News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

London's financial district, pulsing with money and technology, photographed from the air

>1.UK – AltFi


Citywire offers a feature on private equity:

“New frontiers are emerging in the private equity space as innovation takes hold, according to Johnny El-Hachem, CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity.

Running a total of 11 strategies in partnerships with specialist firms, El-Hachem says expertise and insider know-how are key to success in this space. Backed by Ariane de Rothschild and the family, the unit manages a total of €2.3 billion across emerging markets, frontier markets and European-focused strategies.

Over the decade the group has operated in these markets, El-Hachem says these investments have become more mature and accessible.

‘This asset class has been the preserve of highly-qualified investors or institutions for a long time. We think the space is evolving, given the climate of low interest rates we are living in where the absence of yield in the public market has pushed investors to accept the illiquidity of this asset class and the premium attached.’

In recent years access has become easier alongside a new range of large and smaller strategies. That said, investors’ cash has been building up on the sidelines, encouraging the deployment of larger funds.”

2. UK – P2P

Octopus has announced that its P2P investment platform is now accessible within a SIPP wrapper, reports AltFi.

“Other P2P lenders offering Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) include RateSetter and many others have said they are preparing to launch offerings, plans that have been a long time coming. 

Octopus Investments, part of Octopus Group. has partnered with specialist pension providers, Hartley Pensions (a Wilton Group Company) and Morgan Lloyd, who are the first providers to offer access to Octopus Choice within a SIPP (self-invested personal pension).

The move, the firm says, follows increasing demand from financial advisers and direct investors who want to access P2P lending within a tax efficient pension wrapper.”

3. US – FinTech

Crowdfund insider reports on the aftermath of the recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement action against Telegram and the issuance of TON tokens. 

“First, Telegram sold about $1.7 billion in a SAFT (simple agreement for future tokens) that appeared to abide by the rules. Telegram filed a Form D and apparently only sold to accredited investors in the US. As CI has heard, the token offering was wildly popular at the time of the offering.

But the SEC’s “emergency action” was predicated on the expectation the TON tokens would be available to the general public and thus akin to an initial public offering (IPO).  Once the TONs hid various and sundry crypto exchanges – anyone would be able to purchase them – not just the accredited investor types. In the US, an IPO requires registration with the SEC, a significant undertaking.

We have received several comments on the SEC’s move to target an issuer that is not US-based but sold to US investors, approximately 39 purchasers who committed in total $424.5 million, according to the SEC’s complaint.”


4. International – FinTech

FinExtra reports:

“Revolut has hired JPMorgan to oversee a $500 million equity raise and $1 billion convertible loan, in a move that would bring the total funding raised by the loss-making firm to almost $2 billion.

The search for new capital comes just weeks after Revolut secured a global deal with Visa that would see the fintech move into 24 new markets and boost staff numbers to 3500.

According to Sky News, which first reported on the upcoming funding round, Revolut is aiming for a valuation of between $5 billion and $10 billion from the capital raise.

Insiders said that Revolut would seek to raise the new loan on the basis that it would convert into shares in the event that the company received a US banking licence.

Revolut now has seven million customers across Europe, about half of whom are in the UK. The firm, which reported a pre-tax loss of £33m in 2018, compared with £15m the previous year, claims to be opening 12,000 new accounts every day.”

5. International – FinTech reports:


“Coinbase has secured a new legal foothold in Europe. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange has received an e-money license from the Bank of Ireland, which it can potentially use to continuing serving its customers across the continent, in case Brexit causes any disruptions.”