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Tickr Investment App Makes Investing Easy

Today tens of thousands of people, investing on average £120 each month, are using the Tickr investment app. 40% are female while half the investors with an average age of 31 are first-time investors.

Development of the Tickr app targets the next generation of investors who want to make money as well as have a positive impact on the world. Users can sign up and start investing with a minimum investment of £5.

About Tickr Investment App

Tom McGillycuddy and Matt Latham launched the business in early 2019. Both worked in investment management and had come to view the finance sector as largely inefficient industry. Businesses were earning revenue and profit indiscriminately, without questioning the source of the money nor its supposed impact.

To date, Tickr has raised £2.5 million in external funding, including more than £1 million from a Seedrs crowdfunding campaign.

Tickr allows investors to invest in ethical investment through ETFs. The app also provides access to publicly listed companies committed to positive impact investing. Impact investing is one of the fastest-growing sectors of today’s investment management industry. Globally, assets invested in impact are doubling each year, and are forecasted to hit $1 trillion by 2020.

Intended Impact

Development of the Tickr investment app is meant to fulfill the emerging demand for a new generation of potential investors. The interest of these investors is to grow businesses with a social impact benefit and positive investment footprint.

The investment is accessible for first-time investors who can put their money into specific companies spanning four separate themes; climate change, equality, disruptive technology, or a combination of the three.

1). The climate change theme includes renewable energy businesses that derive revenue from activities such as building wind farms.

2). Social Impact is investing in businesses that address gender equality and inclusion.

3). Disruptive Technology is investing in businesses that develop tech-based solutions for big social problems.

4) The fourth impact is a combination fund of the above three points.

Accomplishments to date

– In September 2018 Tickr raised an initial round of £860,000 from people in the investment management industry in Europe and the US

– Launched on both iOS and Android and have thousands of users across both platforms

–  It has grown from 3 to 14 staff members, with offices in London and Liverpool.

– FCA regulated as an Appointed Representative.

– The 2019 winner of Tech Nation Rising Stars

– Made it to the Wealthtech 100 annual list of the world’s most innovative Wealthtech companies in April 2019

Monetisation Strategy

The Tickr business model is clear as it charges everyone the same flat fee of 0.7% per annum on assets under management. Moving forward, Tickr expects to create additional revenue streams from the launch of Tickr branded ETFs.

Retail and institutional investors will be charged outside the app whilst it will be free to use in-app for Tickr users.

Pros

  • Promotes ethical investments
  • Low cost investing through ETFs
  • Tax-efficient accounts through investment ISAs

Cons

  • Access limited to mobile
  • Limited ETFs and market access
  • Startup risk is high (despite funds protection by FSCS)
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Creditspring Review

Two former bankers – Neil Kadagathur and Aravind Chandrasekaran – founded London-based Creditspring in September 2018. Creditspring is a trading name of Inclusive Finance Limited and is a direct lender authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Creditspring is an innovative short-term lender that offers customers a new way to deal with unexpected expenses. In return for a fixed monthly membership fee, you can borrow as much as £1,000 a year. The company’s aim is to provide consumers easy access to credit in a safe, simple, and cheaper way.

Monetisation Strategy

Creditspring generates revenues mainly from the membership fees. The costs of Creditspring Core is £6 per month while Creditspring Plus is £8 per month. There’s also a secondary revenue generator from the company’s Financial Stability Portal.

In return, you can borrow £250 or £500 on two separate occasions throughout the year at 0% interest. You only pay back what you borrow plus the monthly fee. This removes the risk of your debt spiraling because of massive interest charges.

Who Is Eligible For Creditspring?

Creditspring is limited to people who have an annual income of at least £20,000. Plus you have to be a member for 14 days before you can draw your first advance. You’ll also be subject to credit and affordability checks. The 14-day waiting period allows you to use your advances as a back-up plan for future emergencies.

