News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

a bulb in a pot, symbolising growth

1.UK – FinTech     

UK TechNews reports: 

 

Stripe, the online payments technology provider, has recently launched Stripe Issuing in 20 countries across Europe.  

The list of countries includes Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK 

Stripe Issuing allows users to create, manage, and distribute virtual and physical cards. It also gives businesses more control over how they spend their money. 

According to the company, cards created on Stripe Issuing can be programmatically controlled, with dynamic spending limits, blocked merchant categories, advanced combinations of rules, and even real-time authorisations for each transaction, all managed via Stripe’s Issuing API. 

Moreover, businesses can design their own branded cards in the Stripe Dashboard, with Stripe handling card production, fulfillment, and shipping.” 

 

2. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“Going public in China is proving to be something of an uphill battle for fintechs, and new guidelines released by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) are only further complicating the process. 

Speaking with EY’s Asia-Pacific IPO leader, Ringo Choi, CNBC reports that few firms across the fintech sector have been able to list on exchanges in Shanghai and Schenzen.

“For financial technology, you can see that…some of the largest one(s), if they’re competing with the bank or insurance company, they will have a hard time.”

One of the CSRC’s guidelines released last Friday states that financial technology companies are banned from listing on the STAR board, the NASDAQ-style tech board officially called the Shanghai Stock Exchange Science and Technology Innovation Board. The release read: “Real estate and firms mainly engaged in financial services and investment businesses are prohibited from listing on the Science and Technology Innovation Board.” 

 

3. International - FinTech 


AltFi reports: 


“It seems like we can’t move without hearing stories of fintechs from around the world prospering thanks to the seismic shift to digital over the past year. 

This next tale comes from down under, with buy-now-pay-later (BNPL)  platform Afterpay reportedly exploring a US listing thanks to the boom. 

Afterpay, which is already listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, revealed it’s gearing up for a listing stateside in its third-quarter results posted earlier this week. 

In the company’s quarterly update, it wrote: “Afterpay is currently working with external advisors to explore options for a US listing given the US market is now the largest contributor to our business and is expected to continue to grow strongly.” 

“While Afterpay intends to remain an Australian headquartered company, our shareholder base is increasingly becoming more globally focused. A US listing would further accommodate this growing interest.”  

The BNPL fintech has also reportedly appointed US banking giant Goldman Sachs as its advisor for the listing, according to Reuters. 

 

4. International – FinTech 

 

Crowdfundinsider runs a feature interview with Danial Daychopan, CEO and Founder of UK-based Plutus, a financial services provider that aims to bridge the gap between traditional fiat currencies and “upcoming” cryptocurrencies. 

“Plutus says it offers the “best of both worlds,” which includes centralized fiat and non-custodial crypto, “under one intuitive banking-like app.” 

To stay true to the “decentralized” culture of crypto, users may attach their personal crypto wallet to the app and interact with it alongside their fiat current account “without ever revealing the private keys,” the Plutus team notes. A “custom-built” decentralized exchange (PlutusDEX) allows users to “swap between the two asset types without having to trust a 3rd party,” the company explains. 

The Plutus app comes with a Plutus Debit Card which users can load with fiat and converted cryptocurrency in order to spend at more than 60 million merchants, “circumventing the need for mass adoption and making crypto payments a reality now!.” With 3% “crypto back built-in,” Plutus claims it’s one of the “most secure” and “rewarding” accounts available.” 

 

5. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“Estonian core-banking fintech Bankish has concluded its seed financing round with over €1million from local investors. 

“We are proud to announce that we have raised our seedstage cap,” said Andrus Alber, co-founder and CEO of Bankish. The total reported equity amount reached €1.1m through a combination of both existing and new investors. “We are absolutely delighted to see this high level of interest in fintech solutions and are looking forward to an even brighter future,” Alber added.

Through sessions in 2020 and March 2021, Bankish was able to attract professional, non-institutionalised investors, including 9 completely new shareholders. “Rest assured that this investment will be put to good use: we are determined to expand our team and sales in the global financial sector in order to help market players in their digital transformation,” Ian Kalla, CXO of Bankish, said. “We’re ready for the future - and with us, you’ll be ready, too!”