News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Woman holds umbrella under  shower of gold coins

1.UK – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Manchester-based AJ Bell is to launch an app-only commission-free investing platform with an annual charge of just 0.15%. 

The new service, called Dodl by AJ Bell, will compete with the lowest cost investment platforms in the market, offering jargon-free access to an Individual Savings Account (ISA), Lifetime ISA, Pension and General Investment Account. For a monmthly fee of £1, users will be able to set up regular investments and consolidate existing ISAs and pensions onto the platform.

People will be able to pay money in to accounts via Apple and Google pay, as well as debit card payments and direct debits.

Upon launch in H1 2022, Dodl will feature a range of popular shares in UK listed companies, with US companies being added at a later date. In addition, there will also be a range of ‘themed investments’ which include funds focusing on core areas such as technology, robotics, healthcare and responsible investing.

The fund range will also consist of AJ Bell’s low-cost multi-asset funds, which cater for six different risk levels along with AJ Bell’s Responsible Growth fund, for people who want to invest with a responsible focus.” 



2. UK - FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

Revolut has snapped up a hospitality industry technology provider, as it looks to become a "one-stop shop" for its customers to manage their businesses and finances on a single platform. 

Revolut, one of the poster children of the neobank movement, has acquired London-based Nobly, founded in 2013, which has developed an electronic point-of-sale (ePOS) system for restaurants and other hospitality businesses. 

The system helps them to manage operations, payments, inventory, table service, loyalty programmes, and online ordering in one app. 

Nobly currently serves merchants across the UK, USA and Australia. 

Its technology will be integrated with Revolut’s payment hardware and payment processing offering. 

Revolut says the purchase will allow its hospitality customers to “open a digital account, use FX, issue cards and seamlessly manage and sell their products and accept payments online and offline from the single Revolut Business environment saving time and reducing direct costs for its customers”. 

In future, Revolut plans to launch it across all its markets.” 


3. UK - FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“A sharp increase in UK venture capital (VC) fund performance over the last 12 months has been highlighted by a new British Business Bank report. 

According to the research: 

  • UK VC funds continue to perform well, in comparison to their US counterparts; 
  • The UK has an increased proportion of top performing VC funds reporting very high returns; 
  • Fund managers report positive views on the quality of investments available (97%) and current exit conditions (93%), with the majority (59% and 72% respectively) reporting an improvement on these measures over the last year. 

The British Business Bank report, ‘UK Venture Capital Financial Returns 2021’, concludes that higher company valuations - along with strong exit activity in 2020 and 2021 - has contributed to a material uplift in VC financial returns. However, a high proportion of fund managers (59%) also reported high levels of competition for deals, which may suggest these high valuations might not be sustained until exit.” 



4. International – FinTech 


A lovely read, providing you can get over the death of the hamster. Finextra reports: 

“Mr Goxx, a cryptocurrency-trading hamster who outperformed big-name investors including Warren Buffet, has died. 

Mr Goxx's German owners shared the news of his loss on Twitter and Twitch, telling fans that the furry trader "fell asleep peacefully on Monday morning". 

Mr Goxx began trading in June after his owners joked that he could make smarter investing decisions than the average crypto punter.

Goxx Capital was born, with Mr Goxx getting his own trading office, complete with furniture.

To pick which crypto he would trade, the rodent ran in his "intention wheel". Then he would run through one of two tunnels - one for "buy and one for "sell". Each time he ran through a tunnel, a trade was completed. 


After a rocky start, he posted impressive numbers and was up by nearly 20% when his career was cut tragically short.

His talents saw the hamster gain a cult following, with thousands tuning in to watch his exploits on Twitch and follow his trades on Twitter, gaining him a shoutout on The Daily Show. 

Ever the entrepreneur, he parlayed his fame into profit, selling  merchandise, including mouse mats.

In their heartfelt message on his passing, Mr Goxx's owners said: "You will be missed, and your memory will live forever on the blockchain." 

5. US – FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“A swathe of new investors have joined Thought Machine’s cap table today, with a $200m Series C funding round that pushes the cloud banking provider’s valuation to more than $1bn. 

Led by New York VC firm Nyca Partners, other new investors included investment banks Standard Chartered, ING and JP Morgan Chase (which recently partnered with Thought Machine to replace its entire US retail banking core system). 

With its new funding Thought Machine says it plans to invest the cash in developing and expanding its Vault core banking system and to target new markets for global expansion. 

“We set out to eradicate legacy technology from the industry and ensure that all banks deployed on Vault can succeed and deliver on their ambitions,” said Thought Machine’s CEO and founder Paul Taylor. 

“These new funds will accelerate the delivery of Vault into banks around the world who wish to implement their future vision of financial services.” 

The funding comes just days after Thought Machine was named B2B Fintech Of The Year 2021 last Thursday evening at the 8th annual AltFi Awards at the Andaz Hotel in central London.”