Dark Web and Data Breaches

dark web and data breaches

“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.” – Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web. In today’s world, corporations realize that data is currency and leave no stone unturned to protect it. Companies are spending millions of dollars to protect private customer information from hackers, but hackers have become […]

dark web and data breaches

“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.” – Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.

In today’s world, corporations realize that data is currency and leave no stone unturned to protect it. Companies are spending millions of dollars to protect private customer information from hackers, but hackers have become increasingly sophisticated; hence, the number of data breach cases has surged in recent years.

Statistics show the number of data breach incidents that exposed credit and debit cards have increased by 169% in the last five years. It’s also estimated that fraudsters have stolen over a hundred billion dollars in the last six years from consumers and corporations. This presents a huge opportunity for companies like XOR Data Exchange to grow their data-as-a-service business by assisting organizations fight fraud.

The dark web is that part of the internet that requires special software to access and allows users and website operators anonymity. The identity and geolocation of the user cannot be tracked because of layered encryption systems. Thus, communication and transfer between users are kept confidential, and it’s usually impossible to identify the source of information. This has led to the dark web becoming a den of illegal activities with trade in stolen consumer data at the top of the list.

Lumen and E-commerce Partnership

After tasting considerable success with its last product, Compromised Identity, XOR Data Exchange is ready to roll out its new offering Lumen, specifically developed to “to seek out consumers’ personal information on the internet including non-indexed dark web sites that traffic in stolen data and prevent it from being used to perpetrate identity theft and fraud.” The underlying matrix of Lumen is similar to that of Compromised Identity. Through Lumen, XOR Data Exchange is able to discover stolen data available on the dark web and determine whether the data is being used for any kind of fraud.

When Lumen identifies compromised data, XOR Data Exchange automatically includes it in Compromised Identity Exchange. The two products then cross-leverage each other’s strengths. The insights are used to prevent fraud and identity theft.

XOR Data Exchange is also introducing a free product for e-commerce companies based on the Compromised Identity Exchange model. The solution will help e-retailers identify how many data breaches they’ve had, if data is being used to commit fraud, and if particular data is available for sale on the dark web. This allows the company to build insight into specific customers and identify compromised credentials in order to stop them from committing fraud.

Lumen in Numbers

Since formally launching Lumen in May, the company has collected 1.8 billion records from the dark web.

Acquiring this data is not easy. XOR Data Exchange uses a crawler to pull down the data. During the process of selling the breached data, hackers have to make a sample copy, and that too is pulled down by Lumen. The target zone is emails and login addresses, which are hacked to get into bank accounts.

It charges companies on the basis of the number of transactions. The charges depend on the volume and, usually, the cost varies from 0.50 cents to $2 per record. The company sells this service  as an anti-fraud product rather than as a credit product.

Funding and Future Services

XOR Data Exchange wants to develop a product that can help a consumer to know if their information is compromised on the dark web. Products like haveibeenpwned.com, which cater to this problem are not that comprehensive, therefore, founders want to develop a combination of XOR and credit bureau products to provide customers an effective solution to the data breach problem.

XOR has been able to raise funds in all investment climates. More importantly, its business is not especially capital intensive. The company focuses on customized products for clients and doesn’t need prior funding for development efforts. They were able to secure $2 million in an extended Series A round at the beginning of this year. In 2015, they secured $8 million in two rounds of funding ($1.8 million seed and $6.2 million Series A)

XOR Data Exchange in the News

XOR Data Exchange roped in former FICO CEO Larry Rosenberger as an investor and board observer. Rosenberger’s expertise in implementing data and analytical models will help XOR achieve the gold standard in fraud mitigation.

The company has also entered a partnership with Zoot Enterprises for offering its suite of products to Zoot clientele.

Conclusion

Dark web and data breaches are a reality in today’s digital-first world. With consumer personal information being saved by multiple entities from banks to e-retailers, personal data is at perpetual risk.

It is vital how corporations deal with a data breach, both internally and as a peer or associated party. How companies deal with external data breaches is also critical as users tend to have same credentials on multiple platforms. This creates an opportunity for hackers to leverage information to attack multiple websites with the same stolen data set. XOR, with its proprietary technology, understands the risk and is developing the next level data technology and networks to create a potent fraud mitigation mechanism.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

How Big Data is Changing the Lending Industry

xor data exchange

Data is the driving force underlying market disruptors such as Uber, Lending Club, and Amazon. It’s no surprise that IDC’s most recent forecast for the big data and business analytics market shows a revenue increase of more than 50%, from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to $187 billion in 2019. The segments that are expected […]

xor data exchange

Data is the driving force underlying market disruptors such as Uber, Lending Club, and Amazon. It’s no surprise that IDC’s most recent forecast for the big data and business analytics market shows a revenue increase of more than 50%, from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to $187 billion in 2019. The segments that are expected to witness the fastest revenue growth are utilities, resource industries, healthcare, and banking. By 2019, expected revenue generated by the US market for big data and business analytics solutions will exceed $98 billion accounting for over 50% of the market. One such data exchange corporation carving its own niche is XOR Data Exchange.

Data is the Biggest Challenge to the Lending Industry

The biggest obstacle the industry has come across is the non-participation of big banks in the data consortium. Banks felt that sharing data had no equal reciprocal advantage. So the XOR team built two data exchange systems to develop software that enabled data sharing through permission-based controls and audits: Small Business Risk Exchange and Compromised Identity Exchange.

In Compromised Identity Exchange, users can access the data of a player who has suffered a data breach. This data is leveraged by non-affected players to ensure they can prevent fraud before it happens. The Small Business Risk Exchange allows data sourcing from different industries like utilities, telecommunications, and lending. This allows companies to analyze a particular consumer’s creditworthiness even if he has little credit history. Its focus is on telecommunications providers & utilities who have to face fraud and credit risks with respect to small businesses and consumers.

How XOR Data Exchange Is Changing an Industry

When XOR set up the Credit and Fraud Risk exchange, they noticed communication companies had a significant exposure in the small business segment. Most of the companies were taking a big hit on their bottom line because the data provided by Experian did not have any information on new small and micro businesses. After tasting success with Credit and Fraud Risk Exchange, XOR launched Small Business Risk Exchange in late 2015. Through this exchange, communication companies are able to send and receive real-time information about an applicant’s credit and fraud risk. Based on that, companies can decide whether to increase or decrease the minimum deposit.

