News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1. UK – FinTech 

AltFi on a “somewhat controversial” deal. 

Tide has submitted a joint bid with ClearBank as part of Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) £100m Pool E fund. 

The duo previously worked together on their previous Pool A bid picking up a grant worth £60m to be shared between their projects. 

This time around the pair have made two bids, one for £25m and the other for £35m, with the intention of using the cash to bolster their use of open banking technology, payments processing and access to SME debt and equity finance. 

“By securing additional funding from Pool E, we’ll be able to harness the agility and efficiency we have shown so far in our on-target Pool A delivery and have even more of an impact, accelerating the provision of services to SME businesses,” said ClearBank’s group CEO Charles McManus. 

Fellow bidder and Tide CEO Oliver Prill said: “We have identified the key areas in which SMEs are threatened and have world-class solutions that will allow them to get back on their feet and come out stronger.” 

“We are ready to get started immediately, have a laser focus on the small business market, state of the art technology and a strong base position with almost 4% market share.” 

Tide’s bid is somewhat controversial, coming after the business banking provider shuttered its Bounce Back Loans to the dismay of thousands of customers after admitting it lacked the capital to continue lending.’ 

2. UK – FinTech 

Covid claims a FinTech victim. Finextra reports. 

“London's TechHub has been forced into administration due to a revenue drain from startups feeling the pain of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Founded ten year's ago as a co-working space at the heart of London's Silicon roundabout, TechHub offered tailored support and events to help developing startups and entrepreneurs scale up. Companies to have passed through the TechHub ecosystem include the likes of Seedrs, FundApps, Callsign and SwiftKey.

Explaining the decision to shut up shop, founder and CEO Elizabeth Varley, says: "Unfortunately, with a significant reduction in revenue due to the impact of Covid on our member companies, and without an agreement from our major landlord to our proposals for a way forward, we are unable to continue." 

 

3. UK – AltFi 

International Adviser has more on the LCF affair. 

“The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has reached decisions on another batch of claims related to the collapse of London Capital & Finance (LCF) 

In the latest update, the scheme confirmed that 844 investors have been deemed eligible for compensation, as they received misleading advice from the investment firm. 

The FSCS paid out £5.1m to 281 victims in June 2020, with the latest payouts taking compensation paid so far up to £13.5m ($17.3m, €14.8m).  

More than 11,600 people were sold LCF mini-bonds.” 

4. International - FinTech 

Fintech firm SendGold, which describes itself as a Gold-as-a-Service (GaaS) platform, reports an 819% increase in transaction volume and a 311% growth in transaction size since January 2020, according to Crowdfundinsider. 

Established in 2016, SendGold is a peer to peer (P2P) digital money platform focused on serving the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. 

5. International – FinTech 

Brexit effects in the UK… AltFi reports:

Lydia, the French payments app, will cease its activities in the UK by October, according to AltFi.   

“As a result, it will be closing all user accounts set to Pound Sterling from August 3, 2020 and it will also no longer be possible to set up a Lydia account in the currency.  

Users can keep using Lydia after this date by requesting a euro Lydia account. 

In a message to users, it avoided offering a full explanation of the decision but cited that ‘local constraints’ were preventing its continued existence in Europe’s fintech capital.  

“As a European player, we have to adapt to local constraints and unfortunately the UK will no longer enable us to offer an optimal service. We therefore decided to end our operations in the UK on October 3rd,” the message said.”