- Today’s main news: Ron Suber steps down as Prosper president. Pave stops originations and considers strategic options. Square to start lending money. LendInvest cancels P2P authorization application. LendInvest receives highest rating from European agency. Reserve Bank of India finalizes P2P rules. Alipay to enter African market.
- Today’s main analysis: Alternative data transforming SME finance.
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: SoFi to offer a month’s supply of avocado toast to millennial home buyers. China leads as fintech adoption doubles. Canadian VC firm to fund entrepreneurs who relocate, become Canadian citizens. Lendingkart plans.
- Suber rewires: Steps down as Prosper president. GP:”A move that makes perfect sense. Under his guidance Prosper was recapitalized, originations grew from $9mil to $400mil per month. And after weathering 2016 Prosper secured a $5bil line of credit. Time to move on after 5 years to new adventures. Today’s fintech fashion is insure-tech.” AT: “The wise advise to make your exit when you’re on top. No one is on top of fintech more than Ron Suber. I can’t wait to see what he does next.”
- Square to begin lending money to consumers. GP:”Note that Square was already lending money to businesses and it is one of their core revenue lines. “AT: “Jack Dorsey is one of the smartest Internet business entrepreneurs on the planet. It is evident that online consumer lending is where to be right now.”
- SoFi offers a month’s worth of avocado toast to millennial home buyers. AT: “Holy guacamole! Is there no limit to SoFi’s audacity–I mean, creativity–in marketing?”
- Can you make payments on plane tickets? GP:”Financing plane tickets. How is this different then buying a plane ticket with a credit card or using point of sale financing? I am not convinced of the differentiation here. “AT: “Evidently you can.”
- Affirm offers a way to buy pricey gadgets on credit. GP:”The interesting part here is the business model where Affirm will actually offer 0% APR for X months and the business will cover Affirm’s margin because the business will see an increase in revenue through this financing offer. “AT: “As soon as it became evident that middle-class America has money to spend on luxury items if they could get them on credit, an entire credit ecosystem developed around brick-and-mortar retail. Online retail has now reached the point where it can support a credit system of its own. There will be some stiff competition for consumer finance charges in the coming years, and Affirm is one of the company’s leading the charge.”
- Fundrise introduces new eFunds. AT: “Bravo. Good move.”
- Funding Circle hires head of capital markets, COO for U.S. operations. GP:”Great additions. Funding Circle is therefore confirming their US focus, presence and the importance of their US operation to the overall firm.”
- Pave closes to new customers. GP:”Unfortunately this is not good news for Pave. I hope they find a solution. In general this means the firm is for sale.”
- This commentator is sick of credit unions losing business to fintechs. AT: “Banks are still a little bit behind fintech companies, but credit unions are a lot behind.”
- How banks can attract more millennials. AT: “I have to say, as a group, millennials are much smarter about money than baby boomers. Awesome infographic.”
- OCC bulletin FAQs.
- Pantera Capital to raise $100M for ICO hedge fund.
- Kabbage HQ to get major renovation.
- ProLogis partners with Plug and Play to support supply chain, logistics startups.
- Funding Circle’s U.S. head talks about growth and hiring.
- RealtyShares names senior VP of marketing.
- Google, SoFi alum named Okta security chief.
- Vela acquires OptionsCity.
- DV01 is hiring.
- LendInvest cancels P2P authorization application. GP:”This is a strange move. I wonder what their plan is. One has to be FCA regulated to be credible. The only plan that makes sense to me is that they either want to be in “pending FCA authorization” status for long time or they are preparing a different application to replace the existing ones due to some fundamental changes.”
- Flender makes IFISA offering.
- RateSetter head comments on Brexit.
- China leads as fintech adoption doubles.
- Education system provider closes Series A funding round.
- CreditEase Wealth Management Toumi RA achieves top performance.
- China’s nude loans.
- LendInvest receives highest rating from European ratings agency.
- Knip merges with Komparu.
- Tikehau Capital buys Credit.fr.
- How alternative data transforms SME finance. AT: “A must-read report.”
- Singapore, Denmark regulators sign fintech cooperation agreement.
- Advances in digital platforms.
- Revolut, Tango land financing.
- RBI finalizes P2P rules. GP:”Big news for India. We are all looking forward to the release in a few weeks of the rules. “
- Interview with Lendingkart CEO. AT: “Insightful interview.”
- VC firm to fund entrepreneurial relocations. AT: “This is one way to increase the country’s stature. Entice alt lending entreprenuers by funding their relocations.”
- Issues in bringing Canadian fintechs onto the international stage.
- Flexiti Financial wins bid to offer POS financing to retail dealers.
- United States
- Ron Suber, Prosper President and Industry Legend, Stepping Down (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA
- Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc. May Soon Loan You Money (WSJ), Rated: AAA
- This Company Is Offering A Month’s Worth of Avocado Toast to Millennials Who Buy a House (Money), Rated: AAA
- Can You Make Payments on Plane Tickets? (Forbes), Rated: AAA
- Microlender Affirm Offers a Way to Buy Pricey Gadgets on Credit (Inverse), Rated: A
- Urban Housing Development eFunds (Fundrise), Rated: A
- Funding Circle Strengthens U.S. Leadership Team with Head of Capital Markets & CCO Appointments (PR Newswire), Rated: A
- Online lender Pave closes to new customers, explores strategic options (American Banker), Rated: A
- I’m sick of fintech taking credit union business (CUInsight), Rated: A
- How Banks Can Attract More Millennials (ValueWalk), Rated: A
- New OCC Bulletin on Third-Party Oversight Highlights Fintech Relationships (Lexology), Rated: A
- Pantera Capital to Raise $ 100 Million in Investment for ICO Hedge Fund (Coindesk), Rated: A
- Kabbage headquarters building to get major renovation (Biz Journals), Rated: A
- ProLogis Inc.: Prologis Partners with Plug and Play to Support Startups in Supply Chain and Logistics (twst.com), Rated: A
- Funding Circle’s U.S. head talks about growth and hiring secrets (Biz Journals), Rated: A
- RealtyShares Names Kristina Wallender SVP of Marketing (BusinessWire), Rated: B
- Google and SoFi Alum Named Okta Security Chief (Fortune), Rated: B
- Vela Boosted Its Fintech Offerings With OptionsCity Acquisition (Benzinga), Rated: B
- dv01 is hiring (DV01 email), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- LendInvest cancels application for P2P authorisation (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
- Social P2P lender rolls out IFISA offering (AltFi), Rated: A
- RateSetter’s Paul Marston comments on Brexit (RateSetter email), Rated: A
- China leads as fintech adoption doubles in two years, and here’s why (The Asset), Rated: AAA
- An O2O Education System Provider Closed A Round of financing (Xing Ping She), Rated: A
- CreditEase Wealth Management Toumi RA Achieved Top Performance in First Year (Cision), Rated: A
- China’s nude loans fill female students’ pockets but suck them dry (ASEAN Today), Rated: B
- European Union
- LendInvest receives highest rating from European ratings agency (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: AAA
- Swiss Fintech Loses Big Hitter (Finews), Rated: A
- Tikehau Capital buys Credit.fr (PE Hub), Rated: A
- Alternative Data Transforming SME Finance (SME Finance Forum), Rated: AAA
- Singapore and Denmark Regulators Sign Fintech Cooperation agreement (Finance Magnates), Rated: A
- Advances in digital platforms (The Asset), Rated: A
- Investment Roundup: Visa Buys Stake in Klarna; Revolut, Tango Land Financing (PAYbefore), Rated: A
- Zagga pitches alternative asset class (Financial Standard), Rated: A
- RBI finalises peer-to-peer lending norms (The Hindu), Rated: AAA
- Lendingkart to add marketplace, P2P loans and offer SaaS product: Harshvardhan Lunia (VC Circle), Rated: AAA
- InVent takes stake in fintech Digio (Bangkok Post), Rated: A
- A Canadian venture capital firm is funding entrepreneurs to relocate and become citizens (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
- Issues in Bringing Canadian Fintech to the International Stage (CIGI Online), Rated: A
- FLEXITI FINANCIAL WINS BID TO OFFER POINT-OF-SALE FINANCING TO OVER 800 DEALERS ACROSS CANADA (Flexiti Financial), Rated: A
- Alipay for the first time to enter the African globalization version of the addition of a piece (01Caijing), Rated: AAA
Ron Suber, Prosper President and Industry Legend, Stepping Down (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA
After nearly 5 years, Ron has decided it is time to move on from Prosper. He’s been part of two turnaround stories at the company – one in 2013, and more recently as we’ve seen Prosper grow its business following the challenging environment in 2016. It is great to see them back on track, and Ron told me that he is leaving Prosper in the hands of a great CEO and management team.
When Ron recently shared his plans with me he made it clear that he will still be involved with Prosper as a company advisor and “President Emeritus” but he will not be involved in the day-to-day activities.
Over the last several years, Ron has made 21 investments in various fintech companies and he is an advisor to several of these companies.
Personal note from Ron Suber:
This isn’t just another, “I changed jobs” announcement, it’s a next phase of life with eyes wide open called “rewirement” not retirement.
Rewirement will include doing even more of the things I have enjoyed in the past – travel, teaching, learning, coaching/cultivating young entrepreneurs, being the investor/advisor that I enjoyed working with as an entrepreneur, exploring and spending time with you.
Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc. May Soon Loan You Money (WSJ), Rated: AAA
Square Inc., the technology company best known for processing payments for small merchants across the U.S., is now angling to lend to consumers, too.
The initiative, which follows the launch of a consumer-oriented Square prepaid debit card, is part of a broader push from the company to branch out beyond its original products—small, white credit-card readers that merchants plug into a mobile phone or tablet.
Offering consumers financing options for their purchases brings Square into competition with financial-technology companies such as PayPal Holdings Inc., Affirm Inc. and GreenSky LLC, as well as consumer lenders like Synchrony Financial that offer credit cards tied to specific retailers.
It also means Square will be on the hook for consumer defaults, which have recently ticked up at some online lenders and credit-card companies.
Square plans to hold the consumer loans on its balance sheet, but as volume grows it could look to sell loans to outside money managers, as it does with its small-business credits unit.
This Company Is Offering A Month’s Worth of Avocado Toast to Millennials Who Buy a House (Money), Rated: AAA
Inspired by the controversial comments made by an Australian millionaire last month, SoFi, an online personal finance company that targets millennial consumers, will give new home buyers a month’s supply of avocado toast if they purchase a home with SoFi mortgage in July.
For those who qualify, the avocado toast incentive program will be delivered in three shipments right to the recent homebuyers’s doorsteps. There is also an option between regular and gluten-free bread. (Of course, they will still have to toast the bread once it arrives.)
The marketing decision was ultimately in response to a now-viral interview in May that caused global uproar, in which Australian millionaire and property mogul Tim Gurner said millennials should refrain from buying the popular brunch dish if they didn’t want to quash their hopes of owning a home.
Can You Make Payments on Plane Tickets? (Forbes), Rated: AAA
Did you know there are a few ways to make payments on plane tickets if you can’t afford the full price today?
A new startup that offers payment plans for plane tickets is Airfordable.
Airfordable charges a one-time fee of 10%-20% of the ticket price and a down deposit is required. Your credit score isn’t checked, which is a definite plus for several reasons. After that, you make bi-weekly payments. Once the ticket is paid for, your e-ticket and itinerary are released.
CheapAir.com offers monthly payment plans for flights that cost more than $100 by partnering with Affirm. After selecting the flight you want to buy on CheapAir, you will be taken to Affirm’s website to complete the financing request.
Affirm will offer you a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month payment plan for the plane ticket(s). Your interest rate will range from 10% to 30% depending on your creditworthiness.
Expedia has also teamed up with Affirm to offer payments on plane tickets.
Flightlayaway.com allows you to make payments on plane tickets and cruise tickets.
Flights can only be on layaway from two weeks to twenty weeks. At the end of 20 weeks, all financed flight expenses must be paid to receive your e-ticket and itinerary.
There is a one-time service fee of 15% on domestic flights and 18% on international flights when the flight is booked. And, there is an interest rate of 15% on all flights.
British Airways allows weekly payments on flight + hotel and flight + car packages only.
Microlender Affirm Offers a Way to Buy Pricey Gadgets on Credit (Inverse), Rated: A
In America, it’s pretty common to take out a loan to buy a car, or a house, or college tuition. It’s less likely to take out a loan to buy gas for that car, paint for the house, or beer for the college tuition. But what about everything in between? What about $500 drones?
That’s where Affirm, a startup by one of the founders of PayPal, comes in. CEO Max Levchin thinks there’s a financial niche to fill for young people who want expensive things, but don’t have multiple Gs in the bank or on credit to drop on a luxury purchase. Affirm offers small, short-term loans that let customers spread out a big purchase, like a drone or $1,500 couch, over a short period of time. Affirm fronts customers the cash, then collects regular payments in more manageable chunks.
Right now, Affirm is slightly limited to an (albeit wide) selection of online retailers. The stuff you can buy is typical pricey-but-not-luxury products — Casper mattresses, Pottery Barn furniture, Newegg computer parts, clothes from online retailers, as well as drones, phones, and tech you would find in a Sharper Image catalog. In April, the company issued its one millionth loan, meaning that with at least a couple bucks in interest on even the smallest of loans, it’s probably bringing in quite a bit of cash.
Urban Housing Development eFunds (Fundrise), Rated: A
Now, you can invest directly into building new homesfor the next generation of American homeowners.
Funding Circle Strengthens U.S. Leadership Team with Head of Capital Markets & CCO Appointments (PR Newswire), Rated: A
Funding Circle, the world’s leading lending platform focused exclusively on small business, today announced two additions to its U.S. leadership team: Joanna Karger as U.S. Head of Capital Markets, and Richard Stephenson as U.S. Chief Compliance Officer.
Prior to Funding Circle, Stephenson served as chief compliance officer of Silicon Valley Bank. He has more than thirty years’ experience in various senior roles at U.S. financial institutions and law firms, serving as general counsel, chief compliance officer, chief risk officer, head of internal audit and interim chief executive officer at institutions such as Bank of America, Union Bank, Washington Mutual Bank and Mechanics Bank.
Online lender Pave closes to new customers, explores strategic options (American Banker), Rated: A
Pave, an online consumer lender based in New York, has stopped making new loans — a retrenchment that reflects challenges facing the broader sector, according to the company’s CEO.
CEO Oren Bass said in an interview Wednesday that Pave stopped making new loans about two weeks ago.
I’m sick of fintech taking credit union business (CUInsight), Rated: A
Credit unions have been playing a game of catch-up with banks for many years, and now the new kid on the block— Fintechs —are here to present even more of a headache. On December 31, 2016, Prosper Funding had approximately $22.3 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents and $32.8 million available for sale investments at fair value. Their marketplace facilitated $2.2 billion in Borrower Loan originations during 2016, and as of December 31, 2016, $8.3 billion in Borrower Loan originations since it first launched in 2006.
Lending Club ended the year with a servicing portfolio of $11.1 billion, up 24 percent from the same period last year, and delivered $1.8 billion of principal and interest payments to investors throughout the 4th quarter of 2016 with cash, cash equivalents, and securities available for sale totaling $803 million, with no outstanding debt. What’s even more worrisome is that Lending Club’s venture into auto lending is still young and has a lot of potential if it gains serious traction.
Both companies sell consumer lending and deposit products to exactly the same prime-rated consumer credit segment that banks and credit unions do.
Credit unions need to up their game by:
- Allowing members to send money and receive money like popular online Venmo.
- Stay updated across all devices with real-time push-notifications and transactions.
- Credit unions will need to offer various software to their members to help them make better decisions and save massive amounts of time through analytics, accounting, budgeting, prediction, and decision- making software.
How Banks Can Attract More Millennials (ValueWalk), Rated: A
When trying to appeal to this younger generation, it is important to keep in mind that millennials have two main financial priorities; paying off their student loans, and saving for the future. On average, they spend 43 percent of their income to pay down their debts and put away 38 percent of their income as savings for the future. Three out of five millennials would like their bank to be a financial partner as opposed to just another business profiting off of their work. At the same time, only 32 percent of this generation feel their bank understands them. This is largely due to the fact that banks and other financial providers still offer solutions to meet the needs of baby boomers. This means tailoring products to meet millennial needs will create a more mutually beneficial relationship and help to attract younger customers.
New OCC Bulletin on Third-Party Oversight Highlights Fintech Relationships (Lexology), Rated: A
FAQ 7: Is a fintech company arrangement considered a critical activity?
In its response to FAQ 7, the OCC clarified that a relationship between a national bank and a fintech may or may not involve a critical activity, depending on the nature of the specific services the bank or the fintech has agreed to perform. In giving this response, the OCC recognized that third-party relationships are not automatically “high risk” merely because a fintech is involved.
FAQ 10: What should a bank consider when entering a marketplace lending arrangement with nonbank entities?
Although some may read the OCC’s response to FAQ 10 as an endorsement of “bank partnership model” lending relationships between national banks and marketplace lenders, the response includes no explicit mention of these relationships. The response references “marketplace lending or servicing arrangements,” and states that “banks should not originate or support marketplace lenders that have inadequate compliance management processes . . .,” but does not speak to the respective obligations of the parties to these arrangements. Thus, it is conceivable that the bulletin only addresses other types of relationships, such as warehouse lines of credit or loan servicing arrangements. At a minimum, however, the response confirms that national banks should not hesitate to enter into relationships with marketplace lenders as long as appropriate oversight mechanisms are in place.
FAQ 11: Does OCC Bulletin 2013-29 apply when a bank engages a third party to provide bank customers the ability to make mobile payments using their bank accounts, including debit and credit cards?
Until now, a national bank could have taken the position that a third party that merely enabled mobile card payments was not subject to OCC Bulletin 2013-29. To this end, the presence of a third party’s mobile payments application has no effect on the underlying card transaction, and the bank’s involvement is likely confined to deciding whether to promote the availability of the application to its customers. In its response to FAQ 11, however, the OCC clarified that these relationships need to be managed “in a manner consistent with OCC Bulletin 2013-29,” and directed banks to “work with mobile payment providers to establish processes for authenticating enrollment of customers’ account information.”
Pantera Capital to Raise $ 100 Million in Investment for ICO Hedge Fund (Coindesk), Rated: A
Announced today, investment firm Pantera Capital is launching a new hedge fund focused on investments solely in tokens that power public blockchain protocols.
Called Pantera ICO Fund LP, the fund intends to raise $100m, with $35m already raised in support from the firm’s existing investor base, undisclosed new investors, and according to the company, unnamed venture capital firms.
Kabbage headquarters building to get major renovation (Biz Journals), Rated: A
Crestlight paid $35.3 million, or about $167 a foot, according to Fulton County records. It announced the acquisition last week, but had not released the price. Lincoln Property Company Southeast won the leasing and management assignments.
ProLogis Inc.: Prologis Partners with Plug and Play to Support Startups in Supply Chain and Logistics (twst.com), Rated: A
Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD) today announced a strategic partnership with Plug and Play, a global startup ecosystem and venture fund specializing in the development of early-to-growth stage technology startups in the Supply Chain and Logistics vertical.Prologis will provide mentorship and space in its logistics real estate properties to a select group of startups in the Plug and Play accelerator program to pilot new technologies. Prologis joins DHL, Maersk, Panasonic, Hitachi, Mann+Hummel, CMA CGA, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, Swiss Post, BASF, Union Pacific Railroad and Ericsson as partners with Plug and Play.
Funding Circle’s U.S. head talks about growth and hiring secrets (Biz Journals), Rated: A
Sam Hodges, the U.S. managing director of Funding Circle, spoke to the Business Times about hiring techniques, missed opportunities, and what book had a profound influence on him, among other things.
RealtyShares Names Kristina Wallender SVP of Marketing (BusinessWire), Rated: B
RealtyShares, a leading online marketplace for real estate investing, today announced Kristina Wallender has joined the pioneering startup as senior vice president of marketing, focused on helping the company reach more investors and sponsors.
Wallender joins RealtyShares with marketplace and marketing leadership experience spanning large enterprise businesses like Amazon and early stage companies like Ticketfly, where she was the head of marketing for the past four years. Over her tenure, Ticketfly grew from a small startup to a leading live entertainment brand serving over 1,800 venues and promoters across North America. Wallender also played a key role in Pandora’s acquisition of Ticketfly in 2015, earning her a spot on Billboard’s 40 Under 40: Top Young Power Players in music. As part of the RealtyShares team, she will be responsible for growing both sides of the marketplace.
Google and SoFi Alum Named Okta Security Chief (Fortune), Rated: B
The maker of identity management software has appointed Yassir Abousselham, a former executive at Google (GOOG, -2.53%) and chief information security officer at financial tech startup SoFi, as head of security. Abousselham began in the role on June 5th.
Vela Boosted Its Fintech Offerings With OptionsCity Acquisition (Benzinga), Rated: B
Vela Trading Technologies LLC, a fintech company specializing in market data technology, recently announced its acquisition of OptionsCity Software, which offers futures and options trading with analytics solutions.
The deal is expected to close at the end of the second quarter.
dv01 is hiring (DV01 email), Rated: B
We believe smart people can succeed at almost anything, so we encourage on-the-job learning (e.g. trying a new programming language) and real ownership over your work. Our fast paced environment necessitates a desire and willingness to grow both personally and professionally. We see value in effort and output, which is why we encourage all of our team members to take measured risks and never back away from a challenge.
LendInvest cancels application for P2P authorisation (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
LENDINVEST has confirmed that it has cancelled its application with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate a peer-to-peer lending platform.
The online mortgage lender revealed in its annual report, released this week, that it had shelved several applications with the City watchdog, for permission to operate a P2P platform and for credit broking and consumer credit licences.
Social P2P lender rolls out IFISA offering (AltFi), Rated: A
Flender, a Dublin-based, “friendly” peer-to-peer lending platform, is bringing its newly launched Innovative Finance ISA to the UK. The firm was fully authorised by the FCA in May.
RateSetter’s Paul Marston comments on Brexit (RateSetter email), Rated: A
Given the economic uncertainty created by Brexit, it is easy to understand why some small business owners have postponed important business decisions. However, SMEs have some important advantages which position them well to navigate through this period successfully. They can more easily adapt business models, diversify into new activities and implement new ideas. It will be the business owners who are forward-thinking and act positively and decisively who are most likely to use uncertainty to their advantage.
For SME businesses that see opportunities to invest for future growth, the good news is that there are now real alternatives to the banks in terms of access to finance that can be provided in a simple and straightforward manner. We stand ready to help these businesses realise their plans.
The door is open for business leaders to redefine Brexit so that it is seen as an opportunity, rather than a threat.
China leads as fintech adoption doubles in two years, and here’s why (The Asset), Rated: AAA
Financial technology (fintech) adoption has doubled in the past two years, with China leading fintech adoption globally.
The average percentage of digitally active consumers using fintech services is around 33% across 20 key markets – this represents a doubling over the past two years when fintech penetration was recorded to be around 16%. The findings are noted in the EY Fintech Adoption Index, which surveyed 22,000 people online in 20 countries.
The report further shows that China leads the world with 69% of consumers using some form of fintech service, which is unsurprising given the ubiquitous adoption of payment platforms WeChat Pay and Alipay in China. Alipay and TenPay (WeChat Pay) together make up for 92% of the mobile payment market, and mobile payment transactions increased 381% in 2016 to 58.8 trillion yuan, according to iResearch.
An O2O Education System Provider Closed A Round of financing (Xing Ping She), Rated: A
Nobo Education announced they have closed a new round of financing $6.4M. This round was led by National SME Development Fund (THG Ventures), with participation from The Chinese Education Industrial Fund, which is jointly managed by DT Capital and ChineseAll. Previously, Nobo Education was known to have raised pre-A round of $1.79M in June 2016.
Founded in March 2013, Nobo Education is a Beijing-based international preschool education institution as well as new high-tech enterprise. Their core product—— Nobo Education System, an O2O system solution efficiently in kindergarten management, is the only system of education that has independent intellectual property right in China.
According to Nobo Education, among the total raised funds, ￥10M will continue to be used in pre-school education software R&D and service.
CreditEase Wealth Management Toumi RA Achieved Top Performance in First Year (Cision), Rated: A
Toumi RA, China‘s leading Robo-advisory platform built on 11-year expertise of CreditEase Wealth Management, has achieved outstanding performance since its launch on May 28, 2016, generating 2.55%-11.48% of cumulative return through May 31 2017, successfully bucking global capital market fluctuation, geopolitical risks and black swans.
In the past year, Toumi RA’s platinum/diamond members enjoyed an average cumulative return of nearly 7% for different portfolios, among which the risk-level-eight option produced the highest return of 11.48%. For gold members, Toumi RA boosted the level-eight portfolio’s cumulative return by 9.4% and the lowest-risk option by 4.23%.
An overwhelming majority of investors (99.6%) made profits during the first year, according to Toumi RA’s performance report, while only 0.4% of investors experienced lost either because of unfortunate investment timing during market highs or short-term investment during highly-volatile periods.
China’s nude loans fill female students’ pockets but suck them dry (ASEAN Today), Rated: B
In April this year, Xiong took her own life in a hotel far from her hometown in Xiamen. Incapable of repaying a debt of 570,000 yuan (US$82,722), Xiong’s circumstances worsened as online loan sharks threatened to make her nude photos public. She took her own life a few days after her mother received her nude photos.
“Nude loans” involves offering one’s nude photos to secure credit. Nude loans first gained nationwide attention in December 2016. The China Youth Daily discovered 167 women’s nude photos and obscene videos online. These women, many of them in their early 20s and receiving college education, handed over their nude photos and videos as collateral for loans from peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms.
Online lenders’ choice to use nude selfies to enforce repayment reflects the country’s paternal society. Nude selfies are risky enough to prevent female student clients from defaulting because Chinese women are still valued for their chastity.
LendInvest receives highest rating from European ratings agency (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: AAA
Specialist mortgage lender LendInvest has received the highest possible rating for the quality of its loan servicing from European ratings agency ARC Ratings.
For the third time in as many years the agency has awarded a SQ1 Servicer Quality Rating for LendInvest following a comprehensive annual review of the company, its performance, processes and infrastructure.
Swiss Fintech Loses Big Hitter (Finews), Rated: A
Swiss digital insurance broker Knip has agreed to merge with Komparu, a Dutch technology firm. Together they will operate as Digital Insurance Group (DIG), according to a joint statement.
The founder and CEO of Knip, Dennis Just(pictured below), won’t stay at the company.
Roeland Werring, co-founder of Komparu, will be the Group chief technical officer, while Ruben Troostwijkwill stay on as CEO of Komparu. Ingo Weberwas appointed as CEO of DIG.
Tikehau Capital buys Credit.fr (PE Hub), Rated: A
Tikehau Capital (Paris:TKO) today announced it has completed the acquisition of Credit.fr, the French specialist in crowdlending for small businesses financing, for an amount of €12 million. Incubated since March 2015 by Truffle Capital and under the leadership of Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, its chairman since November 2015, Credit.fr has rapidly established itself as an essential player in the small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) alternative financing market.
This acquisition enables Tikehau Capital, a leading company active in the corporate lending and private debt market in France, to consolidate and expand its lending platform by bringing its corporate financing solutions to smaller businesses and SMEs. Through Credit.fr, Tikehau Capital will enable its wide network of investors and partners to broaden their investment policy, currently focused on medium-sized and larger companies, to include smaller businesses rigorously selected by Credit.fr teams.
Alternative Data Transforming SME Finance (SME Finance Forum), Rated: AAA
The report titled “Alternative Data Transforming SME Finance” looked at 800+ innovative digital SME lenders and digital commerce, payments and service providers in more than 60 countries. Here are some of the key findings:
- Banks have valuable data, but are often not using it: Banks have a highly valuable repository of SME data, including SME owners’ customers’ daily transaction data that provides reliable real-time visibility into SME cash flows and credit capacity. However, most banks lack the ability to create innovative SME lending models from it.
- Digital SME lenders are developing new relationships with SME customers and their data: In some cases, non-bank digital SME lenders insert themselves between banks and their SME customers, and forge fundamental changes in SME customer expectations.
- New SME digital data streams are becoming more readily available and accessible: Digital SME lenders leverage vast and expanding stores of data, including from electronically verifiable, real-time sales, bank account money flows and balances, payments, social media, trading, logistics, business accounting, and credit reporting service providers, as well as a wide range of other private and public data sources used in the SME credit assessment process.
- There are a wide range of digital SME originator lending business models: The new digital SME lending originator business models that take advantage of the expanding universe of SME digital data vary widely. This report highlights these business models, selected players, and the digital SME data they use. It includes marketplace lenders, tech, e-commerce, and payment giants which are extending SME lending into their non-banking digital ecosystems where they are already dominant. It also includes supply chain financing firms, mobile micro-lenders graduating to SME lending, and innovative banks.
- Digital SME lending is becoming more of a global trend:
- Digital SME lender-bank collaboration is also a growing part of the future of SME finance: Banks may have been blind to digital SME lenders at first, and digital SME lenders may have said they would replace banks. However, both parties now have come to a simple conclusion: there are limits to what each player can do on their own and there is strength in collaborating.
- Access to data is no longer the problem in SME lending: The digital economy has also given rise to an ever-evolving set of value-added cloud-based services to help SMEs with their finances, business planning, productivity, legal issues, data backup and security, file sharing, web conferencing, website builds, online marketing, business training, e-commerce, payments, loyalty programs, business intelligence, and more.
- However, access to data for SME lending brings new challenges: With the abundance of alternative data, there are new issues of what to use, how to use it, and how to do this responsibly — while also respecting privacy and other important rights of SMEs.
Download the report here.
Singapore and Denmark Regulators Sign Fintech Cooperation agreement (Finance Magnates), Rated: A
Regulators in Singapore and Denmark are building bridges to assist Fintech companies expand abroad. The Singapore’s Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (Danish FSA) yesterday have entered a cooperation agreement to promote innovation in financial services in their respective markets.
The agreement aims to help FinTech companies in both countries to expand into each other’s markets and also provides facilitated introductions when a fintech firm operating in one jurisdiction wants to better understand the rules in the other.
Advances in digital platforms (The Asset), Rated: A
Midway through the month, on June 14, Misys and D+H merged to form a new company called Finastra.
Shortly after the merger, several institutions announced they were working with the newly formed fintech giant. Rabobank selected Finastra to centralize their cross-border payments; SIA, a European provider of payment infrastructure and services, partnered with Finastra to provide real-time instant payments capabilities; and Mexico’s central bank, Banco de Mexico, also selected Finastra to transform its legacy risk management platform.
Investment Roundup: Visa Buys Stake in Klarna; Revolut, Tango Land Financing (PAYbefore), Rated: A
London-based travel card specialist Revolut is close to landing a £50 million (US$65 million) funding round that will value the company at £300 million (US$390 million), according to a report from Sky News. The round will be led by Index Ventures, which acquired an interest in Revolut last year, the report said. Silicon Valley investor Ribbit Capital is also said to be taking part in the round.
Finally, Seattle-based Tango Card, a provider of digital rewards and incentives to 2,000 corporate enterprise customers, has secured a $10 million investment facility from Silicon Valley’s Western Technology Investment.
Zagga pitches alternative asset class (Financial Standard), Rated: A
A new marketplace lender is hoping to turn traditional investing on its head with a pitch to wholesale and sophisticated investors.
Backed by an Australian Financial Services Licence and an Australian Credit Licence, Zagga hopes to differentiate itself from other marketplace lenders by providing a lending platform where all loans will be secured by a registered mortgage against real property.
To date, Zagga has helped facilitate a number of loans including a $7.15 million loan which was fully-funded within 17 days by 26 investors, and a $1.15 million loan to a husband and wife investor who wanted to top up their super fund before 30 June, funded in a few hours by six investors.
RBI finalises peer-to-peer lending norms (The Hindu), Rated: AAA
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has finalised norms for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms and is expected to release final guidelines in 2-3 weeks, a top finance ministry official said.
According to the official, the P2P lending interface will come under the purview of RBI’s regulation by defining these platforms as NBFCs under the RBI Act by issuing a notification in consultation with the government.
Lendingkart to add marketplace, P2P loans and offer SaaS product: Harshvardhan Lunia (VC Circle), Rated: AAA
You had also mentioned about raising Rs 500 crore in debt.
Apart from the first Rs 500-crore debt fundraising exercise, we will also look to raise another Rs 500 crore in debt. We have initiated talks for this, but the process will take some time.
So, eventually will you be looking to raise more funds from banks and less from NBFCs?
Banks offer us lower-cost loans, but the process is more time consuming. They also operate within certain limitations. NBFCs are quicker with their disbursals.
Do you have plans to increase the ticket size of your loans, which is capped at Rs 10 lakh?
About 93% of our loans are less than Rs 10 lakh, and the Rs 50,000-10 lakh range remains our sweet spot. But, sometimes we do disburse loans of Rs15-20 lakh if there is a strong reference or recommendation. Our USP will be to remain a sub-Rs 10-lakh lender.
Tech is a major component of your business operations. How much of your budget allocation goes towards it?
Almost 25-30% of our budget goes towards technology. The tech team accounts for around 35% of our total manpower while two-thirds of our resources work on the lending business.
Most players tend to be asset-light. What was the business logic and strategy behind going asset-heavy?
That experience led to the decision of Lendingkart having an NBFC of its own, which would allow us to design our own products.
Will you continue to operate the same business model?
Two years down, we will diversify as a marketplace model, and may even get into the peer-to-peer lending space.
In fact, we will start a pilot with one or two players within the next six months. However, this year, the lending will predominantly be from our books. These plans will take a larger form in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
When will you start making profits?
The lending arm of our business will turn profitable by March 2018.
Which are your top performing markets?
Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Surat have been our top five performing markets.When will you start making profits?
The lending arm of our business will turn profitable by March 2018.
InVent takes stake in fintech Digio (Bangkok Post), Rated: A
InVent, a venture capital arm of SET-listed Intouch Holdings, has invested in a fintech startup, Digio, to boost the fast-growing e-payment market.
Digio is the first fintech company in InVent’s portfolio, which will strengthen Intouch’s offerings in the mobile payment business.
InVent has taken a 10% in stake in Digio but declined to say what it was worth.
A Canadian venture capital firm is funding entrepreneurs to relocate and become citizens (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
Sharma is the CEO and cofounder of Extreme Venture Partners, a Canadian VC firm that recently assembled a fundfor paying startup founders and their families to relocate to Toronto.
Upon arrival, they’ll receive seed funding, guidance on beginning their new Canadian life, and the opportunity to get on the fast-track for citizenship. Sharma says EVP is prepared to welcome 30 companies over the next three years.
Upon arrival, they’ll receive seed funding, guidance on beginning their new Canadian life, and the opportunity to get on the fast-track for citizenship. Sharma says EVP is prepared to welcome 30 companies over the next three years.
Issues in Bringing Canadian Fintech to the International Stage (CIGI Online), Rated: A
The aim of this policy brief is to provide a general description of the fintech industry in Canada, and to describe and draw attention to two complementary aspects of developing a fintech strategy for Canada: first, encouraging domestic fintech innovation — through open data and payment systems — and second, encouraging international expansion — through international agreements among regulators and comprehensive intellectual property strategies.
Get the report here.
FLEXITI FINANCIAL WINS BID TO OFFER POINT-OF-SALE FINANCING TO OVER 800 DEALERS ACROSS CANADA (Flexiti Financial), Rated: A
Flexiti Financial, a provider of point-of-sale (POS) financing and payment technology for retailers, today announced that it has won a competitive bid to be the preferred POS financing partner in Canada for the dealers of outdoor maintenance and equipment manufacturers including Husqvarna, Briggs & Stratton, Ariens, Big Dog Mowers, Hustler, ECHO Power Equipment and ECHO Bear Cat. Flexiti Financial now has access to over 800 dealers that sell lawn and garden tools and outdoor power equipment.
Dealers will now have access to Flexiti Financial’s award-winning POS financing platform, which will allow them to provide instant financing on any device, anywhere, and instant credit approval in three minutes.
Alipay for the first time to enter the African globalization version of the addition of a piece (01Caijing), Rated: AAA
June 26 evening, Alipay announced that it will launch Alipay in Africa to provide services to Chinese tourists. Since then, from the Alipay global strategy has taken a step further.