The University of Cambridge, Tsinghua University & the University of Sydney join forces to launch the 2015 Asia-Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Survey

The study is supported by KPMG, CME Group Foundation, the ACCA and 20 leading industry and academic research partners.

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, the Tsinghua University Graduate School of Shenzhen and the University of Sydney Business School are jointly launching the 2015 Asia-Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Survey. This survey will be the first-ever comprehensive study of crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other forms of alternative finance across the Asia-Pacific region – including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Australia and New Zealand.

rau-raghavendraAccording to Raghavendra Rau, the Research Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and the Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance at the Cambridge Judge Business School:

“The Asia Pacific region includes many of the most populous and fastest growing developing countries in the world – China, India and Indonesia and many more. The rapid uptake of mobile technologies and the permeation of social media is enabling these countries to leapfrog traditional banking infrastructure, which suggests that the potential growth of innovative alternative finance markets in the Asia-Pacific may be higher than other regions.”

cambridgeThe survey is supported by KPMG, CME Group Foundation, the ACCA and 20 leading alternative finance industry and academic research partners across the Asia-Pacific and beyond, including the Crowdfunding Institute of Australia, LendIt, Crowdfund China Society, Hong Kong Crowdfunding Association, Wangdaizhijia, New Zealand Crowdfunding Society, Japan Crowdfunding Council, Crowdfund Asia Association, Korean FinTech Forum, ShengZhen Crowdfunding Association, Change Fusion Thailand, World Crowdfunding Conference, Crowdsourcing Week, Crowdfund Vibe, FinTech Hong Kong, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Nagoya University, the University of Amsterdam, Ahmedabad University with CrowdfundInsider as the industry media partner.

Benchmarking Research Partners


The 2015 Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Research launches on the 12th of November and closes on the 16th of December.

Ying Kong, Dean of Social Sciences and Management at the Tsinghua Graduate School of Shenzhen, added:

“The Asia-Pacific region is home to China’s online alternative finance market may already be the largest in the world. This research is crucial for understanding more about China’s alternative finance market. The results of this research will support the future development of internet finance in China.”

Alternative finance encompasses innovative financial instruments and distributive channels that have emerged outside of the traditional financial system. This industry is experiencing rapid growth in the Asia-Pacific region. The study will assess the activities of equity- and reward-based crowdfunding, peer-to-peer consumer and business lending (i.e. Marketplace Lending) and invoice trading, which are directly connecting lenders to borrowers, raising venture capital for start-ups, funding the creative industries and creating new ways for individuals and institutions to control how and to whom money is distributed, lent and invested.

The University of Cambridge and its research partners have successfully produced high-impact benchmarking and industry reports that documented the rise and development of alternative finance in the UK and Continental Europe, however there remains a substantial lack of empirically-based academic research that focuses on the Asia-Pacific and mainland China.GREGORY WHITWELL

University of Sydney Business School Dean and Professor Greg Whitwell said:

“An interesting trend in alternative finance in Australia and emerging East Asian countries is the emergence of social-cause based alternative financing activities. This study will contribute to the first comprehensive view of the scale of that activity. There is also an urgent policy need to study the Asia Pacific alternative finance industry, which is unregulated in most jurisdictions. Many countries in the Asia-Pacific such as Australia are debating regulations, yet they are doing so in the absence of reliable data on the scale and type of such financing activities.’

Dr Luke DeerDr. Luke Deer, Research Director for the 2015 Asia-Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Survey, added:

“The results from this survey will be used to inform evidence-based policy-making and regulation. I hope the alternative finance industry across the Asia-Pacific region will be able to join us and contribute to our benchmarking research.”

The results of the survey will be made available free to the public in the 2015 China Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report and the 2015 Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report, due to be published in early 2016. All findings will be in aggregated form either by country, region or alternative financing models and no individual platform/provider’s data will be divulged.

All crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other alternative finance providers, operating in the Asia-Pacific area (excluding the Americas), are invited to contribute to the benchmarking survey below. Research findings will be presented only in aggregated form (e.g. by countries, regions and models) and individual platform’s data confidentiality is ensured. All participating platforms will be prominently acknowledged in the benchmarking report, with their respective logos displayed.

Main Survey Link in English:

China Benchmarking Survey Link in Chinese:

Asia-Pacific Survey in Korean:

Asia-Pacific Survey in Japanese:

For media and benchmarking research enquiries please contact:

Dr. Luke Deer, University of Sydney Business School ([email protected])

Assistant Professor Ben Chiang, Tsinghua University Graduate School of Shenzhen ([email protected])

Tania Ziegler, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Cambridge Judge Business School ([email protected])

About the research partners: 

University of Cambridge:

This research is led by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Cambridge Judge Business School. The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is an international, interdisciplinary, academic research institute, dedicated to the study of alternative finance, which includes financial channels and instruments that emerge outside of the traditional financial system (i.e. regulated banks and capital markets).

Examples of alternative finance channels are online ‘marketplaces’ such as equity and rewards-based crowdfunding, peer-to-peer consumer/business lending, and third-party payment platforms. Alternative instruments include SME mini-bonds, private placements and other ‘shadow banking’ mechanisms, as well as social impact bonds and community shares used by non-profit enterprises and alternative currencies. The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

Tsinghua University Graduate School of Shenzhen

Tsinghua University was established in 1911. It is a research university located in Beijing, China, and is one of the nine members in the elite C9 League of universities. With its motto of Self-Discipline and Social Commitment, Tsinghua University describes itself as being dedicated to academic excellence. The Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, was jointly founded by Tsinghua University and the Shenzhen Municipal Government for cultivating top level professionals and carrying out scientific and technological innovations.

Directly affiliated with Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Graduate School plays an important role in Tsinghua’s commitment to achieve international prominence. The new campus is located in the University Town of Shenzhen, sharing the same culture and style, as well as the same goal of excellence as the Beijing Campus. The primary goal of the Graduate School is to cultivate professionals with leadership capability, international vision, enterprising spirit and a wide range of knowledge. The Graduate School serves the regional economy and society by developing top quality technical and leadership education, initiating original researches including low-carbon technologies and FinTech, and facilitating the transfer of high technology to related industries in the vicinity.

University of Sydney Business School:

The University of Sydney is one of Australia’s most prestigious tertiary institutions and its Business School has a well-deserved international reputation for cutting edge undergraduate and postgraduate programs that are industry focused, experiential in nature and designed to provide students with the skills to achieve their ambitions in a dynamic commercial environment. The School’s Master of Management and Master of Commerce programs rank amongst the world’s best and its leadership oriented MBA continues to break new ground in the field of executive education.

The University of Sydney Business School’s multidisciplinary research networks support innovative inquiry that adds value to business, informs public policy, professionalises the not-for-profit sector and seeks responses to the key challenges of the coming decades including environmental degradation, climate change, poverty, social inclusion and financial stability.

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