News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

English notes an coins on a table

1. UK – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“UK’s MarketFinance, one of the largest P2P invoice financing platforms, notes that if you’re a regular “around these parts,” then you’ll have most likely seen their “flex loans” cropping up quite often. 

As explained by MarketFinance, flex loans give small businesses fast and “flexible access” to funds up to £100,000. The peer-to-peer platform is pleased to see them getting “put to work” for a number of entrepreneurs across the United Kingdom. 

MarketFinance writes in a blog post that they think of flex loans as working capital “on demand.” According to the company, they’re similar to a cash flow buffer that you may access “all at once or in smaller amounts over time.” 

Here are the primary benefits of utilizing flex loan: 

  • Withdraw your whole flex loan at once or request smaller amounts as needed 
  • Request and receive funds on the same day 
  • Select the repayment schedule that suits you 
  • Withdraw and repay your flex loan as many times as you like 
  • Monthly fee starting at 1.4% per 30 days charged only on funds you use 
  • No setup fee, no charge for early repayment 


2. UK - FinTech

Altfi reports: 

“Just weeks after rebranding from B-North and securing a banking licence from the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), Bank North has appointed two new directors. 

Madis Toomsalu, Estonia’s LHV banking group CEO, is joining Bank North as an independent non-executive director. 

Interestingly, while LHV is an investor in Bank North, joining its £20m Series A round, Toomsalu is also chair of LHV’s UK subsidiary, which is in the process of applying for a UK banking licence. 

Toomsalu, on his appointment, said he was, in particular, looking forward to “help guide the company through this critical mobilisation phase and commencement of initial lending activities.” 

Along with Toomsalu, Bank North is also appointing Deepak Haria as an independent non-executive director and chair of the bank’s audit committee. 

Haria is a senior advisor at investment banking advisory Meghraj Capital and spends his time working with businesses in the UK, Africa and Asia and mentoring early-stage fintechs and startups.” 


3. US – FinTech 

Finextra runs an opinion piece that argues US crypto regulation is intellectually lazy and ill-advisedly broad: 

Last month, the US Senate passed a sweeping bipartisan package that would inject $1 trillion into the economy. It included a new provision broadening the definition of a broker that will require anyone participating in crypto to report their activities to the IRS. 

The provision caused much contention. Here to explain why is Nick Saponaro. He is the co-founder and CEO of the Divi Project, a decentralised payment ecosystem that’s on a mission to improve people’s lives by making crypto easy.  

A dedicated proponent of the founding principles of the crypto movement as set out by its originator Satoshi Nakamoto, Nick is working towards the delivery of a new paradigm for financial services. One that is truly decentralised, accessible to all, and works for everyone. 

The crypto industry offers massive potential for driving world-leading innovation, wealth creation, and supporting the unbanked to access critical services that up until now they’ve been denied. What’s more, it can do this with or without support from the world’s governments and legislators.  

The decentralised nature of blockchain platforms that support cryptocurrencies is enabling them to find ways around most obstacles. More use-cases are being uncovered every day and because of this, the industry is expanding in virtually every economy.  

But, going it alone is not optimal. Having a healthy working relationship with the State would help accelerate innovation, bring validation through regulation, and generate tax revenues for the economy. It was therefore disappointing to see such a shortsighted move from the US Government when it crowbarred a new crypto provision into the Infrastructure Bill.” 


4. International - FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“A new investment platform, Tulipshare, is trying to give the explosion of stock market interest a purpose by offering fractional share investing coupled with activist shareholder campaigns. 

The first, calling on tech giant Apple to open up its repaid policies to enable third-party technicians to fix your iPhone, has quickly garnered over $33,000 worth of investments—enough to trigger engagement with Apple’s investor relations team. 

Once the shares have been held for a year, Tulipshare will be able to submit an activist shareholder proposal at Apple’s next AGM. 

Tulipshare only launched in July with an 8-person team and $1m in pre-seed funding from Speedinvest and angel investors, including Monzo founder Tom Blomfield. 


5. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“A pair of ex-Ripple executives have brought their latest venture out of stealth, unveiling plans for a global micropayment network backed by blockchain technology. 

Called pingNpay, the startup plans to create a new category of high frequency, low value payments (below $20 per transaction) aimed at unlocking new digital retail services which will be at the centre of the next development of the internet, Web 3.0.

The venture is the brainchild of Richard Bell, a former Ripple, Visa and Santander executive, and Jeremy Light, who worked at Ripple and led Accenture’s payment consulting business in Europe.

The network plans to launch next year, initially in the UK, using a digital coin backed by the pound.

Eventually, the network will use stablecoins in each country of operation, denominated and anchored in the local currency, 100% backed by liquid fiat assets with a published proof-of-reserve to meet regulatory expectations.”