- Today’s main news: RateSetter surpasses $150M in loans. New York AG requests cybersecurity safeguards from Experian, TransUnion. Point72 Ventures leads AlphaFlow’s $4.1M seed round. Cross River appoints VP of Government Affairs to focus on regulatory framework. Clarity Money passes 500,000 user milestone. MarketInvoice’s losses doubled last year. Raisin expands into the UK with acquisition.
- Today’s main analysis: Millennial investors don’t know what they’re doing.
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: How and why credit unions should partner with fintechs. Tencent uses old-school finance principles. Japan’s regulatory sandbox could be bad for the U.S. Where SoftBank Vision Fund is investing.
- AlphaFlow gets $4.1M seed funding led by Point72 Ventures. AT: “AlphaFlow is leading the RIA ecosystem into the use of digital technology for portfolio management and into further specialization with its focus on real estate investments. Congratulations!”
- Millennial investors don’t know what they’re doing. AT: “Maybe not, but I admire the independent thinking this generation brings to the table.”
- Cross River appoints VP of Government Affairs. AT: “Sooner or later, the U.S. is going to have regulation that makes the right people happy. Cross River could be instrumental in making that happen.”
- Clarity Money passes 500,000 user milestone. AT: “Congratulations.”
- New York attorney general requests cybersecurity safeguards from Experian, TransUnion.
- Equifax breach has banks tightening defenses.
- What consumers need to know about the Equifax breach.
- How and why credit unions should partner with fintechs. AT: “If credit unions expect to remain competitive with banks, they will need to seek out partnerships. A good place to start is with alternative lenders.”
- Morningstar CEO advises financial advisers to embrace technology.
- Impact Housing REIT launches $35M equity crowdfunding opportunity.
- How AI apps for banks change the financial sector.
- PeerStreet named top ten startup to work for in Los Angeles.
- LendUp appoints new VP of policy, strategic engagement & impact.
- Need money fast? 4 options for small business owners.
- MarketInvoice losses doubled in 2016.
- Raisin enters UK with acquisition.
- Lendable wants to issue loans within two hours.
- Folk2Folk uses centuries-old lending principles.
- The House Crowd says investor confidence is at record high.
- FCA calls for government action on consumer debt.
- Tencent gets into old-school finance.
- Ping An Securities deploys Finastra tech.
- Ping An Bank launches intelligent investment services.
- Japan regulatory sandbox could be bad for the U.S. AT: “The U.S. needs to figure out a way to encourage innovation. Most other countries are using regulatory sandboxes, because they work.”
- Where SoftBank Vision Fund is investing. AT: “They are also considering an investment in SoFi.”
- RateSetter surpasses $150M in loans. AT: “Great milestone. Congratulations.”
- Reserve Bank of India arms a new player.
- Rubique targets 250% disbursement, 300% revenue growth.
- Buying a car? Consider these factors.
- Remittance firms should consider fintech partnerships.
- United States
- Real estate investment platform AlphaFlow picks up $ 4.1 mln seed (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA
- Another Study Confirms It – Millennial Investors Don’t Know What They Are Doing (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA
- Cross River Appoints VP of Government Affairs (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
- Clarity Money Passes 500,000 User Milestone (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
- NY AG Wants To Know About TransUnion, Experian Cybersecurity (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
- Equifax breach has banks tightening their defenses, counseling customers (Information Management), Rated: A
- The Equifax Breach: What You Need to Do Now (Parade), Rated: A
- To Survival: Listen, Learn, Repeat (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
- Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor tells advisers to embrace technology (Investment News), Rated: A
- Impact Housing REIT, LLC Launches $ 35 Million Equity Crowdfunding Opportunity Focused Housing Crisis in America (BusinessWire), Rated: A
- HOW AI APPS FOR BANKS ARE CHANGING THE FACE OF THE FINANCIAL SECTOR (TechGenix), Rated: A
- PeerStreet Named One of the Top Ten Startups to Work For in Los Angeles (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
- LendUp Appoints Jotaka Eaddy As New VP of Policy, Strategic Engagement & Impact (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
- Need Money Fast? 4 Options for Small Business Owners (Entrepreneur), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- MarketInvoice’s losses doubled in 2016 (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
- Deposit marketplace fintech enters UK via acquisition (AltFi), Rated: AAA
- Lendable: the next generation lending platform that can give borrowers a small loan within two hours (Independent), Rated: A
- Power to the people: Meet the P2P lender that uses a centuries-old way of lending (City A.M.), Rated: A
- The House Crowd Says Investor Confidence at Record High (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
- FCA’s Bailey calls for govt action on debt crisis (FT Adviser), Rated: B
- Social Media Giant Tencent Gets Into Old-School Finance (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
- Ping An Securities deploys Finastra technology to boost revenue and enter new markets (The Asset), Rated: A
