Chalk it up to an Easter-break lull in activity, but growth rates slowed for the majority of platforms through the month of April.
Alternative Finance’s sector-wide growth rate hasn’t dropped below 6% in the lifetime of the Index. Today that growth rate stands at 5.96%. Here are the other key takeaways from this month’s numbers:
The industry-wide growth rate has been upwards of 8% through January, February and March. But whilst the fall to 5.96% is sudden, it should not be treated as a major cause for concern. A near 6% growth rate remains fit to turn traditional finance institutions green with envy. We’ve already mentioned Easter lethargy – but what else might have brought about this slump? One explanation may be that we’re now seeing the first signs of regulatory fallout. The FCA’s regime came into effect at the end of March – its focus geared heavily towards investor protection (although some believe that more still needs to be done). It may be that platforms are now actively sacrificing lofty growth rates in favor of making only the most secure deals available to investors.
A number of new entrants have been incorporated into the Index this month, in the form of Saving Stream, Abundance Generation and Folk2Folk. Their combined inclusion is long overdue. Each platform boasts a market share figure on par with many of the Index’s long-standing members in the p2p space. Saving Stream is the only newcomer for which we have historical data – and it has the look of a platform on the rise. Bucking the trend of the industry as a whole, Saving Stream jumped from a 40.95% expansion rate in March up to a blistering 57.60% figure through April.
We’ll make only brief mention of it, as it is a matter which we seem to revisit on a monthly basis, but Assetz Capital have once again topped the 20% mark in monthly growth. That’s five months on the trot.
Crowdcube went against the industry grain itself – climbing from 6.50% growth rate in March, to an 8.78% rate in April. What is particularly noteworthy is the manner in which this was achieved. Of the £1,857,232 raised via the platform over the past month, almost a third came in one, thee-hour hit. Crowdfunder, the UK’s top rewards-based platform, raised £650,000 in “record” time via Crowdcube. It is a powerful vindication of the Crowdcube model that a fellow platform, itself manned by crowdfunding experts, elected to raise equity finance through the Crowdcube platform.
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