News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd on the move

1.UK – FinTech

CityA.M. on a new raise for a blockchain-based bank account.


‘For venture-minded investors who have yet to make any major forays into the tantalising yet potentially risky ICO world of blockchain and cryptocurrency, one equity investment opportunity live now on Crowdcubemay prove to be a gateway.

Introducing: the bank account based on blockchain

BABB (Bank Account Based Blockchain) is a UK-based startup. It is building an app based on a private proprietary blockchain, offering future-proofed, mobile-only banking services with slick biometric onboarding.

Targeting the excluded, the overcharged and the disenfranchised in the UK and around the world, BABB is planning to undercut the busy challenger bank market with an appealing customer proposition backed up by a business model which will be revenue-generating from year one.

BABB is in the process of applying for a banking license in the UK and is currently conducting a funding round in order to meet the minimum capital requirement set out by the Bank of England for financial organisations seeking bank status.”


2. UK – FinTech


Crowdfundinsider on a move in online mortgages:


“Who are you? LendInvest, a UK marketplace platform for mortgages, and Onfido, an identity verification provider, have partnered to streamline LendInvest’s digital application process for its Buy-to-Let (BTL) product to determine identity. In November 2017, LendInvest launched its first BTL product with a digital application process; the new partnership with Onfido builds on LendInvest’s recent integration with Stripe to take online valuation fee payments for BTL applications.”

3. UK – P2P


Lending Works has received £2.8m of private equity funding, according to P2P Finance News.

“The capital raise was led by UK private equity house Maven Capital Partners, with £800,000 of backing from Pollen Street Capital and NVM Private Equity.

The proceeds will be used to fund growth through further investment in sales and marketing and in the company’s strategic partnership channels. Lending Works said.

“We are delighted to lead the investment in Lending Works, which has grown to become one of the leading P2P lenders in the UK,” Melanie Goward, investment director at Maven, said.

“The firm has developed a reputation in the market of being a responsible and ethical P2P market leader, which is evidenced by it being the first major platform to have been fully authorised by the FCA and the first to have negotiated insurance cover which provides lenders with protection against borrower defaults.

“The experienced management team has a clear and executable strategy and we look forward to helping them deliver this in the coming years.”

4. UK – P2P

P2P Finance News on a potential link between private and public sectors.

“FUNDING Circle’s listed investment trust is in talks with the British Business Bank (BBB) about providing further funding through the peer-to-peer platform.

It comes as the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) reported its net asset value (NAV) had increased from £308m to £165m in the year to March 2018, while its NAV total return was 14.9 per cent.

FCIF highlighted a structured finance transaction with Citibank to fund loans through the Funding Circle platform as one of its major deals last year, and also revealed it was in talks with the BBB about providing up to £150m of funding.

The investment trust’s annual report said it was in discussions with Funding Circle and the BBB about a project to provide financing to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the Funding Circle UK lending platform.”

5. US – FinTech


Crowdfundinsider on regulatory moves with blockchain ramifications.

“Digital assets, as defined by FINRA, include just about anything associated with blockchain including digital assets that are “non-securities”. It appears that FINRA member firms must report just about anything to do with distributed ledger technology (DLT) in any way. DLT or blockchain is more of a method of management of data that seeks to be more secure and less costly to operate and is expected to be used in many non-securities related functions. While FINRA is encouraging firms to notify them you may be assured this suggestion will be viewed as a mandate as FINRA is not an entity to be trivialized. This Notice will probably impact just about every US financial service firm as they are all reviewing blockchain technology.”


6. US – FinTech


Crowdfundinsider runs a colourful story.


“A Los Angeles LocalBitcoins seller who plead guilty to running an unregistered money transmission business and laundering drug money for bitcoins has been sentenced to a- year-plus-one-day’s imprisonment.

In addition to completing three years’ probation and paying a fine of $20 000, Theresa Tetley, a former stockbroker and real estate investor, will also forfeit 40 bitcoins, $292 264 dollars in cash and, “25 assorted gold bars that were the proceeds of her illegal activity,” a Monday release from the US Attorney’s Office states.

Tetley is the first LocalBitcoins seller to be charged with illegal money transmission and laundering in California, and was accused of repeatedly turning a blind eye to intimations made undercover officers in sting operations that the bitcoins she traded were linked to the sale of drugs.

Records show that, for almost five years leading up her arrest in the Fall of 2017, Tetley was a prolific bitcoins trader at LocalBitcoins, an online escrow service that loosely connects independent buyers and sellers of bitcoins.

Prosecutors claimed that Tetley regularly met with clients in public places such as restaurants and coffee shops to exchange bitcoins for large envelopes of cash and vice versa.”