Tuesday April 24 2018, Daily News Digest

teachers personal loans

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi is like a bank, but not a bank. Finastra’s blockchain solution for lenders is live. Linked Finance pass 50M Euro lending mark. Capital Float raises $22M from Amazon. Today’s main analysis: Cities where credit card debt has increased, decreased the most. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Fintech business lenders are evolving. Why marketplace lending needs […]

teachers personal loans

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United States

SoFi Becomes More Like a Bank without Becoming a Bank (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

During the Cagney period, SoFi was promoted as an anti-bank solution for retail customer needs. The Fintech acquired a digital only challenger bank, Zenbanx, while initiating the process to provide banking services by applying for industrial loan charter (ILC).

A few months later, Zenbanx was shut down and eventually Cagney departed SoFi and the ILC process was halted.

Today, SoFi is pushing further into bank like services with SoFi Money, a mobile first challenger bank like platform minus the banking charter.

Cities Where Credit Card Debt Has Increased and Decreased the Most (CompareCards), Rated: AAA

The U.S. economy is in a good place, growing at a healthy rate of nearly 3% annually, and the unemployment rate is around 4%. So it’s perhaps surprising that credit card balances are growing in 20 of the 30 largest U.S. metros while declining in nine with one city unchanged.

The changes in credit card balances range from a 9% increase in Miami to a 6% drop in San Francisco.

Miami led the 30 largest metros by far with a 9% annual increase. Pittsburgh was No. 2 at a nearly 6% rise with New York and Chicago both just above 5%.

Average credit card balances range from $7,276 in Washington, D.C. to $5,114 in Riverside, Calif.

Cities with the largest average credit card balance decreases

30. San Francisco — credit card balances declined 6%.

29. Dallas — credit card balances down 5%.

28. Baltimore — credit balances drop by 5%.

Fintech business lenders evolving (Banking Exchange) Rated: AAA

While the merits of the proposed fintech national banking charter continue to be debated in Washington, online nonbank business lenders haven’t been circling in a holding pattern over Reagan National Airport.

Case in point: The business of lending isn’t lending, but getting paid back, said Andrea Gellert, chief revenue officer at OnDeck, the largest online small business lender in the U.S.

Pros and cons of alternative data

One of the criticisms of traditional credit bureaus is that they have typically relied on backward-looking, historical data. One of the elements of fintech lenders has been use of alternative indicators intended to give a glimpse of the future.

“Alternative data sources have been proven to work to predict credit,” said Luke Voiles, director at QuickBooks Capital, which lends to users of Quicken’s accounting software. (Currently the company caps loans as $50,000.) The input the firm can access provides a strong picture of how a business is doing and may be doing in the future. Gellert said that as loans grow larger, OnDeck adds in methodologies derived from behavioral economics.

Why Marketplace Lending Needs Less Transparency, Not More (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Marketplace lending platforms — Lending Club, OnDeck, Prosper and the like — have inarguably and fundamentally altered the geography of the lending landscape.  In the last decade, they’ve gone from being a niche product to representing about a third of unsecured consumer loan volume in the United States as of 2016, according to a recent study by Harvard Business School Professor Boris Vallée and University of Washington Professor Yao Zeng.

The really savvy investors, the study noted, aren’t merely savvy because of the knowledge they possess — but because of the technology they leverage. One popular such technology is LendingRobot’s quantitative modeling that takes in the historical data provided by the platforms and uses it to create rules of purchase — and then allows its user set it to literally auto-invest whenever it encounters a loan that meets the rules’ criteria.

Looking at a swath of loans executed by LendingRobot users between January 2014 and January 2017, with a particular focus on $120 million invested in LendingClub and Prosper during that time period, what they found is that those who used LendingRobot bought much better loans — the average default rate for LendingRobot purchases was 20 percent lower than the average default rate on the platform.

What other banks can learn from BB&T’s glitch (American Banker) Rated: A

In February, BB&T Chief Executive Kelly King took to Twitter with a video apology to thousands of irate customers after an equipment malfunction hobbled ATMs, online and mobile banking. “We are committed to making this right,” he said.

On Thursday, during the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based bank’s quarterly earnings call, King revealed the bottom-line cost of the high-profile, three-day system outage: $15 million in lost revenue and an additional $5 million in noninterest expenses tied to fee waivers and other costs.

Zelle, the Banks’ Answer to Venmo, Proves Vulnerable to Fraud (The New York Times) Rated: A

Zelle, a service that allows bank customers to instantly send money to their acquaintances, is booming. Thousands of new users sign up every day. Some $75 billion zoomed through Zelle’s network last year. That’s more than twice the amount of money that customers transferred with Venmo, a rival money-transfer app.

But the same features that make Zelle so useful for customers, its speed and ubiquity, have made it irresistible to thieves. Hackers and con artists have used the system to steal from victims — some of whom had never used Zelle or even heard of it until someone used it to clean out their bank accounts.

