May 5th, 2016 by: Grow VC Group

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced new initiatives earlier in April to boost the country’s position as a global hub for the burgeoning financial technology sector.

The head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Ravi Menon and the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, were recently at the Asia Society in New York where they announced the launch of the first Singapore FinTech Festival, to be held from 14 to 18 November 2016.

As stated on the MAS website, the festival will be supported by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), and will comprehend a ‘fintech hackcelerator’, an awards ceremony for the most creative digital finance applications, as well as conferences and debates on regtech.

Bloomberg reported that Menon declared Singapore will regulate their fintech companies only when they grow to a size that can be a threat to the financial system. “If you start regulating every one of those, you stifle a lot of innovation, and they don’t get a chance to grow,[…]So only when they grow and reach a certain critical mass, which then poses a significant impact on the system, or it can affect a large number of consumers, then we step in to regulate. It’s always a fine balance,” Menon said.

Singapore is not alone here, other countries around the world are taking fintech growth seriously, and the UK is one of those. The main points are: the introduction of a fintech panel and delivery of a support function to supervise activities and regulations; the creation of a professional services information hub to facilitate fintech companies to source legal and accountancy services; the introduction of ‘FinTech Bridges’, working with the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), to help the companies expand internationally. With £6.6 billion in revenue and more than 60,000 people employed in 2015, the size of the UK financial technology sector is already considerable and considering the attention given to the sector, the future definitely looks promising.

Digital finance is flourishing everywhere from London to Singapore, are you ready to seize the opportunity?

Read more at Crowd Valley News.

Singapore fintech

May 4th, 2016 by: Grow VC Group

With crowdfunding growing in popularity, it is no surprise that universities and colleges across the globe are turning to crowdfunding in order to raise money for everything from research projects to university sporting teams. Below, we will detail some of these crowdfunding efforts and also note that more and more universities and colleges are using crowdfunding as oppose to traditional fundraising efforts.

MONEY FOR RESEARCH PROJECTS

Many of you probably know that much of our society’s top discoveries are uncovered through faculty and student research projects. Yet research projects often require finances (sometimes a whole lot!), so where do researchers turn to in order to generate funds? Traditionally, researchers would have to compete for grants, yet now more and more are turning to crowdfunding in order to raise money for their projects.

For example, the University of Maryland’s Bee Informed Partnership started a crowdfunding campaign and raised $24,000 to monitor and encourage the health of honeybees that help with much of the produce that our world eats.

UNIVERSITY SPORTS TEAMS

As budget cuts continue to afflict universities and colleges across the globe, university level sports teams and clubs are finding themselves within little to no financial support. Rather than give up, students and coaches are turning to crowdfunding as a way to generate funds so players can continue to play the sport that they love.

GENERAL FUNDING

Outside of research projects and sports teams, universities and colleges are also using crowdfunding instead of – or coinciding with – traditional fundraising efforts. The premise behind this is that universities are better able to leverage their alumni network via social media contact, as opposed to traditional contacting methods, like newsletters or postcards. This is still in its initial stages, but universities spread out across the entire United States – in states such as Utah, Vermont and Virginia – have launched crowdfunding campaigns in the past, and more are preparing to in the future!

As always, if you are interested in starting a crowdfunding campaign, but are not sure where to start, feel free to contact Kapipal! We would love to help you raise money to help make your dreams come true, so don’t be shy!

Read more at Kapipal Blog.

education crowdfunding

May 2nd, 2016 by: Grow VC Group

Current headlines are dominated by traditional institutions becoming minor or even major players in fintech platforms globally. This week it was announced that BlackRock made an investment of £12.7 million in Funding Circle. Similar activity is mirrored by companies such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and DBS in Singapore. While these large institutions are making waves in the digital finance space, similar size opportunities are being exploited by community banks and institutions in the form of local P2P networks.

The aim is simple, institutions with a network of local or “community” banks are providing their customers an alternate avenue to raise capital if they cannot do so within the physical branch. This comes in the form of onboarding these customers onto a digital finance portal which they operate. The motive for the institution is clear and with the rise of “collaboration” it makes entering the market effortless.

