Fintech funding round-up: 6 April 2018
Hot on the heels of the fintech funding round-up on 4 April, feast your eyes on this lot. Stars PeerStreet, UK Finance and CardUp.
PeerStreet, a US-based platform for investing in real estate backed loans, has closed a Series B funding round of $29.5 million. The round was led by World Innovation Lab. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Thomvest, Colchis Capital, Felicis Ventures, and new investors, Solon Mack and Navitas Capital, also participated. The raise will be used for “broadening the type of real estate loans it cultivates from its network of lenders” and hiring more staff.
The firm calls itself a “two-sided marketplace”, and connects lenders with investors. To date, PeerStreet has funded over $900 million in loan volume. It is now integrated with three personal finance platforms including WealthFront, Betterment and Personal Capital. PeerStreet is led by former real estate attorney Brew Johnson, former Google executive Brett Crosby and Y Combinator alumnus Alex Perelman.
UK Finance, a trade association for the nation’s banking and financial services sector, has unleashed a torrent of stats to paint a pretty picture for invoice finance and asset-based lending. According to the data, this kind of funding has risen 5% to £23.4 billion at the end of 2017. The number of clients remained stable at around 42,000. Such lending to small businesses (those with annual turnovers of less than £500,000) increased by 19% in December 2017 compared to the previous year, with advances worth a total of £833 million. Annual sales of clients supported by this kind of lending stood at a record £311 billion in 2017, up 4% on 2016. Annual sales from clients through export invoice discounting facilities stood at £27 billion in 2017, up 21% on 2016.
Matthew Davies, director of invoice finance and asset based lending at UK Finance, says this “reflects a growing appetite for finance amongst those small businesses that are already using external funding” and the industry will “continue to work to increase awareness amongst businesses about the different sources of finance that might be appropriate for them”.
Like the two nations above, fintech in Singapore is always lively. Start-up CardUp, a digital payments platform for cash management, has secured $1.7 million in seed funding. The round was led by Sequoia India and Seedplus.
The firm is targeting the SME market and says over SGD $55 million ($41.7 million) in payments has been created on its platform in the last 12 months. CardUp adds that this represents more than 1% of overall credit card spend growth in Singapore from 2016 to 2017. According to the company it has partnerships in place with UOB, Citibank, Bank of China and Mastercard.