or Stash Invest that focuses on investing, which are playing in the digital banking space.

Lastly, you have neobanks like Moven, GoBank, Simple and Varo who will continue to flourish and grow, but will be threatened by giants like Amazon, Google and Apple.

Cybersecurity will Get an Upgrade

After the highly publicized and damaging Equifax security breach that affected approximate 145 million Americans, we will surely see a modernization and upgrade of cybersecurity.

We spoke with the creator of the Chase Sapphire Reserve about millennials and the other challenges she’ll confront at JPMorgan (Business Insider), Rated: A

JPMorgan Chase, on the other hand, recently announced plans to expand its network. It’ll add 400 new branches in 15 to 20 new markets over the next five years — an investment spurred in part by the savings from the recently enacted tax law.

JPMorgan has, of course, culled some branches over the years, but far fewer than its peers — just 484, or 8.6%, since 2012, compared with cuts of more than 30% by its competitors Citigroup and Capital One over the same period.

BI: How does what happened with the Chase Sapphire Reserve phenomenon translate to the rest of the Chase consumer business?

Codispoti: The fact that we were able to break some myths with millennials. When I first took the job there was kind of this general consensus in the market that millennials wouldn’t pay a fee for a credit card or wouldn’t be interested in premium products — it just isn’t true. So I think we’re kind of breaking those myths when we think about banking and home lending as well.

We’ve shared in the past that we’ve had some extremely successful initial tests with the Sapphire Reserve customer, offering them a home lending offer of 100,000 points if they completed a home-lending mortgage with us. And 50,000 points for those who upgraded to Chase Private Client and deposited $100,000 into an account. We saw extraordinary results, greater than we ever expected. So clearly this is an engaged customer base, they love the Reserve brand. It transcends card into other areas of their financial life.

Citi Ventures’ Vanessa Colella: ‘No one runs innovation, it’s all about unleashing it’ (Tearsheet), Rated: A

As one of the largest financial institutions in the world, Citi takes its innovation efforts seriously. Combining internal and external models of collaboration with a disciplined corporate venture arm, the financial services giant ensures that it has a lot of coals in the innovation fire.

Real Estate Investment Platform, Sharestates, Continues Impressive Growth Launching New Marketplace in Arizona (AltFi), Rated: A

Today, Sharestates, an online real estate investment platform, announced today their inception into the Arizona Banking Department roster of lenders as Sharestates Investments LLC, NMLS ID number 1538766. With this launch, Sharestates will be offering their loan products to the real estate speculation and development community in a statewide effort.

As a part of Sharestates’ launch into the Arizona market, the company will be attending the 45th Pitbull Hard Money Conference located at the We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event will be held March 14-15, 2018 and members of the Sharestates team will occupy booth #417.

Sharestates has funded more than 895 individual loans, providing an average return on investment of 10.42%.

Realty Mentors Launches Its New Investment Advisory Business (Realty Biz), Rated: B

Realty Mentors announced a new investment advisory business. According to the article in Crowd Fund Insider.com, the company which is a commercial real estate diligence and underwriting company and is an affiliate company of CreditVest is claiming to be the first of its kind to launch in the commercial real estate crowdfunding industry.

When it comes to the real estate crowdfunding industry, their services will encourage new investors to enter the market because they will have the benefit of an objective and independent third party advising them.

Vishal Garg of Better Mortgage (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Our latest guest on the Lend Academy Podcast also thought it was crazy and decided to actually do something about it. Vishal Garg is the CEO and Founder of Better Mortgage and a few years back he missed out on buying his dream home because of the clunky and slow mortgage process. So, he started a company to completely turn this process on its head.

Stock Market Volatility & Your Retirement, Who You Gonna Call? Robo Or Human Advisor (Forbes), Rated: A

Spooked investors looking for reassurance beyond the panic in the headlines have two options to turn to. They can call up a financial advisor, or they can go on the Internet. Artificial intelligence, or fintech’s application of AI, robo advisors, are viewed by many as the future of affordable and effective retirement and investment advice. These algorithms are seen as thetechnology that will disrupt, if not replace, human advice.

Most robo advisor websites provide real-time quantitative information about the market’s performance. But information alone is not necessarily what people are looking for when they are faced with uncertainty. Market performance is public, but the impact on retirement investments is profoundly personal.

That observation touches on the key difference and perhaps the strategic advantage of human advice versus advice by algorithm alone. Clients, which for now are primarily of the human variety, are looking for someone to help them cope and to care as much as they do, as well as someone who has the discipline and expertise to provide perspective to what is otherwise presented in the news as chaos.

Klarna Announces Progressive Parental Leave and Benefit Policy for U.S. Employees (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Global payments provider Klarna (www.klarna.com) has implemented a new parental leave and benefits policy that offers all of its U.S. employees who become parents a comprehensive package that includes 20 weeks of leave at full pay, a flexible, part-time work week “ramp-up period” on their return and a two-year child care subsidy.

As of January 1, 2018, Klarna’s full-time and part-time female and male employees who become parents—either biologically or through adoption—are eligible to receive the new parental leave and benefits. In addition, applicable benefits of the new policy will be extended retroactively to U.S. employees who became parents in 2017.

The new Klarna parental leave and benefits policy for U.S. employees has three core components:

  • Parental Leave: The new parent may take 20 weeks of leave at full pay, and with full health and welfare benefits, during the child’s first two years.
  • Ramp-Up Period: Upon returning to work, employees will have the option to return to work on a part-time schedule.
  • Child Care Subsidy: Upon their return to work, Klarna will provide new parents with a child care benefit during the child’s first two years that will subsidize parents up to $250 per month to defray costs.

Trump Administration Plans To Defang Consumer Protection Watchdog (NPR), Rated: A

Within weeks of coming on board, Mulvaney has worked to make the watchdog agency less aggressive. Under his leadership, the CFPB delayed a new payday lending regulation from going into effect and dropped an investigation into one payday lender that contributed to Mulvaney’s campaign. In another move that particularly upset some staffers, the new boss also dropped a lawsuit against an alleged online loan shark called Golden Valley Lending. The suit says the lender illegally charges people up to 950 percent interest rates. It took CFPB staffers years to build the case.

Bonenfant sent NPR a screenshot from the Golden Valley website. It says on her $900 loan, her scheduled payments in less than 12 months will total $3,735, or more than four times what she borrowed.

Bonenfant has so far paid more than $3,000 to Golden Valley and rung up more than $1,000 in overdraft fees at her bank.

The lawsuit was moving forward until Mulvaney came on board, when it was suddenly dropped.

Federal Rent-a-Bank Bill May Harm Financially Distressed Consumers (Pagosa Daily Post), Rated: A

Recently, it was announced that the U.S. House of Representatives is likely to vote, the week of February 12, on H.R. 3299, the so-called “Madden fix” bill which would preempt state interest rate caps and open the flood gates to online predatory lending. The bill is spearheaded by U.S. Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Greg Meeks (D-New York).

There are signs that some online lenders are making large numbers of loans that consumers will not have the ability to repay:

  • News reports show that delinquencies and charge-offs at marketplace lenders are rising.
  • One lender has had so many of its loans fail, that it had to repay investors for their losses in consecutive securitizations of the loans it bundled up and sold to Wall Street.
  • One online lender reportedly failed to verify a borrower’s income for a full two-thirds of its loans in 2016.
  • Moody’s credit-rating firm likens this industry to mortgage lending in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis in that “the companies that market the loans and approve them quickly sell them off to investors,” relieving themselves of the risk of the loan later going bad.
  • Many marketplace lenders make very large loans of $30,000-$50,000 or higher, and even 36% is a very high rate for such loans. Many states have tiered rate caps in recognition that interest becomes more unaffordable the larger the loan. Iowa, for example, caps interest at 21% for loans over $10,000.
United Kingdom

Funding Circle lends over £117m in January (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle has announced that it lent more than £117m last month to UK businesses.
The largest portion of funding went to businesses in the South East (22.1%), followed by companies based in London (16.2%), the Midlands (14.4%) and the South West (11.7%).
The property and construction sector received the largest part of the funding (17.6%), followed by professional and business support (13.5%) and retail (11.9%).

Referral schemes: make money from your friends and family (Love Money), Rated: B

People using peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle can net £50 if they recommend a friend or relative who goes on to lend at least £2,000.

