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News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

three women and a man discuss reports

The essentials are here and will be regularly updated. If you want to be well-informed about the investment crowdfunding scene, and you're short of time, this is the place to visit.

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1.UK – P2P

The publicity bandwagon ahead of Funding Circle’s IPO rolls on… Business Daily reports.

 

“Peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle is creating 200 jobs in the UK.

The London-headquartered firm has this morning (June 13) confirmed plans to take on 400 new employees in 2018, half of whom will be recruited in the UK.

Founded in 2010, Funding Circle facilitates lending from a range of investors to small businesses in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and US.

A report published today by economic consultancy Oxford Economics has revealed that in 2017, lending through Funding Circle unlocked around 45,000 UK jobs.

Further, the report found that lending through the platform contributed £2.4bn to the economy, generating £730m in tax receipts for the HM Treasury.”

 

2. UK – AltFi

Bridging & Commercial reports.

“Snowball Alternative Finance has announced that it has a deal pipeline worth in excess of £70m.

 

The alternative finance brokerage – which launched in January this year after receiving FCA approval – is currently on track to exceed its first-year target of £100m in deals.

Peter Black (pictured above, left), who heads up the company, is a former senior banker.

Commenting on the announcement, he said: “The banks lost their appetite for lending following the financial downturn and this has had a serious impact on small- and medium-sized trading and property businesses who are looking to grow.”


3. US – FinTech

Crowdfundinisder reports:

Radius Bank, a virtual bank focused on providing clients with banking solutions to better financial health, announced on Tuesday it has formed a partnership with Treasury Prime, a Y Combinator-backed startup, to create the Tailored Checking Account, a checking account designed for business owners.

 

According to Radius, Tailored Checking Account allows micro and small business owners to quickly and easily open an account in a fraction of the traditional time, from any device. The app offers a competitive interest rate and provides convenient money management features within the Radius Mobile app that can be used to view account activity, deposit checks and pay bills. The service also includes a business debit card for purchases and unlimited ATM fee rebates, and unlimited transaction volumes without any hidden fees, all features that are unlike any micro and small business banking options currently offered on the market.


4. US – FinTech

 

Crowdfundinisde reports a crypto scandal: “A LocalBitcoins seller, known as “Bitcoin Maven,” who plead guilty to running an unregistered money transmission business and laundering drug money for Bitcoin, had her sentencing postponed yesterday at a federal court in LA.

As part of a pre-indictment plea agreement, Theresa Tetley, 50, plead guilty last November to charges that allege she traded illicit cash for bitcoins on three occasions with two DEA undercover agents.

Prosecutors have asked for 30 months incarceration. Tetley has no prior criminal record and her lawyers are asking for a one year sentence commuted to community service so she may continue to care for her developmentally-delayed sister.

LocalBitcoins is an peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading service that boasts activity in 248 countries.

Buyers and sellers can meet in person or arrange transactions online.

Many LocalBitcoins transactions over the years have been conducted anonymously, with minimal attention paid to regulations, although that may be changing now cryptocurrencies are attracting more attention in the mainstream.

A profile at LocalBitcoins.com shows that a person going by name of “Bitcoin Maven” sold bitcoins through the service for over four years and was “last seen” 4 months and 3 weeks ago.

According to a position document submitted by the government for her sentencing, Tetley’s bitcoin trades were numerous and substantial. Tetley allegedly, “operated a multi-million dollar unlicensed money transmitting business in the Central District of California,” selling bitcoins at a premium for cash and vice versa in face-to-face deals for several years, “fuel(ing) a black- market financial system…that purposely and deliberately existed outside of the regulated bank industry.”


 

5. US – FinTech

LendingTree, Inc.  announced on Tuesday its subsidiary, LendingTree, LLC, completed its acquisition of Ovation Credit Services, Inc., a leading provider of credit services with a strong customer service reputation, according to Crowdfundinsider. The acquisition was announced last month.

 

“According to LendingTree Ovation Credit Services utilizes a proprietary software application that facilitates the credit repair process and is integrated directly with certain credit bureaus while educating consumers on credit improvement via ongoing outreach with Ovation case advisors. The company’s proprietary software application also offers consumers a simple, streamlined process to identify, dispute, and correct inaccuracies in their credit reports.”


 

6. International – FinTech

 

The FT reports:

“Adyen, the Dutch payments group, whet investor appetite in Europe’s initial public offering market on Wednesday with shares soaring 77 per cent to €425 on the company’s debut in Amsterdam. The listing is one of the largest from a European technology company in recent years and gave Adyen a valuation of €7.1bn when shares started trading on Wednesday at €240, the top of a set price range.

 

Investors flocked to the fast-growing company sending its market capitalisation far past the €9bn that was expected before the company announced its price range. Adyen’s flotation follows a number of IPOs from European tech companies this year including Czech cyber security group Avast last month and Swedish streaming service Spotify. It comes ahead of expected flotations by London-based Farfetch and Funding Circle later this year. Adyen on Wednesday raised €947m from the listing after existing investors such as London-based Index Ventures and General Atlantic sold 13.4 per cent of shares, including an over-allotment option. The company will not net any proceeds from the listing, which will go to investors selling the stock.”

 

 

https://www.ft.com/content/7c7239a8-6edb-11e8-92d3-6c13e5c92914



7. International – EIS/FinTech

 

Real Business reports:

“The Unicorn Ascension Fund (UAF) is the first of its kind, and is a joint project of Ascension Ventures and Unicorn India Ventures. It expects to raise £2 million by July this year, and will begin deploying capital in autumn.

The UAF hopes to leverage the strengths of both markets – India’s economy is currently undergoing digitisation, which UK tech companies could seek to capitalise on.

Enterprise Investment Schemes enable investors to spread the risk of investing in early stage businesses by offering a portfolio of ventures, as well as various tax reliefs.

The UAF will utilise these tax reliefs, and invest in scale-ups raising between £1m-3m at the pre-Series A stage. It will co-invest around a third of the round in six to eight deals per year.”