- Ping An Bank launched intelligent investment services (01Caijing), Rated: A
- Japan wants to roll back regulations for financial technology startups — here’s why it could be bad for the US (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
- Where the huge SoftBank-Saudi tech fund is investing (Money), Rated: AAA
- P2P lender surpasses $ 150m in loans (Broker News), Rated: AAA
- In Game Of Loans, RBI Arms A New Player (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
- Loan marketplace Rubique targetting 250 pct growth in disbursement, 300 pct in revenue (Financial Express), Rated: A
- Buying a car this festive season? Consider these factors when comparing car loans (India Times), Rated: A
- Remittance firms should consider fintech start-ups as partners rather than competitors (The National), Rated: A
- Used-car dealer taps fintech for one-stop ease (SGSME.sg), Rated: A
- KoinWorks launches new programme with Binus Online Learning (Digital News Asia), Rated: A
- How technology is changing equity trading (The Asset), Rated: A
Real estate investment platform AlphaFlow picks up $ 4.1 mln seed (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA
AlphaFlow, an automated alternative investment platform for real estate, announced today the closing of a $4.1 million seed round funding, led by Resolute Ventures and Point72 Ventures, the venture capital arm of Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management. Other investment partners include Upside Partnership, Social Capital, Y Combinator, Clocktower Technology Ventures, an affiliate of Drobny Capital, Red Swan Ventures, and more.
AlphaFlow’s seed round comes two years after the company was established by CEO and former RealtyShares Co-Founder, Ray Sturm. AlphaFlow plans to use the funding to continue scaling successful partnerships with lenders and investors, both accredited individuals and investment managers.
AlphaFlow Optimized Portfolios are available for investment professionals such as endowments, pension funds, RIAs, and wealth managers, as well as by independent investors seeking uncorrelated returns through short‐term, higher‐yielding real estate loans backed by properties.
To date, AlphaFlow’s flagship product, AlphaFlow Optimized Portfolios, boasts broad diversification across hundreds of loans in 29 states, average LTV of 72%, and target net returns between 8 to 10%. With this seed round funding, AlphaFlow intends to continue to innovate in the application of sophisticated finance mechanisms to scale within the investment industry.
Another Study Confirms It – Millennial Investors Don’t Know What They Are Doing (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA
Millennial investors are woefully underprepared for the next financial crisis according to a survey conducted by online real estate crowdfunding service Fundrise.
The Fundrise survey suggests that 67.2% of millennial investors are not prepared for the next crisis, and 47.1% feel that there is nothing that they can do to prepare for it. With 83 million millennials in the US holding an average of $75,500 in assets, this means the largest generation is at risk of losing $3.1 trillion in the next financial crisis assuming a repeat of the 50% drawdown seen last time around.
According to an annual study by Charles Schwab, 56% of millennial investors say ETFs are their investment of choice, compared to only 23% of seniors.
77.8% of respondents said that they had no interest in investing outside of the stock market while 42% of millennials surveyed said that they did not know whether it was important to invest outside of the stock market.
Cross River Appoints VP of Government Affairs (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
Cross River, the financial services organization that merges the established expertise of a bank with the innovation and product offering of a technology company, announced today the appointment of Phil Goldfeder as VP of Government Affairs. Goldfeder will lead a team at Cross River working with regulatory agencies and policy makers in Washington, D.C., as well as state governments across the U.S., to implement appropriate regulatory frameworks that will encourage innovation while ensuring consumer protection.
Clarity Money Passes 500,000 User Milestone (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
Clarity Money, the personal finance app that acts as the “Champion of your Money,” today announced that it reached 500,000 users on September 4, 2017, less than seven months after launching on iOS.
This milestone builds upon Clarity Money’s tremendous momentum in 2017, which has included:
- Two successful rounds of funding, from noted investors such as Citi Ventures and Soros Capital
- A nomination for the 21st Annual Webby Awards in the financial and banking services categories for mobile apps
- Being a featured personal finance app on the Apple App Store and debuting as Apple’s #1 app under “New Apps We Love” in the Apple Store days after launching
NY AG Wants To Know About TransUnion, Experian Cybersecurity (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
TransUnion and Experian, two of The Big Three credit reporting companies, have received letters from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman inquring them about their cybersecurity safeguards in the wake of the massive data breach at rival Equifax.
According to a news report in The Associated Press, the attorney general wants the two companies to describe what security systems they have in place and what changes they are implementing since data on 143 million U.S. customers at Equifax was breached.
