News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1.UK – FinTech   


AltFi reports: 


“Ron Kalifa OBE, a non-executive director of the Court of Directors at the Bank of England and the vice-chairman of WorldPay, was selected by Sunak to head up the deep dive into fintech. 

Here are the reports five key recommendations to the Government: 

Policy and Regulation 

In a move that must be music to fintech’s ears, Kalifa has proposed developing and adopting common data standards, meaning that incumbent banks' slow legacy systems just simply won’t be enough to get by anymore.  

Kalifa has also suggested prioritising Smart Data, with a specific focus on open banking and opening up more channels of communication between open banking-friendly fintechs and bigger financial institutions. 

Open Finance even gets a shout-out in the report, with Kalifa telling the government that the adoption of open banking with the intention of reaching open finance is of paramount importance.  

As a result of their growing popularity, Kalifa has also suggested tighter regulation for cryptocurrencies and he has also solidified the commitment to meeting ESG goals.   

The report implies the creation of a fintech task force and the improvement of the “technical understanding of fintechs’ business models and markets” will help fintech flourish in the UK. 

Following the success of the FCA’ regulatory sandbox, Kalifa has also proposed a ‘scalebox’ that will help fintech firms to grow and expand their operations without the fear of getting on the wrong side of the regulator.” 


2. UK – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Monument, a digital banking startup for the well-heeled, has landed £28 million in new funding from existing backers and a trio of angel investors. 

Since inception, Monument has raised circa over £40m in funding, and it is now well placed to complete the build of its technological and operational capabilities and to be ready for launch in the Summer of 2021.

The new investors in the firm are Eric Zinterhofer, of Searchlight Capital, entrepreneur Rakesh Loonkar and Harry Handelsman, founder and CEO of the Manhattan Loft Corporation.

The startup, which is targeting people with between £250,000 and £5 million in loiquid assets, received its “authorisation with restriction” (AWR) banking licence in October 2020. When it launches in the Summer of 2021, it will provide savings and property investment lending using a cloud-based SaaS enabled IT architecture.” 



3. UK – FinTech 


Holders of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin can now view their investments in Money Dashboard, following a partnership with the personal financial management app and Zabo, according to AltFi. 

“Crypto adoption has been rising for both institutions and consumers in recent months thanks to a bull run in the major cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Etherum. Both have touched historic highs in the past few weeks.  

Now Money Dashboard's 600,000 users can access their holdings via Zabo's integration with over 50 different exchanges and wallets such as; Coinbase, Binance, Gemini and Uniswap. 

Zabo’s API aggregates and displays cryptocurrency account information through the same interface Money Dashboard users use to view existing bank balances. As users transact in their accounts, Zabo will automatically update holdings in real time with current exchange rates.” 



4. US – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Hot on the heels of securing a national trust charter, digital asset outfit Anchorage has raised $80 million in a Series C funding round led by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC. 

The round was joined by a16z, Blockchain Capital, Lux, and Indico.

Since launching in 2017, Anchorage has signed up a host of big name institutional investors as clients, helping them to keep their crypto assets safe. The firm has also expanded into a range of products and services, from staking and governance, to financing and lending, to trading and DeFi.

With the new funding in place, Anchorage says it plans to roll out a host of new offerings in the coming months, including support for new protocols and emerging corporate use cases. It also wants to become a crypto partner to challenger and traditional banks and to make institutional DeFI participation accessible.” 



5. International – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“BlockFi Inc., a financial services firm that’s focused on creating a bridge between digital currencies and traditional financial and wealth management products, has revealed that it has launched a Private Client Services offering for investors in the APAC region. 

BlockFi confirms that the new initiative will be taking advantage of the company’s established over-the-counter (OTC) desk, credit capabilities, margin trading product, and “24/7 global customer service support.” The Private Client offering provides a “one-stop” solution for family offices, endowments, ultra-high net worth investors or UHNWIs (with at least $30 million in assets), corporates and other “sophisticated” investors.”