News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd of women talking at a business event

1. UK – FinTech

AltFi reports:

“After five years of ever-increasing revenue and profits, LendInvest suffered a fall in its operating profit last year to £0.6m (down from £3.3m in FY2019) as a result of its cancelled IPO.

The stock market listing which was explored last summer led to exceptional costs of £2.2m for the business which, along with additional hiring and investment in infrastructure, pushed down earnings.

Revenue and loan originations jumped 49 per cent and 23 per cent respectively to £108.4m and £925.2m for the year ending 31 March (up from £72.7m and £747.4m in FY2019).

“Despite the undoubtedly challenging couple of months we have all endured, stepping into the role of CEO this year as the business has continued to scale; investing in innovation and throughout it all, maintaining a consistent EBITDA for the sixth year running, has shown me we certainly have reason to be optimistic for the year ahead,” said CEO Rod Lockhart, who stepped into the role only this January.

LendInvest passed a series of milestone in the last financial year including becoming the first UK fintech to securitise its own assets in a £259m transaction last summer, and a second £285m securitisation just three months ago.

The business also secured a £200m credit line from National Australia Bank which it used for buy-to-let loans, and launched its first home owner product in the form of a regulated bridging loan.”

 

2. UK – FinTech

 

The Times has the latest on the LCF affair:

 

“The Conservative Party donor at the centre of the £237 million London Capital & Finance scandal has put two companies connected with the failed minibond business into administration.

Simon Hume-Kendall has appointed Sanderlings, an insolvency firm, to handle the administrations of London Power & Technology and LPE Enterprises, filings at Companies House show.

Both businesses are part of a complicated web of companies linked to London Capital & Finance, which is embroiled in one of the biggest scandals to have hit investors in years.”

3. UK – FinTech/Real Estate

UK TechNews reports:

“Propoly, a white-labelled B2B lettings platform, having previously secured a £2m investment from Foxtons Plc, Countrywide Plc, Seedcamp and Pi-Labs has launched to market today.

Propoly helps letting agents automate and digitise tasks from the point at which a tenant makes an offer on a property right through to move-in.

The platform enables agents to progress all of their lets in a streamlined way by reducing admin, maximising agents revenue through the sale of third party products and staying compliant with in built prompts throughout the process.

At a time when letting agents are under increasing pressure from the tenant fee ban, reduced tenant movement due to COVID-19 and increasing government compliance, Propoly’s paperless approach will help agents to navigate some of the issues that are facing the industry, including helping to keep branches as safe as possible for staff and customers.”

 

4. US – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider reports:

Bittrex, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the U.S., announced on Saturday it is now accepting Mastercard as a source for funding user accounts. Bittrex reported that it will accept Mastercard payments from 36 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East subject to a 3% processing fee. Depending on the country deposits are made from, daily and weekly funding limits vary between $2,500-$10,000 USD/EUR and monthly limits between $7,500 and $50,000 USD/EUR. 

Bittrex further revealed that the Mastercard funding option joins a diverse list of previously accepted payment forms including Visa, debit cards, and USD wire transfers.”

 

5. International – FinTech

 

A group of some of Europe’s largest FinTechs joined forces to create and launch a new non-profit organisation, the European Fintech Association (EFA). AltFi reports:

“EFA’s main objective is to help create a single financial market within the EU, removing cross-border barriers for financial services.

The founding members of the EFA are savings marketplace Raisin, software-as-a-service provider Finleap, alternative lender Funding Circle, wealth management platform Moneyfarm, digital bank N26 and money transfer service TransferWise.

Marc Roberts, President of the EFA’s board and chief counsel for Raisin, said: “By launching the Brussels-based association, EFA will be able to support the voice of FinTechs in Europe by encouraging proportionate and smart regulation that will support European financial innovation while taking consumer protection into account.”

“Digitalization is an opportunity for all to build a better functioning market for financial services. We believe that Europe can be a leading hub and kick-start for global growth of FinTech companies.” 

The creation of the group follows the European Commission’s commitment to introducing a new digital finance strategy.”