News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

a rowing team with oars on the same side of the boat

1.UK – FinTech      

  Altfi looks at chaotic hiring policies in the FinTech sector. 

“A peculiarity of the fintech space in the past few years has been how normal it became for companies to rapidly increase their headcounts.  

Even large firms where the total number of employees numbered in the hundreds or even thousands went through rapid periods of hiring that would see their total workforce increase by 50 per cent or even 100 per cent in less than a year.  

Paris-based Spendesk for example increased its headcount in 2021 by 100 per cent to c.300 people and had planned at the start of 2020 to double this again through the year. 

That of course has gone into reverse for a number of the most high-profile fintech companies such as Klarna, Curve and Freetrade who in recent weeks have shed up to 10 or 20 per cent - and even in a third in the case of Bitpanda -  of their employees overnight in fear that a recession and tighter capital markets could spell an existential threat. 

Railsr (formerly Railsbank) CEO Nigel Verdon says it's a very difficult market owing to both geopolitical issues and macroeconomic issues combining to create unprecedented uncertainty. 

The company, he says, will likely increase revenue in 2022 by over 100 per cent to c.£50m but may have to cut back on its growth ambitions and focus on existing clients as well as improving its infrastructure. It has also laid-off staff in the past month or so.” 

 

2. UK – FinTech 

 

The Fintech Times reports: 

 

Finder.com, the personal financial comparison website, has published a report finding the average credit card holder in the UK believes they will continue to use a physical card for just nine and a half more years. 

This figure is quite consistent across all age groups, ranging from millennials who expect to keep using them for under nine years, all the way through to the silent generation who estimate the figure at around 11 and a half years. 

Across all ages, 37 per cent of card holders believe they will stop using their physical card within five years, while a further one in 10 (nine per cent) only use their card via their phone or watch (via payment methods like Apple or Google Pay), and four per cent use virtual credit cards like Bits. 

This means that half (50 per cent) of all credit card customers don’t plan to be using a physical card at all within five years. 

While those among Gen Z and millennials who have a physical card expect to use it for about as long as their older counterparts, there are noticeably fewer of them. When asked what method they would be most likely to use to pay for an expensive item (£100+), just one in 10 (nine per cent) and one in eight (12 per cent) respectively would use a physical credit card, as opposed to three in 10 (29 per cent) baby boomers and two in five (41 per cent) of the silent generation.” 

 

3. UK – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“Open Banking Fintech Volt, a UK-based company powering the growth of real-time payments in the UK and Europe, is launching Verify, which is described as “an ultrafast bank account authentication service for online merchants and businesses.” 

As confirmed in the update, Volt is launching Verify simultaneously in the UK and five key European markets: Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. 

The fintech firm plans further rollout of the product “across additional European markets before the end of the year.” Volt reportedly “has +95% coverage of consumer bank accounts in these countries.” 

The launch “marks Volt’s expanded capability to cover AIS alongside PIS, which sees the payments gateway now covering the full spectrum of open banking services in Europe.” 

The product “automates, strengthens and simplifies how businesses across markets and sectors verify customer bank account ownership.” 

 

4. International – FinTech 


Altfi reports: 


“Frankfurt-based fintech Raisin Bank has acquired the payment division of Bankhaus August Lenz. 

The bank will now expand its product range to include payment services and enter the cash solutions sector to diversify its revenue sources. 

The acquisition marks the next step for the bank on its way to becoming a full-service provider, having shifted from MHB Bank to a more digitally focused fintech in 2019.” 

5. International – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 


“Deutsche Börse has entered into a cooperation agreement with Kaiko, a crypto market data provider, to make their consolidated crypto data feed “directly accessible to its customers.” 

In Q4, historical L2 tick-level orderbook data on a T+1 basis and live trade data “will be made available through Deutsche Börse Market Data + Services’ distribution network, followed by the introduction of historical orderbook data for selected digital asset exchanges on a T+1 basis.” 

Kaiko collects tick-level trade data “from over 100 Centralized Exchanges (CEXs) and Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) for both spot and derivatives markets and continuously adds new exchanges and new assets.” 

Kaiko covers about 96% of the tick-level trading data “from various DEXs and includes a majority of blockchain protocols such as Ethereum or Avalanche.” 

The tick-level trading data collected from CEXs “comprises more than 150,000 instruments for spot and derivatives markets.”