The Latest Crowdfunding News – 6/10/16

The Latest Crowdfunding News


Hi guys and welcome to another crowdfunding news edition, as usual, we will be travelling around the UK and around the globe in order to give you a snapshot of the latest goings-on in the crowdfunding world. Today we start our round-up and focus on The FCA and Cambridge University partnership, both have teamed up to review the current state of alternative finance, to ending our round-up in China. Missed our previous blog round-ups? If so, catch up here.


FCA & Cambridge University Team Up to Review UK Alternative Finance


The Financial Conduct Authority (The FCA) and the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) have teamed up to assist in the review of the UK alternative finance industry. The joint project will inform the FCA’s ongoing post-implementation review of crowdfunding regulation which is currently in process.

There’s a consensus that the UK is a global leader when it comes to alternative finance regulation.

Moreover, The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is a global leader in research on disruptive finance. The pair will be working on a program of research that will identify any changes in the nature of the industry,clients’ expectations, plus its overall place in the financial services landscape.

The unique partnership will be primarily looking at what the crowdfunding investor population really looks like and how it is evolving, another research area that they will be investigating is how investors on the platforms understand the risks involved, as well as how they use the information provided to them by fundraisers. In addition, their research will look at the types of investments crowdfunding platforms are competing with for investors’ money, plus how these platforms and investors share the burden of due diligence and whether an expectation gap exists between the two.


Santander UK Strikes a Partnership With an Alternative Finance Company


Santander UK has struck a partnership with an alternative finance company to fund social enterprises in a deal that marks the first tie-up between a large British high-street bank and a crowdfunding site. (,October 2016)

The banking giant is joining forces with Crowdfunder to provide £200,000 to community projects, charities and enterprises that are focused on social change across the country.

The bank will donate half the funding target of a project once it raises 50 per cent from the public online.

This headline has gained attention because the partnership further closes the gap between mainstream and alternative finance, it also paves the way for closer collaboration between a well known high-street lender and the crowdfunding sector.

Back 2014, Santander UK paired up with Funding Circle referred small business customers looking for loans to the P2P lender when the bank was unable to serve them.

However, the deal with Crowdfunder is different because equity crowdfunding involves raising money from the public who each gain a share in the company.

Managing director of Santander Business Banking, Sue Douthwaite, told the FT : “Our purpose is to help people and businesses prosper and we recognise the important role social enterprises and charities play in helping communities to thrive.

“With the power of the crowd, our £200,000 Changemaker Fund will help bring great ideas to life and enable social enterprises and community ventures to grow.”

Image source :

Africa : Has Crowdfunding Potential but Regulatory Laws need to Catch Up

Africa Crowdfunding

Last year crowdfunding platforms in Africa raised $32.3 million for various projects, data from the Afrikstart Crowdfunding in Africa report reveals. However, that figure could be much higher over the coming years if governments across the continent developed crowdfunding regulations.

As Nigerian journalist Yomi Kazeem mentions in his article for, despite its rising popularity, the most common limitation of crowdfunding across most African countries, is a lack of legal and regulatory framework.

The Afrikstart Crowdfunding in Africa report states : “The absence of regulation limits the expansion of equity-based or debt-based crowdfunding platforms in Africa.”

Therefore, having a lack of regulation in place is likely to deter investors from using online platforms as there is no investor protection in place.

However, despite having regulation limitations, with cost of access to internet dropping in parts of Africa and smartphone penetration deepening, on the plus side, more Africans are taking advantage of crowdfunding platforms to finance projects ranging from start-ups to social causes.

South Africa comes out on top when it comes to crowdfunding, The Rainbow Nation’s platforms have raised $30.8 million, it’s worth noting that $32.3 million was raised by crowdfunding platforms from all over Africa, so it just goes to show how well South Africa is championing the concept.

The country’s dominance in crowdfunding on the continent is not accidental. According to a report, the popularity of crowdfunding in South Africa is down to the country’s “sophisticated business market, a robust and reliable regulatory credit system and supervision.”

Although not 100% perfect, other African countries can learn a lot from South Africa and adopt a more robust crowdfunding strategy.


Restaurant Chain “M” Secures £1.2M Just Hours After Seedrs Campaign Debut

M Crowdfunding

Just hours after restaurant chain M launched its equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, the London-based company has successfully secured £1.2 million out of its £1.3 million funding goal. (Crowdfund Insider, October 2016)

Since its launch back in 2014, the chain has received numerous awards such as : Best Use of Technology The Cateys 2016, Best Young Chef UK & Ireland 2016, San Pellegrino Awards, Best for Steak and Seafood, and many more.

For those that invested in the campaign, starting with the investors that put £10k into the campaign, they will receive 25% discount at M until January 2019, a copy of Executive Chef Michael Reid’s M: a 24- Hour Cookbook, free membership of M DEN, our luxury private members lounge plus, 15% off online wine purchases.

The investors that put in between £1,000 – £9,999 will receive a 15% discount at M until January 2019, a copy of Executive Chef Michael Reid’s M: a 24- Hour Cookbook and free membership of M DEN,  their luxury private members lounge.

Lastly, those who invested between £200- £999 get 0% discount at M until January 2019 and a copy of Executive Chef Michael Reid’s M: a 24- Hour Cookbook.

You can read more about the crowdfunding campaign here.

Image source : Crowdfund Insider

Crowdfunding The Great Wall of China

great wall of china crowdfunding

Heritage officials have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for restoration work on the Great Wall of China.

China Radio International has reported that more than 16,000 people have donated online since the campaign started at the end of August, raising almost 300,000 yuan ($45,000; £34,000) so far (stats taken from last month).

