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Fintech, AI, Data Science Startups Investor Planet N Receives Investment from Pakistan Kuwait Investment Co.

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Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company (Private) Ltd (PKIC) recently made a PKR 500 million (appr. $3 million) equity investment into Planet N (Private) Ltd in order to support the fast-evolving startup sector in Pakistan.

The new investment is reportedly part of Planet N’s $10 million funding round that will be finalized soon. The proceeds will be channeled towards supporting existing portfolio firms and for making strategic investments in emerging startups.

As reported by local media outlets in Pakistan, the PKIC investment may be the largest equity investment by a domestic financial institution in a tech investment platform.

As noted in the announcement:

“The investment was approved by the Board of Directors of PKIC in December 2020. This investment will not only help Planet N expand its operations, but it will also motivate other investors to explore opportunities to develop and strengthen tech entrepreneurship and disruption in the country.”

With assets valued at more than PKR 107 billion (appr. $680 million) and equity of more than  PKR 38 billion (appr. $245 million), PKIC is one of Pakistan’s leading development finance institutions. It’s focused mainly on investments and development financing activities.

PKIC was formed as a joint initiative between the Pakistani and Kuwaiti government back in 1979.

Meanwhile, Planet N was launched more recently in 2016 by Nadeem Hussain, an experienced Fintech professional based in Pakistan.

Planet N has made strategic investments in technology-focused firms like Tapmad TV, Dawaai.pk, PublishEx, Tez Financial Services, Datalift, PiePie, Kashat, and JinglePay, local sources reported.

These companies reportedly maintain operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Singapore, and the US as well.

At present, Planet N has over 30 firms in its portfolio that are focused on enabling greater financial inclusion, supporting Fintech platforms, digital media, data science and AI.

PKIC says that it has made its latest investment because it always aims to identify key opportunities to support various high-potential sectors.

In statements shared with the Profit, Umair Aijaz, head of corporate finance and investment banking at PKIC, noted:

“As a development finance institution, the PKIC does project financing, infrastructure development, and supporting priority sectors of the economy. Technology is the priority sector of the economy right now and our investment has come to support this sector. PKIC has made strategic equity investments before like in Meezan Bank. Similar to that, now we have made a strategic investment in Planet N.”

PKIC says that investing in Planet N was a great opportunity because of the type of business the platform conducts.

Umair added:

“Technology is a very specialized field. As an institution, we have to look at the commercial viability of investing directly in startups. There could be a tremendous risk. The investment in Planet N, therefore, diversifies the risk and by investing in a platform, we were able to simultaneously support a good number of startups that are on Planet N’s portfolio. …Technology sector usually gives a return of 7-10 times. Our expectation is in the similar range in the medium to long term, that is seven to ten years.”

Nadeem Hussain, Executive Chairperson and CEO at Planet N, confirmed the $3 million from PKIC (and an additional $7 million is set to be finalized shortly).

Hussain also mentioned:

“We have seven focus sectors for startups: the biggest is fintech, then we do medtech, edtech agritech, infotainment, the kiryana ecosystem, and then big data and AI. We are presently not into eCommerce or the last mile but we are also not restricted. We might get a great opportunity along the way and we would invest.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176324-fintech-ai-data-science-startups-investor-planet-n-receives-investment-from-pakistan-kuwait-investment-co/

Crowdfunding

EstateGuru Board Member Gabriella Kindert Shares Why She Became Interested in Debt Markets

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Gabriella Kindert, who is considered an expert in private debt markets and has reportedly managed billions (currently serving as a Board member at EstateGuru), says that she encourages investors to check out different lending platforms. In a recent interview, Kindert talked about  how they should scale business operations while addressing the risks associated with ongoing growth and development.

Responding to a question about how she became interested in private debt markets, Kindert said:

“Private debt is a modern term but loaning money to companies is a very old practice, of course. … the questions you need to ask yourself to make an informed credit decision are still the same as they were centuries ago. Is the company on a solid footing and is it going to prosper despite the competition? How are governmental and regulatory decisions going to affect its fate? … Credit is not just a science, it’s an art.”

While commenting on where her interest in online lending platforms came from, Kindert revealed that she had spent a good part of her career in banking and asset management, and “at one point [she] became interested in the topic of digital transformation.”

She adds:

“I wanted to know more about it but at that point, I needed a way to force myself to really dive into the topic. When you’re 20 years old, everybody expects you to be studying, but at 40, you’re expected to work. So I decided to combine and pursue a PhD in conjunction with my job and wrote a thesis about lending platforms and how to scale them. A PhD created the framework to push me further and further and an end goal to get it done.”

In response to a question about the rise of lending platforms and how they’ve managed to evolve, Kindert said that there are two key drivers behind their growth.

