News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd in celebration

1.UK – FinTech 

Altfi reports; 

ClearBank’s phenomenal annual growth of over 21,000 per cent over the last four years helped propel the fintech into the number one spot on Deloitte’s annual ranking. 

The Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 compares the revenue growth rate of the country’s top tech firms for the last four years to find which are experiencing the fastest growth. 

This year a dozen fintechs, including ClearBank, were named among the top 50, with familiar names like Paysend (ranked 3rd), Modulr (42nd) and Moneybox (45th). 

ClearBank said the growth was attributed to the huge adoption of banking-as-a-service (BaaS) over the last few years, along with the fintech’s 1 per cent market share of faster payments in the UK.” 


2. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Venture capital firm VentureSouq has launched a $50 million fund focused on fintech across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region and Pakistan. 

The fund will invest in early stage fintech and SaaS companies focussed on areas such as payments infrastructure, alternative credit, digital banking, proptech, insurtech and personal financial management.

Regional powerhouses backing the fund include Jada Fund of Funds programme and Saudi Venture Capital Company, Bahrain’s Al Waha Fund of Funds, UAE’s DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture platform and Mubadala Investment Company, as well as multinational conglomerates such as OFC.

So far, investments have already been made in regional BNPL firm Tabby, Saudi-based B2B marketplace Sary, UAE-based Flexxpay and Pakistan's digital ledger platform Creditbook.” 



3. International – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 


“Singapore-headquartered Pace, a Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) service provider, has acquired $40 million in capital as part of its Series A round. 

Investors that participated in Pace’s investment round include UOB Venture Management (Singapore), Marubeni Ventures (Japan), Atinum Partners (South Korea), AppWorks (Taiwan), and several family offices based in Japan and Indonesia. 

Previous investors Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia, Alpha JWC, and Genesis Alternative Ventures made contributions as well. 

Pace’s management noted that the proceeds will be directed towards enhancing its technology stack, business operations and ongoing development as the firm plans to reach a Gross Merchandise Value run rate of $1 billion next year while growing its user base by 25X during the next year.” 


4. International - FinTech

Finextra reports: 


“El Salvador's crypto enthusiast president is planning to build a "Bitcoin City" that will be partly funded by a bitcoin bond. 

Earlier this year, El Salvador became the world's first country to accept bitcoin as legal tender.

Now, president Nayib Bukele has set out his vision for Bitcoin City - complete with residential and commercial areas and an airport - in the eastern region of La Union.

The city would get geothermal power from a volcano and be laid out in a circle, like a coin, with a central plaza that looks like a bitcoin symbol from the air, says Bukele.

El Salvador is working with Blockstream on a $1 billion bitcoin bond, half of which would be used to build out energy and bitcoin mining infrastructure in the region and half to buy bitcoin.

The bond will be funded through VAT, the only tax that will be levied in the new city.” 



5. US – FinTech 


Altfi reports: 


“UK retailers offering Clearpay’s buy now, pay later payment options will be able to quickly enable US shoppers with the firm’s cross border offering. 

The feature, which is already live for Australian, Canadian and New Zealand merchants, quickly converts prices to Dollars and lets shoppers spend without charging any conversion fees or set-up costs for retailers. 

Over 6,000 UK merchant partners will be able to take advantage of the feature, which also comes with Clearpay’s standard four instalment payment plan. 

Clearpay (known as Afterpay outside of the UK) says in its experience of other markets, these cross border shoppers typically transact around 24 per cent more frequently than domestic shoppers.”