Dong Yaohui, who’s in charge of the fundraising effort, mentioned on the BBC website : “By pooling the contribution of every single individual, however small it is, we will be able to form a great wall to protect the Great Wall.”

The funds made will go towards restoring the Xifengkou section, which runs through a reservoir, and all of the project spending will be made public.


What Are Your Thoughts?


Which of our chosen crowdfunding stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it.

Register Now for more Info

The Latest P2P News – 16/9/16

P2P News – All The Latest Updates


Hi guys and welcome to another P2P news round-up, as usual we will be giving you a snapshot of the latest goings-on in the P2P world. Today we look at an array of news items from there is no evidence of P2P investors underestimating risk to focusing on what the P2P and marketplace lending industry needs to do to go mainstream. Missed our last P2P news round-up? If so, catch up here.

No evidence of P2P Investors Underestimating Risk

P2P Lending

Last month, former FCA chief executive, Tracey McDermott, voiced concerns about the rapid growth of the P2P marketplace that could potentially leave some investors unaware of the risks.

However, the P2PFA’s (Peer-to-Peer Finance Association) director Robert Pettigrew, stressed that this was not the case.

Mr. Pettigrew recently mentioned that although approaches varied depending on the company, the P2PFA was dedicated to ensure investors were aware of all the risks involved.

In addition, he stated : “Different platforms have adopted a variety of approaches to ensure a high level of consumer understanding, but with continued grow and expansion in the sector, the focus on making sure that all investors have an awareness and understanding of the risks of peer-to-peer finance products will continue to be a major priority for P2PFA platforms.” (Bridging & Commercial, September 2016)

Platforms such as LendingCrowd and LandBay recommend that investors should require financial advice if they are unsure about the investing process.

Stock Market VS Peer-to-Peer Lending Investments – Who Wins?

stock market p2p

To buy stock, or not to buy stock that is the question! With recent markets in a volatile state you might want to look for an alternative.

Anyone who is an active stock market investor knows that it takes time to do your research (and a bit of guess work) to figure out where the market(s) are heading.

However, if you’re looking for something that’s less time consuming and slightly more effective – P2P might be for you. There are many platforms out there that are free to pick through the loans that are listed by prospective borrowers and read their stories and explanations of why they need a loan for and what they’ll do with it.

You should review the prospectus of your chosen P2P lending platform before investing as well as spreading the risk of your investment.

With any investment there is always risk involved, however, many view P2P is an alternative, especially with the current volatility of the markets. Anyone looking to diversify their investment and move away from traditional investment options might want to go down the P2P route.

Interested in P2P? If so, why not take a look at our P2P page where you can view investments and order a free information pack.

Brexit Vote Scares Investors Away From Traditional Asset Classes

Brexit P2P

New research suggests that the UK’s Brexit vote is putting investors off traditional asset classes.

Research revealed that 13 per cent of active investors said they have steered clear of currency markets since the EU vote back in late June, in addition, 10 per cent have avoided government bonds and nine per cent have u-turned from investing in equities.

Leicestershire based P2P lender ThinCats told City A.M. that 30 per cent of investors – from a survey of 2,000, including 500 defined as active investors have been put off traditional asset classes.

However, the research showed that assets such as gold has become more attractive, 14 per cent of investors stated that they have turned to the commodity as an alternative. Moreover, 7 per cent, said they view P2P as more attractive after the Brexit vote.

What P2P and Marketplace lending Industry Needs To Do To Go Mainstream


A lack of transparency is one of the key obstacles for p2p and marketplace lending platforms experiencing considerable growth in scale, according to ThinCats’ John Mould, who believes there are several other hurdles the industry needs to overcome to fit into the mainstream investment universe. (Altfi, September 2016)

It’s fair to say that 2016 has been a challenging year for the industry which has seen high profile scandals as well as seeing slow growth.

ThinCats’ CEO told Altfi that he believes the broader industry should deal with several issues centring on greater transparency in returns, what investors are exposed to and securitisation. Mr. Mould says that many platforms are really asset management firms in disguise and should therefore be regulated as such.

Areas where Mould stresses investors and borrowers need greater transparency is in provision funds, collective pools of cash liquidity that act as a type of insurance for investors.

In the Altfi article he also questions the lack of clarity that is linked to retail and institutional investors. He stresses that the issue is that we are not quite sure how they are both treated fairly. We know in a fund that they all come at the same unit price, he mentions, but he questions on who makes the decision process on the loans?

He again questions the lack of clarity in the last paragraph of the article : “If you’re the regulator you’re saying half of them look like fund managers, half of them look like banks but worse and half of them have these provision funds that we don’t know how they work and half of them just seem to be securitising debt. How does that work?”.



What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen P2P stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

Register Now For More Information

The Latest Crowdfunding News – 12/9/16

The Latest Crowdfunding News

Hi guys and welcome to our first September crowdfunding news edition. As usual we will be taking a look at the latest goings-on in the world of crowdfunding and today we start our round-up by focusing on Kickstarter who have headed east and launched in Asia to looking at how European alternative finance performed in 2015. Missed our recent round-ups? If so, catch up here.

Kickstarter Launches in Asia

Kickstarter Asia

Kickstarter, one of the most well known crowdfunding sites has launched in both Hong Kong and Singapore respectively, and are their first ever sites in the continent.

Prior to launching in Asia, Kickstarter only operated in Europe, North America, and Australia.

In the past, entrepreneurs from Singapore and Hong Kong had to co-operate with overseas partners if they wanted their ideas published on the site.

