News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

escalator ascending into light

1. UK – FinTech 


The Fintech Times reports: 

“Digital Bank Zopa Has Raised $300m (£220m) To Drive Its Next Phase Of Growth, Supporting Its Plan To Become The Strongest Performing Digital Bank For Savings And Lending In The UK. 

The round was led by Softbank Vision Fund 2, with participation from Chimera Abu Dhabi. The round was further supported by existing investors IAG Silverstripe, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, NorthZone, and Augmentum Fintech. 

The deal is currently pending regulatory approvals from the PRA and the FCA. 

Zopa’s latest financing was announced at the Global Investment Summit (GIS) 2021, a one-day event hosted in London by the Prime Minister and attended by members of the Royal Family, aimed at attracting billions in foreign investment to every part of the country. 

The funding will be used to meet the capital requirements of Zopa bank’s rapidly growing balance sheet. Recent growth has been fuelled by the continued expansion of Zopa’s suite of digital-first financial products and has attracted some of the smartest and brightest talent from across the industry.” 

2. UK - FinTech 

Altfi reviews JP Morgan Chase’s new app: 

“For those of us lucky enough to make it off the waitlist and open a Chase account, the digital banking app is much like any other banking app—if your normal banking app is devoid of all the bells and whistles that is. 

First things first it seems as if Chase is trying to really push the fact that it has a numberless card, but in reality that just makes things a little fiddly. 

In order to see your card details, you have to log into the app to see your details, which feels very odd not having them just at your fingertips. 

Annoyingly card details and account details are not in the same place in the app, meaning you have to tap around to find your account number and sort codes. 

Once signed up to the app, however, the Chase card is ready to use instantly through Apple or Google Pay, with the card arriving in a matter of days. 

The card itself, unfortunately, is a little cheap feeling and not what you’d expect to come from one of the biggest investment banks in the world and, unlike its colourful fintech counterparts, its metallic blue finish doesn’t exactly stand out in a wallet.” 


3. US – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“Facebook is launching a small pilot for its Novi digital app. However, it does not involve the Diem stablecoin, instead utilising the USDP (Pax Dollar) through partnerships with Paxos and Coinbase. 

The pilot will enable participants in Guatemala and the US to use the Novi app to send money to their contacts internationally instantly, securely and fee-free, says Facebook.

The Pax Dollar will be used for transactions, with Coinbase acting as the custody partner.

Explaining the decision to use USDP for the pilot, Novi head David Marcus says "we can test our systems with a stablecoin that has been operating successfully for over three yeas and that has important regulatory and consumer protection attributes". 


4. International – FinTech 

Altfi reports: 

“Global banking giant HSBC last night announced its first foray into the world of Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) via a partnership with US computing giant Oracle. 

The partnership means that enterprise customers of Oracle’s NetSuite cloud business and accounting software can now tap into HSBC’s payments and business banking tech to send and receive money automatically. 

For instance, an expense report could be automatically filed through NetSuite and then paid out via HSBC without any human involvement. 

It’s the first time HSBC has entered the BaaS space, and the bank says its tie-up with Oracle is just the start. It already plans on adding access to its HSBC Global Wallet multi-currency account in the near future.” 


5. International – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

Zero Co, has broken the Australian record for the fastest online securities offering to top $3 million in funding in just 47 minutes, according to a note from the company. Zero Co, an eco startup, is raising growth capital on Birchal. Zero Co went on to raise $5 million in just 6 hours and 27 minutes – hitting its funding goal. 

The Birchal platform apparently crashed for one hour with several thousand registrants waiting to get into the site. 

Zero Co is a single-use plastic-free personal-care and home-cleaning brand. The private securities offering opened first to individuals who had pre-registered their interest.”