Currently, XOR is working on a new concept that will allow them to take account data from banks and match it with compromised data. The result will lenders decide whether a particular bank customer is on the list of data breaches and whether the breached data is being used or not. This will accordingly allow the bank to limit its exposure. The concept is attracting attention in banking circles and has managed to secure three distribution agreements with big bureaus. But the biggest deal it has managed so far is partnering with National Breach Remediation Company.
Among the host of features the company provides, one functionality that sets XOR apart from competitors is its ability to let exchange members set their own rules. They can decide who can access data, for what purposes, and other intricate details. Gone are the days when data consortia set rules for all members.

XOR has to stick by its own rules. If you are not sharing data with a particular company, you would not receive anything in return. It is based on a give-and-take relationship between the members. XOR uses a unique reciprocity algorithm to provide a level playing field for the participating exchange members. The company decided the amount of data each member can access depending on the amount and predictive value of data made available to others. This path-breaking algorithm will help to change the pattern where some industries don’t share information but buy all the data that is available.

The biggest conflict using this method is deciding what permissions are fair and unfair. To address this, XOR created a permission structure. If a lender asks to access particular information, they would be obliged to share the same. To participate in the SMB exchange, every participant has to provide at least three years of data.

The path XOR is treading on is a difficult one as it tries to break the monopoly of established players in the industry. The company has a unique product that is not easily replicated. As its membership grow, its information would become even more valuable due to the network effect. The company is on the path to becoming a staple for industries dependent on reducing fraud, managing SMB, and calculating consumer risk.

Who is Behind XOR Data Exchange?

Founder and CEO Mike Cook is a proven entrepreneur with over 25 years experience building data solutions for the financial services, communications, and consumer lending industry. Cook was a member of the team that developed Consumer Credit Associates (CCA), which was later sold to FDR (now known as Innovis). He also co-founded ID Analytics, a profitable company that served 280 enterprise clients and was later acquired by Lifelock. Additionally, he’s held senior management roles with Experian, Early Warning Services, and American Express.

The biggest obstacle the industry has come across is the non-participation of big banks in the data consortium. Banks felt that sharing data had no equal reciprocal advantage. So the XOR team built a data exchange system to develop software that enabled data sharing through permission-based controls and audits.

Authors:

Written by Heena Dhir.

Wednesday February 15 2017, Daily News Digest

sme trump president

News Comments Today’s main news: Lending Club originations up 1% in Q4 from Q3 2016, down by 23% against Q4 2015. Today’s main analysis: Lendio survey says SMBs split on the perception of Trump presidency. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Former FICO chief joins XOR Data Exchange. FCA says the distinction between advice and guidance is ‘grayer’. China outpaces […]

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United States

Lending Club Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Results (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Lending Club (NYSE: LC), the world’s largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2016, and provided guidance for the first quarter and full year 2017.

Key accomplishments in the fourth quarter across the Lending Club platform include:

  • Achieved targeted originations of nearly $2 billion, up 1% compared to third quarter 2016
  • Continued the company’s lead as the largest personal loan provider in the U.S. with a borrower base of over 1.8 million individuals
  • Lending Club has now facilitated nearly $25 billion in loans since inception

Other developments

  • Ended the year with a servicing portfolio of $11.1 billion, up 24% from the same period last year and delivering $1.8 billion of principal and interest payments to investors throughout the quarter
  • Ended 2016 with cash, cash equivalents and securities available for sale totaling $803 million, with no outstanding debt

Originations – Loan originations in the fourth quarter of 2016 were $1.99 billion, up 1% compared to the $1.97 billion we reported in the third quarter of 2016 and down 23% compared to $2.58 billion in the same quarter last year.

New Lendio Survey: Perception of Trump Presidency Split Among Small Businesses (Benzinga), Rated: AAA

Lendio, the nation’s leading marketplace for small business loans, today announced the results of a new survey showing that small business owners’ perception of a Trump presidency is split, with 56 percent of small business owners believing the economy will be worse or the same at the close of Trump’s first term.

The survey of over 330 U.S. small businesses with under 250 employees found that only 27 percent approve of Trump’s performance so far. More specifically, small business owners believe Trump’s recent executive order on business regulations requiring federal agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new one will help their business. According to the survey, 41 percent believe it will help, 28 percent believe it won’t help and 31 percent were neutral.

Despite the majority having a negative economic outlook, small business owners are still optimistic about the state of their own businesses. Forty percent of small business owners believe the Trump presidency will have a positive impact on their business, 33 percent believe it will have a negative impact, and 27 percent are neutral.

To view the full survey results, visit

Source:

Former FICO chief joins XOR Data Exchange as investor and board strategist (XOR), Rated: A

Larry Rosenberger, former CEO of Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) and current research fellow, has joined Austin-based Data as a Service (DaaS) provider XOR Data Exchange as an investor and board observer. Rosenberger’s experience and expertise in implementing data and analytical models for the financial services industry is expected to help the FinTech startup continue rapid growth, development and adoption of fraud risk models to protect consumers and businesses from identity theft and data misuse.

The addition comes as part of XOR’s latest funding round, a $2 million extension of its Series A investment, which closed at the start of February. In a press statement, XOR Founder and CEO Mike Cook stated the funding will be used to expand XOR’s fraud and credit risk models nationally.

Rosenberger is well known across the FinTech and financial services industries for his leadership of FICO between 1991 and 1999, during which time FICO credit scores were made available to all three major U.S. credit reporting agencies and adopted as standards by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for mortgage lending evaluation. Those scores remain the gold standard in credit risk used by banks, lenders and service providers nationally and abroad. Since his tenure as CEO, Rosenberger led FICO’s research and development efforts for another eight-year stint before taking on his current role as research fellow.

Fundrise’s Low-Fee Crowdfunding ‘iPO’ (Investopedia), Rated: A

Last week Rise Companies Corporation, the owner of the popular real estate crowdfunding platform Fundrise, successfully raised over $14 million in an online equity offering to investors that they are referring to as an Internet Public Offering or “iPO.” The offering, which was exclusively offered to current Fundrise investors, became oversubscribed by as much as 146% within 24 hours of becoming available.

