News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

rain pours down on an umbrella

1.UK – FinTech      

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

Insig AI, an AI and machine learning firm serving the asset management sector, has officially introduced its services (May 10, 2021), after the company’s listing on the AIM London Stock Exchange. 

Insig AI is a data science and machine learning (ML) solutions provider that offers various web-based apps, sophisticated analytical software, and advanced tech infrastructure so that machine learning algorithms become more accessible to investors. 

The Insig AI product suite has been developed to streamline a fund manager’s data infrastructure and enhance their ML capabilities in order to provide actionable and measurable results. 

Insig AI has created a range of “out of the box” products that enable investors by allowing them to interact with, and experience their data in a manner they’ve never done before. 

The products include: 

  • Insig Portfolio – a multi-asset data-science and ML platform developed to improve investment strategies and enable portfolio interrogation and performance attribution while offering actionable and explainable results. 
  • Insig ESG – A special tool for creating and running a data-driven ESG investing strategy; offering credible, transparent and evidence-based scoring based on standard or bespoke methodologies. 
  • Insig Data – A data transformation tool for cleaning, structuring and categorizing proprietary and third-party data to allow for ML and various other data analytics via Insig or customer apps. 
  • Insig Docs – A microservice app that “intelligently” extracts, tags and stores document-based and unstructured data using text extraction and elastic database tech. 
  • Insig Exceleton – A tool that converts complex Excel spreadsheets into Python code, thus supporting a fast transition to a modern, ML and data analytics-powered strategy. 

2. UK - FinTech

AltFi reports: 

“Another partnership that seems to be a match in fintech heaven, this time for credit marketplace ClearScore and digital bank Zopa. 

Currently, four million people in the UK use open banking in their day-to-day lives, with the technology spreading across all fintech sectors and now, for the first time, into the world of credit cards too. 

The collaboration is the first time that a credit marketplace and a credit provider have teamed up to utilise open banking. 

By combining real-time open banking data held by ClearScore and Zopa, users will be able to find out immediately if they are pre-approved for a Zopa credit card. 

The Zopa credit card offered via ClearScore’s marketplace will have a personalised APR and limit depending on a customer’s creditworthiness and personal financial situation.” 


3. UK – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Curve, the London-based fintech that combines multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and app, is to return to the crowd for fresh funding five months after sealing a $95 million equity round. 

Set to go live later in May, the Crowdcube campaign comes as the company steps up its plans for expansion in the US and further into Europe and prepares for the launch of its much-heralded Curve Credit product.

Since its record-breaking crowdfund in 2019, which raised £4 million within 42 minutes, Curve’s valuation has tripled. In the last year alone, Curve hired over 100 new staff, doubled its customer base to over two million, and saw the volume of transactions it processes increase by over £1 billion to £2.6 billion, despite the backdrop of a global pandemic.

Shachar Bialick, Founder and CEO of Curve, says the company intends to further grow its workforce by around 60%, adding at least 200 employees over the course of 2021.” 


4. International – FinTech 

FinTech Raisin is taking yet another step to broaden its offering in Germany, launching a ‘hybrid-robo’ trading platform that lets investors pick and choose off-the-shelf ETFs, according to AltFi. 

Raisin is rolling out what it’s calling an “ETF Configurator” giving its customers access to over 200 ETFs and index funds from the likes of Amundi, iShares, Lyxor and Vanguard. 

Its trading platform deliberately excludes single stocks and shares because, as Raisin’s chief investment officer Kim Felix Fomm told AltFi, “we think that private investors shouldn't be picking stocks.” 

Raisin launched in 2014 as a deposit marketplace, but has since expanded to offer investments, including robo-advice, pensions and now trading. 

Fomm said Germany’s leading neobroker Trade Republic has seen huge growth, but is serving “people that definitely don’t have a lot of investing experience”. 

5. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“The launch of the first system platform that will enable sureties to be managed in the banking and insurance sectors through DLT technology will happen in the second half of 2021 following successful pilot trials by SIA and Italy's Research Centre on Technology, Cetif. 

More than 50 market participants took part in the sandbox test, with over 350 contracts managed in four months having guaranteed sums ranging from €10,000 to €1.4m
and an average amount of €275,000

The digital sureties trial also saw the involvement of digital consultancy Reply, the Bank of Italy, the Institute for the Supervision of Insurance (IVASS) and the Italian Finance Police.

According to data provided by participants, use of blockchain and DLT technology can lead to a reduction in fraud of around 30% and in operating costs from 10% to over 50%, depending on the number of transactions processed.’