Thursday September 13 2018, Daily News Digest

funding circle

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck tops $10B in small business lending. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Consumer Loan Underlying Bond Credit Trust 2018-P2. Robinhood looking to IPO. Faircent approved by Reserve Bank of India. Today’s main analysis: A credit card debt study from Wallet Hub. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Should the next billion dollar financial platform be for […]

funding circle

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

India

Other

News Summary

United States

OnDeck Small Business Online Lending Tops $ 10 Billion (PR Newswire) Rated:AAA

OnDeck has achieved a milestone in the Financial Technology (FinTech) industry, becoming the first non-bank online lender to surpass $10 billion in total loans originated to small businesses. OnDeck, with operations in the United StatesCanada and Australia, is the world’s largest non-bank online lender to small business by total loan volume.

The achievement by OnDeck, a pioneer of the FinTech lending industry, is the latest indication that small businesses increasingly prefer to seek financing online. According to the Small Business Credit Survey from the Federal Reserve, small business owners are turning to online lenders in record numbers. In 2017, 24 percent of small businesses seeking credit applied online, up from 21 percent the previous year.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2018-P2 (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2018-P2 (“CLUB 2018-P2”). This is a $270.30 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close September 27, 2018.

Source: Business Wire

Robinhood is targeting an IPO (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Fintech unicorn Robinhood, which offers zero-fee stock, option, and crypto trading, has begun preparations to go public, Baiju Bhatt, the company’s chief executive, revealed at TechCrunch Disrupt SF last week. The US-based firm has raised $539 million in funding, and it’s currently valued at $5.6 billion.

Source Business Insider

In preparation for the initial public offering (IPO), the five-year-old company is in the process of hiring a chief financial officer (CFO), as well as undertaking audits from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA, a US securities markets watchdog.

The Next Billion Dollar Financial Platform – Baby Boomers (The Sociable) Rated: AAA

If you’ve immersed yourself in the world of Silicon Valley and you keep up with current trends, then it comes as no surprise that ageism in the U.S. tech world is an ongoing debate. The job search engine Indeed reports that 43% of workers in the tech industry worry about losing their jobs due to their age. While the general population is aware of the issue, its resolution is slow-moving.

The characteristics of Generation Z – those born after 1996 – are still being discovered. We don’t know enough about them yet to understand what kind of impact they will have. The Millennial Generation and Gen X have arguably been the main sales focus during the rise of Silicon Valley. Millennials in particular have overtaken the market, with 83% of today’s managers belonging to that generation. Finally, we have the Baby Boomers. Whether it’s because Millennials believe that older generations can’t use new tech – or that they inherently cater to people their own age by nature – Boomers are falling by the wayside.

People aged 50+ are the largest demographic in the United States, encompassing one third of the total population at 110 million. This age group is responsible for spending 50% of the total disposable income in the country.

Credit Card Debt Study: Trends & Insights (Wallet Hub) Rated: AAA

Americans repaid $40.6 billion in credit card debt during Q1 2018 – the second-largest quarterly payoff ever. But we added almost $30 billion back to our tab in Q2 2018. We also began the year owing more than $1 trillion in credit card debt for the first time ever, after adding a post-Great Recession record of $91.8 billion to our tab in 2017.

Only four times in the past three decades have we overspent so much in a year. And in each case, the charge-off rate – currently near historical lows – rose the following year. That’s true so far, as charge-offs are up nearly 3% from Q4 2017 to Q2 2018.

Source: WalletHub

Source: WalletHub

College Ave Student Loans Announces Completion of Second Successful Securitization (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Student loan marketplace, College Ave Student Loans, announced on Tuesday it has completed a $199 million securitization of private student loans, its second successful securitization. According to the platform, the CASL 2018-A transaction completed over the summer, achieved higher ratings than College Ave’s inaugural securitization, receiving an ‘AA’ rating from DBRS and an ‘A’ rating from S&P for its senior notes. 

According to College Ave, the transaction was heavily oversubscribed attracting a broad and diverse group of repeat investors and nine new participants. Barclays and Credit Suisse were joint lead underwriters on the transaction with Barclays serving as structuring agent and sole bookrunner.

White Oak Global Advisors raises $ 2.1 billion for its Direct Lending Strategy (Globe Newswire) Rated: A

White Oak Global Advisors, LLC (“White Oak”) is pleased to announce the close of the White Oak Yield Spectrum Fund (the “Fund”) to outside investors. The Fund and other associated vehicles raised concurrently approximately $2.1 billion of total commitments, exceeding the $1.75 billion fundraising target. White Oak’s previous flagship fund, the White Oak Summit Fund, closed with approximately $1.3 billion of commitments in March 2016.

The capital for the White Oak Yield Spectrum Fund was raised from a diversified group of institutional investors worldwide. In particular, the Fund attracted very strong support from public and private pension funds, insurance companies and global family offices. White Oak currently manages over $5.6 billion of committed assets.

The Fund will primarily invest in first-lien, directly originated lending strategies, including term loans, asset-based loans, and equipment financing.

‘Fintech Charter’ Has No Early Takers as Lawsuit Looms (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

A national banking regulator is offering cutting-edge financial firms a new pathway into the traditional banking system. So far, few of them are biting.

The lack of immediate interest from the likes of LendingClub Corp. LC +0.00% , Square Inc., and others comes in large part from uncertainty about what activities the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s so-called fintech charter will allow, what regulatory requirements it will carry, and whether it will hold up in court.

That uncertainty grew Wednesday when the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, a group of state regulators, said it intends to file a lawsuit challenging the OCC’s authority, renewing a previously unsuccessfully legal challenge.

2018 Fed Rate Hike Survey (Wallet Hub) Rated: A

Source Wallet Hub

Opendoor Buys Open Listing To Create End-to-End Marketplace (PYMNTS) Rated: A

In a press release, Opendoor said the acquisition of Open Listings, which operates a platform that aims to make it easier and lower-cost to find, tour and buy any home on the market, will enable it to create an end-to-end marketplace for the buying, selling and trading of homes. According to the company, 71 percent of home sellers are also looking to purchase a home.

With the acquisition, Opendoor customers will be able to line up a purchase of any home on the market via a trade-in transaction. Buyers who use Open Listings will get a discount on the home purchased through a commission rebate of up to 50 percent, the company said in the press release.

Via mobile phone or computer, customers can tour and submit an offer on any home on the market, get an offer on their existing home and align the timing of both transactions. By integrating Open Listings with Opendoor‘s mortgage, title and homes services, the company said conducting a real estate transaction will be as easy as booking a flight or making an online purchase.

Fintech out to start national bank clears one hurdle but faces more (American Banker) Rated: A

Varo Money in Salt Lake City is one step closer to becoming a national bank.

The fintech firm, which aims to lower the cost of banking through a mobile-only platform, recently received preliminary and conditional approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Varo still needs to apply and receive approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve.

Colin Walsh, Varo’s co-founder and CEO, is optimistic that the company will be operating as a bank within a year. He characterized the OCC’s decision as a pivotal moment for banking — one that shows regulators are more willing to consider nontraditional models.

State regulators renew push to block OCC’s fintech charter (American Banker) Rated: A

State regulators said Wednesday they intend to refile a lawsuit against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in an effort to block it from offering a new federal bank charter for fintech firms.

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors said its board recently decided to proceed with another round of litigation against the national bank regulator now that the agency said July 31 it would offer a so-called special-purpose national bank charter to fintech firms.

This will be the state regulators’ second attempt at blocking the OCC in court.

Millennials in this American city are carrying the most debt (Ladders) Rated: B

New data from online loan marketplace LendingTree shows that San Antonio is the American city where Millennials have “the most debt,” with a median debt balance of $27,122 — not including mortgages.

Researchers took a look at “anonymized credit report data of My LendingTree users who live in the 50 biggest metro areas in the U.S.” to compile the data. They were born anywhere between the years 1981 and 1996.

The 10 cities where Millennials have the most debt

Here they are, plus the average percentages of what highly contributes to Millennials’ “total debt balances.” Again, these don’t include mortgages:

  1. San Antonio: median balance of $27,122, with car loans making up 43.2% of “total debt balances”
  2. Pittsburgh: median balance of $26,403, with student debt being 45.7% of all debt
  3. Austin: median balance of $26,164, with 18.1% of all debt being from credit cards and 37.1% being from car loans
United Kingdom

Stress testing at Funding Circle (Funding Circle) Rated: AAA

This means building a sustainable platform that allows investors to earn attractive and stable returns by lending to creditworthy businesses, during every stage of an economic cycle. Since 2010, globally we’ve improved access to affordable capital for more than 50,000 businesses, and opened up a new asset class for over 80,000 investors.

