News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Archetypal business people discussing charts

1. UK – FinTech 



Altfi reports: 


“The UK joined the US and China as the only nations to have more than 100 privately held companies that have achieved ‘ unicorn’ status by being valued at more than $1bn, according to new data from Dealroom and Tech Nation. 

Of these 100 firms, just over a third - 34 - are fintech companies.  

Tractable, an AI startup building computer vision tools, was the 100th firm when it raised a $60m Series D round last week.  

So far in 2021, 13 UK tech unicorns have already been created, compared to 7 in the whole of 2020.  

Collectively, the UK’s 100 tech unicorns have raised almost $32bn (€28.9bn) in VC investment 

These high levels of tech unicorn creation reflect the continued strength of the UK tech sector, which reached record highs in the first half of this year. UK tech startups have raised €13.2bn ($14.5bn) since the start of the year, beating the previous record of €8.1B ($8.9bn) (H2 2020), with two weeks still left to go.” 



2. US – FinTech 


Crowdfund Insider reports: 

“Glint Pay Services, a Fintech that is a regulated e-money firm and payments provider, says that savers don’t trust banks. 

According to Glint and an in-house survey of their users, 68% of savers no longer trust banks to protect their wealth and are searching for alternative currencies and stores of value. Glint states that consumers are seeking alternatives to fiat currency – including crypto. 

Jason Cozens, founder & CEO of Glint, claims their research demonstrates the scale of the monetary system’s failure to appeal to some consumers. 

“Traditional financial institutions have not been able to cater to changing demand and for many of us, our trust hasn’t been rebuilt since the catastrophes of the financial crisis. Consumers and savers alike are increasingly turning their backs on the current monetary system and searching for alternatives ways to spend and save their money that won’t put their wealth or purchasing power at such long-term risk,” says Cozens.”  


3. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“After six months of testing with a selected group of users, BBVA Switzerland makes its first crypto-asset trading and custody service available to all its private banking clients. 

The new service will go live as of June 21 for Swiss private banking clients interested in digital asset investments. While initially sticking to bitcoin, other digital currencies will be offered over time.

Alfonso Gómez, CEO of BBVA Switzerland, says: “This gradual roll-out has allowed BBVA Switzerland to test the service’s operations, strengthen security and, above all, detect that there is a significant desire among investors for crypto-assets or digital assets as a way of diversifying their portfolios, despite their volatility and high risk."

For customers, the bitcoin management system is fully integrated in their banking app, where its performance can be viewed alongside that of other asset holdings, funds or investments.” 

4. International – FinTech 


The Fintech Times reports: 


“According to a new report by Mastercard, which conducted in-depth research into how prepared European countries are to embrace the open banking ecosystem, the Nordic countries have been crowned best placed to take advantage of it, together with the UK. 

Open banking is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon. It empowers consumers and businesses to take control of their financial data and their financial futures while stimulating competition and innovation among financial service providers. The report – Open Banking Readiness Index: The Future of Open Banking in Europe – found the Nordics’ and UK’s digital infrastructures ensure the countries are very well-placed to allow widespread use of this concept: 

  • Households with internet access: 95% Denmark; 98% Norway; 96% Sweden; 96% UK 
  • Per cent of mobile phones which are smartphones: 88% Denmark; 95% Norway; 79% Sweden; 83% UK 
  • Proportion of 14-76 year olds using digital banking: 91% Denmark; 95% Norway; 84% Sweden; 88% UK 

    The UK is building a world-leading open banking digital ecosystem with its own framework and API standard. According to The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), which was set up by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in 2016 to deliver Open Banking, around 294 fintech companies and payment service providers have joined the open banking ecosystem in the UK, of which 102 have live offerings in the market.” 


5. International – FinTech 

Augmentum Fintech has led a $25 million investment round in Finnish institutional crypto firm Tesseract, according to Finextra. 

“Tesseract bridges institutional capital flows between traditional and digital asset finance, offering product in margin lending, OTC lending, and white label crypto lending packages for institutional clients ranging from hedge funds to market makers and wallet providers.

Yichen Wu, CEO and founder of Tesseract, says: “The funding will be aimed towards developing our industry-leading institutional offerings even further, hiring new talent to develop new and existing partnerships, and to boost innovation in new undisclosed financial products. We will also focus on developing our cross-trading venue margin lending platform. Due to the global nature of our fast-moving business, we will also funnel efforts into spearheading our global growth and ensuring regulatory compliance globally.”

The Helsinki -based digital asset lender has been profitable since early 2020, experiencing 20x growth year on year as institutions pile in to the crypto space.”