With the crowdfunding giant now launching in Hong Kong and Singapore, people can present their projects from a local network as well have their fundraising goals set in Hong Kong/Singapore dollars.

Kickstarter will now compete with local sites such as FringeBacker from Hong Kong as well as the likes of OurCrowd and MoolahSense from Singapore.

Just like other crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter gains a cut from each project that has been pledged by its backers.

Well known Kickstarter projects include the Oculus Rift, which received its first funding via Kickstarter back in 2012 to the Pebble smartwatch.

Image Source : BBC News

Finnish Crowdfunding Act Updated

Finland Crowdfunding

From Asia to now travelling to Scandinavia! A few days ago in Finland, the government updated its crowdfunding act, the new legislation makes it easier to register, for example, until now, equity crowdfunding in the Scandinavian country has required an investment firm license from the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA). However, the license slowed the market entry for new players.

Registration is a considerably more affordable alternative to the investment firm license, and this therefore allows new players into the market.

Investor protection is still at a good level under the new act, despite the fact that the registration process is a lighter form of regulation than a license.

In addition, the new Finnish crowdfunding act does not cover rewards or donations based crowdfunding models. For example, rewards-based models that are used by the likes of Kickstarter fall under consumer protection acts. In contrast, donation based crowdfunding in Finland is legal, anyone who wishes to create a donation based campaign must obtain a special fundraising permit from the police.

To sum it up briefly, Whilst the overall market size of alternative finance in Finland is relatively small, the government and industry bodies are hopeful that a balanced regulatory approach will help boost the up and coming sector.

Native equity crowdfunding company Invesdor’s CEO Lasse Mäkelä recently told Crowdfund Insider that the new Act should increase growth of the Finnish crowdfunding market. He stated :
“On a European level, crowdfunding volume is expected to double this year. We believe that with the new legislation Finland will be able to reach similar numbers.”

Crowdfunding in a tub! A brief insight into Oppo Ice Cream

Oppo Crowdfunding

At The House Crowd we love a good crowdfunding story and thought this was worth a mention (especially if you love ice cream!).
Back in 2015 Oppo Ice Cream at the time, was the most the “most overfunded” offer ever on Seedrs.

The London based company had originally set out to gain £150,000, however, they received triple the specified amount. Earlier this year they was again returned for further funding via Seedrs and smashed their £150,000 in just six hours!

Just like us, they too went on Dragon’s Den, they might not of had much of a slaying as what Frazer experienced, but again just like us being on the show helped propel their product.

Although they came out of the den empty handed, they revealed that they had no intention of taking The Dragon’s money as they had already funded the business by offering shares to their fans which they felt was a much better way of growing their brand. Going on the show for them was about spreading their message to the British public that you can indeed indulge in luxury ice cream… without looking like you have.

As we know, gaining business success is not a walk in the park, and it is something that takes hard work to cultivate. Oppo is also a great example of a small company that leveraged investment crowdfunding to take their business and product to the next level and a tasty investment it turned out to be!

Image source : Crowdfund Insider

FCA Calls for Input on Equity Crowdfunding Regulation

Crowdfunding FCA

Upon releasing the new rules in 2014, the FCA promised a post-implementation review of the crowdfunding market and regulatory framework in 2016 (the “Review”). (Lexology, August 2016)

The financial body has released a ‘Call for input’ which describes the results of their initial market research and sets out a number of questions. The questions are linked to a range of areas and the document contains some hints on the future direction of investment based crowdfunding regulation.

Firstly, one key area that they will be taken into consideration is due diligence. Current regulations do not set a minimum standard of due diligence, the regulations cite concerns relating to financial crime and stresses the importance of protecting the interests of investors. They therefore suggest that minimum standards may be introduced.

Secondly, they’ll take client assessment into consideration. The regulator wants to review the extent to which firms are meeting these requirements and whether clients are sufficiently informed to understand the risks that are involved. In addition, they may consider publishing further advice on how to ensure retail investors meet certain criteria as well as introduce sanctions for companies who do not abide by the rules.

Lastly, the FCA will be looking at disclosure. As Lexology mention in a recent blog article, equity crowdfunding platforms are required to provide potential investors with sufficient information so that they are reasonably able to understand the nature of the product and its risks.The Review will look at whether this high-level rule is sufficient to protect investors.

So what happens now? There are currently no proposals to change the regulatory framework for crowdfunding platforms. However, anyone with an interest in equity (or loan-based) crowdfunding has to submit their response to the FCA before 8 September 2016. The feedback will then be used to inform the FCA’s continuing review of the current market. After the Reviewing process, the financial regulator will consider publishing a new consultation document which will include any proposed rule changes.


European Alternative Finance Jumps to €5.4 billion in 2015

Europe Alternative Finance

One news story in particular that we stumbled across this week and everyone in the alternative finance community was talking about was Europe.

A report published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) entitled “Sustaining Momentum“, looks at the rapid growth of alternative finance across Europe.

In a nutshell, the CCAF reports on the ongoing growth of alternative finance including peer to peer lending, crowdfunding and more. Their findings show that alternative finance jumped 92% year over year to €5.4 billion in 2015.

In addition their research revealed that the UK continues to dominate the continent at €4.4 billion in aggregate funding. France and Germany are second and third with €319 million and €249 million respectively. The Dutch also performed well with €111 million. If you remove the UK out of the picture, European alternative finance increased by 72% year over year going from €594 million in 2014 to €1.019 billion in 2015. While the overall rate of growth slowed, the industry is gaining momentum as new regulations from across the continent take place as well as an array of platforms start to mature.

Interested in the CCAF’s research? If so, read their research embedded below.

CCAF Europe 2016 Sustaining Momentum – Final by CrowdfundInsider on Scribd


What Are Your Thoughts?


Which of our chosen crowdfunding stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

Register Now For More Information

The Alternative Finance Marketplace: How is Real Estate Shaping Up?

We’ve been eagerly poring through NESTA’s 2015 UK Alternative Finance Industry Report, ‘Pushing Boundaries’, since it was published in February this year. The report offers a fascinating, in-depth look at all areas of the alternative finance industry, including – crucially – the Real Estate Alternative Finance (crowdfunding and Real Estate P2P lending) market.

If you like data, you’ll love it. But if you’d prefer something a bit more readable, you’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve put together our own guide to the state of the alternative finance industry, keeping the emphasis squarely on Real Estate Alternative Finance, of course.

Things have changed since NESTA published its report, ‘The Rise of Future Finance’ in 2013. At that time, the alternative finance industry was worth £939m.  In 2015, NESTA reported its value at £3.2bn. The market is on course to surpass the £5bn mark in 2016.

Real Estate Alternative Finance - QUOTE 1

It’s not just financially that the alternative finance sector has grown. It has evolved taxonomically, too.

In the 2013 report, NESTA identified a range of distinct funding models operating in the sector. Two years later, 28% of alternative finance platforms surveyed reported that they were operating a ‘mixed’ or ‘other’ business model, which does not fit into the existing taxonomy.

Real Estate Alternative Finance: Crowdfunding and P2P Lending Tops the Tables

The 2013 report has no mention whatsoever of the terms ‘real estate’ or ‘housing’. And yet, by 2015, NESTA’s report segments data on Real Estate Alternative Finance into its own category, such is the proportion of the industry it covers.

In 2015, Real Estate and Housing was the most popular sector for the alternative finance market.

  1. Real Estate and Housing
  2. Technology
  3. Manufacturing and Engineering
  4. Food and Drink
  5. Retail and Wholesale
  6. Leisure and Hospitality
  7. Community and Social Enterprise
  8. Finance
  9. Construction
  10. Education and Research

Combined debt and equity-based funding for Real Estate Alternative Finance amounted to nearly £700m in 2015, with P2P business lending in Real Estate (for mortgages and property development) taking the lion’s share: £609m – 41% of the total volume of P2P business loans in 2015.

The market volume of equity-based crowdfunding is much more modest, coming in at £87m for 2015, still a very significant sum.


P2P Business Lending in Real Estate

In 2015, P2P real estate lending financed over 600 commercial and residential developments, mostly by small to medium sized property developers.

Of that hearty £609m funding sum for 2015, Real Estate P2P lending saw increased growth throughout the year:

Q1 → £120.78m

Q2 → £146.81m

Q3 → £152.96m

Q4 → £188.12m

Perhaps some of this extraordinary success has something to do with institutional funding in the P2P Real Estate lending sector? Institutional funding was around 25% in 2015, and up to 75% on some platforms.

P2P business lending for Real Estate comprises a range of financing models and products. There are the short term bridging finance loans, which run for a 12 to 18 month period. Them, there are the longer term (3-5 years) commercial and residential mortgages, and construction/development debt finance.

In 2015, the average size of P2P loans for Real Estate came in at £522,333, slightly under 2014’s £662,425 average. The figure for 2015 was more in line with the average UK house price than the previous year. This may be due to the growing use of P2P lending in funding residential and commercial mortgages, rather than the larger developments focused on in 2014.


Just a quick clarification point here: regulatory constraints mean you cannot use P2P Real Estate lending for your own residential mortgage.

It’s also not a done deal to apply for a loan for a Real Estate development: in 2015, 27.5% of loan applications in P2P Real Estate lending were accepted.

The average number of lenders required to fund a typical P2P Real Estate loan? 490.


Equity-Based Crowdfunding for Real Estate

This model enables investors to acquire ownership of a property asset, via the purchase of shares, either of a single property, or a number of properties as part of a portfolio.


In 2015, equity-based crowdfunding for Real Estate raised a total of £87m, for 174 development projects. This is how the annual quarters looked:

Q1 → £13.09m

Q2 → £23.16m

Q3 → £35.70m

Q4 → £14.63m

Equity-based crowdfunding for Real Estate had a great year in 2015. The record for fastest funding for a development project was set: £843,100 was raised in just 10 minutes and 43 seconds, from a total of 319 investors!


Unlike P2P Real Estate lending, with equity-based crowdfunding, there is scarcely any institutional involvement. Of the 10,626 funders participating in Real Estate crowdfunding, NESTA found that only 3% were categorised as institutional investors by the platform. This contrasts with the 77% of sophisticated or high net worth investors in the model.

Yes, equity based crowdfunded property investment is much more grass roots in many ways than the P2P Real Estate sector. The recent inclination to lower minimum investment thresholds in this area, with the aim of enticing more retail investors attests to this in a very clear way.

Whilst 27.5% of loan applications in P2P Real Estate lending were accepted in 2015, in equity-based crowdfunding for Real Estate, platform acceptance rate was much lower. Only 2.9% of deals made it onto the platform, on average.

However, deal success rate for those who did make it onto the platform was pretty high: 87%. There are also far fewer investors required for an equity deal – NESTA reports an average of 150 per deal. The average deal size for 2015 in the crowdfunding sector for property was fairly high, too: £820,042.

Real Estate Alternative Finance and Manchester

Of the 58 alternative finance platforms surveyed by NESTA for their report, 62% were – unsurprisingly – London-based. However, a significant 5.2% hailed from our home city of Manchester.

Manchester is also one of a number of regional and local authorities that have either partnered with online alternative finance platforms to fund local SMEs, or have used alternative finance methods to fund community projects.

NESTA’s data shows that the most active regions receiving funds from Real Estate crowdfunding were London (of course), the North East, and the North West. The North West was also found to be one of the top 3 regions actually providing funds.


This isn’t terribly surprising given the growing trend for emphasising Real Estate crowdfunding within areas in need of regeneration. Manchester has, as we know, come a very long way. The economy of the North West has been transformed over the last few years, in no small part due to the heavy investment in regeneration projects, in the form of development funding from both the public and private sectors.

It is these regeneration areas that are being identified as some of the potentially best investment opportunities. Not only do they cost investors less than prime locations, but these areas are also the ones that will experience the highest growth over coming years.


Real Estate Alternative Finance and The Government

Direct investment from the government has helped support the growth of both peer-to-peer and crowdfunding markets. In 2015, £60m was lent by the British Business Bank via P2P lending platforms, specifically for SMEs.

Tax incentives have also been applied, including the EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) and SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme). These schemes have been widely used, by a large proportion of investors using alternative funding platforms, and have been especially popular within the equity-based crowdfunding market.

The launch of the IFISA (Innovative Finance ISA) in April 2016 is also an exciting development in the alternative finance sector.

In particular, P2P business lending platforms for Real Estate expect the IFISA to generate a whopping 51.9% growth in transactional volume this year, whilst equity-based crowdfunding platforms for Real Estate predict 30.31% growth as a result of the IFISA.


The figures for Real Estate Alternative Finance outmatch those elsewhere in the alternative finance market. P2P consumer lenders, for example, expect a 26% increase in total volume as a result of the IFISA. It’s clear that Real Estate lending stands to benefit the most.

In anticipation of the influx of retail investors expected by the onset of the IFISA, some P2P Real Estate lending platforms are even lowering their investment thresholds.

What is the IFISA?

At its most basic, the Innovative Finance ISA allows UK investors to lend money using P2P lending platforms to invest up to 100% of their £15,240 annual ISA allowance, and to receive any interest and capital gains tax-free. You can find out more here.

Institutional Investment in Real Estate Alternative Finance

Catching the scent of a good thing, institutional investors are also muscling in on the peer-to-peer real estate lending market, as they are across the alternative finance industry.

It is estimated, based on platform reporting, that in the UK in 2015, 1,031 institutional funders were at the bottom of financing loans and equity deals in alternative finance.


45% of all alternative finance platforms reported institutional involvement in 2015. In 2014, this was 28%, and in 2013, just 11%.

For P2P business lending, in 2015 26% of total funding was attributable to institutional funding. In peer-to-peer Real Estate lending specifically, a total of 25% institutional funding was reported, with significant increase between the 3rd and 4th quarters of the year, in particular:

Q1 → 22%

Q2 → 22%

Q3 → 23%

Q4 → 31%

By contrast, however, in equity-based crowdfunding, 2015 saw just 8% of funding coming from institutions.

With institutional funding growing in the alternative finance market, as well as the influx of more high net worth investors, there is some discussion about whether the disruptive force of the alternative finance market is at risk of being stemmed.

Banking institutions have found themselves burdened with heavy regulatory compliance, cumbersome legacy systems and bureaucratic complexity. Since the debacle at the end of the last decade, the general populous has been hungry for new alternatives to the traditional financial system. Confidence has been lost, and – at the retail end of the investment spectrum at least – making one’s savings grow within the received systems has less potential for gains than what’s promised by alternative finance.

Alternative finance has become a key player in the development of a whole new generation of financial products. Along with a range of other FinTech solutions to saving, banking and investment, this revolutionary rumble has got the banks concerned.

It’s no wonder that, as such a disruptive movement grows, it finds itself on the precipice of being co-opted into the corporate world. But all the time that interest rates on savings accounts remain shockingly low, and first-time buyers view getting on the property ladder as likely as a winning Euromillions ticket, the prospect of a less suffocating alternative for growing money will continue to be thoroughly desirable.

And, focusing on Real Estate specifically, research conducted by Crowdstacker found that 44% of retail investors would like to increase their exposure to the UK property market, not only owning their own home, but also by investing through P2P lenders, like The House Crowd. Investor reluctance was found to centre around the time consuming nature and costs of property management, as well as affordability. The alternative finance model of crowdfunded property investment and P2P lending in Real Estate removes those factors from the equation.

2015 also saw the emergence of self-managed, platform-owned listed investment trusts, funds and vehicles: a sure sign that platforms are preparing to challenge the fund management space.

And as the alternative finance world continues to evolve, we are also seeing the emergence of a number of independent online aggregators, such as Informed Funding, FinPoint and ABF. These are rising up to provide additional channels and services for connecting business fundraisers to alternative finance platforms.

That being said, corporate interjection into the alternative finance space should not be considered a negative. It is this involvement that is allowing the industry to grow and evolve.

A number of P2P consumer lending platforms have struck high profile partnership deals with some big-name corporates.


Corporate partnerships have been witnessed between alternative finance platforms and large brands such as Virgin, Amazon, Uber and Sage. As NESTA puts it, these partnerships are “fusing the traditional corporate world with the disruptive models of alternative finance”.

It is these partnerships that will aid in increasing public awareness of the alternative finance sector, but not only this. Corporate partnerships will also attract high quality borrowers, reducing default rates on P2P loans, and also offers the potential for data gathering, which will enhance the industry’s credit scoring capabilities, and inform risk management.

The increasing involvement of high net worth investors, along with institutional funding and corporate partnerships is what is allowing alternative finance to push boundaries, blur definitions, and limit the dangers of orthodoxy: it is a catalyst for rapid evolution.


The extraordinary growth of the industry that we have witnessed over the last few years has begun to level out.

In 2015, the UK’s alternative finance industry facilitated investments, loans and donations totalling £3.2bn. In 2014, this figure was £1.74bn – a YoY growth rate of 83.91%, which is not to be sniffed at. But when you compare this to the 161% growth between 2013 and 2014, it looks positively small.


In 2014, 24 new alternative finance platforms began trading. This was down to 14 in 2015. Fewer new entrants are joining the market, whilst existing platforms continue to increase their total volumes at a steady rate.

Up until now, the industry appears to have been actively pushing its boundaries, both in its evolution, and in its rate of growth. Whilst the figures continue to be staggeringly impressive – with the market on course for a £5bn year in 2016 – plateauing figures are a good sign that the industry is maturing.

Alternative finance is coming of age with intelligence and dignity. It is listening to influential voices from big corporates, accepting helping hands where they are offered, and maintaining its grass roots persona. Most of all, however, it’s making money, not just for a few, but for a large body of investors all along the wealth spectrum. In Real Estate, it’s helping to regenerate run-down neighbourhoods, keeping a stagnant housing market moving, improving living standards across the board.


In short, alternative finance may have been a disruptive teenager, but it’s growing up to be a real force for good in the middle of a blighted financial landscape. The future of finance is looking promising.


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The Latest P2P News – 29/7/16

P2P News – All The Latest Updates


Hi guys and welcome to our second P2P news edition of the month! As usual, we will be giving you a quick snapshot of the latest news with five key stories. We focus on an array of P2P topics from P2PFA releases P2P lending data for Q2 to looking at how P2P is heating up the world of fintech. Missed our last round-up? If so, catch up here.


P2PFA Releases Peer to Peer Lending Data for Q2

P2P News

The UK Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) recently released its second quarter numbers for 2016.

Their data indicates that cumulative lending now stands at £5.8 billing with £658 million in lending occurring during Q2. last year, (in the same quarter) total new lending registered at£507,936,000. But Q2 numbers are a dip from Q1 2016 when total new lending came in at £715,421,000. Both the number of borrowers and lenders increased from Q1 to Q2. Zopa remains the largest lender by cumulative total followed by Funding Circle. (Crowdfund Insider, July, 2016)

Chair of P2PFA, Christine Farnish CBE mentioned in a recent Crowdfund Insider article that peer-to-peer lending is now a mainstream alternative finance product – continued expansion in the number of investors and borrowers has clearly shown this,more than 150,376 lenders and 332,107 borrowers currently using P2PFA platforms.

ThinCats, which is a P2PFA member, company founder Kevin Caley also shared his thoughts in the article, Mr. Caley stated : alternative finance “is playing a major role in bridging the UK’s business funding gap.”

He is also stressed that although there is still a lot of uncertainties due to the Brexit vote, peer-to-peer platforms won’t be sitting on their hands and will continue to bring disruptive innovations to the market as well as being an alternative to traditional market based lenders.

Read more on the P2PFA research here.


UK Invoice Finance Platform, Raises Another £7.2M

MarketInvoice P2P

MarketInvoice, which plays in the peer-to-peer lending space by enabling U.K. businesses to raise money from institutional investors and high net worth individuals by ‘selling’ outstanding invoices, has raised a further £7.2 million. (Tech Crunch, July 2016)

MCI Capital, a listed Polish private equity group as well as existing backer Northzone have been involved with MarketInvoice’s funding – which now brings the total investment to just over £18 million.

The company told Tech Crunch that the raised funds will be used to help sustain its claimed position as the leader in invoice financing in the U.K., and also for product development.

In a nutshell, MarketInvoice works with hedge funds, asset managers, family Offices, and high net worth individuals. In addition, real-time auctions are used to determine how much of an invoice’s value will be provided as capital (minus the bidder’s cut), the company then makes money by also taking a small cut.

To sum it up, they enable businesses (from SMEs to larger companies) to free up money owed before an outstanding invoice is paid, thus providing much-needed liquidity. In turn, it gives investors a new asset class. Invoice finance and other forms of P2P lending play into a narrative that has seen banks reluctant to lend to small and medium-sized businesses and interest rates at a historic low, as Tech Crunch’s Steve O’Hear mentions.

Image source : Tech City News

Governance and Regulations are Key to the Future of P2P

P2P news


As mentioned in previous P2P news blogs, governance and regulations are key for the p2p industry, especially in countries such as China which has seen a lot of fraudulent activity (the Ezubao case springs to mind which was briefly mentioned in our last P2P round-up).

So why do we need it? Regulation and governance helps to protect both the investor and borrower, and gives the sector added credibility and will only serve to boost awareness and participation, as Money observer’s Chris Maule points out in an Interactive Investor article.

Here in the UK, measures have already been put in place, the industry here is known for being transparent, for example, the P2PFA make sure its members publish their loan books, reveal bad debt rates and include five years’ worth of credit performance.

The actions of the recent Lending Club case (which you can read about in one of previous P2P blogs) should be a sobering reminder of what could happen if they fail to play their parts in developing a transparent and honest product.

Image source : The Connectivist

P2P Funds Are Unaffected by Brexit vote



Peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders could stand to gain a greater market share as some banks have reduced appetites to lending in the wake of Brexit, according to Chirag Shah, CEO of Nucleus Commercial Finance. (Bridging and Commercial, July 2016)

Nucleus Commercial Finance’s CEO explained that P2P lenders are at an advantage as investors are less likely to withdraw their funding, this is all linked to some lenders that have begun to lose their funding lines as a result of financial turmoil caused by the recent EU referendum.

FundingKnight‘s managing director Jasper Ehrhardt, also agrees that P2P has been untouched by post-Brexit uncertainty.

His view is that P2P has an added advantage of having access to non-institutional funds, which are unaffected by Brexit and are the underlying drivers for continuing the low level of returns available from more traditional vehicles, such as savings accounts.

In addition, he stresses that the incentive has stayed the same, as P2P continues to see above-average rates of return on platforms, compared to bank and savings deposits.

Read more industry views here.

P2P is Heating up the World of Fintech

p2p fintech


We all know about how fintech is revolutionising finance and disrupting the banking sector and never before has the industry seen such a rapid and strong movement until now.

It’s now easier than ever to digitally connect people to money, and P2P lending takes advantage of that, and is growing by the numbers (as previously mentioned in the first news item).

Nikos Antoniade, CEO of easyMarkets, a company specialized in analyzing financial markets, says that the rise of fintech-related technologies is overwhelming, and that despite of all criticism, P2P lending is here to stay. (, July, 2016)

With so many segments of fintech, from payments, insurtech, asset management, etc. P2P is definitely one segment that is heating up, as this chart below from Zopa shows.


Zopa P2P Graph


Image source :


What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen P2P stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

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The Latest P2P News – 7/7/16

P2P News – All The Latest Updates


Hi guys and welcome to our first P2P news blog of the month, as usual we will be giving you a snapshot of the latest news from the P2P world. This week we look at an array of topics from looking at the future of P2P to looking at how P2P performed last year. Missed our last P2P news update? If so, catch up here, in addition, take a look at Michele’s latest post on Real Estate P2P and Crowdfunding Leads Alternative Finance Industry.

P2P Has A Bright Future, Insists Dianrong Founder

P2P Future

Founder and chief executive of China’s peer-to-peer lending platform, Soul Htite feels that more platforms will collapse in the future.

As mentioned previously in a past P2P news blog round-up, the news of Lending Club’s founder Renaud Laplanche, stepping down from his position following an internal probe over allegedly mis-sold loans has made many question the legitimacy of the industry.

Dianrong’s founder mentioned in a recent South China Morning Post article that a system needs to created that nobody will be able to do what Ezubao (a Chinese P2P that defrauded 900,000 investors out of more than 50 billion yuan by offering high interest rates which it was unable to pay) did.

One idea he mentions about is to ask every P2P platform out there to have a custodian bank with which borrowers must have an account.

Moreover, he goes on to say : “The existence of custodian banks also makes sure that capital actually exists and flows to the borrower so that any Ponzi Scheme could be avoided.”

Htite’s company have also been experimenting with blockchain technology, which seems to be a key trend at the moment recently, with quite a few Indian P2P companies also conducting their own research on using the concept.

It seems the future of P2P (not just in China, but on a global level) will be a lot more transparent, as the Diarong example shows by using a custodian bank.

Htite told the South China Morning Post that he believes it is “very normal” to see market bubbles burst and is sure more Chinese P2P platforms will vanish due to failing to raise the money they need to survive.

He stresses that the companies who make industry adjustments will be the ones left standing.

You can read the full article here.


Disruptive P2P JustUs Launches

P2P News

A new lending platform has launched with plans to raise to raise £5.35m, including £1m on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. (MEN, June, 2016).

JustUs aims to become a provider of the broadest range of peer-to-peer consumer loans and secured lending.

Financial services entrepreneur Lee Birkett mentioned in the MEN : “I believe we are completely disrupting the status quo with a range of accessible products for borrowers from a comprehensive range of backgrounds and credit history.”

In addition, he stressed this new P2P disrupter is democratic, by the people, for the people. Savers are uninspired by their humdrum returns. JustUS can give customers access to higher returns by bringing them together with a broad mix of consumer, guarantor and secured loan products.

During Beta testing of the JustUs site, it attracted £130m of borrower applications from a marketing spend of just £150,000.

Read more on the story here.


Alternative Finance Continues To Make Progress Despite Slowdown

Alternative finance p2p

Data from Cambridge University has shown that P2P lending for SMEs is helping drive continued growth in the alternative finance industry, despite an overall slowdown in the market.

Their research found that the UK online alternative finance industry grew by 84% to £3.2bn in 2015, from £1.74bn in 2014. This is compared to year-on-year growth between 2013 and 2014 of 161%. (CBR, February 2016)

Researchers at the university estimate that P2P business lending, excluding real estate lending, provided the equivalent of 13.9% of new bank loans to small businesses in the UK last year, this was based on 2014 data from the British Bankers Association.

Interested in the research conducted by Cambridge University? If so read more here.


P2P Lending Should Outperform In A Downturn

P2P news


According to Polar Capital’s Nick Grind, a significant downturn in the global economy should see P2P/marketplace lending funds outperform regular credit markets. (Altfi, June 2016)

His logic is that investment trusts could be buying back their shares to manage the discounts, plus in a downturn you’re going to see spreads widen on a fixed income portfolio.

The attraction of buying of buying P2P GI or one of the others is that in theory you are getting good risk adjusted returns and there is a lot of granularity.

Read more on Grind’s insights here.

Image source : The Connectivist


P2P Throwback : 2015 The Year P2P Lending Went Mainstream

P2P 2015

Since today falls on Throwback Thursday, we thought we would take a look back at P2P in 2015.

2015 was a landmark year for P2P in this country, with lending of £1.26 billion in 2015 accounting for almost half (47%) of all UK P2P lending.

In addition, consumer lending accounted for almost £1.1 billion of P2P lending in 2015, more than two-fifths (40.6%) of the total. In third place was invoice factoring and financing which, at a third of a billion pounds, accounted for an eighth (12.4%) of total lending. (Assetz Capital, January 2016).

The Big three P2P firms continued to dominate, in 2015 Zopa lent £532 million, Funding Circle were not to far behind but ended the year in second place with £531 million.

RateSetter finished the year with £518 million and came third. The likes of Lendinvest and Wellesley & Co. also had a great year, lending £301 million and £152 million respectively.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen P2P stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

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The Latest P2P News – 18/5/16

P2P News – All The Latest Updates

Hi guys and welcome to our very first P2P news blog, just like our property and crowdfunding news blogs we will be giving you a quick snapshot featuring five top stories. Today we look at an array of interesting topics from UK lenders say P2P is safe to looking at some key takeaways from the industry so far.


P2P is ‘Safe’, Say UK Lenders

P2P News P2P Lending


UK P2P lenders have reassured investors that they are safe despite the calls for tighter regulations.

The P2P industry — in a nutshell involves matching borrowers directly with lenders online — was thrown into the spotlight last week when a high-profile US lender’s chief executive resigned.

Lending Club’s founder Renaud Laplanche, stepped down from his position following an internal probe over allegedly mis-sold loans according to the FT.

As a result UK lenders were keen to distance themselves from the P2P company and also pointed out that regulations involving lenders in the UK differs from the regulations for their U.S. counterparts.

The big difference between the UK and The U.S. is that the UK regulations were written specifically for P2P lenders. In contrast, U.S. lenders follow rules devised before peer-to-peer lending existed as FT’s Aime Williams points out in her article (link below).

P2P in the UK is also known for being very transparent, the industry body for UK p2p lenders, the P2PFA, noted that its members publish their loan books.

In addition P2PFA members follow a number of agreements to enhance transparency levels, including publishing bad debt rates and five years of credit performance, as well as a returns performance and submitting full loan books.

However, some have mentioned that things should go further. For example, Chief executive of AltFi Data, Rupert Taylor told the FT : “People recognise the benefits of transparency, but there’s more that can be done.”

You can read more on this topic here.


China : The Red Dragon Reins in P2P Lending

P2P News China

China is tightening its grip on a surge of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending amid a string of mismanagement and fraud in the lightly regulated sector. (The Straits Times, May, 2016)

The point of doing this is to limit the potential instability these lenders might pose to the country’s wider economy and society.

In recent years there has been a surge in P2P lenders in China, mainly from websites that connect borrowers to lenders and according to Chinese data company Wind Information, there were 2,600 platforms at the end of last year.

Lending hit over 980 billion yuan last year, soaring from 253 billion yuan in 2014, making China’s P2P market the largest in the world.


Lendix Raises $13.5 million To Become Leading European P2P Platform

P2P News Lendix

The French startup has raised $13.5 million (€12 million) and now wants to become one of the leading European P2P lending platforms.

Lendix was launched last year and in it’s first year has managed €20 million worth of medium-term business loans. According to Tech Crunch, Lendix manages loans for small and medium companies for 3 to 6 years with annual returns between 4 and 9 percent for the lenders.

Lendix is going to expand to other European countries now they have taken the French market by storm, they plan to get involved with the Spanish and Italian markets respectively in the coming months. For each European expansion, the French startup has to work on getting a license to operate on these new markets. In addition, Rules can be slightly different as well. It’s a long and bureaucratic process, however, it is a good barrier to entry for foreign competitors.

You can read more about Lendix here.

Image source : Lendix


Why Banks Should Be Offering More P2P & Bitcoin Services For SMEs

P2P News Banks

Banks are facing “stiff competition” from fintechs, and should be offering more “value-added products”, such as peer-to-peer lending, bitcoin and cloud services according to Accenture’s SME Banking 2020 report.

They found there is a clear appetite among many SMEs for these value-added services and this currently represents a missed opportunity. Their data indicated that banks could be generating £1.6bn a year more in revenue from these services, representing potentially £8.5bn by 2020.

Gareth Wilson, Accenture banking practice lead for the UK and Ireland told City A.M. : “SMEs want banks to be more relevant and provide a wider range of business services”.

Moreover, he stressed that banks need to recognise and seize this opportunity. Unless they do, SMEs may take their business elsewhere and look for alternatives.


P2P Takeaways

P2P News

Lastly, here are some key P2P takeaways :

  • The P2P lending industry is seeing significant growth, especially in developed countries with strong financial markets. P2P lenders in the US generated $6.6 billion in loans last year, up 128%.
  • Europe is the next big market for P2P lending: The alternative finance market in Europe reached nearly €3 billion ($3.9 billion) in 2014, a 144% jump, and small-business P2P loan volume in France grew almost 4,000% last year, to reach €8.2 million ($10.6 million).
  • The US has one of the largest P2P lending markets in the world by loan volume, but the UK’s is 72% larger on a per capita basis. Low consumer confidence in banks (even before the financial crisis), a high degree of comfort with online platforms, and a positive regulatory environment have all helped nurture the UK’s P2P lending market.

Stats taken from Tech Insider.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen P2P stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

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