News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Crowd in The Mall

1.UK – Equity

The Microsoft Accelerator sponsors a new platform, according to Insider Media.


“A new equity crowdfunding platform has launched supported by Microsoft.

Stakeholderz has been established by executive recruitment business Intramezzo to help early-stage UK technology companies secure investment. The platform is supported by Microsoft for Startups, the software giant's business accelerator in London.

Companies listing on the platform are matched with experienced directors from Intramezzo's network, who help fill a talent gap at the company while also becoming a lead investor.

Vortex IoT is the first company to go live on the Stakeholderz platform with a fund raising target of £500,000. The Swansea-based company designs and builds internet of things (IoT) systems for use in industrial and harsh environmental settings.

Warwick Hill, managing director at Microsoft For Startups, said: "We like the Stakeholderz approach and see the platform as a way of helping our incubated companies attract both the senior skills and the extra funding they need to see them into the scale-up phase.”

"By being part of the Investing Director initiative we aim to align our scaling companies with strategic industry expertise associated with Intramezzo's & Stakeholderz' Investing Directors."  (The Microsoft Accelerator Team)

2. UK – SMEs


Business East Midland looks at venture capital flows in the UK and elsewhere.


“Venture Capital (VC) investment in the UK slowed in the first quarter of 2018, following a huge Q4’17, which saw over 2.8 billion USD invested according to Venture Pulse Q1 2018, a quarterly report on global VC trends published by KPMG Enterprise.

Following a blockbuster year of over 8 billion USD invested within the UK bolstered significantly by multiple mega-rounds, – 2018 still managed to achieve a healthy start, with one $100 million round pushing the nation’s tally over 1 billion USD. The UK played host to seven of the top 10 European deals in the last quarter of 2017, but managed to scrape just one of the 10 in the first quarter of 2018. Four of the ten biggest European deals done in the first three months of 2018 were located in Germany.”

3. US - P2P

Bloomberg reports an acquisition by Kabbage.


Orchard Platform Markets LLC, a provider of lending data and services backed by the former heads of Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley, is set to be acquired by small-business lending platform Kabbage Inc., said people familiar with the deal.

Kabbage plans to use Orchard’s technology, and some of the employees are also expected to move to Kabbage’s New York office, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. It’s unclear how much Kabbage will pay, and the transaction could still fall through. Kabbage and Orchard declined to comment.

New York-based Orchard was started in 2013 to provide Wall Street firms with data on the marketplace lending sector, which became popular after banks pared back loans following the financial crisis. Citi’s Vikram Pandit and Morgan Stanley’s John Mack, each intimately familiar with the consequences of bad loans on the American housing market, invested in Orchard, the company has said. Bloomberg LP offers some Orchard data to customers through the terminal.”

4. US – FinTech

Menfan reports new moves in digitally driven SME funding.

“First-of-its-kind bundled technology and professional services are now available to help entrepreneurs take advantage of an exciting new funding option.

The NC PACES Act sets the stage for small businesses in North Carolina to have another channel to raise the funds necessary to grow and sustain their businesses.— Donald SeifertWILMINGTON, NC, UNITED STATES, April 12, 2018 / / -- Cardinal Crowdfund Solutions, LLC announces its strategic partnership with LogicBay to offer equity crowdfunding services to North Carolina businesses as they seek North Carolina investors under the NC PACES Act . 

The NC PACES Act became effective April 1, 2017, making it possible for startups and small business owners to raise up to $2,000,000 through equity crowdfunding. The new regulations were created to foster the growth of North Carolina businesses through North Carolina investors, but there has been very little adoption since the NC PACES Act took effect due in part to a lack of access to the crowdfunding portal technology required under the new laws. However, on February 21, 2018 the North Carolina Department of Secretary of State, Securities Division, issued LogicBay Corporation a notice of effectiveness of registration pursuant to 18 NCAC 06A .2035 making LogicBay's integrated FundingStack ™ the State's first authorized intrastate funding portal. 

While LogicBay provides the technology, Cardinal Crowdfund Solutions provides a turnkey suite of services to make equity crowdfunding more accessible for those desiring to raise money under the regulations.’

5. US – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider reports on challenger banks’ demands for light regulation.

“The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) “stormed” Washington, DC this past week as community bankers from across the country urged much needed regulatory reform. The ICBA pronounced the “excessive and unnecessary regulation is stifling their ability to meet the needs of local communities.”

As part of the ICBA 2018 Capital Summit, an event that represents approximately 5700 community banks, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting showed up to share his thoughts on the current banking marketplace. During his remarks, Otting reportedly told ICBA members the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will soon be publishing its position on the Fintech Charter – a proposal that was initially supposed to streamline the process for Fintech’s to operate across the country without having to kiss the ring of each and every state regulator.”