News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

a drink with golden ice cubes

1.UK – FinTech

      

Finextra reports: 

 

“New research from the UK's Financial Conduct Authority has found that excitement about the rising valuations attached to cryptocurrencies has firmly penetrated the retail consumer market. 

Overall, public awareness and the FCA's estimate for ownership is up to around 2.3 million, up from around 1.9 million in 2020 - and 78% of adults have now heard of cryptocurrencies.

The consumer research shows that as holding cryptoassets has become more common attitudes to them have changed. Just 38% of crypto users regard them as a gamble (down from 47% last year), while increasing numbers see them as either a complement or alternative to mainstream investments.

At the same time, the level of overall understanding of cryptocurrencies is declining, with only 71% correctly identified the definition of cryptocurrency from a list of statements.

Sheldon Mills, FCA’s executive director, consumers and competition says: "The research highlights increased interest in cryptoassets among UK customers. The market has continued to grow, and some investors have benefitted as prices have risen. However it is important for customers to understand that because these products are largely unregulated that if something goes wrong they are unlikely to have access to the FSCS or the Financial Ombudsman Service. If consumers invest in these types of products, they should be prepared to lose all their money." 

2. UK - FinTech 

 

Altfi reports: 


“German digital insurer Getsafe has officially reached the 10,000 UK customer mark as it hits 200,000 customers in its native Germany, making the insurtech the largest neo insurer in Europe. 

As a result of its growing customer base, Getsafe is now looking to put down roots in other markets across Europe. 

“Even before the pandemic, many people were used to doing everything on their smartphones. COVID-19 has intensified the demand for this. Getsafe fulfils the needs of digitally-minded target groups like hardly any other insurer in Europe,” Christian Wiens, CEO and founder of Getsafe, said. 

“From day one, Getsafe was always a technology company that provided insurance – not the other way around. As a neo-insurer, we take our inspiration from companies like Airbnb, Spotify, or Netflix. We want to build a Europe-wide insurer and drive digitisation in the insurance sector,” Wiens added. 

Three-quarters of Getsafe’s customers are using the insurtech to take out insurance for the first time, with most of its customers being Millennials.” 

 

 

3. US – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 


“The US investment crowdfunding industry received a boost this year as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adjusted the securities exemptions that platforms and issuers utilize to raise growth capital online. Along with other improvements, key changes include the adjustment of Reg CF (Regulation Crowdfunding) to allow for the funding of up to $5 million – from a previously anemic $1.07 million, and a boost to Reg A+ to up to $75 million from $50 million. 

Many, if not most securities crowdfunding platforms, utilize the three main crowdfunding exemptions – Reg CF, Reg A+, and Reg D 506c. Reg D, currently available only to accredited investors, remains the most popular securities exemption in the US powering a $1 trillion private capital market. 

While further improvements could improve online capital formation (like broadening the definition of an accredited investor), the above changes have reinvigorated the investment crowdfunding sector as platforms quickly took advantage of the material improvements. This benefits the overall economy as entrepreneurs can raise the capital they need creating new jobs and driving economic growth.” 

 

4. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“Finleap connect, a company formed from the merger of three fintech companies in the Dach countries, has raised €22 million as part of a push to create a pan-European Open Banking platform. 

The Series A round is led by SBI Investment, along with participation from Ilavska Vuillermoz Capital, a Luxembourg-based fintech investor.

Finleap connect was founded in 2019 from the merger of fintech platforms figo, finreach solutions and infinitec solutions. The combined company employs more than 150 people at five different European locations and claims some 360 clients.

Finleap's Open Banking platform enables users to connect to more than 3,600 banks across Europe through a single API, processing over 65 million transactions per month and providing data-driven insights on customers transactional behaviours.

The firm intends to use the funds to expand beyond the German-speaking member states with an initial focus on Spain and Portugal.” 

 

 

5. International – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 


“The MUNCH Project, which is described as a decentralized and community-owned currency (a charitable project that has reportedly given away $2.7 million in four weeks), with a “deflationary” model that gives back to the community, recently revealed that they have made MUNCH “more available” and “more accessible” by creating a bridge to the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). 

As noted in an update from the project’s team members, this bridge means MUNCH is “now listed on PancakeSwap and available for trading.” Using the Binance Bridge service, users are able to convert their crypto-assets on the Binance Chain/Binance Smart Chain for MUNCH. 

For instance, if you transfer Tether (USDT) from Ethereum to BSC, the Binance Bridge will support the cross-chain conversion of Ethereum ERC-20 tokens to Binance BEP-2 or BEP-20 standard tokens. 

As mentioned in a blog post, the Binance Bridge “charges zero conversion fees” and you only have to pay the network transaction fees on the blockchain or DLT networks that you are converting between.”