According to Crowdfind Insider, Fundrise’s online offering is the largest one that the internet has seen to date. Previously, the record was held by a British crowdfunding platform by the name of Crowdcube. Last year, Crowdcube raised over £8 million (USD$10 million).

On Deck Capital says unit amended its existing asset-backed revolving debt facility (Reuters), Rated: A

* On Deck Capital – the facility amendment provides for an increase in lenders’ revolving commitment from an aggregate amount of $100 million to $150 million

FTC sends 2016 ECOA report to CFPB (JDSupra), Rated: A

The FTC has sent its annual letter to the CFPB reporting on the FTC’s activities related to compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B.

The FTC has authority to enforce the ECOA and Reg B as to nonbank providers within its jurisdiction.

With respect to research and policy development, the letter discusses the following initiatives:

  • Auto survey.  In December 2015, the FTC published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments on its plans to conduct a survey of consumers regarding their experiences in buying and financing automobiles at dealerships.
  • Big data report.  In January 2016, the FTC issued a report warning that certain uses of big data consisting of consumer information may implicate various federal consumer protection laws.  The report focused on big data’s impact on low-income and underserved populations and protected groups and discussed the potential applicability of various laws, including the ECOA, to big data practices and provided a list of ”questions for legal compliance” for companies to consider in light of these laws.
  • Fintech forum.  In June 2016, the FTC launched a series of forums exploring emerging financial technology and its implications for consumers.  The first forum focused on marketplace lending and examined how marketplace lending operates, potential consumer benefits, consumer protection issues, and the potential applicability of various consumer protection laws.
  • Report on fraud in African American and Latino communities.
  • Interagency fair lending task force. 

PeerStreet: Enabling Real Estate Investors To Reach Previously Inaccessible Asset Classes (Benzinga), Rated: B

PeerStreet is a true marketplace, and the company serves several customer bases. At a high-level, there are investors and lenders; PeerStreet investors participate in pieces of loans made available on the platform. They typically include individual accredited investors, RIAs and funds.

There are also institutional investors interested in purchasing loans from PeerStreet. Lenders are PeerStreet’s supply source and this group consists of private lenders across the country financing single-family residential fix-and-flip, buy-to-rent and commercial properties.

Altisource Continues to Expand Client Base and Enhance Product Lines to Meet the Needs of Servicers (Altisource), Rated: B

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (“Altisource”) (NASDAQ: ASPS), a leading provider of real estate, mortgage and technology services, today announced a specialized Federal Housing Authority (FHA) offering, taking advantage of its end-to-end product suite to assist in improving controls and mitigating risk throughout the lifecycle of servicing an FHA asset.

FHA loans represent a growing share of many Servicers’ portfolios and require specialized processes to comply with complex servicing guidance. The Altisource FHA offering provides servicers the ability to help reduce timelines and increase efficiencies with transparency through a customizable approach. From integrated field services, title services and property repairs to Claims Without Conveyance of Title (CWCOT) Auction Services, the complete suite of products is backed by the power of proprietary data and analytics to help further reduce risk and cost for Servicers.

United Kingdom

FCA: distinction between advice and guidance becoming ‘greyer’ (Citywire), Rated: AAA

New technology means it is becoming harder to set a distinction between advice and guidance, according to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) chairman John Griffith-Jones.

Speaking at a conference in Cambridge, Griffith-Jones (pictured) said the regulator needed to consider its definitions to keep pace with changes in the market.

‘Rules that were designed for the paperwork era do not work necessarily for the online one. The distinction between advice and guidance, once reasonably clear, has become much greyer with the advent of platforms and the potential of robo-advice,’ he said.

China

China FinTech Booms as Mobile Payments Outpace US by 50x (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA

New research has shown that Chinese mobile payments were around 50 times greater than those within the U.S. in 2016, thus illustrating that China’s FinTech market is a strong contender in the market.

Research from iResearch in China has found that Chinese third-party mobile payments more than tripled in 2016 to $5.5 trillion. WeChat Pay and Alipay, operated by Ant Financial, dominated the market. Recent research found that Alipay received the biggest investment in 2016 at $4.5 billion as FinTech funding increased in China.

Whereas, in the U.S., mobile payments increased by 39 percent to $112 billion, according to Forrester Research.

The FinTech market in China is reportedly dominated by two major markets: payments/remittances and insurance. In a December report, it stated that 40 percent of banking services customers rely on FinTech platforms and applications to settle domestic and international payments. A further 35 percent of bank customers are reported to employ smart artificial intelligence FinTech services to handle insurance needs.

The growth of Chinese mobile payments has increased due to the rise in online shopping as the improvement of online financial services.

Asia

Thailand’s Largest Bank to Launch New FinTech Platform (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA

Thailand’s largest bank by revenue, Kasikornbank Pcl, has unveiled that it is planning to introduce a new FinTech platform by the end of the year as it attempts to prevent fee income from its rival banks.

According to information from the Bank of Thailand, Thai mobile and Internet banking transactions increased by 26 percent between April and September in 2016.

At the end of last month, a new report came out that illustrated that there will be a sweeping adoption of blockchain technology in a number of areas including finance within Thailand by 2018.

In the past, Thailand has been averse to the adoption of bitcoin. So much so, that the Bank of Thailand has issued several statements as to their feelings on the digital currency.

Yet, while the bank has certainly taken a cautionary view of the currency in the past, it seems that the country is keen to embrace its underlying distributed ledger, the blockchain.

OJK Disseminates Regulations on Fintech and Pawnshop (Tempo.co), Rated: B

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) disseminated two regulations on financial technology lending services and on pawnshops on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

OJK deputy commissioner for non-banking supervision Dumoly F. Pardede, said that the OJK supports the development of financial technology (Fintech) lending services in Indonesia.

OJK hoped that Fintech peer-to-peer (P2P) lending providers would harmonize and accelerate distribution of funds to micro, small and medium enterprises (UMKM) across the country. The P2P lending is a Fintech product that connects micro business owners with investors.

Middle East

Arab Financial Services to Host First Annual Middle East & Africa Fintech Forum (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Payment processing company Arab Financial Services is set to host the first annual Middle East and Africa Fintech Forum. This year’s theme is “Fintech Disruption in the Financial Industry.”