She noted:

“First, since the global financial crisis, banks have tightened their lending standards which means that more and more small businesses are underserved. Second, the digital transformation has allowed these new entrants to service these left-behind clients in a much more efficient way. What I mean by this is that their digital processes like client onboarding, credit scoring and payment processing are faster and less costly than the paper-based banking system.”

Recently, an additional factor that drove the platform’s growth has appeared, “namely that fixed-income investors do not have attractive alternatives,” Kindert added.

While commenting on how every platform should balance growth, Kindert said that you should show “on a small scale that you’re worth it.” She explained that “building trust is extremely important because what you need is borrowers and lenders that come to your platform repeatedly.”

She continued:

“Lenders usually will start with small amounts first, and if they’re happy, they will not only come back and increase their stakes, they will talk to their acquaintances about it. Word of mouth is a powerful sales channel. … every time someone receives their bank statement and sees that they receive no interest or pay negative rates, this is an additional incentive to search for ways to make your money work. … borrowers that are happy with a platform will talk to their peers as well about the modern way to finance their business.”

She also mentioned that platforms have a “strong vested interest to assure that the borrowers conform to a certain quality and that there are checks and balances in place to avoid a downward spiral.” She clarified that this does not mean that “there won’t be defaults.” She pointed out that you do not “get 10% interest by lending to Shell or Nestlé.” She believes that what’s important “in the end, is the average return of a diversified portfolio.”

You may check out the full interview here.

As covered last month, EstateGuru reported over €14 million in financing volume in April 2021, with the German market becoming the main contributor of new projects.

EstateGuru had also managed to raise €1.4 million in just days on Seedrs last month.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176682-estateguru-board-member-gabriella-kindert-shares-why-she-became-interested-in-debt-markets/

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Crowdfunding

EstateGuru Board Member Gabriella Kindert Shares Why She Became Interested in Debt Markets

Published

on

Gabriella Kindert, who is considered an expert in private debt markets and has reportedly managed billions (currently serving as a Board member at EstateGuru), says that she encourages investors to check out different lending platforms. In a recent interview, Kindert talked about  how they should scale business operations while addressing the risks associated with ongoing growth and development.

Responding to a question about how she became interested in private debt markets, Kindert said:

“Private debt is a modern term but loaning money to companies is a very old practice, of course. … the questions you need to ask yourself to make an informed credit decision are still the same as they were centuries ago. Is the company on a solid footing and is it going to prosper despite the competition? How are governmental and regulatory decisions going to affect its fate? … Credit is not just a science, it’s an art.”

While commenting on where her interest in online lending platforms came from, Kindert revealed that she had spent a good part of her career in banking and asset management, and “at one point [she] became interested in the topic of digital transformation.”

She adds:

“I wanted to know more about it but at that point, I needed a way to force myself to really dive into the topic. When you’re 20 years old, everybody expects you to be studying, but at 40, you’re expected to work. So I decided to combine and pursue a PhD in conjunction with my job and wrote a thesis about lending platforms and how to scale them. A PhD created the framework to push me further and further and an end goal to get it done.”

In response to a question about the rise of lending platforms and how they’ve managed to evolve, Kindert said that there are two key drivers behind their growth.

She noted:

“First, since the global financial crisis, banks have tightened their lending standards which means that more and more small businesses are underserved. Second, the digital transformation has allowed these new entrants to service these left-behind clients in a much more efficient way. What I mean by this is that their digital processes like client onboarding, credit scoring and payment processing are faster and less costly than the paper-based banking system.”

Recently, an additional factor that drove the platform’s growth has appeared, “namely that fixed-income investors do not have attractive alternatives,” Kindert added.

While commenting on how every platform should balance growth, Kindert said that you should show “on a small scale that you’re worth it.” She explained that “building trust is extremely important because what you need is borrowers and lenders that come to your platform repeatedly.”

She continued:

“Lenders usually will start with small amounts first, and if they’re happy, they will not only come back and increase their stakes, they will talk to their acquaintances about it. Word of mouth is a powerful sales channel. … every time someone receives their bank statement and sees that they receive no interest or pay negative rates, this is an additional incentive to search for ways to make your money work. … borrowers that are happy with a platform will talk to their peers as well about the modern way to finance their business.”

She also mentioned that platforms have a “strong vested interest to assure that the borrowers conform to a certain quality and that there are checks and balances in place to avoid a downward spiral.” She clarified that this does not mean that “there won’t be defaults.” She pointed out that you do not “get 10% interest by lending to Shell or Nestlé.” She believes that what’s important “in the end, is the average return of a diversified portfolio.”

You may check out the full interview here.

As covered last month, EstateGuru reported over €14 million in financing volume in April 2021, with the German market becoming the main contributor of new projects.

