News > FinTech

London Stock Exchange Group launches social media platform for investors
FinTech
<p>ELITE Connect, the new social digital platform for investors and companies, was launched Monday. Developed by the London Stock Exchange, the service aims to simplify investor relations, reports FinBuzz.</p> <p>The social and professional network offers efficient corporate access between companies and investors.</p> <p>Features include a profile page, investor search, events calendar, and a digital ‘meeting room’ to hold conference calls or share documents. This is the product’s full-fledged launch after a 6-month beta period earlier this year.</p> <p>The program caters to investor relations professionals and is specially designed for public companies, stakeholders, brokerage and advisory firms, as well as institutional investors.</p> <p>“We know that approximately 90 per cent of listed companies travel the world to meet asset management firms and spend up to one month a year meeting face-to-face. ELITE Connect will help make investor relations more efficient, more international, and more valuable for all parties,” the press release said.</p> <p>Members have a database of investor information at your fingertips, as well as the means to reach out and communicate with investors and companies. Companies listed on the London Stock Exchange have already been given automatic access and dedicated profiles, whereas others can register on the website.</p> <p>Comments from the LSEG press release:</p> <p>Xavier Rolet, CEO, LSEG, said:<br /> “For over 200 years, we have been grounded in an unshakeable commitment to building markets based on transparency and trust. Now that new technologies are fundamentally impacting the way people interact and communicate, London Stock Exchange Group is offering a new solution that allows financial market participants to be the first movers in a rapidly changing environment.”</p> <p>Raffaele Jerusalmi, CEO, Borsa Italiana, Director of Capital Markets, LSEG, said:<br /> “We think there is a tremendous opportunity for a modern, digital approach to Investor Relations which offers companies, investors and intermediaries greater opportunities to engage and enhance visibility in a cost effective manner. After positive feedback during beta testing, we are excited to see how all users will adapt and shape ELITE Connect to their needs.</p> <p>“Participants understand the power of ELITE Connect. It has the ability to unite people across the globe, making investor relations more efficient, more international and more valuable for all parties.”</p> <p>Harriett Baldwin MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said:<br /> “Digital initiatives like ELITE Connect are an innovative way of helping companies grow through greater and more efficient contact with investors. The UK is a world leader in FinTech and harnessing the power of technology to connect companies and finance is crucial to boosting productivity and economic growth. I’m delighted to see London Stock Exchange Group is bringing together the global business and investment community to give companies more tools to access new opportunities across the globe so they can innovate, grow and create jobs.”</p> <p>Francesco Starace, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, ENEL SpA said:<br /> “Elite Connect is a great example of how to leverage on technological innovation to reach new frontiers of engagement, opening new business opportunities, reaching new investors across all geographies and creating connections in a fast and efficient way. This is well aligned with Enel Group’s overall digitalization strategy.”</p> <p>Alex Bolis, Head of Investor Relations, Telecom Italia said:<br /> “The progress of technology is tangible among our customers as well as our investors. A pan-European platform is a good way of fostering growth and providing services to a qualified business community.”</p> <p>John Gollifer, General Manager, IR Society said:<br /> “In many ways, the use of digital investor communications is creating a more level playing field by enabling companies to extend their reach to existing and new target audiences, while at the same time potentiall
Are bank-backed fintech accelerators really innovating?
FinTech
Everyone is jumping on the fintech bandwagon and none more so than the big banks. Desperate to be seen as staying ahead of the curve, more financial institutions are launching their own fintech startup accelerators, but not always for the right reasons. During a panel discussion at the payments-themed Fintech O-2-O meetup in Hong Kong’s Cyberport on Tuesday, industry participants
Square may face a 'reckoning' in next downturn but lending startups on stronger footing
FinTech
Fintech has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the economic meltdown -- call it the silver living on that enormous storm cloud. Companies like Lending Club, Kabbage, and Square emerged from the ashes of a finance system gone haywire. They've also benefited from an expanding economy -- even if growth has been less than rip-roaring. Abhas Gupta, a venture
Payments dominate unicorns but are unlikely to maintain that position going forward
FinTech
<p>This week a report confirmed what many of us already suspected: an overwhelming majority of the fintech unicorns -- startups valued over $1 billion -- are in lending or payments.</p> <p>CB insights reveals that the two sub-sectors cover about 15 out of 18, or 83%, of the most valuable startups.  Given the inefficiencies in the payments space, and how profitable the lending sector is, it comes as little surprise.</p> <p>Payments firm Square – which is currently having a rough ride in the public markets since listing last week – resides near the top of this list. Other big hitters include cloud benefits platform Zenefits and financial management platform Credit Karma.</p> <p>But this could all soon change, CB Insights notes. With early stage investments in insurance tech and blockchain technology beginning to heat up, we can expect a very different unicorn landscape in just a few years’ time.<br /> Photo: Tech in Asia<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Don't expect too much innovation from Baidu hookup with Citic Bank Corp.
