News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

The crowd is global and connected - where will your money go today?

1. UK - Equity

The boutique travel brand Mr & Mrs Smith has beaten its crowdfunding target by over 500% . The raise reached its  £1m target on day one and eventually closed on Monday 10 days earlier than planned after raising a total of over £6.1m.

Mr & Mrs Smith is not a startup. The Crowdcube campaign was the first time in the company’s 15-year history that equity in the business had been offered. With 1.5million members in 100 countries, the company isn't short of admires and more than 2,000 people bought in, with investments starting at £125 (the price of a single share).

 The new investment will support the company’s continued growth. 

More detailed coverage of this story is available from BDaily and Boutique Hotelier.

2. UK - Alt-Fi

The Daily Mail is impressed by the new one-year fixed-rate savings account offered via Raisin, a brand name of ICICI Bank.

The account offer 1.92 per cent interest and a bonus of up to £80, which the Mail deems a 'best buy', and according to the bank's FAQ page, is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Read more about the Raisin account in Daily Mail Online.

3. UK - P2P Lending

ArchOver has launched an automated peer-to-peer lending portfolio it calls Investment Plan. The aim is to improve accessibility for retail investors and diversity for institutional investors.

Investment Plan has an annual target rate of up to 6.4 per cent, and a low entry point: the minimum investment is £250, compared to Archover's usuual £1000.

CEO Angus Dent is quoted as saying:that Archover wanted their investments to be accessible to an even wider group of people.

“We knew there was demand from potential investors who could benefit from our model, but didn’t necessarily want to lend borrower-project-by-borrower-project, including investment houses that require a more diversified portfolio with cross-sector exposure. Institutions using the service will now be able to let ArchOver administer their portfolio for the first time."

Each Investment Plan will be spread over a minimum of ten secured investment projects on the platform, with no more than 10 per cent of the portfolio being exposed to any one borrower. 

The full details of this story are on Private Equity Wire.

This story is also covered in P2P Finance News.

4. UK - Equity

The financial education tool gohenry (slogan "Pocket Money Reinvented") has passed £5 million in its latest Crowdcube raise.  The gohenry tool helps parents teach their children aged between six and 18 how to earn, save, spend and learn about money.

Parents decide where the card can be used, can agree limits with kids, allocate pocket money and allowances automatically or related to particular tasks, while children decide where, when and how much to spend or save.

Read more about GoHenry on Insider Media.

5. UK - Renewables

Downing Crowd has launched a new bond raise to channel £2.5 million into the renewable energy generation and reserve power company, Bagnall Energy (which is managed by Downing LLP.)

“The renewable energy sector presents a diverse range of opportunities for investors. Income streams from energy generation are well established, which can provide our investors with predictable revenue,” Downing LLP Partner and Head of Crowdfunding Julia Groves told Crowdfund Insider.

“There is also the wider benefit for investors of knowing that their money is having a positive impact on the UK energy market and environment.”

Crowdfund Insider has the complete story.

6. International Fintech

The global consultancy firm PwC has made a move in the cryptocurrency arena, partnering with digital platform Cred to boost trust in the cryptocurrency space. Cred was founded by two former PayPal technologists Dan Schatt and Lu Hua, and aims to offer open access to cryptocurrency-based credit options.

PwC said in a press release it "wanted to help the marketplace understand key considerations in quickly moving towards enhanced standards that build confidence and trust in the crypto ecosystem.

“We are excited to work with Cred to help increase industry awareness regarding how the asset backed digital token ecosystem can be secured and scaled on behalf of participants along the digital asset value chain, said Grainne McNamara, US Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Leader, PwC. “We are eager to leverage our proven industry experience to support a quickly developing asset class and its associated market infrastructure components. We believe this exploration of the blockchain infrastructure and associated operational frameworks can help the industry develop an increased level of comfort.”

For more details of this story, read Bitcoin Magazine

PwC published a press release on the deal.

7. International - P2P Lending

Australia's peer-to-peer lenders are giving the big banks a run for their money. A report recently published by CommSec Economic Insights reveals that the number of Aussies borrowing from non-bank financial institutions rose by 10.3% over the year to August. CommSec is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which has some skin in the game.

Sydney's SocietyOne recently became the first Australian P2P lender  to hit $500 million in loans, to 20,000 Australian borrowers, and has plans to reach $1 billion in 2019.

“Banks are facing greater competition from non-banks. At the same time bank deposits are only lifting at a 2.5% annual rate, putting greater reliance on external funding. It is clearly a competitive and challenging environment for financial institutions,” CommSec chief economist, Craig James told personal finance website MOZO.

Full details of this story on News.com.au.

This story is also covered on MOZO.