The firm insists that you will never pay more than £96 over any 12 months period. But if you opt not to take out any loans, you will still pay the full membership fee of £72 per annum. The clarity offered by Creditspring is a big plus, knowing that you won’t have to pay any interest, as well as your expected repayments.

Pros and Cons of a Creditspring membership

Pros

  • The monthly fee should be comfortably manageable for most people.
  • Creditspring membership can offer you a fair degree of peace of mind.
  • You won’t lose time searching for and applying for credit when a financial emergency strikes.
  • A rise in credit score from the membership subs and the loan repayments allows you access better interest rates in the future.
  • The loans are likely to be cheaper than a similar high-cost short term loan.

Cons

  • The minimum income requirement of £20,000 p.a. may put the service out of reach of some who might benefit most.
  • The 14 days waiting period may not be an option if you need money fast.
  • If you end up not needing to borrow, you’ll still lose the membership fees.
  • Your credit score will suffer if you pay your monthly membership fee late.

The Bottom Line

Innovative lenders such as Creditspring offer an alternative to payday-style urgent loans. Although interest is 0%, the cost of credit is covered in the membership fee.

If you take out short term loans on a semi-regular manner and meet Creditspring’s eligibility criteria, then this is a viable facility. But if you don’t take out a loan during the year, then you’ve effectively paid an interest rate of infinity percent.

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Airsorted Online Platform Review

Airsorted is an online platform established in 2015. The firm offers account management, guest vetting, price optimisation, and replenishment services. Their headquarters are in London, England, GB EC1V7LQ. Founder and CEO James Jenkins-Yates has an approval rating of 86%. Airsorted has approximately 50 employees and an annual revenue of £25 million.

To help fuel further growth – including expansion to Sydney, Australia – Airsorted has raised £13.3 million in 4 rounds, the latest round being June 2019. Concentric led the round with participation from some of Airsorted’s investors including Atami Capital and Pi Labs.

The booming sharing economy and websites such as Airbnb are popular for homeowners looking to make some extra money and travelers looking for somewhere comfortable to stay. In 2018, over 2 million people used Airbnb to visit the UK and over 3 million Britons used the site while holidaying.

How Does Airsorted Work?

The host signs up to the site and commits to renting out their homes for a minimum of eight weeks per year. In return, Airsorted manages the booking.

Hosts pay Airsorted 12% of their earnings. Assuming you’re renting out your place for 46 nights, the average Airbnb host in the UK makes £2,000 a year renting their place. Take off the Airsorted fee and it drops to £1,760. For someone using the site specifically to make extra money, this is quite a large chunk wiped off.

Airsorted will manage the entire listing for you. This includes the account itself, guest communication, your home photos, professional cleaning, and laundry.

The company also installs a police-approved key safe at each property it looks after so that guests can check-in whenever they want.

For the cleaners, Airsorted works like Uber taxi drivers. The cleaners sign up and are vetted by the company. Airsorted currently has roughly 500 cleaners in 22 cities around the world who all interact with the app.

One extra perk of the service is that hosts can set preferences, selecting the level of control to dictate how much freedom they give Airsorted to manage their property.

Why Airsorted?

Renting out your home or your spare room for a night is a popular way of making some extra money. But what happens if you’re on holiday in France and your tenant calls to report a flooded kitchen or broken washing machine?

The hassle of handling the repair and the costs involved can be too demanding, making the hassle of making that extra 200 quid seem a tad tedious. Airsorted promises to take care of such emergencies – for a fee.

Bottom Line

It’s not by accident that the design of the Airsorted website gives the impression of an Airbnb spin-off. However, while the two companies work parallel to each other, there is no official link between them.

According to founder and CEO James Jenkins-Yates, he sees it as a benefit for guests to know when they are booking a professionally managed property. This gives the guest confidence that the experience is going to be of a certain standard, or at the very least, provide assurance that a listed property does exist.

It’s only a matter of time and trust before Airsorted becomes a well-known brand, as it piggybacks’ on the success of established unicorns.

