- Today’s main news: Credible raises $50M in Australian IPO. Kabbage considers IPO. Blockchain project gives New York homeless a digital identity. Funding Circle surpasses $5B global lending, $1B to U.S. businesses. RateSetter publishes 2016-17 accounts. Starling Bank gets full FCA, PRA approval. N26 launches premium debit card, partners with WeWork. Revolut rolls out bitcoin services. Vietnam gets first P2P lending platform. IOU Financial originates $500M in loans.
- Today’s main analysis: The 7 fastest-growing personal finance apps (a must-read).
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: Securitizations secure the future. Consumers are hounded for debts they don’t owe. Blockchain project gives New York homeless a digital identity. Funding Circle’s December review. China targets booming online lending. The growth of Indian alt lending.
- Kabbage considers IPO. AT: “The company wants to expand into Asia, which would be a good move indeed.”
- How securitizations secure Lending Club’s future. AT: “A Lending Club blog post.”
- 7 fastest-growing personal finance apps of all time. AT: “If you read just one article today, this should be it. CB Insights delves into the fastest-growing personal finance apps including Robinhood, Mint, Check, Level Money, and others and illustrates–better than any case study ever can–how you can grow your own alt lending company. Learn what to do before, during, and after launch by studying these companies.”
- Millions of consumers hounded for debt they don’t owe. AT: “An interesting look into phantom debt.”
- Fummi uses the blockchain to give homeless a digital identity. AT: “This is interesting, but I wonder what the rationale is for charging users $3 per month, and will they collect it?”
- Amazon is now the most-talked-about tech company on earnings calls. AT: “I’m not surprised. Are you?”
- Global Debt Registry joins Wall Street Blockchain Alliance.
- Discover enables Apple Pay Cash.
- Curo Group goes public at $620M valuation.
- Online lender convicted of $220M fraud.
- Instamotor customers can apply for financing.
- Lendio opens franchise office in Nashville.
- Progressive Leasing, Marqeta partner on lease-to-own financing.
- Real estate crowdfunding expands into more niche markets.
- Will the SEC crack down on ICOs?
- Spat over FICO ensues.
- Tips to reduce college costs. AT: “Infographic from Earnest.”
- Roostify to integrate with Black Knight’s LoanSphere.
- Envestnet/Yodlee announce new cohort for incubator.
- AutoGravity appoints new CTO.
- QCash wins Financial Times Future of Fintech award.
- Funding Circle is the first company to lend $1B across two markets. AT: “Congratulations. A huge milestone for the industry.”
- Funding Circle’s December review.
- RateSetter publishes 2016-17 accounts. AT: “I’d like to know more about why they didn’t use their provisional fund.”
- RateSetter losses jump.
- RateSetter’s goodwill pushes it deeper into the red.
- Starling Bank gets full FCA, PRA approval. AT: “Huge news. Congratulations. This could be the first step to making digital-only banks legitimate in the UK, and it could be the first step to helping them gain real traction elsewhere in the world–first in Europe, then Asia, and the U.S.”
- Barnett backs P2P Global Investments.
- The future of financial advice is ‘Fintegration’.
- Revolut begins bitcoin services.
- BFS Capital extends $1.7B to businesses in U.S., UK, and Canada.
- Recent online lending origination milestones.
- Emerging markets under pressure.
- Viola FinTech is the new Israeli-based VC for fintech startups.
- Credible launches IPO and raises $50M. AT: “This is a huge move, but I wonder why they chose Australia as opposed to the U.S. Ron Suber’s comments provide a clue.”
- Prospa added to Yellow Brick Road.
- Marketplace lenders need to educate SMSFs.
- Nga Tangata breaking hold of predatory lenders.
- Vay Muon becomes first Vietnam P2P lender.
- Korean startups should do what they’re good at.
- Introducing Datarius Cryptobank.
- IOU Financial surpasses U.S. $500M in loan originations. AT: “Congratulations.”
- United States
- Kabbage Mulling An IPO (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA
- Securitizations Securing the Future (Lending Club), Rated: AAA
- We Analyzed 7 Of The Fastest-Growing Personal Finance Apps Of All Time To Figure Out The Secrets To Their Success (CB Insights), Rated: AAA
- Millions Are Hounded for Debt They Don’t Owe. One Victim Fought Back, With a Vengeance (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
- This New Blockchain Project Gives Homeless New Yorkers A Digital Identity (Fast Company), Rated: AAA
- On Earnings Calls, Which Tech Company Are Senior Execs Most Obsessed With? (CB Insights), Rated: A
- Global Debt Registry joins Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (Finextra), Rated: A
- Discover Enables Apple Pay Cash (PYMNTS), Rated: A
- Payday lender Curo to launch in New York with $ 620m valuation (Financial Times), Rated: A
- Jury Convicts Online Lender Of $ 220M (Mondaq), Rated: A
- Instamotor Customers Can Now Apply for Financing While Shopping For A Used Car (BusinessWire), Rated: A
- Lendio Opens New Franchise in Nashville (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- Progressive Leasing and Marqeta Partner to Power New Lease-to-Own Financing Experience (BusinessWire), Rated: A
- Real estate crowdfunding expands into more niche markets (Curbed), Rated: A
- Hope grows that a larger SEC crackdown on ICOs is coming — and soon (TechCrunch), Rated: A
- Credit score row as FICO chief hits out at banks over ‘Fako’ rivals (Financial Times), Rated: A
- Tips for Reducing College Costs (Earnest Email), Rated: B
- Roostify to Integrate With Black Knight’s LoanSphere Empower Loan Origination System (BusinessWire), Rated: B
- Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator Unveils New Class of Fintech Disruptors (Business Insider), Rated: B
- AutoGravity Names Sheng Wang As Chief Technology Officer (PR Newswire), Rated: B
- QCash Financial Wins Financial Times Future of Fintech Awards for the Innovation Category (BusinessWire), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- Funding Circle passes $ 5 billion lent globally, including $ 1 billion lent to US businesses (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
- Your December Review – Insight and Analysis (Funding Circle), Rated: AAA
- RateSetter Publishes 2016-2017 Accounts (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
- Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter’s losses jump as it takes a hit from bad loan to ad company (Business Insider), Rated: A
- Goodwill impairment helps push Ratesetter further into to the red (Verdict), Rated: A
- Starling Bank Receives Full Regulatory Approval from FCA & PRA to Offer Broad Portfolio of Financial Products (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
- Barnett backs P2P Global Investments for recovery (Citywire), Rated: A
- The future of advice is ‘Fintegration’ (Professional Adviser), Rated: A
- China targets booming online lending as crisis fears build (Hong Kong FP), Rated: AAA
- European Union
- N26 launches a premium debit card for ‘the digital customer,’ partners with WeWork (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA
- Currency trader Revolut’s offer to those champing at the bitcoin (The Times), Rated: AAA
- BFS Capital has Extended Over $ 1.7 Billion in Financing to Businesses across the US, UK and Canada (BusinessWire), Rated: A
- Recent Origination Milestones in Online Lending (Lend Academy), Rated: A
- Emerging markets are under pressure, but I’m buying the dip (CNBC), Rated: A
- Viola FinTech is a new $ 100M Israel-based VC fund targeting fintech startups around the world (TechCrunch), Rated: B
- Australia/New Zealand
- San Francisco’s Credible Raises $ 50 Million in Australian IPO (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
- Yellow Brick Road Adds Prospa to Lending Panel in Boost to Aussie Small Business (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- Marketplace lenders must ‘start educating’ SMSFs on opportunities, discipline (Nestegg), Rated: A
- Ngā Tangata Microfinance breaking hold of predatory lenders (Scoop), Rated: A
- Loans are easy to get, but are they for you? (livemint), Rated: AAA
- Vietnam launches first peer-to-peer lending platform (XinhuaNet), Rated: AAA
- ‘Korean startups should do what they are good at to get funding’ (The Investor), Rated: A
- Datarius Cryptobank Participates at BlockShow Asia 2017 (Digital Journal), Rated: B
- IOU Financial Surpasses US$ 500 Million in Loans Originated (Cision), Rated: AAA
Kabbage Mulling An IPO (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA
According to FT Partners, the FinTech market saw a record 412 financial deals during the third quarter of 2017. One of the largest deals in the quarter involved a $250 million investment by Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) in billion-dollar unicorn Kabbage (Private:KBGE).
Kabbage generates revenue from the fees on the loans. It expects revenue of over $200 million in 2017, roughly double the revenue in 2015. The company claims to have a loss rate lower than the rest of the industry, and that its direct lending business had turned profitable in the fourth quarter of 2016. It expected the whole business to be profitable in the second half of this year.
Kabbage plans to use the funds for expansion into Asia and build new products like insurance and payroll services. It will also be positioning the company for a possible IPO.
Securitizations Securing the Future (Lending Club), Rated: AAA
As we near year’s end, we’re excited to announce that LendingClub has closed its third self-sponsored securitization. The $330 million transaction saw immediate traction and has further increased access to consumer credit for the stable and scalable pool of investor capital in the liquid Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) investor market.
Of note, with 48 total securitization investors this year, over two-thirds 34 are new to LendingClub, including insurance companies, hedge funds, a bank and a pension fund.
We Analyzed 7 Of The Fastest-Growing Personal Finance Apps Of All Time To Figure Out The Secrets To Their Success (CB Insights), Rated: AAA
Ninety-two million millennials will soon be in what Goldman Sachs calls their “prime spending years.” In aggregate, they command $1.3 trillion in annual spending.
(Bankrate found 83% of millennials don’t think they’ll ever retire: they simply “don’t think they’ll have the money” to do so.)
For three of the tools we looked at — Mint, Level Money, and Check — we studied how their product evolved all the way up to their acquisition (by Intuit, Capital One, and Intuit, respectively).
What follows are the results of our analysis — six secrets to success in the world of personal finance management.
1. Use pre-launch marketing to build both trust and hype
Mint had by far the most significant growth in its valuation — from $0 to $170M in just two years.
2. Making the first experience valuable
Keeping users around is hard: according to Localytics, the average mobile app loses 80% of its users within just three days of download.
The best apps retain about 70% of users after three days. The next-best retain about 60%.
3. Design for The Specific User You Want
Millions Are Hounded for Debt They Don’t Owe. One Victim Fought Back, With a Vengeance (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
A few minutes later, Therrien’s phone buzzed. It was the same guy. He gave his name as Charles Cartwright and said Therrien owed $700 on a payday loan. But Therrien knew he didn’t owe anyone anything. Suspecting a scam, he told Cartwright just what he thought of his scare tactics.
Therrien had been caught up in a fraud known as phantom debt, where millions of Americans are hassled to pay back money they don’t owe. The concept is centuries old: Inmates of a New York debtors’ prison joked about it as early as 1800, in a newspaper they published called Forlorn Hope. But systematic schemes to collect on fake debts started only about five years ago. It begins when someone scoops up troves of personal information that are available cheaply online—old loan applications, long-expired obligations, data from hacked accounts—and reformats it to look like a list of debts. Then they make deals with unscrupulous collectors who will demand repayment of the fictitious bills. Their targets are often poor and likely to already be getting confusing calls about other loans. The harassment usually doesn’t work, but some marks are convinced that because the collectors know so much, the debt must be real.
The problem is as simple as it is intractable. In 2012 a call center in India was busted for making 8 million calls in eight months to collect made-up bills. The Federal Trade Commission has since broken up at least 13 similar scams.
This New Blockchain Project Gives Homeless New Yorkers A Digital Identity (Fast Company), Rated: AAA
Three thousand homeless people in New York are about to receive a special holiday gift: a free smartphone that allows them to manage their digital identity, access shelters and food pantries, and make use of financial services.
The project comes from Blockchain for Change, a New York City startup that has developed a mobile app called Fummi that’s preloaded on the phone. It has teamed up with Life Wireless, which provides phones to low-income groups using federal subsidies. Also involved are NYC service providers like Urban Pathways, Part of the Solution (POTS), Hakook, and the Robin Hood Foundation.
Life Wireless is distributing the phones, starting in the Bronx. The service groups create the blockchain identities for individuals. Once on the system, they can then open an account, receive money, and track their activity.
Blockchain for Change has raised more than $500,000 in a seed round, but it’s also planning a public initial coin offering where it hopes to raise up to $50 million. It generates revenue by charging fees to users at a rate of $3 per month.
On Earnings Calls, Which Tech Company Are Senior Execs Most Obsessed With? (CB Insights), Rated: A
More than Google, Apple, or Facebook, there’s one company that CEOs and public company execs are talking about the most. We analyzed earnings call transcripts to identify the new king of technology.
Amazon has been mentioned nearly 3000 times in the last year. That’s more than Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft combined.
Global Debt Registry joins Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (Finextra), Rated: A
Global Debt Registry (GDR), the asset certainty company, today announced its membership to The Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (WSBA).
WSBA is an industry non-profit trade association created for financial market professionals, by financial market professionals. The alliance engages market participants, regulators, policymakers and technology innovators to advocate the adoption of blockchain’s distributed ledger technology.
Discover Enables Apple Pay Cash (PYMNTS), Rated: A
Discover has announced that transactions made with Apple’s new Apple Pay Cash card will leverage the Discover Network.
The card is part of the new Apple Pay functionality, which allows U.S. customers to quickly, easily and securely send and receive money among friends and family. When Apple customers receive money on a supported device, the money is added to their new Apple Pay Cash card. They can use the money instantly to pay someone or to make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, apps and on the web.
Payday lender Curo to launch in New York with $ 620m valuation (Financial Times), Rated: A
One of America’s biggest payday lenders is launching on the stock market with a $620m valuation, cashing in on mounting hopes that the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress will ease regulatory restrictions on the sector.
Curo Group, which targets “underbanked” consumers and is behind WageDayAdvance in the UK as well as Speedy Cash in the US, begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Shares in the private equity-backed company were priced on Wednesday evening at $14 per share, according to Bloomberg data.
Jury Convicts Online Lender Of $ 220M (Mondaq), Rated: A
Recently, a Manhattan federal jury convicted Richard Moseley Sr., the head of an online network of payday lenders and loan servicers, on charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Truth in Lending Act, among other counts.
Moseley was convicted due to his leadership role over a vast and complicated system of interrelated companies that collected over $220 million from more than 600,000 borrowers and deceived regulators in the process. Convincing state and federal regulators and even his own lawyers that his companies were based offshore and not bound by U.S. law, Moseley coordinated a network of lenders and loan servicers that routinely misled both consumers and regulators.
Instamotor Customers Can Now Apply for Financing While Shopping For A Used Car (BusinessWire), Rated: A
Instamotor, the free online used car marketplace, announced today that its customers can now apply for and receive financing for vehicles on its platform.
An estimated 54% of used car buyers need financing according to Experian. By working with leading direct-to-consumer automotive lenders, Instamotor will become one of the few true automotive marketplaces to enable its users to shop for a used car and secure the financing more than half of them will need, all conveniently integrated in one place.
Loans enabled through Instamotor will be available to consumers with FICO scores as low as 500, which are people who commonly have trouble receiving optimal loan terms through traditional financing methods. Also, the application is optimized to be completed entirely in the comfort of one’s home rather than in a dealership office or credit union.
Lendio Opens New Franchise in Nashville (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
Marketplace lending platform Lendio, recently announced its has opened its new franchise located in Nashville, Tennessee. Lendio revealed that its franchise program makes accessing business loans easy by helping small business owners skip the legwork of looking for a small business loan.
Progressive Leasing and Marqeta Partner to Power New Lease-to-Own Financing Experience (BusinessWire), Rated: A
Marqeta, the open API payment card issuing platform, and Progressive Leasing, a virtual lease-to-own company and a division of Aaron’s, Inc., today announced a technology partnership that will enhance the checkout process for Progressive Leasing customers.
As one of the largest players in the lease-to-own industry, Progressive Leasing sought a partner who could support their needs today and provide innovative solutions to help build their future payment checkout roadmap. Through the partnership, Marqeta will enable Progressive Leasing to issue virtual cards at the point of sale and work with them to create additional innovative payment offerings.
With the partnership, Marqeta will enable Progressive Leasing to take advantage of a wide range of modern features, including virtual card issuance, tokenization, and its patent-pending Just-in-Time (JIT) Funding, allowing Progressive Leasing to authorize and reconcile transactions in real time.
Real estate crowdfunding expands into more niche markets (Curbed), Rated: A
To those unfamiliar with real estate crowdfunding, the Fair-Haired Dumbbell development in Portland may be just the kind of wacky, esoteric project one envisions when imagining what happens when strangers pool funds online, crossing Kickstarter with construction. A pair of six-story towers connected by a skybridge, the commercial project does in fact resemble a hand weight, with an ostentatious, colorful Italianate pattern sprawled across the facade for extra impact.
Funded in part by investors who pooled money via the Crowdstreet crowdfunding platform, the building, located in a former industrial neighborhood called Burnside Bridgehead, is also open for business and looking for tenants. It’s the city’s first crowdfunded building, and a sign that the growing world of real estate crowdfunding has developed and matured since a 2012 change in investment regulations made these platforms possible.
While reliable numbers about this growing and fragmented market prove difficult to come by, research firm Massolution estimated the global market for real estate crowdfunding surpassed $3.5 billion in 2016.
Hope grows that a larger SEC crackdown on ICOs is coming — and soon (TechCrunch), Rated: A
More than $3 billion has been raised through so-called initial coin offerings so far in 2017.
That wait-and-see stance looks to evolve into much more action in 2018, suggest those who’ve either spoken with the Securities and Exchange Commission or otherwise have a vested interest in its rulings. (The SEC isn’t commenting publicly on its specific plans.)
Just Friday, a new division of the agency that’s focused on ICOs filed charges against an outfit called PlexCoin that reportedly raised $15 million from thousands of investors by promising a 1,354 percent return in 29 days or less.
Credit score row as FICO chief hits out at banks over ‘Fako’ rivals (Financial Times), Rated: A
A row has erupted over credit scoring after the head of FICO, the company whose metric underpins trillions of dollars in lending decisions in the US, hit out at some lenders for supplying customers with a rival measure he dismissed as “Fako”.
The group that supplies lenders with the rival assessment, VantageScore, hit back, saying Mr Lansing was spreading “misinformation aimed at discrediting FICO’s only real competitor”.
The spat points to the opacity of credit scoring, a crucial part of America’s consumer finance economy that is in the spotlight after the huge data loss at the credit reporting company Equifax.
Tips for Reducing College Costs (Earnest Email), Rated: B
Roostify to Integrate With Black Knight’s LoanSphere Empower Loan Origination System (BusinessWire), Rated: B
Roostify, a provider of automated mortgage transaction technology, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) to integrate its platform with Black Knight’s LoanSphere Empower loan origination system (LOS). The integration will enable Empower users to add further efficiency and transparency to the loan origination process – from application to closing.
Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator Unveils New Class of Fintech Disruptors (Business Insider), Rated: B
Envestnet | Yodlee(NYSE: ENV) today announced the members of the newest Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator class.
The members of the 2017–2018 Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator class are:
- Amplifunds helps donors find non-profits that match their interests and performance expectations.
- Datasine turns transactional data into psychometric insights, allowing banks to better serve their customers.
- Golden helps families care for their senior parents’ financial health, wealth and security.
- Peanut Butter offers a cloud-based software to help employers attract college-educated talent by managing student loan assistance programs.
- Starbutter AI makes text and voice chat Artificial Intelligence (AI) agents that help consumers pick financial products like credit cards and mortgages.
- Stessa enables property owners to manage, track, and communicate performance of their real estate assets.
- Tangello improves home affordability by bridging the gap between renting and buying and offering a flexible, lower cost, and quicker way to finance homes, directly from mobile devices.
- Veryfi provides mobile-first bookkeeping software that empowers business owners by automating the tedious parts of accounting through AI and machine learning.
AutoGravity Names Sheng Wang As Chief Technology Officer (PR Newswire), Rated: B
AutoGravity has announced the appointment of Sheng Wang as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to drive the company’s global engineering efforts. Wang joins AutoGravity’s executive team with responsibility for leading product and engineering to deliver a trustworthy and innovative car buying experience that empowers the consumer.
Prior to her appointment as CTO, Wang led AutoGravity product development as the company’s first Director of Product, building cross-functional teams to develop and launch the award-winning AutoGravity platform, as well as branded platforms for Volkswagen Credit and Kia Motors Finance. Wang joined AutoGravity with more than fifteen years of leadership experience in the technology industry and an uncompromising dedication to building dynamic teams and high-impact products that people love.
QCash Financial Wins Financial Times Future of Fintech Awards for the Innovation Category (BusinessWire), Rated: B
QCash Financial, a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) providing automated, cloud-based small-dollar lending technology for financial institutions, announced that it was selected as the winner of Financial Times Future of Fintech Innovation Award.
The FT Future of Fintech awards recognize pioneering companies able to demonstrate innovative ideas capable of creating lasting change in the financial services sector on a global scale. Financial Times offers an Innovation Award for newer Fintech companies that are bringing out novel solutions. QCash Financial was awarded the Innovation Award.
Funding Circle passes $ 5 billion lent globally, including $ 1 billion lent to US businesses (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
Funding Circle today announced that investors have lent more than $5 billion globally to small businesses through the Funding Circle platform. This has supported a network of 40,000 businesses across the UK, USA, Germany and the Netherlands and helped to create more than 100,000 new jobs.*
Today’s news follows a record November for Funding Circle globally with the business facilitating more than $260 million of lending, including $175 million in the UK (£130m), $70 million in the US and $15 million in Continental Europe (€14.5m). Together this has helped thousands of business owners to access fast, transparent finance to grow their businesses, and will lead to an estimated 7,500 new jobs.
With US businesses now having accessed more than $1 billion in funding through the platform, Funding Circle becomes the first lending platform anywhere in the world to have facilitated more than $1 billion across two markets.
Your December Review – Insight and Analysis (Funding Circle), Rated: AAA
Your lending has reached £3 billion in the UK! November was also a record month, with £129 million lent to small businesses in the UK.
Over half of Brits (56%) think they have the skills to run their own business, but only 13% believe they’re entrepreneurial.
RateSetter Publishes 2016-2017 Accounts (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
On Wednesday, UK peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter released its accounts for the year ending on March 31, 2017. The online lender reported that revenues were £23.7m, up 38 percent from 2015-16; loans under management grew by 23 percent, from £581m to £714m; the number of active lenders grew by 36 percent from 31,036 to 42,049; and, over the same period, the number of active borrowers grew 27 percent from 161,000 to 204,000.
Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter’s losses jump as it takes a hit from bad loan to ad company (Business Insider), Rated: A
RateSetter booked a pre-tax loss of £23.3 million in the year to March 2017, compared to a £5.3 million in the previous year. The company operates a peer-to-peer platform that matches retail investors with individuals looking to borrow money.
Operating losses were £9.2 million last year but the figure was pushed higher by a one-off write-down relating to a loan the platform made to Adpod Limited, an advertising business RateSetter lent £12 million.
‘A resilient business’
RateSetter’s accounts also show that revenue rose by 38% to £23.7 million. Loans under management rose by 23% to £714 million. The number of active lenders on the platform rose by 36% to 42,049 and the number of borrowers rose by 27% to 204,000.
Goodwill impairment helps push Ratesetter further into to the red (Verdict), Rated: A
A goodwill impairment pushed pre-tax losses for RateSetter down to £23m in the year ending March 2017, despite revenue growth of 38% to £23.7m.
The company, which launched a consumer vehicle and commercial assets HP offer this year, saw a rise of 36% in the number of lenders and 27% of borrowers. However, operating losses of £9.2m were further weighed down by a £14.1m goodwill impairment on a loan to advertising company Adpop.
In 2015 Vehicle Trading Group, a company operating in motor finance for consumers and dealerships, used a wholesale facility from RateSetter to lend £12m to Adpop. Both Vehicle Trading Group and Adpop subsequently went into financial difficulties, and RateSetter then bought the two companies.
RateSetter thus decided to back Adpop’s repayments of third party loans, preventing its provision fund from absorbing the hit, as it normally would in case a borrower defaults.
Starling Bank Receives Full Regulatory Approval from FCA & PRA to Offer Broad Portfolio of Financial Products (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
Starling Bank has been granted approval by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to offer customers a wide array of financial products by the mobile only bank. Starling Bank received a licence to operate as a bank by the Bank of England in 2016. The digital only challenger bank will now be able to provide; mortgages, consumer loans, ISAs, and other investment products via their App. No bricks and mortar necessary.
Barnett backs P2P Global Investments for recovery (Citywire), Rated: A
P2P Global Investments (P2P), the largest of the listed alternative lending funds, has won the backing of Invesco Perpetual’s Mark Barnett, its largest shareholder, for the turnaround plan it outlined last week.
The future of advice is ‘Fintegration’ (Professional Adviser), Rated: A
The financial advisory sector has seen much change in the past few years, much of it driven by new technologies and a wave of new market entrants. While we are seeing consolidation and innovation in response, this is just the start. So if you thought the merry-go-round was slowing down, then grab hold tightly because it is only going to accelerate.
‘Fintegration’ – the integration with fintech services – is emerging as an important factor.
What is common to both groups is their appetite for financial online and digital services – from online banking and mortgage management to peer-to-peer lending platforms. There is no doubt we will shortly see the fully integrated dashboard becoming commonplace.
China targets booming online lending as crisis fears build (Hong Kong FP), Rated: AAA
The 24-year-old secretary is among millions of Chinese who have turned to proliferating online companies that dish out quick loans — and are worrying the country’s leadership.
Jia started accumulating her debt when she was in college, turning to tech titan Alibaba when she could not get a credit card.
The ease of a few taps on her phone and a four minute wait led Jia to borrow and borrow and when she was finally able to take out a card, she used it to repay Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial.
But her debt reached roughly US$9,000 this summer, and her monthly interest payments eclipsed her meagre salary.
Alternative lending, with loans that can be wired to accounts within minutes, has taken off in China and accounts for 85 percent of the global market, according to a University of Cambridge report.
N26 launches a premium debit card for ‘the digital customer,’ partners with WeWork (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA
N26, the European mobile banking service, today announced the launch of N26 Metal, the company’s premium MasterCard-affiliated debit card “tailored to the needs of digital customers” at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. N26 Black customers in Germany, France, Italy and Austria will be able to sign up for the new NFC-enabled card, which obviously features a metal core made from tungsten and that makes the card weigh a lot, starting December 14.
It’s also worth noting that this is the first metal card in Europe that supports contactless payments.
What better company to partner with then than co-working and real estate startup WeWork. Using the N26 Metal service, N26 customers will also be able to join the WeWork network and get credits to reserve workspaces and conference rooms.
Currency trader Revolut’s offer to those champing at the bitcoin (The Times), Rated: AAA
Revolut, which provides foreign currency services to consumers and small businesses, said that from today its users would be able to buy bitcoin and other “cryptocurrencies” using 25 conventional currencies.
BFS Capital has Extended Over $ 1.7 Billion in Financing to Businesses across the US, UK and Canada (BusinessWire), Rated: A
Marking its 15th anniversary year, BFS Capital, a small business financing platform, announced it has now extended over $1.7 billion in financing since funding its first deal in 2002. The company also reported that over 75 percent of its originations have occurred in the last five years and more than 25 percent took place in the last 18 months. For full year 2017, BFS Capital expects to generate more than $300 million in originations, a new annual high.
Recent Origination Milestones in Online Lending (Lend Academy), Rated: A
Today, Kabbage announced they had crossed the $4 billion mark. They have now lent to more than 130,000 small businesses which they claim is the largest customer base of any online small business lender.
This week LendingHome announced it had crossed $2 billion in mortgage loans for homeowners and real estate investors.
Funding Circle UK crossed the £3 billion (approx. $4 billion) mark in small business lending for their UK business.
LendingClub quietly announced total small business originations of $500 million since 2014 in a recent blog post.
Emerging markets are under pressure, but I’m buying the dip (CNBC), Rated: A
The Chinese government instituted tough new regulations on online consumer lending platforms, which are made up of payday loans and peer-to-peer lending. Some of them are associated with large holdings in the emerging markets exchange-traded fund like Ant Financial, an Alibaba Group affiliate.
While much of this is a continuation of the Chinese debt bubble, the move suggests that it has gotten out of the regulators’ control.
We see a global trade boom continuing to drive emerging markets as global Purchasing Manager indexes show continued growth in demand for manufactured goods. For example, Korea is already registering signs of slowing Chinese demand but is still showing 9.6 percent year-on-year growth for November exports. However, we continue to watch the tone out of Washington, since a shift toward more protectionism could put a dent in this.
Viola FinTech is a new $ 100M Israel-based VC fund targeting fintech startups around the world (TechCrunch), Rated: B
Viola, the Israel-based technology investment group, is launching new independent VC fund targeting fintech startups from anywhere in the world. Dubbed Viola FinTech, the “cross-stage venture fund” has an initial closing of $100 million but will extend that towards $120-150 million. It is backed by global banks, insurance companies and asset managers from North America, Europe, APAC and Israel, including Scotiabank, The Travelers Companies, Inc and Bank Hapoalim.
San Francisco’s Credible Raises $ 50 Million in Australian IPO (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
San Francisco-based financial technology company Credible Labs Inc. is going public, but not on a U.S. exchange.
The startup, a consumer loans marketplace, raised $50 million (A$66 million) in an initial public offering on the Australian Securities Exchange, according to a statement Thursday.
The IPO values Credible at A$300 million, about 50 percent higher than the valuation it got in its last fundraising round, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public.
Yellow Brick Road Adds Prospa to Lending Panel in Boost to Aussie Small Business (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
Yellow Brick Road has added online lender Prospa to its lending panel. The move was described as an effort to diversify its lending offerings for Australian small business customers. Yellow Brick Road is a full service wealth management company that offers products and services for home loans, financial planning, insurance, superannuation, and investments.
Marketplace lenders must ‘start educating’ SMSFs on opportunities, discipline (Nestegg), Rated: A
Speaking to Nest Egg, CEO of fully licensed marketplace lender Zagga, Alan Greenstein said that self-directed investing is now a “very, very big part of SMSF investment” and that according to Zagga research, well over 30 per cent of SMSFs at a sophisticated wholesale level are self-directed investors.
Pointing to a recent whitepaper produced by Zagga, Mr Greenstein said SMSFs tend to be invested at either end of the spectrum; very high risk and high yielding opportunities, or very low risk opportunities.
He said that Zagga’s newly launched ZAG Fund offered a middle ground, with a targeted net return of 6.5 per cent.
Ngā Tangata Microfinance breaking hold of predatory lenders (Scoop), Rated: A
With loan capital provided by Kiwibank, Ngā Tangata Microfinance (NTM) provides no-interest loans to qualifying clients for family well-being and relief from high-interest debt.
An evaluation conducted by the University of Auckland’s Centre for Applied Research in Economics found NTM’s no-interest loans were crucial in helping low-income clients break the cycle of debt caused by predatory payday and fringe lenders.
Partnering with local budgeting advisors, NTM has now disbursed more than $660,000 in no-interest loans to more than 300 clients, with 70% of the support being for relief from high-interest debt. It is estimated these loans had potentially saved clients a total of more than $1 million in interest and additional costs. Requests for help continued to trend up – 30% more NTM loans were approved in the past 12 months compared to the previous year, amounting to nearly 130 loans worth $275,000.
Loans are easy to get, but are they for you? (livemint), Rated: AAA
When you buy a phone, you have the option to pay for it then or pay later. You have this option even when you are buying grocery or paying bills. Credit these days can be available relatively easily, even for amounts as low as Rs1,000. In fact, in a country where you need to have a good credit history and credit score to get loans from banks, you can now get loans on your phone—even if a bank would not lend to you.
According to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. Ltd (CMIE), personal loans (incremental numbers) increased 179% and credit card outstanding rose 34.63% in value during April to October period in FY 2017-18. In comparison, incremental numbers during the same period for housing loans showed negative 32.7%.
HDFC Bank Ltd saw a 35.75% growth in personal loans and 44.50% growth in credit card business in the second quarter (on a year-on-year basis). ICICI Bank, in its second quarter results this financial year said that its personal loan book saw a 40.1% year-on-year growth and the credit card business grew by 36.5%. And this is true for the non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) as well. Bajaj Finance Ltd saw a 42% growth in consumer lending in the same period.
Vietnam launches first peer-to-peer lending platform (XinhuaNet), Rated: AAA
Vietnam has launched its first peer-to-peer lending service Vay Muon, enabling people to borrow and lend money without having to go through a financial institution.
Matching lenders and borrowers via a smartphone application, the lending platform does not require mortgages and one-on-one meetings, local VTV online newspaper reported on Thursday.
First-time loan requests will be reviewed and disbursed within four hours and subsequent requests will be handled in just half an hour.
‘Korean startups should do what they are good at to get funding’ (The Investor), Rated: A
Korean startups flock to Silicon Valley hoping to become the next Facebook or Google. However, setting up a business from scratch where thousands of new startups come and go every year, is not easy, and becoming a “unicorn” is near impossible.
One fundamental reason is because they can’t get enough funding, according to Tim Chae, head of the Korean unit of US accelerator 500 Startups.
First of all, a company should either run a business in a certain sector for which Korea is widely famous worldwide, such as beauty and e-sports segments, rather than roll out me-too services and products.
Datarius Cryptobank Participates at BlockShow Asia 2017 (Digital Journal), Rated: B
On November 29–30 a large-scale event — Block Show Asia 2017 — was held, and Datarius Cryptobank participated in this event.
Datarius Cryptobank is a unique project. This is a first social cryptobank built on base of the distributed register technologies using neural networks and artificial intelligence. The main attractive features of the project for investors and future customers are the lowest transaction fees, as well as P2P-lending.
IOU Financial Surpasses US$ 500 Million in Loans Originated (Cision), Rated: AAA
IOU Financial Inc. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSXV: IOU), a leading online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), announces today that it has facilitated more than US$500 million in financing to thousands of merchants and small businesses across the United States and Canada since launching its lending platform.