News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd at a concert

1.UK – FinTech

Altfi reports: 

“Lending platform CrowdProperty has bagged a £300m five-year institutional funding line with a new unnamed UK asset manager. 

The latest investment is designed to complement CrowdProperty’s existing capital sources. 

To date, the lender has funded the development of over 1,500 homes worth £297m across the UK, originated £181m of agreed facilities and lent £141m. 

"Investor liquidity is higher than ever due to the deep property expertise, high-quality origination, 100 per cent capital and interest payback track record and trusted brand built since 2014,” Michael Bristow, UK CEO and founder, said. 

"This is naturally attracting more institutional sources of capital looking to work with the most proven, highest quality players with deepest asset class expertise and market-leading track records.” 

Bristow also believes that despite the £300m injection, CrowdProperty is still yet to realise its full potential in the UK market. 

Having recently made its first international expansion, launching in Australia in May of this year, CrowdProperty looks set to begin making its mark Down Under.” 


2. UK – FinTech 


After aborting its earlier listing plans in 2019, property finance platform LendInvest this morning filed its paperwork for a London IPO next week, according to Altfi. 

“The listing, which is set to value the company at £255.6m, will see LendInvest raise £40m from its new share offering due to take place on 14 July. 

"From a standing start we now have £2.8bn FuM [funds under management], and count some of the world's largest financial institutions as investors,” said LendInvest’s founder and executive chair Christian Faes. 

“We have achieved this by building a platform that offers speed and certainty to borrowers and intermediaries while offering investors access to an attractive asset class with compelling risk-adjusted returns.” 

“We are thrilled to welcome our new shareholders to the business and look forward to beginning the next stage of our journey." 

With this fresh cash LendInvest, under the leadership of CEO Rod Lockhart, will invest in the company’s growth by accelerating its tech roadmap and expanding into new property finance products. 

“This IPO will provide us with the resources and flexibility to continue investing in our technology, expand our range of products and enter new segments of the market,” added Lockhart. 

LendInvest had planned to IPO in 2019, however after several ‘pre-IPO’ funding rounds, the plan was shelved after Funding Circle’s disastrous market debut and the torrid market conditions which left the company nursing a £2.2m hit to its profits.” 


3. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports:

“Irish online payments firm Stripe is reportedly preparing for a stockmarket debut after appointing a law firm to explore a listing. 

The 11-year old company, founded by brothers John and Patrick Collison, have hired law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, according to a Reuters report.  

Neither Cleary Gottlieb or Stripe have commented on the speculation but it is believed that preparations are still at a very early stage and a listing is unlikely to take place this year.  

It has also been reported that Stripe would look for a direct listing rather than an initial public offering because it does not need to raise money.  

Up to now, Stripe has secured funding via the private markets. Its last fundraising round in March valued the company at $95 billion, making it the most valuable private company in Silicon Valley. Meanwhile Stripe's Dublin office announced plans to add 1,000 jobs.” 



4. International – FinTech 


Bunq has hit a €1.6 billion valuation on a €193 million Series A funding round that also sees the Dutch digital bank buy Irish lending firm Capitalflow Group, according to Finextra. 

“Pollen Street Capital is contributing €168 million, with bunq founder Ali Niknam - who has funded the firm until now - putting in another €25 million. The arrangement sees bunq acquire Capitalflow Group from Pollen Street Capital.

Founded in 2012 by Niknam, bunq is now available in 30 European markets, with user deposits of €1 billion. The company, which operates a subscription-based model, says it recently hit profitability.

The new deal not only sees bunq take its first outside investment, it marks the beginning of an M&A strategy, taking on a company with ties in the Irish market and SME lending expertise.” 



5. International – FinTech 


Crowdfundinisder runs a reprise of China’s clampdown on Bitcoin mining, and a review of blockchain developments. 


“The news regarding China’s crypto exit continues to cascade around the world as the second-largest economy puts the squeeze on Bitcoin mining, crypto trading, and other uses of crypto-assets. 

Just this week, it has been widely reported that the People’s Bank of China has demanded that a company that was providing software for crypto transactions must shut down. In a statement posted by the central bank, the closure may be interpreted as a warning to other crypto firms: 

“In order to implement the decision and deployment of the Party Central Committee and the State Council on cracking down on virtual currency transactions, prevent and control the risks of virtual currency transactions, and protect the people’s property safety, the Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau has recently joined forces with the Business Management Department of the People’s Bank of China and the Huairou District Government. Relevant departments have cleaned up and rectified Beijing Tongdao Cultural Development Co., Ltd., which was suspected of providing software services for virtual currency transactions, and ordered the company to cancel. The official website has been suspended. Here, we solemnly warn relevant institutions within our jurisdiction not to provide business premises, commercial display, marketing, and paid diversion services for virtual currency-related business activities. Financial institutions and payment institutions within the jurisdiction shall not directly or indirectly provide virtual currency-related services to customers.” [translated] 

According to a quote shared with CNBC, Fred Thiel, CEO of Marathon Digital Holdings, who is also a member of the Bitcoin Mining Council, “China’s government is doing everything they can to ensure that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies disappear from the Chinese financial systems and economy.”