Crowdfunding News Roundup

From crowdfunded airlines to disgraced CEOs, we’ve summarised the biggest crowdfunding developments and new stories of late.

Santander to pioneer blockchain

The Eurozone’s largest bank by market capitalisation, Santander, has announce it’s launching an app to enable live international transfers using block chain technology. For the Luddites, block chain is a type of database that consists of a continuously-growing list of records that cannot be tampered with or revised - it’s the technical innovation behind bitcoin, serving as a ledger for all bitcoin transactions. This announcement is another example of a wider trend of institutional involvement in the fintech industry. Santander is actively engaging in innovative technology, after its launch of a $100 million fintech fund.

Nordea to enter equity crowdfunding

Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordics, announced its entry into the equity crowdfunding industry. It plans to have an equity crowdfunding platform developed within a few months to rival the existing platforms in the region. The Scandinavian region was an early adopter of crowdfunding regulations and an established industry exists. Invesdor, the region’s largest player, was the first platform to receive a Europe-wide crowdfunding license, and has a string foothold in the area with an institutional partnership with Denmark’s Danske Bank.

Legislation in Australia

Back on our home turf, crowdfunding legislation continues to be stalled as the federal elections loom. Expectation of an enactment were high earlier in the year, however the bill failed to pass through the Senate. Crowdfunding legislation is toted as being high on the agenda with bipartisan support, and it is hoped that we’ll see a crowdfunding-friendly Australia by the end of the year.

A crowdfunded airline

A new airline called POP, short for People Over Profit, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £5 million in seed capital. It aims to launch low-cost, direct flights between the UK and key cities in India later this year. It’s seeking capital from the people, and aims to give back to the people once established by donating 51% of its profits to charitable projects in India and the UK.

Lending Club and its woes

News was flying earlier in the year of a partnership between banking giants, Citi, Goldman Sachs and others, and the US’ largest lending platform, Lending Club. The plan was to purchase low-grade debt from Lending Club to satisfy banks’ obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act (an Act requiring a portion of a bank’s lending to be in deprived areas). Since this announcement in April, Lending Club’s CEO Renaud Laplanche has stood down amongst controversy regarding $22 million worth of loans that were provided contrary to an investor’s explicit instructions. Relations have reportedly soured between Lending Club and its institutional partners, and attention will be on how Lending Club will deal with these low-performing, risky loans they hoped to offload.

That’s all from us. Be sure to check back in to keep abreast with the latest.

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