The report explores European alternative financial markets such as P2P lending, Real Estate Crowdfunding, Donation Based and Equity Crowdfunding, consumer lending, and invoice trading.

Key Takeaway #1: Alternative Finance continues explosive growth in Europe. In 2017, the growth rate slowed to 36% down from 41% in 2016 across 572 platforms. The total market volume in 2017 was over 10 Billion Euros with the lion’s share occurring in the UK – about 70%.

Key Takeaway #2: Volume per capita continues rapid growth. The UK registered 107.04 Euros per capita, while France registered 9.85 Euros and Germany 7.20 Euros. Eastern Europe continued strong growth led by Latvia at 47.51 Euros per capita.

Key Takeaway #3: Debt funding continues to outpace equity funding. In 2017, funders registered 1,264 Million in debt funding compared to 341 Million in equity funding. Suppressing equity financing is possibly widespread awareness about early-stage venture financing and secondary markets.

Key Takeaway #4: Female founders are included more in alternative financing than venture capital, but a gender balance still exists alternative finance. Donation and rewards-based crowdfunding are areas where gender is most balanced in some cases over 50% of activity driven by women investors. However, in other alternative financial markets the gender gap is sizeable.

Key Takeaway #5: The perception of risk is till largely medium or high with investors. Risk factors include the risk of venture collapse or a fraudulent campaign. Even in donation-based crowdfunding, many donors feel either a medium, high, or very high level of risk.

Key Takeaway #6: The platforms largest costs are typically associated with sales and marketing. For platforms, the report offers a helpful breakdown of the costs associated with operation. Regulatory compliance, HR, and R&D account for other major expenses.

Source: European Alternative Benchmark Industry Report

Marketing Key for Future Growth

Often a forerunner of cultural economic change is behavior associated with political election cycles. Noticeably many politicians are looking to crowdfund their campaign’s fundraising. Politicians in some cases are only soliciting small donations from their supporters. In some cases, these donations are reoccurring collectively to the tune of Millions of USD each month.

An encouraging aspect of the report is the investment into marketing and sales offered by many platforms. The adoption of alternative finance is heavily reliant on a cultural change in how society understands small business growth and finance.