News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

London's financial district, pulsing with money and technology, photographed from the air

1.UK – FinTech

    

Finextra reports: 

 

“Allfunds, the UK-based B2B WealthTech platform, is to list on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. 

Allfunds has built an ecosystem that covers the entire fund distribution value chain and investment cycle, including via Allfunds Connect, a full suite of SaaS-enabled digital, data and analytics tools.

As of 31 December, 2020, Allfunds had over €1.2 trillion of assets under administration, €370 million revenue, and €263 million adjusted Ebitda. The group has experienced a growth rate of 13% over the past three months.

The company has appointed BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse Securities, Citigroup Global Markets and Morgan Stanley Europe as joint bookrunner, for the offering, which consist of a private placement of 25% of the company's shares held by LHC3, BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse.” 

 

 

2. UK – FinTech 

 

AltFi reports: 

 

“New research from Starling Bank and Enterprise Nation shows that 55 per cent of Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) recipients have used the funds to grow their business. 

The research shows that the government-backed cash has not only helped the UK’s SMEs to survive the pandemic but to grow and adapt as well. 

Nearly a fifth of SMEs surveyed (18 per cent) reported ‘significant growth’ from the loan, while 37 per cent said it provided a degree of return. 

Just over a third (36 per cent) of small and medium businesses have used the money to pay their bills, while 35 per cent have kept the funding in a rainy day fund.  

Over a quarter (27 per cent) have invested in their businesses, which includes introducing new products and services (27 per cent), bringing in new technology (13 per cent), retraining staff (13 per cent) and increasing marketing efforts (24 per cent).” 

 

3. UK – FinTech 

 

Capify, an alternative lender to SMEs has launched a £50m fund for smaller businesses requiring additional finance to kickstart their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to AltFi. 

“The new cash will provide business funding of up to £1m and be open to SMEs across a range of sectors that are already trading.  

Capify says the lending criteria will take into consideration the challenges for each individual business of the past year, and support will also be offered to businesses that are preparing to reopen once lockdown restrictions are eased.    

"With lockdown restrictions easing and a huge amount of consumer demand expected in the coming months, we want to do everything we can to support SMEs and we know that funding is one of the biggest issues for businesses at the moment," said John Rozenbroek, chief operating officer at Capify. 

“It's clear that UK SMEs are still in desperate need of finance despite the huge amounts of money that have been lent through the BBLS and CBILS. The businesses we speak to have either accessed the schemes already and now need a second injection of capital, or they were not able to access the schemes in the first place,” he added. 

Rozenbroek adds that Capify is seeing increasing demand for finance from SMEs across all sectors.” 

 

4. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“Facebook has begun trialling QR code-based person-to-person payments and personalised payment links. 

As first picked up by MacRumours, some US users are now seeing a new "Scan" button on the Facebook Pay carousel. When they hit the button, users can scan a friend's QR code, select an amount to send or request and then make the payment.

On the same screen, users see a personalised payment link - https://m.me/pay/UserName - which lets people publish their payment address outside of Facebook.

Facebook Pay was launched in late 2019, consolidating payments service that works across the social media giant's main app, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Users can already make P2P payments but the QR code option opens up physical, in-person payments. Venmo already offers a similar service.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the test to TechCrunch: "To make payments on Messenger even easier, we’ve begun testing the ability for people to use QR codes and payment links when they want to send or request money."

Users have to be at least 18 years old and have a Visa or Mastercard debit card, a PayPal account, or a supported pre-paid card.”  

5. International – FinTech 


Thumping bull run or bubble? If you were thinking of buying a non-fungible token as a way of holding art (of course you were) Crowdfundinsider offers a primer on legal issues. 


“Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were minted and sold under the radar until a relatively obscure artist sold an NFT for an immense sum. That seminal event invigorated interest in NFTs by artists, sales platforms, and collectors. In this column, we undertake to identify and answer, in Q&A format, the top 40 legal issues associated with this new medium of artistic expression. 

Copyright 

  • How does copyright law apply to NFT art? NFTs do not change the operation of copyright. The underlying work is protected by copyright, which can be retained by the author or transferred to the holder of the NFT. This is similar to how a copyright in a conventional piece of art may be transferred to a third party. That said, copyright transfers must be in writing, and whether a smart contract is a writing for purposes of the Copyright Act is not a settled legal issue. 
  • If the sales platform mints an NFT of digital art, does the smart contract need to specify who owns the copyright? Yes. 
  • If a platform wanted to display an NFT image for public viewing, would the platform need the permission of the copyright holder, the owner of the NFT, or both? The answer will depend upon the terms associated with the NFT. A typical allocation of rights would be that the platform would need the permission of the copyright holder in the underlying work and not the permission of the owner of the NFT, but that allocation could change with the terms of the NFT. An artist could license the artist’s rights to a work exclusively to the NFT owner, which would require the platform to obtain the owner’s approval in order to display the work.