TECHINASIA: Peer-to-peer lending startup Jimubox has just secured $84 million in series C funding. It comes seven months after the Beijing-based firm attracted US$37 million from Xiaomi and ShunWei Capital, a venture capital fund headed by the phone maker’s founder, Lei Jun. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Here comes some more funding for a European financial tech company specialising in online loans. Germany’s Smava — a peer-to-peer lending platform where investors provide the funds to loan money to borrowers — has raised $16 million in funding led by Phenomen Ventures, along with existing investors Earlybird and Neuhaus Partners. Phenomen’s track record in fintech investments includes backing Prosper, the U.S.-based peer-to-peer lending marketplace. The investment takes the total raised by Smava to nearly $30 million. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Time to make way for another startup juggernaut out of the financial world. Funding Circle — a London-based peer-to-peer platform for small businesses to get loans, and investors to put up money to finance those loans — is today announcing that it has raised $150 million in venture funding, in a round that we have confirmed values the startup at over $1 billion. While partial news of the financing leaked out earlier this month, now we have the full details. This latest round was led by DST Global, with participation also from Baillie Gifford, a fund managed by BlackRock, Sands Capital Ventures and Singapore’s Temasek. (more…)
TECHINASIA: Meeting Capital Match co-founders Pawel Kuznicki and Kevin Lim, it feels like they are well on their way to bridge the gap between a technology company and big finance. Dressed in button-up shirts and dark trousers, I get the feeling they’re going to advise me about loans rather than discuss setting up a tech startup. It’s a good thing, then, that they are here to do both. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: WeFinance, launching today, is the latest startup to use a combination of technology and crowdfunding in order to offer borrowers lower interest rates on loans, while reducing lenders’ risk. The new peer-to-peer lending platform operates something like a Kickstarter for personal loans – largely those in the range of $10,000 to $20,000, and many of which are being used to help borrowers fund their educational expenses, including tuitions, bootcamps, financial support during unpaid internships, and more. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: During April, the nation will observe Financial Literacy Month – meaning it’s time to revisit the diverging roads to funding early-stage startups. The rise of non-traditional routes for raising capital, such as Kickstarter, has catalyzed a much-needed renaissance in funding options for entrepreneurs. With the passing of the JOBS Act, entrepreneurs have a bevy of new opportunities for raising seed funding, beyond the ever-illusive Silicon Valley checkbook. There are going to be complications associated with making sense of what funding route is best for your company and product needs, but sometimes the answer will reside in a combination of options. (more…)
LifePay has launched 2 new products in its line: online acquiring and SME-lending for working capital (in a month they are launching POS-lending – when entrepreneurs sell their goods and services on credit – this model is used by FinanceIt) (more…)
FINOVATE: Kabbage has announced plans to move into the Australian market with a white-label offering of its small business lending technology. The launch in Australia represents Kabbage’s first foray into the Asia-Pacific region, having already been in operation in both the U.K. and the U.S. (more…)
FINOVATE: Runa Capital has announced its participation in a $20.5M funding round of the American SME-lending platform Lednio. The round included participation by some large VCs, namely, Napier Park Financial Partners and Blumberg Capital. Lendio plans to use the capital to develop its SME-lending product, marketing and to expand its partnership program. According to the company’s representatives, it’s the third venture round for Lendio. The company has raised a total of $31M since 2011. Runa Capital joined the pool of its investors in 2013.
TECHCRUNCH: Online lending platform Avant has acquired ReadyForZero, a Y Combinator-backed startup that helps consumers better manage their personal debit and credit using online financial software, the companies are announcing this morning. Financial terms are not being disclosed, but Chicago-based Avant had plenty of funds to play around with, having raised$334 million in equity capital, in addition to nearly a billion in debt.
WIRED: Long ago, your parents probably gave you some advice: never borrow money from a friend. More importantly: never let your friends borrow from you. If the movies have taught us anything, it’s that mixing money and friendship rarely ends in anything other than blood and tears.
Skylar Woodward wants you to forget all about that. Woodward is the CEO of Puddle, a recently-launched service that lets you borrow money from your social network instead of through traditional avenues like banks and credit cards. Explained in brief: Throw money into a digital pot and you can take out five times as much as you’ve put in when you need it. So for example, say you throw $10 into your Puddle; that automatically gives you a credit line of $50 that you can dip into whenever you need. $100 turns into $500 and $500 into $2,500. You can choose to pay off the borrowed monthly installments over either three or six months. No interest beyond a set fee for every month you’re paying back (this incentivizes early repayment Puddle says). Sound crazy? It’s really not. (more…)