News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

woman wiith silcon chip inside her head

1.UK – FinTech


Altfi reports: 


“One of Monzo’s huge growth drivers between 2018-19 was the bank’s lucrative ‘Give £5, Get £5’ referral scheme. 

Between its launch in December 2018 and closure in September 2019, the bank went from 1m to around 3m customers, helped by incredible word-of-mouth popularity. 

Today, with just shy of 6m customers, Monzo is bringing its cash referral scheme back. 

As revealed in its investor update sent out to backers on Crowdcube, the bank is looking to drive sign-ups in 2022, both with “the return of Give £5, Get £5, and some other exciting initiatives to come!” 

Monzo spokesperson in 2019 told AltFi that ‘Give £5, Get £5’ had resulted in 100,000 signups in the year prior, suggesting that Monzo paid out around £1m in referral bonuses assuming both parties received £5. 

Today with a vastly bigger customer base, but also operating in a far more competitive banking environment, it’ll be interesting to see how the scheme impacts Monzo’s customer numbers.” 


2. UK – FinTech 


The Fintech Times reports: 

“A Committee of peers in the House of Lords has concluded that there is no convincing case for the creation of a central bank digital currency in the UK. 

The Economic Affairs Committee found that while a CBDC may provide some advantages, it could present significant challenges for financial stability and the protection of privacy.

The Bank of England and HM Treasury have been actively pursuing the case for a CBDC, dubbed Britcoin, due to the declining use of cash and the threats to monetary sovereignty posed by private digital currencies.

The upper chamber of the House of Commons commenced its inquiry into the issue in November, taking evidence from the Bank of England and senior banking officials.” 



3. UK - FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“UK fintech Apexx Global is launching its payment offering in the US, as it looks to tap into the growing heat around the buy now, pay later market. 

The fintech operates as a middleman between banks and merchants. 

It offers a technology which connects acquirers, gateways, shopping carts, alternative payments methods and buy now, pay later products through a single API. 

The fintech says that those clients who use its services can increase payment volumes by as much as 20 per cent. 

it estimates that it will be processing around $20bn worth of payments with e-commerce brands by the end of 2022 across the world.” 



4. International – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and NFTs are more trusted than stocks to give investors better returns in 2022, suggests a poll of close to 6,000 people on business networking site LinkedIn. 

The poll, conducted over the past two weeks, finds 30 per cent of respondents believe a cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin will yield the best results, whilst 25 per cent say Bitcoin and NFTs will. Only 20 per cent believe stocks will outperform the others. 

Nigel Green, the founder and CEO of deVere Group, organized the survey and said he was surprised by the results. 

“Stocks, which have always traditionally made up the bulk of successful investors’ portfolios, are falling out of favour it seems as a way to create and build wealth, with digital assets taking over,” Green said. “Also, it’s surprising that it’s believed by investors that ‘other’ cryptocurrencies – and not the headline-grabbing, dominant Bitcoin – will out-run other asset class this year in terms of returns.” 

Green believes there could be three key explanations for the findings. The first is investors expect the markets to perform similar in 2022 as they did in 2021, when cryptocurrencies performed rather well. 

“Bitcoin ended the year up almost 65 per cent, meanwhile, the S&P500 – the benchmark index of the world’s largest economy – managed around 28 per cent, and gold was down around seven per cent,” Green noted. 

The second factor are rising prices due to supply chain disruptions, Green posits. That and a labour shortage are pushing inflation and eroding spending power. Some digital currencies are seen as a shield against inflation due to their limited supply, which is not influenced by price. 

The third, and most telling factor, is investors see digital currency as the future of money, Green said. 

“In our increasingly tech-driven, globalized world, it makes sense to hold digital, borderless, decentralized currencies and/or other digital assets, such as NFTs.” 

Bitcoin’s drag may be due to increased investor sophistication, Green believes.  They know the markets better, along with the strengths of individual cryptos. One, Ethereum, is the most in demand for smart contracts, giving it global utility. The coming transition to ETH 2.0, which includes more network scalability, will only help. 

“These upgrades represent a major boost not just for Ethereum but for blockchain technology itself,” Green said. 

The survey also suggests NFTs are being increasingly perceived as a future-proof asset class. NFTs are digital collectibles that are encoded onto a blockchain – the same technology on which cryptocurrencies run – creating a unique digital watermark showing ownership and the digital rights to that collectible. Over the last year many major global sports franchises, fashion brands and household-name artists and musicians have launched NFTS.” 


5. International – FinTech 

Altfi reports: 

“Austria's only fintech unicorn has made a raft of hires with executives who prevously worked at the likes of Netflix and Strava joining the company. 

Bitpanda started as a crypto-trading company but has expanded to offer a wider range of investment products such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and commission-free fractional stocks alongside cryptocurrencies or precious metals.”