Local P2P platforms often sit outside the legacy banking infrastructure and leverage cutting edge technology to automate AML/KYC checks, credit scoring, disbursement and payments. By operating in the “cloud” platforms both future proof scaling and mitigate internal controls to enter the market efficiently.

We at Crowd Valley (a Grow VC Group company) have seen both local banks and institutions identify this opportunity and enter new markets in a very meaningful way. Utilising their internal expertise in market knowledge, operations and product positioning, it gives them an advantage over most.

Institutions looking to capitalise on collaboration within the fintech space, get in touch with us at Crowd Valley to leverage our full offering and industry leading Digital Back Office that bridge the gap into fintech.

Read more at Crowd Valley Blog.

Cabot_Square,_Canary_Wharf

May 1st, 2016 by: Grow VC Group

By Jamal Russell-Black, TradeUp Marketing Associate

Economic instability has been rippling through globe since the U.S. housing market crash of 2007-2008. With the prospect of economic volatility reaching developing countries, evaluating risk is key when determining investment and trade opportunities.

The Country Risk Barometer: Key Challenges for 2016 produced by trade credit insurer Coface, highlights those countries that have persevered through this economic contraction as well as those that have recently underperformed.

Bright spots from the report have been seen in Europe as a whole, with Central Europe being the highlight. Benefiting from cheap oil, the weak euro, and the slow decline in unemployment, the outlook looks positive overall.

That is not to say that risk from a possible Brexit, the ongoing Refugee Crisis and financial instability in countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal should be ignored.

Further, the Coface report notes that “in addition to sluggish GDP growth negatively affecting their profitability, businesses in emerging countries are currently facing a second problem: their growing debt. It multiplied by a factor of 4.5 between 2004 and 2014 in absolute value.”

Read more about trade and finance at TradeUp Blog.

Country Risk TradeUp

April 29th, 2016 by: Grow VC Group

In some of our former posts we have discussed how artists and entrepreneurs are using crowdfunding to raise money for their art and business projects, but did you know that athletes of all ages are using crowdfunding as well? Yep! Whether it is an Olympic level athlete generate funds for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics or a youth sports teams trying to gain support for their tournaments and travels, athletes from all over the world are using Kapipal (a Grow VC Group company) to raise money for their dreams.

HOW ATHLETES CAN USE KAPIPAL

Over Kapipal’s history, we have found that there is not one specific point where athletes turn to crowdfunding. Sometimes they are a fresh individual or group looking to start a new league or raise money for a future event, other times they are already well-established and simply need funds for new jerseys or tournaments. Either way, Kapipal has you covered!

To get started, go to the Kapipal home page and click Start Project in the top-right side of the screen. Fill out all of the required information and being setting up your campaign page. With the campaign page, it will be a very important that you inform your audience of who or your team is and what your goals or dreams are. Tell exactly why you need additional funding, and what you plan to do with it once you reach your campaign goal. Also, be sure to include some images or video of you in action playing the sport you are trying to raise money for. The more informed and involved you can get your audience, the better!

CROWDFUNDING IDEAS FOR ATHLETES

  • League Fees – Even fun adult softball leagues have been known to have fees, so if you and your team are a bit tight on money, crowdfunding could be a great way to generate the funds needed to get you and your team playing!
  • New Uniforms – Having quality uniforms is an essential part of playing team sports. If your jersey is falling apart, you certainly deserve to get a new one!
  • Tournament Fees – No matter whether you are participating in local tournaments or national tournaments spread out across the country, there are always fees associated and sometimes they can be pretty hefty! Use Kapipal as a way to generate funds so kids can get noticed by scouts!
  • Equipment – Whether it is soccer cleats or football helmets, equipment is very important, especially in regards to player safety. So don’t ever settle for mediocre equipment! Instead, set up a crowdfunding campaign so that you can get the equipment you deserve!

As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to us here! Otherwise, have a great day! And remember, today is the day to start turning your dreams into reality!

Tappara

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