The latest news from the world of Alternative Finance and FinTech
In the news this week
The Financial Conduct Authority launched a global FinTech sandbox this week. Joining regulators from around the world, The Global Finance Innovation Network will aim to provide a more efficient method for innovative FinTech firms to interact with regulators. In other news, Crowdcube announced its strongest ever quarter, raising £47.4M for 58 businesses.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has joined financial regulators from around the world to create a new global network to boost fintech innovation. The Global Finance Innovation Network (GFIN) will aim to provide a more efficient method for innovative fintech firms to interact with regulators. (City A.M.)
Equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube records strongest ever quarter
Exeter-based Crowdcube has had its strongest quarter ever, driven by record activity levels. In the second quarter of 2018, a record £47.4m was raised for 58 businesses. This takes the total pledged on the platform to over £490m. (City A.M.)
Following a new financing round earlier this year and Nesta’s Open Banking prize last year, London based invoice finance provider Investly has opened their platform to help partners such as banks, working capital providers, e-invoicing platforms and retail/wholesale marketplaces serve their business customers the financing they need. (Finextra)
London fintech serves up UK-wide partnership with sushi chain Itsu
London-based fintech firm Flux will roll out a UK-wide deal with sushi chain Itsu that could see users receive nutritional information sent straight to their phones. Users who have opted in with Flux's banking partners will receive an itemised digital receipt inside their banking app when they pay with their card at any of Itsu's 72 stores across the UK. (City A.M.)
LendInvest has dropped its debenture and floating charge on limited company applications amongst a series of changes to its buy-to-let product. The lender has also reduced the ICR assessment rate to 5% across all of our products with the exception of the 5-year fixed interest product which remains at 4.19%. (Mortgage Introducer)
Crowd investors make 19x returns on Revolut investments
Crowd investors who backed Revolut, Britain’s first digital banking unicorn via Crowdcube, have now realised returns of ~19x on their original investments. You may have seen Revolut on the platform in July 2016, where the crowd got to invest as little as £10 or as much as £5,000. In April this year, Revolut received a $250m investment led by DST Global, setting a valuation for the company of ~£1.2 billion, making it one of the first crowdfunded unicorns. (Crowdcube)
Take-up of internet banking and online savings has doubled since 2008, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Barclays teams up with fintech business MarketInvoice
Barclays Plc has announced that it is partnering with fintech business MarketInvoice, Europe’s largest online invoice financing platform, in a deal that is set to transform the way small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK manage cash flow and accelerate growth. (LeapRate.com)
Zopa raises £44 million to support digital bank launch
Peer-to-peer lender Zopa has scooped £44 million in funding as it lays the groundwork for the launch of its new digital challenger bank. The latest round comes in a breakout year for Zopa, which recently moved back into the black as revenue grew by 40% to £46.5 million. (Finextra)
Pensioners marching on the Square Mile – no thank you
News of China ordering a lockdown of Beijing’s financial district on Monday (6 Aug) to prevent organised demonstrations by investors that lost money with bankrupt P2P lenders is the stuff of nightmares for the FCA. The breakdown of more than 150 platforms in China since the beginning of the year is being blamed on regulatory failures, fraud, lending to weak borrowers and an overall decline in economic conditions.
Despite being discussed numerous times there still seems to be confusion over social media’s connection with search rankings and SEO. In 2010 Matt Cutts, the former head of Google’s webspam team said that Google did use links from Facebook and Twitter as ranking signals. But, just four years later he changed his mind, claiming these social media pages were treated like any other web page for search, but not as a ranking factor. It's been a while since then, and there's no...
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