28th Sep, 2015

P2P Weekly: Kickstarter

“Kickstarter now legally bound to balance altruism with profit,” CNET

Kickstarter has reorganized as a public benefit corporation after 6.5 years of operation. The move requires that they demonstrate ongoing efforts to positively impact society. About 0.1 percent of U.S. companies have the designation.

“Mapped: How the sharing economy is sweeping the world,” The Telegraph

The Telegraph has a fascinating map that shows where and how sharing economy companies are having the most impact. Take a look!

Peer-to-peer business loans to hit £12bn in 2020,” The Telegraph

According to a study of the business lending market, P2P lending is on track to grow 10 fold from 2014 to 2020.

“Improving technology has recently given rise to peer-to-business lending and crowdfunding as alternatives to banks. With an emphasis on user-friendliness and a concerted marketing drive, this sector is likely to grow rapidly over the years to 2020. Partly this will be come naturally through economic growth, but will also likely be due to these new businesses taking SME lending market share lending from banks,” the study says.

“P2P Lending: Addressing the Challenges that China is Facing as its Economy Transforms,” Crowdfund Insider</>

P2P may become an increasingly important component of China’s turbulent economy. Although regulations limit the lending format’s power (for example, P2P lenders can’t use their own money to secure loans), it continues to develop inroads in the economy. American businessman Barry Freeman moved to China to found Jimubox. He said he wants to “help build a company that will solve some of the challenges that China is facing as its economy transforms.”

21st Sep, 2015

P2P Weekly: Next FinTech Frontier

“This is the next revolution in fintech, according to investors,” Business Insider

With crowdfunding, P2P lending, alternative payment methods and more shaking up the financial tech industry, some investors have their eyes on a new area of opportunity — insurance.

“We’re just at the start of an insurance explosion here. I’ve seen more and more insurance companies in the US, Europe, and Asia getting started,” said venture capitalist Pascal Bouvier. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we tally the numbers on investment in insurance startups two years from now and it’s massive.”

“Startup bringing peer-to-peer lending to Canada this fall,” The Globe and Mail

A new Canadian lender called Lending Loop will individuals investors with as little as $50 to join its membership. It’s the first peer-to-peer lender accessible to average people in Canada, where other companies have only allowed accredited investors to join.

“Saved from the streets by crowdfunding, young woman looks to the future,” The Guardian

In a heartwarming story out of London, photographer Cathy Teesdale turned to the crowd to help Naiomi, a homeless woman and aspiring horse trainer, get into safe housing. Teesdale’s JustGiving campaign raised more than £1,000 in two days, and now Naiomi is getting back on her feet.

“Fast-growing P2P sector set for shakeout,” Wall Street Journal

New regulations from the Financial Conduct Authority designed to improve the security of the peer-to-peer lending sector are putting the squeeze on some firms. Industry leaders have said the new regulations drastically change the economic reality for lenders, especially smaller ones. Others have noted that “thinning the herd” may not be such a bad thing, as it will increase the reliability of the industry as a whole if all participating lenders are more economically stable.

“Prestamos Prima launches peer to peer lending for real estate in Spain,” Crowdfund Insider

Spanish finance group Prestamos Prima is launching Viventor, which will provide peer-to-peer loans secured by mortgages. Initially, it will only be open to EU investors. Says Prestamos Prima CEO Andris Rozenbahs:

“The financing model of high street banks is outdated, and they are too slow to change the course as fast as the market demands. Recent years have shown that alternative finance solutions are reshaping the industry, and a major change on stage is inevitable.”

07th Sep, 2015

P2P Weekly: Beyond Banks

“EU to push crowdfunding, venture capital for businesses,” CNBC

Jonathan Hill, European Union commissioner for financial services and capital markets, said SMEs shouldn’t depend too heavily on traditional banks but instead also look to options like crowdfunding and venture capital.

“If you’ve got a system that’s very dependent on one source of funding, and you have a contraction in bank funding like we had, then that has a very real knock onto the economy,” Hill told CNBC.

“P2P lending rises to record US$15.3b,” Shanghai Times

Peer-to-peer lending platforms in China continue to break records. Total lending transactions on China’s more than 2,200 lending platforms quadrupled this August compared to the same month last year. Chinese authorities have recently unveiled a series of new regulations for the industry, the impacts of which have not yet become clear.

“This travel jacket is the most funded clothing item in the history of crowdfunding,” Tech Crunch

How much is a jacket worth? This one is worth more than $9 million to the nearly 45,000 backers of the project. The Baubax travel jacket — a utility jacket featuring numerous specialty pockets — smashed Kickstarter records to become the most backed clothing item in the site’s history.

“Crowdfunding college: More students depend on kindness of strangers,” CNBC

To combat rising educational costs, many students are turning to their networks and the larger public to help finance their educations. So far in 2015, more than 130,000 GoFundMe accounts dedicated to supporting educational costs have been created and raised more than $20,000.

“It makes total sense,” said Kelsea Little, media director for GoFundMe. “College is becoming increasingly more difficult to pay for and scholarships are becoming more competitive, so crowdfunding offers a brand new and fresh alternative that anyone can take advantage of.”

04th Sep, 2015

Bellman Media Turns to P2P Lending to Maximise Potential

Bellman Media prides itself on leveraging its innovation and passion to serve high profile clients like Standard & Poors and Fidelity International.

Now, the company is inviting rebuildingsociety.com lenders to collaborate. With a loan application for £100,000 on the marketplace, Bellman leaders hope to improve cashflow and invest in a new growth strategy. After recently losing a major client affected by government cost-cutting, they hope P2P lending will get them back on an even keel and “give investors an opportunity to benefit from our planned future growth,” says Ruth Stevens, a founding director of the agency.

A Plan For Growth

The company’s growth plans would see turnover push upwards of £1.8 million over the next 12 months.

“We have a proven track record and the experience we’ve gained gives us a genuinely focused vision of future opportunities, using our tried-and-tested skills,” Stevens explains. The company’s client base continues to grow and spans multiple industries.

Investments in infrastructure and staffing will allow the company to pursue new clients, broaden the scope of their products and try more innovative techniques. The directors are offering a second charge on the loan over their residential property to improve lender security.

A Company With Personality

For Bellman, the marketing industry is anything but faceless. The company says its passion is “translated not only through our work – ensuring it is of the highest quality, delivered on time and on budget – but also through our relationship with our clients. We are proud to say that we have an extremely high client retention rate and our relationships are so strong that when our contacts change roles they often want to carry on working with us, this opening the door to new business opportunities.”

That client loyalty poises Bellman to successfully expand their portfolio. Collaboration is a key part of Bellman’s strategy, so working with lenders directly on rebuildingsociety.com to bring more stakeholders into their growth is a natural choice for the company. Stevens is confident the investment will pay off for lenders.

“We have a very specific vision for growth and the company going forward. We want to build on our recent successes with digital innovation as we can see there are real opportunities here – both for current clients and in opening doors to new ones.”

View Bellman Media’s Marketplace Listing »

01st Sep, 2015

P2P Weekly: Texas crowdfunding

“First oil and gas crowdfunded project meets goal,” Houston Business Journal

The Houston-based Crudefunders LLC has funded its first project, a $950,000 campaign to rework an existing well. The crowdfunding company, which focuses on energy-related projects in a region and state known for its production of oil and other energies, received funding from more than 30 investors, including three accredited investors that funded the majority of the project. Future funding projects may include shadow wells, mineral projects and support for service companies starting up.

“Zopa boss steps aside to ‘focus on strategic growth,'” The Telegraph

Giles Andrew, who has helmed peer to peer leader Zopa for eight years, will take the role of executive chairman while former chief operations officer Jaidev Janardana steps into the CEO role.

“I am concentrating on the bits of the business I do well, and giving Jaidev the responsibility he has earned,” Andrews said.

“Why this $9 billion publicly traded toy company is Ccowdfunding to find the next big game,” Entrepreneur

Hasbro and Indie GoGo are teaming up to ask game makers to submit their most innovative ideas, and then five innovators will compete with online crowdfunding campaigns to have their game made and distributed by Hasbro. For the $9 billion company, the effort isn’t about the money, but rather “building that relationship directly with the creators and makers,” said Brian Champman, Hasbro’s of global design and development.

“More investors turn to P2P lenders for high yield,” CNBC

More investors are realizing that peer-to-peer lending offers a chance to make higher yields than other types of investments. Lenders at two of the U.S.’s most popular platforms are seeing returns of five to 10 percent overall since 2009.

“Crowdfunding changing the real estate landscape in Southeast Asia,” Yahoo News, written by platform CoAssets

“[Crowdfunding platforms like CoAssets] have opened up the opportunity for high net worth or HNW and even non-HNW to invest in real estate projects through crowdfunding. This is a groundbreaking concept that was made a lot easier by platforms fuelled by the people. With their program in place, it allows even as low as SG$1,000 as an investment for real estate projects. This is a great way to open up and forever change the real estate landscape in the region.”

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