News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Diagram of a growing sapling

1.UK – FinTech 

Altfi reports: 

“Just five weeks after launching, Chase said its current account is now immediately available for all new customers to sign-up from the app store. 

Since launch Chase has racked up some 10,000+ downloads on the Google Play store and at the time of writing is currently ranked 86th in the finance category of Apple’s App Store—just below Monese and Cashplus. 

Our first look at Chase’s UK app found it to be “slick and easy to use (if a little barren)” but holding a solid promise of adding new features from its US banking parent company. 

The Chase current account has launched with a rewards programme offering 1 per cent cashback on all eligible debit card spending for 12 months.  

In addition, small change round-ups will earn 5 per cent interest for 12 months. 

Earlier this month JP Morgan’s UK venture was also revealed to be powered by tech from 10x Banking Technologies, the fintech founded by Antony Jenkins, former Group CEO of Barclays. 


2. UK – FinTech 


The Fintech Times showcases open banking research from Tenemos: 


Temenos has released a new white paper to discuss the evolution and future of open banking and Banking-as-a-Service post-pandemic. 

Since its inception in 2018 in Europe through regulatory initiatives like PSD2 and Open Banking Standard in the UK, open banking has spread to over 50 countries globally. Open APIs have become the standard of collaboration in an increasingly busy financial ecosystem where banks, neobanks, fintechs, payment disruptors and the e-commerce and technology giants strive for dominance in different parts of the banking value chain. Banks are exploiting open banking to experiment with new business models to break into new markets, to consolidate market share in mature markets, or to defend against aggressive new entrants in others.  

We are also now seeing the rise of embedded finance, with increasing demand for a unified customer-centric digital platform to deliver both financial and non-financial products and services. As embedded finance is spreading to consumer-facing brands and includes all financial products, such as mortgages, loans, pensions and insurance, Banking-as-a-service (BaaS) has risen from open banking framework. BaaS offers a different approach to financial services, deconstructing the traditional model and places the building blocks in the hands of a wider range of stakeholders.  

In order to succeed in this new, BaaS world, all players in the open banking ecosystem require a cloud-native technology platform that is API first. This whitepaper discusses the rise of banking as a service, delving into the evolution and future of BaaS in the post-pandemic era.  

Key insights from the whitepaper include: 

  • How Open Banking is evolving across the globe changing the industry, forever 
  • What are the new business models to collaborate and co-evolve in the wider financial ecosystem 
  • How to deliver tangible customer value for Retail and SME banking 
  • What embedded finance is and how it is crucial to your BaaS success 
  • The technology implications of Open Banking and BaaS 



3. UK – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“The asset management group is close to inking a deal with the subscription based investment platform, Finimize, reports Sky News. 

Formerly Standard Life Aberdeen, Abrdn under CEO Stephen Bird has seen a strong push toward digitisation of services, and this acquisition will reinforce such ambitions.

Finimize charges its tens of thousands of users a £60 annual subscription for investment tips, and boasts over 1million subscribers to its daily newsletter. Its acquisition will reportedly allow the group to deliver more focused capabilities for both its personal and institutional clients.

In August, following news it had acquired the b2c digital wealth management arm of Nucoro, Exo investing, Abrdn stated that the acquisition will allow it to offer 24/7 digital wealth management via an app.” 


4. US – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 

Staircase AI, a pioneer in relationship intelligence, has confirmed the completion of its $4 million seed round. 

The firm acquired funding from StageOne Ventures, a VC fund that’s focused on addressing major enterprise challenges, and Disruptive AI, an early-stage VC that specializes in artificial intelligence. 

Ori Entis, Co-founder and CEO of Staircase AI, stated: 

“We are very excited that StageOne Ventures and Disruptive AI have placed their confidence in Staircase AI. Only an AI-based system that fuses and analyzes large amounts of customer data can provide the deep insights needed to help companies better understand, retain and grow their customers. This investment will help us scale our engineering and accelerate our go-to-market plans.” 

Staircase AI leverages machine learning to analyze “thousands of digital engagements between companies and their existing customers,” the announcement explained while adding that it runs 24×7 to provide Customer Success (CS) teams “the peace of mind knowing that it will detect anomalies and trends while providing predictions and recommendations.” 


5. US - FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Tfin, an umbrella group operating a host of AI-powered fintech businesses in the asset and wealth management industry, has hit a $447 million valuation off the back of a $47 million Series C funding round joined by Hamilton Lane and existing investors JP Morgan Asset Management, Morningstar and Broadridge. 

The valuation is nearly five times higher than Tifin's Series A which was completed towards the end of 2020. A $22.3 million Series B round joined by JP Morgan Asset Management, Morningstar and Broadridge was completed in April this year.

The firm was founded in 2018 as a fintech studio and evolved into an operating business last year with focused divisions: Magnifi, a search-powered marketplace for investments; Financial Answers, a consumer platform built on financial media; and Tifin’s WealthTech platform.”