News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Golden balls refracted in a glass of drink

1.UK – FinTech

 Finextra reports: 

“UK digital bank Atom is launching a tool that allows brokers offering secured business loans to self-assess and create an indicative quote within the portal before submitting an application. 

Part of Atom's Portal broker gateway, the Quick Quote tool can be used for trading businesses and investment cases, helping brokers to create a commercial mortgage quote instantly - with just a few clicks of a button.

The tool comes after Atom relaunched its standard secured business loan range in January, offering variable and fixed-rate loans between £2 million and £5 million, alongside their pre-existing RLS range.” 


2. International - FinTech 

Altfi reports: 

“A Lithuanian fintech that uses open banking to facilitate account-to-account payments, eradicating the need for card payments, has raised $65m in a funding round. 

Kevin. was founded in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius in 2018 and its mission, it says, is to remove “unnecessary intermediaries in the payment process”. 

It now has more than 170 employees running across 30 countries and is working with 6,000 merchants in 12 markets in Europe. 

The Series A funding round was led by Accel, with participation from Eurazeo and all existing investors, including OTB Ventures, Speedinvest, OpenOcean, and Global Paytech Ventures. 

Additional investors in the round include Harry Stebbings, founder of 20VC, Ilkka Paananen, CEO and co-founder of Supercell, Amitabh Jhawar, ex-CEO of Venmo, and other angels.  

The latest funding round comes just six months after Kevin. bagged $10m in a seed round, bringing its total investment to $77m to date. 

Kevin. claims to have the broadest PSD2 bank API coverage across the European Union.” 


3. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“Indian neobank Open has become a unicorn after securing $50 million in a Series D funding round led by investment firm IIFL. 

Tiger Global, Temasek and 3one4 Capital joined the round, which sees Open's valuation double from $500 million at its Series C seven months ago.

Founded in 2017, Open partners regulated banks to offers SMEs and startups a business account designed to automate the way they run their finances by helping with things like payments and bookkeeping.

The firm is used by more than 2.3 billion SMEs and process more than $30 billion in transactions a year.

With the new funding in place, Open is set to add revenue-based financing product for e-commerce firms, an early credit offering, and a working capital lending product.” 


4. US – FinTech 

SPAC news. Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“Last year was a big one for the SPAC [special purpose acquisition company] market. Reportedly, 613 SPAC offerings were floated on an exchange easily topping 420 traditional initial public offerings. Since the beginning of 2022, SPAC offerings have slowed to around 62 so far. SPACs may take another body blow following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal for additional rules which may “rewrite the playbook” for SPACs – perhaps to the point of making them no longer viable. 

SPACs have been around for decades but regained interest from Wall Street as an expedited path to take a company public while generating significant returns for the sponsors. Over the years, legislators and regulators have added rule upon regulation making a public offering viable only for larger firms able and willing to shoulder the increasing amount of disclosure required along with the cost that takes money away from building a company. Today, a promising firm aims to remain private for as long as possible due to these economic costs.” 


5. US - FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Point, a US outfit that provides homeowners access to equity financing in exchange for a fractional share of the future value of their property, has secured $115 million in a Series C round led by WestCap. 

Andreessen Horowitz, Ribbit Capital, Redwood Trust, Atalaya Capital Management, DAG Ventures, Deer Park Road Management, The Palisades Group, and Alpaca VC joined the round.

Point's home equity platform lets homeowners unlock up to $500,000 with no monthly payments, no income requirements, and no need for perfect credit. In exchange, they share a piece of their future home price appreciation with investors.

The firm says that Q1 2022 funding volume was up more than five times year-on-year and has also announced $1 billion in new capital commitments from real estate and mortgage-backed securities investors.”