According to Trade Arabia, the event is being sponsored by Bank ABC and Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB). It will feature various topics, including latest fintech trends and discuss the challenges and opportunities in the fintech sector. The event’s participants will include government officials, regulators, professions and industry experts.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday February 9 2017, Daily News Digest

south korea p2p

News Comments Today’s main news: Huge spike in deposits after Lending Works launches IFISA. Public-private partnership forms Online Lending Policy Institute. Today’s main analysis: How private debt/alternative credit boosts income, risk-adjusted returns. Today’s thought-provoking articles: What roll-back of Dodd-Frank means for MPL. An end to P2P wholesale lending. BondMason calls for end to provision funds. United States Private-public […]

south korea p2p

News Comments

United States

  • Private-public partnership forms OLPI. AT: “This is an interesting approach to dialogue concerning MPL innovation, regulation, and growth. Where the Marketplace Lending Association exists primarily for the benefit of lenders, the OLPI seems to have its focus on consumers. Both attempt to influence public policy, but they different paths.”
  • What rollback of Dodd-Frank means for MPL. AT: “I completely agree that regulation legitimizes the industry, but I am concerned that over-regulation can kill innovation. On the other hand, there is a real danger that protectionist policies can lead to banks reverting back to risky lending practices, hurting consumers, and making it difficult for marketplace lenders to compete. I hope we can strike a fine balance that encourages innovation, fosters competition, and provides more options for consumers.”
  • Zoot Enterprises XOR Data Exchange partner on risk mitigation.

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News Summary

United States

Unique Public and Private Partnership Forms Online Lending Policy Institute (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

The Online Lending Policy Institute (OLPI) today announced its formation and the appointment of its first Executive Director, Professor Cornelius Hurley. OLPI will provide a one-stop resource for those interested in Fintech generally and marketplace lending specifically. The OLPI will provide research and education to ensure informed policy and best practices.

The OLPI provides policy analysis, in-depth research, broad educational initiatives (like the successful MPL Policy Summit), and relevant and engaged thought leadership to foster responsible growth of online lending (providing a strong bridge between established financial services and technology knowledge). To that end, the OLPI convenes various stakeholders, facilitates industry consensus, and encourages the development of a regulatory framework that protects borrowers while promoting innovation.

Key activities of the OLPI will include:

  • Substantive research that affects the online lending industry
  • Publishing white papers, studies, and reports
  • Engaging policy makers and industry stakeholders in the creation of forward-thinking public policy
  • Commissioning studies to ensure policymakers and those studying the industry have accurate data to rely on
  • Hosting the annual MPL Policy Summit to share, educate, and exchange ideas
  • Acting as the one-stop solution for all who seek to understand legal and regulatory landscape of online lending
  • Providing the tools necessary to ensure responsible innovation in Fintech– OLPI will be a valuable research resource for the various associations that have already formed to advocate for Fintech

To reach its goals, the OLPI knew it was important to be led by an expert in financial services thought leadership that has built a reputation of integrity and innovation with the banking community at large. The OLPI is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Cornelius Hurley as the first Executive Director of the Institute. Professor Hurley brings more than 35 years of diversified legal, entrepreneurial, and academic experience in the financial sector.

OLPI’s growing roster of members includes founding members Cross River Bank, Boston University’s Center for Finance, Law & Policy, and RocketLoans, among others. OLPI will announce its broader membership, including many leading industry players at LendIt 2017, where OLPI will host a day of legal and regulatory panels.

What Trump’s Rollback of Dodd-Frank Means for Marketplace Lending (Forbes), Rated: AAA

For marketplace lenders, the industry has matured despite a relative lack of federal regulation and uniformity. While it has thrived due to reduced oversight from lending authorities, a wave of deregulation in Washington could be a curse rather than a blessing as it can further erode the legitimacy fintech pioneers have started to garner since the great recession.

While reactionary regulations can hinder economic recovery, Dodd-Frank was structured in a way that made enacting new rules a heavily vetted process.

Bank lending has increased at a rate of 6 percent a year since 2013, reaching a record high of $9.1 trillion in commercial loans in 2016 and JPMorgan increased core loans more than 10 percent across all categories. If the banking sector has struggled under Dodd-Frank, it hasn’t curtailed profits.

Dodd-Frank has made it much more difficult for consumers to gain access to mortgages and other loan products and raised some costs, in turn affecting profitability, particularly among smaller community banks.

Regulation For Marketplace Lenders Creates Legitimacy

Without smart regulation, fintech companies will continue to be at a disadvantage when compared to brick and mortar counterparts, making it more difficult for a still-developing industry to establish itself as a legitimate entity.

Disruptive innovation can often flourish in this vacuum, but there’s a cost. Without the legitimacy that regulation offers, marketplace lending could struggle to be taken seriously as a direct competitor of the established banking system.

The danger lies in overregulation, but we are a long way from that.

Zoot Enterprises, XOR Data Exchange Partner For Risk Mitigation (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Zoot Enterprises has announced that it has formalized an agreement with XOR Data Exchange to provide Zoot clients access to multi-industry data predictive of identity theft and fraud risk. With the rise in online fraud, clients rely on Zoot to identify new ways to support their business strategy and quickly react to new fraud trends.

The partnership will bring a wider variety of predictive data sets and analytics to institutions that rely on Zoot for their platform needs across a wide variety of industries including financial services, merchant services, telecom, insurance, and healthcare. By sharing data through XOR, businesses are reducing credit and fraud losses, while providing additional insight into fraud rings that may target several different industries and establishing the creditworthiness of businesses that may not be identified using traditional providers.

United Kingdom

Huge Spike in Deposits Reported After Lending Works IFISA Launched (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Lending Works CEO Matthew Powells reported an influx of more than 500K GBP deposits within 3 hours after launching the Lending Works Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). Lending Works’ IFISA product offers 4% (up to 3 years) or 4.7% (up to 5 years term) tax-free for investments on the p2p lending marketplace.

A recent survey of Lending Works’ existing investors found that 88% plan to open an IFISA, with around a third expecting to invest between 10,000 GBP and the maximum threshold of 15,240 GBP of their annual ISA allowance into the IFISA before the end of the tax year in April.

First major peer-to-peer Isa becomes available, offering up to 4.7pc tax-free (The Telegraph), Rated: AAA

Lending Works has become the first large peer-to-peer company to offer an “innovative finance Isa”, beating several better-known rival lenders to the launch.

