News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Young woman whispers in friend's ear

1. UK – FinTech 


 Altfi reports: 

“The UK boss of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) giant Klarna says the industry is still at its “inception stage”, despite BNPL being the fastest-growing payment method in the UK for the past two years. 

Speaking at the AltFi Festival of Finance, Alex Marsh, head of Klarna UK, pointed out the roughly just one per cent of consumer credit was transacted through BNPL. 

“This is still at a kind of inception stage really, albeit we see 15m UK consumers have used Klarna. There is so much scope in terms of, kind of, growth in popularity." 

Using a ‘buy-now-pay-later’ (BNPL) service is the fastest-growing payment method in the UK for the past two years running, research from Worldpay said. 

But the BNPL sector is at a crucial juncture, with soaring demand for its services but Klarna and other BNPL fintechs have been under the microscope as of late as more people join the call for tighter regulation in the sector. 

The Swedish buy-now-pay-later firm became Europe’s most valuable startup in March this year. Its latest funding round of $639m was announced on June 10, giving Klarna a valuation of $45.6bn.” 


2. UK – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Banking-as-a-Service platform Contis has appointed senior Lloyds executive Andy Lyons as managing director of its new banking division. 

A 25-year industry veteran, Lyons was responsible for sales strategy and commercialisation of new products at Lloyds Banking Group as MD of payables and receivables sales. Prior to that, he was UK and European sales director in the transaction banking division at Deutsche Bank.

Founded in 2008, Contis helps businesses rapidly launch accounts, cards and payments services. The firm says it doubled in size in 2021 and is looking to hire 50 people - many of which will work in Lyons' new unit.” 



3. UK – FinTech 


The Fintech Times reports: 


“Tide, a UK based business financial platform will launch Cashflow Insights this month to help small business owners optimise their cash flow, mitigate delays in payments, improve their credit score and get recommendations for credit products appropriate for their businesses. 

Cashflow Insights will help business owners to improve their cash flow by providing quick, easy to digest insights and predictions on how their business is doing and recommending actions to take in advance of any potential shortfalls. The product will also help business owners to access the right kind of products to keep cash flow steady, such as Direct Debits for invoices, as well as credit products that are right for their business – whether they need to grow or stay afloat. 

Cashflow Insights will first be made available to existing Tide members, using their account data to predict what their balance will look like over the next 30 days. The product will then use Open Banking technology to launch to non-Tide members in the coming months. Via Open Banking, Tide will be able, with the business owner’s permission, access transaction history from other financial solutions to provide an accurate prediction.” 

4. International – FinTech 

Crowdfund Insider reports: 

“This time Facebook believes its added QR code functionality finally hits the mark. 

After earlier attempts at testing the technology, Facebook has added QR code functionality on Messenger, a move analysts see as a direct charge at Venmo and Zelle. What is different this time is functionality extends beyond current Facebook users. If this works analysts at PeerIQ believe it could quickly spread to Marketplace and Instagram. 

In a public statement, PeerIQ said this functionality aligns with Facebook’s oft-maligned Diem stablecoin. This Messenger test could be the beginning of a Diem-based payments network.” 


5. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“Germany's Hawk AI has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by BlackFin Capital Partners to finance global expansion for its AI-based AML platform. 

The AML software provider says it will use the investment to expand its product and market footprint to Singapore and the UAE from its current focus on banks, payment firms & fintechs within Europe and the US.

The firm's software identifies patterns of suspicious activity in financial transactions with the help of artificial intelligence and provides anti-money-laundering experts with actionable alerts.

Drawing insights from the ongoing monitoring of billions of transactions annually, the product forms a platform for information sharing and surveillance across multiple financial institutions.”