EstateGuru had also managed to raise €1.4 million in just days on Seedrs last month.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176682-estateguru-board-member-gabriella-kindert-shares-why-she-became-interested-in-debt-markets/

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Crowdfunding

EstateGuru Board Member Gabriella Kindert Shares Why She Became Interested in Debt Markets

Published

on

Gabriella Kindert, who is considered an expert in private debt markets and has reportedly managed billions (currently serving as a Board member at EstateGuru), says that she encourages investors to check out different lending platforms. In a recent interview, Kindert talked about  how they should scale business operations while addressing the risks associated with ongoing growth and development.

Responding to a question about how she became interested in private debt markets, Kindert said:

“Private debt is a modern term but loaning money to companies is a very old practice, of course. … the questions you need to ask yourself to make an informed credit decision are still the same as they were centuries ago. Is the company on a solid footing and is it going to prosper despite the competition? How are governmental and regulatory decisions going to affect its fate? … Credit is not just a science, it’s an art.”

While commenting on where her interest in online lending platforms came from, Kindert revealed that she had spent a good part of her career in banking and asset management, and “at one point [she] became interested in the topic of digital transformation.”

She adds:

“I wanted to know more about it but at that point, I needed a way to force myself to really dive into the topic. When you’re 20 years old, everybody expects you to be studying, but at 40, you’re expected to work. So I decided to combine and pursue a PhD in conjunction with my job and wrote a thesis about lending platforms and how to scale them. A PhD created the framework to push me further and further and an end goal to get it done.”

In response to a question about the rise of lending platforms and how they’ve managed to evolve, Kindert said that there are two key drivers behind their growth.

She noted:

“First, since the global financial crisis, banks have tightened their lending standards which means that more and more small businesses are underserved. Second, the digital transformation has allowed these new entrants to service these left-behind clients in a much more efficient way. What I mean by this is that their digital processes like client onboarding, credit scoring and payment processing are faster and less costly than the paper-based banking system.”

Recently, an additional factor that drove the platform’s growth has appeared, “namely that fixed-income investors do not have attractive alternatives,” Kindert added.

While commenting on how every platform should balance growth, Kindert said that you should show “on a small scale that you’re worth it.” She explained that “building trust is extremely important because what you need is borrowers and lenders that come to your platform repeatedly.”

She continued:

“Lenders usually will start with small amounts first, and if they’re happy, they will not only come back and increase their stakes, they will talk to their acquaintances about it. Word of mouth is a powerful sales channel. … every time someone receives their bank statement and sees that they receive no interest or pay negative rates, this is an additional incentive to search for ways to make your money work. … borrowers that are happy with a platform will talk to their peers as well about the modern way to finance their business.”

She also mentioned that platforms have a “strong vested interest to assure that the borrowers conform to a certain quality and that there are checks and balances in place to avoid a downward spiral.” She clarified that this does not mean that “there won’t be defaults.” She pointed out that you do not “get 10% interest by lending to Shell or Nestlé.” She believes that what’s important “in the end, is the average return of a diversified portfolio.”

You may check out the full interview here.

As covered last month, EstateGuru reported over €14 million in financing volume in April 2021, with the German market becoming the main contributor of new projects.

EstateGuru had also managed to raise €1.4 million in just days on Seedrs last month.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176682-estateguru-board-member-gabriella-kindert-shares-why-she-became-interested-in-debt-markets/

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Remittance Payments to El Salvador can be Improved by Using Bitcoin or Other Crypto Rails Instead of Regular Money Transfers: Report

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Nate Maddrey and the other researchers at Coin Metrics have shared their latest State of the Network Report.

Published on June 15, 2021, the report from Coin Metrics notes that on June 9, 2021, the El Salvador Congress introduced a bill that officially made Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender. According to the Coin Metrics team, this was a “pivotal moment” for Bitcoin and crypto “at large,” as El Salvador is now the world’s first nation to formally recognize BTC as “a satisfactory form of payment for any form of monetary debt.”

While the announcement came as somewhat of a surprise, El Salvador is a great example of a country that may potentially benefit from Bitcoin adoption, Coin Metrics wrote in its report while adding that the Central American nation receives billions of dollars in remittance payments every year. The country is also ranked in the top ten nations “in terms of remittances received from the United States,” the Coin Metrics report revealed.

The report further noted that around one third or over 30% of El Salvadoran households “receive remittances from abroad.” At present, remittance payments are usually sent via money transfer services such as Western Union, the report added while pointing out that these traditional money transfers can “charge fees of upwards of 20%, and settlement can take anywhere from days to weeks.”

The report continued:

“El Salvador’s remittance process can be drastically improved by using crypto rails instead of traditional money transfer infrastructure. Services like Strike, which uses the Lightning Network for transfers, can help Salvadorans essentially eliminate transaction fees and provide nearly instantaneous international transactions. Strike launched in El Salvador in March, so the process was already underway before the official announcement. El Salvador is also the home to Bitcoin Beach, a community that built a local economy around BTC.”

The Coin Metrics report also mentioned that the Lightning Network, a layer 2 scalability solution for Bitcoin that leverages off-chain payment channels, has been “gaining traction since the beginning of 2021.” The report further noted that if usage in El Salvador continues to grow, the Lightning Network is “poised to play a big role in helping to scale BTC payments and remittances.”

Although Strike and various other services may help with enhancing the the process of sending remittances, El Salvador’s Bitcoin bill “makes some crucial improvements for those receiving the remittance payments back home,” the report noted while adding that the bill “allows for taxes and all other legal obligations to be paid in BTC.”

The report also mentioned that BTC will be “excluded from capital gains taxes since it will be considered a currency.” Coin Metrics’ report added that in a country where 70% of the population doesn’t have access to a bank account, BTC can “serve as a way to conduct basic personal banking.”

The bill also mandates that all businesses “must accept BTC as a valid form of payment.” For businesses that don’t want to hold Bitcoin it “calls for the creation of a trust at the Banco de Desarrollo de El Salvador to provide a way to instantly convert BTC into USD,” the report noted while adding that the Salvadoran government will be “setting up a $150M fund to buy BTC for this purpose.”

The report added:

“The U.S. dollar has been El Salvador’s main form of currency since 2001. While the dollar helped bring some stability, it also effectively outsourced El Salvador’s monetary policy to the US. While the United States’ monetary policy is not predictable over the long-term, Bitcoin’s is. And while fiat currencies around the world are threatened with inflation, BTC’s annual inflation is currently less than 2% and will decrease over time.”

The report continued:

“The amount of newly issued BTC halves every four years and will continue to do so until BTC reaches its maximum supply of 21M. This predictability and transparency can potentially help El Salvador and other countries rebuild their economies with Bitcoin as a foundational piece.”

El Salvador’s announcement has been drawing the attention of other nations that are curious about adopting Bitcoin or other decentralized cryptos, the Coin Metrics team noted while adding that attention is also being drawn from regulators and governing bodies such as The International Monetary Fund (IMF) which stated that El Salvador’s decision “raises ‘macroeconomic, financial and legal issues’.”

The report further revealed:

“There are currently about 18.4M addresses that hold at least 0.001 BTC – an impressive number for a decentralized currency, but still only a small fraction of the world’s population. There will undoubtedly be more pushback and challenges as El Salvador begins to adopt BTC on a larger scale. But if El Salvador’s experiment goes well, this could be a turning point for large-scale BTC adoption around the world.”

The report also noted that Ethereum (ETH) usage has declined during the last week,  with an 11.1% drop in “daily active addresses” (week-over-week). Meanwhile, Bitcoin (BTC) active addresses only declined by around 0.7%, “although they dropped by 2.5% the previous week compared to a 3.3% increase for ETH.”

The report further noted that mining revenue for “both chains dropped by over 10% on the week as transaction fees continued to decline.” But despite the overall drop in activity “BTC’s adjusted transfer value grew by 23.8%, for a daily average of $10.1B,” the report revealed.

The report also mentioned:

“Bitcoin hash rate (7-day moving average) decreased by about 11% over the last week. This could partially be caused by some Chinese mining operations migrating to new locations. Following recent reports of increased regulation some miners have reportedly temporarily gone offline while they move out of the country and prepare to relocate their operations. But it also could be caused by historical season dips – hash rate typically dips during the transition from the dry to rainy season.”

The report added that Sichuan has “excessive hydropower during the rainy season, so miners will typically relocate there once the rainy season starts.” This causes hash rate to “temporarily dip as some miners go offline to move, but it bounces back after mining operations get set back up in their new location,” the report noted while adding that the rainy season just began last month (however  miners usually move at the end of the month since they pay for rent monthly), so “a temporary drop in hash rate is expected.”

The report also noted:

“Hash rate is not a precise metric – there’s no practical way to directly measure the amount of total hash rate in real time, so instead hash rate is estimated using on-chain data. Block count is one of the main inputs of the estimated hash rate formula, which makes it highly sensitive to fluctuations in block time. Bitcoin blocks are designed to be mined every ten minutes on average but it’s just a target, not a guarantee. In reality the time between blocks fluctuates above and below ten minutes and differs from block to block. This variation introduces some noise into the hash rate calculation.”

The report further explained that hash rate needs to be “viewed as an estimate that has a range of uncertainty.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176684-remittance-payments-to-el-salvador-can-be-improved-by-using-bitcoin-or-other-crypto-rails-instead-of-regular-money-transfers-report/

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