- Today’s main news: SoFi hires Noto to be CEO. StreetShares secures $23M in equity to reach military, veteran market. Zopa fills positions for bank launch. Dianrong raises $70M. Yirendai signs onto Internet Finance Industry Credit Information Sharing Platform. Tera Funding sets Korean fundraising record.
- Today’s main analysis: FT Partners publishes 2017 InsurTech Almanac (a must-read).
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: Twitter’s COO brings IPO experience to SoFi. How UK fintechs are preparing for open banking. Banks, fintechs battle for talent. How Fabric facilitates cross-border payments on the blockchain.
- SoFi hires Anthony Noto. AT: “This is good news for SoFi, and appears to be a solid career move for Noto, who has quite the pedigree. We’re anxious to see how he brings his experience to the table and how it will impact SoFi’s future.”
- Twitter exec leaves for SoFi. AT: “Experience includes Goldman Sachs and NFL.”
- Twitter stock dips after Noto’s departure.
- SoFi’s new CEO has IPO experience. AT: “This could prove to be valuable as SoFi has had to put its plans for an IPO on hold amid its recent scandal involving former CEO Mike Cagney.”
- FT Partners publishes 2017 InsurTech Alamanac. AT: “A must-read report. The insurtech industry is growing and is poised to grow into one of the largest tech industries on the planet.”
- Hippo secures $25M. AT: “Congratulations.”
- OnDeck announces Q4 and 2017 full year earnings conference call date.
- StreetShares nabs $23M equity for expansion to veterans, military market. AT: “Congratulations.”
- AutoGravity exceeds $2B in financing requests for 2017. AT: “Congratulations.”
- Central Pacific Bank adds Elevate Credit executive to board.
- loanDepot to offer agent, contractor referrals.
- mello survey results.
- Bond Navigator connects municipal bonds, advisers.
- PayPal, Amazon attend Vegas ABS conference. AT: “Are we soon to see securitizations coming from these two fronts?”
- Acorns ties investing, education together.
- Community bank launches Cent for P2P lending. AT: “I’m excited to see community banks using technology in new ways. How long will it be before this is the norm?”
- MPL in 2018.
- 6 business loan scams.
- Predictions, pitfalls for finance and investing.
- LendingTree announces Q4’s top customer-rated lenders by loan product.
- Don’t let payday lenders off the hook.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) drops investigation. AT: “The focus of this article implies there is an improper Mulvaney connection to the lender, but this move actually represents the change in direction for the CFPB under the Trump Administration–as does Mulvaney’s appointment.”
- Banks are dropping boomers for millennials.
- Money360 adds new board member.
- 10 ways to build strong credit record. AT: “Are there any nuggets here for alt lenders to craft new credit products around?”
- Zopa hires executives ahead of bank launch.
- How fintech startups are preparing for open banking. AT: “A very interesting read.”
- Emma integrates with Monzo.
- SMEs are aware of P2P lending, but cautious.
- Bankers warn of financial stability threats.
- Dianrong secures $70M. AT: “Congratulations.”
- Orix invests $60M in Dianrong.
- Yirendai joins credit information sharing platform.
- How Fabric is used for cross-border payments.
- The arrival of open banking — a disappointment?
- Longfin to open Ziddu for P2P lending smart contracts.
- Monese: The world’s most inclusive bank.
- Karma raises $10M in ICO.
- NeoGrowth Credit raises Rs300cr. AT: “Congrats.”
- Tera Funding sets Korean record for fundraising. AT: “Congratulations.”
- Blockchain to change banks’ feudal mindset.
Lending Times News
- Lending Times rolls out sister publication Blockchain Times. AT: “Be sure to subscribe to the daily newsletter.”
- United States
- SoFi Names Anthony Noto Chief Executive Officer (SoFi), Rated: AAA
- Twittter executive leaves to run SoFi (SF Gate), Rated: A
- Twitter dips after a key executive leaves for online lending startup SoFi (Business Insider), Rated: A
- SoFi’s Incoming CEO Brings IPO Experience to a Troubled FinTech (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
- FT Partners Research Publishes 2017 InsurTech Almanac (FT Partners), Rated: AAA
- California Insurtech Hippo Secures $ 25 Million Through Series B Financing Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- OnDeck Announces Date of Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Earnings Conference Call (OnDeck), Rated: B
- StreetShares Secures $ 23 Million Equity Funding to Scale for the Military and Veteran Market (StreetShares Email), Rated: AAA
- AutoGravity Milestone: Exceeds $ 2 Billion in Finance Amount Request in 2017 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- Central Pacific Bank adds Elevate Credit executive to board of directors (Pacific Business News), Rated: A
- LoanDepot to offer agent, contractor referrals to mortgage shoppers (The Orange County Register), Rated: A
- loanDepot Expands mello Brand (PR Newswire), Rated: A
- Fintech startup wants to help advisers find and sell muni bonds (InvestmentNews), Rated: A
- Amazon, PayPal to head to Vegas ABS bash (GlobalCapital), Rated: A
- Acorns wants to bring investing and education together (Tearsheet), Rated: A
- First Bank Goes Big into Peer To Peer Lending, Launches “Cent” (Business Insider), Rated: A
- Marketplace Lending In 2018: A DIY Mindset (mondaq), Rated: A
- 6 Business Loan Scams and How to Spot Them (AllBusiness), Rated: A
- 2018 Predictions and Pitfalls In Finance and Investing (AlleyWatch), Rated: A
- LendingTree Announces Top Customer-Rated Lenders by Loan Product for Q4 2017 (PR Newswire), Rated: B
- Don’t Let Payday Lenders Off the Hook (Bloomberg), Rated: A
- CFPB Drops Investigation Into Payday Lender That Contributed To Mick Mulvaney’s Campaigns (International Business Times), Rated: A
- Bye, bye, boomers — banks are looking toward millennials (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A
- Todd Ruppert Joins Money360 Board of Advisors (Business Insider), Rated: B
- Ten Ways Young Can People Build A Strong Credit Record (Forbes), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- Zopa expands executive team ahead of bank launch (Finextra), Rated: AAA
- How UK fintech startups are preparing for open banking (ComputerWorldUK), Rated: AAA
- Debt tracker Emma integrates with Monzo (AltFi), Rated: A
- SME bosses aware of P2P lending but cautious about using it (P2P Finance News), Rated: A
- Top bankers warn of financial stability threats amid the calm (City A.M.), Rated: B
- Dianrong Increases Series D Round Funding by US$ 70 Million (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
- Japan’s Orix invests $ 60 mln in Chinese P2P lender Dianrong (Reuters), Rated: A
- Yirendai Connects to NIFA’s Internet Finance Industry Credit Information Sharing Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
- European Union
- Banks and Fintechs Are Duelling In a ‘War For Talent’ (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
- How Adyen Became a $ 2.3bn Payments Company (Forbes), Rated: A
- Cross Border Funds Transfer (CBFT) using Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain (LinkedIn), Rated: AAA
- The disappointing arrival of Open Banking … and the optimistic future (The Finanser), Rated: A
- Nasdaq-listed Longfin to open up Ziddu smart contracts to P2P lending (P2P Finance News), Rated: A
- Building the World’s Most Inclusive Banking Service (Medium), Rated: A
- $ 10 million ICO Success Karma Announces P2P Lending Access, aExchange Listing of KRM Token (The Merkle), Rated: A
- NeoGrowth Credit secures funding of Rs300cr from LeapFrog Investments and others (Medianama), Rated: A
- Tera Funding raised KRW 10 billion from Korean leading investors in Series A funding round (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
- Blockchain will force banks to change their feudal mindset (e27), Rated: A
- Lending Times News
SoFi Names Anthony Noto Chief Executive Officer (SoFi), Rated: AAA
SoFi today announced that its Board of Directors has named Anthony Noto as chief executive officer and a director, effective March 1.
Twittter executive leaves to run SoFi (SF Gate), Rated: A
In Noto, SoFi has chosen a fast-rising executive in the tech industry. Noto, 49, was one of the most respected bankers at Goldman Sachs before becoming the chief financial officer of the National Football League and then Twitter.
Twitter dips after a key executive leaves for online lending startup SoFi (Business Insider), Rated: A
- Shares of Twitter slid on Tuesday morning after the online lending startup SoFi announced that Anthony Noto, Twitter’s chief operating officer, will be joining the company as its new CEO, effective March 1.
- Twitter has suffered from several departures of key executives in the past two years as the company struggles to bring value to shareholders.
SoFi’s Incoming CEO Brings IPO Experience to a Troubled FinTech (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
Noto, who worked on technology, media and telecom deals at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. before joining Twitter in 2014, brings to the job a background in tech and finance. Beyond Twitter’s nascent revival, his turnaround abilities are largely untested. But given his history of taking companies public — including Twitter — a SoFi IPO is very much a possibility, according to people familiar with the situation. Furthermore, they say, it’ll be nice to have an adult in the room after all the recent turmoil.
SoFi Wealth, launched last year and harbored ambitions to quickly manage $100 million in assets, Bloomberg News reported in October. It grew slowly until last quarter, when it tripled its assets from September to $42.3 million as of Jan. 18, spokesman Jim Prosser said. The average account holds about $4,300. Other digital wealth startups have north of $10 billion under management.
FT Partners Research Publishes 2017 InsurTech Almanac (FT Partners), Rated: AAA
Highlights of the 2017 Almanac:
- 2017 was a very active year for the InsurTech sector globally, with the most financings ever (over 200) and more than $2 billion in financing volume
- While the total announced financing dollar volume for 2017 was lower than in the prior two years, when excluding rounds over $50 million, the volume reached a record high of approximately $1.3 billion
- Of the four largest financings this year, two were in the Online Health Insurance space (Bright Health and Clover Health), one was in the Telematics space (Nauto) and one was in Online P&C Insurance (Lemonade)
- 2017 also featured another wave of mid-range to larger financing rounds for InsurTech companies founded in the last several years, including Next Insurance’s $35 mm Series A, The Zebra’s $40 mm Series B, Health IQ’s $35 mm Series C, PolicyGenius’ $30 mm Series C and Trov’s $45 mm Series D
- Europe had significant increases in financing activity, the largest out of any region this year — financing volume and deal count both grew by more than 2x; the region also recorded its largest InsurTech financing ever: BIMA’s $107 million raise led by Allianz X, which was the fifth largest financing globally in 2017
- Among the cohort of InsurTech companies founded since 2010, this year marked two milestones:
- First IPO: China-based ZhongAn (SEHK:6060) raised approximately $1.5 billion
- Largest acquisition: Guidewire acquired Cyence for $275 million
Download and read the full report here.
California Insurtech Hippo Secures $ 25 Million Through Series B Financing Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
Hippo, the California-based insurtech company that is transforming home insurance for savvy homeowners, announced on Monday it secured $25 million in Series B funding round, which was led by Comcast Ventures and Fifth Wall. The investment comes less than two weeks after Hippo announced it formed a strategic partnership with Spinnaker Insurance Company.
OnDeck Announces Date of Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Earnings Conference Call (OnDeck), Rated: B
OnDeck (NYSE:ONDK), the leader in online lending for small business, will report its fourth quarter and full year 2017 financial results on Tuesday, February 13, at approximately 7:00 a.m. EST. The company will host a conference call to discuss the results at 8:00 a.m. EST that same day.
The conference call will be webcast live on the company’s Investor Relations website or listeners can access the call toll free by dialing (833) 227-5836 for calls within the U.S., or by dialing (647) 689-4063 for international calls. The Conference ID passcode is 5468078.
StreetShares Secures $ 23 Million Equity Funding to Scale for the Military and Veteran Market (StreetShares Email), Rated: AAA
StreetShares, Inc., the leading small business funding and government contract financing company serving the military and veteran market, announced today it has completed its Series B funding round, raising $23 million in fresh equity capital. The Series B round was led by a $20 million investment from Rotunda Capital Partners, LLC, and included an additional $3 million from existing investors, including veteran-focused venture firm, Stony Lonesome Group.
AutoGravity Milestone: Exceeds $ 2 Billion in Finance Amount Request in 2017 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
AutoGravity, a California-based Fintech on a mission to transform car shopping and financing, announced last week it surpassed $2 billion in finance amount requested in 2017.
Central Pacific Bank adds Elevate Credit executive to board of directors (Pacific Business News), Rated: A
Honolulu-based Central Pacific Financial Corp. has appointed Christopher Lutes as director of the boards of CPF and Central Pacific Bank.
Lutes has been the chief financial officer of Elevate Credit Inc. and its predecessor company, which specializes in tech-enabled online credit solutions, since 2007.
LoanDepot to offer agent, contractor referrals to mortgage shoppers (The Orange County Register), Rated: A
Borrowers signing up for a mortgage through LoanDepot soon can get real estate agent referrals from the online lender as well.
And later this year, people getting home-improvement loans will be able to get the names of contractors, architects, roofers and other professionals.
loanDepot Expands mello Brand (PR Newswire), Rated: A
LD Holdings Group, LLC, parent company of loanDepot, the nation’s second largest non-bank consumer lender, today announced continued expansion beyond its profitable mortgage and personal loan businesses. In Q1, a newly formed venture, mello Home, will connect pre-approved homebuyers with verified real estate agents in their local market, and help consumers find and hire home improvement and other pros.
Fintech startup wants to help advisers find and sell muni bonds (InvestmentNews), Rated: A
It’s like Zillow, but for bonds.
That’s the idea behind Bond Navigator, a cloud-based digital marketplace for advisers to find and evaluate municipal bonds, that launched Tuesday from startup 280 CapMarkets.
Amazon, PayPal to head to Vegas ABS bash (GlobalCapital), Rated: A
Amazon has already tapped the securitization markets as part of a plan to shift the risk of its business lending programme off its balance sheet.
Amazon has stated in previous quarterly reports that it intends to transfer more of the risk of its seller financing programme to third parties.
Similarly, PayPal has expressed interest in funding its credit portfolio through third parties, including bank lending, securitization, private equity and sovereign wealth funds, although the company told GlobalCapital in August that this would unlikely be a near term project.
Acorns wants to bring investing and education together (Tearsheet), Rated: A
Many financial services companies, both startups and incumbents, talk about the importance of customers’ financial education but how they integrate it into their own offerings often manifests as no more than a dedicated content marketing section or blog. Acorns itself has an online magazine called Grow that features news, financial how-tos and interviews with celebrities like Kevin Durant, Ian Kahn and Tony Robbins.
First Bank Goes Big into Peer To Peer Lending, Launches “Cent” (Business Insider), Rated: A
For personal banking customers of First Bank, the largest community bank headquartered in North Carolina, transferring money to family and friends is now as simple as hitting “Cent.”
On January 22, First Bank launched Cent, its new quick-money transfer tool, allowing personal banking users of the bank’s mobile banking application to send money to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the U.S., regardless of if the recipient banks with First Bank or not. And there are no fees.
Marketplace Lending In 2018: A DIY Mindset (mondaq), Rated: A
There is no doubt marketplace lending, by offering speed and flexibility not historically seen in traditional banking, has done its part to foster the “do it yourself” (DIY) era.
The industry’s rapid growth reflects in part the entry of more than 100 new players in the market in less than a decade.
6 Business Loan Scams and How to Spot Them (AllBusiness), Rated: A
1. The peer lending scam
Peer-to-peer lending has become one of the most important sources of online financing. Unfortunately, there are some shadowy operators out there, using Facebook Messenger and other less traditional avenues to hook in victims.
The scam works like this: You’ll be contacted out of the blue and offered peer-to-peer financing, then asked to pay an arrangement fee or fork out for background checks. You’ll never see the promised cash and you could lose quite a bit of money, as well as data that can be used for identity theft.
4. The credit repair scam
Most young businesses have an inadequate credit score. It’s a simple fact of life. However, there are plenty of predators out there who’ll be keen to convince you that they have the expertise and tools to transform your score—in return for a hefty fee, of course.
5. The loan broker scam
Loan brokers exist to identify the right products for your business, make introductions to lenders, and prepare the paperwork to ensure a smooth process. There are plenty of legitimate and professional brokers, who get paid a commission from lenders for arranging loans; unfortunately, there are also quite a few sharks, who charge upfront fees for the same service.
2018 Predictions and Pitfalls In Finance and Investing (AlleyWatch), Rated: A
Online and Alternative Investing Will Remain Strong: The amount of investors using online investing and alternative options will continue to remain strong, especially for both Baby Boomer and Millennial investors. Online investing exposes investors to a larger number of companies driving innovation, and, many online investors are starting to realize an ROI from their online investing activities. In spring 2017, the number of people who lived in a household that used an online investing/stock trading service within the last 12 months amounted to 15.79 million.
LendingTree Announces Top Customer-Rated Lenders by Loan Product for Q4 2017 (PR Newswire), Rated: B
LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released its quarterly list of the top customer-rated lenders on its network based on actual customer reviews for the fourth quarter of 2017. The list features the top lenders in multiple loan product categories, including Mortgages, Personal Loans, Business Loans and Auto Loans, all of which are included in LendingTree’s online loan marketplace.
#1 Winner: LenderFi, Inc.
Personal Loans Category
#1 Winner: Upgrade
Business Loans Category
#1 Winner: Seek Capital
Auto Loans Category
#1 Winner: RefiJet
Don’t Let Payday Lenders Off the Hook (Bloomberg), Rated: A
Payday lending can be a useful service. A two-week loan of $500 at 400 percent annualized interest can make sense if, say, you need to fix your truck to get to work. Unfortunately, the industry has long made much of its money by trapping customers in a series of consecutive loans that can end up costing many times the amount borrowed. A patchwork of state laws has done little to combat such practices.
CFPB Drops Investigation Into Payday Lender That Contributed To Mick Mulvaney’s Campaigns (International Business Times), Rated: A
Payday lender World Acceptance Corporation announced in a press releaseMonday that it received a letter from the CFPB stating that the financial watchdog had closed its nearly four-year investigation into the company’s marketing and lending practices. The company, which is headquartered in South Carolina, has given at least $4,500 in campaign donations to Mulvaney, who represented South Carolina in the House for six years before becoming President Donald Trump’s budget director last year.
Bye, bye, boomers — banks are looking toward millennials (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A
Sorry, boomers, but the world of banking and insurance isn’t so interested in you anymore. You’re getting too old to buy insurance and too conservative with your investments. And your time horizons are too short to be very profitable to the investment world. The financial services industry is aiming at millennials now.
–Six in 10 millennials are hesitant to discuss their situation with friends because they are embarrassed that they make less money or are ashamed of poor financial decision in their past.
–Only 12 percent of millennials feel very prepared for their financial future.
–Only one-third of millennials feel like they make enough to pay for bills and also save for the future.
Todd Ruppert Joins Money360 Board of Advisors (Business Insider), Rated: B
Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender specializing in commercial real estate loans, today announced that effective immediately, Todd Ruppert, former CEO and president of T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services, has joined the company’s Board of Advisors.
Ten Ways Young Can People Build A Strong Credit Record (Forbes), Rated: B
According to a report by WalletHub, young people struggle with low credit scores partially because they don’t have the time behind them to establish wealth and experience.
- Set Up Automatic Payments
- Get A Low-Limit Credit Card – Charging small items to a credit card and then paying it off in full every month builds credit in no time. You can find offers for these at creditcards.com and similar sites, with many offering cards with a $300 limit or so.
- Piggyback Off Of Others First – By becoming an authorized user on someone’s credit card, you can start building credit from their payments.
- Build A Credit History – It is not uncommon to get a 0% or 2% auto loan these days, and this way of building credit history is brilliant.
- Minimize Unsecured Debt
Zopa expands executive team ahead of bank launch (Finextra), Rated: AAA
P2P lender Zopa has begun building the executive team for the launch of its new challenger bank later this year, appointing a CFO, chief risk officer and chief customer officer.
Chief financial officer Steve Hulme joins from Tandem Money where he was CFO for the last two years. Before Tandem, Hulme served as CFO for PayPal’s global credit business and as CFO for Capital One’s UK and Canadian business.
He will be joined by former TSB man Phillip Dransfield as chief risk officer. Dransfield has a 20-year track record in risk management taking in two of the counttry’s largest high street banks.
The left-field appointment of chief marketing officer goes to Clare Gambardella from health and fitness brand Virgin Active.
How UK fintech startups are preparing for open banking (ComputerWorldUK), Rated: AAA
Major banks are scrambling fast to not only comply with the regulation by opening up their APIs, but are also looking to leverage the new open landscape to separate themselves from their competitors and avoid being bitten by these fintech startups.
Take HSBC UK, which has proved itself to be an early mover when it comes to PSD2 by announcing a new beta app which will allow customers to see all of their accounts on one screen, even if they are with a rival bank.
However, UK challenger banks like Monzo and Starling, as well as some other fintech startups listed below, have been working towards the idea of open banking for some time now.
According to a blog post by Simon Vans-Colina, an engineer at Monzo, the new API, which they are calling the AIS API, “will be made available to particular companies, that have been granted authorisation as AISPs.
As CEO Christoph Rieche explained to our sister site Techworld, real-time access to customers’ transactional data, which the banks have traditionally held onto for current accounts, is very valuable to his company.
“In a utopia consumers can start to grant affordability criteria to a lender, provide transaction data to a savings mechanism like Chip, or income data to a mortgage lender,” he said. “You can choose exactly which data you want which third parties to access, so it puts control into the customer’s hands.”
Founder Francesco Simoneschi likes to compare TrueLayer to Twilio or Stripe, two companies that provide simple, secure and regulated access to core infrastructure (be it telco networks or payments infrastructure, respectively) through a core API.
So TrueLayer sits between the new breed of fintech companies looking to deliver value from newly opened customer financial data, and underlying banking infrastructure, charging a small fee for access to the API.
Cofounder Edoardo Moreni wrote in a blog post at the time: “Emma is currently building the banking app for millennials (iOS and Android), a mobile-only solution that helps consumers avoid overdrafts, find and cancel subscriptions, track debt and save money.
Debt tracker Emma integrates with Monzo (AltFi), Rated: A
After receiving its FCA approval last week as a Registered Account Information Services Provider (RAISP), subscriptions and debt tracking app Emma has now announced its first official integration with digital bank Monzo.
SME bosses aware of P2P lending but cautious about using it (P2P Finance News), Rated: A
Research among 200 SMEs by recruitment specialist Tindall Perry found while 74 per cent of finance directors describe their knowledge of alternative finance as average or above, only a quarter suggested that they were comfortable with accessing crowdfunding, with P2P lending also scoring less than 50 per cent.
In contrast, 85 per cent of companies said that they understood how best to access asset-based lending, while invoice finance, trade finance and venture capital all saw a positive response rate of between 55 and 75 per cent.
Top bankers warn of financial stability threats amid the calm (City A.M.), Rated: B
Speaking at the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of the global elite in the Swiss ski resort, she said: “We have far fewer tools to deal with any event that happens.” Richards predicted an upset could occur “somewhere where none of us are looking”, and highlighted peer-to-peer lending as an example.
Current financial conditions have echoes of the pre-crisis era, according to Jes Staley, chief executive of Barclays, speaking at the same event. While he said he believes banks are much less of a threat to stability than a decade ago, he warned that current benign conditions may not last.
Dianrong Increases Series D Round Funding by US$ 70 Million (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
Dianrong today announced additional Series D round funding of US$70 million that was led by ORIX Asia Capital Limited, a wholly-owned investment vehicle of ORIX Corporation, and included CLSA, the overseas platform of CITIC Securities, China’s largest investment bank, which in turn is a part of CITIC Group, one of China’s largest conglomerates.
Japan’s Orix invests $ 60 mln in Chinese P2P lender Dianrong (Reuters), Rated: A
Orix Corp has invested $60 million in peer-to-peer lending platform Dianrong, in what is the Japanese financial firm’s first investment in a Chinese fintech venture as it looks to tap into the fast-expanding sector, sources said.
Yirendai Connects to NIFA’s Internet Finance Industry Credit Information Sharing Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
Yirendai Ltd. (NYSE: YRD) (“Yirendai” or the “Company”), a fintech company in China, announced today that it has connected to the Internet Finance Industry Credit Information Sharing Platform (“the Platform”) established by the National Internet Finance Association of China (“NIFA”). The Platform was established to serve as an industry wide credit data sharing database in aims of reducing credit risk, improving the credit environment and promoting the healthy development of the internet finance industry. Currently, all leading online lending platforms are required to upload their operating credit data to the Platform’s database and members can only make manual inquiries on the Platform through its webpage. Yirendai has been selected by NIFA to participate in a pilot project to enable automatic queries and the Company expects to launch an automated query function in its system shortly.
Banks and Fintechs Are Duelling In a ‘War For Talent’ (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
Payments company GoCardless Ltd., which employs 170 people in London, will open a Paris office in February, said chief product and technology officer Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas. Online lender LendInvest Ltd. said it will make a “concerted effort” to hire additional engineers in London this year, while Salesforce.com Inc.-backed software company Anaplan Inc. says hiring engineering talent is its current priority.
Faes said about 30 to 40 percent of its hires come from major financial institutions, adding that 100 percent of the team’s small risk and compliance team came from banks. For MarketInvoice Ltd., another British online lender, about three-quarters of its 85 employees — roughly a third of which are software engineers and data scientists — came from a large corporate in the financial services or accountancy space, said CEO and co-founder Anil Stocker.
Europe’s fintech industry, which includes challenger banks and online-only lenders, has rapidly expanded over the past 10 years. Traditional financial institutions have faced intense competition as a result, with former Barclays Plc CEO Antony Jenkins saying in July last year that banks could face obsolescence in five to 15 years.
How Adyen Became a $ 2.3bn Payments Company (Forbes), Rated: A
According to a report published in September last year by Innovate Finance and Magister Advisers, VCs poured around $8bn into fintech startups and early stage companies across the continent between 2010 and 2017 and over the course of that period, deal sizes rose significantly. In London – generally considered to be Europe’s Fintech Hub – figures published in January by London and Partners found that the UK’s fintech sector attracted £1.24bn in 2017 alone.
Established in 2006, the Amsterdam-based company is currently valued at around $2.3bn and has has built a portfolio of more than 4,000 clients, including Netflix, Facebook, Uber and Spotify, plus retailers such as River Island and Superdry.
Cross Border Funds Transfer (CBFT) using Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain (LinkedIn), Rated: AAA
Hyperledger Fabric is a permissioned blockchain platform contributed by IBM and provides plug-and-play modular blockchain components. You can see the commit history visualization of fabric project. Fabric runs chaincode which is comparable to Ethereum’s smart contracts. The consensus protocol is pluggable.
Transaction Flow Let’s see how nodes work together to execute a transaction. For now, let’s assume that the chaincode is already installed on the Peers.
- Step 1: Transaction requests are proposed by a client. The client must be connected to the required number of peers according to the endorsement policy. A proposed Transaction is forwarded to Peers for Endorsement.
- Step 2: Each endorsing peer simulates and validates the transaction. Peers reply with their Endorsement and certificate if they agree that the transaction is permitted.
- Step 3: The client receives results from different Peers and can thus verify agreement among the Peers. Upon verification, the client forwards the transaction to the OS.
- Step 4: Determining a well-ordered sequence of transactions is the task of the Ordering Service (OS). The OS generates transaction blocks containing validated transactions in the order they are deemed to have occurred, writes them to the ledger and then broadcasts them to all peers that a new set of blocks are now available on the ledger.
The disappointing arrival of Open Banking … and the optimistic future (The Finanser), Rated: A
All well and good but, in a move that I am fairly sure was carefully orchestrated by the banking community, nearly all of the mainstream media greeted the launch of Open Banking with fear and scaremongering.
Nevertheless, the FinTech community are far more advocates of the new regime:
- Europe’s banks brace for a huge overhaul that throws open the doors to their data, CNBC
- PSD2 represents a huge opportunity – will it be seized?, Information Age
- Open Banking is here to change how you manage your money, engadget
- Open Banking – a lifeline for high street retail, altfi News
- Open banking – the invisible reform that will shake up UK financial services, The Conversation
- It could be easier for Facebook and Google to get into UK banking thanks to new rules, Business Insider
- Seeding A Revolution – 10 Prize-Winning UK Fintechs Set Out Their Ideas For Open Banking Services, Forbes
Note that to find the positive spin on Open Banking, I’ve had to seek out more business or niche news channels than the doomsayers of the mainstream consumer media.
Nasdaq-listed Longfin to open up Ziddu smart contracts to P2P lending (P2P Finance News), Rated: A
GLOBAL fintech group Longfin Corp is planning to make its Ziddu cryptocurrency smart contracts available for peer-to-peer lending.
Ziddu.com provides smart contracts which are available on cryptocurrency Ethereum’s blockchain and can be used as alternative finance solutions within trade finance and FX markets, without the need for a middleman or underwriter.
Building the World’s Most Inclusive Banking Service (Medium), Rated: A
Currently, there are over 2 billion people worldwide who find it difficult to access traditional banking services, often because they are new to the country or do not qualify for credit. I, too, was one of those people. When I arrived in the UK, I didn’t have a proof of address and credit history required to open a bank account, and just like many others in a similar position, I was left in a ridiculous catch-22 situation. I needed a bank account to get a job and a place to live but, in order to get a bank account, I was required to have a place to live and a job.
Monese is laying the foundation of how banks will work in the future by bringing the accessibility and convenience to levels that weren’t possible just a few short years ago. You can now bank locally in 20 different countries, in a matter of a few minutes — all you need is a mobile phone and your passport. You can literally open an account in your home country or an international IBAN in another country whilst standing in a supermarket queue.
Over 270,000 people have signed up to Monese and every day 1,000 more are joining us.
$ 10 million ICO Success Karma Announces P2P Lending Access, aExchange Listing of KRM Token (The Merkle), Rated: A
Fresh from the success of a well-received ICO that raised $10 million, blockchain start up Karma has now announced open access to its peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform via the use of its native KRM token, which also began trading on CoinLink exchange on January 11th, 2018.
NeoGrowth Credit secures funding of Rs300cr from LeapFrog Investments and others (Medianama), Rated: A
NeoGrowth Credit, a lending startup focused at SMEs has secured Rs 300 crore of equity funding from LeapFrog Investments, and existing investors like Aspada Investment Company and Quona Capital through Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, reports The Economic Times. The report adds that as part of the investment, LeapFrog’s partner Michael Fernandes will join NeoGrowth’s board.
Tera Funding raised KRW 10 billion from Korean leading investors in Series A funding round (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
Tera Funding, a real estate P2P lending company in Korea, announced that it has secured KRW10bn (approx. US$9.3M) through its series A funding round from Woori Bank, Atinum Investment, SBI Investment and Premier Partners on 8 January 2018.
It is the largest single series A investment for Korean P2P lending start-ups, and this comes as a pleasant surprise for the industry as such decision to invest in Tera Funding was made after a thorough due diligence amid general public’s increasing worries about the industry with rising defaults and arrears mainly incurred by late-comers who take riskier approach.
Blockchain will force banks to change their feudal mindset (e27), Rated: A
Having said that, the advent of cutting-edge technologies is pushing banks to change the way they operate. While they have been able to survive many revolutions in the past, they cannot remain aloof to blockchain, one of 21st century’s biggest revolutions.
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