New York’s attorney general wants to know if the companies would waive fees for consumers that needed credit freezes because of the hack.
Need Money Fast? 4 Options for Small Business Owners (Entrepreneur), Rated: B
There’s an extremely fine line you have to walk when scaling. If you expand too quickly, hire too many employees, and order excess inventory, you could deplete your financial resources and crash. But if you don’t take any chances or prepare your business for growth, you won’t be able to respond in an efficient manner when you finally get the big break you’ve been waiting for.
So, what, exactly, can you do when you are ready and need money to expand? Here are four options.
1. Online lenders
If you need a sizable loan, you’ll still need to go through a traditional bank or lender. However, if you need only a modest amount of cash, online lending msy be the way to go.
2. Personal installment loans
If you’re really in a bind and need some quick cash, a personal installment loan might be the way to go. A lender simply checks your credit score and processes your request.
3. Line-of-credit loans
With a line of credit, your business gets approved for a certain amount of money for a specified period of time — typically one year.
4. Receivable financing (factoring)
The factor advances a portion of the receivables — likely 75 to 90 percent of the value — and then holds on to the remaining portion. It’s a good solution for businesses that have orders coming in, but don’t have the money to fill those orders.
MarketInvoice’s losses doubled in 2016 (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
MARKETINVOICE saw its losses double during 2016, as the peer-to-peer invoice finance platform continues to use funds to scale up.
Its latest accounts on Companies House for 2016 showed a loss before taxation of £6m, increasing from £3.1m in 2015.
This is despite turnover increasing from £4.1m to £4.4m and an increasing number of invoices getting funded, at £442m, compared with £328m a year before.
Deposit marketplace fintech enters UK via acquisition (AltFi), Rated: AAA
A leading European deposit marketplace has acquired Manchester-based fintech PBF Solutions as part of its entry into the UK market. Raisin will target UK savers with its marketplace of savings accounts, while also offering an end-to-end deposit raising solution for UK banks and other firms.
Founded in Berlin in 2013, Raisin is already partnered with 40 banks and financial institutions across Europe. In the past four years the firm has also attracted over €4.3bn in what it calls “marketplace deposits”.
PBF will become Raisin UK, and will significantly increase the size of its UK-based operations over the coming months. CEO Kevin Mountford will take charge of Raisin’s UK expansion.
Lendable: the next generation lending platform that can give borrowers a small loan within two hours (Independent), Rated: A
By taking advantage of the large amount of data available in the UK at a time when consumer lending was evolving fast, Kissinger and his team conceived of a new kind of online lending that they claim is faster and more efficient than larger peer-to-peer lenders Zopa and Ratesetter.
Since 2014, they have built the third largest unsecured consumer lending platform in the UK by 2016 volume, even though – at 4.6 per cent – their market share is still small. So far it has lent a comparatively small £80m to around 20,000 borrowers. Zopa, by comparison, has approved £2.62bn in loans since 2005.
But with a growth rate of 430 per cent in the last year, Lendable is expanding quickly. It aims to be the fastest lender to decide on applications and transfer cash in the market, getting funds of between £1,000 and £15,000 in the borrower’s account in as little as two hours.
Power to the people: Meet the P2P lender that uses a centuries-old way of lending (City A.M.), Rated: A
But for many rural businesses, Folk2Folk has been a saving grace. The peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform has helped struggling companies in a time of need, and in some cases prevented an entire community from caving in on itself.
“We don’t exist as a platform that wants to talk solely about interest rates,” says Giles Cross, the company’s chief marketing officer. “Rather, our purpose is to sustain local and rural communities around the UK – where people want to club together to make a difference.”
A large proportion of the businesses that use Folk2Folk are startups that have been starved of funding, largely because they don’t have a long-standing track record.
The House Crowd Says Investor Confidence at Record High (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
The House Crowd, a UK property crowdfunding platform, is reporting “record levels of investor confidence”. According to the platform, the House Crowd is experiencing high demand for its property-backed peer-to-peer lending products, with over 1,270 people having invested in one. The House Crowd states that 66% of its investors now repeatedly reinvesting their capital through the business.
FCA’s Bailey calls for govt action on debt crisis (FT Adviser), Rated: B
Higher UK interest rates could spark a consumer debt crisis unless the government intervenes, according to Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
More than 8.3m adults in the UK are struggling under the burden of debt – a higher proportion of the population than in 2016, according to figures from the Money Advice Service.
Its data revealed 15.9 per cent of the UK population is living with a debt problem, up from 15.4 per cent in 2016.
