July 1st, 2015 by: Grow VC Group

San Francisco, CA and London, UK – July 1, three Grow VC Group companies, Crowd Valley, DealIndex, and Kapipal, launch new products today. The Grow VC Group published its first digital investing service on July 1, 2009. Since then the Grow VC Group has expanded its operations and established itself as the leading global group enabling digital investing and lending. The group now includes 10 companies. The new products are launched on the Groups 6th year anniversary.

Crowd Valley announces the world’s first digital back office, accessible by open API (Application Programming Interface) that can be used by investing or lending marketplaces globally. This solution takes investing and lending services to the next era enabling any finance or fin-tech company, as well as software developers, to build their own online investing or lending service. It supports online exchanges for real estate investing and lending, securities and private middle-market marketplaces, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and wealth management among other applications.

DealIndex announced the launch of its digital investment dashboard, an intelligent data and deal aggregator of private companies raising capital across leading crowdfunding platforms globally. DealIndex is a pioneering global crowdfunding aggregator which allows investors to navigate and track deals in real-time, manage their portfolio of private company investments, make informed investment decisions backed by extensive analysis, data and research. The DealIndex dashboard provides single sign-on access to hundreds of thousands of private companies seeking capital, bringing together, for the first time, 30 leading equity crowdfunding platforms spanning across 4 continents.

Kapipal takes personal crowdfunding to the next level with remodelled platform that will offer more tools and flexibility for personal crowdfunding than any other platform. Whether it is a community project, album recording, health issue, wedding gift fund or any other personal campaign, the new templates and customizing tools enable the user to create securely a campaign in minutes. The new platform will also have more tools to integrate campaigns to social media and market them. Kapipal is the leading personal crowdfunding service that supports also countries in Europe, LATAM and Asia with several language versions and global payment solutions. Thousands of people around the world use the service to raise millions of dollars annually.

Jouko Ahvenainen, Grow VC Group Founder and Chairman comments: “All these new products enable digital finance to reach the next level. They make it easier to develop and implement new services, offer better scalability, security and reliability, and offer data to better compare different options and make better decisions.” Mr. Ahvenainen continues: “This is fundamental for the whole market. The private investing market is one of the biggest markets in the world, and its total value is in trillions of dollars. Digital services make the market more effective, transparent and safe.”

About Grow VC Group:

The Grow VC Group (http://growvc.com) is the world leading, global pioneer of securities crowd funding, peer-to-peer marketplaces, and digital finance models. Established in 2009, the Group has developed new investment solutions on six continents and continues to innovate the global market. The Group is recognized as a leading innovator of crowd-based investment models and open marketplaces, for asset classes starting from early stage ventures to various verticals and enabling technologies.

More information:

Crowd Valley, Inc.: Markus Lampinen, CEO, markus@crowdvalley.com, +1 415 480 0087
Deal Index Ltd.: Neha Manaktala, CEO, neha@dealindex.co, +44 750 526 7252
Kapipal, Inc.: Mika Jordman, CEO, mika@kapipal.com, +1 650 308 4040
Grow VC Group: Jouko Ahvenainen, Chairman, jouko@growvc.com, +1 646 363 6664

Crowd Valley digital back office and open API.

Crowd Valley digital back office and open API.

Deal Index dashboard.

Deal Index dashboard.

Kapipal success stories.

Kapipal success stories.

June 29th, 2015 by: Grow VC Group

Peer to peer lending has been increasing rapidly in many parts of the world, such as the UK, USA and China, where the market is booming. However, in some other areas the development of P2P lending has been slower, for example in Canada.

Many factors could contribute to why Canada’s P2P market has a slower growth than other countries, but certainly the lack of clear guidance in provinces like Ontario, has played a role. In fact, the existing Canadian P2P marketplaces have been very cautious in their operations, most of them making sure to comply to the existing securities laws. And they did well, given that the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has recently released a guiding statement warning P2P operators that they may be subject to securities laws, depending on their business model.

In particular, ordinary loans are not considered securities, but they might be depending how they are provided, for example bonds, debentures and other “investment contracts”. In this case, the companies has to comply to the existing relevant securities laws and the Ontario Securities Commission also suggested to check with them whether they need to register as investment adviser or dealer.

Read the whole article on Crowd Valley Blog.

Toronto p2p lending regulation

Toronto (source: Wikipedia)

June 28th, 2015 by: Grow VC Group

Only now, some 7 or 8 years after the global financial crisis are economies of the European Union finally reaching pre-crisis levels. Despite self-congratulatory politicians, growth can be best described as tepid, and certainly well below previous peak levels. New deflationary demons lurk beneath the surface and guards are still up. Putting aside political optimism, economic growth is what Europe desperately needs.