The new Isas will offer the same rates and terms as Lending Works’ existing accounts. Investors can lend over a three or five-year period. Three-year loans attract interest of 4pc and five-year loans earn 4.7pc. 

Of these only three have launched an Isa. The companies, Abundance, CrowdStacker and Crowd2Fund have lent out less than £100m between them in total.

An end to the nascent P2P wholesale lending market (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Last weekend, the Mail on Sunday reported that lending money to businesses that in turn lend that money on — aka wholesale lending — is something the regulator reckons doesn’t count as P2P lending. According to the Mail, the FCA thinks P2P lenders doing this “would mimic banking – but without the same protection for individuals or regulations for the firms involved”.

Good news for fans of clarity. Less good news for fans of Ratesetter, a leading P2P lender with a boundary blurring business model and a wholesale lending operation that has historically made up around 15 per cent of its loan originations, as we showed in March last year.

The FCA’s views on wholesale lending in the P2P sector are not entirely clear. One advisor to P2P lenders said “different platforms have been getting different messages”, but suggested the practice might raise the question of whether deposit taking was going on. As they explained it, a lending business borrowing from a P2P lender would, in effect, be borrowing money from ordinary people for the purposes of lending it on, which is not a million miles away from what a bank does. In short, the P2P lender might be viewed as a channel for attracting deposits.

P2P investing firm calls for end to provision funds (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

PEER-TO-PEER lenders should not use provision funds, a P2P investment manager has argued in a new report.

BondMason claims the funds, used by platforms such as Zopa and RateSetter, are just a tool to attract lenders.

The investment firm, which aims to get clients a seven per cent return by selecting P2P loans across approved platforms on their behalf, argues that provision funds “do little (nothing) to improve returns for well-diversified investors.”

Looking at the wider market, the BondMason report found lending in the P2P market grew by 39 per cent in 2016 to £3.2bn but warned that this was down from the annual growth of 91 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

19 laptops containing customer information have been stolen from fintech company GoCardless (Business Insider), Rated: A

Fintech business GoCardless is offering some customers free credit monitoring for a year after admitting 19 laptops containing personal information were stolen from its offices.

The stolen laptops contained personal data on an unspecified number of customers, such as email addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth, and names, according to The Register, which first reported the theft. Importantly, no financial data was held on the laptops.

LendInvest unveils refurbishment product (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

LendInvest has launched a refurbishment product with interest between 0.92% and 1.1% per month which is rolled up and paid at the end of the term.

The loan is based on gross development value, not loan-to-value – and is available up to 70% GDV.

Customers can take out loans between £100,000 and £2m for terms up to 18 months.

Peer to Peer Lending on “Right Path” as Wealth Managers Seek Quality Investments (Crowdfund Insider), Rate: A

BondMason has published its Market Report 2017 reviewing the trends in the UK peer to peer lending market.  BondMason is a platform that provides investors a method to diversify their investments across many P2P lending platforms.

According to BondMason’s research, P2P lending is beginning to see a flight to quality as the industry matures and weaker platforms exit the market. BondMason’s numbers indicate that the UK direct lending market totaled £3.2 billion of lending in 2016. This is an increase of 39% versus 2015 but a drop in growth as the industry grew by 91% from 2014 to 2015.

BondMason believes there is significant room for growth of the online lending sector. While P2P lending accounted for £3.2 billion during 2016, the total addressable market is between £100 to £120 billion in the UK.

NatWest to offer online investment fund service and ‘robo-advice’ (Financial Times), Rated: B

NatWest is unveiling a service for customers to access investment funds online through the bank for the first time, ahead of plans to launch a “robo-advice” service later this year.

The service, called NatWest Invest launches later this month and will allow bank customers who do not wish to pay for financial advice to choose their own funds and invest with a minimum of £500.

Other banks in the UK are planning to follow suit by offering robo-advice. Santander is among the lenders in the process of developing an automated advice service and has invested in robo-adviser provider SigFig.

FinTech Monthly (Tech City News), Rated: B

Monese, an online banking app, raised a $10m Series A round. The app enables non-native citizens to open a UK bank account.

Seedcamp sold part of its stake in money transfer startup TransferWise. This news came shortly after it was reported that US giant Andreessen Horowitz increased its investment in the London-based startup.

And finally, Mastercard has launched a mobile marketplace for East Africa’s agricultural sector. The digital platform, called 2KUZE, meaning ‘let’s grow together’ in Swahili, will enable farmers to buy, sell and receive payments for agricultural goods via their phones.

European Union

How Private Debt/Alternative Credit Boosts Income and Risk-Adjusted Returns (LinkedIn), Rated: AAA

Quantitative easing has caused a significant distortion of asset prices and market dynamics. It has had an enormous impact on the price of most publicly-traded liquid assets, causing yields to drop below a level any return can historically justify. In this context, investors are looking for alternative solutions and private markets offer significant investment opportunities and value enhancement.

Alternative Investments and Alternative Credit have asset solutions that are very different from each other with very dissimilar drivers. Understanding these asset classes requires specialization and expertise. For example, in banks, sub-asset classes such as shipping, trade and commodity finance, infrastructure finance, leverage loans, and leasing are executed by specialized departments and treated as asset classes on their own merits.

Firstly, the active asset managers and institutional investors are providing the alternative sources of credit either directly or through their clients. This began the growth of a credit market along with the traditional bank lending in some sectors. The shrinking balance sheets of banks presented a tremendous opportunity for investors who were jolted by traditional fixed-income securities and needed options for diversification and higher yields.

Secondly, many new so-called Fintech companies in Alternative Lending have entered the market and established business models which are challenging the traditional status quo. They are still small in size in comparison with incumbent players; however, their business model is addressing many current challenges in the financial sector (inefficiency, information asymmetry, maturity transformation).

The increasing participation of the institutional investor market and new platforms are likely to bring more transparency regarding the actual return contribution of different asset classes in the future.

How Does Alternative Credit Enhance Risk-Adjusted Return and Income?

Currently, most liquid fully “institutionalized” asset classes do not offer the appropriate balance between risk and return. Monetary interventions themselves over the past few years have caused a positive return  on the most liquid public assets solely as a result of artificial demand pressure.