Social Media Giant Tencent Gets Into Old-School Finance (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
Tencent Holdings Ltd., China’s largest social media firm, is entering the traditional finance industry by investing in CICC International Capital Corp., a move that may help the investment bank’s expansion in wealth management.
Shares of CICC jumped by a record after it said Tencent is paying HK$2.9 billion ($372 million) for roughly 5 percent of China’s oldest investment bank. The companies will team up on marketing and data analysis, according to an exchange filing.
Ping An Securities deploys Finastra technology to boost revenue and enter new markets (The Asset), Rated: A
Ping An Securities has implemented FusionCapital from Finastra throughout its operations in Greater China.
The business, part of China’s Ping An Group, is now using the flexible Finastra platform to help extend its securities brokerage capabilities on a global scale – meaning it can boost revenues as it enters new markets.
Ping An Bank launched intelligent investment services (01Caijing), Rated: A
China Ping An “simple life” conference held in Shanghai. Ping An Bank mobile banking business – “safe pocket bank” launched a smart investment service (referred to as “safe intellectual investment”), the first open to ordinary investors to use. The service uses the Black-Litterman model (BL model) and the quantitative asset allocation method, which are widely used by overseas investment bankers, and develop personalized investment plan according to the customer’s risk appetite.
Japan wants to roll back regulations for financial technology startups — here’s why it could be bad for the US (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
Japan’s push to attract innovative financial technology startups to the country could spell trouble for the US.
On Wednesday at the New York Stock Exchange, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was moving forward with a plan to roll back regulations on some fintech startups to help spur the development of emerging technology and drive growth in the country.
As such, Abe is pushing for a regulatory sandbox program that would allow fintechs, startups looking to automate or digitize aspects of financial services, to operate and scale without meeting existing regulations.
While such an environment is understood to exist in Silicon Valley more broadly, Berenguer said, those hoping to break through specifically in the financial industry in the US are often required to subscribe to the same regulations as their much larger peers.
That often means paying lawyers to ensure compliance, costs that can force entrepreneurs to put off investing in their product and team. This creates a sort of Catch-22 for some startups. Venture-capital backers are less likely to give entrepreneurs money without a product, but it’s more difficult to create a product with less money when also paying legal costs. Berenguer says this has made financial technology harder to break into relative to the overall tech industry.
Singapore, UK sandbox
Some companies, he said, are seeking greener pastures in Singapore and the UK, where a sandbox program has existed for some time.
Where the huge SoftBank-Saudi tech fund is investing (Money), Rated: AAA
The Softbank Vision Fund was unveiled less than a year ago, backed by Saudi Arabia and Japan’s SoftBank (). By May it had raised $93 billion, out of a planned $100 billion, to spend on technology businesses of the future.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest Vision Fund investor, followed by SoftBank. Other investors include Apple ( , Tech30), Qualcomm ( , Tech30), Foxconn, Shar ( )p and Mubadala, the sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates.
It’s already invested in 10 firms, leading funding rounds worth at least $7.7 billion.
Here’s what it has backed so far this year:
- Guardant Health
- Brain Corp
P2P lender surpasses $ 150m in loans (Broker News), Rated: AAA
Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has now reached the $150m mark in loans facilitated thanks to a rapid influx of lenders into the platform.
Millennial investors have helped to drive this growth, especially in RateSetter’s one-month market where these younger demographics make up 72% of the lender’s investors since the firm launched in 2014. This is followed by the one-year market where Millennials make up 40% of all investors.
Investment in the platform has risen by 50% over the last five months alone after RateSetter hit the $100m loan milestone in March. There are now more than 7,700 investors registered with the platform, making RateSetter the largest P2P lender in Australia.
For the one-month market, the average amount invested has increased from $3,777 two years ago to $11,483 today.
In Game Of Loans, RBI Arms A New Player (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
Amit Parker, 26, needed money for his father’s heart surgery. Banks refused to lend as he had delayed repayments on a motorcycle loan three years ago. The travel firm executive tried his luck at Lenden Club (Lenden is Hindi for give-and-take), an online portal that connects individual borrowers with lenders. He managed to get Rs 70,000.
Most of these are small-ticket transactions, and the market is small. A few hundred such loans are disbursed a month with only the young with poor credit record or the tech-savvy borrowing, Rajiv Raj, co-founder of credit-scoring platform CreditVidya, told BloombergQuint. Adoption could improve once the central bank comes out with guidelines.
The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday provided that clarity, bringing P2P lending platforms on a par with non-bank finance companies. And the opportunity is huge. More than 30 such startups have come up in the last four years, including Faircent, i2ifunding, Lenden Club and Billionloans.