Normally, Zopa investors can earn up to £50 if the person they recommend lends £2,000 with the platform. They’ll receive £50 too.

FSB launches new FinTech funding platform for SMEs (Tamebay), Rated: A

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a new fintech platform to provide small businesses and self-employed people with greater access to funding to help them grow and develop their enterprise..

The average amount a small business applies for from an alternative finance provider was found to be £39,000 in the survey, with equipment purchases and working capital for short-term operations or late payments being among the top reasons for businesses seeking finance.

LendInvest Announces Launch of Product Transition Process to Support Developers Throughout Their Projects (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On Monday, LendInvest announced the launch of its new process for development finance borrowers to transition seamlessly between products. According to the online lender, the Product Transition process allows existing borrowers to transfer easily between specialized loans that are tailored to support them at each stage in their development project.

Mobile banking start up Fiinu launches Seedrs crowdfunding campaign (AltFi), Rated: B

Banking start up Fiinu has today launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs,as it seeks £500k in seed funding to support its development and an application for regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

China

CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund to Invest in Automotive Financial Technology Company Fair (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

CreditEase, a Beijing-based leading FinTech conglomerate in China, announced today that its venture fund, CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund (“CEFIF”), recently joined a group of prestigious investors to support California based Fair’s strategic expansion. Other investors in this round of financing include Siemens-backed next47 global venture fund, BMW i Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners, 137 Ventures, G Squared and Upfront Ventures.

Fair is a mobile technology platform that allows customers to lease and return a car with flexible terms entirely by using a smartphone.

Why China Isn’t Worried About a Slowdown in This Lending Market (WSJ), Rated: AAA

China’s market for asset-backed securities—which bundle up car loans, mortgages, consumer loans and other receivables into bondlike products—surged in 2017, led by issuers including the financial affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and other nonbank lenders. Total issuance of such instruments, which are mostly denominated in yuan, jumped 90% to over $220 billion last year from 2016, according to S&P Global.

The country is now the world’s second-largest market for securitized assets after the U.S., where issuance reached $510 billion in 2017, it said.

In the past couple of months, however, issuance in China of securities backed by unsecured small consumer loans has slowed sharply. This came after Chinese financial regulators took steps to curb a proliferation of internet lenders making microloans, small, short-term loans that typically carry high interest rates. These small loans represent roughly 40% of all consumer loans backing asset-backed securities in the country, according to S&P.

Around $1.3 billion worth of securities backed by unsecured microloans were issued in January 2018, down from $3 billion in the same month a year ago and versus a peak monthly issuance volume of nearly $7 billion last autumn, according to data provider Wind Info.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

WeChat has permanently banned over 1000 “cash loans” mini programs which violated its verification and operation rules. Xinhuanet has reported that there were multiple mini programs about “loans” on WeChat (e.g. unsecured loans and quick loans), ranging from 200 to 100,000. Complaints about the illegal credit products reached over 1,000 on one of China’s leading complain platform Ts.21.com

Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced that it would amend the relevant regulations on virtual banks.

Official documents show that the original guidelines require that a virtual bank incorporated in Hong Kong must hold at least 50% of its shares by an officially recognized and reputable bank or financial institution. The new ordinance recommends that non-financial institutions could register an “intermediary holding company” first when setting up a virtual bank, and then use the company to controls the virtual bank. This means that the authorities in Hong Kong have lowered the entry threshold on the financial qualification of virtual bank applicants. Non-financial institutions, including technology companies, can also apply to own and operate virtual banks in Hong Kong.

This week, LähiTaksi, a Finnish taxi company from Helsinki, announced that it would soon accept Alipay payments.

European Union

Robo firms signal their advice intentions (Money Marketing), Rated: A

Robo-advisers will increasingly move towards hybrid models over the next year, combining the human touch with machine learning, experts predict.

Scalable Capital, the Europe-wide robo firm, which has received financial backing from investment giant BlackRock, has just started offering telephone and face-to-face advice for clients who want to progress beyond an initial free session.

Nutmeg and Moneyfarm have both signalled plans to move in a similar direction, while Wealthify, which saw Aviva take a majority stake last year, won’t rule out taking this step in the future.

International

The Most Important FinTech Innovations that Will Change Our Lives in the Near Future (Interesting Engineering), Rated: AAA

It is largely evident that we are looking at inevitable digital disruption in financial services. The traditional banking system is yet to see any major technological innovation in lending whereas the FinTech firms have made huge investments in the same area. China moved96% of its e-commerce sales without the services of a bank. A report by Cisco pegs the peer to peer lending volume in China at approximately $66 billion, for the US that number stands at $16.6 billion, and for the UK it is $5.4 billion. Clearly, the opportunities aren’t fictional, and technology will guide this paradigm change.

American FinTech giants include Stripe, a San Francisco based firm valued at $5 billion, Credit Karma, another Silicon Valley-based FinTech firm valued at $3 billion.

The UK lags behind the US by quite a distance, but is second overall with $5.4 billion investment in the same time frame, thus confirming its position as one of the world’s leading FinTech hubs. Its FinTech bigwigs include TransferWise, DueDil, AstroPay, GoCardless and Digital Shadows.

FT Partners Advises YapStone on its million Series C Financing Round (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

FT Partners is pleased to announce our role as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to 

Source: FT Partners

Read the full transaction profile here.

ETHLend alters terms to encourage use of its own digital currency (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

CRYPTO-BACKED peer-to-peer lending platform ETHLend has reached more than £2m of loans as it announces new incentives to encourage users to transact with its LEND token.

Borrowers can post any digital currency as collateral and loans can be made in Bitcoin or Ethereum or LEND. But ETHLend now wants more people to use the LEND token as the means of exchange so it has said anyone providing funds in LEND won’t have to pay any transaction fees.

There is also a 50 per cent discount when the LEND coin is posted by borrowers as collateral.

Australia

DirectMoney a leading ASX gainer after revealing Alceon investment (Proactive Investors), Rated: AAA

DirectMoney Ltd (ASX:DM1) is an ASX leading gainer intra-day on news of a strategic investment by alternative investment manager Alceon.

The investment comprises an initial placement of $600,000 at $0.042 per share and is equivalent to a 3.1% interest.

India

Lendingkart raises total of Rs1,129 crore after latest funding round (livemint), Rated: AAA

Rs565 crore

What is it? The amount raised in equity funding by Lendingkart Technologies, a fintech start-up that provides online loans to small businesses. The latest fund raise, announced on Monday, takes the total amount raised by the Lendingkart Group to Rs1,129 crore.

Tell me more: Lendingkart’s latest funding round was led by Singapore’s Fullerton Financial Holdings, and also saw participation by existinginvestors, namely Sistema Asia Fund, Bertelsmann India Investment, Mayfield India, India Quotient and Saama Capital.

India fintech seeking to raise at least US$ 87m to grow tech capabilities (Business Times), Rated: A

AN Indian fintech company is seeking to raise over US$87 million of equity funding to expand its technological and analytics capabilities.

Lendingkart Technologies will be doing so through series C capital-raising, with the initiative led by Singapore’s Fullerton Financial Holdings, along with participation from existing investors.

Canada

Payday Loan Use Among Heavily Indebted Borrowers On The Rise (Payment Week), Rated: AAA

Payday loan use among heavily indebted Ontarians continues to escalate, as Ontario in 2017 involve payday loans, up from 27% in 2016.

The average number of payday loans outstanding at the time of insolvency declined to 3.2 in 2017, after peaking at 3.5 loans in 2014. However, the average payday loan size in 2017 is $1,095, an increase of 12.4% from $974 in 2016.  One in ten (9%) loans are $2,500 or more, up from 6% in 2016.

The average insolvent payday loan borrower owes $3,464 in payday loans, or $1.34 for every dollar of monthly take-home pay, on top of $29,997 in other unsecured debts. They are using payday loans to keep up with existing debt repayment.

Borrowell Gives Birth To New TV Campaign (Borrowell Email), Rated: A

Borrowell is making its first major foray into television with a 30-second spot that launches today, called “Home Birth.” Created by Toronto-based agency Conflict, the commercial aims to raise awareness of Borrowell’s free credit score monitoring service.

