News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd at an airport; man using laptop

1.UK – FinTech  

AltFi reports: 

“Trade Ledger, an open banking fintech helping banks and alternative lenders make credit decisions, has raised a £13.5m series A funding round. 

The round was led by Point72 Ventures, with Foundation Capital, Court Lorenzini, founder of DocuSign, Hambro Perks, and other existing investors also taking part. 

Trade Ledger, founded in 2016, last raised money in 2019 with a £1.5m seed round. With the new funding, the lending-as-a-service platform is looking to grow out its sales, marketing and customer delivery teams. 

Martin McCann, CEO of Trade Ledger, said: “This new investment will enable us to triple our customer base during 2021. Adoption of our technology is critical for the post-pandemic recapitalisation of the economy and we are driving growth as fast as our capital allows, to be able to support this critical economic need, particularly for SMEs. New digital solutions based on real-time business data are the only way to address it.” 

2. UK – FinTech

P2P Finance News runs an opinion piece on the “must-have” feature for P2P platforms – autoinvest. 

“Fintech companies have long been working to expand access to investment opportunities for a variety of investors. And although all investor classes come with their unique requirements, few have impacted investment platforms as much as retail investors. With more and more industry leaders now focused on attracting these new investors, firms are being forced to acquire investment platforms that will allow them to keep up with this market shift. 

As companies race to build or acquire these platforms, it’s important for them to keep in mind what key functionalities must be included. Here, we’ll take a look at why auto invest is a must-have feature for all investment firms looking to keep the pace with the dominant market trends in 2021. 

What is auto invest?  

Auto invest is a feature of investment platforms that allows investors to take a less active role in managing their investments without sacrificing any control. This is a feature that’s essential to all investors who are not able to be focused on their investments full-time. 

To accomplish this, auto invest enables investors to pre-select their investment criteria according to their personal investment strategy and let the algorithm “do the grunt work” for them. This way, investors can be sure not to miss any opportunities while only getting involved in deals that have been precisely matched to their pre-defined criteria.” 

3. International – FinTech 

Proper diversification from Ikea… Finextra reports: 

“Furniture retailer Ikea is to acquire a 49% stake in Ikano Bank with the aim of offering a full suite of banking services instore and online. 

The acqusition, by the retailer's parent company Ingka Investments, is described as a "decisive step into financial services" that will "help make Ikea more affordable, accessible and sustainable".

Ikea and Ikano bank have a shared history - originating from the same founding family - and a longstanding commercial partnership, where Ikano Bank has served as Ikea’s financial service provider across eight countries.” 



4. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“Swiss digital asset startup Valour has appointed the former global head of innovation at HSBC Private Banking, Diana Biggs, as its CEO. 

Valour issue institutional-grade exchange-traded financial products that enable investment in things such as digital assets.

Biggs joined HSBC as head of business model innovation for UK and Europe in 2017 before taking on the role of global head of innovation for private banking in 2019. She left the bank last September.

Biggs has also been an Industry Advisor with University College London’s Centre for Blockchain Technologies and has had stints at Uphold and Anthemis Group.” 



5. International – FinTech 

Northmill Bank has closed a SEK250m (£22m) funding round as it sets its sights on rapid European expansion, according to AltFi. 

“The Swedish bank, which received its full banking licence in September 2019, plans to use the fresh injection of capital to launch in ten European countries by 2023.  

Currently only available in Sweden, Northmill Bank has tipped Norway for its first international destination, where it will launch its interest rate reducing product, Reduce. 

Hikmet Ego, CEO and co-founder of Northmill Bank, said: “When we now start to see a shift in banking towards smarter and more customer-oriented products, driven by customers' changing demands and behaviours, we as Sweden's only completely cloud-based bank see great opportunities to meet the new demands and be a positive driver for better banking services for all." 

The funding round was led by M2 Asset Management, a Swedish investment company let by entrepreneur Rutger Arnhult, and institutional investor and asset management firm Coeli.”