Thursday November 29 2018, Daily News Digest

GlobalData

News Comments Today’s main news: MPOWER Financing raises $110M. Funding Circle, BBB partner on SME lending. Zopa sells batch of defaulted loans. Yirendai misses earnings estimates by .17 EPS. RateSetter aiming to be Australia’s biggest consumer loans provider. Revolut greenlighted to expand into Singapore, Japan. Today’s main analysis: Is UK headed for credit card crisis? Today’s thought-provoking articles: 37.4% of purchase […]

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United States

MPOWER Financing raises USD110 million in latest funding round (Private Equity Wire) Rated: AAA

MPOWER Financing, a fintech company providing educational loans to high-potential international and DACA students, has completed its largest funding round to-date with USD110 million in new financing for students enrolling in major US universities.

This latest round, led by Gray Matters Capital and Community Investment Management (CIM), will be used to support new product growth and technology enhancements as well as to finance MPOWER Financing’s expanding student loan portfolio.

“We co-created a unique type of debt with Community Investment Management’s leadership team. This USD100 million is just the beginning of MPOWER’s Capital Markets roadmap,” says Mike Davis, MPOWER Financing Chief Investment Officer and co-founder.

37.4% of Purchase Borrowers Received  Mortgage Rates Under 5% Last Week (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 37.4% of purchase borrowers received offers under 5%, up from 29.4% the prior week. A year ago, 98.1% of purchase offers were under 5%.
  • Across all 30-year fixed-rate mortgage purchase applications on LendingTree, the most common interest rate was 4.875%, offered to 21.3% of borrowers.
  • 27.9% of 30-year fixed-rate mortgage refinance borrowers received offers under 5%, up from 20.1% the prior week. A year ago, 98.1% of refinance offers were under 5%.
  • Across all 30-year fixed-rate mortgage refinance applications, the most common interest rate was 5.00%, offered to 22.3% of borrowers.


5 Technologies And Trends Changing The Credit Industry (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

New tools and advancements in the credit industry are transforming the way consumers borrow cash. Before, loan options were limited to government entities (Pag-IBIG and SSS), banks, credit cards, cash advance from credit cards, and loan sharks. These financial institutions (apart from loan sharks) are heavily regulated, but with a roster of new methods offered today, loaning has become more accessible and borrower-friendly.

The Future of Fintech Video Series: Intuit Consumer Group (ATM Marketplace), Rated: A

Intuit Consumer Group’s Varun Krishna gives some background on the company’s latest partnerships with Lending club and Wealthfront. This interview is part of a video series, “The Future of Fintech,” produced by Mobile Payments Today and powered by Galileo Processing.

MPL Loan Performance Monitor (as of August 2018) (PeerIQ), Rated: A

Highlights from the August 2018 MPL Loan Performance Monitor :

  • Our MPL Loan Performance Monitor tracks the delinquency rates, cumulative losses, cumulative prepays and transition matrices using public marketplace lending data that comprises unsecured consumer loans originated by Marketplace Lenders.
  • Delinquencies on the 2017 vintage in the first 18 months are lower than those on the 2015 and 2016 vintages with lenders having tightened underwriting standards.
  • Cumulative loss rates on the 2017 vintage are lower than those on the 2015 and 2016 vintages. Cumulative losses on the 2015-2017 vintages are outpacing those on earlier vintages.
  • Cumulative prepayments have picked up, with the 2017 vintage paying significantly faster than all prior vintages.

Lendio Recognized as a Great Place to Work for Third Consecutive Year (Lendio), Rated: A

Lendio was certified for the third consecutive year as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work. Lendio earned this credential based on extensive ratings provided by its employees in anonymous surveys. A summary of these ratings can be found at 

Four Major Fintech Trends In The Self-Directed IRA Industry (Forbes), Rated: A

Fintech has helped significantly increase the number of investment options available to self-directed IRA investments. From online crowdfunding platforms to peer-to-peer lending portals, as well as cryptocurrency and digital asset exchanges, new financial technology has helped self-directed IRA investors gain access to new and exciting investment opportunities in an efficient and secure investment environment.

There has never been a better time to find a bad credit mortgage (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

Research conducted by the Online Mortgage Adviser website has discovered that up to 70% of potential mortgage applicants fail to approach lenders or other service providers because they mistakenly believe that their personal circumstances or financial histories will preclude them from being considered.

The study, which was based upon a survey of over 2,000 people nationwide, found that almost 50% of respondents believed that a low credit score, or evidence of previous issues, would automatically disqualify their application. 33% and 15% (respectively) felt that a zero-hour contract or payday loan would prevent them from achieving a mortgage loan.

stREITwise Launches Invest for a Cause (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

stREITwise, an investment vehicle that makes commercial real estate investments accessible to everyone, is announcing the second annual Invest for a Cause holiday campaign. Through December 31st, their executive team will personally make a donation equal to 2% of any new investment to a non-profit of the investor’s choice.

2018’s Top Takeaways (Commercial Property Executive), Rated: A

But perhaps the biggest catchphrase of 2018 represents the rapidly evolving technologies that are benefiting—and some even say revolutionizing—the commercial real estate industry. So-called “proptech” includes a range of building performance solutions, along with financial benefits like the developing blockchain process protections and growth of the still fledging real estate crowdfunding business. (Our most recent discussions include our Mission: Success profile of MetaProp’s founders and the CFO Corner column “3 Ways to Leverage Fintech.”)

Small Banks Join Forces To Bring Fintech To Customers (Forbes), Rated: A

The move is driven in part by a desire to innovate and part survival. It comes as millennials are bypassing branches and traditional banking services for the fintech offerings at an increasing rate. Take Quicken Loans, the Detroit-based lender that operates Rocket Mortgage it’s completely digital platform, for one glaring example.

Stocks Hold Onto Gains Ahead of Powell Speech (Nasdaq) Rated: A

Counterstrike: The market looks like it might rise into the G-20 meeting that begins on Friday, so Jeremy thought this was a good time to pick up a couple names. Firstly, the editor added a 6% allocation in online marketplace Lending Tree (TREE), which has been halved from its 2018 highs. But it could be poised for a sharp move higher as a strong quarterly report has exposed its oversold position.

Online Lender Settles With FTC Over Refinancing Misrepresentations (Manatt), Rated: A

Issuing a warning to other lenders, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a deal with an online lender over charges the company violated the FTC Act by making false statements about student loan refinancing.

Velocity Commercial Capital Chooses SS&C for its Finance Transformation (SS&C), Rated: A

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:SSNC), a global provider of financial services software and software-enabled services, today announced that Velocity Commercial Capital, LLC (‘Velocity’) has signed a multi-year agreement with SS&C Primatics’ EVOLV platform. EVOLV will help Velocity transform their financial operations and capitalize on growth opportunities in a controlled environment. Velocity, a direct portfolio lender, provides investment property loans for residential 1-4, multi-family, mixed-use and small balance commercial properties.

Guaranteed Rate Expands Its Footprint in Hawaii (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

Guaranteed Rate, Inc. (“Guaranteed Rate”), one of the largest independent retail mortgage companies in the United States, today announced that it will acquire certain assets of Honolulu HomeLoans (HHL) and Hawaii Lending Alliance (HLA), growing its existing Guaranteed Rate presence in the Hawaii market and adding an experienced team of mortgage professionals.

BFS Capital Appoints Mark Ruddock as Chief Executive Officer (Citizen Tribune), Rated: B

BFS Capital announced today the appointment of Mark Ruddock as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He will also join the company’s Board of Directors.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle and BBB announce £150m SME lending partnership (Bridging & Commercial), Rated: AAA

The British Business Bank (BBB) has committed to lend up to £150m to UK small businesses through Funding Circle.

The transaction has been made under the bank’s ENABLE Funding programme and is expected to support the growth of over 2,000 UK companies.

The new facility will provide senior financing to a transaction with the Funding Circle SME Income Fund Limited, the publicly traded fund that lends exclusively through Funding Circle.

Zopa sells batch of defaulted loans to boost investor returns (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA has sold a batch of defaulted loans to a debt collection agency, which it says will enable a faster and higher recovery for investors.

The peer-to-peer consumer lender informed its investors last week about the debt sale. It said that it has received upfront payment for the loans in question and will pass on the proceeds to investors within the next couple of weeks.

The UK could be headed for a credit card crisis (GlobalData Email), Rated: AAA

Almost three quarters of retail consumers in the UK (those with liquid assets between £0 and £3,918) do not pay off their credit card balances in full each month, says 

Britain’s creative industries break the £100 billion barrier (Gov.UK), Rated: A

The UK’s roaring creative industries made a record contribution to the economy in 2017, smashing through the £100 billion mark.