MENA

Saudi startups have wider funding options amid huge fund volumes (Saudi Gazette), Rated: AAA

In an interview, Nawaf Al Sahhaf, CEO of Badir, said financing options for these startups include without limitation Venture Capital firms, angel investors, accelerators, and incubators in addition to new alternatives such as crowd funding or even P2P lending platforms.

Venture Capital funding is an essential piece of the startup jigsaw.

Venture Funding is unique, however in its characteristic. I define a startup as a company that is looking to receive funding from a venture capitalist. This means that they meet several basic criteria for growth 1) a strong founding team 2) a solution to a clear and identifiable problem 3) a clear path to monetization and most important 4) a scalable product that has a regional if not global market.

All of these criteria are essential to be eligible for Venture Funding. Many of these criteria may not be applicable or sufficient for alternative funding channels including debt, bank funding or grants.

UAE ranked third for Islamic Fintech start-ups (Gulf Today), Rated: A

The UAE is ranked third in an analysis of Islamic Fintech start-ups, according to a survey by Bloomberg Intelligence, issued today. Malaysia and the United Kingdom are ranked first and second.

Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing could be a game-changer in Islamic finance, it suggests, giving wider reach and potential to close the gap for small and medium enterprises, SMEs, which generated about 60 per cent of UAE GDP in 2014, with Dubai’s regulator introducing the first tailored regulation for crowdfunding in the GCC.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday October 6 2017, Daily News Digest

China mortgage loans

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi surpasses $25B in originations. JPMorgan Chase rolls out mobile banking app. ID Analytics has 85% visibility into online consumer lending. Zopa prices new securitization. Fannie Mae expands digital mortgage platform. SEC investigated Bank of Internet. China’s cash loan market hits 1 trillion RMB. Lendified secures $60M credit facility. Facebook, Clearbanc partner on merchant cash advance. Today’s main […]

China mortgage loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Canada

News Summary

United States

A new milestone: we’ve surpassed $ 25b in loan originations! (@SoFi on Twitter), Rated: AAA

Thank you to our community of over 390,000 people for growing with us.

Will JPM’s millennial-app experiment grant access to new markets? (American Banker), Rated: AAA

JPMorgan Chase spent more than a year researching what millennials (and clients wanting to bank like them) desire in a financial relationship. The result is a new mobile-only app that lets people sign up for a bank account within minutes and also helps manage their spending.

The megabank made a splash on Monday debuting Finn by Chase, an app that includes a checking and savings account and a physical debit card.

ID Analytics Now Has 85% Visibility Into Online Consumer Lending (deBanked), Rated: AAA

At Money2020, deBanked caught up with Kevin King, Director of Product Marketing and Ken Meiser, VP of Identity Solutions for ID Analytics. The last time I crossed paths with the company was six months ago at the LendIt Conference in New York City. Since then, the company has increased its visibility into the online consumer lending market to 85%.

Fannie Mae goes all-out on fintech collaborations (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Fannie Mae, a US government agency that funds mortgages for lenders, rolled out 

92.3% of acceptance partners said Behalf increased their sales 10-20% (Behalf), Rated: AAA

Behalf’s merchant acceptance partners have found a way to apply Amazon’s small business strategies to their own business models. By adding the Behalf instant credit approval tool to their ecommerce experience, they also unlock the power of flexible terms on every sale. Customers of our partners can get instant access to up to $50,000 in buying power with their choice of flexible payment terms. With this boost in working capital, small businesses are able to invest in their growth, which increases their business purchasing velocity. Case in point: 92.3% of the Behalf acceptance partners surveyed reported that adding Behalf to their checkout experience drove a 10-20% sales lift.

Source: Behalf

Download and read the full whitepaper here.

Bank of Internet was under 16-month SEC investigation (New York Post), Rated: AAA

Online lender Bank of Internet was the subject of a formal 16-month Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, according to a report.

The company, led by Chief Executive Greg Garrabrants, was the subject of scrutiny until June — when it ceased without the SEC taking any action.

The probe was focused on alleged conflicts of interests, auditing practices, and loans made to two entities, according to subpoenas and government documents obtained by Probes Reporter, a publisher of investment research.

Wealthier Depositors Pressure Banks to Pay Up (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Large U.S. banks are starting to pay up to keep depositors from moving their money, saying customers are becoming increasingly demanding as the stronger economy nudges interest rates higher.

The average interest rate paid by the biggest U.S. banks on interest-bearing deposits jumped to 0.40% in the third quarter, the highest level since 2012 and the biggest quarterly increase this year, from 0.34% in the second quarter, according to Autonomous Research.

Bank executives said that the newest pressure for higher rates is coming primarily from wealth-management customers, typically well-to-do individuals and families who deposit cash as part of their investment accounts.

Fifth Third executives said they were raising deposit rates for some of those customers, particularly those who had other relationships with the bank.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

FT Partners Advises Credit Sesame on its ,000,000 Growth Financing (FT Partners), Rated: A

  • On October 25, 2017, Credit Sesame announced it has raised over $42 million in equity and venture debt
    • The funding comes from existing and new investors including Menlo Ventures, Inventus Capital, Globespan Capital, IA Capital, SF Capital, among others, along with a strategic investor
  • The $42 million in funding is comprised of $26.6 million in equity and $15.5 million in venture debt, bringing the Company’s total funding to over $77 million
  • Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, Credit Sesame was founded in 2011 and has provided credit and loan management tools to over 12 million members
    • The mobile and web solution provides consumers with tools to build a path to achieve financial wellness, including free access to their credit profile complete with their credit score, credit report grades, credit monitoring, interactive step-by-step tools and recommendations for better lending options
Source: FT Partners

 

The 13 Chinese Companies That Listed On US Stock Exchanges In 2017 (Frontera), Rated: A

With about $2.4 billion raised in IPOs on US exchanges by Chinese companies so far this year, other China-based firms are increasingly vying for US investors and exchanges.

Qudian Inc (QD)

On October 18, Chinese online micro-credit provider Qudian Inc listed on the NYSE, raising $900 million in an IPO that was priced at $24, in the biggest ever US listing by a Chinese fintech firm. The financial sector firm’s stock, trading under the symbol QD, closed at $33 as of October 23. The stock commands a market capitalization of $8.8 billion in the US stock market.

Year-end Forward P/E for the depository receipt is estimated at 21.47. Estimated earnings-per-share stand at $8.21.

China Internet Nationwide Financial Services (CIFS)

This Beijing-based financial sector firm, trades under the ticker CIFS on the NASDAQ GM stock exchange, is engaged in providing financial advisory services in China. The company’s stock listed on the US stock market on August 8 at an initial offer price of $10 a share, raising $20.2 million for the company. The stock, trading at $31.5 (as of October 23rd), commands a market capitalization of $693 million in the US stock market.

China Rapid Finance Ltd (XRF)

Listed since April 28th on the NYSE stock market, China Rapid Finance Limited operates one of China’s largest online consumer lending marketplaces.  The company caters well to China’s 500 million EMMAs (Emerging Middle-class Mobile Active consumers), and has facilitated over 20 million loans to more than 2.7 million borrowers. Back in April, the company raised $69 million in an IPO, marking its listing on the US stock exchange under the ticker XRF. The shares initially offered at $6 a share, and now trade at $9.06 (as of October 23) with a market capitalization of $586.2 million.

Source: Frontera

Leading Banks are Embracing Digital Strategies More Than Ever (Lend Academy), Rated: A

JPMorgan was the first major US bank to partner with a fintech company when they launched their small business lending partnership with OnDeck in early 2016. That partnership was renewed earlier this year and has helped the bank to offer a seamless small business lending experience and reach customers it might not have otherwise. In recent months they have struck a new partnership with Mosaic Smart Data to help the slumping fixed income trading revenues and they have also completed an acquisition of WePay, a Silicon Valley company that offers payment capabilities to business platforms using APIs. Finally, just this week they launched Finn by Chase, an app aimed at millennials that allows people to use a phone to open a bank account, make deposits, issue checks, track spending and set up savings plans.

Bank of America saw more than 1 million users added to their digital channels and active digital banking users go from 32.8 million to 34.5 million in the last year. The main driver of this growth was through their mobile app. Customers are using the mobile deposit feature more than any other, mobile deposits now account for 21 percent of total bank deposits.

Wells Fargo’s digital growth, which includes web based and mobile users, saw a 2 percent increase from 2016. Branch and ATM interactions were down 6 percent while digital sessions through the web and mobile app increased 6 percent.

Citi is the first global bank to integrate banking, money movement and wealth management on mobile.

How Tech is Changing Multifamily Lending (Multi-Housing News), Rated: A

“Technology has helped us bring efficiency, speed and first-rate customer service to the small-loan space for all of our stakeholders, borrowers and brokers alike,” said Bonnie Habyan, executive vice president, marketing, at Arbor. Small-balance owners and operators need to work long hours to be successful, and the time and paperwork dedicated to obtaining financing is an inefficient use of time. Online multifamily financing platforms such as Arbor LoanExpress, or ALEX, address this by providing the ability to e-sign and upload documents.

“Crowdfunding was originally created to give average investors access to investments they normally wouldn’t have access to, and to give sponsors or borrowers easier access to capital,”said Bill Lanting, vice president, Commercial Debt at RealtyShares. “We were formed specifically with that idea in mind, to make borrowing easier and less cumbersome, and also to make investments in assets more available to everybody.”

AutoGravity Announces Partnership With Global Lending Services (PR Newswire), Rated: A

AutoGravity, a FinTech pioneer on a mission to transform car financing by harnessing the power of the smartphone, announced a partnership with Global Lending Services LLC, a South Carolina-based auto finance company, to provide access to finance offers through the innovative AutoGravity digital platform. Qualified car buyers gain access to an even broader set of car finance options through the AutoGravity iOS, Android and Web Apps.

Can employers help solve the student debt problem? (HRDive), Rated: A

The good news about student loans is that they allow millions of people to earn college degrees who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them. The bad news is that college graduates enter the workforce deeply mired in debt that deflates their net worth and keeps them cash-strapped for years, if not decades. The current wave of college graduates is facing debt in amounts far above previous generations.

Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm, sets the median figure for an undergraduate degree at more than $25,000. That figure rises with each advanced degree. Graduates with MBAs enter the workforce with a median debt of $45,000. Medical school graduates can expect to be $200,000 in debt.

Debt repayments for the typical college graduate will amount to $265 a month and for medical school graduates, $1,600 a month.

Target.com Introduces GiftNow (PYMNTS), Rated: B

Target announced that, starting this November, the retailer will integrate a wallet function in its Target mobile app. The purpose, says the retailer, is to allow customers to pay for purchases and redeem promotions through the use of a smartphone.

Legendary Investor Jim Rogers Believes FinTech Will Replace Banks and Cash (Cryptocoins News), Rated: B

Veteran investor Jim Rogers believes that banks must invest in the financial technology (fintech) space or they face being replaced.

According to the report, he has invested in Hong Kong-based ITF Corporation, the world’s first financial technology bank founded by Hui Jie Lim. Rogers has also invested in Tiger Broker, a Chinese online brokerage.

He also believes that digital currencies could change how we see money in the next 10 to 20 years. Even though he hasn’t invested in the crypto market Rogers is of the opinion that governments could issue their own cryptocurrencies in the future.

United Kingdom

New Zopa securitisation priced, highlights market confidence (AltFi), Rated: AAA

A securitisation of loans originated by peer-to-peer lending firm Zopa has received a warm reception in the market. The deal, which is the second securitisation of Zopa loans, has been priced significantly tighter than last year’s transaction.

The securitisation was led by P2P Global Investments PLC, the first UK listed investment trust to dedicate itself to investing in marketplace loans, and was arranged by Deutsche Bank. The most senior class of notes was priced at 70bps over one month Libor, compared to 145bps last year.

The senior tranche of the £209m securitisation, which represents 80 per cent of the portfolio, was rated AA by Moody’s.

Using the secondary market for above average returns on investment (P2P Banking), Rated: AAA

One central piece to understanding why trading (or flipping) strategies can be highly attractive is the effect of even small premiums pocketed on the portfolio yield. Take an investor that invests into a 100 (whatever currency) loan part and sells that part for 100.40 after holding it for 5 days. That is only a 0.4% premium, but the annualized yield is 33.8%.

Two main strategy approaches

Investors can
A) Invest on the primary market and then sell the loan later on the secondary market
or
B) Buy loan parts on the secondary market which they deem underpriced and then sell at a higher price. Be it buying at discount and selling at a lower discount, or already buying at premium and selling at an even higher premium.

One important point, is that market conditions change, usually good opportunities will stop working after a few months or weeks either because too many investors try to use them, or more general  the demand/supply ratio changes or the marketplace itself changes the rules how the market functions.

  1. First an investor will want to look how loan information is presented on the primary and secondary market.
  2. Understand the allocation mechanism on the primary market. How does the autoinvest feature work exactly?
  3. When is interest paid? Does it accrue for each of the day held, or does the investor holding the loan at the date of the interest payment gets full interest credited. This is important, because if in the example at the start of the article the investor not only makes a 0.40 capital gain but also collects interest for the 5 days he held the part, it will have a huge impact on yield
  4. Usually for this strategy longer duration loans are more attractive.
  5. Usually smaller loans are more attractive.
  6. Usually the time span a trading investor wants to hold on to a loan part, will be as short as possible (days). However there might be patterns observed where it could be desirable to hold for longer time spans.
  7. Strategies that allow to hold parts only at a time when the status of a loan cannot change can be attractive.

Monzo and Starling take bigger steps towards payment integration (AltFi), Rated: A

Monzo has announced today, after a week of dropping hints on various Twitter accounts, that it plans to integrate Android Pay into its user interface for current account users.

A few hours earlier, Starling Bank confirmed this morning that it will be the first bank in the UK to connect with Fitbit Pay.

Case study: the technology behind P2P (Banking Technology), Rated: A

The UK peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market has flourished in the last decade. Lending volumes among the major platforms are increasing rapidly, pushing the cumulative total above £7 billion for the first time, as the understanding of the investment model continues to grow.

New technology architectures, as well as the ability to quickly run up minimal viable products, mean that emerging P2P companies can turn ideas into reality much faster than their larger counterparts (“fail fast” or as I like to call it, “test quickly”).

This prioritisation of speed and efficiency, coupled with the ability to focus, means that P2P lenders can zero in on specific problems and provide what customers want and are increasingly expecting. At Landbay we can bring a new micro service up from scratch in 20 minutes, with the lag for code from committing to going live being about six to eight minutes whilst still maintaining the up time required.

Brokers should consider the P2P option (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

As the alternative finance market has become saturated with different funding options, it can be difficult for brokers to determine the best solution to suit their clients’ needs.

Loans can also be tailored to fit the specific needs of customers, with fixed rates available to allow customers to budget effectively for the full term of the loan. The flexibility of loans means borrowers can cover unexpected costs or finance planned purchases at more affordable rates, meaning P2P finance is a great option when situations happen to change at a company.

Whilst 25% of borrowers that apply to banks have their loan application rejected, according to British Business Bank, other forms of lending have paved the way for businesses to obtain cash, with P2P lending becoming one of the most prominent solutions in the current market.

Open letter to Andrew Bailey, chief executive of FCA (Specialist Banking), Rated: A

Dear Andrew, your comments on the BBC on Monday 16th October reflect the concerns that many share with the FCA about the effect of the high cost of credit impacting society widely and, in particular, the young.You cited concerns about certain aspects of credit card and payday lending practices, but you did not pass comment on the retail banks and their provision of overdraft credit at rates that may well exceed the rates of payday and credit card loans.It should be noted that at 1p per day for every £7 of overdraft, the fees for an overdraft of, for example, £2,000 pa, are in excess of 50% interest, uncompounded. This is certainly higher than many credit cards.Alex Letts
Founder and chief unbanking officer, U
China

Chinese Cash loan market grown to 1 trillion RMB in one year (Xing Ping She), Rated: AAA

Cash loan originated from the payday loan in America, and accelerated in China. In less than one year, the total volume increased from 600 billion RMB to 1 trillion RMB. As a branch of consumer finance, cash loan developed rapidly as much as P2P lending industry.

Early in this April, the regulator issued the first order to clean up the “cash loans”,while after six months the trend of compliance in the field is still unclear. Recently, with several relative businesses coming to the U.S. for IPO, the critical voice on the profiteering of cash loan becomes louder.

