New Academic Study Seeks Input From UK Crowdfunding Platforms


The University of California, Berkeley, Nesta and the University of Cambridge have teamed up and plan to execute a benchmarking survey to capture the size, transaction volume and growth of the alternative finance market in the UK. The team behind the upcoming report is asking platforms active in crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and invoice financing activities to voluntarily fill out a survey. The resulting statistics will be disseminated freely to participating intermediaries, financial regulators, governmental departments, industrial trade associations, the wider public and the press.

UK Platforms can participate in the survey here

In recent years, the British alternative finance sector has witnessed unprecedented development and unparalleled growth since the global financial crisis. From equity crowdfunding, to peer-to-peer lending, from invoice factoring to reward crowdfunding, these alternative financing activities are supplying credit to SMEs, providing early-stage investments to start-ups, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, creating jobs, stimulating regional economies and funding worthwhile causes. However, little information is presently available regarding the overall size of the sector or the year-on-year growth of respective industries in the UK. There is no independent, systematic and reliable academic research to scientifically benchmark the size and growth of the sector. It is in this context that UC Berkeley, Nesta and Cambridge University are collaborating to collect and analyse aggregate-level data of the UK alternative finance market through this benchmarking survey.

RichardSwartWeb1“The University of California, Berkeley is honored to be partnering with Nesta and Cambridge to develop accurate and reliable data on alternative finance that can be shared with policy makers, regulators and researcher,” Dr. Richard Swart of UC Berkeley and Crowdfund Capital Advisors said in regards to the survey. “With the cooperation of peer-to-peer, crowdfunding and invoice factoring providers, the UK is leading the way in creating open and transparent data sharing on this important new area of finance.”

The core research team consists of…

  • Dr Richard Swart, the Director of Research at the Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial Finance at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Liam Collins, a Policy Advisor focusing on innovation and economic growth at Nesta
  • Bryan Zhang, a PhD Researcher in Crowdfunding and Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge
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