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London Vs Silicon valley.

In response to: Breakfast with Ray Kurzweil in the weekend FT.

Its hard to imagine that just 5 years ago smart phone penetration in the UK was less than 10% and by the end of next year it will be nearly 90%. The amount of processing capability and information available to us on our phone means we can be immediately better informed than any individual on the planet was 15 years ago, and few…

The Singularity is near!

In October I was fortunate enough to attend a one week executive programme at Singularity university at Nasa research centre in Silicon Valley.

This was courtesy of Aviva innovation who had sponsored the runner up prize for the London Grand Challenge.

I had presented my concept of P2P insurance, where people can link together through social networks to share risks amongst…

The chancellor and his bitcoin

So, George Osbourne, the chancellor, officially owns some Bitcoin. Does his bank know about this? Because they might close down his bank account!

This is still the sad reality of the banking sector’s fear of Bitcoin. Many companies that have anything to do with Bitcoin are having their bank accounts closed down. But this is about to change because the Chancellor wants to make London t…

The Altfinance and Fintech explosion

Amazing! In the same day I read that card payment processor Stripe raises $80m of investment at a valuation of $1.75 Billion and that the Royal Bank of Scotland is cutting 20,000 jobs.

Stripe.com is a card payment processing company started by two Irish brothers in their early 20’s, now relocated to silicon valley. The company makes it really easy for businesses to accept card payment onlin…

P2P Insurance

At the moment, in the Altfinance space, all of the P2P marketplaces are focused on lending and crowdfunding. It seems that a number of niche P2P lending models are making traction, namely in invoice factoring, student loans and the broader consumer lending through businesses such as Zopa and Ratesetter. I see the potential for dozens of niche P2P lending markets developing. There is always going…

Barter in the internet era

Historically, barter has often played a role when monetary systems have failed. When no-one trusts the money, people tend to start exchanging goods directly without any money changing hands. These tend to be short lived “en extremis” situations until faith is restored into the monetary system. With the obvious flaw to any barter system being that you need a happy coincidence of opposit…

We need more PR to promote crowd-funding

Crowdcube over £12 Million

2013 has been a good year so far for Crowd-funding and P2P lending platforms such as Zopa. It’s really looking like we may have hit a tipping point that will take P2P platforms into the public consiousness.

Lat month, crowdcube fully funded 6 projects, raising over £2.2m from 701 investors with an average of £3,240 per investor. I firmly believe that most UK investors in time will have an…

Is the UK government killing VCs?

I wrote previously about how the UK government was helping to direct more seed funding to entrepreneurs and early stage businesses via its SEIS and EIS tax incentive schemes.

I believe this is good for UK venture, but does it also mean new competition for venture capital firms further up the funding food chain?

I ask this question because SEIS/EIS scheme allows up to funding of up to £5m…

London calling disruptive finance

We’ve all heard about the contrasts between the venture and entrepreneurial scenes in the USA and UK/Europe.

The view has traditionally been that the US, especially West coast, has been a more vibrant hotbed of enterprise and disruption than the UK and Europe. As a result pools of venture money grew largest there, along with greater birth numbers of start-ups and a more compelling roster of…

Liquidity monopoly and search for the holy grail.

Most  businesses operate on the basis of aggregation. Business x enables a product to be cost effective for the end customer by buying the raw material or product in bulk and then slicing and dicing, re-packaging,marketing and selling on to the small guy for a margin.
 
This is how so many online trading platforms work, such as spread-betting, leveraged forex and any sports betting…

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