However, owing to the annual lending rate much more than the rate legal limited (36%), taking the consumer finance vents, cash loan still grow wildly under strict regulation.

Xi’s Neighborhood Watch (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Houses are for living in, not for speculation, Chinese President Xi Jinping said last week. The trouble is, fueling this speculation has been a surge in consumer lending, not only by banks but also by fintech firms such as recently listedQudian Inc.

Thanks to improved earnings and corporate debt that’s souring at a slower rate, Chinese bank shares have rallied this year.

Source: Bloomberg

What investors may be ignoring at their peril, however, is the spike in household advances. Consisting of mortgages, credit-card debt and auto loans, consumer lending as a share of the total is relatively low. Only 400 million Chinese had personal loans in 2016, or about 29 percent of the population. The ratio in the U.S. is about 82 percent, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. But it’s been growing fast and even People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan is worried. China’s household debt-to-GDP ratio reached 47 percent in the first half, according to a recent Citigroup Inc. report.

Source: Bloomberg

Ali Microcredit Ltd. made 2.6 billion RMB in first half, exceeding 14 public banks (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

In the first half year of 2017, Chongqing Ali Microcredit Ltd. has made the revenue of 3.97 billion RMB, which increased 100 million RMB compared to the 3.86 billion RMB of 2016. The company’s net profit was 2.644 billion RMB, in a growth of about 700 million RMB from the end of 2016.

As one of the Ant Financial eco-system, Ali Microcredit takes the business of credit loan (Ant Jiebei). Therefore, Ali Microcredit is already the industry leader in the consumer finance field. Even compared to the listed banks, Ali Microcredit’s profit data can defeat many of them. Take the first half year for example, the company profit exceeded 14 of all the 38 listed banks in stock exchange of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, including Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank (01551.HK, profit of 2.639 billion RMB), Bank of Tianjin(01578.HK,profit of 2.62 billion RMB), Bank of Hangzhou(600926.SH, profit of 2.53 billion RMB),etc.

Cash loan controversy (Global Times), Rated: A

Chinese people are becoming more and more willing to spend. But if they don’t have money, they borrow. This ever-growing phenomenon has recently thrown cash loans, also known as fast loans, right under the public spotlight.

Han, a 26-year-old white-collar worker in Shanghai, who preferred only to give her surname, borrowed a 6-month loan of 10,000 yuan ($1505.53) from Mayi Jiebei, the online cash loan service provided by e-commerce giant Alibaba’s subsidiary Ant Financial, at the end of September.

When borrowing the money, Han was informed by Mayi Jiebei that she will need to pay a monthly interest rate of slightly more than 100 yuan. In total, Han will need to pay an interest rate of 637 yuan to the provider.

Currently, the entire cash loan market is worth between 600 billion yuan and 1 trillion yuan, the wdzj.com report showed.

LendingClub of China: World’s no.2 economy is a fintech haven (MSN), Rated: A

China provides the infrastructure for financial technology to succeed, such as clearly-defined laws and good internet penetration, says Soul Htite, Dianrong CEO.
Watch the video interview here.

China Rapid Finance names Zhou Ji’an a non-executive independent director (Bankless Times), Rated: B

China Rapid Finance has named Zhou Ji’an a non-executive independent director. He becomes the seventh member of a board that includes former executives of Hewlett Packard, McKinsey & Company, Morgan Stanley, and UBS.

Mr. Zhou is the executive director and general manager of China United SME Guarantee Corporation aka Sino Guarantee. He previously served in senior roles with China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, and China Life Insurance Co . and is a senior scholar of the Eisenhower Fellowships, an international nonprofit leadership corporation.

European Union

ECN Convention Debates Technology & Cross-border Future in EU Alternative Finance & Crowdfunding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Two main topics of the 6th Annual Convention of the European Crowdfunding Network (ECN) on October 19th and 20th were technology innovation and cross-border finance.

To retain their lead in innovation over banks and traditional finance’s Fintech, startups must keep delivering greater customer orientation and execution efficiency. The success of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is a clear signal, and a red flag, that there exist gaps in technology and cross-border funding that finance has not filled.

Cross-border alternative finance is still hampered by the fragmentation of the European Union (EU) regulation at many levels: Not only do crowdfunding and crowdlending regulation differ from one country to the next, but so do investor taxation and corporate law.

Ingi Sigurdsson, CEO, Karolina Engine, claimed that artificial intelligence enables the platform to predict the success of crowdfunding campaigns with 80% accuracy. Mads Dalsgaar CMO, Funderbeam, explained how Funderbeam uses Bitcoin’s blockchain to register, clear and settle the trading of private companies’ shares. For Rein Ojavere, CFO of Bondora, technology enables his lending platform to “cut through the layers of fat” of multiple investment intermediaries. In the same vein, Lasse Mäkelä, CEO of Invesdor, called his company a “digital investment bank.”

Umberto Piattelli of law firm Osborne Clarke summarized the conclusion of ECN’s updated complete review of national crowdfunding and crowdlending regulations in 29 countries. He stressed the strong correlation between the growth of alternative finance and effective crowdfunding regulation. Only 11 out of the 28 EU markets researched have published specific regulations for crowdfunding and crowdlending. These markets have taken off rapidly after the issuing of such regulations.

Tink secures investment and bank partners as it plans European expansion (Banking Technology), Rated: A

Swedish fintech company Tink has signed with Nordic banks NordeaKlarna and Nordnet. Integrating in 2018, the banks will use Tink’s payment technology and personal finance management (PFM) platform within their existing customer channels.

In addition to the partnership agreements, SEB, Nordea, Nordnet, ABN Amro, Creades and Sunstone has invested €14 million in Tink.

International

DTCC: HOW TO THINK ABOUT FINTECH (All About Alpha), Rated: A

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a provider of clearance, settlement, and a wide range of other services to the financial markets, has issued a new white paper on technological innovations and the disruptions fintech may generate.

By “core banking functions,” (1) the authors of the white paper have in mind credit, liquidity, and maturity transformation. The banks have more institutional experience handling these functions than upstart fintech firms and, to the extent the latter take over the core functions of the former, there may be reason to worry. Likewise, the fragmentation (2) of “the creation and delivery of financial services across additional providers and platforms” could cause errors and inefficiencies. And (3) if certain players could become too good at delivering these services in this way, they could pose systemic risks.

Source: DTCC

Read the full report here.

The Importance of Fintech Spreads Across the Financial Industry (PR Newswire), Rated: A

A research report by Transparency Market Research, predicts that the global peer-to-peer (P2P) market lending valuation will reach US$897.85 billion by 2024, as it expands at a significant CAGR of 48.2% from 2016 to 2024.

Dragon Victory International Limited (NASDAQ:  LYL) announced today that, the Company has entered into a Strategic Cooperation Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Shenzhen 708090 Investment and Development Co., Ltd (“708090”), a leading provider of shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses, to promote incubation services.

On October 24th, Fiserv announced that Regions Bank will expand their digital money movement capabilities with the addition of person-to-person payment and account-to-account transfer solutions from Fiserv.

On June 15th, Yirendai announced that it was awarded the Best P2P Lending Platform in ChinaAward at The Future of Finance Summit (the “Summit”) held in Singapore. Yirendai is the first FinTech company in China to receive this prestigious reward.

Qudian Inc. (NYSE: QD) is a leading provider of online small consumer credit in China. The Company uses big data-enabled technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to transform the consumer finance experience in China. The company recently emphasizes Its collection efforts and pricing policy. The Company’s collection efforts extend to every delinquent borrower. The Company’s collection process is divided into distinct stages based on the severity of delinquency, which dictates the level of collection steps taken. As part of the major upgrade of the Company’s risk management system in January 2017, the Company has developed a machine learning algorithm to better allocate collection resources based on more detailed grouping of larger delinquency risk. Higher risk groups are allocated with more collection resources as the likelihood of their outstanding balance becoming longer-term delinquent or even uncollectable is generally higher.

Australia

ANZ BBSW penalty too low: P2P lender (InvestorDaily), Rated: A

On Tuesday, ASIC announced that it had reached a confidential in-principle settlement with ANZ resolving the dispute over alleged BBSW misconduct. Commenting on the matter, RateSetter chief executive Daniel Foggo said the corporate regulator’s activity in this area of the market bodes well for a more transparent financial system.

