News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Storm In A Teacup by JBraine

1. UK - FinTech 

     

Finextra reports: 

 

“Klarna has released a shopping app that enables UK users to pay in three monthly installment for purchases at any online retailer, regardless of whether they’re partnered with Klarna or not 

The new in-app shopping feature also includes monthly budgets and personal spending limits that can be set and controlled by users.

Additional capabilities include personalised wish lists and curated content based on consumers’ interests and their favourite stores, price drop notifications, and price comparision charts.

The feature is already live in other markets including the US, Australia and Sweden where the app is used by 6.5 million people on average each month and the pay later interest free feature has been used over 12.8 million times to make a purchase through the app.

The launch comes during Klarna’s prominent #WhyPayInterest advertising campaign that highlights the difference between buy now pay later products and interest-bearing credit cards.” 

 

2. UK - FinTech 

 

AltFi reports on the latest initiative from Revolut: 


“Digital banking service Revolut has teamed up with accounting software Clear Books, enabling business customers to quickly and easily manage their bills and payroll directly from their Clear Books account.  

The new partnership will see Clear Books become the first third-party to embed its payments creation service into Revolut’s shiny new Business Marketplace, reducing the time SMEs spend sorting out their finances.  

“We’re focused on building innovative products that help businesses save precious time and money,” James Gibson, head of product at Revolut Business said. 

“Our partnership with Clear Books does just this—allowing customers to set up draft payments directly from Clear Books in a couple of taps. Going forward we see a huge opportunity for the automation of basic tasks by using the power of APIs.” 

According to data from Revolut, 25 per cent of all B2B payments are now initiated with an API, up from just five per cent two years ago, with the new collaboration only bolstering this further.” 

 

3. US – FinTech 

 

Capchase, a US startup that helps tech company founders access non-dilutive capital, has raised $125 million in a mix of debt and equity, according to Finextra. 

“QED Investors led the Series A, which was joined by Bling Capital, ScifiVC and Caffeinated Capital, along with several operator angels.

Founded in 2020, Capchase helps companies unlock cash that is otherwise tied up in future predictable revenue payments.

The firm says that by advancing future revenues, companies can invest without depleting their cash reserves and also avoid having to give up chunks of their companies in expensive equity rounds.

The just-in-time financing offered by Capchase enables tech companies to draw the right amount of funds at the right time, which, it argues, is a more efficient and affordable way to fund a recurring revenue business.

The startup also offers a proprietary programmatic funding model that is based on analytics and disperses just the financing required for growth on a monthly or weekly basis - as opposed to providing capital in one lump sum.” 

 

4. International – FinTech 

 

After the raft of US insurtechs recently going public, Finextra looks at speculation that European insurtechs might follow suit. 

 

“In the US, the trend was kick-started by home and renters Softbank-backed insurance provider Lemonade, which went public last summer. 

Pay-per-mile car insurance provider Metromile followed suit, going public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). 

Oscar Health, a tech-enabled medical insurance provider, also went public and Hippo, the home insurance agency, is also going public via a SPAC. 

Yet this trend has not been replicated in Europe, despite rapid growth in the market, which has been heightened during the pandemic as many European insurtech upstarts have thrived during lockdown. 

But many European insurtechs seem, for now, content to remain private entities, aided by flush private markets. 

According to CBInsigths, the total insurtech funding of 2020 hit an all-time high of $7.1billion, an uplift of 12 per cent on the year.” 

5. International – FinTech 

 

Crowdfundinsider reports the G7 joint statement on innovation in digital money and central bank digital currencies: 

“To quote the G7: 

“G7 Central Banks have been exploring the opportunities, challenges as well as the monetary and financial stability implications of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and we commit to work together, as Finance Ministries and Central Banks, within our respective mandates, on their wider public policy implications. We note that any CBDCs, as a form of central bank money, could act as both a liquid, safe settlement asset and as an anchor for the payments system. Our objective is to ensure that CBDCs are grounded in long-standing public sector commitments to transparency, the rule of law and sound economic governance. CBDCs should be resilient and energy-efficient; support innovation, competition, inclusion, and could enhance cross-border payments; they should operate within appropriate privacy frameworks and minimise spillovers. We will work towards common principles and publish conclusions later in the year.” 

The G7 continued to state that no global stablecoin project should begin operation until it adequately addresses relevant legal, regulatory, and oversight requirements through appropriate design and by adhering to applicable standards. This statement may be in reaction to Facebook’s failed attempt to create a global, non-sovereign currency, once called Libra, and now re-animated as Diem – a scaled down digital currency attempting to commence as a digital dollar.”