12th Oct, 2015

P2P Weekly: FCA wonders if P2P could improve mortgage industry, and other news

FCA Has Particular Interest in P2P Lending & Crowdfunding in Mortgage Sector, Crowdfund Insider

The Financial Conduct Authority has put out a call for information regarding the UK’s mortgage industry and has its eye on the peer-to-peer sector. The FCA states: ““We have a particular interest in the scope for newer types of funding models, such as peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding, to overcome the constraints potentially imposed by other (more traditional) funding models.”

“Record Venture Capital Investment in UK Tech Sector over last 9 months,” London and Partners

“Altogether UK tech companies have raised more in the first nine months of 2015 than the $2.1 billion raised in the whole of 2014.”

“According to the recently launched IBM Global Location report, London brought in more foreign investment and created more jobs than any other city in Europe. In 2014, London attracted 235 foreign investment projects from companies relocating and expanding overseas.”

New Research Study: 7 Stats from 100,000 Crowdfunding Campaigns, Indiegogo Blog

Crowdfunding leader Indiegogo has compiled data based on more than 100,000 of its campaigns to provide advice for how platform users, and any crowdfunder, can improve their outcomes. Some key stats? Indiegogo recommends 30 campaigns, and it notes that campaigns raise 42 percent of their funds in the project’s first and last three days.

Obama Turns to Crowdfunding to Aid Fleeing Syrians, The New York Times

President Barack Obama and the United Nations hope crowdfunding can help raise funds needed for the UN to continue providing refugee services to Syrians. The Kickstarter campaign has raised about $1.5 million so far. It wouldn’t be the first time Americans responded to a federal call for funds: The White House’s Josh Miller noted that the public contributed $2.5 million to build a base for the Statue of Liberty in 1885.

International FinTech: Techstars Blooms In Tel Aviv & Cape Town, Forbes

Techstars, a Colorado-based startup accelerator, is looking to expand their entrepreneurial ecosystem in 2016, and they will be looking for promising enterprises in Cape Town, South Africa, and Tel-Aviv, Israel.

09th Oct, 2015

The new rebuildingsociety.com Affiliate Programme

rebuildingsociety is proud to announce the launch of its new Affiliate Programme, rewarding our valuable partners and users for spreading the word about the platform and playing a vital role in improving access to peer-to-business finance for UK companies.

In a move designed to recognise the diverse nature of the crowdfunding movement, the scheme is open to anybody and everybody, from individual lenders and borrowers to online publishers.

The programme is administrated by rebuildingsociety’s own bespoke system, specifically designed to reward referrals on peer-to-peer sites.

Our standard commission payments are as follows:

Action Payment
A lender registers and verifies their identity £10
A lender you referred passes £1,000 lent £40
A borrower registers and verifies their identity £15
A borrower you referred submits an application 0.1% of the loan’s value
A borrower you referred gets an application approved and live 0.15% of the loan’s value
A borrower you referred completes an application 0.25% of the loan’s value

Signing up is easy. Just visit this link while you’re logged into rebuildingsociety.com to get your official affiliate link. Share it with friends, family and colleagues who you think might be interested in joining the exciting world of peer-to-peer lending at rebuildingsociety.com.

You can also split commission with the person you’re referring simply by adding an “F” to the start of your affiliate ID in the URL we give you – thereby allowing you to share the love with your friends, family, and colleagues, and give them a cash boost to get them started with lending on the platform.

“While we will continue to work closely with commercial finance brokers, peer-to-peer lending offers the opportunity for everybody to get involved in improving access to finance and better control over investments,” said Adam Knott, rebuildingsociety.com’s Digital Marketing Manager. “We’re excited to launch the new affiliate scheme, with the hope that word of mouth and a community spirit – along with some great commission payments – will help grow the profile of peer-to-peer lending in the UK.”

Our development team are still working to bring some great visual reporting options to the site so that affiliates can track their performance and payments better.

Visit the affiliate programme page for more specifics, and write to us at adam@rebuildingsociety.com with any questions!

02nd Oct, 2015

Portobello Art seeks your collaboration to pursue growth possibilities

After years of tight pockets in the hospitality industry, hotels and other venues are finally seeing an uptick in revenues and pursuing long overdue improvements. And Portobello Art Limited is poised to take advantage of the moment. The company has nearly 30 years of experience as a respected supplier of wall art and decoratives to hotels, leisure facilities and private healthcare centers, and the contracts are rolling in.

But a difficult half decade has squeezed Portobello’s financial resources. To stay afloat, the company took out loans that proved not to be the positive solution they hoped. With a successful loan from rebuildingsociety.com, Portobello will consolidate existing loans to a saving of about £7,000 per month. And the company will increase its working capital to be able to take on the healthy pipleine of contracts coming its way.

“An Enviable Position”

Portobello has withstood the test of time — and three recessions — and proven itself as a reliable provider of high quality decorative goods and as a company stubborn enough to survive when many of its competitors have closed.

“We are in the enviable position where we are actually recommended to clients by several of the large Hotel Groups like Whitbread, IHG, Hilton,” said co-director Richard Lewis. “We have also developed strong relationships with many other much bigger suppliers of non-competitive products to the hospitality trade, i.e. carpets, curtains, furniture, and signs, with whom we share referrals.”

Despite taking hits during the recession, especially when some of their primary contractors outsourced to China, Portobello kept its head above water and “were able to build on [their] reputation and gain work from the likes of Holiday Inn and Hilton,” Richard says, so now there is a much larger market for them to work with than before. “Premier Inn are also now launching new brands, which we are now supplying.”

Turning The Corner

For the last few years, Portobello has been surviving more than thriving. To stay afloat, they have taken an EZBob loan and three FC loans, and repayments and interest are proving to be a drag on the company. Consolidation of these debts into one loan from rebuildingsociety.com will help the company take advantage of the prime economic moment before them. They took the loans in part hoping that a sizeable land investment would be finalized and improve their asset situation. That deal is still in process but has not been as immediate solution as once hoped. However, it should begin to pay off by the end of the year, which can help lenders feel more secure.

This loan is secured by a director’s guarantee and a 2nd charge on the personal property from which the business is operated. In December, they will sign an option agreement on the above-mentioned land, which is worth about £4 million, and they are pursuing Lawful Development permission that will increase its value by at least £2 million.

The directors are confident that the economy and hospitality industries are sufficiently recovered for Portobello to reach its full potential as a provider of wall art and other interior design touches, a service area it has been a leader in for 27 years. Richard Lewis has been active in the discussion board and is eager to answer any concerns. You can learn more about the loan and company on its rebuildingsociety.com profile.

View Portobello Art’s Marketplace Listing »

28th Sep, 2015

P2P Weekly: Kickstarter is now a public benefit company, and other news

“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: Insurance could be the next fintech fronteir, and other news

“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: EU encourages businesses to look beyond banks, and other news

“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.”

01st Sep, 2015

P2P Weekly: Texas company strikes black gold with crowdfunding, and other news

“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.”

20th Aug, 2015

Leisure & Hospitality Services Firm Seeks Continued Growth

Unlike most consulting businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector, RAM Management Services provide full management teams and staff, as well as advice.

RAM Climate Limited are seeking to borrow £125k from rebuildingsociety’s lender base to stay ahead of the game by investing in technology, additional marketing resources, and a new sales team to aid profitable growth. They decided to borrow from the crowd because they admired the lending market, says director Ravi Keshri:

“We have come to the P2P market because of the transparent nature of the model. It’s great that lenders and borrowers have the opportunity to communicate with each other. We would rather the majority of the interest go to lenders who are investing their hard-earned money, rather than to fund the elaborate infrastructure of banks that caused the 2008 financial collapse.

Over 80% of RAM’s revenue comes from stable, long-term contracts – and the business is profitable, with no other borrowings. Independent credit reference agency Credit Safe have assigned the company a grade A credit rating.

Keshri says the numbers add up to make the loan very affordable. “Our business model has been tested and proven, our turnover has grown from around £500k three years ago to closer to £2.5m in the current year. Our net profits in 2015 are nearly five times the loan repayments which would be due on the £125k loan.”

The loan is supported by a second charge that will be registered against the director’s investment property, with an estimated value of £355k and estimated equity of £121k. There are 5 days left on the loan auction, so if you want to read RAM’s marketplace listing, it’s a good time to do so.

17th Aug, 2015

P2P Weekly: Bill Nye gets the crowdfunding treatment, and other news

“Bill Nye tops Spock’s record as most funded Kickstarter documentary,” Indiewire.

The team making a behind-the-scenes documentary about beloved TV and real-life scientist Bill Nye closed their Kickstarter campaign with more than $800,000 in pledges from more than 16,000 backers. The film is now the most backed Kickstarter for a documentary in the platform’s history, and producers are hoping to submit the “full access, exclusive film” to festivals in 2017.

“Crowdfunding sites aim to make the law accessible to all,” Financial Times.

Using crowdfunding to fund legal cases is a fairly new phenomenon in the industry, but companies — like CrowdJustice in the UK and Invest4Justice in the U.S. — are breaking ground. At CrowdJustice, founder Julia Salasky and her team seek public interest cases and invites the public to fund related legal fees.

“Donors can be people who take human rights seriously, but they could also be those who worry that something which is happening to someone else could also happen to them,” she says.

“WIRED’s 100 Hottest European Startups 2015: London,” Wired

Wired has announced its 100 hottest startups, and several London-based firms made the list, including peer-to-peer market Funding Circle.

“What will a rate rise mean for P2P lending?” Lending Works

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has stated that 0.5 percent borrowing costs will soon be a thing of the past. This will have a few impacts, such as better returns on savings. But, there is a chance that the change could make P2P less attractive to some borrowers, skewing the market too much in favor of lenders.

“Ignore the snobs: Why crowdfunding is bringing diversity back to business,” City A.M.

“The evidence suggests that crowd investors are as aware as anyone that there’s a high chance they will lose money. However, they also know that, as a part of a broader portfolio (the investors in E-Car have made an average of 12 crowd investments), equity investments can make sense. If anything, allowing people to make small investments in companies, from as little as £10, should improve financial literacy and encourage people from all backgrounds to engage with business, increasing scrutiny and, hopefully, outcomes.”