BNP Paribas Unveils UK SME Debt Fund; Nanjing Rolls Out $1.5M Blockchain Fund

The Axis

Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes BNP Paribas Asset Management’s new U.K. debt fund. In addition, a city in China is rolling out a new $1.5 billion blockchain fund, and the U.A.E’s Network International has launched a Shopmatic-powered eCommerce platform called Go-Online.

BNP Paribas Asset Management plans to launch its BNP Paribas U.K. SME Debt Fund 1, the banking group said in an announcement. The fund will focus on investments in senior loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have an annual turnover of under £50 million. The fund comes as new funding models have emerged since the global financial crisis.

“Investment funds have traditionally been providing financing in the upper end of the mid-market area, while smaller companies are increasingly accessing finance through FinTech crowdfunding solutions or peer-to-peer lending,” BNP Paribas Asset Management Head of SME Alternative Financing Stéphane Blanchoz said in the announcement. “We are targeting SMEs between these two market segments, where there are opportunities for businesses to contribute to U.K. GDP growth, but where sustainable funding solutions are limited.”

In other news, myPOS Europe Ltd. is rolling out instant payments with Form3, according to an announcement. With the service, customers of myPOS operating in the U.K. or interacting with U.K. partners and suppliers can benefit from instantaneous payments. As a result, payment times can be reduced from three days to less than 10 seconds.

And the capital of China‘s Jiangsu province is rolling out a $1.5 billion fund focused on the blockchain, ZDNet reported. To bolster public blockchain projects in the country, Nanjing City rolled out the investment fund with the goal of fostering new blockchain tech in areas such as healthcare, energy and cross-border platforms.

On another note, the U.A.E’s Network International has rolled out a Shopmatic-powered eCommerce platform called Go-Online, Zawya reported. The system, which allows merchants to create their own web stores, is geared toward small, medium and startup businesses. 

“Go-Online will hasten go-to-market for smaller eCommerce entrants, enhance customer acquisition and instill confidence in shoppers looking to purchase online,” Network International’s Managing Director of the Middle East Samer Soliman said in the announcement.