Steve Polsky of Juvo (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How Steve’s diverse background as an entrepreneur helped in the launch of Juvo.
  • What Juvo does exactly and what problem they are trying to solve.
  • How Juvo is able to extend credit in tiny amounts to prepaid phone customers.
  • Who Juvo partners with to reach these people.
  • What Juvo brings to the table for the mobile operators.
  • The geographies they have focused on.
  • Why their website leads with “Identity Changes Everything”.
  • How they are verifying identity and approving these people with no credit file.
  • How the mechanics work in getting credit to these people.
  • Why the major value proposition is one of convenience.
  • How they are mitigating against fraud.
  • Why they don’t charge the consumer interest or any fees.
  • Why the big opportunity is moving people up to other financial services.
  • The scale they are at today.
  • What the partnership with Samsung means for Juvo.
  • How the information and data on these people will end up being so valuable.
  • What is next for Juvo.

Boiler Rooms Are Not Brands, Kabbage CEO Says (DeBanked) Rated: A

Speaking at LendIt Fintech 2018 Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein talked about building a brand in the online lending space; he explained most companies think boiler rooms equal brands, he went on to say you need to spend time and money on building your company’s brand; building relationships is the key, not just credit scores and data, you need to understand what your customer wants and needs by engaging with them on a regular basis.

Only Half of Americans Feel Like Banks Can Help Their Financial Progress (Business Wire) Rated: A

When it comes to getting a loan or credit card from their bank, many Americans are not so confident. A newly released study from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC) found that non-prime Americans – the 2/3rds of US adults with credit scores under 700 – were significantly less likely to depend on a traditional financial institution for access to credit. Compared to individuals with prime credit scores, non-prime Americans are:

  • 4x as likely to have been denied a loan over the last year
  • 8x as likely to not use a bank
  • 6x as likely to use an online-only financial institution
  • 21% less likely to believe their financial institution has products designed for them
  • 48% less likely to believe they would be approved for a personal loan

The non-prime are often characterized by income volatility, making it all the more necessary they have access to credit. Yet, one in 12 non-prime Americans do not even use a traditional bank for their day-to-day needs. Non-prime Americans often move to an online only bank to meet this void.

Blockchain to Help Millennials Get their Foot on the Housing Ladder (CoinSpeaker) Rated: A

Representatives of the so-called millennial generation are approaching their mid-thirties, being the single largest segment of home buyers in America. This, undoubtedly, represents a huge opportunity for the mortgage industry.

Couple this with the fact that the American housing market (which currently stands at $26 trillion) is the largest asset class in the world – even bigger than the U.S. stock market – and it’s clear  that there is certainly a huge wealth of opportunity within this sector.

Teachers take out more loans than anyone else (Thinknum Media) Rated: AAA

When we solved for job titles, we discovered that teachers take out the most Lending Club loans with 47,761 loans issued. “Manager” and “Owner” follow, but as you’ll see in the chart below, teacher reappears (with a lower-case “t”) with another 8,777 loans issued.

Source Thinknum Media

This chart shows average monthly income for the teachers requesting loans. It’s widely beleived that teachers aren’t paid as well as they should be.

Source: Thinknum Media

Reasons Stellar (XLM) Bulls Will Beat The Bears (Crypto Gazette) Rated: B

Daijo is yet another decentralized P2P lending platform built atop the Stellar blockchain. The Demo version for Daijo mobile app is currently available and running, with the full version expected to be released in a couple of weeks, however QIN tokens are available for presale.

The QIN token is Daijo’s very own multi-purpose asset. QIN will be used for basically everything on the platform, from rewards, to loan requests, to repay of loans. Daijo presents a little update to existing lending platform, with this, our arms are crossed to see how Daijo and the QIN tokens would perform on the big stage.

Harvest Properties and Cerberus Capital Management Acquire DC Station in Daly City, California (Markets Insider) Rated: B

Harvest Properties, a full service commercial real estate investment, development, and management firm (“Harvest”) and an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. (“Cerberus”), a global leader in alternative investing, announced today that they have acquired DC Station, an office property located in Daly City, California. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified project is comprised of a nine-story, multi-tenant office building totaling approximately 383,000 square feet.

Why you should search for direct lenders for online loans (Baltimore Post Examiner) Rated: B

Borrowing online has a number of major benefits, from quick approval – as the online lender can tell you more or less instantly if you’re either approved or not – to lower interest rates (if any) and easier approval because they always use alternative information to evaluate your credit worthiness. You can find information about all types of loans, but make sure you search for it in the right places. For example, expert online loan lenders like Credit Cube provide a review of all types of loans and they make sure you choose a loan that satisfies your requests. For now, let’s see what the differences between the main types of lenders are!

United Kingdom

Finastra’s Blockchain-Based Solution Fusion LenderComm Goes Live (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK fintech Finastra announced on Tuesday its blockchain-based solution, Fusion LenderComm, is now commercially available as an app on R3’s Corda platform for financial institutions operating in the syndicated lending market. The launch was announced at the LSTA Operations Conference in New York. Finastra reported that following a pilot, the solution is proven to streamline information exchange between agent banks and lenders, driving transparency and efficiency in the syndicated loan market. 