India

Gratification Unleashed (OutlookMoney), Rated: A

There was a time when a loan mostly meant you were going to buy a house or a car. This is not the case any longer. With changing times, now there are loans against salary advance to fund even your honeymoon. Today, there are loans available practically for every need and dream.

Take the case of the ubiquitous car loan, the advent of luxury cars has turned several car companies to offer loans that are tailored to suit customer offerings. For instance, Volkswagen Finance (India), offers financing solutions to customers for both new and pre-owned Volkswagen group vehicles (namely Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, MAN and Scania) through registered and authorised Volkswagen group dealer channels.

Yet, borrowing is not as smooth as one would expect it to be. Take for instance Mumbai-based Amit Shukla, he had to take a personal loan of Rs 5 lakh to fund his first commercial car, because a car loan did not work out the way he wanted it to work for him.

Asia

Finance: Ensuring a safe investment crowdfunding landscape (The Edge Markets), Rated: AAA

When equity and debt-based crowdfunding platforms were launched in the market, there were concerns that these vehicles could be used for money laundering. After all, investors could unknowingly fund a fraudulent company and the money could end up being misused by the issuers for their personal gain or, even worse, to fund criminal activities.

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) introduced a legal and regulatory framework for equity crowdfunding (ECF) in 2015 and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing last year to address these concerns. According to the SC’s deputy general manager Tengku Ahmad Ruzhuar Tengku Ali, the regulator views money-laundering activities to be of minimal risk on ECF and P2P platforms due to the safeguards built into their frameworks and the platform operators’ vetting process.

There have been several cases of fraud linked to investment crowdfunding. The first widely known case, involving US-based Ascenergy, came to light in 2015. The company had raised US$5 million from about 90 local and foreign investors by leveraging some of the better known crowdfunding platforms such as Fundable and EquityNet.

The SC’s approach

All six ECF operators registered in Malaysia are operational. According to Tengku Ahmad Ruzhuar, 31 issuers had successfully raised RM18.3 million on ECF platforms as at end-September, reaching 80% of their target amount.

Retail investors are allowed to invest up to RM5,000 per issuer and a total investment of RM50,000 within a 12-month period. Angel investors registered with the Malaysian Business Angel Network can invest up to RM500,000 while there are no restrictions for sophisticated investors.

Issuers are able to keep the funds raised if they reach a minimum of 80% of the target amount, but they are not allowed to raise multiple funds for the same purpose.

Canada

Canadian Small Business Lender Lendified Secures $ 60 Million Credit Facility From ClearFlow (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Lendified, a Canada-based lender who provides small business loans online has entered into an agreement with ClearFlow Commercial Finance to increase its lending capacity. According to the lending platform, through the agreement, ClearFlow is providing it with a $60 million credit facility to fund loans delivered through its website.

Facebook teams up with Clearbanc to offer cash advances to business (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Small businesses advertising on Facebook can now get their hands on up to half a million dollars in growth capital, in the latest example of an online platform moving into territory historically dominated by bricks-and-mortar banks.

The social network has been trialling a scheme in partnership with Clearbanc, a Toronto-based firm, since February. Under the scheme, known as “Chrged,” customers connect their Facebook Ads account and their payment processor with Clearbanc, which then makes an offer.

Funds are not loans but merchant cash advances, giving Clearbanc the right to a certain portion of revenues flowing through the customer’s account until it gets its money back, plus a fee, typically of 5-10 per cent. The fee is set by analysing daily cash flows to determine the customer’s ability to repay.

About 1,000 small-business owners have so far taken up an offer.

MONEYTREE Q3 REPORT: STRONG AI AND FINTECH FUNDING PUSHING 2017 BACK ON TRACK (Betakit), Rated: A

According to CB Insights and PwC’s Canada’s latest MoneyTree report, 2017’s sluggish start may transform into a podium finish by year’s end.

The report, which tracks VC activity in Canada for Q3 2017, indicates that Canada could exceed $2.5 billion ($2 billion USD) across more than 300 deals for the year. The result would match or surpass activity from last year, when a total of $2.2 billion USD was invested, and 2016, which fell just below the $2 billion USD threshold.

Source: Betakit

Seed-stage deals accounted for 32 percent of deals in Q3 2017, a 19 percent drop from 51 percent of all deals in Q2 2017. However, early-stage and expansion-stage deals increased to 27 percent and 21 percent of deal share, respectively. Expansion-stage deals climbed to an eight-quarter high in Q3 — a strong contrast from past quarters where seed-stage deals were the most prominent, and perhaps a sign of a more robust investment ecosystem.

FinTech was another notably strong sector, as Canadian FinTech companies have received $252 million ($200 million USD) across 27 deals. This year is on pace to see $341 million ($270 million USD) invested across over 30 deals, on par with last year’s figure of $351 million ($278 million USD).

Source: Betakit

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday July 25 2017, Daily News Digest

SEC enforcement results

News Comments Today’s main news: ICBA letter opposing SoFi as a bank. Moody’s upgrades 7 Prosper ABS MPL tranches. UBS invests in iCapital Network. TenX processes Bitcoin with Visa transactions. BNI Europa reaches profitability. Today’s main analysis: SEC focus on capital formation, enforcement in direct lending. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Will U.S. banks dominate consumer lending again? China needs a bigger […]

SEC enforcement results

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Asia

News Summary

United States

Here is the Letter by the ICBA Slamming SoFi’s Effort to Become a Bank (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Last week, the Independent Community Bankers of America  (ICBA) sent a letter to the attention of Kathy Moe, Regional Director of the FDIC in San Francisco. The subject of the letter was the ICBA’s vehement opposition to Fintech darling SoFi’s effort to become a licensed bank.

The ICBA asked that Congress close the alleged “ILC loophole” because it not only threatens the financial system but creates an uneven playing field for community banks.

Read the full letter here.

SEC Focus on Capital Formation & Enforcement, and What it Means for Direct Lending (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

What might a focus on the SEC’s capital formation mandate mean for investors?

  • Retail investors may have greater access to alternative investments typically reserved for accredited investors. For instance, Piwowar questioned the premise of a distinction between accredited vs. non-accredited investors.
  • Small businesses may see a reduction in disclosure obligations to encourage small businesses to tap the public capital markets. SEC Chair Clayton identified the reduction of US IPOs (in the wake of SOX and post-Enron regulations) as a serious issue.
  • ABS investors may have a reduction in the disclosure and liability requirements for publicly registered securitizations. ABS issuance has shifted to Rule 144A private placements – in fact 100% of deals in the marketplace lending market are privately placed – in part, due to the higher disclosure and attestation burdens for public deals.

SEC Enforcement Actions & Investor Protection

After the late-2008 Madoff scandal, the SEC dialed up enforcement activities with the goal of improving investor confidence and market integrity.

Not surprisingly, enforcement actions on direct lending strategies has increased substantially as the sector continues to grow. (We refer reader’s to Harvard Law School’s SEC Enforcement Actions Against Investment Advisors for more information.)

Direct Lending is Prone to Valuation Negligence

A pool of unsecured personal loans may contain thousands of loans with differing and constantly shifting loan and borrower attributes. Unlike, say, a CMBS transaction where a valuation agent can visit a property, speak to an owner, and evaluate a tenant – the sheer volume of hundreds of thousands of loans requires advanced analytics to value a portfolio.

Below we share below our principles for valuation:

  • Transparency: A well-documented valuation methodology, with clear exposition of prepayment, default, credit spread, and other assumptions.
  • Auditable: A repeatable and testable valuation framework.
  • Fair value: Fair value based on a consistent modeling framework that factors in both unobservable and observable valuation inputs from similar assets or adjacent capital markets.
  • Accounts for major risk factors: The pricing framework accounts for risk factors including default risk, prepayment risk, and credit spread risk.
  • Forward looking: Loan valuations must be driven off of expected future cashflows, where cashflows are a function of the borrower’s current credit attributes, macro conditions, payment performance, and seasoning.
  • Loan-level: The pricing framework operates on a loan-level to address granularity in credit risk of loan rather than coarse replines.

Moody’s upgrades seven tranches from four Prosper marketplace lending ABS securitizations (Moody’s), Rated: AAA

The complete rating actions are as follows:

  • Issuer: Citi Held For Asset Issuance 2015-PM1
    • Class B Notes, Upgraded to A1 (sf); previously on Aug 6, 2015 Definitive Rating Assigned Baa3 (sf)
    • Class C Notes, Upgraded to Ba2 (sf); previously on Jul 14, 2016 Confirmed at Ba3 (sf)
  • Issuer: Citi Held For Asset Issuance 2015-PM2
    • Class B Notes, Upgraded to A1 (sf); previously on Oct 23, 2015 Definitive Rating Assigned Baa3 (sf)
    • Class C Notes, Upgraded to Ba2 (sf); previously on Jul 14, 2016 Confirmed at Ba3 (sf)
  • Issuer: Citi Held For Asset Issuance 2015-PM3
    • Class B Notes, Upgraded to A1 (sf); previously on Dec 18, 2015 Definitive Rating Assigned Baa3 (sf)
    • Class C Notes, Upgraded to Ba2 (sf); previously on Jul 14, 2016 Confirmed at Ba3 (sf)
  • Issuer: Consumer Credit Origination Loan Trust 2015-1
    • Class B Notes, Upgraded to A1 (sf); previously on Feb 11, 2016 Upgraded to Ba2 (sf)

Will banks in the US dominate consumer lending once again? (AltFi), Rated: AAA

SunTrust Bank is an interesting case in point. They are a large 125-year-old bank headquartered in Atlanta. They had total assets on their balance sheet of $204 billion as of December 31, 2016 which makes them a top 25 bank in the US.

From our perspective, what is most interesting about SunTrust is they have an online consumer lending platform. They actually acquired a small online lending platform called FirstAgain a few years ago and relaunched it as LightStream in 2013. They are starting to get some real traction, having done $1.5 billion in loans in 2015 and over $2.3 billion in 2016. Their average interest rate is lower than the marketplace lenders and their biggest categories are auto lending and home improvement.

Discover Bank is most well known in the US for their credit cards but they also have a robust personal loan business. In 2016 they originated $4 billion in new personal loans making them the second largest online lender in the category behind Lending Club. Unlike Lightstream, Discover’s personal loans are focused on debt consolidation so they are going directly after Lending Club and Prosper in this space. I find this a curious decision given that they have a $62 billion dollar credit card loan book (as of December 31, 2016).

The four biggest US banks are still mostly on the sidelines

JPMorgan Chase is the largest credit card issuer in the US with $142 billion in balances outstanding. Possibly because of their dominance in credit cards, they do not offer a personal loan product beyond student loans and a Home Equity Line of Credit.

Bank of America is very much like Chase in their offerings towards personal loans – they offer home equity loans and student loans. Nowhere on their website can you find an offering for personal loans.

Even though Citi is the second largest credit card issuer it does actually offer personal loans. You can apply on Citi’s website for a personal loan up to $30,000 (up to $50,000 if you apply by phone). Rates range from 7.99% to 17.99%.

Robo giant Betterment raises m in new funding round (AltFi), Rated: A

Robo-advice giant Betterment continues to grow. The platform raised a $70m (£54m) funding round, an extension of last year’s Series E.

The firm has raised nearly $300m in total since it was founded in 2008, as some question the business model of robo-advisers. The company was valued at $700m in 2016.

The funding round was led by Swedish investment company Kinnevik and included investments from Bassemer Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures and Francisco Partners.

PayPal to partner with JPMorgan (Reuters), Rated: A

PayPal Inc (PYPL.O) said on Thursday it would partner with JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), allowing the bank’s customers to link their Chase Pay and PayPal accounts.

Fintech faithful put payments on a pedestal (Reuters), Rated: A

Fintech’s faithful are putting payments on a pedestal. Square and PayPal shares are near all-time highs – as are those of venerable outfits like Visa, MasterCard and First Data. They’re each chasing what could be a $2.3 trillion revenue business by 2019, according to McKinsey. But they can’t all be winners.

Privately held Stripe kicked off the frenzy last November when it raised $150 million in its fourth funding round. That doubled to $9.2 billion the valuation of the seven-year-old company, which builds software to allow companies to quickly set up and track digital payments.

Quarterly InsurTech Briefing Q2 2017 (CB Insights), Rated: A

In this report we focus on one of the insurance industry value chain’s most underestimated modules – claims management. It is a $170 billion global industry currently controlled approximately 90% by incumbents. And it is booming with innovation.

Download the full report here.

Catching Up with Michael Koenitzer of Global Debt Registry (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Erin: How is GDR optimising the demand for its loan level diligence solutions?  How does the platform source partnerships?

Mike: Most online loans underwriting already undergoes some form of validation. Up until recently, however, most of the industry has relied on manual document validation — it’s taken awhile for the industry to wake up to digital data validation. That’s where we come in – we offer a more efficient and a trusted method of validation than what’s been used in the lending space in the past.

Erin: Leveraging blockchain technology is becoming integral in fintech.  Please describe GDR’s new multi-party blockchain proof of concept (POC) that is designed specifically for the online lending industry. What initial issues did/do you face and how did/do you and your team resolve them?

Mike: We see blockchain as perfectly suited to the online lending space and more specifically, the set of solutions we offer our clients, because it offers a single source of data that enables clients to access an immutable audit trail. They can see the state of a given loan across its entire lifetime and that builds confidence and trust.  The more certainty investors have, the more likely they are to invest capital in the online lending space.

Erin: Distributed ledger technology is another key fintech innovation. Why has GDR initiated partnerships with the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance and Structured Finance Industry Group (SFIG) Blockchain Task Force for its strategy development?

Mike: Both organizations are naturally aligned with our role in shaping the broader conversation around blockchain adoption and what this technology can do for the online lending sector specifically. Through the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, we’re connecting with many of the banks we’ve been working with through our portfolio of loan validation tools, and with SFIG, we’re sharing and developing best practices around securitizing those loans, working with the underwriters.

Erin: How do you see marketplace lending evolving overall?

Mike: The space is going to continue growing, but it is also going to consolidate as any industry does during the process of maturation. I also think that there will also be a reality check on how well the online lending platforms underwrote the loans and what was missed if anything in the underwriting process.  We have seen and I think we will continue to see a shift from rivalry to increased cooperation and joint ventures between traditional banks and online lenders.

MPOWER Financing Extends Student Loan Program to All 50 States Through Partnership with Bank of Lake Mills (PR Newswire), Rated: A

MPOWER Financing, an innovative fintech company and provider of educational loans to high-potential international students, has entered a new partnership with Wisconsin-based Bank of Lake Mills, which enables MPOWER Financing to offer its online lending program to students in all 50 U.S. states.

As a result, MPOWER Financing is now available to thousands more students looking to secure financing across an expanded roster of 223 universities across the nation.

MPOWER Financing is a public benefit corporation whose mission is to remove the financial barriers to higher education in the U.S. by providing the financial resources necessary for students to attend schools and complete their undergraduate or graduate studies. Founded in 2014, MPOWER Financing provides financial resources to domestic students, DACA students and international students who are often undervalued and do not fit traditional credit criteria.

Older Women Flunk Financial Literacy Quiz (Forbes), Rated: A

In a survey released today, the 2017 RICP Retirement Income Literacy Gender Differences Report, from The American College of Financial Services, only 18% of women age 60 to 75 passed. By contrast, 35% of men did (also pretty shabby, if you ask me).

Most of the women surveyed (55%) said they were extremely confident they would have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. Only a quarter of those women passed the financial literacy quiz, however.

Also, the women surveyed were less likely than the men to get financial advice and information from friends: only 27% of women consulted friends vs. 39% of men.

Some 55% of women with advisers said it is extremely important that their money pro educate them about the risks of running out of money in retirement; just 42% of men felt this way. And 60% of women said it’s important to receive education from an adviser about investment management, as opposed to only 47% of men.

S.F. real estate fintech Opendoor to expand into Florida (Biz Journals), Rated: B

The move reflects just how fast the so-called iBuyer market is expanding, as some homeowners opt for a quick sale to Opendoor or its rival OfferPad to forego the time and expense involved in a traditional home sale.