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Crowdproperty Review

Crowdproperty is a peer-to-peer lending platform that specializes in giving loans to small real estate developers. They use Brismo, an independent market-leading provider of loan performance data to verify each loan. Mike Bristow, Andy Hall, and Simon Zutshi founded Crowdproperty in Birmingham in 2014.

The three co-founders background is in the real estate sector and have extensive experience in the selection and management of real estate portfolios.

To date, Crowdproperty has lent around 50 million pounds on properties valued at over £120 million. The firm currently has over 8,500 investors. The company is both solvent and financially steady, with a perfect record of closing at 1.1 million pounds round of capital funding.

Crowdfunding site Seedrs conducted the campaign with contributions from 575 investors and a pre-money valuation of £15.7 million.

Crowdproperty managed to break even in 2018, and the same results are expected in 2019. This and other factors add to the stability of the firm considering many Peer to Peer lenders are still operating at a loss.

Crowdproperty Regulation

Crowdproperty is authorised and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with full permissions under FCA number 723959. The firm gained FCA permissions in September 2017. It’s important to note that the FCA is not the same as the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme), thus capital is not secured as it would be in a bank.

Registration and Conditions for Investors

Registration with Crowdproperty is open to people living outside the UK. But only EU citizens who can provide proof of residence in the EU can invest. Plus the platform requires its investors to have a bank account with an English entity.

You don’t have to live in the UK to open a bank account there. Many banks, especially online banks don’t ask for proof of residence to open an account.

Who Can Borrow From Crowdproperty?

Crowdproperty lenders lend directly to the borrowers who have experience in property development. Crowdproperty knows many of these developers and the firm trusts them as they are return clients who have taken out loans for other developments.

Loan agreements are directly between the lender (investor) and the borrower. Crowdproperty only acts as a middle man, managing loans, payments and debt collection. Should it be required, Crowdproperty can add an extra layer of safety with its ability to take over and manage projects to completion and sale.

This is a better option than having to repossess a defaulted property which can take years to sell and dispose of. Instead, developments could be completed and sold in a matter of weeks or months.

Is Crowdproperty A Safe Investment?

Crowdproperty’s real estate experts thoroughly evaluate and carry out a rigorous Due Diligence on each project proposal, and does background checks of its partners. Each project must meet a criterion of 25% return on cost and loans do not exceed 70% of the LTV (Loan To Value). For larger loans, loans are staggered in tranches.

The firm only makes loans on properties in which it can register such loans as the first load. In case of default, Crowdproperty will have preferential rights over the property.

Pros and Cons of Crowdproperty

Pros

  • Established in 2014 and with proven experience
  • Authorised by the FCA and regulated since 1 November 2017
  • Simple registration process
  • One hundred percent return on investment
  • Profitability target of 8% annually
  • The first legal charge for security

Cons

  • The secondary market is non-existent
  • There’s no buy-back guarantee
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Mintos Marketplace Review

Mintos is a Latvian P2P marketplace for investors that links different lending companies with investors and borrowers. According to AltFi Data, it currently leads the continental Europe marketplace with a 38% market share. Launched in 2015, the platform serves over 60 loan originators and more than 146,000 investors from 70 countries. Mintos offers an accessible and transparent option to the traditional banking system. In 2017, Mintos reached profitability with EUR 2.1 million in revenue and EUR 196,000 as net profit.

How it Works

Both retail and institutional investors can invest in fractions of loans from across various loan types and continents. Mintos connects loan originators to the marketplace and offers instant access to investors looking to buy loans

Opportunities for investment include personal unsecured loans, mortgage loans, invoices, secured car loans, and small business loans. Many of the marketplace loans are secured. This means the borrower has to attach an asset with their loan application. In case the borrower defaults, the loan originator can engage to sell the asset and redistribute the money to investors. This lowers any potential loss in case of a default.

Buyback Guarantee

Mintos buyback guarantee is usually with secured loans. This is a promise from the loan originator that they will intervene and refund you back the invested principal plus interest earned. This is inclusive of the 60 overdue days a borrower fails to make repayments. Though this method is not risk-free, it transfers the risk from the borrower to the loan originator.