However, in search of growth potential, Europe needn’t to look far. As the European Commission itself estimates, there are now more than 20 million small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), representing 99 percent of all business across the EU. We continue to believe startups and SME will be the potential drivers for economic growth, innovation, employment and social integration in Europe.

While regulation is one vital component enabling sustained growth – a task where both the Commission and the European governments must remain vigilant not to overburden and suffocate business – another part can be played by SMEs themselves.

According to an Accenture report, investment in financial-technology (FinTech) companies more than tripled between 2008 and 2013 and grew by more than 200 percent globally in 2014. This compares to a meagre 63 percent growth in overall venture-capital investments. Things are changing, and how the capital is being raised is just as much part of the change. The emergence of crowd investing and online marketplaces is facilitating deal flow and making it easier to spot companies at distinct growth stages.

Within Europe, Ireland and the UK are emerging as growth engines, accounting for 42 percent of all European investment in this area. However, the rest of Europe is catching up, as last year the value of FinTech investment in the region grew more than twice as fast as in the UK and Ireland. The most significant levels of investments were in the Nordic countries ($345 million), the Netherlands ($306 million) and Germany ($82 million).

In Europe, one major initiative gathering pace is The Digital Single Market. It aims to prepare the EU for the digital age, thereby boosting the speed and agility of SMEs and startups, including those in fintech. By tearing down old regulatory walls and moving from twenty-eight national markets to one, Commission eurocrats estimate this initiative will add €415 billion per year to Europe’s economic output and create 3.8 million additional jobs. Just what Europe desperately needs. The age of European FinTech is now and within reach.

Finally, as the future of innovation and technology develops, opportunities will emerge as more countries in Europe support the growth of their young companies. Future innovation cycles will be more intense and deliver greater change than previous ones. Good and positive news for everyone, not only for the innovators and entrepreneurs behind the SMEs, but also for customers and investors alike.

Accenture fintech

Denisa Mäki, Grow Advisors; Political advisory, strategic communication and policy analysis. Subject matter expert in EU affairs, legal research and analysis of EU and International law.

June 26th, 2015 by: Grow VC Group

At the beginning of this year the British Treasury announced that from 2016 P2P lending will be included in the ISAs scheme, thus allowing to shield from taxes up to £1000 in interests received from borrowers. A few days ago the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the UK Tax Authority, expanded the ISAs scheme also to peer-to-peer investment trusts.

In fact, until recently, the trusts were not included in the ISAs scheme plan. However, given the rapid development of such funds and in order to remain coherent with their plan of giving a push to alternative finance, the local authorities thought it made sense to include also peer-to-peer investment companies.

The UK is the first Country in Europe and in the world to implement a tax policy to foster investments through peer-to-peer and crowdfunding marketplaces. The alternative finance market in the United Kingdom is the largest in Europe, especially when looking at the peer-to-peer lending side. European institutions, like the European Banking Authority and the European Securities Market Authority and the European Commission itself, expressed their positive opinion about digital investing and often cited as example the British case.

Read the whole article on Crowd Valley Blog.

ISA savings

June 25th, 2015 by: Grow VC Group

On 11 June, TradeUp (a Grow VC Group company) held an event together with Global Chamber, “Connecting Exporters and Investors” in Salt Lake City. Gene and Susan Tafoya, the owners of Morrison Meatpies, a 132-year old Utah company that is now also expanding internationally with distributors in Canada, Mexico, and South Korea, presented, along with TradeUp CEO Kati Suominen; Ted Elliott, Lender Relations Specialist at the SBA (Small Business Administration), Utah District Office; and Troy D’Ambrosio, the Executive Director, Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, University of Utah.

Morrison is on TradeUp platform and has made headway on its capital raise, recently locking in $50,000 toward a $400,000 equity raise. 

Morrison is a USDA food manufacturer with a fully built out automated infrastructure and a range of healthy products. The company has also implemented e-commerce. Morrison President Gene Tafoya cited as some of the drivers behind its success in export markets keen willingness to seek out the best service providers for exporters in the United States, including by leveraging TradeUp’s contact network; strong, high-quality, and highly competitive products; and commitment to meeting national food safety, packaging, and other standards in different markets.

Read more on the TradeUp Service.

Morrison Meatpies Owners Susan and Gene Tafoya presenting in a TradeUp - Global Chamber event in Salt Lake City.

Morrison Meatpies Owners Susan and Gene Tafoya presenting in a TradeUp-Global Chamber event in Salt Lake City.


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