News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

green ticks sprouting from boxes on a form

1.UK – FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“Digital bank Starling reported a huge jump in revenues during the 16 months to 31 March 2021, rising by nearly 600 per cent to £97.6m. 

Starling Bank CEO and founder Anne Boden said the period had been “our biggest test and our biggest success”. 

Business accounts and lending remained a key driver of that growth, with 374,000 business accounts, up from 180,000 last year, pushing the bank’s total accounts to 2.1m with lending of £2.2bn. 

Starling’s CFO Declan Ferguson said that these figures mean the bank is close to fulfilling its BCR pledge to reach a 6.7 per cent market share of SME customers and “we actually expect to now have... double-digit market share within the next 18 months.” 

The bank’s deposit base grew by over 500 per cent to £5.8bn, up from £1bn in 2019, which Ferguson said had been key in helping it fund its vast SME lending business. 

For the period of the results Starling reported a loss after tax of £23.3m, down from £52.1m the previous year.” 


2. UK – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“Starling Bank, Virgin Money and TSB are to be the beneficiaries of a £29.6 million underspend by the UK's Incentives Switching Scheme, which offered sweeteners to SMEs to transfer their business to challenger banks. 

The switching scheme was part of a package of measures agreed between the UK Government and the European Commission as a condition of the bail out of Royal Bank of Scotland during the financial criss.

Run by the Banking Competition Remedies Board, the scheme allocated £275 million to assist SME customers within the Williams & Glynn business to move to challenger banks. This included the £225 dowry for switching business current accounts (BCAs) and an additional £50 million incentive to move loan accounts.

ISS was designed to conclude when either 120,000 BCAs switched or when the dowry of £225m was spent. With the latter target having being met, the BCR has been left holding the loose change from a £29.6 million underspend on the loan dowry.” 



3. UK - FinTech 


New figures from PensionBee attract Altfi’s attention: 

was one of the first fintechs to list on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year, kicking off the flurry of fintech IPO activity, and, by the looks of its accounts, is still flying high. 

The digital pension platform saw its assets under management more than double in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period last year. PensionBee now houses just under £2bn in customer deposits, up from £915m in 2020. 

Despite being smaller than other fintechs, PensionBee also saw its revenues jump by 109 per cent between the first half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.  

PensionBee now has revenues of £5.4m, compared to £2.6m in the first six months of 2020, although the ever-elusive profitability is still at arm’s length away. 

The firm also saw its EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation) shoot up by 89 per cent to £7.6m from £4m in the same six month period.” 


4. UK – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“Sustainable investment app Clim8 has closed its latests crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube, hitting £2.85 million from 1800 investors. 

Clim8 raised over £1.26 million in the first 24 hours, smashing its £750,000 target on the first day of the crowdfund.

This is Clim8’s third crowdfunding campaign via Crowdcube, with the previous rounds overachieving the target by 300% and 500%. The company has raised £10 million in the two years since its inception.

Launched this year, the Clim8 Invest app helps Brits invest in publicly listed companies and funds focused on tackling the climate crisis, honing in on areas such as clean energy, clean technology, smart mobility, clean water, the circular economy, and sustainable food.

The new funding will be used to continue the ongoing rollout of the app and the forthcoming launch of a new Junior ISA and Self Invested Personal Pension in the UK. To deliver this, Clim8 plans to expand its 31-strong team over the course of 2021.” 


5. UK – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 


“Infosys Finacle, which is part of EdgeVerve Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infosys (NSE, BSE, NYSE: INFY), and Santander UK, recently revealed that they’ve introduced  Santander UK’s global cash management platform as part of the institution’s digital transformation efforts. 

Santander Global Connect is a newly-developed cash management solution intended for promoting the international business expansion efforts for Santander’s corporate and commercial clients. 

The initial release of the platform, which is presently in the testing/pilot phase, offers clients with easy access to review liquidity held internationally. Future releases should support self-service digital functionality/capabilities in order to effectively manage, control, and address cash and business risk, all from a common portal. 

Customer feedback will become a key part of future updates or enhancements, in order to ensure the international cash management solution meets customer needs.”