News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Storm In A Teacup by JBraine

1. UK – FinTech 


Finextra on a large equity raise: 

“Money management app Chip has closed the biggest ever equity crowdfund on Crowdcube, raising £11.5 million from 12,954 investors. 

As part of the record-breaking round, Chip raised £1 million in under 10 minutes and hit £8.6+ million in under 48 hours. Off the back of the crowdfund, the company added 6,500 new investors, growing its shareholder community to over 23,000.

In the past year, Chip has grown revenues by 500% and achieved positive growth margins for the first time in August 2021. New product launches, such as easy access savings accounts and investment funds have attracted 400,000 customers, swelling average user balances to £2,961.03 in September 2021.” 



2. UK – FinTech 


The Fintech Times runs an opinion piece on a possible alternative to IPOs for FinTechs. 


Funding Circle led the way for fintechs in 2018 as it became the first company in the sector to be publically listed on the London Stock Exchange. Since then, a plethora of fintechs have followed suit hoping to find success, however, questions are starting to be asked whether a traditional IPO is the best way to list one’s company or if going public is even the correct decision to begin with. 

Alexander Green is the Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder at Globacap. Green leads business development with institutional partners including VC and PE funds. Green is focused on solving problems for clients and delivering innovative capital markets solutions for Globacap’s customers. 

He spoke with The Fintech Times to discuss how an IPO listing may not be in a fintech’s best interests, and that remaining private and in control is a better choice, especially now more options are available to companies who want to generate capital, offload shares, or even exit, without the need to go public. Despite this, Green explains some companies would still want a public listing. For them blockchain tech could provide new routes to liquidity.” 



3. US - FinTech 

Altfi reports: 

“The payments space has been one of the hottest areas for fintech in recent years, despite heavy competition. Now with increasingly high expectations from customers and a number of notable successes among start ups, VCs are increasingly put cash to work in digital payments. 

Primer, a new payments automation platform is one such example. Ithas closed a $50m Series B fundraise pushing its valuation to $425m, just 20 months since its launch. 

The round was led by San Francisco based ICONIQ Growth, which has backed a number of notable fintech companies such as Adyen and Marqeta. Existing investors, including Accel, Balderton Capital, Seedcamp, Speedinvest, and RTP Global all participated in the round.  

Founded in early 2020 by Gabriel Le Roux and Paul Anthony (pictured L/R), ex-Paypal and Braintree employees, the startup now employs more than 70 people across 20 countries.” 


4. US – FinTech 

Crowdfundinisder on the “first” Bitcoin ETF – though there is a Stockholm-quoted fund that’s been trading for years… 

“After an extended wait for financial services firms attempting to launch an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on Bitcoin, the very first Bitcoin ETF is expected to trade tomorrow on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). 

Last week, it was revealed that ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) will become the first US Bitcoin-linked ETF providing investors an opportunity to gain exposure to Bitcoin via a regulated exchange. 

According to the information page, the Fund seeks to provide capital appreciation primarily through managed exposure to Bitcoin futures contracts and the fund does not invest directly in Bitcoin. The ETF holds an expense ratio of 0.95%. The prospectus is available here if you are curious. 

For some time now, firms have been queueing up to list a crypto ETF but the Securities and Exchange Commission has denied the applications. Many expect other Bitcoin ETFs could be approved going forward.” 


5. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“European fintech funding rebounded from its pandemic lull in the first half of 2021, according to a Finch Capital report which nevertheless warns that the boom could stall again next year. 

European fintech financing hit EUR15 billion in the first half, up from just EUR5 billion in the second half of 2020, says Finch, with B2B businesses dominating, securing 65% of the capital.

However, Europe is the least diversified region, with five per cent of the deals seeing over 65% of the funding amounts, as giant unicorns such as Klarna and Rapyd dominate.

Finch predicts that the fintech blast could stall next year, citing four factors: a war for talent that will increase costs; a slowdown in public and IPO markets; increased regulatory scrutiny; and rising interest rates.”