Fusion LenderComm is now available as a “low-cost” service for financial services institutions acting as agent banks, using Fusion Loan IQ, a syndicated loan servicing platform. However, the Fusion LenderComm platform is an open utility for all institutions involved in syndicated lending, regardless of the loan servicing software in use. 

Landbay reaches Women in Finance targets (Peer2Peer Finance News) Rated: A

LANDBAY has achieved the targets set last year as part of its commitment to the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.

The buy-to-let specialist has confirmed that there is now a minimum of one female representative on every interview panel. It has also drafted a formal maternity and paternity leave plan for all employees.

The peer-to-peer lender’s third target was to ensure that for any additions to executive management or the board of directors, at least one woman must be shortlisted. However, there have been no vacancies at an executive and non-executive level since this promise was made in 2017.

Assetz Capital Joins Positive Lending Panel (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

UK-based peer-to-peer lending platform Assetz Capital announced last week it has joined the panel of mortgage packager specialist Positive Lending. This news comes just days after the online lender reached a record number of loans available to investors using its Manual Lending Account (MLA), with well over 200 live loans with loan parts available for immediate investment on the secondary market.

Growth Street joins FCA Register as an Appointed Representative, launches P2P investment opportunity for individuals (Growth Street) Rated: B

Growth Street, an alternative banking service provider for SMEs, announced today that it is now listed as an Appointed Representative (AR) on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Financial Services Register. Formerly a peer to peer (P2P) platform purely for incorporated businesses to lend and borrow from each other, this new status allows Growth Street to accept individuals as investors on the platform. By expanding the range of investors, Growth Street aspires to provide more businesses with a GrowthLine, its business overdraft alternative.

Commercial financial partnership launched (The Business Desk) Rated: B

The Business Catalyst Club has agreed a deal with commercial finance brokers ABL Business to create Business Catalyst Finance.

The partnership will provide access to a range of funding options such as commercial property finance, business loans and venture capital along with alternative finance opportunities like asset-based lending and peer-to-peer lending.

European Union

Loans from Linked Finance pass the €50m mark (Independent) Rated: AAA

Loans from Linked Finance to Irish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have passed the €50m mark.

The milestone co-insides with the Irish peer-to-peer lending platform celebrating five years in business.

ID Finance R&D joins Eastern European tech elite at Belarus’ Hi-Tech Park (ID Finance) Rated: B

ID Finance, the emerging markets fintech company, has been accepted into the Belarus Hi-Tech Park (HTP) in Minsk as it seeks to strengthen its R&D team and take advantage of the favourable business environment on offer to technology companies.

International

 

YayProto ICO (YFN Token): Blockchain Money Transfer System? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

Billions of dollars are transferred every day and people, collectively, lose out on millions in inefficient systems and high transaction fees. There is a lack of transparency and accountability in the system. Another big problem in the major global financial organizations is that more than 3.5 billion (50% of global population) are still unbanked.

A solution to these problems is a crowd-based banking system that secures its customer’s funds by blockchain technology.

Australia

Robo-advice platform Clover.com.au has entered an agreement to provide proprietary online financial advice and wealth management technology to private wealth firm, Collins House.

Clover chief executive officer and co-founder, Sahil Kaura, said the platform would algorithmically assess information provided by customers to determine if a managed discretionary account (MDA) service was appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

India

Indian lending platform Capital Float raises $ 22M Series C extension from Amazon (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

Capital Float, the fintech startup that says it is India’s largest online lender, announced today that it has raised $22 million in new funding from Amazon. At the end of last year, reports surfaced that Amazon was considering an investment in Capital Float as an extension of its $45 million Series C, which was announced last August. The Bangalore-based startup confirmed to TechCrunch that Amazon’s investment is indeed an extension of that round and brings the total equity it has raised over the past 12 months to $67 million.

Over the same period, Capital Float  also raised $80 million of debt from banks and other financial companies, which it combines with its own balance sheet to finance loans to small businesses and other borrowers. Amazon India is among several e-commerce platforms that the company has partnered with to provide loans to sellers, including Snapdeal and Shopclues.

Four NBFCs empowering MSME sector (The Siasat Daily) Rated: A

In this regard, here are four NBFCs that can be explored by and SME and MSME players for financial assistance:

  • Lendingkart-This is a non-deposit taking NBFC, providing SME lending in India.
  • Aye Finance-It is a commercial institution built around the mission to solve these challenges of funding MSMEs and enabling their inclusion into the mainstream of the economy.
  • Faircent-Faircent, a P2P platform has been facilitating loans for number of businesses across the country. Its tech-enabled backbone makes the entire process and hassle free.
  • InCred-It is a new-age financial services group that aspires to be the one stop shop for the customers to fund their financial needs.

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

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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