News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Business people sitting at tables, waiting to be seen.

1. UK – FinTech 

Altfi reports: 

“Lender Atom Bank has reached its milestone of lending £1bn to SME customers earlier than expected. 

The achievement comes five months after Atom Bank’s chief customer officer and co-founder Edward Twiddy first revealed that the bank would achieve it “by the turn of this year”. 

Speaking exclusively on AltFi’s Digital Banking: What is the State of the Market? webinar yesterday, Twiddy confirmed the milestone had been as good as reached. 

“Either today or tomorrow, we’ll hit £1bn of SME lending since we launched,” he said. 

Alongside its already £3bn of mortgage lending, the news means Atom Bank has a substantial loan book which helped it reach monthly profitability this June, an achievement that Twiddy confirmed had continued in subsequent months. 

Unlike its peers Monzo and Starling Bank, Atom Bank never launched a current account, instead focusing purely on savings and lending to SMEs and mortgage customers.” 


2. UK – FinTech 

The Fintech Times reports: 

The credit reference agency Equifax has recently released research that strongly suggests that Open Banking is firmly on our doorstep. 

Of the respondents that participated in the agency’s Open Banking research, 55% of UK credit providers stated that they were planning to implement Open Banking in 2021, with 93% of those businesses expecting to do so in the next 12 months. 

With the pandemic accelerating consumer adoption of new technologies, and more digital data available as a result, the rise of Open Banking has gone hand in hand with the digitalisation of the financial services sector. 

New data shows that the majority of consumers who have used Open Banking enabled products (80%) are willing to recommend them to friends and family, strengthening Equifax’s belief that it is only a matter of time before more businesses look to adopt the technology to keep up with customer demand. 

The New Consumer Landscape 

With many of the nation’s banks remaining closed during the first lockdown, mandatory aspects of the credit lending process, such as ID verification and payment tools, were forced to readjust to a new online lifestyle. This inevitable move to digital requires new forms of verification, powered by Open Banking. The technology has proven to be effective, and now the wider financial services industry has expressed its interest in integrating data into its decision-making processes.” 

3.UK - FinTech 


Altfi reports: 


“Laurel Powers-Freeling has been appointed as the new chair of directors for the digital wealth platform Moneybox. 

Laurel has a long history in financial services having held numerous board, senior advisory, and management positions with organisations including the Bank of England, Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, Bank of Ireland, Atom Bank, Marks & Spencer/M&S Money, Amex, the Prudential, and Lloyds TSB.   

Moneybox, which provides a number of digital financial services ranging from pensions to ISAs, now has 700,000 customers and earlier this year surpassed £2bn in assets under management. It was founded in 2016 by co-founders Ben Stanway and Charlie Mortimer.  

The company last raised cash in 2020 with a  £38.8m in a Series C funding round jointly led by Fidelity International Strategic Ventures (formerly Eight Roads) and new investors Open CNP. As part of the round, £7m came from over 16,500 private investors via Crowdcube. 


4. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“Microlender to the underbanked Tala has raised $145 million in Series E financing to fund a host of new services, including crypto. 

Upstart led the round, with participation from the Stellar Development Foundation, Kindred Ventures, the J Safra Group, IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, and PayPal Ventures.

Founded in 2014, California-based Tala uses customers' mobile phone data to build credit profiles and make lending decisions. It has now delivered $2.7 billion in credit to more than six million customers across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, and India, with 12,000 new users signing up every day.” 


5. International – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“We recently caught up with Domenic Carosa, Founder and Chairman at Banxa which powers one of the largest digital asset platforms by offering payments infrastructure and regulatory compliance across international markets. 

Banxa’s goal and vision is to develop the bridge that offers consumers in every part of the world access to a “fairer” and more accessible financial system. Banxa maintains its head offices in Melbourne, Australia, with European headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.”