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FinTech Daily News – Soft launch Edition #6, 29.05.2017

FinTech Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition #6, 29.05.2017

Deals, Investments & M&As

London IPO of Fintech Firm Alfa Financial Is U.K.’s Largest For 2017

TheStreet

Alfa Financial Software’s billion dollar IPO in London Friday marked the British capital’s largest listing of the year and came after the Brexit vote left a string of debutants facing a crisis of confidence in H2 2016.

Alfa stock began conditional trading Friday after floating at a price of 325 pence per share, raising which earned the tech firm a valuation of £925 million ($1.2 billion).

Mizuho to Launch New Fintech Venture, Taking Minority Stake

Jeff Patterson – Finance Magnates

Mizuho Financial Group is Japan’s second-largest lender by assets, which currently includes upwards of twenty projects in the pipeline for the fintech venture. This includes an emphasis on several technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and others.

This ex-Googler Got Backing From Peter Thiel & Max Levchin To Build A LinkedIn Killer

John Shinal – CNBC

Pete Johnston’s plan to build “the world’s most badass recruitment engine” could put a dent in Microsoft’s plans to wring money from LinkedIn’s 500 million users.

Johnston, a former designer for Google and ad giant M&C Saatchi in London, and his backers, including PayPal co-founders Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, are betting that managing contract workers will one day become as valuable to corporations as hiring and paying their own staff.

Indian Finance Giant Wadhawan Takes Stake In UK’s Zopa

Manx Radio

Zopa, which launched in 2005, has attracted a big investment from Wadhawan Group, a conglomerate with interests in a range of financial services sectors.

The deal, which is due to be announced in the coming weeks, will see Wadhawan and other investors inject roughly £40m into Zopa, one of the pioneers of the UK’s fintech sector.

Retail banking

Spanish Banks Form New Blockchain Consortium

Stan Higgins – CoinDesk

The group’s membership includes Abanca, Bankia, CaixaBank, Kutxabank, Ibercaja, Liberbank and Unicaja.

It represents the first major foray into blockchain for these companies, as other Spanish banks, including Banco Santander and BBVA, have been working with the tech for some time.

Dipak Gupta, Kotak Mahindra Bank: It May Be Difficult For Fintech Firms To Compete With Banks On Pricing

The Economic Times

As long as fintech companies are in the payments space, they are neither impacting the revenue pool of a bank significantly nor are they taking away customers. However, once they start offering loan and investment products, bankers will have to take cognizance of their presence. The challenge will increase as these companies move up the value chain.

FAO: Last week we read a piece on how nordic banks and startups are increasing collaboration… and another one about the Danish Fintech startup Clearhaus which recently acquired 33% (worth 10 mil EUR) of the Copenhagen Cooperative Bank.

FinTech People

LendingClub, ex-CEO Must Face U.S. Shareholder Litigation

Jonathan Stempel – Reuters

A federal judge on Thursday rejected efforts by LendingClub Corp  and former CEO Renaud Laplanche to dismiss shareholder litigation accusing them of concealing material weaknesses in the online lender’s ability to monitor its operations.

The decision by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco lets shareholders pursue most of their claims over the contents of LendingClub’s registration statement for its December 2014 IPO.

FAO: Laplanche resigned in May 2016 from his position as CEO of LendingClub Corp.

Jim Marous – Fintech Author, Strategist & Influencer

Interview with Sam Maule – Irish Tech News

Jim’s just about seen it all throughout his career when it comes to financial services.  He’s witnessed the rise of the internet, mobile, and pure digital solutions when it comes to banking.  And yet Jim remains grounded it facts when it comes to the influence of technology on how banks service their customers’ needs.

FAO: Jim Marous is the co-publisher of The Financial Brand, and owner and publisher of the Digital Banking Report.

Regulation

Fintech’s Decentralized Nature Challenges Regulators As Industry Transforms Banking

Bora Yagiz – Reuters

The ambiguous role of fintech in transforming the banking sector, tenuous collaboration among banks and fintech companies, and regulatory challenges presented by fintech’s decentralized nature are common themes emerging where industry participants and regulators gather.

One Fintech In ASIC’s Sandbox, So Government To Expand It

James Eyers – AFR

Only one start-up has entered the “regulatory sandbox” set up by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to foster fintech innovation, prompting the federal government to broaden its eligibility criteria through new legislation.

Six months after the launch of the sandbox, the single start-up using the regime is Goodments, a share trading application which matches retail investors to shares based on their ethical, sustainable and social values.

Accelerators & Hubs

Chicago Should Be A Fintech Hub. So Why Isn’t It? (sub)

Lynne Marek – Crain’s Chicago Business

The Chicago area is home to some of the biggest U.S. fintech players, including futures exchange operator CME; mutual fund research firm Morningstar; and credit card company Discover. They’ve groomed a well-paid pool of professionals, some of whom have become entrepreneurs and angel investors. Chicago also has enviable infrastructure: It’s one of a half-dozen key vertebrae in the nation’s digital backbone, placed at the center of the fiber optic cable connections between New York and California.

Still, Chicago’s aim to become a 21st-century fintech center is at best limping along.

FAO: Fintech is shifting to Asia, with a lot of things happening in Hong Kong, South Korea, India etc.

What We Can Expect From The Future Of Hong Kong’s Fintech Scene

Jay Kim – Forbes

What is clear is that Hong Kong remains one of the most prominent financial centers in the world and as such, the city is well positioned to becoming one of the global leaders in fintech.

FAO: More focus on HK which is morphing into a global leader in fintech. Check also last week’s HK profile in Forbes Magazine.

Analysis

A Fintech Revolution May Have Stalled, But It’s Key For Britain Post-Brexit (sub)

Julian Skan – The Telegraph

The fintech revolution, which many expected to transform the financial services industry, has appeared to stall. Millennial graduates may still prefer hip fintech jobs over a desk in a bank or insurance company, but the promised industry reformation has yet to unfold.