Source: Funding Circle

Fed stress parameters included:

Adverse Scenario Severely Adverse Scenario
GDP Falls 2 ¼ percent below Q4 2017 Falls 7 ½ percent below Q4 2017
Unemployment Rises to 7% Rises to 10%
Home Prices Falls 12% Falls 30-40%
Source: Funding Circle

Thinking of buying into the Funding Circle IPO? Read this first (AOL) Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle fired the starting gun on its much-anticipated plans to go public earlier this month. The company, which is only eight years old, is looking to attract a value of £1.7bn and raise £300m in the process.

Since its founding, Funding Circle has transformed the market for business financing, matching everyday investors who have money to spare with businesses looking for funding to expand. In total, the company has put together £5bn in loans for small businesses since 2010.

However, if you’re thinking of buying into the IPO, there are several issues you need to consider first.

Barclays opens up mobile banking app to rival accounts (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Barclays has become the “first” UK bank to allow customers to bring their other current accounts into its mobile banking app.

Barclays says this new feature gives customers a way to get a clearer picture of their day-to-day finances within its app. It uses API technology – all powered by open banking.With competition in UK banking tougher than an East End gangster, banks are trying to stand out and play a game of constant one-upmanship.

It’s also a riposte to the many fintech start-ups offering a similar service. For example, last month London-based personal finance app Bippit launched with the offer of an account connecting and savings service.

Monzo: When is a bank not a bank? (FT Alphaville) Rated: A

Monzo is frequently hailed as one of the most exciting challenges the tech industry poses to high street banks.

Wikipedia calls it a “digital, mobile-only bank”. Mashable summed it up as the “bank that’s apparently so cool it’s become a chat up line in London’s bars”. Its own stated ambition is to “build a better bank”. In April 2017, it acquired a banking licence.

But does Monzo actually behave like a bank?

Banks, under one interpretation, are economic inventions which create liquidity from an array of otherwise illiquid assets. Douglas Diamond, the US economist, describes a bank as “a lender financed with demand deposits”. Depositors sacrifice higher returns for the privilege of immediately being able to withdraw their capital whenever they want.

iwoca: We are the UK’s Fastest Growing SME Finance Provider (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Online lender iwoca says it is UK’s fastest growing SME finance provider. The claim comes following the publication of the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 which ranked iwoca 30th on the list.

The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100, published last Sunday, 9th September 2018. Ranked No. 30 on the ilst – which ranks Britain’s tech firms in regards to the fastest-growing sales. iwoca joins a group of prominent UK Fintechs recognized by the Times.

Proptech Startup Unmortgage Raises £10M in Seed (FinSMEs) Rated: A

Unmortgage, a London, UK-based proptech startup, raised £10m in funding.

Backers included Anthemis Exponential Ventures, and Augmentum Fintech plc.

The company intends to use the funds to expand operations and finance the part of the homes it purchases.

Crowdfunding – looking beyond equity investment (What Investment) Rated: A

At a time when banks were increasingly adopting the ‘computer says no’ approach, entrepreneurs and those involved with company start ups sought different ways of financing their ambitions.

Crowdfunding platforms including CrowdCube and Seedrs emerged, using technology to bring investors and companies thirsty for cash together.

Ten years later there are more crowdfunding platforms than ever, the top 10 crowdfunding platforms in 2018  as listed by What Investment.co.uk’s sister website Growth Businessinclude names such as Seedrs, CrowdCube plus RateSetter, Trillon Fund and Funding Circle.

P2PFN celebrates its second birthday (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

PEER2PEER Finance News launched two years ago today!

The progress that has been made in two years is staggering. Most P2P platforms have become fully FCA authorised and many of them have launched IFISAs – which attracted £290m in the last tax year.

The UK’s largest P2P firms have cumulatively lent out more than £11bn, Zopa is getting closer to its bank launch and Funding Circle is floating on the main market of the London Stock Exchange next month.

China

China’s tech is addicted to debt (Technode) Rated: AAA

China has become addicted to debt. Now, its tech industry is hooked too.

It started innocently enough. Back in 2008, when the fallout of America’s own debt binge was giving the whole world a hangover, China engaged in a decisive and robust economic stimulus, injecting RMB 4 trillion into key sectors of its economy. Banks, mostly state-owned in China, were directed to lend more, particularly to other state-owned firms. As a result, China recovered quickly from the global financial crisis, even as the US and Europe struggled to get back on their feet.

However, even as the Chinese economy recovered, the banks continued to lend, and Chinese companies continued to invest, most notably in infrastructure projects. Not only did they invest, they invested A LOT.

Source: TechNode
European Union

Spotcap Issues Quarter of a Billion in Credit Lines to Businesses (Spotcap) Rated: AAA

Global fintech lender Spotcap has issued more than EUR 250 million in credit lines since its launch in 2014.

The company combines robust credit assessment principles with innovative technology to offer a smooth and straightforward loan experience. The fintech undertakes cash flow based, rather than credit-score based underwriting, resulting in a fair assessment of the real-time performance of a business.

In the last 12 months, Spotcap experienced more than 100 percent year-on-year growth in the volume of credit lines it provided, growing at a faster pace than the alternative finance industry, which recently experienced 41 percent year-on-year growth in Europe.

International

Fintech investment powerhouse Ribbit Capital aims for $ 420 million with its latest fund (Tech Crunch) Rated: A

Ribbit Capital, the financial technology investment firm whose portfolio includes hits like the no-fee mobile investment platform Robinhood; cryptocurrency wallet and marketplace provider Coinbase; and Root Insurance, the automotive insurance platform that just joined the billion-dollar startup club; is raising $420 million for its latest fund, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The fund would be Ribbit’s fifth foray out with limited partners and its $420 million target is only a nominal increase from the $300 million it had set out to raise for its fourth fund last year.

Coinbase alone is now worth at least $8 billion on paper, and no one laughs when chief executive Brian Armstrong says that his company’s goal is to become the New York Stock Exchange of crypto securities.

Robinhood, another one of Ribbit’s portfolio darlings, is flirting with a $6 billion valuation after its latest funding round earlier this year — and has become synonymous with stock trading for a new generation of investors (despite some criticism about its business model).

 Australia

Fintech Prospa Ranks 6th in LinkedIn Top Startups List (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Prospa says it has been named 6th on the 2018 LinkedIn Top Startups List. The list marks the 25 best startups to work for in Australia. Prospa adds that it is the top Fintech on the list as well.

Prospa is an online lender catering to small business. Prospa allows SMEs access to loans between $5,000 and $250,000, with approval and funding within as little as 24 hours.

Now in its sixth year, Prospa has established itself as delivering consistent high growth with a solid customer satisfaction NPS score averaging 77 and customer repeat rates of 69%.

Small business lenders pledge fairness under ASIC’s gaze (The Sidney Morning Herald) Rated: A

Fintech lenders say they’re moving quickly to review and amend any unfair contract terms before the watchdog comes knocking, but there are still questions about best lending practice.

Last week, alternative lender Prospa confirmed it had changed a number of contract clauses after receiving a query letter from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) back in June that arrived just days before the startup put the brakes on its planned ASX listing.

India

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday May 3 2018, Daily News Digest

10 best states for small business lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Microloans for SMBs are becoming big business. RateSetter offers IFISA transfers. Funding Circle opens IFISA to transfers. Funding Circle SME Income Fund issues more shares. BNP Paribas Asset Management launches SME lending fund. Today’s main analysis: Lendio’s top 10 best states for small business lending. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The missing benefit in employee financial […]

10 best states for small business lending

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

European Union

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News Summary

United States

Microloans a glimmer of hope for small businesses in need (USA Today) Rated: AAA

The microloan market has evolved in the last five years, says Antara Dutta, a social entrepreneur and mentor with the Delaware chapter of SCORE, a volunteer network of small business advisers. Many nonprofit organizations, foundations and peer-to-peer lending networks have also entered the microloan market.

One such company is Funding Circle, a San Francisco-based lending platform that connects investors with small business owners.  “Banks have really pulled back from doing small business loans over the past decade,” says Sarina Siddhanti, Funding Circle’s U.S. Head of Commercial. “We fill that gap.”

While Funding Circle awards business loans up to $500,000, they also offer microloans to entrepreneurs who need less.

Lendio Announces Annual List of Top 10 Best States for Small Business Lending (Lendio) Rated: AAA

In honor of National Small Business Week, Lendio, the nation’s leading marketplace for small business loans, today announced its third annual list of top 10 states for small business lending, based on lending data from the Lendio platform, which matches businesses with more than 75 lenders.

Source Lendio; sba.gov

CommonBond’s Latest Study Reveals the Missing Benefit in Employee Financial Wellness (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

On Tuesday, CommonBond, an online lending platform servicing the student loan market, released the results of one of the most comprehensive employee financial wellness benefits studies to date. According to the lender, the research revealed the extent to which student debt affects employees’ financial wellness, as well as how companies are meeting, or not meeting,  the financial wellness needs of their employees.

Key findings of the study included:
  • Student debt cuts across all age groups, including parents who are taking out loans for their children: Nearly 75% of all workers have taken out loans to fund their own education, while 21 percent of workers expect to take out a loan for a child or other family member’s education in the next five years. 
  • Human resources executives prioritize benefits for employees without student debt: For employees with student debt, student loan repayment is the most-requested financial wellness benefit; however, human resources teams rank student loan repayment as their third priority. 
  • Employees do not think their benefits are as innovative as human resources executives believe: 71% of human resources executives see their benefits offering as innovative, compared with 50 percent of employees. 
  • Student loan benefits attract talent, retain employees, and improve work performance: 78% of employees with current or future student loan debt want their employer to offer this benefit, and 65% of employees over age 55 in these categories want the same.

RealtyMogul Brings Fintech Solutions To Commercial Real Estate Investment (Benzinga) Rated: A

What does your company do? What unique problem does it solve?

RealtyMogul is a unique commercial real estate private markets investing platform that provides discerning investors exclusive access to thoroughly vetted opportunities, rigorous underwriting, and high-touch customer service through licensed investment professionals. We strive to build wealth through sound principles and data insights, serving real people who want a smart alternative investing strategy.

Fannie and Freddie approve thousands of loans with no formal appraisals (The Washington Post) Rated: A

For homeowners and buyers, it’s been a windfall: relief from having to pay for a traditional mortgage appraisal that usually costs between $400 and $600. The savings nationwide to consumers in just the past year alone may total tens of millions of dollars.

Last year, the two largest sources of American mortgage financing — federally backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — began accepting home-purchase loans that carried no formal property appraisal.

Ryan Lundquist, an appraiser in Sacramento, noted that computer programs “cannot smell 20 cats living at the property.”

Pat Turner, a Richmond appraiser, says that, worse yet, the “savings” from Fannie and Freddie may not always flow to buyers. He cited a recent case in his area where a major online lender allegedly charged a buyer $600 on a loan with an appraisal-fee waiver.

 

After ceding a key competitive advantage to fintech companies in recent years, several mass market and regional banks are testing alternative data for use in marketing, pre-screening, and underwriting consumer loan products like credit cards and personal loans, and exploring emerging use cases in fraud prevention and other areas.

While most lender decisions still use traditional sources, such as credit file data managed by the consumer reporting agencies, the potential for alternative data to transform lending is clear. Rent and utility payments, employment information, and behavioral data paint a clearer picture of a consumer’s creditworthiness and could allow lenders to reach underserved populations. In fact, alternative data has allowed Lending Club, a marketplace lender, to extend lower-priced credit to borrowers that would otherwise be classified as subprime, according to the Federal Reserve.

Inside Bank of America’s big plans for small businesses (TearSheet) Rated: A

What about branch transformation on the small business side? How is B of A marrying its physical and digital strategies?
We know in certain pockets of towns and cities you’ll have more business owners coming in and out than in others; in those centers with high traffic of business owners we add more capabilities so we’re there for them and have more people who understand small business.

What’s an example of technology you’re investing in?
Three weeks ago we launched our relationship rewards program, which is our version of the Preferred Rewards, where when you bring more to us — more deposits or lending — you get more benefits. It’s a very straightforward way to bank with us that encompasses lending, merchants and operating accounts. That’s a technology investment in itself because we have to on the back-end tie everything together and understand the full picture of the relationship; it comes from updating our products and solutions in the backend to streamlining the underwriting and fulfillment processes.

 

 

First RealFund Raises $ 500,000 of Preferred Equity for Brooklyn Property Renovation (Citizen Tribune) Rated: B

First RealFund (“FRF”) has raised $500,000 of preferred equity financing for the renovation of a 4-story brownstone in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood.

Morgan Stanley kicks new tech strategy into gear (American Banker) Rated: B

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman has asked Rob Rooney, the investment bank’s technology chief and leader of its international unit, to return to New York to focus solely on the tech part of his job.

“We have enormous, staggering amounts of data for risk management, [anti-money-laundering], regulatory and other purposes,” Rooney said. “The use cases here are enormous. The job in our technology organization is to make sure we build a strategy we can leverage across the firm, otherwise it’s not efficient.”

The bank is increasing its investments in innovation and cybersecurity, he said.

United Kingdom

RateSetter opens IFISA to transfers (Peer2Peer Finace) Rated: AAA

RATESETTER has opened its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) to transfers from other providers.

RateSetter will accept full and partial transfers and there is no limit on the number of existing ISAs that can be transferred.

RateSetter introduces bonus scheme (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: B

Investors will receive a £50 bonus if they recommend the platform to a family member or friend who then invests £1,000.

The referred person can also receive a £100 bonus if they keep the £1,000 invested in RateSetter for a year.

Funding Circle opens IFISA to transfers (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle has opened its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) to transfers, meaning that all of the ‘big three’ peer-to-peer lenders now offer this capability.

“Since last November more than £90m has been lent directly to businesses through the Funding Circle ISA, and we’re pleased to see so many of you taking advantage of the opportunity to earn attractive, stable returns tax-free,” the company said on a blog post on its website.

 

6%-yielding Funding Circle fund issues more shares (Citywire) Rated: AAA

The 6% yielding lender to small businesses, plans to sell up to 24.9 million shares it holds in treasury having bought them back when they briefly traded at a discount two years ago.

The shares are being offered to ‘qualified’ experienced investors at  102.2p, which is 2.2% less than the share price at Monday’s close and a 2%-3% premium to their net asset value.

Starling Bank partners with Samsung for mobile payments (AltFiNews) Rated: A

Announced today, digital bank Starling has partnered with Samsung to offer mobile payments method Samsung Pay to all Starling customers, creating the bank’s fourth partnership for making purchases via a mobile phone.

Starling users will now be able to make contactless payments at the point of sale using nothing but their Samsung phone, using iris, fingerprint or PIN recognition to prove their identity.

Nucleus targets start-ups with new type of loan (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

The alternative business finance provider announced the launch of Start-up Finance on Wednesday, which is tailored to help start-ups get their business off the ground.

Young companies can borrow between £25,000 and £20m, with a secured interest-only loan, over a period of up to five years.

High-cost lending provides “a socially valuable function”, says regulator boss Bailey (City A.M.) Rated: A

The boss of the UK’s top financial regulator believes access to controversial high-cost loans is an “important feature” for many Britons to fund everyday living.

Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, today indicated a clampdown on the sector would not be forthcoming.

How to become an IFISA millionaire in 25 years (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

Figures from P2P analyst 4th Way suggest if a lender invests £10,000 each year across several platforms and aims for nine per cent interest after bad debts, they could be a millionaire within two-and-a-half decades.

Rip-off debts soar as rent-to-own, catalogue credit and doorstep lending surge after payday loan crackdown (The Telegraph) Rated: B

Debts from catalogue credit, doorstep lending and rent-to-own have all more than doubled in recent years even as regulators cracked down on payday loans.

Lenders now face a crackdown as the City watchdog wants to make sure high-cost loans are only used by borrowers who can afford the debt and are helped by it.

 

China

Niwodai Seeks Partners for Fintech-driven Expansion into Southeast Asia (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

Niwodai, one of the largest Chinese P2P lending companies, is said to be seeking a path into Southeast Asia, according to sources. The company is in frequent contact with potential partners, looking to map out a proper route to advancing their business, of which financial technology is the most powerful tool. Considering the challenges that most Chinese fintech companies have faced, proper cooperation with a local partner should be a win-win situation.

European Union

BNP Paribas Asset Management launches SME lending fund (AltFiNews) Rated: AAA

BNP Paribas Asset Management has launched a new SME lending fund for institutional investors.

The BNP Paribas Novo 2018 business loan fund follows on from its Novo 1 fund, launched in 2013. The new fund has the backing of the FF and the CDC and aims to provide new sources of financing to help French medium-sized companies expand.

BNP Paribas Novo 2018 could invest €264m over the next three years, the firm said in a statement.

German Varengold Bank Provides Credit Line to Estateguru (P2P Banking) Rated: B

Estonian property p2p lending marketplace Estateguru announced that it has secured its first institutional investor.

In March 2018, Estateguru signed the firm’s first institutional credit line to be invested in loans originated in the Baltic market with Germany based Varengold Bank AG.

International

New FIS Study Finds Larger U.S. and U.K. Banks Are Vulnerable to Losing Critical Small-Midsized Business Customers (Fintech Finance) Rated: AAA

The study found that more than 80% of surveyed SMB customers in the U.S., and 70% of SMB customers in the U.K., are satisfied with their primary banking providers. However:

  • In the U.S., SMBs report higher satisfaction with services from community banks over larger banks.
  • In the U.K., nearly one in four SMBs – most of which use larger banking providers – are planning to switch banking providers in the next 12 months
  • Common reasons cited by SMBs in both countries for switching banks are uncompetitive fees, dissatisfaction with services/products provided, outdated bank processes, or being declined for a business loan/line of credit.
  • SMBs in both countries report difficulty in obtaining reliable and accurate information from their banks, especially larger institutions, without visiting a physical bank branch.

Growing Adoption of Digital Tools

  • About 60% of SMBs in both countries have increased the number of transactions done digitally over the past year.
  • More than 40% of financial transactions were completed digitally by SMBs in both countries.
  • Acceptance of online, mobile app and person-to-person payments increased 38% over the last year for U.S. SMBs.

 

Banks are treating customers like product developers (TearSheet) Rated: A

Banks’ race to meet the customers “where they are” has taken on a new twist: customers are now product developers — not just end users.

Digital-only challenger banks like Monzo are emphasizing customer involvement to build a human connection with customers — a move others like Tandem, Revolut and Chime are also emulating. Chime, for instance, recently launched a chat feature within its mobile app that lets customers provide real-time feedback, a tool that’s used by around 50,000 users every month, according head of product Zachary Smith.

Three-year-old Monzo, which has 650,000 customers, has been active on various fronts in seeking feedback from customers on products while they’re in development — both through in-person “Testing Tuesdays” at Monzo offices and an exchange of views and polls on its online forums.

Rad Card Great HODL Survey Reveals Average Crypto User 25-34, Male (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

The team at Rad Card, found online at RadLending.com, just completed something called “The Great HODL Survey”.

  • The average cryptocurrency user is a male between the ages of 25 and 34
  • That person holds a bachelor’s degree
  • The average cryptocurrency users “hodls” between $1,000 and $10,000 worth of tokens, but has never used cryptocurrency for payment of goods and services
  • Crypto investors, overall, “prefer not to use their assets in real life as much as business owners”, according to the study, as well as freelancers or service providers that accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for their work, products, or services

Core features of the RAD platform include a P2P lending platform, crypto-secured lending, and a digital credit score. The company will offer its services to miners, small crypto businesses, post-ICO companies, exchanges and traders, and traditional fiat investors, all of whom can benefit from crypto-backed loans.

Fintech and the Sharing Economy (TLE) Rated: B

One of the phenomena this has supported is a surge in partnerships forged online, to provide peer to peer services.

The prediction is that the sharing economy will be worth over $335 billion by 2025. Fintech is pivotal in this, as it’s responsible for developing the accessible and efficient systems to carry out these digital “barter and buy” opportunities.

Peer to peer lending using Fintech also requires less cost to facilitate and therefore provides greater equality of opportunity.

ZPER Embeds Trustonic in New Mobile Wallet for Optimized Security (Blockchain News) Rated: B

Decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) Lending Platform ZPER is using features from digital security semiconductor group Trustonic in its new mobile cryptocurrency wallet, claiming that it will be the most secure available.

The wallet will also be able to store and exchange multiple cryptocurrencies, thus enabling P2P cross-border value exchanges.

 

Australia/New Zealand

Online lender continues huge loan growth (Australian Broker) Rated: AAA

Neo-lender Wisr Limited saw a 42% growth in its origination of personal loans in the latest financial quarter.

This was the company’s largest quarter in loan originations since Wisr, formerly known as DirectMoney, began in 2014.

Loan originations have continued to grow over the financial year, growing by 20% in the first quarter and by 79% in the second quarter.

The FMA Makes A Guidance Note For Peer – To – Peer Lending Services & Crowdfunding Services (Mondaq) Rated: A

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA), New Zealand’s regulator for financial services, has released a guidance note to licensed peer-to-peer (P2P) lending services, licensed crowdfunding services for fair dealing in advertising and communicating offers of financial products or services.

Who is this guidance for?

  • The FMA addressed the guidance note to P2P lending services and crowdfunding services, but it is useful for anyone who is promoting or advising others about these services (i.e marketing teams, investment bankers, lawyers).
  • The fair dealing expectations stretch beyond New Zealand’s borders, so they apply to people overseas. Anyone who acts in relation to, or makes an offer of financial products or services in New Zealand should take note.
  • The guidance note is applicable to any media channel that businesses use to communicate and advertise their financial products and services (be it snail-mail or social media).

 

 

Bank names new group executive (Mortgage Business) Rated: B

Online lender ME has appointed Craig Ralston as group executive of customer banking, effective as of 1 May. He will be responsible for ME’s product and service delivery, with a focus on improving the design, simplicity and fairness of the bank’s offerings.

Mr Ralston joined ME in February 2015 as head of strategy to enhance the bank’s strategic and business planning cycle.

India

Fintech Startup OpenTap Raises ₹3 Crore from HNIs (IndianWeb2) Rated: AAA

Chennai-based OpenTap, a fintech startup focusing on the alternate lending segment, has raised about ₹3 crore funding from HNIs (high networth individuals). The capital raised will be used by the startup to strengthen its technology infrastructure and widen the reach of its financial services network across the country. The startup had earlier raised undisclosed amount in seed funding, in May 2015.

India Dealbook: MyLoanCare raise funding (Deal Steet Asia) Rated: B

Fintech startup MyLoanCare raises $975k in Series A round Online loans marketplace MyLoanCare, operated by My Finance Care Advisors Pvt. Ltd, has raised Rs 6.5 crore ($975,000) from Ncubate Capital Partners, the venture capital arm of Gurugram-based SAR Group.

Asia

Startup bags funds from Singapore ex-minister to get ultra-wealthy into crowdlending (Tech in Asia) Rated: AAA

Singapore-based Helicap is a new fintech platform that aims to bring a fund management angle in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending space. To make this happen, it has raised US$1.5 million in seed funding.

The round was led by Teo Ser Luck, the former Minister of State for Manpower who last year decided to trade politics for the startup sector. Fintech company Nufin Data, where Teo serves as chairman, also invested.

Latin America

Neon Raises $ 22M in Series A Funding (Finsmes) Rated: AAA

Neon, a São Paulo, Brazil-based fully-digital Brazilian bank, raised $22m in Series A funding.

Propel Venture Partners, Monashees, Quona Capital, Omidyar Network, Tera, and Yellow Ventures participated in the funding round. As part of the investment agreement, Neon Pagamentos SA transferred its controlling interest to a holding company in the United Kingdom. In addition, as part of the new round, Jay Reinemann of Propel Venture Partners, and Marcelo Lima of Monashees, are joining Neon’s board of directors.

The company intends to use the funds for product expansion, investment in technology and innovation on customer experience.

Canada

On Wednesday, Lending Loop, a peer-to-peer online lending platform for small-business loans, announced a pilot project in partnership with Ontario that will provide $3-million of loans over the next two years. The government will boost Lending Loop’s loans by 10 per cent, which will help fund more than $30-million of loans to businesses across Ontario. The government will receive a full re-payment of the loan plus interest at the end of the loan terms.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor