Daily News Digest Featured News

Tuesday November 20 2018, Daily News Digest

Consumers pick for Robo-Advisory Source
Source Business Insider

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United States

ApplePie Capital Reaches $ 300 Million Milestone in Franchise Business Loans (Citizen Tribune) Rated: AAA

ApplePie Capital, the first and only online lender dedicated to franchising, announced that it recently surpassed $300 million in loans originated to franchise entrepreneurs opening or expanding their businesses.

SoFi and Prosper 3Q Earnings, Volatility Ahead, PeerIQ’s Lending Earnings Insights (Peer IQ) Rated: AAA

The gap between current and projected financial conditions continues to widen suggesting greater volatility ahead:

Future and Current General Business Conditions
Source: PeerIQ, The Daily Shot, St. Louis Federal Reserve

Prosper’s 10Q revealed that the company lost $19.8 Mn in 3Q, a $7.2 Mn improvement YoY. Net revenues declined from $28.9 Mn to $20.7 Mn YoY. Originations declined from $822 Mn to $640 Mn YoY driven by tighter credit guidelines and rising interest rates.

SoFi’s EBITDA loss in Q3 was $12 Mn compared to an EBITDA gain of $56 Mn in Q3 2017. SoFi’s originations were $2.5 Bn, down by 30% YoY. Rising rates have slowed SoFi’s student loan refinancing business and have contributed to the drop in originations. SoFi now has 700 k checking account customers and the company is branching into offering a suite of wealth management services to these customers. SoFi recently closed a $560 Mn line of credit.

Below is a comparison of key financial metrics of Prosper, SoFi, and their publicly-traded counterpart LendingClub.

A Comparison of Key Financial Metrics of Prosper, SoFi, and LendingClub
Source: PeerIQ

LendingClub: Looking Healthier Than Ever (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

Investors are barely noticing it, but LendingClub (LC) continues to pump through another record-setting quarter as the P2P lending platform shores up its core business and boosts its profit targets for the year. Volatility has largely left LendingClub stock; the company has traded in the $3-4 range for the better part of this year as investors have moved on to more exciting names, but in my view, LendingClub is well-positioned for a near-term rebound.

Lending Club historical Data

On the back of LendingClub’s strong Q3 report, the company also inched up its guidance for FY18. The forecast now calls for $693 million in revenue and $91.5 million in EBITDA at the midpoint of management’s ranges:

LendingClub
Source: LendingClub

Court appoints lead plaintiffs in class action against LendingClub (Northern California Record) Rated: A

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California appointed lead plaintiffs in a class-action suit against LendingClub, alleging the San Francisco-based company tried to artificially inflate securities and defraud investors.

The plaintiffs, under the title LendingClub Investor Group (LIG), include Xiangdong Ding and Zhenbin Chen, who will serve as lead plaintiffs in the suit according to the Nov. 7 ruling. Ding and Chen invested in and allegedly suffered substantial monetary losses as a result of the fraud.

LendingTree Compares Average Homeowner Age Across 100 Largest U.S. Metropolitan Areas (Lending Tree) Rated: AAA

LendingTree set out to find which metro areas have the oldest homeowners. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, we ranked the 100 largest metropolitan areas by average homeowner age. While some of the rankings aren’t surprising (Florida metros dominate the “old” end of the list), cities popular among millennials aren’t necessarily gaining young homeowners.

Key findings

  • The average age of a homeowner across the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States is 54. Only two metros in our analysis — Provo and Ogden, Utah — have an average homeowner age below 50.
  • Homeowners in Florida are older than homeowners in most other states. Seven out of the top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest average homeowner age were in Florida.
  • Homeowners in cities in Utah are among the youngest in the country. Out of the top 10 metropolitan areas with the lowest average age for homeowners, metropolitan areas in Utah — Provo, Ogden and Salt Lake City — held the top three spots.
LendingTree home owner age
Source: LendingTree

LendingHome Shines Spotlight on California in First-Ever “State of The Flipping Market” Report (PR Newswire) Rated: A

LendingHome today released a never-before-seen, inside look at localized market statistics based on a combination of LendingHome proprietary data and publicly available real estate records.

LendingHome’s inaugural “State of The Flipping Market” focuses on California which experienced the biggest surge in brand-new house flippers – those who buy, rehabilitate (fix), and resell (flip) residential homes – compared to any other state in 2017. California was also LendingHome’s top state for loan originations in 2017.

LendingHome’s report also pinpoints California’s Top 10 flipping hot spots by county. Ranking first was Los Angeles County, where a whopping 25.71% of all houses purchased were flips. The Top 10 in order:

California's Top 10 flipping hot spots by county
Source: PR Newswire

Real Estate Crowdfunding Pros Respond to RealtyShares’ Troubles (National Real Estate Investor) Rated: A

Executives at three of RealtyShares’ real estate crowdfunding counterparts—ArborCrowd, CrowdStreet and EquityMultiple—say the collapse of a player like RealtyShares is an unfortunate but inevitable growing pain in an evolving industry. Charles Clinton, co-founder and CEO of EquityMultiple, calls the RealtyShares situation a “natural blip.”

The fall of RealtyShares isn’t “an indicator of the health or the longevity of this industry,” Steen says. “It’s actually an indicator that the industry is maturing. In an industry like this—crowdfunding of commercial real estate—you’re going to have certain business models that survive and certain ones that might not.”

Plastiq Raises $ 27M in Series C Funding (FinSMES) Rated: A

Plastiq, a San Francisco, CA-based provider of a solutions to pay bills by credit card, raised $27m in Series C financing.

The round was led by Kleiner Perkins with participation from DST Global. In conjunction with the funding, Kleiner Perkins general partner, Ilya Fushman, will join the Plastiq Board of Directors.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate growth and roll out new services, develop and deepen its partnerships with key players in the financial and payments sectors, such as MasterCard and other major card brands.

SuperMoney Launches Student Loan Refinancing Marketplace (Finovate) Rated: A

Financial services comparison site SuperMoney is venturing into new territory this week with the launch of its student loan refinancing comparison marketplace. And since student loans are the largest source of unsecured debt in the U.S., with outstanding loan amounts totaling $1.53 trillion, now is as good a time as ever for the new endeavor.

The new marketplace aims to help students make smarter decisions when refinancing their existing student loans. By submitting a single application, users can receive actual rate quotes in real time from multiple lenders, including LendKey, CommonBond, and SoFi. Each offer transparently shows users a breakdown of monthly costs, payments, and fees so that they can make the best decision based on their circumstances.

7 ways to finance your investment home renovation (AZ Big Media) Rated: A

2. Open a Home Equity Line of Credit – If you’ve been paying down your mortgage for a few years, you’ll have built sizeable equity into your home. Assuming you have decent credit, most banks will give you a line of credit based on that equity.

4. Look into Peer-to-Peer Lending – Peer-to-peer lending is another way to get funding with a comparatively low barrier to entry. Investors put their extra cash into a peer-to-peer lending platform so you borrow from individual investors rather than a bank.

6. Crowdsource the Money – If friends and family are sympathetic to your needs, you may be able to generate funds from them. It’s easy to collect money through crowdsourcing with platforms such as GoFundMe.

Klarna Cuddles Up With Gravity Blanket To Give Consumers The Luxury Of Paying Over Time (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Today, Klarna, a leading global payments provider, announced a new collaboration with Gravity Blanket, creator of weighted blankets and sleep products engineered to naturally reduce stress and increase relaxation. Shoppers will now be able to use Klarna’s Slice it and brand-new Slice it in 4 products, which allow consumers to pay for their products in installments.

ArborCrowd Co-Founder Adam Kaufman Recognized as a HIVE 50 Innovator (AP) Rated: B

ArborCrowd, the only online platform that enables individuals to make equity investments in institutional-quality commercial real estate, announced today that its Co-Founder and Managing Director, Adam Kaufman, was named a HIVE 50 Innovator by Hanley Wood, the premier company serving the information, media, and marketing needs of the residential and commercial design and construction industries.

The prestigious HIVE 50 is made up of the top people, products, and processes that are leading the charge to inspire creativity, improve performance, and explore better ways to build. This year’s honorees were separated into five categories. Mr. Kaufman was selected as one of the top innovators in the “Capital” category for his role in co-founding and leading ArborCrowd, which provides accredited investors with access to institutional-quality real estate investment opportunities.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle Is Going Where Banks Won’t (Barrons) Rated: AAA

One company that isn’t quite doing that is Funding Circle , the platform lending company founded in the U.K. in 2010. After an initial public offering earlier this year, it’s publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange with a $1.6 billion market cap.

That’s a lower valuation than the company hoped for and that “less than giddy IPO,” as Bloomberg put it, has been seen as a cautionary data-point for other soon-to-be-public fintech lenders.

Zopa CEO: Marketing restrictions appropriate for riskier platforms (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ZOPA’S chief executive has said that proposed investor marketing restrictions are appropriate for platforms that offer riskier manual lending opportunities but not for them.

Jaidev Janardana (pictured) said that when an investor is lending against one property or one business, this could be riskier and “we need to make sure investors are sophisticated when they make these decisions”.

Robo-advisors are growing but incumbents still dominate investment services (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

A growth in the demand for low-cost investment services in the UK is driving new investor uptake in fintech robo-advisors, according to Boring Money research. Through Q3 2018, 800,000 new DIY investment accounts — where customers decide on investment choices without the help of financial advisors — were opened in the UK.

Consumers pick for Robo-Advisory Source
Source: Business Insider

Of those new account openings, a third were with one of the UK’s leading fintech robo-advisor operators, including Nutmeg and Moneyfarm, compared with 11% a year ago. The total number of DIY investment accounts, inclusive of customers of robo and traditional platforms, rose to 4.8 million in the same period — a 22% uptick.

Klarna launches search for UK’s ‘Smooothest Stores’ (Fashion United) Rated: A

Klarna is searching for eight small and medium-sized enterprises to help them grow and take their businesses to the next level with its ‘Smooothest Store’ competition.

Open to businesses specialising in fashion, jewellery or lifestyle products, who are less than two years old, with an e-commerce store and a turnover in excess of 100,000 pounds per annum, the competition will help the winning up-and-coming retailers with a tailored combination of guidance, finance, and Klarna’s in-demand Pay later payment product.

FCA hails positive impact of P2P regulation for cryptos (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

Speaking at the LendIt Fintech conference in London, Chris Woolard (pictured) said the FCA wants the UK to be a “good place” for cryptoassets but it must be safe for consumers.

He highlighted that the way P2P platforms have become authorised shows that regulation is not to be feared.

Customer journey of trying to get a loan and how it could be improved (Lendit) Rated: A

Today’s customers are looking for transparency and speed. My credit card provider had years to collect data on my and had ample opportunity to contact me and explain what information they needed. Sadly they chose to wait for me to get fed up with their slow process. We see companies struggle everyday with the balance between calculated risk and customer experience. At Equiniti we have dealt with many similar situations in which we try to find the right balance for our client so that they can offer their client the credit they need in a safe and structured way without sacrificing speed. Perhaps it is time that I offer this service to my own bank. But I would make them ask me 3 times………

Paul Stallard: Why should advisers recommend peer-to-peer lending? (Professional Adviser) Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending is growing in popularity among borrowers and investors but where could financial advisers fit into the picture? Paul Stallard has some thoughts on the matter.

Peer-to-peer lending is growing in popularity among borrowers and investors alike, offering a flexible alternative to traditional investment products. In particular, peer-to-peer lending is catching on among property investors, with platforms offering attractive returns without the associated hassle and risk of traditional buy-to-let investing.

European Union

Klarna launches financing program Boost (Ecommerce News) Rated: AAA

Klarna has launched its own financing program for SME retailers in Europe. The new initiative is called Boost and is aimed to further support retailers in accelerating their growth. The company promises the application process will be simple and straightforward.

Klarna’s Boost is currently available in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden for selected merchants only, but it will be widely available in these seven European countries from the beginning of December.

The company explains the release by saying how cash flow is often one of the biggest hurdles for entrepreneurs and small businesses who want to grow further.

How direct lending and securitization can disrupt consumer lending in the Nordics (Lendit) Rated: A

The consumer credit market in Sweden is a relatively large and growing market. The total loan volumes amount to approximately Bn EUR 23, distributed among 1.4 million individuals. According to the Swedish central bank, the average interest rate is 12.5% ​​and credit losses are between 0.9% to 1.5% per annum.

The funding predominantly comes from Swedish banks and niche banks which are advanced in digitization and benefit from the Swedish population being used to managing their finances online. However, digitization has not contributed to improving competition or the conditions for consumers. Instead, net interest rates (rates after deduction of funding costs) have risen well beyond 8-10% and created the world’s most profitable banks with a return on equity often well above 30%.

International

Menē Inc. Partners with Affirm to Offer New Credit Alternative to U.S. Customers (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Menē Inc. (TSX-V:MENE) (“Menē” or the “Company”), an online 24 karat investment jewelry brand, today announced its partnership with Affirm, which provides U.S. customers with a new option based on real-time credit decisions that allow them to split Menē purchases into monthly payments while receiving items directly following payment capture.

Qualified U.S. customers will be offered 0% APR loans for 3 or 6-month terms, while remaining customers will be offered 10-30% APR loans for 3, 6 or 12-month terms. For example, a $600 loan over six months at 0% APR would cost $100 per month. Affirm’s offering is in addition to Menē’s existing Harvest Plan payment program, which remains available to Canadian and other international customers.

Top 5 Emerging Fintech Hotspots in 2018 (Bank Innovation) Rated: AAA

Charlotte, N.C. 

According to a report, the city has seen a 28% increase in technology jobs in the last five years.

The city already has major fintech players like online marketplace LendingTree, automated bill solutions provider AvidXChange, home lending platform Movement Mortgage, mobile payment companies like Passport and Payzer, and the list goes on.

Mexico City, Mexico

It’s already home to fintechs like Bankaool, a challenger bank offering an annual interest rate of 3.75%; Conekta, an AI-powered platform develops that helps FIs in Latin America detect and prevent fraud; as well as CLIP, a Square Cash-like company that allows merchants to turn their phones and tablets into POS terminals.

SALT Lending Platform Investigated, WSJ Continues Attack On Erik Voorhees (Crypto Disrupt) Rated: A

The WSJ reports that a subpoena was sent to the SALT lending platform this February and the SEC is currently evaluating whether or not the ICO constituted an unregistered securities offering. SALT’s troubles do not end there. The SALT CFO has also filed a lawsuit against the company because favorable loans were given to company executives and family members.

India

How FinTech is Changing the Game for Microbusinesses (Entrepreneur) Rated: AAA

The FinTech ecosystem is a financial evolution in itself. Right from money transfers to personal loans, from account management to asset management, FinTech is rapidly making its way into the lives of the tech-savvy microentrepreneurs of today. Just a few years ago, the only way to start a business was to approach a bank or an investor for financial assistance. Thanks to FinTech, the micro or small businesses now can choose to no longer go through the conventional methods to get microloans for starting, running or scaling up their businesses.

FinTech has opened a whole new world of opportunities for small businesses. They can now offer more and better services at a reduced price. But, if you want to not only sustain but succeed in your business, it is important that you embrace technology and stay up to date with the latest FinTech developments.

Asia

Chinese fintech firm CashCash gets funding while website and app are blocked in Indonesia (Krasia) Rated: AAA

P2P (peer to peer) lending has grown popular in Indonesia. These online lenders promise quick loans with few questions asked. According to Indonesia Investments, credit disbursement through P2P lending in Indonesia has soared 204.7% this year.

Hundreds of fintech startups launched in Indonesia with variations of the P2P loan model; some of the older players are starting to see traction, while some others are facing various challenges due to increasingly stringent regulations.

The Financial Services Regulator, OJK, at some point put out a list of more than a hundred online lenders that it had banned for pushing into the market without going through the mandatory registration with the regulator, but that doesn’t appear to deter startups from participating in the lending gold rush.

Canada

HSBC eCredit: New Service to Streamline Banking for Small Businesses (Globe Newswire) Rated: AAA

Biz2Credit is working with HSBC Bank Canada to give Canadian small business owners quicker and easier access to apply for business financing.

HSBC eCredit is a digital-first approach to lending, which will allow small business owners to apply for financing online. Currently available by invitation in selected areas, HSBC eCredit will be fully available country wide in English December 2018 and in French the following month.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

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