Contrary to public traditional fixed-income markets, Alternative Credit offers a private pricing differential (PPD) of 0.5% to 5% over the fixed income market, which is an attractive level.

In these uncertain times, Alternative Credit offers a plausible answer: “Going for the safest part in the capital structure and going for shorter tenors.”

  • Credit investments currently the highest safety in capital structure.
  • Alternative Credit can enable exposure for shorter tenors to self-liquidating assets (trade finance, factoring, supply chain finance).
  • Alternative Credit offers a floating rate exposure.

The best feature of Alternative Credit is its due diligence.

Alternative Credit offers portfolio construction opportunities to diversify other asset classes traditionally owned by banks (not mark to market) and segments that are not yet on the public market’s radar.

As equities became too volatile after the financial crisis of 2008, Private Debt became a surrogate for high-yield bonds. In addition, there was a contraction of more than 70% in the AAA-rated bonds and many of them lost their triple-A status (Preqin, 2014). This provided the cornerstone for the development of Alternative Credit, which enhanced the return of the portfolios by offering a combination of higher rates of return and lower risk.

Alternative Credit has already become the cornerstone of investments in many institutional portfolios and has become a regular source of income. It can be concluded that Alternative Credit is the new form of asset class that is expanding quite rapidly, in part due to the shortage of credit created by the credit crisis.

What drives the success of crowdfunding campaigns? (Invesdor), Rated: A

The first article, titled “Success drivers of online equity crowdfunding campaigns” addresses the research question that Andrea so aptly formulated. The question is highly relevant, as a large part of crowdfunding campaigns – both on Invesdor and on other platforms – have not reached their funding targets. Could something be done to increase the probability of a campaign succeeding?

Based on sixty campaigns that had been conducted via Invesdor, we found the following:

1.  Campaign characteristics that are pre-determined by the target company – with assistance from Invesdor – are relevant in determining the campaign’s success:

  • The lower the minimum investment requirement, the more investors and funds a campaign can be expected to attract.
  • Campaign duration is negatively associated with the number of investors.
  • Higher funding targets seem to attract larger numbers of investors.
  • The availability of financials in the pitch is positively associated with the number of investors.

2. The use of the entrepreneur’s (and Invesdor’s) networks is important for campaign success.

  • The more money the target company can raise through its and Invesdor’s private networks during the hidden phase, the more investors and more funds it is likely to attract in total.
  • Posting the campaign on social media is a strong predictor of success.

3. The understandability of the target company’s products may play a role in success

  • The results indicate that companies that offer consumer products, rather than products targeted to other businesses, may be more likely to conduct successful campaigns.

The results presented here are based on an aggregate assessment of campaigns and investments.

Fellow Finance Group 1 January – 31 December 2016 (Fellow Finance), Rated: B

2016 was a year of rapid growth for Fellow Finance. The number of platform users grew 220% and the total amount of intermediated consumer and business loans in Finland and Poland was above 50 million euros. This growth resulted in the overall loan volume exceeding 90 million euros which strengthened Fellow Finance’s position as the leader of the crowdfunding platforms in the Nordic countries and with 4,3% market share in continental Europe (source: Liberum Altfi Index). In Finland, Fellow Finance’s market share was over 30% of the whole crowdfunding market (source: Ministry of Finance of Finland). The average of annual yield for investors was 11%.

China

Hong Kong government dismisses report ranking city 5th for fintech (South China Morning Post), Rated: AAA

The government has dismissed a research report ranking Hong Kong only fifth last year among leading fintech hubs, saying the study did not directly compare financial technology development but rather financial and business environments as a whole.

During a Legislative Council meeting on Wednesday, finance sector legislator Chan Chun-ying asked the government why Hong Kong ranked three spots behind rival Singapore – which ranked second – in the report by global accounting firm Deloitte.

Banks should embrace fintech boom (The Straits Times), Rated: A

Fintech complements rather than threatens banking institutions. In my experience, banking has always been about technology, so today’s fintech innovation boom represents evolution rather than revolution for traditional banking. It is supplementing and diversifying the existing financial system – not replacing or disrupting it.

If we look closely, fintech is currently only focusing on a mere fraction of the financial services spectrum. To date, much of the focus of fintech has been on retail banking services – lending and financing along with payments-related products and services, where mobile and e-commerce has led to real demand from consumers.

Similarly, peer-to-peer lenders appear to be more focused on small businesses and higher-credit-risk borrowers than on mainstream banked clients.

Asia

Korean government to tighten watch over P2P lending (Pulse), Rated: AAA

From the second quarter, the government plans to toughen watch and scrutiny on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending service in burgeoning demand in South Korea.

Currently, moneylenders with assets worth at least 12 billion won ($10 million) fall under the broad state regulation. Smaller lenders can run money business upon registering with local governments.

Under a new act that would go into effect in the second quarter, small lenders also would have to comply with state regulation and watch.

Kelvin Teo erases borders with an online lending platform (Asian Review), Rated: A

In January last year, Riza Fansuri was in a quandary. The 37-year-old, who runs a small food supplier in a Jakarta suburb, wanted to develop new products, but that would take money. He tried applying for loans at banks, but they all turned him down because he could not provide sufficient collateral.

Desperate for help, he turned to a website for peer-to-peer lending, a method of debt financing that allows individuals to lend and borrow money directly from each other online instead of borrowing from banks. Half in doubt, he applied for a loan, and a week later, he managed to secure the 100 million rupiah ($7,485) needed to carry out his plan. His company successfully created two new products — instant ice cream and pudding mixes — that now account for 40% of its sales.

The website Fansuri used is run by Funding Societies, a fintech startup that operates in Indonesia, Singapore and soon in Malaysia. The company was founded by Kelvin Teo, a graduate from Harvard Business School, and Reynold Wijaya, an Indonesian classmate from the school. In less than two years, the company has arranged more than 360 loans worth a total of $19 million.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday February 7 2017, Daily News Digest

Prosper

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi among largest mortgage originators. SoFi Superbowl ad caused 100x in traffic. Prosper launches seventh-generation credit model. AssetAvenue stops originating. XOR Data Exchange raises $2mil Today’s main analysis: Comments on OCC National FinTech Charter Today’s thought-provoking articles: D+H launches auto lending platform. United States Fitch adds SoFi to originator assessment list. GP:” To me the interesting […]

Prosper

News Comments

United States

  • Fitch adds SoFi to originator assessment list. GP:” To me the interesting news here is that SoFi is among the top retail mortgage originators. One usually thinks of SoFi as a student loan company. Now we should think of them as a two-headed … rocket?” AT: “This signifies more than the alternative lending industry getting mainstreamed. It could actually be evidence that SoFi itself has crossed over into traditional finance.”
  • Proposed OCC charter comments & feedback. GP:” I believe most of the comment are encouraging and positive. This OCC charter is needed.” AT: “The comments from industry insiders and top influencers are instructive. It seems the alt lending climate is ripe for regulation, but the right kind of regulation.”
  • Prosper launches seventh-generation credit model. GP:” It is normal to see lenders modify and update their lending models. As the borrower population changes regularly as a function of the marketing channels the models also need to keep being updated.”
  • Wealthfront adds automated financial planning tool. AT: “This is interesting following the news of rival Betterment announcing it will add human advisors to its robo-advice model.”
  • Dead end for AssetAvenue? GP:” Finding lending capital and borrowers in a competitive space is difficult and one needs a real differentiation in product, team, market, technology, or something else.”
  • SoFi, et. al. bet on Super Bowl overtime ads. GP:” It sound to me like a free option from Fox. Why wouldn’t you buy this? Somebody at FOX messed up. ” AT: “This was a huge gamble that paid off for SoFi. I applaud their ‘thinking outside the dome’ aproach to mainstream advertising.”
  • James Hobson to lead Attune. GP:” Attune is apartnership of AIG , Two Sigma and Hamilton. He will be CEO. Impressive !
  • XOR Data Exchange closes $2M Series A extension round. GP:” It validates investor demand and therefore a perceived company value/opportunity. Congratulations to XOR Data Exchange.”
  • Philly Fed president says regulation is key to protecting FinTech innovation. AT: “Of course, he doesn’t have a hand in policy-making, so it’s just one voice in the wind.”

United Kingdom

Canada

Australia

Asia

United States

Fitch adds SoFi to its originator assessment list (HousingWire), Rated: AAA

Fitch Ratings added SoFi, also known as Social Finance, to its special report containing operational assessments of U.S. residential loan aggregators and originators, along with six other entities.

The update to the special report marks the first update since the report was last published in July 2016, bringing the total number of entities covered in the report to 31.

Fitch notes that because SoFi is now one of the largest online residential mortgage retailers, it deemed it prudent to expand its prime coverage by completing an operation risk review of the SoFi residential mortgage origination program.

The report added that as of Sept. 30, 2016, SoFi originated $7.9 billion in student loan refinancing, $3.3 billion in personal loans, and $900 million in prime jumbo mortgage loans.

Proposed OCC National Fintech Charter Comments & Feedback (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Last December, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – part of the Department of Treasury-  proposed a “National Bank Charter for Fintech Companies”. The exploration stirred up a hornet’s nest of public officials that were not too pleased the OCC would think outside the box about financial innovation.  The deadline for comments was January 15, 2017, and have been made publicly available here.

Below are some anecdotal excerpts from almost 100 comments posted online.

“We applaud the OCC for its work to support this responsible innovation. The proposed special purpose national bank charters present marketplace lending with an additional path to continue to grow and serve consumers and small businesses nationwide more efficiently, fairly, and affordably.”

Richard H. Neiman Head of Regulatory & Government Affairs Lending Club

“As OCC considers the issuance of a special purpose national bank charter, it should, no doubt, consider how the recipient addresses, or plans to address, financial inclusion. The financial inclusion topic is likely unfamiliar and new to many of the firms potentially examining the OCC chartering process. In that regard, firms new and old would benefit from additional guidance on OCC’s working definition of “financial inclusion,” how firms will be scored against OCC’s financial inclusion framework and what those firms should proactively focus on as they approach OCC for initial exploratory conversations.”

Frank Altman & Nick Elders, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA

“We believe that, from a public policy perspective, it is far better for financial services regulators to be active participants than onlookers. Protection of consumers, small businesses, and the financial system itself will be more effective if carried out by supervisors who are fully informed and knowledgeable.”

Prof. Cornelius Hurley, Director, Online Lending Policy Institute Inc.

“By encouraging the growth of responsible, compliant online lending platforms, such as Avant, regulatory agencies can help encourage beneficial competition in both the online and traditional lending industries generally. This will lead to more lending opportunities for borrowers and ultimately lower rates and better pricing for consumers.”

Albert Goldstein, Chief Executive Officer, Avant, Inc.

“As someone without a background in finance what struck me when I began learning about this industry was how inefficient it was. With 50 states, many of which have their own licensing, fee and interest rate requirements, there was no way for an online platform to operate in a uniform manner. With all the advances in technology, I would have thought that financial intermediation would have become many times more efficient.”

Peter Renton, Co-founder and Chairman, Founder and CEO, LendIt Conference LLC Lend Academy LLC

Prosper Launches Seventh-Generation Credit Model (Prosper Email), Rated: AAA

Prosper recently launched their seventh-generation credit model. The net return of the overall book has increased to an estimated 7.86% after the implementation.

Wealthfront Adds Automated Financial Planning Tool (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

While most of its rivals embrace the hybrid model of combining digital advice with human advisors, robo-advice pioneer Wealthfront is bucking the trend by offering even more automation, Reuters writes.

The company is introducing an automated financial planning tool that connects its clients’ outside accounts to track spending and savings to assist with retirement planning, according to the news service. Using a mobile app, clients can then get projections on what they’ll have to save to meet their retirement objectives, Reuters writes.

Dead End for AssetAvenue? (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Crowdfund Insider received a tip this past week that real estate crowdfunding platform AssetAvenue has stopped originating loans. Emails to the company have not been returned, and repeated attempts to contact AssetAvenue by phone have not been successful. Portions of the AssetAvenue site now generate a 404. AssetAvenue social accounts have not been updated in months.  A post on BiggerPockets from several months back indicated that a potential borrower had been told they were no doing any funding.

Four Advertisers Bet on Super Bowl Overtime and Won Big (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: A

Before the game, SoFi had inked a deal with Fox to run a Super Bowl ad if — and only if — the matchup went into overtime. No Super Bowl in NFL history had ever extended beyond regulation play.

SoFi said the ad option cost less than half of the roughly $5 million that Fox was charging for 30 seconds of commercial time during the game’s four quarters.

The way these deals work is that brands agree to authorize the ad buys, and Fox runs the ads if the game goes into overtime. If overtime never happens, no money ends up changing hands.

For SoFi, the ad bet caused traffic to spike “100X,” said Ms. Bradford. “It was amazing.

James Hobson To Lead Attune (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Attune, the data-enabled company established by American International Group, Inc. (AIG), Hamilton Insurance Group, Ltd. (“Hamilton”), and affiliates of Two Sigma Investments, LP (“Two Sigma”), today announced that James Hobson, Chief Operating Officer of OnDeck® (ONDK), has accepted an offer to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Hobson, who will step down from his role at on March 15, will be responsible for achieving Attune’s goal of using data science and advanced technology to streamline the submission and insurance underwriting process to meet the needs of small businesses in the US.

XOR Data Exchange closes $ 2M Series A Extension (XOR Data Exchange Email), Rated: A

This morning XOR Data Exchange closed a $2M extension of our Series A to support some big contracts and development work I’ll be announcing soon (some at LendIt). This extension is important to us because it represents the confidence of our investors in our business model and the work we’re doing. Here is a statement from our CEO regarding the close:

We’re grateful for the support of our investors as XOR continues to grow and address bigger industry challenges in 2017. The majority of this $2 million extension comes from our existing Series A investors, which speaks to their confidence in our business model and the innovative approach to data sharing we have employed with our clients and partners. This additional funding will allow XOR to distribute its fraud and credit risk models across the U.S. through strategic partners in order to bring security and accountability back to the companies that rely on our personal information. It’s going to be an exciting year for XOR Data Exchange and we’re thankful for the support of our community and the industries we serve.

Mike Cook, Founder and CEO, XOR Data Exchange

XOR Data Exchange raised $4.2M in its Series A round led by Fenway Summer Ventures. Details at Crunchbase.

Philadelphia Fed President Says Regulation is Key to Protecting Fintech Innovation (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Patrick T. Harker, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, delivered a speech today on Fintech innovation and the importance of regulation. Harker stated that regulation is not only about protecting consumers but it is important to protect innovators as well;

“It’s in their best interest to have an established framework in which to operate,” said Harker.

Recently there has been much discussion about emerging Fintech firms, more pointedly with online lenders and bank alternatives.

Mentioning online lending Harker said;

“Peer-to-peer lending has been going on since time immemorial. What makes Fintech different is that the scope of its ability to match people with one another is infinitely broader.”

United Kingdom

Credit Peers launches property finance P2P (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Credit Peers is today launching its innovative new business – an online lending platform which allows individuals to lend from £500 upwards for property transactions that were previously only available to institutions and banks.

Recent research undertaken by Credit Peers amongst 1,000 consumers found that 59% trust their bank less than they did a year ago. 44% of respondents are looking for the rate of return on their investment to be between 5-10%*.

UK consumers are extremely open to property as an investment option, with 65% stating that they would like lenders to invest their money into property or real estate, almost double the next most popular options – stocks and shares (33%) and commodities (33%)*.

Credit Peers only deals with professional real estate investors and developers as borrowers, and implements strict lending criteria.

Specialist fund manager with marketplace lending focus to expand into UK real estate (altfi), Rated: A

Fintex Capital has hired Alan Margolis to lead its new real estate lending strategy.

Fintex is a specialist fund manager with a focus on seamlessly channeling institutional funding into the alternative lending sector.

The firm’s sole origination partner at present is German marketplace lender Auxmoney, which has originated close to €370m in consumer loans to date, according to AltFi Data.

Peer-to-peer platform plans to treble lending (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

Assetz Capital hopes to lend around a third of a billion pounds during 2017 as it looks to open its Innovative Finance Isa (IFIsa).

The lender revealed to Bridging & Commercial after lending £46m in Q4 2016 alone, it believes the growth target is achievable.

Assetz Capital announced at the start of the year it had lent £200m since launching in 2013 after lending £108m in 2016.

The FCA confirmed last year it was looking into the regulation of alternative finance platforms and Stuart believes that in 2017, existing regulation will be enforced more than it has been in the past as the FCA knows the industry better.

Canada

D+H Launches First Major Automotive Lender on Cloud-Based Search, Registry Solution (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

DH Corporation (DH) (“D+H”), a leading provider of technology solutions to financial institutions globally, today announced that it is onboarding its first major automotive captive client on CollateralGuard Enterprise (CGe). The client, which boasts significant market share in Canada, will use CGe as part of its standard lending due diligence process.

CGe, D+H’s next generation search and registration solution, is a risk management technology platform for lenders, which provides a single point of entry to registries across Canada, streamlining all search and registration transactions.

CGe is a scalable platform that leverages the Microsoft technology stack, a combination of tools including Azure, which enables testing, development and agility in a secure environment.

Australia

11 Fintech Companies in UK’s Trade Delegation to Australia & New Zealand (Cryptocoins News), Rated: B

The 11 UK companies that form the delegation include credit rating specialist Aire; Fintech data analytics firm Clarus; asset allocation consultant ClearMacro; compliance solutions firm FundApps; investor relations firm Ingage; financial lenders Iwoca and Neyber; blockchain-based data platform ObjectTech; identity verification platform Onfido; surveillance and compliance solutions provider Sybenetix and; bitcoin blockchain solutions provider Tradle.

The trade delegation will participate in a 5-day program. Held between March 20 -24, there will be number of events, workshops and meetings over the 5 days.

Asia

4 exits later, these serial entrepreneurs aim to save Japan with crowdfunding (TechinAsia), Rated: A

Consumer lending is very different in Japan. Loans to individuals only make up six percent of social lending, according to Crowdport’s research. It is easy to find a one to three percent loan from a bank so the prospect of crowdfunding is less appealing.

From 2015 to 2016, the total amount raised through social lending funds grew 71 percent from around US$300 million to well over US$500 million, according to completed fund data gathered by Crowdport from each lending platform.

Crowdport launched last week and currently is the only service in Japan which compares all 18 Japanese social lending services. Users can sort by company, investment genre, and availability of collateral, as well as filter funds by interest rate and payback period.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor