News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1. UK – FinTech


Altfi runs an opinion piece: 

“Reports show that we are nearing 4 million open banking customers in the UK. Although this sounds like a large number, should we be patting ourselves on the back? Arguably, not yet. 

Since its inception, the goal has always been to bring open banking into the mass market, so as many people as possible can enjoy the benefits of the technology. While progress has been made by several players using open banking to help customers in innovative ways, there is still more that can be done. 

By raising awareness and offering the right innovative, truly impactful products, by 2025, around 40 million people could have accessed open banking services and a quarter with some regularity.  

This is a bold estimate, and will only be achievable if the industry continues to push forward with innovative, more beneficial uses of open banking that are easily accessible throughout a number of new verticals.” 



2. UK – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“Money management app Plum has sealed $14m of an expected $24m series A funding round. 

The round is led by a consortium of investors, with Ventura Capital and dmg ventures joining previous investors including Global Brain, VentureFriends and 500 Startups. The round also features renowned fintech players Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and co-founder of Truelayer; Charles Delingpole, CEO and founder of ComplyAdvantage; and Hugh Strange, VP of product at Nubank as angel investors.  

Launched in the UK in 2017 by former TransferWise staffer Victor Trokoudes and Alex Michael of TicTail, Plum uses AI to automate key parts of personal finance for its users, such as automated savings, bill switching and investing.

Plum’s revenue has strengthened over the past ten months, with +189% YOY growth, as customers leveraged new tools and features launched during 2021.” 



3. UK – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“Fintech Chip is now over £11.5 million for its equity offering on Crowdcube. 

As it stands today, around 9650 investors have participated in the securities offering which is raising equity capital at a pre-money valuation of over £86 million. Sales are expected to close today. 

Chip is targeting the savings market with a user-friendly app that offers a “one-stop shop for all things savings.” Chip negotiates with banks to help drive savings returns higher but also offers investment funds, powered by BlackRock.  Chip reports over 400,000 users in the UK and deposits currently over £600 million. The company competes with Raisin – another European Fintech based in Germany that offers a similar service that has also experienced rapid growth.” 


4. UK - FinTech 


Altfi reports: 


“Fidel API, a financial infrastructure API provider, has made a raft of new senior appointments. 

Kevin Akerman joins as VP of Global Strategic Initiatives, Mounir Mouawad joins as VP of Payments and Emerging Products and Carlos Vilhena joins as Head of Engineering. 

Fidel API, which is headquartered in London, is backed by investors including Nyca Partners, QED Investors, Citi Ventures, RBC Capital and Commerce Ventures. Its infrastructure allows banks and fintechs and other companies to develop digital services on top of card networks such as Visa and Mastercard through payments data.” 



5. US - FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“Fresh from a tussle with the SEC, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has called for the creation of a new US regulator to oversee digital assets. 

In a blog, Coinbase chief policy officer Faryar Shirzad says that while digital assets have quickly become a mainstream part of the financial market ecosystem, "laws drafted in the 1930s to facilitate effective oversight of our financial system could not contemplate this technological revolution".

The crypto giant's answer is set out in a paper called Digital Asset Policy Proposal: Safeguarding America’s Financial Leadership (dApp).

The paper calls for digital assets to be regulated under a separate framework from the existing financial system and for there to be one federal regulator to do this. This new framework should have three goals: enhance transparency; protect against fraud and market manipulation; and promote efficiency and market resiliency. Finally, the new regulator should promote interoperability and fair competition.”