Its value of the creative industries to the UK is up from £94.8 billion in 2016 to £101.5 billion, and has grown at nearly twice the rate of the economy since 2010, according to figures published today by the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS).

It continues to perform highly and over the last two months British tech firms Monzo, Farfetch and Funding Circle have surpassed the $1 billion mark, meaning they are now so-called ‘unicorns’.

China

Yirendai (YRD) Posts Quarterly Earnings Results, Misses Estimates By $ 0.17 EPS (Fairfield Current), Rated: AAA

Yirendai (NYSE:YRD) announced its earnings results on Monday, November 12th. The technology company reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by ($0.17), Briefing.com reports. The company had revenue of $163.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $179.48 million. Yirendai had a return on equity of 40.40% and a net margin of 18.56%. The company’s revenue was down 28.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.74 EPS.

Source: Fairfield Current

Senmiao Technology (AIHS) Acquires 60% Equity Interest in Chinese Automobile Financial Leasing (StreetInsider), Rated: AAA

Senmiao Technology Limited (NASDAQ: AIHS), an online lending platform in China connecting investors with individual and small-to-medium-sized enterprise borrowers and creditors, today announced that it entered into an Investment and Equity Transfer Agreement (the “Agreement”) to acquire a 60% equity interest in Hunan Ruixi Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (“Ruixi”), a Chinese licensed financial leasing company focusing on the auto industry with registered capital of $10 million. In exchange for the 60% equity interest in Ruixi from its three existing shareholders, Senmiao has agreed to contribute $6 million in registered capital to Ruixi. The acquisition closed on November 22, 2018.

Beyond The Sugar Rush: Strategic Stimulus For Chinese Stocks (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

Private companies and even individuals have taken full advantage of loose credit conditions. Rising corporate bond defaults and nonperforming loans, as well as the recent collapse of hundreds of peer-to-peer lending platforms, suggest that at least in some cases, the money came too easily. Concerned global equities investors are already applying a substantial discount to Chinese stocks because of debt issues.

European Union

‘Inconsistent and punitive’ employee ownership rules are damaging Europe’s start-ups, say tech bosses (Telegraph), Rated: AAA

A group of thirty European tech start-ups have warned that the European Union’s “inconsistent and often punitive rules” employee ownership rules are hindering their businesses.

The entrepreneurs, which include the founders and chief executives of iZettleTransferWise and Delivery Hero, stated that laws across the continent make it costly for employers to give out stock options to employees.

The warning to EU policymakers, in an open letter, comes as research by venture capitalists Index Ventures finds that employees own only 10 per cent of late-stage start-ups in Europe, because of limitations brought about by regulations.  However in the US it is 20 per cent.

Online Lender October Officially Launches in the Netherlands (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Online lender October (formerly Lendix) has launched in the Netherlands. Alongside this expansion, the Paris based October is providing SME financing in France, Spain, and Italy.

According to a note from October, SMEs may apply for loans ranging from €30,000 and up to €3.5 million.

Solactive Launches New Sharing Economy Index (Mondo Visione), Rated: B

Solactive is pleased to announce the launch of the Solactive Sharing Economy Index. It tracks companies active in the Sharing Economy, and other modern economies such as on-demand and subscription.

Formerly being attributed to open-source communities, the umbrella term “Sharing Economy“, nowadays reflects various economic activities such as peer-to-peer sharing of goods and services.

International

Zero Fees and Interest-free Loans in Decentralized Credit Networks (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

Money lending is the core principle of any functioning economy. Decentralized credit networks which have recently seen a rapid increase in popularity promise easy and global access to credit and loans for businesses and the public by immediately connecting borrowers and lenders on the platform. Users of IOU credit networks can even take advantage of interest-free loans and zero fees.

Australia

RateSetter putting pieces in place to be Australia’s biggest consumer loans provider (Finder), Rated: AAA

When RateSetter started operations in Australia four years ago, the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry was in its infancy and its risk-based, investor-funded loan was seen as an alternative. But a lot can happen in four years. Today, major banks such as CommBank, HSBC and Citi use risk-based pricing, once only the domain of P2P lenders, while the formerly “alternative” RateSetter funded over $25 million in consumer loans this month.

Foggo said the lender has been “determined” to focus on specific products. One of its new ones is a renewable energy loan which it launched two and a half years ago.

India

Suspension of Aadhaar verification to hit lending of small fintech players (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: AAA

Fintech players, especially online lenders in the personal and consumer loans segment, are likely to face slowdown in business following the Supreme Court order that prevents private companies from seeking Aadhaar data for e-KYC and e-signatures.

Asia

Fintech firm Revolut gets green light to expand to Japan and Singapore (CNBC), Rated: AAA

British mobile bank Revolut has obtained licenses to operate in Japan and Singapore as it readies an expansion into Asia.

The London-based financial technology firm said Thursday that it had acquired a remittance license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and full authorization from Japan’s Financial Services Agency.

It said Thursday that it intends to launch its platform in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in the first quarter of 2019, and is looking to select Singapore to host its APAC headquarters.

Online lending platform Oriente announces 5m initial funding for Southeast Asia (kr-Asia), Rated: A

Hong Kong-based online lender Oriente today announced a US$105 million initial round of financing to scale its business across Southeast Asia. The fintech startup already runs lending platforms in the Philippines and Indonesia and will launch in Vietnam soon.

Tapping into digital economy (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

According to the latest survey by Google and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, Indonesia’s digital economy is projected to triple to US$100 billion by 2025 from $27 billion this year, given the mushrooming of the country’s online marketplaces. The projection is not an exaggeration as indicated by the huge transaction values at a recent online shopping festival, dubbed a warm-up for the National Online Shopping Day in mid-December.

P2P lending transactions total Rp 13.8 trillion in first three quarters (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

According to Financial Services Authority (OJK) data, transactions through peer to peer (P2P) lending totaled Rp 13.8 trillion (US$951 million) in the first three quarters of 2018, with the non-performing loan (NPL) rate recorded at 1.2 percent.

P2P lending transactions in 2018 have increased drastically compared to the last two years, with the OJK recording Rp 284 billion in transactions in December 2016 and Rp 2.56 trillion in December 2017.

Who’s afraid of peer-to-peer lending? (Bangkok Post), Rated: A

The recent announcement by the Bank of Thailand on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending rules represents a significant paradigm shift. If all goes to plan, by early next year Thailand will be among the few Asian countries, most notably China and Indonesia, to legalise this match-making platform between lenders and borrowers.

Bukalapak eyes investment products, P2P lending to cash in on fintech opportunity (Deal Street Asia), Rated: B

Indonesia’s online marketplace unicorn Bukalapak is planning to cast a wider net in the country’s booming fintech market. The company is looking at launching new investment products and enter new verticles such as P2P lending and remittances, co-founder and president Muhamad Fajrin Rasyid told this portal.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday January 9 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingTree purchase APR

News Comments Today’s main news: IEG Holdings wants to turn Lending Club into a balance sheet lender. Groundfloor launches nationwide. Crowd2Fund launches 30M GBP fundraise. China may get a second consumer credit bureau. Klarna expands e-commerce footprint. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree releases mortgage offer report for December. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Are corporations posting fake comments on government regulatory websites? History […]

LendingTree purchase APR

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United States

IEG HOLDINGS (IEGH) LAUNCHES TENDER OFFER FOR UP TO 4.99% OF LENDINGCLUB (LC) (Zacks.com), Rated: AAA

On January 5, 2017, IEG Holdings (OTC:IEGH) launched a tender offer for up to 4.99% of LendingClub (NYSE:LC).
– Management believes it can convert LendingClub from a broker of loans into a balance sheet lender

Groundfloor Expands Historic Qualification Under Regulation A To Launch Nationwide (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Non-accredited and accredited investors in all 50 states can now participate in real estate crowdfunding investment opportunities with Groundfloor. Groundfloor, the first issuer qualified by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to offer real estate debt investments via Regulation A that are available to non-accredited investors, today announced that it has received qualification as an issuer under Tier 2 of Regulation A. The qualification allows over 150 million additional investors to access real estate investment opportunities that have been previously unavailable to them, tripling Groundfloor’s addressable market.

In 2017, Groundfloor saw tremendous growth of over 380% in origination volume and 786% in revenue, prior to announcing a partnership with its first institutional investor, Direct Access Capital (DAC).2 Groundfloor lends in 27 states, and has self-originated over $50 million in loans for 398 real estate projects earning individual investor portfolios average annualized returns of 11.74 percent to date. Groundfloor has also raised $9.1M in venture capital from leading fintech VCs and angel investors.

LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for December (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree®, the online loan marketplace, today released its monthly Mortgage Offers Report which analyzes data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree.com by lenders on LendingTree’s network. The purpose of the report is to empower consumers by providing additional information on how their credit profile affects their loan prospects.

Source: Purchase APR by Credit Score Range (PRNewsfoto/LendingTree)
  • December’s best offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 3.80% for conforming 30-year fixed purchase loans, up from 3.75% in November. Refinance loan offers were up 1 bps to 3.70%.
  • For the average borrower, purchase APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans offered on LendingTree’s platform were up 12 bps to 4.42%, the highest since July 2016. The loan note rate hit the highest since March 2016 at 4.32% and was up 14 bps from November.
  • Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+) saw offered APRs of 4.26% in December, vs 4.56% for consumers with scores of 680-719. The APR spread of 30 bps between these score ranges was 3 bps wider than in November and the widest since this data series began in April 2016. The spread represents nearly $15,000 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30-years for the average purchase loan amount of $233,586. The additional costs are due to higher interest rates, larger fees or a combination of the two.
  • Refinance APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans were up 7 bps to 4.31%. The credit score bracket spread widened to 24 from 20 bps, amounting to $12,000 in extra costs over the life of the loan for lower credit score borrowers given an average refinance loan of $241,973.
  • Average proposed purchase down payments have been rising for 8 months and reached $63,740.
Source: Purchase Mortgage Offers by Credit Score (PRNewsfoto/LendingTree)

Many Comments Critical of ‘Fiduciary’ Rule Are Fake (WSJ), Rated: AAA

A significant number of fake comments appear among thousands criticizing a proposed federal rule meant to prevent conflicts of interest in retirement advice, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Consider the experience of Robert Schubert, a Devon, Pa., salesperson. A comment posted in his name on the Labor Department website opposed the rule, saying: “I do not need, do not want and object to any federal interference in my retirement planning.”

In an interview, Mr. Schubert said the comment was a fraud. He didn’t post it and doesn’t agree with it. “I am disgusted that people can post comments using my name,” Mr. Schubert said.

Mr. Schubert is among 50 people who responded to a survey last week conducted by research firm Mercury Analytics for The Journal—40%, or 20 of whom said they didn’t post the comment listed under their name, address, phone number and email.

The Journal previously found fraudulent postings under names and email addresses at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. The Journal’s findings were cited by calls from Congress to delay the repeal of the FCC’s net-neutrality rule.

Corporate Powers Are Stealing Online Identities, Posting Fake Comments to Push for Consumer Law Repeals (Alternet), Rated: A

A pattern of cyber deception is appearing across the federal government in the nooks and crannies of the process where White House directives or Congress’ laws are turned into the rules Americans must abide by—or in the Trump era, are repealed.

Hundreds of thousands of comments, purportedly made by Americans, have come in over the electronic transom to at least five different federal agencies calling for an end to Obama-era consumer protections and other regulations that impede profits, a series of investigative reports by the Wall Street Journal found. Except, the people who supposedly sent these comments never did.

Wrapping up 2017 (PeerIQ), Rated: A

The US economy added 148k jobs in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%. The jobs number was below economists’ estimates of 190k, but average hourly earnings rose 2.5%, a strong increase, and a metric that market participants are watching as a precursor to higher inflation.

In regulatory news, Indiana is planning legislation that would cap the interest rate on personal loans at 36%, down from the current cap of 391% on payday loans. If passed, this legislation would affect the payday lending industry and some experts have expressed concerns that this may crimp credit availability to the neediest individuals. The US government is also considering updating the credit scoring methodology used in evaluating mortgage applications, to use competitors to FICO score like VantageScore, with the hope that the new scores would expand mortgage credit access to borrowers.

Apollo Global Management and Värde Partners have agreed to acquire a 40.5% stake in OneMain Financial, the non-prime lender spun off by Citigroup after the financial crisis, from Fortress Investment Group.

 

 

Edison Partners makes $ 15M investment in fintech (ROI-NJ), Rated: A

Growth equity investment firm Edison Partners has invested $15 million into MoneyLion, a digital personal finance platform based in New York City.

Student Loan Startup Frank Secures $ 10 Million During Series A Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Frank, a New York-based student loan startup, announced this week that it has secured $10 million through its Series A  Funding Round, which was led by Apollo Global Management, with participation from Reach Capital, and Aleph. This funding round brought its total funding amount to $15.5 million.

Digital financial advice startup SuperEd raises $ 5 million from key investors and staff (Smart Company), Rated: A

Digital superannuation advice startup SuperEd has completed a $5 million capital raise from both external investors and staff members to ramp up its expansion, with the 2012-founded company betting on digital advice being a big deal for fund managers going forward.

Credit Karma Teams with American Express to Offer Advance Tax Refund (Finovate), Rated: A

Earlybird Advance is a no-fee, no-interest loan from MetaBank that allows users who file through Credit Karma to claim from $500 to $1,000 of their tax refund as soon as 24 hours after the IRS accepts their tax return. This is a step up from the three-to-four week time period it generally takes for taxpayers to receive their funds.

Testimonial Tree Partners With J4 Mortgage Solutions to Offer Online Review Software to Mortgage Lenders and Title Companies (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Testimonial Tree announces its new alliance with J4 Mortgage Solutions, LLC, a mortgage technology consulting firm, to add online reviews and automated feedback to its suite of tech services.

The Future Of Financial Advice Requires AI With A Human Touch (FA-Magazine), Rated: A

“Digital leaders report an 8.6 percent increase in revenue, an 11.3 percent rise in productivity, and a 6.3 percent improvement in market share. Advanced firms now generate 32 percent of their revenue through digital channels, and expect that amount to rise to 48 percent by 2022,” the study pointed out.

Digital leaders acknowledge what will be the growing importance of AI in the digital transformation of industry from the front office to the back office over the next five years. According to the study, while more than half of the digital leaders are already using AI to increase productivity, some 40 percent are extending AI applications to investment management as well.

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA and U.S. Bank Partner to Expand Access to Credit for Small Businesses (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) – a mission-driven non-profit lender dedicated to improving communities and transforming lives – announced today that it has partnered with U.S. Bank to deliver a new solution for connecting small business borrowers with responsible lending options from community-based lenders across the country.

There are approximately 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S., accounting for more than 63 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and 2013. However, the Federal Reserve Bank’s 2016 Small Business Credit Surveyfound the most common challenge facing small businesses was “credit availability or securing funds for expansion.”

Predicting Comptroller Otting’s Impact on Fintech (Lend360), Rated: A

Second, Comptroller Otting may be helpful to Fintech companies in addressing important issues such as the Second Circuit’s decision in Madden v. Midland Funding and the so-called “true lender” issue.  For example, the OCC could adopt a rule or issue interpretative guidance: (1) providing that loans funded by a bank in its own name as creditor are fully subject to Section 85 and other provisions of the National Bank Act for their entire term; and (2) emphasizing that banks that make loans are expected to manage and supervise the lending process in accordance with OCC guidance and will be subject to regulatory consequences if and to the extent that loan programs are unsafe or unsound or fail to comply with applicable law.  (The rule should apply in the same way to federal savings banks and their governing statute, the Home Owners’ Loan Act.)  In other words, it is the origination of the loan by a supervised bank (and the attendant legal consequences if the loans are improperly originated), and not whether the bank retains the predominant economic interest in the loan, that should govern the regulatory treatment of the loan under federal law.

 

Consider Alternative Funds to Hedge Against a Market Downturn (NASDAQ), Rated: A

To ease your anxiety, you might consider adding a small dose of alternative investments–things that zig when the stock market zags–to your portfolio, even if it means giving up some potential returns.

Wells Fargo Investment Institute, the research and strategy arm of the giant bank, recommends a 23% allotment to various alternative investments for moderate-risk investors, for example, up from 16% two years ago. At Altfest Personal Wealth Management, in New York, 15% of client assets are invested in alternatives, up from 10% last year.

Market-neutral funds. If your goal is to invest in an asset that doesn’t move in sync with the S&P 500, consider a market-neutral fund, such as a merger-arbitrage fund.

Options-based funds allow you to maintain your stock exposure–or even put new money in the market–with some degree of safety.

Long-short stock funds. These funds bet on some stocks and against others with the goal of delivering respectable returns with low volatility. The funds have been 15% to 25% less volatile than an S&P 500-stock index fund over the past decade.

CLSA Top Three Books For 2018 (ValueWalk), Rated: A

What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high-net-worth entrepreneur, and a twenty-something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans.

“The Unbanking of America”

Why I Joined MetaProp As An EIR (LinkedIn), Rated: A

I recently left RealtyShares, the online marketplace for real estate investing, as CEO after founding the company in my living room back in 2013.

When Zach realized I was leaving the CEO role at RealtyShares, he reached out and asked if I wanted to get involved with MetaProp, the first real estate technology incubator based out of NYC.

This opportunity would give me a chance to pursue my passion in real estate technology through a different lens while mentoring startup founders and CEOs and helping them as they embark on the same journey I embarked on four years ago.

AlphaFlow Appoints Chris Woida As Co-Chief Investment Officer (AlphaFlow), Rated: A

AlphaFlow, the first automated alternative investment platform for real estate, announced today that Chris Woida has joined the company as co-Chief Investment Officer. Woida will serve as co-CIO alongside the firm’s CEO Ray Sturm, who will act as both CEO and co-CIO.

Woida brings over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, previously helping build BlackRock’s smart beta and factor-based platforms and serving as the lead investment strategist for its flagship style-factor hedge fund during his seven years with the company. Most recently, he served as Managing Director, Head of Index Solutions at Axioma, a provider of enterprise market risk and portfolio analytics solutions. In this role, Woida helped the index business expand into derivatives, fixed income and alternative data sources, including AI and ESG.

MPOWER Financing Hires Lutz Braum, Fintech and Higher Ed Marketing Veteran (Cleveland19), Rated: B

MPOWER Financing, a public benefit corporation focused on removing financial barriers to higher education in the U.S., has appointed Lutz Braum as its vice president of marketing and business development.

Finova Financial’s New Fundraising Process Leverages Cryptocurrency to Serve Non-Accredited Investors (Finovate), Rated: B

Alternative lender Finova Financial introduced a new product this week that will offer non-accredited investors access to regulated public securities offerings.

The new offering is called the JOBS Crypto Offering (JCO) and will allow investors to use cryptocurrency to invest in equity ownership of previously privately-held companies.

Read more about Finova’s JCO offering here.

Is it possible to land a car loan with no down payment? (Bankrate), Rated: B

Buying a car is a significant investment, with the average new car costing $34,968 in 2017.

The average down payment for a used car is generally 10 percent of the purchase price; if you’re buying a new car, you can expect to pay slightly more, probably between 12 and 20 percent.

LENDINGTREE, LEADSCON ANNOUNCE $ 25,000 INNOVATION CHALLENGE IN LAS VEGAS (Business Insider), Rated: B

LendingTree®, the online loan marketplace, and Access Intelligence, a business information and marketing company, today announced a new initiative to showcase the top innovations in financial technology (fintech) lead generation at LeadsCon Las Vegas this March.

Startups and established businesses from around the world can apply today for a chance to receive exposure, bragging rights and $25,000 in cash.

United Kingdom

IFISA first-mover Crowd2Fund kicks off £30m fundraise, eyes £1bn valuation by 2022 (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Crowd2Fund has embarked on an ambitious series of fundraises that it hopes will see £30m raised within the next 24 months.

The peer-to-peer lender, one of the first to launch an Innovative Finance ISA, has already raised £1.5m from 113 of its own investors (all of whom are either sophisticated or high net worth individuals). More shares were made available after demand exceeded the initial target of £1m. These investors have bought shares in the company at a valuation of £33m. The capital is being raised through Crowd2Fund’s platform.

UK consumer lending not driven by subprime borrowers, regulators say (Daily Mail), Rated: A

Rapid growth in Britain’s consumer credit has been driven by borrowing by people with good credit scores, not subprime lending, according to research from regulators on Monday.

Unsecured consumer lending grew at near double-digit rates in 2016 and 2017, and concern that lenders had overestimated their borrowers’ creditworthiness led the Bank of England to tell them in September to hold 10 billion pounds ($13.54 billion) of extra capital.

However, research jointly published by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and a BoE blog showed that two-thirds of outstanding lending as of November 2016 was held by borrowers with credit scores in the top 30 percent.

Here’s everything you need to know about business finance (UKTech.news), Rated: A

Wherever you are on your life cycle, knowing the financing options available to you is a crucial part of growing and running your business.

Equity Funding

Equity finance can be used at various stages of your business life cycle and giving up equity can be a big decision.

Private equity

Private equity focuses on more medium to long term investment and will usually involve the development of the product and a new management structure to improve the performance of the business.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding aims to connect businesses with a large number of potential investors via a shared online platform.

Debt Funding

Debt finance is usually used as a means of long term investment or funding working capital.

Peer to Peer (P2P) lending

P2P lending brings individual borrowers and lenders together via an online platform by by-passing traditional banks with the aim of achieving better rates for all.

Asset finance

Assets can be purchased via leasing or hire purchase agreements which can assist the cash flow of the business. The asset is not fully paid for upfront but over a fixed period of time and the lease or hire purchase agreement is secured on the asset being financed.

Debt factoring

A debt factor will take on the sales ledger of the business and chase money owed by your customers. The factor will advance most of the value of the outstanding sales invoices to the business with the balance being paid once the customers have fully repaid their debt.

China

China Fintech: 2nd consumer credit bureau in sight now (EJ Insight), Rated: AAA

Last week, on January 4, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) accepted a license application for consumer credit bureau led by the National Internet Finance Association of China. As of now, the Credit Reference Center of the central bank is the only consumer credit bureau in China.

Consumer loan securitization boom put on hold as China clamps down on leverage (Reuters), Rated: A

A boom in asset-backed securities issued by micro-lenders aiming to expand in China’s fast-growing online credit market looks set to slow this year amid growing regulatory scrutiny.

Rules announced on Dec. 1 limited the amount of lending backed by the products the companies can make. They were also required to consolidate them on their balance sheets.

Ant Financial is the largest issuer of consumer loan securities, accounting for 60 percent of all issues in 2017, according to Reuters calculations based on data from China Securitisation Analytics.

Its two Chongqing-based micro-loan companies had total net capital of 10.6 billion yuan, but issued 265.1 billion yuan in loans by the end of June, according to CIB Research, a unit of Industrial Bank Co (601166.SS). Outstanding loan securities issued by the two units have exceeded 250 billion yuan, it said.

Growth in China’s financial technology has only just begun, CEO says (CNBC), Rated: A

China’s burgeoning financial technology industry went through plenty of ups and downs last year, but growing pains experienced in the sector aren’t fazing one local player.

But increased competition in the space doesn’t suggest the sector is overcrowded, according to David Ye, the co-founder and CEO of Jianpu Technology.

“In China, we have close to 9,000 microfinance companies, we have close to 2,000 peer-to-peer companies. Only four of them got listed … It’s just a tiny drop of water in the big blue ocean,” he said.

This firm’s fintech play is connecting financial services in China from CNBC.

European Union

Klarna Payments Expands eCommerce Footprint with ACI Worldwide (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, today announced an extended partnership with Klarna, leveraging ACI’s UP eCommerce Payments solution. This will enable online businesses in 10 major markets, including the U.S. and U.K., to easily integrate Klarna’s payment products, and offer shoppers a fast and frictionless checkout process that can improve conversion rates immediately.

International

History of Ripple (BuyRipple.com), Rated: AAA

Source: BuyRipple.com

Cryptocurrency markets: Top 10 coins with greatest 24-hour change 8 Jan 2018 (finder), Rated: A

3. ETHLend (LEND) +32%

The peer to peer lending platform has seen a decent spike after it featured heavily across exchange Coinspot’s Facebook page as they look too soon be listed on the exchange. That exposure has also highlighted the achievements the Estonian company has made recently, including launching its fiat based loans at the end of 2017.

Crypto cards just suffered a major setback (Financial Times), Rated: A

Strict terms and conditions usually govern the circumstances in which prepay cards can be issued by unlicensed (non-bank) institutions due to their popularity with the unbanked or low-credit community as well as their propensity to be taken advantage of for money laundering reasons. These T&Cs tend to be jurisdiction dependent, and can in some cases restrict the types of funds that can be loaded onto cards by source (for example the source of funds might be restricted to welfare payments and/or employer compensation for services rendered).

Take as an example the following condition attached to a card brought to market by an outfit called TenX:

LOADING FUNDS TO YOUR ACCOUNT

Five.1 Your Card is a payout card tied to an account directly or indirectly established by an employer or other such corporate payor (each, a “Payor”) on behalf of a consumer to which electronic funds transfers of the consumer’s wages or other compensation are made on a recurring basis, whether the account is operated or managed by the employer, a third party payout processor, or a depository institution. Only funds from a Payor may be loaded to your Account In case of errors or questions about the funds loaded to your Account, contact your payout provider.

How will lenders meet identity verification challenges in 2018? (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Online lenders will start to move away from the social security number (SSN) as a personal identifier.

Big data and machine learning will take centre stage in the drive for better identity verification.

Larger online lenders will bring more of their fraud-fighting efforts in-house.

Online financial institutions will begin to adopt blockchain.

Cybersecurity startups raked in $ 7.6 billion in VC money in 2017 — twice as much as the year before (Business Insider), Rated: B

Globally, venture investors put $7.6 billion in cybersecurity companies last year, which was up from $3.8 billion in 2016, according to the research firm. The number of cybersecurity-related investments jumped to 548 in 2017 from 467 deals the year before.

Global spending on cybersecurity was estimated to reach $83.5 billion in 2017, and that number could hit $119.9 billion in 2021, according to an IDC report from October.

India

FinTech Trends That Will Shape The Industry In 2018 (BW Disrupt), Rated: A

Banks will increasingly start looking at startups in the FinTech, RegTech and InsurTech space as their extended innovation arms with a view to collaborate with them.

The BharatQR code, a unique interoperable payment acceptance solution developed by the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), Mastercard and Visa will enable point of sale (POS) transactions to be made more seamlessly. Along with banks, payment wallets like Paytm and MobiKwik will continue to make huge investments to leverage this new standard.

Startups in this space are likely to well as adoption by banks and other financial institutions rises in AI, ML, NLP (Natural Language Processing) and NLG (Natural Language Generation).

Asia

How one woman beat the odds to start-up success (Myanmar Times), Rated: AAA

In credit-scarce Myanmar, obstacles abound for budding entrepreneurs with bright ideas, big potential and dry pockets. With banks reluctant to lend to individuals without appropriate collateral and proven track records, many small businesses ultimately fail.

Ma Khin Yadana is among those with a success story behind her garment business, which she started from scratch around five years ago.

To get back on her feet, Ma Khin Yadana sought help from a small business group on Facebook, where she met with other garment shop owners across Myanmar who were willing to invest in start-up businesses like hers by extending credit via a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending system. In return, the funds would be paid back with interest within 15 days.

However, the constant pressure of having to repay loans has begun to take a toll on the young entrepreneur. “Most of the loans from investors are on six-month terms. So far, I have 70 investors to whom I must repay K100 million in total.

When the loans are due, I have to repay in full plus interest. The main problem is the 15pc interest rate, which is too high,” she said.

In mid-2017, with higher levels of debt coming due, Ma Khin Yadana negotiated with investors for lower interest rates of 10pc.

Canada

CIBC Innovation Banking unit launched to help grow startups (Finextra), Rated: A

Today, CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) introduced CIBC Innovation Banking, a full-service business that delivers strategic advice and funding to North American technology and innovation clients at each stage of their business cycle, from start up to IPO and beyond.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday August 14 2017, Daily News Digest

OnDeck net interest margin

News Comments Today’s main news: Varo Money applies for a bank charter. This news could blight SoFi for a time. MPOWER Financing launches $100M debt funding round. Zopa updates on IT glitch, disappearing money. JD Finance opens VC fund for early-stage projects.SoftBank invests in Flipkart.Money Forward to IPO in Tokyo. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ on PayPal, LendingClub, and OnDeck. Today’s […]

OnDeck net interest margin

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

APAC

Middle East

News Summary

United States

Fintech Firm Backed by Warburg Pincus Files for Bank Charter (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Varo Money Inc., a digital banking startup backed by private-equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, last week formally applied for a national banking charter and deposit insurance, the company said. The filings aren’t public yet.

Taking those steps could put Varo—which now partners with banks to provide services for its mobile banking application—on the path to becoming a full-fledged, regulated bank. That means it would take deposits, pay interest, make loans in any state, and issue cards, all through smartphone apps.

Social Finance Inc., known as SoFi, is seeking to become a Utah industrial bank. A group of Silicon Valley venture-capital firms recently bought stakes in a New Jersey bank, CRB Group Inc., that partners with fintech software firms.

Varo is going a step further, seeking a national banking charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, as well as the ability to take deposits from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Another Silicon Valley Start-Up Faces Sexual Harassment Claims (The New York Times), Rated: AAA

Social Finance, a hot financial start-up, is the latest prominent Silicon Valley company to face accusations that it turned a blind eye to sexual harassment.

The former employee who filed the suit, Brandon Charles, worked at SoFi for only a few months this year. But the lawyer handling the case, Robert Ottinger, said that he expected to file another lawsuit next week claiming broader mistreatment of other SoFi employees and seek class-action status.

A spokesman for SoFi, Jim Prosser, said that the claims by Mr. Charles were “investigated in depth by the company and found to have no merit. We will vigorously defend ourselves against any claims otherwise.”

PayPal acquires Swift; Lending Club and OnDeck Q2 Earnings (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

PayPal acquired Swift Capital, a provider of working capital to small business owners. PayPal cited Swift’s talent and capabilities as rationale for the transaction, as well as a desire to strengthen PayPal’s overall merchant value proposition. We note that PayPal invested in LendUp just a few weeks ago. The payment processor appears keen on bulking up its lending footprint to compete with rivals Square, Affirm, and Amazon Lending.

On Thursday, it was announced that KKR agreed to buy Australian non-bank lender Pepper Group for $518 Mn. Vyze, which offers a tech solution for point-of-sale financing, announced a $13 Mn investment led by Austin Ventures. Lastly, Coinbase, the cryptocurrency brokerage and exchange, has raised $100 Mn at a $1.5 Bn valuation.

Lending Club Beats Estimates

After a rough 2016, Lending Club has regained investor confidence with net revenue and originations at their highest levels since Q1 2016. As of Friday’s close, Lending Club’s share price was at $5.90, up 20% from its recent low of $4.92. A key success in Lending Club exceeding expectations was the CLUB securitization which netted $3.7 Mn–a key driver of Lending Club’s $4.5 Mn in Adjusted EBITDA this past quarter.

  • New revenue stream: Lending Club plans to continue with one securitization per quarter, with expectations of a prime deal in Q3. They plan to contribute approximately $100 Mn in prime loans off the balance sheet for Q3’s deal. 
  • The CLUB securitization netted $3.7 Mn and was highly oversubscribed: Through sponsoring the security, Lending Club earned ~$600k, via a combination of selling servicing rights, pricing above book value, and netting out costs. The other $3.1 Mn came from $4.6 Mn in interest income earned while accumulating near-prime loans, less $1.4 Mn in write downs as principal was paid off.
  • Increased bank participation: Lending Club saw 44% participation from banks in Q2 which decreases its “effective funding cost” and shows confidence in their loans.

OnDeck

OnDeck moved to a positive adjusted Net Income ($1.5 Mn) and generated gross revenue of $86.7 Mn (up 25% year-over-year). OnDeck has focused on tightening credit underwriting and cost rationalization; consequently, originations were down for the quarter to $464 Mn (from $590 Mn last year). OnDeck has successfully executed its $45 Mn cost rationalization plan and expects operating expenses of ~$40 Mn for each of the next two quarters.  

Net Interest Margin and Net Interest Margin after Losses have fallen to their lowest points in recent times. A large contributing factor to this is Net Charge-Offs by quarter which has hit a recent high of 18.5%. We would expect charge-offs to decline in future quarters and NIM to expand due to management actions to tighten credit underwriting and cost rationalization.

Source: PeerIQ, Bloomberg
Source: PeerIQ, Bloomberg

MPOWER Financing Launches $ 100 Million Debt Funding Round (Markets Insider), Rated: AAA

MPOWER Financing (www.mpowerfinancing.com), an innovative fintech company and provider of educational loans to high-potential, international students, has launched a $100 million debt financing round to meet its growing pipeline of loan applications.

MPOWER Financing also announced that Mike Davis, the company’s co-founder, has assumed the position of chief investment officer, replacing Alonso Garza, who will become a member of the company’s board of advisors and will serve as consultant for LATAM business and capital development out of Mexico City.

Initial coin offerings have raised $ 1.2 billion and now surpass early stage VC funding (CNBC), Rated: AAA

The amount of money raised by cryptocurrency and blockchain start-ups via so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs) has surpassed early stage venture capital (VC) funding for internet companies for the past two months.

The total amount of money raised via ICOs in April was just under $100 million, but by May this had more than doubled to almost $250 million, according to Coinschedule, a website that tracks such data. In June, ICO funding had hit over $550 million and it was the first month ever that it surpassed angel and seed VC funding.

Angel and early VC funding in June was just under $300 million, Goldman noted, according to CB Insights data. In July, ICOs were just over $300 million, while angel and early VC funding was just over $200 million.

 

Fundrise Adds National For Sale Housing eFund to Growing List of Investment Options (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Fundrise, an online investment platform for real estate, has filed for a National For Sale House eFund. Fundrise has previously announced targeted eFunds dedicated to specific metro markets. Fundrise will be offering up to $50 million in common shares to the public at $10.00 per share. The minimum investment in our common shares for initial purchases is 100 shares, or $1,000 based on the current per share price. The offering circular has all the information you may want to review and this specific eFund is not yet available on the Fundrise real estate investing platform.

Fundrise National For-Sale Housing eFund, LLC was formed to acquire property for the development of for-sale housing in metro areas other than Los Angeles and Washington, DC – where Fundrise currently has targeted eFunds.

LendingClub CIO: Delinquencies Decline as Marketplace Lending Model Continues to Improve (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The executive explains that part of the power of the marketplace lending model is the iterative nature of the loan making process. Over time, data generated from lending provides a Kaizen like process of continuous improvement. This allows LendingClub to anticipate and adapt faster on behalf of both borrowers and lenders.

Projected investor returns are also largely unchanged from the first quarter ranging from approximately 4% to 9%.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

RealtyMogul Update: Over $ 290 Million has Been Invested via the Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

RealtyMogul has now raised over $290 million online from over 135,000 investors.  RealtyMogul has returned more than $65 million to investors with zero principle lost, according to management. RealtyMogul also operates a 1031 exchange that allows current investors in real estate to defer capital gains tax on the sale of a property if they reinvest the proceeds in another qualifying property.

Jilliene Helman: The are currently 11 investments in MogulREIT I, which recently declared its twelfth consecutive month of 8% annualized returns on investment.

Jilliene Helman: With increasing demand for housing across the country, we see a huge opportunity in the multifamily marketplace. As millennials and Gen Z enter the workforce, they are of prime age and income for renting, and their preference to maintain a flexible lifestyle supports renting instead of buying a home.

Opportunities exist in many geographies around the country, and while the underwriting process is very complicated, some factors we look for are favorable business climates, an upward trending influx of young people and strong job growth in key industries. Markets that meet these criteria include Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Raleigh and Salt Lake City.

Application fraud continues to escalate, causing more and more companies to seek biometric solutions (PR Newswire), Rated: A

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, a part of RELX Group, and BioCatch, the behavioral biometrics industry leader, announced today that they are working together to help companies in all industries bolster efforts to stymie fraud scenarios, like application fraud, a rapidly-growing issue. According to the LexisNexis Risk Solutions card issuer fraud study, application and account takeover fraud represents 40 percent of total fraud losses.

As a result of this new relationship, companies will receive additional risk scores through the LexisNexis® Risk Defense Platform that expand on the data typically provided by the customer (which can be compromised) by analyzing how the user behaves (which is innate). During the application process, this solution monitors behavior and is able to discern between a real user and an impostor. This approach is achieved by recognizing normal user behavior and fraudster behavior, which includes Application Fluency, how well a user knows the site; Navigational Fluency, how well a user knows various computer functions, and Data Familiarity, how well a user knows the information they are entering.

Integrating behavioral biometrics to detect criminal behavior has proven to be very successful and has already prevented major financial losses. For example, BioCatch was able to save a major Latin American e-commerce retailer more than $200,000 a month against new account fraud, with nearly $2 million saved in the last Black Friday weekend alone.

Online lender expanding into Utah, plans to hire 500 in 5 years (KSL.com), Rated: A

In a move announced Thursday, San Francisco-based financial-tech company Earnest will expand into Utah, with plans to spend $5.6 million on a new office and hire 500 employees over the next five years.

Marketplace lending sobering needs more time. (The Financial Revolutionist), Rated: A

The fact that OnDeck and Lending Club posted upbeat Q2 earnings this past week is a constructive step. But in the wake of Goldman’s growing Marcus juggernaut, Affirm’s point-of-sale traction, Softbank’s $250-million infusion into Kabbage and ongoing rescue financings courtesy of Asian conglomerates and US credit hedge funds, it’s premature to suggest that the good times are back for the publicly traded former wunderkinds. And for that, we blame the 2014-15 fintech hype machine, which led the consumer and small business marketplace lending sector to achieve skyscraper technology multiples in the first place. Cleaning up after a wild party is never fun, and given the former frenzy of online lending start-ups, it’ll take more than a decent quarter to make things right.

A road map for reclaiming the digital customer experience (American Banker), Rated: A

The rapid pace of upheaval in banking and payments today is leading to many innovative non-banking customer experience ecosystems, with banks largely serving a utility function.

The payments process is increasingly a minor, hidden step in the chain. With ongoing digital innovations, nonbanks could take over more of the payments space, too, as well as other financial services. But more importantly, banks stand to lose the all-important customer engagement layer entirely unless they reinsert themselves into the customer experience.

Not only can banks easily orchestrate and field transactions across various industries that the customer interacts with, but banks are best-positioned to provide insights that help customers move closer to their overall goal of financial wellness. For example, in addition to offering card-linked retail promotions, banks can help customers control or channel their spending in the context of their financial status and goals.

Customer experiences pertaining to payments, retail and financial health still operate to a large degree independently of each other. Each interaction in these ecosystems builds on a distinct silo from the customer’s overall financial profile. A fragmented customer experience means that our financial goals are fragmented, our shopping wish lists are fragmented and our planning is fragmented. As a result, customers have unmet needs in terms of maximizing their financial well-being, and must regularly look for reinforcement from external sources to validate the personal finance recommendations of walled-off ecosystems.

Meet Brittany Laughlin, ‎Partner at Lattice Ventures (Vator.TV), Rated: A

Brittany Laughlin is a ‎Partner at Lattice Ventures.

Laughlin served as General Manager at Union Square Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm with $1B+ under management. Some portfolio companies include Etsy, Twitter, SoundCloud, Tumblr, Lending Club, and Kickstarter.

VatorNews: What is your investment philosophy or methodology?

Brittany Laughlin: So my perspective, even before staring Lattice, which was over a year ago, was just on how companies can successfully scale and grow.

The philosophy at Lattice is making sure that the early stage entrepreneurs get the support, the connections, the talent, and the long-term perspective that they need to be successful over a long period of time.

VN: What do you look for in companies that you put money in? What are the most important qualities?

BL: In terms of the entrepreneurs, we look for people who have some attachment to the problem. We look for a kind of obsession with the problem because it’s going to be a long road ahead and if they don’t have that passion early on for what they’re solving then it’s really hard to keep them motivated as times get harder as they grow.

We look for entrepreneurs that are able to build a team, because that’s such a key component: no business grows without a team. If the entrepreneur doesn’t have a certain skill, they can show that there are people around the table that do. We want them to be smart, hardworking, passionate, things that are required in any entrepreneur, but those are things we specifically hone in on and make sure they have.

VN: These days a seed round is yesterday’s Series A, meaning today a company raises a $3M seed and no one blinks. But 10 years ago, $3M was a Series A. So what are the attributes of a seed round vs a Series A round?

BL: That’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves too. As seed investors, we’re speaking to our companies about what they need to raise the next round.

If you’re a SaaS-based business, they’re going to compare your revenue multiples to try to come up with a valuation that way. The rumored metrics for SaaS business, it used to be $100,000 MRR and now that’s creeping to $200,000. I think the reason you’re seeing the larger A rounds is that the businesses have a lot more traction than they did a few years ago so the bar is higher to meet those traction goals, and that’s why the funding reflects that.

I think sometimes taking on too much money too early creates an artificial hurdle for that company where, if they don’t need it, they’re in a worse place than if they took less money, proved some traction, and then returned to market. They can always raise more if they had good growth versus trying to get a big lump sum at the beginning and then, only when they’re out of runway, really looking hard at where their numbers are or where they’re going. They can sometimes get stuck in between.

Can Investors Profit From Peer-To-Peer Lending? (Stock Investor), Rated: A

The question is whether LC could become a buying opportunity for investors anytime soon.

As a result, P2P lenders are able to provide their services more cheaply than banks and other traditional financial institutions. P2P lenders therefore have the ability to achieve higher returns compared to what might be offered by banks. Borrowers can borrow at reduced interest rates even when a P2P lending company’s fee is included.

However, P2P lending is not without its risks. There is a greater risk that the borrower defaults on his loan, since the lower interest rates of P2P lending appeal greatly to those who have low credit scores.

PolicyGenius’ road to traction. (The Financial Revolutionist), Rated: A

Today, Fitzgerald doesn’t get shown the door so abruptly by investors or major insurance incumbents, now that PolicyGenius has become a significant force in introducing life and other types of insurance to consumers eager to comparison shop. However, the “Kayak for insurance” metaphor that is sometimes attributed to PolicyGenius isn’t welcomed by Fitzgerald. That’s because shopping for insurance can be a complicated process with no hard and fast rules.

Alternative Investing Platforms Partner with VIA Folio to Gain Access to Investors and Online Brokerage, Clearing and Custody (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Alternative investing platforms now use VIA Folio’s fully integrated, online offering and brokerage platform to improve investor engagement and access to alternative assets, such as Reg A+ IPOs, Reg D private debt and equity and unlisted REITs.

The alternative investing platforms working with VIA Folio include:

  • ALTZ Investment Strategies – enables access to alternative equity and debt investments, with offerings for Reg D-accredited investors that include real estate, renewable energy, private equity, Reg A+ IPOs and liquid alternative investment opportunities.
  • BANQ® – an electronic investment banking platform for small cap IPOs, public offerings and Reg A+ offerings and placements. It gives advisors exposure to rapidly growing sectors and new technologies, and provides investors with liquidity through dividends or the public markets.
  • Boustead Securities, LLC – an investment banking firm that executes and advises on IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, capital raises and restructuring assignments in a wide array of industries, geographies and transactions, for a broad client base.
  • Cambria Capital – a technology-driven investment bank that uses its institutional investor relationships, and high-net-worth and retail investor accounts, to raise capital for growth-stage companies throughReg A+ and other types of public and private offerings.

Marketplace Lending News Roundup – August 12 (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Lending Startup Earnest Is Working With Barclays to Find Buyer from Bloomberg – It will be very interesting to see who ends up buying online lending platform Earnest.

LendingClub CEO Sanborn ‘Looking Ahead’ After Scandal from Bloomberg – Emily Chang interviews LendingClub CEO Scott Sanborn to discuss credit card debt, the economic cycle and more.

Big banks kick small-business lending into high gear from American Banker – Banks have been steadily increasing their approval rates for small business loans.

What JPMorgan’s latest moves reveal about online lending’s future from American Banker – Good piece by Kevin Wack giving more details of the Chase OnDeck partnership.

ETHLend preparing for ICO (Bankless Times), Rated: A

A decentralized peer-to-peer lending application built on top of the Ethereum Network is preparing for its initial coin offering.

ETHLend uses blockchain technology to provide secure and transparent lending for people across the world, with the goal of eliminating interest rate differences by injecting liquidity into local markets by using blockchain technology to enable secure and transparent lending.

Best Fintech Reports of 2017 (Crowd Valley), Rated: A

According to Bloomberg, more than $8 Billion has been raised in Fintech so far in 2017. Also, 5 companies have already joined the “Unicorn” status with values over $1 Billion. We have compiled a list of best Fintech reports for 2017, from some of the leading names in the industry.

  1. Capgemini – The World Fintech Report 2017
  2. PwC – Global Fintech Report 2017
  3. EY – Fintech Adoption Index
  4. KPMG – The Pulse of Fintech Q1 2017 | The Pulse of Fintech Q2 2017
  5. CBInsights – Global Fintech Report Q1 2017 | Global Fintech Report Q2 2017

Insurtech Reports:

  1. PwC – Global Insurtech Report 2017
  2. Capgemini – Top Ten Trends in Insurance 2017
  3. Accenture – The Rise of Insurtech 

Payments Reports:

  1. Capgemini – World Payments Report 2017
  2. Nordea – Future of Payments 

Peer to Peer Roundtables can help your small business grow (The Shreveport Times), Rated: A

LED’s Peer to Peer Roundtable is a 10-month series of roundtable sessions where 15-18 small business owners meet to share their experiences and learn from one another in a supportive environment. Each roundtable is a problem-solving session that addresses the issues impacting your business right now.

Applications are currently open for small businesses and we invite your business to apply today.

Robo advisors look beyond wealth creation to automated personal financial advice (AITopics.org), Rated: B

In addition to building an investment strategy based upon investment and risk preferences, the next generation of automated financial advisor would need to fully understand customers’ goals and how they prioritise some over others; an emotional dislike of being in debt may see the client seek to pay off cheaper debt and eschew potentially higher yielding investment opportunities, just to get it off their back.

Introducing… Fintech Insider News (LinkedIn), Rated: B

We at 11:FS and Fintech Insider have launched Fintech Insider News – a dedicated news and commentary platform for our people to come together and discuss what’s new and interesting in the financial services industry.

FHA Slips a Little With Millennials (National Mortgage Professional), Rated: B

Several months ago Ellie Mae started tracking loans made by millennials.  When they started, 36% of millennials chose an FHA loan.  That has dipped to 32% in the latest survey.  Conventional loans are now at 63% for that age group.  When one considers the skimpy loan limits in many areas and the cost of FHA insurance vs. PMI when you have a high score, this is not surprising.

United Kingdom

Zopa provides update on ‘disappearing money’ IT glitch (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

OPA has said that it has fixed a technical issue that resulted in a small amount of money seeming to have disappeared from some investors’ accounts.

The peer-to-peer consumer lender said in a blog post on its website on Friday that the glitch had occurred due to recent changes to how they value loans on the secondary market.

Update on loan sale pricing (Zopa), Rated: AAA

One of the ways investors can access their money early is by selling active loans to other investors on the secondary market. When investors sell their loans we work out their value, and compare them to new loans.  If the loans being sold are worth less than new loans, the seller compensates the buyer for the difference, which is reflected in the loan’s price. This happens as part of the loan sale process, which we manage for you.

Due to a technical issue, some investors may have paid too much when buying or selling loans.

Positive Lending to join Landbay’s panel of distribution partners (LendIt), Rated: AAA

Landbay, the specialist buy to let mortgage lender, is today announcing a new partnership with Positive Lending, the latest specialist distributor to join its panel of distribution partners.

Landbay will help Positive Lending service its professional buy-to-let landlord clients with bespoke mortgage offers, including products for HMOs, Multi Unit Freehold Blocks and expat borrowers.

The partnership will also give Positive Lending access to Landbay’s online intermediary portal. This includes features such as case tracking and a property portfolio key, which will allow brokers to enter detailed analysis of a landlord’s full portfolio in advance of September’s PRA portfolio landlord changes. Once brokers have completed the online application process, Landbay issues an Offer in Principle within 48 hours and typically completes loans within 21 days.

Flender looks to raise £2m from institutional friends (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

SOCIAL lending peer-to-peer platform Flender is planning a funding round to prepare for its launch in the UK.

The business and consumer lender, which lets borrowers share their fundraising campaigns on social media, is raising £2M in equity funding and looking for more in debt funding.

Borrowers can create and share a personalised link to their campaigns on social networks, or invite selected individuals to contribute to their loans directly by email.

Ablrate Receives Rapid Response to Recently Launched IFISA (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Asset-backed lending platform Ablrate announced it has received a rapid response following the launch of its new flexible IFISA. The online lender revealed the exciting news on Twitter.

The launch of Ablrate’s flexible IFISA comes less than six months after the online lender received full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Prior to the IFISA, the company revealed it saw an 850% increase in loan volume within the last year.

Mandatory bank referral scheme has delivered £4m to small businesses so far (AltFi), Rated: A

At inception, the mandatory bank referral scheme was terribly exciting. The plan was simple enough. Big banks would direct small business loan applicants which they had rejected to neutral finance platforms, which would then find a more suitable funding solution for the applicant, using matchmaking technology. Those solutions were to come from a whole host of potential providers: from peer-to-peer lenders, to building societies, to challenger banks.

The scheme took a long time to put together. Announced by government in August 2014, it wasn’t until November last year that the scheme finally went live. Initially there were three designated finance platforms: Funding Options, Funding Xchange and Bizfitech.

New opportunities in P2P buy-to-let (MoneyWeek), Rated: A

The big story for the UK’s alternative-finance sector is how many platforms are beginning to look less than “alternative”: Zopa is getting a banking licence, while Funding Circle’s deal with fast-food titan JustEat – to supply lending capital to takeaway food businesses – feels very much like the commercial banking relationships of old. But what has most caught my eye is peer-to-peer (P2P)  property-lender Landbay: more than £30m of its buy-to-let mortgages have been included in a large securitisation of loans with an AAA rating. 

Digital Micro-Lender Oakam Announces Julie Haugen as Chief Product & Marketing Officer (CCR Magazine), Rated: B

Oakam, a digital micro-lender for the UK’s unbanked and underbanked consumers, has appointed Julie Haugen to Chief Product & Marketing Officer. Most recently, she was Oakam’s Head of Digital Strategy & Customer Experience, playing an instrumental role in the digital transformation of the business. In her new position, Julie will drive customer-led digital product innovation through closer alignment of Oakam’s marketing and product teams.

Julie has played a central role in Oakam’s digital growth over the past two years, including the launch of its award-winning mobile app in 2015, and the subsequent rollout of Oakam Grow in 2017.

Firm advises on significant retail bond issuance by LendInvest (Simmons&Simmons), Rated: B

International law firm Simmons & Simmons has advised LendInvest Limited on the establishment of a £500m Euro Medium Term Note Programme for its subsidiary LendInvest Secured Income plc, and on the issuance of £50 million 5.25 per cent Notes due 2022.

China

Jingdong Finance also do the investment? Grilled a Pa “1000 tree capital” past lives (Huxun), Rated: AAA

On the Thousand Tree Capital, Jingdong Financial said, Thousand-tree capital investment target for the angel turn round A start-up company, the core idea is the data for the investment decision-making engine to the public ecological and financial technology for the post-support, through investment A small proportion of the shares, not too much in the strategic and operational restrictions and interference with the investment enterprises, and ultimately to be invested with enterprises to grow together to share the long-term growth in China’s consumption of the purpose of the dividend.

Online lenders limit the withdrawals in the name of rectification, Is that normal? (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Recently, there have been a number of online lenders having long-term restrictions on withdrawals in the name of wed site upgrades and the bank depository connection. Many industry insiders said that it is abnormal , and investors need to be vigilant.

Industry insiders also warned that the centralized release of compliance pressure lead the industry to the “detonation” risk period. If the period of delay in payment is over one week, you should be extremely vigilant about the risk of running.

51 announced the launch of one billion credit card industry investment funds (epaper), Rated: A

The new 51 billion credit card industry investment fund, will continue to focus on the Internet financial industry chain data, assets, traffic and other high-quality companies (51 credit card industry investment funds), will continue to focus on the Internet financial industry chain data, assets, traffic and other high-quality companies Expand the layout of ecological investment. As early as the beginning of 2016, 51 credit card has been in the Internet financial industry upstream and downstream layout of a number of projects. As of the press conference, has accumulated 15 investment projects, of which three in the investment projects have been recognized by other capital, access to follow-up financing.

China preps central clearing house for mobile payments providers (Finextra), Rated: A

The People’s Bank of China is set to make digital payment firms such as Ant Financial and Tencent use a new central clearing house, a move which will see companies forced to share transaction data with rivals.

China has become the world’s mobile payments leader, with non-bank providers handling nearly $15 trillion in transactions last year, according to a central bank unit.

China Sets up Centralized Clearing Platform for Online Payments (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, has required all banks and third-party payment institutions to connect to a unified platform by June 30 of 2018 to ensure effective regulation and transaction security.

The new platform, dubbed Nets Union Clearing Corp., is aimed at enhancing supervision of the country’s expanding online payment market. The platform was set up by 45 companies, including the PBOC which own a 12% stake in the platform.

European Union

German Fintech Startup Acquires Rival as Dealmaking Heats Up (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Deposit Solutions GmbH, a Hamburg-based company that enables consumers to move their savings around a network of 15 European banks to find the best interest rate, today acquired Savedo GmbH, a Berlin startup in the same field. The terms of the deal, which Deposit Solutions announced in a statement, were not disclosed.

Lenders and other corporations participated in almost a third of the funding rounds for European financial technology startups in the second quarter, a 31 percent jump from the same period in 2016, according to CB Insights, a New York-based research firm.

In an April report produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers, half the banks surveyed worldwide said they’re planning outright acquisitions of fintech firms. That same month, BNP Paribas SA purchased Compte Nickel, a digital bank in France, for 200 million euros ($236 million).

EU FINTECH REGULATION, MOBIZ PRESIDENT & OLAMOBILE (Delano), Rated: B

  • The European Banking Authority (EBA) has called for fintech regulation to be harmonised across Europe. A report published on its website from an analysis exercise carried out on 282 fintech operators in 24 member states in spring found 31% of companies reviewed were not subject to any regulatory regime.
International

10 MOST DEMANDED SECTORS FOR A FINTECH DEVELOPER (Mobil Unity), Rated: AAA

In 2015, fintech hit $19 billion in total, and by mid-August 2016 global fintech funding had already reached $15 billion. Later, by September 2016, there were over 1,000 fintech firms worldwide and their value made $867 billion. PaymentGenes predicts that already by 2019, 5 billion people will be making digital payments. Moreover, 72% of the consumers of the financial services already use digital channels to open checking accounts, so banking technology in this case plays a major role. The article on Business Insider outlines that major fintech startups on modern market appear in such areas as investment and financial management, banking payments, currency and exchange, insurance, financing and lending.

According to PaymentGenes, at the moment the most popular and in-demand fintech sectors are the following:

  • Mobile banking
  • Internet banking
  • Blockchain
  • Insurtech
  • Predictive analytics
  • Crowdfunding
  • Peer-to-peer landing
  • Smart finance management
  • Innovative payments
  • Robo-advisors

At the same time, Efinancial Careers outlines seven most demanded skills fintech developers should have:

  • Machine learning expertise
  • Target data analysis
  • Domain (industry) expertise
  • Cyber-security
  • Business and sales expertise
  • Blockchain and distributed ledger expertise

India

SoftBank Fund Is Said to Invest $ 2.5 Billion in Flipkart (Bloomberg Quint), Rated: AAA

SoftBank Vision Fund will invest about $2.5 billion in Flipkart Group, swelling the Indian e-commerce players’ cash hoard as it vies with Amazon.com Inc., people familiar familiar with the matter said.

The investment includes approximately $1.5 billion directly into Flipkart and $1 billion for part of Tiger Global Management’s stake, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing the details. The deal will make the fund created by SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman Masayoshi Son the biggest shareholder of Flipkart, the people said.

Fintech firm Payworld focuses on insurance, loans for growth (DNA India), Rated: A

Digital transaction facilitator Payworld is now focusing on insurance and small ticket loan disbursal as next phase of growth story and has tied-up with a few insurers and NBFCs to tap potential customers, a company official said.

Payworld, a nine-year old fintech firm, provides digital transaction services like mobile recharge, e-payment, railway reservation and remittances facilities.

It aims to bring about 10 lakh lives under insurance cover in next one year through this tie-up.

FinTech Impacts Financial Services: Journey of Fintech from Present to the Future (BW Disrupt), Rated: A

Whether it is the portfolio management process or offering individual financial advice, digital disruption has impacted across every part of the industry. For example, a digital financial services company can now provide investment recommendations while leveraging machine learning to conduct on-going portfolio performance updates sent to customers via a smartphone. The impact of this will be felt increasingly as millennials gives way to even more tech-savvy generations in future for which digital will become the norm.

Many banks will attempt to remodel themselves as technology companies, ȧ la Goldman Sachs, in an attempt to conduct “capital lite” activities that are more reliant on a technological or intellectual competitive advantage and less impacted by regulatory capital and size of balance sheet. For example, UBS Prime Brokerage claims to have a return on assets twice as a high as some of its competitors by using technology to reduce its costs to serve hedge fund clients.

As a consequence of FinTech’s impact we will see the emergence of commercially viable digital businesses that have a sustainable economic advantage. They will not need to extract economic rents due to their privileged position as market intermediaries, providers of capital or holders of an asymmetric informational advantage.

APAC

Fintech startup Money Forward IPO expected September (Nikkei), Rated: AAA

Fintech startup Money Forward could go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Mothers market by September.

The funds raised from the initial public offering will be spent on boosting sales offices and expanding operations and the company’s market capitalization is expected to be between 10 billion yen to 20 billion yen.

Philippines’ PBCOM participation in Lendr affirms FINTQ regional ambitions (EnterpriseInnovation.net), Rated: A

Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCOM) will make available its consumer lending business including home, auto and personal loan products on the Lendr platform following the bank’s signing the agreement with FINTQ in late July 2017.

By offering these products via a seamless, telco-agnostic digital platform like Lendr, PBCOM is extending the reach of its financial products and offering potential borrowers the convenience of applying for a loan, submitting their requirements, and getting notified about the status of their application all at the tap of their smartphones.

PBCOM’s 2016 earnings grew on the back of a 28% expansion of its loan book to P44.3 billion, with focus on secured consumer loans as well as bankable large and middle market corporate accounts. It also provided credit worth P9.6 billion to clients in the same period, resulting in an 11.61% increase in net interest income.

Middle East

New FinTech Partnership in Abu Dhabi (The National Law Review), Rated: AAA

On 7 August, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre (IFC) in Abu Dhabi, and the Responsible Finance & Investment Foundation (RFI), a think tank for responsible finance, announced their entry into a partnership to help the growth and sustainability of the FinTech ecosystem through financial inclusion and ethical and responsible finance practices.

They will highlight emerging FinTech trends and support the development of innovative Shari’ah-compliant FinTech companies seeking to participate in the Middle East and African markets.

Bahrain woos Indian fintech startups (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: A

Bahrain plans to set up a Fintech Centre next year to provide accelerators and co-working spaces for fintech companies, Simon Galpin, Managing Director, Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) has said.

The Fintech Centre, which is likely to be opened in February or March 2018, would also provide networking opportunities for both startups and big banks interested in the fintech area, Galpin told BusinessLine.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor