News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1.UK – FinTech   


Altfi reports on a flourishing investment platform: 

“You might think in 2022 that the ‘investment’ category of fintechs seems reasonably saturated. 

From low-commission stock brokers like Freetrade, to robo-advisors like Nutmeg and ethical investment apps like Clim8. 

But clearly, entrepreneurs think otherwise, as last year two high-profile new investment fintechs launched—Lightyear and InvestEngine. 

While Lightyear aimed to take on Freetrade directly by undercutting its larger rival, InvestEngine is taking a different approach entirely.  

According to co-founders Simon Crookall and Andrey Dobrynin, the thesis of InvestEngine is that no one else is providing long-term investors with the kind of platform and tools they need. 

“Other platforms promote, in our opinion, short-term speculative behaviour,” Dobrynin, the fintech’s managing director, tells AltFi. “They push the trending stocks. What's hot with other investors, while that really shouldn't matter for the long-term investor.” 

For the clientele Crookall and Dobrynin are after, far more critical is a platform with low or no fees, insights on the weight of their portfolio across geographies, sectors and asset classes, and the ability to rebalance their holdings in a few clicks as circumstances change. 

InvestEngine’s pitch is that they do exactly that, whilst charging no fees for trading ETFs or setting up an ISA, but instead offer premium managed portfolios and additional features and insights that appeal to long-term investors. 

And so far, it seems to be working. Since launching last July, InvestEngine has seen tremendous growth, winning over 10,500 customers with its proposition, gaining over £70m in assets under management, and in April, raising £1.5m as part of its first crowdfunding campaign. 

“We were slightly caught [off guard], especially during the end of the tax year, by the volumes of business,” says Crookall.” 


2. UK – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Tillful, a business credit platform for SMEs, has formed a partnership with Experian to help small firms build stronger credit. 

The partnership will allow Tillful users to connect their accounts directly to Experian's business credit reporting system, enabling the bureau to integrate real-time cash flow data into its reports to provide a more accurate understanding of borrower eligibility.

Tillful users also get access to their Experian business credit score at no additional cost, increasing accessibility of their credit data on a regular ongoing basis.” 


3. UK – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“The British Business Bank has shared the results of its annual Small Business Equity Tracker and the numbers for 2021 appear pretty strong. The Equity Tracker uses data from Beauhurst on publicly announced equity deals into UK SMEs. 

According to the Bank, equity investments in UK SMEs jumped by 88% in 2021 – clocking in at around £18 billion. The momentum continued in Q1 of 2022 as equity investment registered £7.6 billion – the highest recorded in a single quarter. Investment in UK tech firms rose by £4.1  billion the year prior to £8.2 billion for 2021.” 

4. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“The Bank for International Settlements has drawn up a blueprint for a future monetary system grounded in a digital representation of central bank money, warning of the "deep strucutral inadequacies" of cryptocurrencies. 

In a special chapter of its Annual Economic Report 2022, the central banker's bank says such a system could combine innovation with essential attributes such as safety, stability, accountability, openness and efficiency.

The report decries the structural limitations of crypto and decentralised finance (DeFi), outlining the inherent risks in their design. The BIS notes that recent market turmoil and the collapse in the prices of major stablecoins are reminders that "crypto is not sound money".

Rather, a digital version of money issued by the central bank could provide for many of the same features offered by cryptocurrencies and stablecoins while building on a strong foundation of trust. With a sovereign currency at its core, the BIS believes CBDCs can avoid the structural limitations and risks of crypto, which include congestion, high fees, fragmentation and pseudo-anonymity.” 

5. International – FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“A month after recording its “strongest quarter” in history, Brazilian neobank Nubank has shared plans for consolidation in Latin America. 

Already one of the largest digital financial service platforms in Latin America, the company plans to continue expanding by picking up acquisitions at low prices, the company’s CEO  told the Financial Times 

The neobank secured a $650m credit line to expand across Mexico and Colombia in April and is now looking to maximise on the impending “shakeout” in the area’s fintech sector.”