FinTech
<p>It sure looks like a marriage of powerhouses: Baidu, the fourth most trafficked internet site in the world, and Citic, the Chinese bank with $32 billion in assets, announced they are launching a new internet bank called Baixin Bank Co.</p> <p>Innovation and mobile are practically imprinted in their lifeblood.</p> <p>But not so fast, says Bank Innovation.</p> <p>Last month, state-owned Citic also forged alliances with those other Chinese giants of the internet -- Alibaba and Tencent. The plan: to sell "virtual" credit cards using QR codes. Sounds like a winner, "but China’s central bank stopped the initiative within days."</p> <p>Will innovation remain a strictly "private" affair in China? Can those state-owned enterprises ever loosen up?<br /> Photo: Jullen GONG Min <br /> &nbsp;</p>
HKMA payments infrastructure head presents at Cyberport-NexChange event
FinTech
<p>Payments is one of the most vibrant and competitive sectors of the Fintech industry. It is not surprising.</p> <p>Global transaction-related revenues, led by Asia and China in particular, grew 9% last year, according to consultancy firm McKinsey. International payments totalled $1.7 trillion, compared with $1.5 trillion in 2013, while they also increased their share of total bank revenue from 38% to 40%.</p> <p>The growing size and scale of the sector is attracting new entrants, keen to disintermediate or disrupt existing chains and relationships. The activity extends across the payments spectrum, including ecommerce and the mobile wallet, P2P remittances and B2B foreign exchange transactions.</p> <p>Meanwhile, regulators throughout the world are having to adjust their supervisory systems and adopt new infrastructures to accommodate, as well as control, the advent of innovative technologies and the arrival of new participants.</p> <p>On Tuesday, November 24 Cyeberport and NexChange are hosting the next O-2-O Fintech event in Hong Kong. The theme will be payments, and a distinguished group of speakers will share their views about the potential for the industry.</p> <p>A highlight is a presentation on Hong Kong's new regulatory regime  for stored value facilities and retail payment systems delivered by Shu-pui Li, head of financial infrastructure development at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.</p> <p>Sharing a platform for two panel discussions are: Ajmal Samuel, chief executive officer, Octo3 Ltd; Chipper Boulas, co-founder, Firestartr.co; James Lloyd, head of strategy and corporate development, AMP Credit Technologies; Tak Lo, director, Techstars.</p> <p>Please join us on Tuesday at 4pm at Cyberport.</p> <p>Click here to register.<br /> Photo: Roxanne Tamayo</p>
Venting the fintech bubble
FinTech
<p>It's all go-go-go in the fintech sector -- or is it?</p> <p>First the positive spin: Airbnb has just raised another $100 million after collecting $1.5 billion in its June fund raising round; Uber plans to tap investors for $1 billion by the end of the year; and Lyft aims to attract $500 million in the next few months.</p> <p>On the other hand, here's the view of the Financial Times Lex columnist (paywall):</p> <p>"It is all over. Tech bubble 2.0 has burst. Square priced its initial public offering below the range, at only $9 compared with a proposed $11-$13. Not even Goldman Sachs could sell this thing. Call in the removal trucks. San Francisco is done."</p> <p>"Tech IPOs this year have been mediocre and there is scepticism about private valuations. Institutional investors say they would rather wait to see how a stock performs than take a hefty allocation upfront. That was evident in the Square IPO."</p> <p>However, Lex offers a glimmer of hope for other fintech firms planning to list and make their founders rich.</p> <p>It points out that Square earns most of its revenues collating the transactions of merchants, standing between them and the card networks.</p> <p>"It is not so much disintermediating and disrupting as adding another layer," says Lex.</p> <p>As long as Uber et al can differentiate themselves from Square and convince investors that they offer innovation-led growth then "the party can continue," concludes the pooper.<br /> Photo: Martin Thomas<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Hot investments: FinTech, marijuana and healthcare, says BlockChain co-founder Nicolas Cary
FinTech
<p>FinTech startups in London are booming. Just recently BlockChain, the world’s most popular Bitcoin wallet, raised $30.5 million, making it the highest investment achieved by a UK startup. </p> <p>Blockchain is an open-source software code that uses high-tech encryption to monitor and record bitcoin transactions. On November 18, BlockChain was joined by Credits.Vision and Nutmeg at the Google campus in London for an angel investor event organised by HoxTechangels.</p> <p>“Investing in tech startups requires a degree of prudence as the risk is higher than most other asset classes,” said Marina Atarova, co-founder of HoxTechangels. “We aim to tap into a few ways to approach the challenges of investing in Financial Technology.”</p> <p>Financial technology, also known as FinTech, is a line of business based on using software to provide financial services. Financial technology companies are generally startups founded with the purpose of disrupting incumbent financial systems and corporations that rely less on software.</p> <p>Why London?</p> <p>Paul Dowling: “London is one of only two places in the world where FinTech is going to be really big. The second place is New York.” Paul is a co-founder of the HoxTechangels and moderator of the discussion.</p> <p>Iqbal Gandham: “You have a complete spectrum of people, you have students, which helps startups to test their ideas and find a better square miles.” Iqbal is one of those rare people, who has worn both the CTO and CMO hats with equal degrees of success. He was the CMO at Nutmeg, the UK’s first online discretionary investment manager, where he was instrumental in launching the company, re-branding, full-stack marketing, and worked through two rounds of investment.</p> <p>Nick Williamson: “You kind of want to find out where the nucleus is. Everybody in that space is doing adjacent things, people bounce off each other and that’s the network effect that you’re seeing in London.” Nick is the CEO and founder of Credits.Vision who started his career overlooking Product &amp; Operations of Ring Games at Pokerstars –he largest real-money online poker product in the world. In 2010 he was introduced to Blockchain technology via Bitcoin and quickly became a leader in the space, which led to building a Credits.Vision, a built-from-scratch blockchain that cryptographically secures transactions between private and public chains.</p> <p>Nicolas Cary: “I think it is less to do with people and more to do with regulatory environment. What happened is — there is no more land, no more coal, not many trees left and the only thing you can do here [in the UK] is arbitrage legal services in regulatory environment. [In these circumstances] the BEST thing you can do is to build a space where entrepreneurs can try to create an incredible business. London has been a historical leader in finance innovation, so that on top of the incredible talent pool.” Winner of the 2015 European Digital Leader award for his inspiring and innovative contribution to initiate progress in the digital world and BlockChain co-founder, Nicholas himself is definitely an invaluable addition to that incredible pool.</p> <p>His company Blockchain is the world’s leading Bitcoin software company. Blockchain, which has 5 million users, manages the most widely-used and most trusted developer platform in the Bitcoin eco-system. In 2014, Blockchain raised the largest first outside capital round in industry history announcing over $30.5 million from leading venture capital firms.</p> <p>Will Bitcoin disrupt the financial industry?</p> <p>We are seeing digitization everywhere and finance is the sphere which is not revolutionised yet. “Those castles are well protected legally, but they will need to build bridges to the technologies,” Nicolas Cary said. “No one has a monopoly on innovation. We add 80 000 users a week, which makes us a fastest growing finch company on Earth. Last week we had $300 million worth of transactions facilitated on peer-to-peer basis using bitcoin protocol, we hire like crazy. We raised $30.5 million from three
Asia is driving global payments growth, says report
FinTech
Global payments revenues reached a staggering $1.7 trillion in 2014 -- up 9% from a year ago –  says a new report. Asia, in particular China, is driving the bulk of the growth, but for how long? McKinsey, which published the study this week, says it expects payments revenues to grow at a slower annual rate of 6% over the&hellip;
Video: Jack Dorsey sees contactless payments taking off; IPO up 50% on NYSE
FinTech
Jack Dorsey shares with CNBC that 350,000 small businesses have pre-ordered readers for a device that will enable customers to use Apple Pay or chip-enabled credit cards. They cost $49 each. In an interview, the Square CEO says that stores testing the contactless and chip card readers say customers are using the option half of the time-- a sign that&hellip;