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1. UK – FinTech
The Engineer runs a piece proclaiming the advent of the fourth industrial revolution in the banking sector.
“From APIs to Blockchain a host of financial technology, or fintech, platforms are helping manufacturers raise the money and funding they need to drive growth.
During and immediately after the financial crisis of 2007-9 was a dire time for small businesses (SMEs) as liquidity dried up and when it returned, most credit was lent on less risky residential mortgages not business loans.
An improving economy and market innovation has helped recapitalise British industry and 10-years on the situation is much healthier. The body UK Finance finds that eight out of ten business loan applications by SMEs are successful and its latest SME Finance Monitor, a survey of around 4,500 SMEs, found an increase in demand for finance in the final quarter of 2017. Liquidity is back and today access to finance is characterised by innovation and choice.
In addition to the big high street banks and challengers such as Aldermore and Metro Bank, SMEs can now also turn to a clutch of sources known as “alternative finance” to raise money. This includes financial technology, or fintech, platforms that use digital technologies including blockchain and APIs (application programming interface) to source capital in a peer-to-peer model. And whilst other peer-to-peer structures such as crowd funding are also increasingly used to fund growth, fintech has made arguably the biggest dent on the bank loan market.
London-based fintech company MarketInvoice published a survey in September 2017 that found 65 per cent of 3,482 UK businesses have adopted at least one fintech solution, with 19 per cent making use of four services. Such fintech products are helping firms to save on average over £5,500 a year. MarketInvoice extrapolated the findings to 1.3m UK businesses, to produce a total net saving of £4.6bn. Meanwhile, the firm’s own loan book to manufacturing companies is growing; in 2015 it was £4.3m, and is £12.1m in 2017.”
2. UK – P2P/IFISA
P2P Finance News looks at the highest-yielding IFSAs.
PEER-TO-PEER property platforms are rapidly overtaking non-property platforms in terms of the returns available. And when these returns are invested within an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) wrapper, they can quickly mount up.
Many platforms are now offering double-digit returns as standard, although these higher returns generally come with a higher degree of risk. However, for growth-focused investors, it would be tough to find a better deal on tax-free returns.
So in alphabetical order, here are the top five highest-paying P2P property IFISAs available for the 2018/19 tax year…
Crowd2Fund (8.7 per cent), LandlordINvest (12 per cent), MoneyThing (13 per cent), Property Crowd (8-13 per cent), Propleand (5.12 per cent)."
3. UK – P2P
“About 150,000 Britons have lent nearly £10bn in this way over the past decade, earning around 4.5% interest on average. By contrast, the average interest rate on an easy access savings account is just 0.51%.
The bigger platforms, such as Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter, are therefore attractive alternatives for would-be savers.”
4. US – Real Estate
“Fundrise, an online real estate investment platform, has just filed a Reg A+ update with the Securities and Exchange Commission that updates on their equity eREIT offering.
Several years old now, the eREIT offering circular indicates the company has sold approximately $73 million in shares in the security. Fundrise seeks to raise an additional $26+ million to take the investment fund to $100 million. At the end of 2017, approximately 83% of raised capital had been invested in real estate.
This updated filing indicates that shares are now being sold at $10.71 each – representing a NAV at the end of March 2018. A previous offering circular in October of 2017 had a price of $10.45 per share.”
5. International – FinTech
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has ordered all financial institutions in the country to cease trading, holding and transacting cryptocurrencies and to, “exit any existing relationships with virtual currency exchanges within sixty days”, according to Crowdfundinsider.
“According to Quartz Africa, Zimbabweans have been using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to hedge against the ravages of runaway inflation and cope with both local and foreign currency shortages and shortages of goods.”
6. International – FinTech
Entrackr.com reports funding for platform to scale FinTech in India.
“Crowdfunding platform Impact Guru has raised $2 million in series A funding round co-led by Apollo Hospitals Group and Venture Catalysts.
The funding round saw participation from existing investor RB Investments–a Singapore based VC fund and Currae Healthtech Fund along with various family offices.
Incubated at Harvard Innovation Lab in 2014, Impact Guru will use the fresh capital to scale crowdfunding in India by ramping up sales and marketing as well as technology development. Besides, the firm will also invest in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and vernacular language support.”