Campaign Rewards

Mintos introduced campaign rewards in 2018. This allows you to get cashback when you invest in loans from a certain loan originator. In some cases, the loans may even be repurchased if the loan agreements change. In such a scenario, you’ll receive your invested principal plus earned interest which you can withdraw or invest in new cashback loans.

Mintos Auto-Invest

Auto-invest is a Minto tool that automatically completes your investment of choice strategy. Once you choose your investment criteria, Auto-invest will invest in suitable loans on your behalf. Auto-invest is accessible anytime and you can follow your portfolio activity in real-time. The tool is efficient as it saves time spent on investment matters. You can even access newly placed loans in the system before manually-made investments.

Auto-invest has three investment strategies

  • Primary market with a 14% interest rate and buyback guarantee within any duration.
  • Primary market which features a buyback guarantee, 13% interest rate, and a 12 months duration.
  • Secondary market which features loans with buyback guarantee, 14% interest rate and a 60 months duration.

As a new originator, you need to choose and fine-tune your strategy when there’re new campaigns or when interest rates change. Failure to adapt may lead to cash drag when no loans fit your benchmark. If you set your benchmark low, you can even miss on higher-interest loans.

The main advantage of Mintos is the variety of options to diversify your investments. But you must exercise caution as it could also be another fraud. This is partly due to the many loan originators and options making it difficult for new investors to choose the best investments. Despite some doubts, the generous buyback campaigns offer Mintos a trusted P2P platform with a long working history and various diversification options.

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What is Peer-to-Peer Network

The history of P2P and its eventual mainstream acceptance is thanks to Napster. In 1999, the file-sharing application made it possible to store music or film files across multiple computers.

The peer-to-peer architecture allowed millions of internet users to connect, and form groups. Users could then perform as user-created virtual supercomputers, file systems, and search engines,

What is Peer-to-Peer Network?

The idea of a P2P network is to create equal peer nodes that together serve as both “clients” and “servers” to other nodes on the network. Network participants then record and interchange information. The network model is different from the traditional client-server model where the exchange of information is to and from a central server. No central storage point eliminates the need for a dominant authority. This means no single individual can use the network to own or control it. If users secure it, they become the true owners of their data.

Peer-to-Peer Services

Some P2P services don’t involve a buy and sell transaction. However, they connect individuals to collaborate on joint projects, communicate and share information without intermediation.

When a third party is not involved in a transaction, there is an increased risk the provider may not deliver, the service may be of lower quality or the buyer may default. To mitigate such risks, transaction costs and prices are lower. This is done by creating businesses that facilitate P2P transactions.

Today, online merchants provide the lion’s share of P2P services. Popular examples include:

  • AirBnB – property owners can lease all or a section of their property to short-term tenants.
  • Open-source software – the software code can be modified or viewed by anyone.
  • Uber – riders and car owners have a shared platform that offers a uniform service for taxi rides.
  • Etsy – producers of homespun goods and other crafts can sell their goods directly to the public.
  • BitTorrent – the anonymous file-sharing platform allows users to meet and swap media and software files.
  • eBay – interested buyers can access a private marketplace with different private vendors.
  • Spotify – you can stream real-time audio content on-demand using P2P networking.

Peer to Peer Trading in Blockchain

Blockchain can reduce the inefficiencies in share settlement as peer confirmation settle shares. There’s no need for auditors to verify trades, a custodian to confirm the number of shares held or a clearinghouse. Eliminating the middleman from the back office means lower record-keeping costs, as well as lower trading costs on the platform.

Unlike the current settlement of three working days, peer confirmation of trades allows for almost instantaneous settlements. For this to happen, blockchain requires participants to already have the money and shares to exchange. Shares would be a more liquid investment and the higher liquidity will translate into more investment into your shares.

The evolution of the P2P network and its central role has seen it cut inefficiencies within blockchain technology. Blockchain has made the domineering third party irrelevant as users can deal with each other across a secure decentralized network. Although each peer participating in the network is open to viewing, blockchain conceals participants’ data through cryptography.

Peer 2 Peer Compliance

By nature Peer 2 Peer or otherwise known as P2P circumvents central governing bodies, such as banks in financial industry and allows people to send and receive money directly. This poses a number of issues for compliance from the money laundering perspective. The key one is how to prevent criminals from abusing P2P platforms and payment methods. As NorthRow writes in its Money Laundering and Compliance brief for the Peer-2-Peer industry:

“To protect customers, all regulated industries including banks, building societies, and credit unions are subjected to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017. These regulations require these organisations to undertake appropriate risk-based customer due-diligence so as to ensure that the services offered by these financial institutions are not being used for money-laundering.” … “The FCA published new regulations for peer-2-peer loan-based and investment-based platforms following calls to better protect lenders/consumers in this industry.”

In 2016, the FCA began to review how this sector was regulated and, in 2018, consulted on changes. These changes come into force on 9th December 2019. For further information about Compliance and Money Laundering in the P2P industry read here.

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Assetz Capital P2P Lender

As the traditional banks continue to be less supportive in providing finance to many small and medium enterprises (SMEs), there’s increasing interest in peer-to-peer lenders willing to bridge the gap. Assetz Capital is one such P2P lender that we’ll review in this article.

Who is Assetz Capital?

Assetz Capital is the leading property-secured business P2P lender in the UK and Europe. They offer secured business loans to small and medium SMEs and are the second biggest general business P2P lender, behind Funding Circle. They offer loans to property developers and SMEs in the UK, funded by individuals and several institutional investors and companies.

Investment Accounts

Assetz Capital has a minimum investment amount of £1 and is open to international investors. However, you need a UK bank account and if you don’t have one, you can open it at Transferwise. There are no fees for investors and all Assetz Capital investment accounts are protected by a provision fund except the MLIA.

30 Days Access Account

For the most part, this account is hands off. You can deposit a small amount which should be credited in your account in less than two hours. The new 1% cashback offer on Assetz Capital 90-Day Access Account replaced the initial customer promotion. Investors who took advantage of this promotion will still receive their cashback payment.

Quick Access Account

The quick access account offers a 3.7% target rate, designed to provide immediate access to cash for investors in normal market conditions. There’s over £19 million invested in this account.

Other account types include the Green Energy Income Account (GEIA) with a 7% target rate, the Great British Business Account (GBBA) with a 7% target rate, and the Manual Loan Investment Account (MLIA) with 5.5% to 18% gross rate.

The Access Accounts are popular as over half of the investors utilise them and they’re approaching £170 million in investments. The lender has processed over £1 billion of withdrawals to-date from the Access Accounts.

Despite the underlying loans within the Access Accounts being between one month and five years in duration, the high investment flow into the accounts has allowed users to withdraw funds on time consistently. But supply and demand can vary while exit times are not guaranteed.

Whom Does Assetz Capital Lend To?

The lender comprises two divisions: Assetz SME Capital and Assetz Development Capital.

Assetz SME Capital provides secured loans to SMEs that have been trading for more than two years.

Assetz Development Capital provides secured lending to established property developers who have been trading for more than two years. Additionally, they offer “lend to let” secure loans to overseas clients wishing to invest in the buy to let property sector in the UK.

How Can You Use the Loan?

For Assetz SME Capital, loans are available to assist in business projects and future growth. For Assetz Development Capital, the preference is to lend for prime property purchases in prime locations. In the case for “lend to let” scheme, funds are availed towards buying quality buy to let properties.

With a loss rate of 0.46%, Assetz Capital ticks the correct boxes for a safe investment in the peer-to-peer lending for first-time investors. However, some Assetz Capital reviews online are discussing how the platform is confusing and frustrating, with some investors unhappy with the returns and manual investment process involved in some of the products.