Yet, since it involves lending to people with poor credit scores, interest rates can go as high as 28 percent. That didn’t deter Parker from taking another Rs 1.5-lakh loan on Lenden Club. He wishes to continue borrowing on the platform.
Millennials are the most active lenders and borrowers, Rajat Gandhi, co-founder of Faircent, said over the phone. About 60 percent of its 18,000 members are below 35 years. For its Mumbai-based rival Lenden Club, more than two-thirds of its users are 30-40 years old.
They largely borrow to improve lifestyle.
Loan marketplace Rubique targetting 250 pct growth in disbursement, 300 pct in revenue (Financial Express), Rated: A
Does the launch of your mobile app mean that you are shifting your focus to individual borrowers from SMEs?
From day one, we have maintained that our take on the opportunity in the financial space is not focused on retail or SME. The Indian financial sector is largely influencer-driven. Whenever, someone wants a loan, they go through an influencer, whether a chartered accountant or a financial advisor.
How much have you disbursed through your platform so far in FY18?
Last year, we did Rs 1,000 crore in disbursements, of which 60% was in the SME category and 40% in the retail category. This year, as a company, in the first four months (April-July), we did Rs 500 crore worth of disbursements and we have been clocking very healthy revenue. This month, we are touching around Rs 3 crore in revenue. We had been going at a monthly average of about Rs 2 crore in revenues so far. This year, we are targeting almost 250% growth over last year (in disbursements) and a healthy revenue growth. Last year, the revenue was Rs 15.5 crore. This year, we are targeting an almost 300% jump and we expect to cross `45 crore.
Buying a car this festive season? Consider these factors when comparing car loans (India Times), Rated: A
Many people wait for the festival season to make big-ticket purchases like buying a car. That is because banks and non-banking finances companies (NBFCs) usually lower their lending rates on car loans and even have offers such as writing off processing fees.
“The only benefit of availing a car loan through the dealer is the slight convenience. Dealers tend to push the customer towards their captive finance arms or towards banks where they get higher commissions. So, when a customer compares the offer from the dealer with more banks or at online marketplaces, they will typically find lower interest rates and better terms than those offered by the car dealer,” says Gaurav Gupta, CEO, MyLoanCare.in, an online loans marketplace.
Remittance firms should consider fintech start-ups as partners rather than competitors (The National), Rated: A
A recent Statista report estimates that fintech will be worth around US$20 billion by 2017.
For instance, 2016 GCC-wide figures by Statista showed that a full 57 per cent of banks and financial services providers saw fintech startups in their operational space as potential partners, while only 22 per cent saw them as competition.
Fintech start-ups tend to be technologically led. They harness mobile tech, social networks and a well-designed user interface to bring services directly to customers. But this technology-first model is most useful in the first and last mile fulfilment, ie, when a customer requests a transaction, or is notified of its completion. When it comes to actual transaction processing, fintech startups often lack the size, scale and well-developed treasury functions needed to fulfil global requests.
But mutually beneficial fintech partnerships can be a game changer. We are heading for what might be called a hybrid model – where a transaction is initiated in-app but is then handled by conventional partners through systems that are already compliant with regulations and have a robust track record of transaction fulfilment.
Used-car dealer taps fintech for one-stop ease (SGSME.sg), Rated: A
A USED-CAR dealership has tapped fintech to offer a paperless and hassle-free one-stop service to buyers, who can make an electronic deposit for a preferred model and submit an online car loan application, complete with insurance cover.
Orchard Credit, best known for its four decades in the vehicle financing business, recently set up a dedicated used-car showroom to provide the full range of car services to its customers.
Orchard Credit also pioneered the car loan aggregator. It is the only dealer which offers online car loans from nine banks and financial institutions – DBS, Hitachi Capital, HL Bank, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered, Sing Investments and Finance, Tokyo Century and UOB.
KoinWorks launches new programme with Binus Online Learning (Digital News Asia), Rated: A
INDONESIAN peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup KoinWorks launches a new programme under its KoinPintar category of loans in collaboration with Binus Online Learning.
Benedicto says that KoinWorks will cover a maximum of 80% of the fees based an applicant’s finances. Loans with a flat interest rate between 9% to 12.5% will be offered to cover the rest.
How technology is changing equity trading (The Asset), Rated: A
The widespread use of algorithmic trading has lessened the need for interaction between the buyside and sellside, and brought with it increased reliability, faster speeds and lower costs. However, it also brings technology-related risks and a lack of transparency.
The widespread use of algorithmic trading – basically the process of using computers programmed to follow a defined set of instructions for placing a trade – means that it is no longer necessary for the buyside traders to speak to their counterparts every time they make a trade.