Pan-European Report Highlights Steep Growth of Alternative Finance


The alternative finance market could reach a value of €7b in 2015. This is one of the many interesting outcomes of the report called “Moving Mainstream: The European Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report” published today by the new Centre for Alternative Finance at University of Cambridge Judge Business School and professional services organization EY. This is probably the first extensive research conducted at pan-European level, with the support of 14 key national or regional industry associations – including ECN -, and 255 leading platforms in Europe, to capture an estimated 85%-90% of Europe’s online platform-based alternative finance market.

According to the report, in 2014, €201m of early-stage, growth and working capital funding was provided to European SMEs and start-ups by alternative finance platforms. The volume of online alternative business funding has been growing steadily at around 75% year on year, and the estimated number of start-ups and SMEs funded through online alternative finance platforms has been growing at an even faster average rate of 133% over the last three years to around 5,801 SMEs or start-ups in 2014.

Although mainly driven by the UK, the alternative finance market is growing at fast speed, as the present report clearly shows. ECN believes the work undertaken by the University of Cambridge and EY is of great step towards a more transparent market of crowdfunding and alternative finance. “In a fast growing sector like the one of crowdfunding, transparency is key for a sustainable development. We are glad of having supported this initiative and are willing to support more in the future”, comments ECN’s Chairman, Oliver Gajda.

The full report can be downloaded for free at the following link: It is really worth a reading!


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