News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

A big cloud with the sung shing through it.

1.UK – FinTech

Crowdcube is launching a brand-new secondary marketplace, and extending an invite to all high-growth European startups to come and use it, according to AltFi. 

“Called Cubex, the new marketplace has already been used to facilitate over £16m in secondary share sales for fintechs like Freetrade and Revolut, but is now being opened-up for non-Crowdcube startups to use. 

“Our aim is to have a European marketplace that allows venture-backed and high-growth companies from all over Europe to be able to trade their shares,” Crowdcube’s CEO and co-founder Darren Westlake told AltFi. 

“This has been in-demand from companies and from investors for years.” 

It could be a huge potential new revenue stream for Crowdcube and the companies, with Westlake saying that the buyer and seller in a trade would both be charged a fee for trading their shares. 

“We charge the investor 1.5 per cent, and then we'll charge the seller a small percentage as well, depending on the type of transaction. It's likely to be a similar kind of fee on both sides,” the CEO added. 

“I think that [Cubex] will be the future of our business... a big part of the future of our business.” 

“The idea is to really focus on Crowdcube becoming a marketplace, and enabling shares to be traded of all different kinds.” 


2. UK – FinTech 


The Fintech Times looks at regulation, post-Kalifa Report: 


The Kalifa report has shone a light on an important sector in the UK economy. But how else could the regulators respond? 

Bernadine Reese is managing director at Protiviti UK, a global consulting firm. With her 27 years of experience in the financial sector, she shares her view on finding a flexible approach for fintech regulation. 

While the pendulum of UK regulation swings between “more principled” and “more prescriptive”, there has always been a focus on competition and innovation. In 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) established its first ‘sandbox’ pilot, authorising companies to test out new technology with real customers. The initiative has been widely supported, and replicated in more than 50 countries, as part of the Global Finance Innovation Network. 

In March this year, just two months after the Brexit agreement, entrepreneur Ron Kalifa published his recommendations to develop the idea further. He said the UK had led the way “in its policy and regulatory approach to fintech” and hailed the sandbox approach. But he called for a new ‘regulatory scalebox’ to see the work of the FCA continue. The FCA has signalled its intention to rise to the challenge with a “regulatory nursery” to encourage new startups. 

Kalifa’s ideas are important to help the sector flourish and maintain the UK’s global fintech reputation. According to The Global City, the UK attracted $4.1billion of fintech investment in 2020, ranking it number one in Europe and second in the world. The adoption rate of new technology in the population is well above the global average. The fintech job market has witnessed strong growth. And 82 per cent of global financial and professional services firms plan to form fintech partnerships in the next five years.” 


3. UK – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider on a product update at Monzo: 


“Banking challenger Monzo notes in a recent product update that it’s now possible to send a payment reminder to someone you may have split a bill with (via the Fintech firm’s app). 

The Monzo team noted in a blog post: 

“As of today (May 4, 2021), you can send a notification to someone you’ve split a bill with to remind them that they owe you money. For some of you, this’ll be the very thing you needed to gently nudge those friends who mysteriously miss your bill split requests. And for those friends, well – hopefully it’s helpful for them too.” 

Monzo added that the reminders are written so that they don’t “cause stress.” 

In another update, Monzo revealed that it’s made it easier for clients to manage their accounts and view their Pot payments. Monzo’s management pointed out that you may notice “things look a little bit different over the next few weeks.” 

For example, the Fintech firm has added Feed and Manage tabs. The Monzo team explained that they’ve introduced them “to make housing information about your money and what you can do with it simpler to use, and clearer to see.” 

They also mentioned that it’s “new to your account views for personal accounts, joint accounts and business accounts, as well as all your Pots.” 

Monzo’s blog post further noted: 

“It’s the first in a series of updates we’ll be announcing over the coming months. All of them are to do with Pots and helping you to get more value out of them. …We’ve done this to make better use of the space we have…As is customary at this time of year, we’ve done a spot of Spring cleaning to make better use of the space we have.” 



4. UK - FinTech 


AltFi reports a new digital-bank link-up: 


Plaid and Railsbank are teaming up to bring Plaid’s Payment Initiation API to Railsbank’s customers, allowing them to instantly accept bank payments within their app or website. 

“This partnership is all about making it easier for any company, or brand, to embed finance into their customer journey. We are creating one of the major building blocks that makes embedded finance a viable proposition for virtually every company, or brand, in business today," Nigel Verdon, co-founder and CEO of Railsbank, said. 

“Together we are making it simpler for any company to take advantage of the golden opportunity that changing consumer demand and Open Banking presents, enabling them to deliver innovative financial services that attract and retain customers and boost their bottom lines.” 

Railsbank’s customers, which includes the likes of digital banking app Sync., digital insurer SingLife and money management platform Ikigai, will be able to initiate instant account-to-account transfers and reap all the benefits of Plaid’s service without having to onboard two separate suppliers.” 


5. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“F10 Switzerland officially graduates its second acceleration batch during an online startup showcase with high-profile attendees from the investor and corporate space and opens applications for its third accelerator focused on sustainable finance and SME services. 

On May 5th, 2021, F10 Switzerland’s second Acceleration Batch officially graduated during the online Startup Showcase with 275 high-profile attendees from principally investor and corporate backgrounds. In addition to the startup pitches, the event included an investor panel on early growth stage startups and leveraged an event platform specifically designed to build valuable networking connections.

"The Acceleration Program focuses on supporting open innovation efforts of our corporate partners and on helping post-seed, post-revenue startups bring fundraising and customer development to the next level. The program closing event we always open to the wider ecosystem and invite investors and corporates internationally," says Gerrit Sindermann, Country Success Lead F10 Switzerland.

The F10 Acceleration Program connects startups with corporate partners SIX, SDX, Julius Baer, Baloise, Generali HITS, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, Zürcher Kantonalbank, TX Group and PwC, as well as with close to 100 of our most experienced mentors and subject matter experts from companies like SIX, Tomahawk VC, BV Ventures, Capco, Falcon PB and more.”