News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

collaboration in practice as teachers and pupils unload school furniture from a boat

1.UK – FinTech

The app-only bank Bunq to launch in UK this week.

2. UK – AltFi

FinExtra reports:

“Cross-border savings marketplace Raisin has launched in Ireland, promising to triple interest rates on deposits for Irish savers.

Raisin is targeting a country with the lowest interest rates in Europe and where 42% of households have at least €100,000 in savings.

The firm is offering more than 25 alternative savings products from an initial roster of partner banks across Europe.

The new savings platform for Irish savers is the first to be launched using the banking licence obtained by Raisin following its takeover of former partner MHB-Bank.

Raisin chairman Frank Freund says: “With the Raisin.ie marketplace, Raisin Bank is enabling Irish customers to significantly increase their profits on deposits by connecting them in a simple, transparent way to competitive offers on the continent.”

3. International – FinTech

AltFi reports:

Augmentum Fintech, which specialises in investing in fast-growing fintech companies before they reach the stock market, has made its first investment in the German market with a €6m ($5.32m) investment in a German technology rental platform.

Berlin-based startup Grover specialises in flexible technology rentals in computers, cameras and games.

Grover is trying to disrupt the consumer electronics market with its rental subscription offer. Customers and businesses rent products, starting at one month.

Grover distributes both through its own website and through retail partners.

It currently has a customer base of over 300,000 and has relationships with a number of major electronics retailers.”

4. International – FinTech

Gowling WLG reports:

“Libra is the cryptocurrency, labelled by many as a stablecoin of sorts, being launched by Facebook with the intention that it will provide a replacement for paper money and even credit card transactions. Holders of the cryptocurrency will, in theory, be able to use Libra as a payment system transacting directly through Messenger, WhatsApp and third party apps.

Libra's mission is to create a global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of ordinary people to effectively hold and store financial assets on their mobile device and move those financial assets around globally in an easy and cost-effective manner. The Libra Association-the independent body which governs the Libra Blockchain- claims that 1.7 billion adults globally remain outside of the financial system with no access to a traditional bank, even though one billion of those adults, have a mobile phone and nearly half a billion have internet access.” 

5. International – FinTech

Crowdfund Insider on an aborted national digital launch in Estonia.

“The president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has proscribed Estonia’s plan to issue a state-managed digital currency (or Central Bank Digital Currency – CBDC):

“I will comment on the Estonian decision: no member state can introduce its own currency…The currency of the euro zone is the euro.”

Draghi made the comments to reporters at a regular press conference last Thursday, Reuters reports.

Estonia has been working hard in recent years to establish itself as leader of digital banking in the Baltics.

According to Bloomberg, Estonian officials issued 500 licenses to crypto exchanges and 440 licenses to crypto-wallet providers in a single year. Crypto companies like B2BX, and IronX  were recently licensed in Estonia.”