Alt Fi is one of our favourite media outlets. It tracks daily financial volumes in crowdfunding in general and the peer-to-peer (P2P) market in particular, with its Liberum Alt Fi Index.
The emphasis has typically been on the amount of money being invested, loaned or committed to projects through crowdfunding platforms. However, in a particularly interesting recent feature by Alt Fi editor, Ryan Weeks, Alt Fi looks at UK investor numbers (as the Financial Conduct Authority does not like lenders being called investors, perhaps we might say "people committing money to equity and debt platforms" – even though it sounds a bit long). Alt Fi finds that while the rate of increase is steep, absolute numbers are still relatively small. In short, there's huge scope for the market to expand.
Ryan puts it this way: "Perhaps the thing that struck us most when looking into investor numbers is how small the number of unique investors in UK P2P is. The latest figures from HMRC show that in 2013 there were 22.7 million holders of ISAs in the UK, of which 6.8 million hold stocks and shares ISAs. These numbers dwarf the P2P investor numbers and highlight just how big the retail investor opportunity is for the sector. That's not even considering the hoards of institutional investors that are beginning to circle the space."
*** Great news! Olsen Doors & Windows has reached its £250,000 funding target, and the cost of funding for the borrower is going down. Last night the indicative yield on the loan was 11.4 per cent. That fell to 11 per cent this morning, and new bids have knocked out more expensive loan offers. The yield is 10.9 per cent at the time of writing. Good news for the borrower, and still a great return for lenders.
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