United Kingdom

How does P2P stack up against other investments? (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

But as P2P enjoys its moment in the sun, it is worth looking at how the sector stacks up against investment and savings products.

  • P2P vs Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Over the past year, the FTSE 100 has broken a number of records, ending last month 12.43 per cent higher than 30 June 2016.

While the majority of P2P platforms have not been able to beat the unusually strong performance of the FTSE 100, a few have come very close. LandlordInvest and Lendy are both offering up to 12 per cent on a variety of property loans, and Ablrate has listed asset-backed loans on its site for 14 per cent.

  • P2P vs cash ISAs

As a result, the returns offered by cash ISAs have reached historic lows. By December 2016, there was not a single cash ISA offering more than one per cent, and by May 2017, P2P platforms were noticing a surge of ISA transferswhich they credited in part to low-paying cash ISAs.

Funding Circle is offering a maximum return of 7.2 per cent on its SME loans, while Zopa is offering 6.1 per cent to Zopa Plus account holders, and RateSetter is offering five-year loans at a fixed rate of 4.6 per cent.

investUP Identifies Opportunities for P2P Lenders (Bob’s Guide), Rated: B

The peer-to-peer lending industry is maturing, with the market growing at over 30% per annum, and figures suggesting it will be worth over £5 billion by the end of 2017; as such, the sector is now regulated by the FCA.

investUP is a peer-to-peer lending aggregation platform with the ability to automatically place investments for time-conscious investors. Investors enable a lending robot, driven from criteria provided by the investor, to create a bespoke algorithm which works for them. investUP is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

China

China’s shadow banking crackdown needs a bigger stick (Enterprise Innovation), Rated: AAA

For non-bankers, shadow banking leaves this perception of illicit financial services that harms economies if not the financial services industry. The reality is that shadow banking, and the non-banks that offer the service, is a welcome source of diversification of the credit supply from the banking system, and provides healthy competition for banks. At least that is what is stated in the Global Shadow Banking Monitoring Report 2016 published by the Financial Stability Board, the Swiss-based international body that monitors and recommends on the global financial system.

Mid-tier banks bear the highest risk as WMPs now account for close to 50% of their deposits, increasing their liquidity vulnerability.

Cash loans platform-2345, realized $ 14.93million profit during the first half year. (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Cash loans platforms-2345 revealed its semi annual report last night. The revenue of the company was $159million during the first half year, increased by 127.1%.
The company’s original businesses were soft and hard ware developement. The huge increse this time due to the popular of internet finance(cash loans).

Tencent Internet insurance layout (Wall Street China), Rated: A

July 18, Taiwan Fubon gold control vice chairman Cai Mingxing said the company is working with Tencent to set up a joint venture in Shenzhen, the future of Fubon products or other company’s policy, will be in Tencent’s WeChat and other platforms. At the same time, Fubon Financial Control has received the approval of the management of robot management services, and hope that as soon as possible in the domestic launch of no one branch. This cooperation with Tencent, headquartered in Xiamen, Fubon Insurance will be through the WeChat sales insurance business.

CITIC Bank on the line of the first domestic block chain letter of credit information transmission system (01caijing.com), Rated: A

Recently, CITIC Bank on the block chain based on the domestic credit information transmission system (BCC) (BCLC) (a), which is the first time the domestic banking sector block technology will be applied to the settlement of credit. As of July 21, CITIC Bank has used BCLC to carry out real domestic letter of credit business, trading volume of more than 100 million yuan.

European Union

BNI Europa reaches profitability on its 3rd year anniversary (BNI Europa Email), Rated: AAA

Banco BNI Europa (“BNI Europa”) grew its total assets 36,7% reaching almost 500M€ in June this year. Total revenue grew 146,2% reaching 6,6M€ and the net profit was 2,7M€ allowing the bank to recover losses from 2016.

One year and half after its opening and with a new management team, the bank decided to completely change its strategy and focus on innovative products. Due to its limited resources, it also decided to create several partnerships with Fintech’s to accelerate its growth and product offering.

BNI Europa has been known for its customer centric digital platform and its attractive terms deposits and remunerated accounts. This year it launched with great success “Cereja” the reverse mortgage product for the senior consumer segment and the digital consumer credit platform “Puzzle” focused on independent workers.

The bank has also specialised in the management of alternative lending. So far, BNI Europa established twelve partnerships with European Fintech’s providing funding and credit to Banco BNI Europa across several European countries. Those credit products include consumer loans, student lending, SME medium term lending, SME revolving credit, invoice discounting and bridge lending.

Managing the fraud risk of frictionless payments (Finextra), Rated: A

Andrew Davies, VP, Global Market Strategy, Financial Crime Risk Management, Fiserv, talks about how increased speed and convenience in payments increase fraud risk, how financial institutions can address financial crime threats through technology and processes, and how firms can derive further benefits from their investment in fraud prevention – including by leveraging customer transaction information to identify new opportunities.

Watch the video interview with Davies here.

International

UBS Follows Credit Suisse Fintech Move (Finews), Rated: AAA

Zurich-based UBS has invested in New York-based fintech iCapital Network, «Crowdfund Insider» reported, without disclosing financial details of the deal.

iCapital is a digital distribution platform which provides access to private equity and hedge funds for wealthy clients and their private bankers.

UK vs. US: Liberalization of Fintech vs. More Regulation (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Based on the policies involving cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies, UK moves to liberalization of cryptocurrencies while the US looks into more regulations.

Bitcoin Foundation warns that the US is moving backwards in terms of accepting cryptocurrencies and other peer to peer banking models, which could result in the US Banking system being left behind.

Meanwhile, Britain’s new system will give fintech corporations more freedom allowing them to compete on the world stage.

FinTech and RegTech – What Next for Financial Crime’s International Standard Setter? (RUSI), Rated: A

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard-setter for anti-money laundering (AML) and counterterrorist finance (CTF), in May brought together more than 150 delegates for its most in-depth discussion to-date on FinTech and RegTech.

There are, however, potential vulnerabilities inherent in the sector. RUSI’s FinTech FinCrime Exchange (FFE), run in partnership with FINTRAIL, a financial crime risk management consultancy, presented on both the risks and opportunities observed during six months of industry engagement.

The most significant fintech acquisitions of 2017 so far (Bob’s Guide), Rated: A

According to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech report, fintech VC activity in Europe has hit a historically high level for successive quarters. In Q1 2017, global investment in fintech companies hit $3.2bn across 260 deals. Q1 2017’s total capital invested soared to $610m, which was noted as the highest tally in years.

  • Broadridge Financial Solutions acquires Message Automation: Amount undisclosed
  • First Data acquires CardConnect for $750m
  • AntFinancial buys MoneyGram for $1.2bn
  • Paypal acquires TIO Networks for $233m
  • D+H and Misys merge in $4.8bn acquisition and form Finastra
  • Mastercard closes acquisition of Vocalink for $920m
  • Worldpay agrees to $10bn acquisition by Vintav
  • Klarna acquires Billpay for $75m

Time for fintechs to shine – nominations for 2017 Fintech 100 open (BizEDGE), Rated: B

Nominations are now open for the 2017 KPMG & H2 Ventures Fintech 100, the annual list designed to recognise leading fintech innovators.

Companies or any fintech that deserve to be considered for the 2017 Fintech 100 need to be nominated by Thursday, August 31.

Asia

Singapore Startup Takes Bitcoin Into Real World With Visa (Bloomberg Technology, Rated: AAA

TenX is pitching its debit card as an instant converter of multiple digital currencies into fiat money: the dollars, yen and euros that power most everyday commerce. The company said it takes a 2 percent cut from each transaction and has received orders for more than 10,000 cards. While transactions are capped at $2,000 a year, users can apply to increase the limit if they undergo identify verification procedures.

TenX currently processes about $100,000 of transactions a month. By the end of 2018, it’s targeting $100 million in monthly transactions and a million users.

Ant Financial invests in Shanghai-based fintech startup VFinance (e27), Rated: A

Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of Alibaba, has made a strategic investment in VFinance (维金), a Shanghai-based startup providing digital financial infrastructure solutions to enterprises in China, according to VFinance’s announcement.

At a press conference on July 18, VFinance also signed strategic cooperation with MyBank (网商银行), an online bank launched by Ant Financial in 2015.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor