Thursday October 31 2019, Weekly News Digest

Thursday October 31 2019, Weekly News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust (PMIT) 2019-4 to sell $138M in securities. PeerStreet raises $60M in Series C round. Funding Circle revamps secondary market. ID Finance Crowdcube campaign overfunds. Stablecoin loans surge 38%. Flender raises 75 million euro. Today’s main analysis: Genesis Capital’s digital asset lending snapshot (A MUST-READ). Today’s thought-provoking […]

The post Thursday October 31 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday October 31 2019, Weekly News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

PMIT funds online marketplace lending with $ 138 million (Asset Securitization Report), Rated: AAA

Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust, (PMIT) 2019-4, is counting on a de-leverage transaction structure that will boost its credit enhancement levels over time, as it seeks to sell $138 million in securities backed by unsecured consumer loans.

PMIT is also utilizing total subordination of 23.79% for the class A notes and 11% for the class B. The deal’s credit support also includes excess spread of about 9.75%, based on a collateral weighted average interest of 14.32%.

PeerStreet Announces a $ 60MM Series C Fundraise and $ 4.25 Billion in New Capital Commitments (Business Wire), Rated: AAA

PeerStreet, a platform for investing in real estate backed loans, is excited to announce it has completed a $60 million Series C funding round. Colchis Capital led the round with a consortium of institutional investors. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, World Innovation Lab and Thomvest Ventures also participated.

Some Real Estate Crowdsourced Funding Isn’t Actually Crowdfunding (Propmodo), Rated: A

Some things, such as pool parties and potlucks, are just better the more people that get involved. Another one of those things is participation in real estate investment. The more people that invest, the more capital there is to fuel deals and improve everything from office quality to housing availability. People make money and society progresses. It’s how the market should work.

Santander Enters the Ring, FinTech Charter Roadblock, Recession Checklist (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The NY Fed has increased permanent and temporary repo operation offerings from $75 billion to $120 billion and saw strong demand for its offerings.

Source: PeerIQ, Blackstone, St. Louis Fed

Digital Asset Lending Snapshot (Genesis Capital), Rated: AAA

Genesis continues to see sustained growth in its digital asset lending business. In the third quarter of 2019, Genesis added $870M in new originations, breaking our record of $746M set in the previous quarter. As of September 30, 2019, active loans outstanding stood at $450M, roughly flat from the previous quarter despite a significant decrease in Bitcoin’s price.

Originations increased 38.1% QoQ marking a sixth consecutive quarter of strong growth and bringing total originations to $3.1B since we launched the lending business in March 2018. Our loan portfolio largely sustained its value through increased cash (USD and stablecoin) loan issuance, offset by a decrease in the notional value of crypto loans outstanding.

Source: Genesis Capital

See the full report here.

Former Wall Street Traders Warn of Crypto Lending Bubble (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The availability of cheap, cryptocurrency-collateralized loans is growing unsustainably and could induce a crisis, two former Wall Street traders now working in crypto lending have told Bloomberg.

Interests rates for these services started at 11% but now sit at around 5% APR.

Another Credit Bubble Grows: the $ 5 Billion Crypto-Loan Market (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Crypto credit has expanded too quickly and is headed for a blow-up, says a group of former Wall Street traders who are now seeking riches in digital assets. A near $5 billion industry has emerged from nothing just two years ago and the number of loan platforms is rapidly proliferating, according to blockchain data company Graychain Ltd.

Kabbage: The Care And Feeding Of A Fintech Unicorn (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Want to start and grow a tech unicorn — a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion? You have to target a large market. The Atlanta-based fintech company, Kabbage, has a valuation of $1.2 billion and is on the Forbes Fintech 50 2019.

The use of online lenders among employer firms has grown markedly over the past couple of years — from 19% in 2016 to 32% in 2018, according to the Small Business Credit Survey 2019 Report on Employer Firms, Federal Reserve Banks.

While less than what small businesses borrowed from banks before the recession, small business loans are still a huge market — more than $600 billion lent each year, according to Small Business Lending in the United States, 2016.

More than nine in 10 (91%) of small business owners spend as much as 20 hours per week on cash flow management from handling payroll to invoicing and purchasing inventory, according to a Kabbage survey summarized by Forbes contributor Moira Vetter. Imagine how much more revenue a small business could generate if it had more time to focus on growth.

 

Naysayers Are Unavoidable When Launching Your Business. Here’s Why You Should Listen to Them (Inc.com), Rated: A

Entrepreneurs become successful, essentially, by refusing to do what everyone else is doing, or by doing the thing everyone else refuses to do. But even when you know you’re onto a great thing, it can be difficult to ignore the naysayers and skeptics you’ll encounter on your way to growing a business.

LendingTree Study Reveals the Most Stretched Homebuyers in America for 2019 (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • Five of the top 10 cities where buyers are stretching themselves the most are in California. Though there is some speculation that the housing boom in California may be nearing its end, home prices in the state are still high. As a result, many buyers, especially those who don’t work in lucrative industries like tech, will take out large loans to cover the cost of their homes.
  • Since last year, Los Angeles and San Diego have remained the 2 cities where borrowers have to stretch their budgets the most. The leverage ratios in these two cities are 3.91 and 3.64, respectively.
  • Salt Lake City is the place with the highest leverage ratio not in California. A housing shortage is one of the key reasons buyers in Salt Lake may need to stretch their budgets so much in order to be able to afford a home.
  • Like last year, homes in the Rust Belt and the South are the most affordable in the nation. The average home price in our 10 most affordable cities is a bit more than $171,000, which is $90,000 less than the average home price for the whole nation. Furthermore, the leverage ratio in the most affordable cities is 2.25, compared with a ratio of 2.81 for the whole country.
  • Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit are where buyers are taking the smallest loans relative to their incomes. An average leverage ratio of 2.08 could make these cities attractive to potential homebuyers.
Source: LendingTree

Three Ways AI Will Impact The Lending Industry (Forbes), Rated: A

Consider the massive size of real estate lending. The Fed’s

Aura Secures $ 130 Million Credit Facility from Varadero Capital (Business Wire), Rated: A

Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, today announced it has closed a $130 million asset-backed revolving credit facility with Varadero Capital, L.P. This new facility comes during a period of rapid growth for Aura in which the company has provided approximately $635 million in loans to more than 475,000 borrowers at over 1,250 partner locations since its founding in 2014.

Amount Announces Amount Pay (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Amount, a fintech company helping financial institutions reinvent the retail experience, today announced Amount Pay, an installment point-of-sale (POS) financing solution launching in Q1 2020.

Marqeta Announces New Reserve Financing Product (Financial Content), Rated: A

Marqeta, the world’s first modern card issuing platform, unveiled its new Marqeta Reserve Financing product at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas today, a reserve financing option built into its core platform workflow. Marqeta Reserve Financing is uniquely tailored to the needs of companies struggling with the logistical, practical and administrative burdens of funding a reserve account to launch new payment card programs and keep it actively replenished with funds.

Become, the online platform for SMBs to find and optimize their funding solutions, today announced the closing of a $10 million Series A investment round led by Benson Oak Ventures and Magenta Venture, supported by RIO Ventures Holdings, iAngels, and Entrée Capital. The company has also secured an additional $2.5 million in venture debt from Viola Credit, bringing the total to $12.5 million. The funds will be used to scale up operations in the United States and Australia in order to execute Become’s mission to remove ecosystem friction and enable more SMBs to “become” the businesses they aspire to be.

The current small business lending landscape is fundamentally flawed, with 58% SMBs denied access to funding with no recourse or guidance on how to solve it.

This entrepreneur aims to boost fintech startups in Delaware (Technical.ly), Rated: A

In fact, with 9% of all jobs in the state falling under the fintech umbrella, Delaware has the highest share fintech employees of any U.S. state, according to a report conducted by the Delaware Prosperity PartnershipFirst State Fintech Lab and University of Delaware in June.

At the same time, the number of fintech startups in Delaware is small: There are a few mid-stage companies like Marlette FundingFair Square Financial and Acorns, but early-stage fintech companies are not exactly booming.

Businesses See Costly Decline of Consumer Trust as a Result of Large-Scale Data Breaches According to Annual IDology Fraud Report (Financial Content), Rated: A

IDology, a GBG company, today released its Seventh Annual Fraud Report, revealing the growing impact of large-scale data breaches and fraud on consumer trust and the critical need for businesses to balance the digital consumer experience with strong identity verification processes. The report also found that senior executives believe their companies are still not prepared to combat synthetic identity fraud and mobile attacks. Additionally, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is expected to have significant implications in 2020 and many businesses may not be ready to comply.

Five Key IDology Fraud Report Findings:

  • The true impact of data breaches: A decline in consumer trust – 49% of businesses report a decline in customer trust over the past year. Additionally, 46% indicate that increased regulations are a top impact of large-scale data breaches.
  • Fraud vectors are shifting away from point-of-sale (POS) – 58% of businesses report fraud is increasing in their online channels.
  • New fraud threats, synthetic and AI fraud on the rise – 40% of businesses across industries experienced an increase in synthetic identity fraud (SIF) over the last 12 months and 92% percent expressed concern over SIF. The study found 33% believe that the fraudulent use of artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the most severe form of fraud in the next three years.
  • Compliance is an increasing burden – 28% of businesses believe CCPA compliance will be more burdensome than GDPR while 30% believe it will be equally as burdensome. CCPA contains additional rules with respect to identity verification that go far beyond what is required for GDPR.
  • How to thrive in the changing environment  96% of businesses see identity verification as a competitive differentiator. Also, 80% believe accurate address verification is very or extremely important to the identity verification process.
Source: IDology

Varo crosses 1 million customers, with plans to become a bank by 2020 (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

Digital banking brand Varo has 1 million customers, and is pushing ahead with plans to become a nationally-chartered bank early next year, CEO Colin Walsh told Bank Innovation Tuesday.

Varo offers checking accounts, savings accounts and installment loans. Becoming a nationally-chartered bank will help Varo differentiate through an expansion of its product suite, said Walsh. Like other digital-only banks, Varo intends to grow relationships with customers through multiple product relationships and integrations with other platforms. According to the company, 60% of its customers have more than one product relationship with the brand.

The changing shape of bank-fintech partnerships (American Banker), Rated: A

Blend, a fintech that initially specialized in software for mortgage lenders, is expanding into auto loans in the latest example of a startup broadening well beyond its initial area of expertise in an effort to appeal to more customers.

The San Francisco-based firm launched an auto lending product on Monday that is designed to enable consumers to upload documents quickly using mobile devices to get loan approvals faster. It comes on top of two other recent consumer-facing expansions, into home equity loans and deposit account opening products.

Walmart and Green Dot expand relationship, form new fintech program (Talk Business), Rated: A

Walmart announced a new seven-year contract agreement with Green Dot to continue as the issuing bank and manager for the retail giant’s MoneyCard program. The partners also agreed to launch a new financial tech accelerator.

As Digital Transactions Increase, Financial Services and Lending Firms Bear the Growing Cost of Fraud (PR Newswire), Rated: A

For every dollar of fraud loss, financial services companies now incur $3.25 in costs (losses related to the transaction face value for which firms are held liable, plus fees and interest incurred, fines and legal fees, labor and investigation costs and external recovery expenses), up from $2.92 in 2018. This represents an 11.3% year-over-year increase. Lenders see $3.44 in costs for every dollar of fraud loss, up from $3.05 in 2018, a 12.8% increase. Banks and credit lenders, in particular, were found to have the highest costs of fraud, with both percentages jumping double digits since last year – 17% and 16%, respectively.

Trends

  • Expansion of Mobile – There has been a significant increase in the use of mobile channels since 2018, with 73% of financial services (a 66% increase) and 71% of lending firms (an 8% increase) now offering this option to customers. This growth stems primarily from small financial services firms and digital financial services and lending firms now transacting through the mobile channel.
  • More Cross-Border Transactions – International transaction volume has risen among both mid/large-sized digital banks and all digital lenders. However, mortgage lenders have reported a significant drop in foreign transactions, which coincides with a decline in global growth and housing inventory.
  • The Rise of Botnets – A majority of banks reported double-digit year-over-year growth in botnet activity, which appears to at least be related to banks with international business reporting more transactions. Nearly half (47%) of mortgage lenders reported an average increase of 16% in botnet activity since last year. While surveyed firms appear to be aware of botnet activity, they have not been able to adequately prevent it.

Download the 2019 True Cost of Fraud study here.

Urjanet and LevelCredit Enhance Credit Files With Rent and Utility Payment Tradeline Reporting (PRWeb), Rated: A

Despite representing nearly 25% of consumer spend, until now rent, utility, cable, and telecom tradelines have been severely underreported in traditional credit reports, with only about 1% of consumer files currently including rent data and 2.4% including utility data according to FICO. When alternative data is included, it has proven to accurately score more than 90% of thin or no-file applicants, representing a powerful revenue tool that lenders can use to safely expand their markets, increase assets, and build lasting relationships with borrowers.

Urjanet and LevelCredit today announced a strategic partnership enabling lenders, banks, and fintech companies to confidently qualify thin and no-credit file consumers using rent and utility bill payment history. The partnership enhances LevelCredit’s existing rent reporting services with consumer-permissioned payment history from thousands of utility, cable, and telecom providers, helping financial services organizations safely extend credit to a growing number of consumers who aren’t getting the credit they deserve today.

Inside the Groundbreaking Nova Credit-American Express Partnership (Lend Academy), Rated: A

It all started with a cold LinkedIn message back in 2016. The co-founder of the (then) tiny startup Nova Credit, Nicky Goulimis, reached out to an executive at American Express to discuss a potential partnership. It was an audacious move but one that, three years later, has paid tremendous dividends for the company.

Behind Credit Karma’s savings account launch with Jagjit Chawla (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Credit Karma built a wonderful business providing almost 100 million people with free products to help them manage their debt. It was inevitable that they move into the asset side of their customers’ personal balance sheets. Last week, the firm announced a new savings account.

AccountScore and Equifax release new Open Banking credit risk index (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

AccountScore and Equifax have today announced the release of a new credit risk index for the consumer lending sector which allows financial institutions to more effectively understand consumers applying for credit products.

Lendio’s Online Bookkeeping Software, Sunrise, Announces Partnership With WePay (Lendio), Rated: B

Sunrise, a Lendio company, today announced a strategic partnership with WePay, the integrated payments business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Through this collaboration, Sunrise will provide its small business clients with a new feature called Sunrise Pay, powered by Chase, which gives users immediate access to invoicing capabilities as well as the ability to set up recurring payments.

Cred Appoints Former Netflix Executive to Leadership Team (Valdosta Daily Times), Rated: B

Cred, the leading global digital asset lending and borrowing platform serving customers in over 180 countries, today announced that veteran technology executive Cliff Edwards has joined the company as chief marketing officer to help accelerate understanding of blockchain technology and to promote innovative use cases for digital assets.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle revamps secondary market to boost liquidity (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer business lender, which saw its average loan part resale time rise to 124 days this month, said that following a recent review, it is introducing a new selling tool on 2 December to improve access to funds.

Funding Circle also announced that it is introducing a 1.25 per cent transfer payment, which will be deducted from the seller’s proceeds and go to the buyer of the loan part.

Funding Circle ditches selling queue (The Times), Rated: A

Funding Circle appears to have listened to complaints from investors waiting for as long as four months to take their money out of the platform.

ID Finance crowdfunding surges past £2m target as investors eye Latam region (UK Investor Magazine), Rated: AAA

ID Finance, the fintech company operating in Europe and Latin America, has surged past its £2m crowdfunding target on Crowdcube and is now overfunding with £2.3m raised from over 700 investors. The Barcelona-based lending-tech scaleup is the second-fastest growing fintech in Europe, according to Financial Times, has enjoyed strong investor demand as it looks to disrupt the LatAm market. The company will continue to take commitments from investors at crowdcube.com/idfinance

Source: Crowdcube

The House Crowd investments now available within a SIPP (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE HOUSE Crowd has announced that it is now able to accept investments through a self-invested pension plan (SIPP).

London lending start-up Koyo raises $ 4.9m and already has ‘global ambitions’ (LearnBonds), Rated: A

Digital lending start-up Koyo has raised $4.9m for its plans to sell loans to new migrants and people with thin credit histories.

Business lending platform Trade Ledger raises £1.5 million (Finextra), Rated: A

Trade Ledger, the ground-breaking business lending platform, which automates commercial lending processes for global banks and alternative finance providers, today announces strategic investment in a £1.5M round led by Hambro Perks, to further accelerate revenue growth.

M&S LAUNCHES ‘BUY NOW, PAY LATER’ SERVICE (Independent), Rated: A

Marks & Spencer is the latest retailer to adopt a “buy now, pay later” payment model, in the hope that it may attract younger customers in the run up to Christmas.

The retailer has partnered with Clearpay to launch the initiative, which allows customers to pay for purchases via a series of four instalments paid over a period of six weeks. The payments can be made via a smartphone app.

CashEuroNet, UK LLC’s Enter Into Administration (Global Legal Chronicle), Rated: B

Slaughter and May has advised the administrators of CashEuroNet, UK LLC which entered administration on 25 October 2019.

The company previously traded as QuickQuid.

China

China’s Financial Hub Moves to Shut Down P2P Lending (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

The regulator in China’s financial center has ordered Shanghai’s more than 40 peer-to-peer lenders to exit the business, people familiar with the matter said, the latest blow to an online industry that’s shrunk by half this year.

Some of the nation’s biggest platforms including Ping An-backed Lufax and Dianrong.com have been told in recent meetings with Shanghai’s financial services bureau to stop issuing new products and to wind down existing peer-to-peer lending services, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

European Union

Flender secures €75m funding line, slashes interest rates (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lending company Flender has secured a new €75 million funding line to provide loans to Irish businesses.

The rate cuts mean that loans of up to €250,000 are now available for SMEs from 6.45 per cent for terms up to 36 months.

Max Crowdfund: A Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform Leveraging Blockchain Technology to Simplify Property Investment (CardRates), Rated: A

In a Nutshell: Blockchain technology has helped many industries innovate in recent years. Max Crowdfund is one company using the technology to make investing in real estate easier and more accessible. The platform also simplifies investment managment for real estate professionals. Through the use of blockchain technology, properties can be tokenized — or broken down into investment opportunities as low as €1,000 — something that can’t be done through traditional real estate investing. Overall, the Max Crowdfund platform makes real estate investing faster, cheaper, and easier for everyone.

CNH Industrial and October signed a crowd-funding partnership agreement to offer digital funding to Small and Medium Companies. (Emergency-Live), Rated: B

CNH Industrial and the fintech lending platform October entered into a partnership agreement in July 2019 to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) working with IVECO and CASE Construction Equipment brands through the adoption of crowd-lending in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
International

Crypto Sentiment on the Rise? Quarterly Stablecoin Loans Surge 38% to $ 870m (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Genesis Capital, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (DCG), one of the largest investment firms in the crypto sector, has reported a 38% increase in stablecoin loans in the 3rd quarter of 2019.

Australia

Pop Up Tax Shop and Mr Tax Acquired by Queensland Accounting Group (Newsmaker), Rated: B

Mr Tax Refund was incorporated in 2012 and majority-owned by online lender, Paid International. In January 2015, Paid was sold to ASX listed, Money3 Corp Ltd.

India

P2P Lenders Grow Amid A Gloomy NBFC Environment (Bloomberg Quint), Rated: AAA

The 19 P2P lenders have now facilitated disbursals of close to Rs 500 crore, estimate industry executives who say that a good chunk of this growth has come in the last twelve months. While P2P lenders are registered with the Reserve Bank of India, the regulator does not release lending data for these platforms. As such, BloombergQuint could not independently verify the extent of loans given out via these platforms.

Online lender Aye Finance’s profits grew 10x at INR 250 mn in FY19 (IBS Intelligence), Rated: A

Aye Finance Private Limited (Aye Finance) is among the few in the Indian online lending space that has been posting profits for the last two years. The company, which provides micro-financial services, has reported a net profit of INR 250 million during fiscal 2019, a 10x increased from INR 23 million net profit a year ago.

P2P Bitcoin Exchange Paxful Sees BTC/Rupee Trade Volumes Soar by 22% As India Celebrates Diwali (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

As India donned its festive hats to celebrate a whole week of Diwali, the real gift went to the peer-to-peer lending exchange Paxful. It saw the country’s Bitcoin trading volume on its platform reach an all-time high.

Southeast Asia

Digital Financial Services to Generate $ 38 Billion in Southeast Asia, Study Finds (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Digital financial services from lending to asset management are expected to generate at least $38 billion of annual revenue across Southeast Asia by 2025, more than tripling from $11 billion in 2019, according to a new study by Bain & Co.Google and Temasek Holdings Pte.

Online lending will comprise about half that total for the region, which houses some of the world’s fastest-evolving internet and mobile industries. Growing smartphone penetration promises to unlock internet-based services such as insurance to more than 70% of an adult population neglected by traditional banks, according to the report.

Indonesian P2P lender Investree close to Series C funding, plans expansion of Islamic business (Salaam Gateway), Rated: A

While celebrating its fourth anniversary this week, the fintech start-up that set the peer-to-peer lending ball rolling in Indonesia is preparing for its third major round of investment, possibly in the next month.

Aside from regional expansion, Investree intends to intensively develop its Shariah-compliant business unit over the coming year.

Golden Gate Ventures, Modalku invest in Indonesian accounting SaaS startup Paper.id (e27), Rated: B

Indonesia’s Software as a Service (Saas) startup Paper.id announced that it has closed an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Southeast Asia-based venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures and Indonesia’s P2P lending platform Modalku.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday October 31 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Friday June 1 2018, Daily News Digest

Greensky financials

News Comments Today’s main news: One student saved $20K on a SoFi student loan. PayPal, Google deepen partnership. Zopa to hire a social media strategist. Ant Financial is a top 10 global bank. Today’s main analysis: Improved MPL pools are no guarantee of ABS performance. Today’s thought-provoking articles: A deeper look at GreenSky. Quants and fundamentalists. Ways to impress a lead investor. Helping […]

Greensky financials

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

India

Other

News Summary

United States

‘I’m saving over $ 20,000’: Why you should consider refinancing your student loans through SoFi (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Student debt is growing in the US and looming as a major ongoing issue. With a total of $1.48 trillion in student loan debt in the US, spread among 44 million borrowers, Americans now have more student loan debt than credit card debt, according to Student Loan Hero.

Interest rates, meanwhile, are punishing, even more so depending on the type of loan you get, and the level of education you’re paying for. According to data from the Department of Education, rates range from around 3.5% to as high as 8.5% — with most types of loans floating in the 5-7% range. That’s extraordinarily high when you consider that many auto loan rates and even mortgages are lower.

GreenSky: Clear Skies Ahead (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

The company offered 38.0 million shares to the public that priced at the upper end of the range at $23. The over allotment grant added another 5.7 million shares to the total offering. Selling shareholders offered all of the shares with gross proceeds of $1 billion.

GreenSky ended the day virtually unchanged at $23.26 at a time when most IPOs trade in more volatile ranges. The stock only had a range of $22.05 to $23.36 suggesting minimal initial interest by traders.

At the current price of $26.70, GreenSky has a market value of over $5.1 billion on 190 million shares outstanding (including the 5.7 million over-allotment option) with sales on pace to likely top $400 million this year.

The numbers though suggest anything but a boring company. Transaction volume jumped 47% to $1.0 billion during the March quarter and active merchants grew equally impressive at 52%. The fintech is even profitable.

Source: GreenSky Prospectus

PayPal and Google are deepening their partnership (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

PayPal and Google are extending their payments relationship across Google’s entire ecosystem, according to Finextra and TechCrunch. The two firms have worked together for awhile, as customers are able to integrate their PayPal accounts directly into Google Pay, Google’s mobile wallet.

But now, they’re taking the partnership a step further, allowing customers to enter their PayPal credentials once and then have them available for various types of payments, including bill pay and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, across Google offerings such as Gmail, Google Play, Google Store, and YouTube. The partnership is expected to roll out in full later this year.

Improved MPL pools no guarantee of ABS performance, says Fitch (Asset Securitization Report) Rated: AAA

Marketplace lenders such as LendingClub and Prosper have made strides in improving underwriting standards in the past year.

In a report issued Thursday, Fitch said investors should still be wary of assuming new-issue MPL securitizations are a step up in quality over previous ABS deals, even though firms such as LendingClub and Prosper have taken steps to tighten lending standards as well as pool greater concentrations of borrowers with higher credit scores into their recent ABS deals.

LendingClub (NYSE:LC), for instance, boosted the weighted average FICO of its most recent prime/near-prime consumer-loan securitizations in December to 703, compared with 692 in its first asset-backed transaction of 2017.

Source: Asset Securitization Report

LendingClub’s most recent self-sponsored transaction, Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2018-NP1, had its base-case loss range tightened to 13.25%-15.25% by Kroll Bond Rating Agency, compared with 14%-16% in its CLUB 2017-P2 transaction. (In December, LendingClub pooled a collection of subprime loans with credit scores below 660, with a base-case loss range of 19.65%-21.65%.)

QUANTS AND FUNDAMENTALISTS UNITE! (All About Alpha) Rated: AAA

But the Bloomberg Professional Services Blog has run a piece recently on “quantamental” investing, indicating that a merger of the two approaches is underway. Darwinian pressures aren’t kind to presuppositions or to the purity of paradigms. And it is survival of the fittest that is at work here, because fitness requires on the one hand that the quants use good (human) judgment to monitor and adjust the investment process to the prevailing market conditions, while it also requires that any workable fundamental approach employ “promising aspects of technology … to reduce bias and random noise.”

“Alternative data” means what it sounds like it means: every sort of datum that one would not traditionally have expected to come up in a discussion of trades, investments, or portfolio allocations.

These sources can include (Bloomberg’s list), “social media posts, credit card accounts, online browsing activity, foot traffic and weather patterns.” Any and all of these can include clues to ongoing and future trends. The use of any such source, or any cross-referencing of sources that can produce patterns, may be novel this week, customary next week, and a bare minimum for survival in the trading jungle the week after that.

Millennials are leading an investment revolution — here’s what makes their generation different (Business Insider) Rated:AAA

Nuveen’s “Third Annual Responsible Investing Survey” of over 1,000 affluent investors found there was increased interest in working for, buying from, and investing in socially responsible companies. This is even more true among the millennials surveyed.

Some 92% of millennials agreed with the statement “I care more about having a positive impact on society than doing well financially” compared to 52% of nonmillennials.

Source: Business Insider

We interviewed a handful of millennials, asking them what makes their generation different. They answered: access to information, aligning themselves with brands on social media, and growing up in more comfortable economic circumstances than their parents and grandparents.

Source: Business Insider

New Report on the Impact of Online Lenders on Small Businesses (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Most of us are aware of the importance of small businesses in the US economy. Small businesses employ over half of private-sector workers in the US, so access to capital for small businesses is critical to their success. Fortunately, online lenders such as the ones mentioned in the report have focused on serving the needs of businesses and activity has picked up over the last few years. Both awareness of these alternative options and the amount lent on these platforms is increasing. Originations at five leading online small business lenders increased by 50% in three years, from $2.6 billion in 2015 to $3.9 billion in 2017.

Nearly $10 billion of funding was provided to 180,000 small businesses from 2015 to 2017 according to data which included leading platforms OnDeckKabbage and Lendio. This activity has generated $37.7 billion in gross output, created 358,911 jobs and $12.6 billion in wages.

Why Foreign Investors Love U.S. Commercial Real Estate, And Why More Will Follow (Forbes) Rated: A

Despite fears of trade wars and increased protectionism, foreign investment in the United States remains robust. In fact, the U.S. continues to be the single largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world: more than 

Better Get Your AI Game On (Prime Meridian Capital Management) Rated: A

The AI and algo game is nothing new really. A couple decades ago many called it neural networks and neural computing, and that has evolved into today’s version of AI. But what is different today and so disruptive are three elements that were not there in the early days of machine learning: computing power and cloud-based systems, a growing and global population of computer and data scientists and data. Lots of lots of data.

Those three are increasingly working together in the alternative investments markets space, enabling firms to make much more accurate, and potentially, more profitable investments. The AI topic, discussed at Lendit Fintech USA 2018 conference in San Francisco in April, revealed just how integrated it is already and where it is going in the coming months and years. Listen to the full recording HERE.

Former Amex chief backs immigrant credit score provider (Financial Times) Rated: A

The former American Express chief Ken Chenault is backing a start-up company that provides credit scores for immigrants who struggle to rent apartments and access other basic services upon their arrival in the US.

Workers on overseas postings, international students and other newcomers have long struggled to secure credit cards and other loans because American institutions hold no records on them.

Nova Credit, which is among a new breed of Silicon Valley companies seeking to shake up the financial system, aims to address the problem. It has secured funding from General Catalyst, the venture capital group that has stood behind companies including Snap, Stripe and Warby Parker.

OnDeck, Kabbage, Lendio Continue to Drive Up Their Share of Small Business Lending (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

For online lenders, small business lending continues to grow into big business. Online lenders continue to grow their originations of small business loans, according to a new study released today by Washington D.C.-based economic research firm NDP.

Emerge With An Alternative (Scotsman Guide) Rated: A

Alternative financing in the form of crowdfunding may be a trending topic, but it’s hardly new. Mozart used the idea in the 1780s to finance the composition of one of his early piano concertos, offering prospective backers copies of his manuscript in exchange for their financial support.

Why choose alternative financing? Because a lot of great deals may never get done without it. Many banks and other traditional lenders won’t finance transactions valued under $50 million because there’s simply not enough profit in it for them. And, because of the late stage of the current real estate cycle, many other lenders are feeling skittish or are simply tapped out. That leaves a big gap in the financing market — and a big opportunity for nontraditional sources of capital.

Layered Insight Snags Top CISOs As Advisors (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Layered Insight announced today that Tim McKnight, EVP & Chief Information Security Officer at Thomson Reuters, and Richard Seiersen, SVP & Chief Information Security Officer at Lending Club, have joined Layered Insight’s Advisory Board.

Renew Financial Elevates Financial Services Veteran Kirk Inglis to CEO (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Renew Financial, the inventor of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and a leading provider of financing for home improvements, today announced that Kirk Inglis, currently Renew Financial’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will succeed Cisco DeVries as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. Mr. Inglis brings more than 20 years of experience in financial services and technology with a deep expertise in consumer lending. His career includes senior finance and operating roles with Calypso Technology, Prosper Marketplace and Providian Financial Corporation. Mr. DeVries will become the company’s Chief Innovation Officer to focus on key growth opportunities and to help innovate new financing tools for clean energy. DeVries will continue to serve on Renew Financial’s board of directors.

United Kingdom

Zopa to hire first social media executive to broaden customer focus (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ZOPA is hiring its first-ever social media executive in an effort to broaden its customer base.

The peer-to-peer lending platform is currently advertising for a person who can “translate the brand and social media strategy into tangible plans which encompass day to day content, product content and campaign content”.

The role will involve working with the wider marketing and product team, as well as analysing and optimising performance by channel.

LendInvest Debuts First Official BTL Legal Panel Six Months After Product Launch (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

LendInvest announced on Thursday it has named firms JMW Solicitors LLP and Lightfoots Solicitors as its first official panel of solicitors for its Buy-to-Let product. According to the online lender, JMW Solicitors is one of the North West’s leading full-service law firms, with significant experience in handling a range of real estate finance cases for both institutional and private lenders. Lightfoots are experts in complex property finance cases and have over 30 years experience providing legal services to mortgage lenders. Both firms are experienced in dealing with introducer-led business, offering dual representation and coverage across England and Wales.

Allianz leads £40m funding round in Moneyfarm (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Digital wealth manager Moneyfarm has got £40 million in a Series B funding round – meaning it has secured close to £60 million in capital so far.

Moneyfarm calls this the “largest funding round by a European digital wealth manager to date” and the company, which launched a personal pension (SIPP) in March this year, will use the capital to launch solutions and expand its investment strategy.

The round was led by Allianz Asset Management, the investment arm of global insurer Allianz, which first invested in Moneyfarm in September 2016.

SME funding platform partners with Hiscox (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

SWOOP, a new small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) funding platform, has partnered with Hiscox on the insurer’s business accelerator portal.

Swoop, which is a re-brand of BizFly, connects businesses in need of finance with over 400 lenders including peer-to-peer platforms such as Funding Circle and Growth Street.

Ashley Finance appoints bridging regional sales director (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: B

Ashley Finance has appointed Sam Cousins (pictured above) as a bridging regional sales director.

Sam began his career in finance in the P2P sector focusing on bridging and business loans.

He also spent two years at P2P lending platform Lendy, where he worked on bridging cases and building up a network.

China

Ant Financial is Now a Top 10 “Bank” Globally (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Source: Lend Academy

It had been rumored for some time now. Ant Financial, the Chinese financial behemoth, was raising a very large funding round that would value the company at $150 billion. It has been reported extensively today that this funding round has in fact closed. Ant Financial has raised $10 billion at a $150 billion valuation.

For a brief primer on Ant Financial there is a decent summary on their English language websitebut for a deeper understanding I recommend you read Chris Skinner’s new book, Digital Human (the Kindle version is available now). This has a 30,000 word case study that not only shares the history of Ant Financial but also why they are one of the world’s most forward thinking companies. And if you think they are just a Chinese story, think again. Ant Financial embodies the future of financial services and they will, in my opinion, shape the future of financial services more than any other fintech company on the planet.

Dianrong to land on distributed ledger Corda (Tech Node) Rated: A

Dianrong (点融), a leading Chinese online P2P lending service provider today announced cooperation with R3, a global platform specializing in distributed data technology. The Chinese fintech company’s supply chain finance solutions will land on Corda, R3’s open-source distributed ledger.

Dianrong hopes the cooperation will enable the company’s end-to-end service through a comprehensive supply chain and increase efficiency by ensuring transparency. The company’s initiative is to allow micro and small businesses to access credit and financial services.

Australia

Neo lender increases loan limits (Australian Broker) Rated: AAA

As of this week, Wisr will increase its personal loan limit from $35,000 up to $50,000, with a comparative interest rate up to 5% p.a. lower than the four major banks.

Loans will be available for any worthwhile purpose over three or five years, with a comparison rate of 9.36% p.a. for borrowers with a strong credit rating. The neo-lender also offers no early repayment or exit fees.

Analysis of new mortgage lending shows the slump in Auckland home sales has affected all types of buyers (Interest) Rated: A

The report analyses the number of mortgages taken out in the 12 month periods to the end of March from 2014 to March 2018, and breaks them into borrower types – first home buyers, investors, people moving house, those staying put but refinancing and those buying a second home.

According to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures, Auckland property sales peaked in their current cycle in the 12 months to March 2016, when 30,631 homes were sold.

That number has steadily declined and in the 12 months to March this year had slumped to 21,628, a decline of 29.4%.

India

Ways to Impress a Leading Investor for Your First Venture Capital Fund (Entrepreneur) Rated: AAA

Today’s investors are undoubtedly looking at technology-driven startups with a difference. The best illustration here is Flipkart which managed to introduce the right technology-driven models at a time when people had to wait endlessly to buy products of their choice. With Walmart now having acquired majority stakes in Flipkart, more technology-driven models could potentially come to the fore.

Mobikwik plans to turn around biz with UPI and loans: But is it too late? (EnTrackr) Rated: A

The digital wallet company finally integrated its platform with government-owned unified payment interface (UPI) last week. A week later, numbers related to UPI have popped up that has reached a 5 million mark via @ikwik handles, a VPA (Virtual payment address) handle for UPI, according to an ET report.

The platform is also planning to partner with NBFCs to disburse loans to small businesses in the range of Rs 20,000 up to Rs 5 lakh.

Asia

Helping SMEs build their business with P2P financing (Tech Wire) Rated: AAA

In Malaysia, regional P2P digital financing platform Funding Societies has announced an alliance with United Overseas Bank (UOB), to provide P2P lending to small businesses.

Using the Funding Societies platform, small businesses banking with UOB Malaysia can raise up to MYR500,000 (US$125,720) in capital directly from investors.

Funding Societies is the first P2P financing service introduced in Malaysia. Based in Singapore, the company also has a presence in Indonesia, where it’s known as Modalku.

Africa

Meet Piggybank.ng, The Nigerian FinTech Startup That Just Raised $ 1.1million (Forbes) Rated: AAA

A two-year old Nigerian fintech start-up this week announced that it has raised a $1.1M Seed Fundraise, to grow its online savings platform, 

SA’s Crossfin, Investec to back early-stage fintech startups (Disrupt Africa) Rated: A

South African investment fund Crossfin has concluded a deal with banking and asset management group Investec that will see the two companies identify early-stage fintech startups in which to invest through Crossfin’s angel funding arm Blue Garnet Investments.

The Crossfin fund, which has a particular focus on fintech startups, was formed in June of last year after South Africa-based private equity and venture capital firm Capital Eye and the Multiply Group signed a strategic investment partnership.

Capital Eye manages a portfolio of investments spread primarily across Sub-Saharan Africa, including South African fintech company wiGroup, which Investec has also invested in.

MENA

Fundbox Wins The Prestigious Israeli Atlas Award For Best Fintech Startup (The Virginian Pilot) Rated: A

Today, Fundbox, the small business growth company, announced that the company has won the coveted Israeli Atlas Award for Best Fintech Start-Up. For a third year in a row, the 2018 Israeli Atlas Award event was held in cooperation with the Ayn Rand Center, The Marker and such leading partners as, BDI, IVC, Bank Hapoalim and Israel Aerospace Industries. The prize is awarded to those Israeli startups that have created a technology, idea or product of exceptional value in Israel over the past year.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor