- Today’s main news: Vanguard’s robo-advisor passes $100B AUM. YieldStreet raises $113M. RateSetter, Funding Circle join FSB funding platform. Funding Circle looks at Autumn for flotation. ETHLend launches secondary blockchain partnership. Modalku hits $7.4M in total crowdfunding.
- Today’s main analysis: KBRA 2017 consumer loan marketplace lending year in review and 2018 outlook.
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingTree survey: Survey takers are optimistic about personal finances in 2018. Messaging is the future of financial services platforms. Existing non-bank financial companies in India cannot operate as P2P lenders.
- Vanguard’s robo platform the first to pass $100B AUM. AT: “Congratulations. This must be due to the company’s deep pockets and their ability to reach current customers quickly and effectively whereas robo-first platforms like Betterment and Wealthfront had to start on the ground floor in acquiring new customers.”
- KBRA releases 2017 consumer loan MPL year in review, 2018 outlook. AT: “This is a must-read report.”
- LendingTree survey shows optimism for personal finances. AT: “Consumers are often over-optimistic where personal finances are concerned, and particularly where debt is concerned.”
- Spike in delinquency rate mars personal loan outlook.
- YieldStreet wants to disrupt alternative investing, raises $113M.
- Let’s talk about alternative assets. AT: “HNWI trust financial advisors more than family.”
- Interview with the CEO of SeedInvest.
- Petal Card raises $13M.
- LendingPoint named one of last year’s best personal loan companies.
- Alkami raises $70M for mobile banking.
- Chase partners with AutoFi.
- Why banks are moving toward automation.
- Download the guide to LendItFintech USA.
- Ascentium Capital exceeds $1B funded volume in FY17.
- Cadre partners with Goldman Sachs.
- Better saves homeowners $2.7M in mortgage refinancing costs.
- PeerStreet interview. AT: “Very basic, if you don’t know who they are.”
- Interview with RealtyMogul’s chief investment officer.
- RealtyMogul hires new chief people officer.
- Pefin’s AI assistant helps people know when to pay off debts.
- Technology forces financial advisors to adjust.
- ProShares, VanEck withdraw bitcoin ETF applications.
- US banks rely on fintechs to overcome legacy systems.
- Riskalyze takes the fear out of investing.
- Can taking a loan be a good experience?
- Apruve partners with MSTS for credit card alternative.
- 4 out of 5 IPOs bombed.
- RateSetter, Funding Circle join FSB funding platform.
- FSB launches AI-led business finance aggregator.
- Funding Circle plans flotation for Autumn.
- UK businesses enter year vulnerable to economic shock.
- Companies want to know if UK is open for business.
- Penta accuses TransferWise of stealing debit card branding. AT: “If they were really concerned, they’d get off Twitter and go to court.”
- ETHLend launches secondary blockchain partnership.
- Central banks experiment with blockchain.
- BABB kicks off ICO.
- Finova tokens are first equity-linked.
- Auswide Bank sells MoneyPlace stake.
- Mom and pop investors exiting property rentals for alternatives.
- United States
- Vanguard’s Digital Advice Platform Is First to Pass $ 100B in AUM (Investopedia), Rated: AAA
- KBRA Releases 2017 Consumer Loan Marketplace Lending Year in Review and 2018 Outlook (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
- LendingTree Survey Reveals Optimistic Outlook for Personal Finances in 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
- Spike in delinquency rate mars outlook for personal loans (American Banker), Rated: A
- YieldStreet Raises $ 113 Million Financing Round to Disrupt Alternative Investing (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
- It’s Time to Talk About Alternative Assets (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: A
- Ryan Feit, CEO of SeedInvest, Updates on 2017 Progress & Crowdcube Partnership (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- Petal Card Raises $ 13M Led by Thiel’s VC Firm (Bank Innovation), Rated: A
- U.S. News & World Report Names LendingPoint One of 2017’s Best Personal Loan Companies (BusinessWire), Rated: A
- Alkami raises $ 70 million for mobile banking software (TechCrunch), Rated: A
- Chase Partners with AutoFi to Deliver Digital Car-Buying for Dealerships across the Country (BusinessWire), Rated: A
- CECL compliance dragging small banks toward automation (American Banker), Rated: A
- Download Your Guide to LendItFintech USA (LendIt), Rated: B
- Ascentium Capital Exceeds $ 1 Billion in Funded Volume During Fiscal Year 2017 (Ascentium Capital), Rated: B
- Real estate investing startup Cadre partners with Goldman Sachs (Reuters), Rated: A
- Better Saves Homeowners $ 2.7 Million in Mortgage Refinancing Costs in 2017 (Better Email), Rated: A
- PeerStreet: A Group Of Surfers Out To Revolutionize Real Estate Investing (Benzinga), Rated: A
- Q&A With Chief Investment Officer Chris Fraley (RealtyMogul), Rated: A
- RealtyMogul Hires New Chief People Officer (RealtyMogul), Rated: B
- Stressing About When And How To Pay Your Debts? Pefin’s AI Assistant Is Here To Help (Benzinga), Rated: A
- Tech advances force advisers to adjust — or else (ROI-NJ), Rated: A
- ProShares and VanEck are withdrawing their requests for bitcoin ETFs (Business Insider), Rated: A
- US Banks Rely on Fintech Firms to Overcome Legacy Systems (Payments Journal), Rated: A
- How a Fintech Startup Aims to Take the Fear Out of Investing (Wharton), Rated: A
- Can taking out a loan be a good experience? (WGN Radio), Rated: A
- Fintech Startup Apruve Partners With MSTS For Credit Card Alternative (Benzinga), Rated: B
- 4 of the 5 Biggest IPOs in 2017 Bombed. Here’s Who Won (Madison), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- RateSetter and Funding Circle added to FSB Funding Platform (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
- FSB launches AI-led business finance aggregator (P2P Finance News), Rated: A
- Funding Circle eyes autumn flotation, report claims (The Digital Banking Club), Rated: AAA
- UK Businesses Enter 2018 Vulnerable to Economic Shocks (CL News), Rated: A
- After 2017’s European Brexodus companies want to know the UK is open for business (Verdict), Rated: A
- WeChat shows messaging is the future of financial services ‘platforms’ (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA
- European Union
- Berlin-based FinTech startup Penta accuses TransferWise to have stolen its debit card branding (EU Startups), Rated: A
- Crypto P2P lender ETHLend launches secondary blockchain partnership (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
- Central banks are experimenting with blockchain technology — here’s why (Business Insider), Rated: A
- Blockchain based BABB Kicks Off Initial Coin Offering to Create the “World Bank for the Micro Economy” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- Finova’s FNVA to Become the First Equity-linked Token (BTCManager), Rated: A
- Australia/New Zealand
- Auswide Bank sells stake in MoneyPlace, only two years after investing in online lender (The Courier Mail), Rated: AAA
- Mom and pop investors fleeing property rental business (Scoop), Rated: A
- Existing NBFC cannot operate as peer-to-peer lender (IIFL), Rated: AAA
- The future of online financial advice and mutual funds (hubbis), Rated: A
- Indonesia P2P Startup Modalku Milestone: Hits $ 74 Million in Total Crowdfunded MSME Loans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
- Mike Novogratz is planning a crypto version of Goldman Sachs (Business Insider), Rated: A
Vanguard’s Digital Advice Platform Is First to Pass $ 100B in AUM (Investopedia), Rated: AAA
Vanguard reached another milestone that should keep competing robo-advisors on their toes: it is the first firm to have a digital advice platform to surpass the $100 billion mark in terms of assets under management. And that comes with Vanguard having launched the service in 2015, just three years ago.
According to Stokes, 90% of the platform’s $101 billion in assets under management as of the end of 2017 are from existing clients. Vanguard’s assets under management beat those of Charles Schwab, which has $25 billion in assets under management for its Intelligent Portfolios, Institutional Intelligent Portfolios and Intelligent Advisory services, as well as Betterment’s $10 billion in assets, noted FinancialPlanning.
KBRA Releases 2017 Consumer Loan Marketplace Lending Year in Review and 2018 Outlook (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) released its 2017 Consumer Loan Marketplace Lending Year in Review and 2018 Outlook. The accompanying research report highlights the fact that 2017 was a notable year in the consumer loan marketplace lending (MPL) space in many respects. Total ABS issuance topped $7.8 billion in 2017, up from $4.6 billion in 2016, a year-over-year increase of 71%. SoFi led the way in 2017 in terms of number of ABS deals and total securitization volume, having completed six securitizations for $3.2 billion in total notes. Prosper completed three securitizations totaling $1.5 billion under their PMIT program followed by four deals from LendingClub’s prime and near prime shelves totaling $1.2 billion and three from Marlette’s MFT shelf totaling $919 million. Avant completed two securitizations totaling $480 million while Upstart issued its inaugural securitization in June 2017 followed by a subsequent deal in November. Investor demand strengthened with orders exceeded total deal size and a larger number of investors participated in the deals.
KBRA’s 2017 year in review and 2018 outlook provides:
- KBRA’s outlook for 2018
- Information behind the growth in the consumer MPL market
- Detailed loan origination and ABS issuance volume by platform
- Securitization performance and rating trends
- Comparison of collateral characteristics, lending license arrangements platform servicing strategies and funding sources
- Synopsis of legal and regulatory developments affecting the sector
- Summary of significant equity raised by fintech companies
Read the full report here.
LendingTree Survey Reveals Optimistic Outlook for Personal Finances in 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
LendingTree recently conducted an online survey among 1,025 Americans to gauge financial expectations, concerns and overall sentiment regarding personal finances for 2018. According to the results, two out of three Americans have an optimistic outlook for the year ahead, with millennials being even more optimistic.
According to the survey, almost half of Americans (45%) feel that 2017 was at least somewhat better than 2016 in terms of personal finances. Approximately one third (34%) earned more in 2017 than they did in 2016, 24 percent put more into savings in 2017 compared to 2016, and 21 percent improved their score over the past 12 months. However, only 16 percent reduced their total credit card debt, making debt reduction a priority in the year ahead.
Additional positive expectations for 2018 include:
- 46% expect income to increase
- 28% expect to pay off credit card debt
- 35% plan to make and/or stick to a budget in 2018
- 35% also expect to improve their credit score
- 18% expect to save for a down payment on a house
- 27% plan to build an emergency fund
- 26% expect to save for a savings/purchase goal
To view the rest of the survey results, visit
U.S. consumers are falling further behind on loans commonly used to consolidate debt, the latest sign that monthly payment burdens have become unsustainable for more households. In the third quarter of 2017, 1.9% of all bank-issued personal loans were at least 30 days delinquent, according to data released Tuesday by the American Bankers Association. That was a notable jump from the second quarter, when the delinquency rate was 1.52%.
Spike in delinquency rate mars outlook for personal loans (American Banker), Rated: A
U.S. consumers are falling further behind on loans commonly used to consolidate debt, the latest sign that monthly payment burdens have become unsustainable for more households.
In the third quarter of 2017, 1.9% of all bank-issued personal loans were at least 30 days delinquent, according to data released Tuesday by the American Bankers Association. That was a notable jump from the second quarter, when the delinquency rate was 1.52%.
YieldStreet Raises $ 113 Million Financing Round to Disrupt Alternative Investing (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
YieldStreet, the alternative investment platform working to change the way wealth is created, today announced that it has closed a $113 million financing round. The round includes $12.8 million of Series A equity financing co-led by Greycroft and Raine Ventures, as well as a revolving credit facility of $100 million from a New York based family office (the “Family Office”). Additional equity investors include Saturn Ventures, Expansion Venture Capital, the Family Office and FJ Labs.
The equity capital will help enable YieldStreet to accelerate the transformation of wealth creation by investing in further product innovation and growing its loyal community of investors. The raise comes as YieldStreet reached a tipping point in 2017, almost tripling prior year originations and surpassing $250 million raised by retail investors at the end of the year.
Alan Patricof, co-founder of Greycroft and one of the pioneers of modern private equity as the founder of Apax Partners, will join the YieldStreet advisory board. Ian Sigalow of Greycroft, Gordon Rubenstein of Raine Ventures and a representative from the Family Office will join YieldStreet’s board.
It’s Time to Talk About Alternative Assets (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: A
While many high-net-worth investors get advice from friends, family and sources on the internet, the majority — 72% — rely on financial professionals such as their advisors for investment information, according to research by Millennium Trust. In fact, financial professionals are over three times more relied on and trusted than the next trusted investment source: 51% of HNW investors trust financial professionals more than competing sources, including family, which is the most trusted source for only 13% of investors.
When advisors discuss potential investments with clients, they often focus on traditional options like stocks, bonds and mutual funds. As our research shows, however, many HNW investors are interested in alternative investments, such as hedge funds, private equity, real estate, commodities, marketplace lending and crowdfunding.
For example, 63% are moderately or extremely interested in investing in real estate and 46% report the same level of interest in private equity. But when it comes to discussing those investments with their broker or advisor, the numbers are significantly lower: Just 25% have discussed residential rental properties, 20% commercial rental properties, 23% real estate investment trusts, and 27% real estate limited partnerships, whereas 38% have discussed private equity.
Ryan Feit, CEO of SeedInvest, Updates on 2017 Progress & Crowdcube Partnership (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
SeedInvest is one of the most selective investment crowdfunding platforms in the US.
Today, SeedInvest is a full stack platform allowing companies the ability to sell securities under each of these exemptions.
How were your numbers for 2017? Can you share some top line detail?
Ryan Feit: We had another record year at SeedInvest. We invested around $50 million into startups during 2017 (more than in our prior four years combined). By our calculations we did at least twice as much investment volume as the next largest US-based equity crowdfunding platform that is open to all investors.
During 2017, what were some of the highlights for SeedInvest?
Ryan Feit: Here are a few additional highlights for 2017:
- HelloMD completed the largest Regulation CF Side-by-Side round fundraise in history, raising $3 million.
- Knightscope completed the largest pure Equity Crowdfunding round in history, raising $20 million.
- We launched Auto Invest to help investors easily diversify in up to 25 startups and so far, 470 investors have made 3,300 auto investments into startups.
- We launched LIVE Fundraising at events around the world and through our partnerships with LAUNCH Festival/Scale and
- TechCrunch Disrupt, $10 million was raised from 5,800 people on SeedInvest.
- SeedInvest had 14,000 startups apply to raise capital (vs. 1,500 in 2015).
- SeedInvest had 2.5 million site visitors (vs. 400k in 2015).
- SeedInvest processed 20,000 investments (vs. just 275 in 2015!).
Petal Card Raises $ 13M Led by Thiel’s VC Firm (Bank Innovation), Rated: A
Petal, the card designed to serve the credit invisible, has raised $13 million in funding that it will use to double its employees as the young startup tries to meet the demand of its growing user-base.
The Series A funding round was led by Peter Thiel’s VC firm, Valar Ventures.
U.S. News & World Report Names LendingPoint One of 2017’s Best Personal Loan Companies (BusinessWire), Rated: A
The media company evaluated personal loan companies in five key areas, reviewing data on eligibility, loan terms, fees, repayment methods and additional features. LendingPoint was cited as 2017’s top lender for people with fair to good credit, who have merit-based qualifications beyond FICO scores that make them worthy loan candidates.
Alkami raises $ 70 million for mobile banking software (TechCrunch), Rated: A
Plano-based Alkami has developed a white label service that credit unions and banks use across digital platforms.
And Alkami’s 4.5 million users have generated enough revenue for the company to justify a $70 million Series D round, led by General Atlantic, with participation from MissionOG. Existing investors include S3 Ventures and Argonaut Private Equity.
Chase Partners with AutoFi to Deliver Digital Car-Buying for Dealerships across the Country (BusinessWire), Rated: A
Chase announced today a partnership with AutoFi, a financial technology company that helps customers select and finance vehicles through their automotive dealers’ website and reduce the time it takes to complete the sale. Chase is the first national bank on the AutoFi platform.
The AutoFi digital retailing platform connects dealers with buyers and lenders. Chase will deliver financing terms online through the AutoFi platform, often within seconds.
Nearly half of consumers want to purchase and finance vehicles online, Chase’s research has found.
CECL compliance dragging small banks toward automation (American Banker), Rated: A
Like many small-to-midsize banks, Bank Independent in Sheffield, Ala., calculated its monthly allowance for loan and lease losses the hard way: setting aside a week every month to complete a largely manual, Excel-based model.
Download Your Guide to LendItFintech USA (LendIt), Rated: B
Discover who attends, why you should attend, andmore.
Ascentium Capital Exceeds $ 1 Billion in Funded Volume During Fiscal Year 2017 (Ascentium Capital), Rated: B
Ascentium Capital LLC, the nation’s largest private-independent finance company, announced it surpassed $1 billion in annual funded volume for the first time in the organization’s history.
Real estate investing startup Cadre partners with Goldman Sachs (Reuters), Rated: A
New York-based real estate investment company Cadre has partnered with Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) to allow the bank’s private wealth management clients to invest through the startup’s platform.
Goldman Sachs clients have committed to investing $250 million in properties through Cadre’s platform so far, the companies said on Wednesday.
Better Saves Homeowners $ 2.7 Million in Mortgage Refinancing Costs in 2017 (Better Email), Rated: A
PeerStreet: A Group Of Surfers Out To Revolutionize Real Estate Investing (Benzinga), Rated: A
PeerStreet is an investment platform that enables accredited investors to easily invest in high-yield, short term, real estate backed loans. PeerStreet sources its loans from non-bank lenders across the nation. They underwrite both the lenders and the loans using advanced algorithms, big-data analytics, manual processes and on-the-ground due diligence to filter and select high quality loans.
Who are your investors, if any?
Our investors include: Andreessen Horowitz, Felicis Ventures, Rembrandt Venture Partners, Montage Ventures, ThomVest, The Kaiser Family Foundation, Colchis Capital, Toba Capital, Le Frak, and many notable individual investors including Dr. Michael Burry, Adam Nash, Ron Suber, D. A. Wallach, etc.
Is there anything else Benzinga should know about your company?
PeerStreet is entrenched in the financial technology and lending industries at large. PeerStreet has been named by American Banker as one of the “Best Places to Work in Financial Technology” in 2018 and one of the “10 Best Startups in Los Angeles” in 2017 by Zippia. PeerStreet is a member of the Marketplace Lending Association and has partnerships with over 150 private residential real estate lenders in over 30 states.
Q&A With Chief Investment Officer Chris Fraley (RealtyMogul), Rated: A
Q: How do you intend to translate your experience from Rockwood Capital to your role at RealtyMogul?
In 2018, I see RealtyMogul expanding the size of its investment transactions, something I have direct experience in managing and find very exciting. I believe RealtyMogul is entering its third phase of growth as a business, evidenced by its recent acquisition of Serendipity Apartments this past September. Due to the ability to invest larger amounts of equity, we were able to maintain a majority, controlling interest in a $24M apartment community. While providing opportunities in preferred equity, mezzanine debt and smaller, passive limited partner interests will still be a critical aspect of our business, I’m hopeful that our real estate team’s substantial institutional background will help us acquire and successfully manage properties with larger transaction values.
Q: Do you think RealtyMogul will impact the traditional institutional investing model?
Absolutely. The institutional world is already starting to sign on to the concept of direct investing because the typical closed end fund model is broken, inefficient and fraught with possibility of misalignment of interests.
Surprisingly, most institutional investors do not want to invest in value add real estate investments in the bottom of a cycle until there is clear evidence of a market recovery. This was evident in the last downturn by the paucity of institutional allocations to value add strategies in the 2008-2012 timeframe. When the market starts to recover, institutional investors should start to make allocations. This may take a year or two. They lock up allocations with 3-4 year investment periods, oftentimes at the peak of cycle. Now is a perfect example of this disconnect.
Direct investment platforms allow investors to move in and out of market more efficiently and avoid an extra layer of fees to the investor. I believe this is the future of our industry and RealtyMogul is poised to lead.
RealtyMogul Hires New Chief People Officer (RealtyMogul), Rated: B
RealtyMogul, a unique commercial real estate private markets investing platform, today announced the addition of Soley Van Lokeren as Chief People Officer.
Stressing About When And How To Pay Your Debts? Pefin’s AI Assistant Is Here To Help (Benzinga), Rated: A
Pefin is the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) financial advisor. The platform provides intelligent, unbiased and personalized financial planning and advice. Pefin’s mission is to look after the financial best interests of users in a way that embraces the unique individuality of their lives.
The platform offers:
- 1. Long-term Financial Planning services, including a complete Financial Plan
- 2. Financial Advice, including savings and debt management strategies
- 3. Investment Advice and Portfolio Management Services
- 4. Real-time monitoring, updates, and curated financial literacy content for each user
Tech advances force advisers to adjust — or else (ROI-NJ), Rated: A
There’s a machine-versus-human calculus that’s going on in the world of money management.
It may not yet be that more financial advice is provided by machines than humans, but to say the industry is on that path isn’t hyperbole. Investors themselves — particularly those of a younger demographic — have shown they are willing to trust a robot for advice.
John Babcock, president of Peapack-Gladstone Bank’s private wealth management division, sides with the humans, but understands automation is quickly changing the face of his business.
ProShares and VanEck are withdrawing their requests for bitcoin ETFs (Business Insider), Rated: A
Two financial services giants — ProShares and VanEck — are withdrawing requests to the Securities and Exchange Commission to list bitcoin ETFs.
US Banks Rely on Fintech Firms to Overcome Legacy Systems (Payments Journal), Rated: A
Legacy systems are preventing nearly two thirds (64%) of US commercial banks from developing Fintech applications, research commissioned by Fintech provider Fraedom has revealed.
Interestingly, 82% of the respondents that highlighted this concern were shareholders. Over half of those polled also noted a lack of expertise within banks as an important concern (56%), just ahead of limited resources (53%).
Commercial banks outsourcing services to a Fintech provider is clearly a trend on the rise, with only 22% of US banks revealing that they do not outsource any payment services compared to 30% of their UK counterparts.
How a Fintech Startup Aims to Take the Fear Out of Investing (Wharton), Rated: A
Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein talks to former Wharton visiting professor Vinay Nair about his startup’s business model and path to growth.
Nair: Can you give us a sense of what your Risk Number model is and why advisors are attracted to it?
Klein: We built the technology on top of the academic framework that won the Nobel Prize for economics in 2002 — Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s work on prospect theory. We had a team of academics do a deep dive into the methodology and they said, ‘On the one hand, there are a lot of novel things in what you’ve done. On the other hand, a lot of what you’ve done is taken stuff that we’ve been working on in the labs for 15 years to 20 years and figured out a way to make it commercially viable and understandable by the average human.’
Can taking out a loan be a good experience? (WGN Radio), Rated: A
Kabbage has enough experience with small businesses to say providing loans to small businesses can make for a good experience. John Parise is the Head of Customer and Partner Marketing and has been following company journeys for years now. His way of making loans a positive experience is by offering flexibility.
Fintech Startup Apruve Partners With MSTS For Credit Card Alternative (Benzinga), Rated: B
The new service enables automated instant credit approval, buyer onboarding, billing, customer service and collections services while allowing business clients to eschew the high transaction fees of credit cards.
4 of the 5 Biggest IPOs in 2017 Bombed. Here’s Who Won (Madison), Rated: B
The number of companies going public in 2017 surged 52% over the year ago period, hitting 160 deals, with the proceeds from the IPOs reaching $35.6 billion, double the amount in 2016, according to an analysis by Renaissance Capital.
5. Qudian (down 47.8%)
RateSetter and Funding Circle added to FSB Funding Platform (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
RATESETTER, Funding Circle and Assetz Capital are some of the peer-to-peer lenders that have been included on the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) new business funding platform.
The FSB Funding Platform, developed by Finpoint, matches potential borrowers with more than 100 lenders through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
FSB launches AI-led business finance aggregator (P2P Finance News), Rated: A
THE FEDERATION of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a new business finance aggregator that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to match potential borrowers with more than 100 lenders.
The trade body unveiled the FSB Funding Platform on Wednesday, after it was trialled on FSB members in three UK regions.
The new platform has been developed for the FSB by Finpoint and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Funding Circle eyes autumn flotation, report claims (The Digital Banking Club), Rated: AAA
UK peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle is set to hire investment advisers as part of preparations to float on the London Stock Exchange.
UK Businesses Enter 2018 Vulnerable to Economic Shocks (CL News), Rated: A
These are unpredictable times for the UK economy. The great financial crisis remains fresh in the memory of business owners and its effects are still being seen in the form of relatively low wages growth and lagging productivity. Meanwhile, the ongoing talks on Britain’s future relationship with the European Union are a reminder that the future too is uncertain. Against this backdrop, a significant number of Britain’s SMEs are acutely vulnerable to any downturn in trade, according to a survey by the business lender, Nucleus Commercial Finance.
Small business owners were more or less evenly split on the question of whether the UK should remain in Europe, but as the survey indicates, the possibility that current trade talks will lead to a poor outcome is now a major concern, trumping both the possibility of another major financial crash or the threat of digital attack by hackers.
And almost half of the businesses taking part in the survey said they are financially exposed to any event that impacts on trade, with 47% admitting they wouldn’t last a month on the basis of their current cash reserves. 30% said they wouldn’t last two weeks.
After 2017’s European Brexodus companies want to know the UK is open for business (Verdict), Rated: A
The first Morgan McKinley London employment monitor of the new year has revealed a 37 percent decrease in jobs available year-on-year while there are 30 percent fewer people seeking jobs in the capital.
Month-on-month there was a 52 percent decrease in jobs available, while the number of people seeking jobs in London fell by 40 percent.
WeChat shows messaging is the future of financial services ‘platforms’ (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA
WeChat could be the next big broker-dealer among high-net-worth Chinese investors.
Its parent company, Tencent, now has a license that allows it to sell mutual funds on WeChat and give the popular messaging app’s 980 million users more options to help boost funds sold on the platform. It also gives Tencent more sway in deciding which financial products third-party companies can sell on its different platforms.
WeChat is showing that messaging channels, at least in China, are where people like making financial transactions.
Berlin-based FinTech startup Penta accuses TransferWise to have stolen its debit card branding (EU Startups), Rated: A
The London-based FinTech giant TransferWise just announced its borderless current account, which enables users to spend money in a choice of up to 28 foreign currrencies with a debit card. Tranferwise’s choice of a neon green colour for its first debit card was met with anger by Berlin-based SME challenger bank Penta, which turned to Twitter to express its anger at the striking resemblance to its own neon green card.
Looking at the two card designs, you’ll notice that it’s really just about the colour, and chances are high, that TransferWise picked the similar colour “by accident”.
Crypto P2P lender ETHLend launches secondary blockchain partnership (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
CRYPTO-BACKED peer-to-peer lending platform ETHLend has partnered with a technology provider to help record and store transactions more securely.
ETHLend, founded by Finland-based Stani Kulechov, is a P2P lending platform funding business and personal loans in the Ethereum digital currency.
Central banks are experimenting with blockchain technology — here’s why (Business Insider), Rated: A
So, blockchain can be quite resilient, it can also be a way to create greater transparency into central banking, more credibility because of the rules a blockchain-based system enforces.
Blockchain based BABB Kicks Off Initial Coin Offering to Create the “World Bank for the Micro Economy” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
BABB, a banking platform based on Blockchain based in London, is launching its initial coin offering (ICO) on January 15th with a pre-sale. The general token sale of BAX will commence immediately following the pre-sale seeking to raise a hard cap of USD $20 million. Once their app is live, BAX will be used to pay for services, fees and licensing costs; so if an individual or business wants to use a BABB account, they will use BAX to pay for it. BAX tokens can also be used for other services.
The money raised by the ICO will be used for BABB to deliver: a smartphone app with bank account capability and international money transfer functionality; a European banking license in the appropriate jurisdiction for their go-to market strategy; and a partnership with a leading retail or central bank in an emerging market, to open corridors for international transactions.
Finova’s FNVA to Become the First Equity-linked Token (BTCManager), Rated: A
Finova Financial is growing as a trusted online lender enabling people to access affordable loans quickly. The platform is recognized as part of the “Fintech 100 list of the world’s leading financial technology innovators for 2016.”
Finova’s FNVA tokens are unique because these tokens are linked with a share of equity in Finova Financial itself. Also, it utilizes the ERC-20 Ethereum token standard that will be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges that are SEC approved and has the backing of assets of a US corporation. Therefore, the token sale is like a hybrid between an ICO and IPO.
These tokens will soon be available through FrontFundr investment platform.
The token price structure of the sale is displayed below, where the price will increase over time. A total of $18.5 million worth of tokens will be sold, on a sliding scale between $0.75 and $1.56 as the supply of FNVA increases.
Auswide Bank sells stake in MoneyPlace, only two years after investing in online lender (The Courier Mail), Rated: AAA
BUNDABERG-based bank Auswide is offloading its 62 per cent stake in online lender MoneyPlace only two years after making an investment to “take a position” in the hi-tech sector.
Mom and pop investors fleeing property rental business (Scoop), Rated: A
Increasing numbers of mom and pop landlords are contemplating giving up on property investment and exploring alternative investments due to reasons such as the increasing pressure they feel from what can be a capital-intensive investment, changes to the legal environment (such as the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2017) and fears of how methamphetamine contamination could ruin their retirement planning.
CEO of New Zealand’s largest peer-to-peer mortgage lender Southern Cross Partners, Luke Jackson, says a string of inquiries about alternative investment options that don’t stray too far from property have been received by his team in recent weeks.
Existing NBFC cannot operate as peer-to-peer lender (IIFL), Rated: AAA
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified that existing non-banking financial companies cannot operate as peer-to-peer lenders. Further, new applicants for peer-to-peer lending license will need to provide the list of promoters and the source of funds for the minimum capital requirement of Rs20mn, the regulator said.
RBI further clarified that electronic platforms that assist only banks, non-banking financial companies and other regulated financial institutions to identify borrowers for lending will not be classified as peer-to-peer lending platforms. Only electronic platforms that also cater to retail lenders can register separately as such platforms, the central bank said.
The future of online financial advice and mutual funds (hubbis), Rated: A
Kunal Bajaj points out India is a large country without sufficient financial advisors to serve the population’s needs. With most people simply finding a financial advisor close to their home or place of employment, financial advice in India is primarily limited by geography which is not an ideal situation. As an added problem, many people find that their advisor has persuaded them into choosing a product which did not meet their needs. “Clearfunds eliminates this issue by delivering a bespoke solution for each customer which uses our internet platform.” Bajaj explains.
Traditional financial advisors try to channel every client into one of 21 possible portfolios (0-100 Debt-Equity or 100-0 Equity-Debt, in five-percent steps) or outcomes, often through first impressions or physical factors. With an online financial advisor, this is not possible, and therefore more work is put into finding out more about the person themselves and their individual requirements by asking periodic psychometric questions about the stability of their employment and income stream.
Bajaj has seen Clearfunds go from strength to strength in the 12 months since the platform has been online. “We have customers across 400 cities and around $10 million in assets under management.” He says. “Betterment and WealthFront took over a year to gather their first $10 million in the USA but now they both have billions in assets. Nutmeg has been in business for 7 years and has around 40,000 accounts and a billion dollars of assets under management.”
Indonesia P2P Startup Modalku Milestone: Hits $ 74 Million in Total Crowdfunded MSME Loans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
Modalku, an Indonesia-based peer-to-peer lending fintech startup, successfully surpassed $74 million (Rp 1 trillion) in total crowdfunded MSME loans.
Mike Novogratz is planning a crypto version of Goldman Sachs (Business Insider), Rated: A
In a statement out Tuesday, Novogratz said he is looking to raise $200 million for Galaxy Digital LP, a “best-in-class, full service, institutional quality merchant banking business” for the crypto market. Novogratz also plans to list the company on TSX Venture Exchange, a Canada-based exchange for small cap companies.
The new bank will be born out of Canadian-based First Coin Capital, which Novogratz plans to buy and then merge with Bradmer Pharmaceuticals. Its main businesses will include trading, advisory services, asset management, and private equity-like investing.