Category Archives: FinTech and Alternative Finance

Equifax Canada empowers businesses to arrive at better credit decisions faster, with Risk Reveal

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Equifax Canada | April 20, 2017

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TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 20, 2017) - (NYSE:EFX) - Equifax Canada® announced today the launch of Risk Reveal, the only solution in the Canadian market that leverages both commercial and consumer intelligence for a robust and predictive view of a company, as well as its owners.

Combining the depth of two credit databases in one solution, Risk Reveal brings together credit scores, credit data, legal actions, and collections data for both a corporation and its principals, enabling businesses to assess client risk with greater speed and predictability, helping to minimize the potential for fraud.

See:  Credit Card Companies Have No Choice But To Embrace Blockchain

"It can be difficult to fully understand the credit worthiness and potential for delinquency for a small business," notes George Staikos, Director of Commercial Markets at Equifax. "Is the business being funded through the owner's personal accounts? Or did the owner opt for a business credit card or loan? Or both? Risk Reveal provides a 360-degree view of a small business' risk."

Risk Reveal returns a report for the business inquired upon, and reports for up to three owners/guarantors, as well as a commercial and a consumer delinquency score which predicts the likelihood that a business will become severely delinquent (non-payment for 90 days or greater, in the next 12 months). That data is distilled into a dual risk score that helps businesses adjudicate customers better and faster while reducing write offs.

"This solution, the first in Canada, provides a greater understanding of true credit risk," says Staikos. "Risk Reveal enables businesses to keep profits on track and risk in check."

Source:  Equifax Release

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

 

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Fineqia Partners with JOI Media’s Katipult for Technology Platform

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Fineqia International Inc.  Release | Karolina Komarnicka | April 11, 2017

Fineqia and Joi Media release banner

VANCOUVER, April 11, 2017 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Canada's JOI Media Inc. ("JOI") to use its technology platform to start Fineqia's U.K. business that brings crowd investors some of the most lucrative and risk‑mitigated opportunities that have been mostly the privy of large financial institutions.

Fineqia will use JOI's proprietary crowdfunding software product Katipult, named as one of Canada's most innovative financial technology enterprises by the Royal Bank of Canada. Katipult's white‑label platform is transforming how equity and debt private placements are funded by giving crowdfunding platforms the tools to grow and efficiently manage investor networks as well as streamline deal flow administration. The crowdfunding software facilitates the entire investment process from deal origination to investor tax reporting.

"Katipult helps us get into the market quickly and cost effectively," said CEO Bundeep Singh Rangar. "We can focus on our core debt and equity placement activities while Katipult ensures we are always on the cutting edge of compliant technology innovation."

Katipult recently introduced BlockChain into its product offering that will support Secondary Market Crowdfunding that is unforgeable and inherently trustworthy. When an offering is closed that will be secondary market eligible, a blockchain token will be created that represents this security.

"We are proud to be working with Fineqia as their technology provider.  Private capital markets are changing and there is a massive opportunity for firms that recognize the industry is shifting online," said Brock Murray, CEO of Katipult.  "Through our partnership, Fineqia is leveraging innovation to provide risk mitigated investment opportunities to investors and that is a very encouraging mandate to be a part of."

Katipult has developed crowdfunding platforms for more than 20 countries to date that are multilingual and compliant for local jurisdictions in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe and Asia. Its clients include MaRS Discovery District, Qatar Development Bank, US Debt Ventures, and The Formax Group.

See:  Fineqia Announces Chairman of the Board: London Stock Exchange AIM’s Ex-Head

Fineqia's minibond platform matches quality debt and equity investment opportunities with high-net worth, institutional investors and family offices. It gives investors information advantage, and most importantly, a way-in into institutional debt deals, highlighting the risks and objectively outlining opportunities involved. The platform applies high selectivity to the offerings displayed, with only a few of the highest quality deals being shown at any given time.

About Fineqia International Inc.

Fineqia's business model is to provide an online platform and associated services for the placement of debt and equity securities, initially in the UK. The platform will transparently highlight the risks and objectively outline opportunities involved.  For more information, visit www.fineqia.com.

About JOI Media Inc.

Headquartered in Calgary, Canada with locations across three continents, JOI Media is a global leader in enterprise software and software related services. They work with reputable organizations across the private, public and social sectors.  For more information, visit www.joimedia.com.

About Katipult

Katipult is a crowdfunding software solution for private capital markets for private placements, investment crowdfunding, investor management, and listings. Katipult allows companies to design, setup, and manage an investment crowdfunding platform across multiple distribution channels including web, mobile, and social media. For more information, visit www.katipult.com

NEITHER THE CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATORY SERVICE PROVIDER HAS REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT OF THIS NEWS RELEASE.

SOURCE Fineqia International Inc.

For further information: Karolina Komarnicka, Chief Marketing Officer, T: +1 (778) 654-2324, E: info@fineqia.com, W: www.fineqia.com

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Could Real Estate Crowdfunding Help Millennials Retire Sooner?

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Realty Biz News | Steven Kaufman | April 4, 2017

Crowdfunding Real Estate image

Real estate has long been lauded as a sensible investment for retirement. After all, real estate assets provide a relatively safe way to hedge your portfolio against volatility in the stock market, and they can also provide passive retirement income.

Real estate crowdfunding sites know that retirement is on the minds of many real estate investors. Many work to attract potential investors with self-directed retirements, such as an IRA or 401k, by promising the preservation of capital at an above-market rate of return. Their online platforms allow people saving for retirement to invest in real estate right from the country club golf course. It was no surprise, then, when investors began pouring retirement savings into crowdfunding.

Except for who was doing the investing, that is. Real estate crowdfunding has proven a popular choice for one of the most fickle investing groups in the marketplace: Millennials.

On the surface, it seems improbable. Millennials investing in real estate? This is a group that has been loathe to purchase homes, with less than a third of Millennials becoming homeowners compared to 64 percent of the general population. After a little analysis, however, there are powerful reasons why real estate crowdfunding appeals to Millennials—enough that more are certain to join the crowd of investors in the coming years.

See:  Fintech lures millennial investors away from asset managers

The stereotype, of course, is that Millennials are all underpaid with limited skills and few opportunities. That’s not reality, but even if it were, real estate crowdfunding has very low barriers to entry. Some of the best and most successful crowdfunding portals allow for investment minimums as low as $5,000. That lets Millennials get into the real estate investment game much earlier than previous generations.

Second, real estate crowdfunding is an investment option that allows Millennials to bypass banks. Having come of age during the Great Recession, many Millennials don’t trust financial institutions or Wall Street firms. They do, however, see the need to protect their money from the kind of financial breakdowns that hurt their parents’ retirement plans nine years ago by investing in hard assets. Real estate crowdfunding offers the chance to do just that.

The importance of diversification is another lesson that Millennials learned through observation. Many aren’t willing to rely on the promise that property values will go up indefinitely. They’d rather spread their money across many assets, just to be safe. Real estate crowdfunding makes diversification easy.

See:  Open letter from Millennials to the Real Estate Industry

One of the Millennial attributes that confounds marketers the most is their disinterest in ownership. From albums to cars to homes, Millennials are buying less of everything than the generations preceding them, and it’s not just because they have less money to spend. Many young people prefer to connect than buy, and they want the way they spend their money to say something about how they see themselves. Ownership doesn’t always align with Millennials’ priorities, but investing does. Like every generation, they are determined not to make the same mistakes their parents did.

Real estate crowdfunding appeals to them because it offers the benefits of ownership without the drawbacks of commitment. It allows them to make passive, small investments in multiple properties without being tied down for years in a single home or location.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Chris Horlacher, Chairman & CEO, Equibit Development Corporation, Joins NCFA’s Ambassador Program

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About NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | April 4, 2017

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TORONTO, Apr 4, 2017 – The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) today announced that Chris Horlacher, Chairman & CEO of Equitbit Development Corporation, has joined the Association’s Ambassadors Program.

NCFA Canada Ambassadors

NCFA Canada Ambassadors are leaders, educators, supporters and advocates of an inclusive and broad-based alternative finance crowdfunding industry in communities across Canada. As experts in fintech, peer to peer, and innovation finance, ambassadors are circles of influence and ‘go to resources’ for companies, investors and the ecosystem to connect with to learn and share at locally hosted events and initiatives. They are specialists and plugged into an international network of shared resources, thought leadership, and industry professionals striving to cultivate and shape the future of financial services in Canada and beyond.

Chris Horlacher, Chairman & CEO, Equibit Development Corporation

Chris began his career as an auditor at a Big 4 firm and before the age of 30 was the CFO of a start-up stock brokerage that now manages over $4 billion in assets. He went on to found his own management consulting firm and has been instrumental in numerous successful multi-million dollar start-ups and strategic initiatives for Canada’s largest companies, SME's and non-profits.

He also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, a research and educational charity focused on the field of Austrian Economics. Possessing Chartered Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant designations, Chris is certified by the Canadian Securities Institute as a partner, director and chief financial officer.

“The digitization and future of capital markets is upon us and Canada needs to be at the forefront of innovative financial technologies.  Chris and the Equibit team recently completed one of Canada's first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) 'Crowdsales' successfully raising approx $570,000 USD in cash and coins.  We are excited to have their leadership join the NCFA Ambassador program to provide more education and awareness in the areas of blockchain and distributed ledger technology," said Craig Asano, Executive Director, NCFA Canada.

“EDC is building Equibit, a peer-to-peer network for creating, transferring, and administering securities such as equity and debt. Such services cost issuers and investors many billions each year and blockchain technology can not only eliminate most of this overhead, but take the industry from 3-day to real-time settlements while massively improving the security, efficiency and accessibility of the OTC market,” said Chris Horlacher, Chairman & CEO, EDC

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About National Crowdfunding Association of Canada

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Source: NCFA Canada

For more information please contact:

Media Contacts:

Craig Asano
NCFA Canada
Executive Director
p. (416) 618-0254
e. casano@ncfacanada.org

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Japan’s Crowdfunding Market Grows 30% to Over ¥47.7 Billion in 2016

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Nikkei Asian Review | April 2, 2017

Crowdfunding in Japan

Companies look to new source of capital and expanded investor base

TOKYO -- Fintech is changing the way companies around the world finance operations and make investments. In Japan, a growing number are turning to the web to raise capital needed for developing new products and services, with crowdfunding in particular rapidly gaining currency.

Individuals are also seeing more options for investing their money.

JVC Kenwood, a consumer electronics maker, raised money to develop new in-ear headphones that were first shipped in January. The product allows users to converse with others and play musical instruments while listening to music.

To finance development of the gadget, the company used a crowdfunding scheme that offered delivery of the product immediately after production to people who put up money. Investments could be made in blocks of 15,000 yen ($135).

When JVC Kenwood launched the crowdfunding campaign in July, the maker expected to raise around one million yen, but it netted over 20 million yen from individual investors.

JVC Kenwood's success shows that consumers are willing to pony up money for projects that pique their interest even if it entails risk.

This is encouraging news for the electronics maker, which is expected to report a net loss for the year ended March 31 despite a strong performance from its mainstay car navigation business. But the company still has a long way to go before regaining financial health, with its equity ratio languishing at around 20%.

Perhaps crowdfunding can improve the outlook for JVC Kenwood.

More investors, more money

Japan's crowdfunding market for new projects will grow to over 47.7 billion yen in fiscal 2016, up 30% from the previous year, according to Tokyo-based Yano Research Institute.

Companies look to new source of capital and expanded investor base

A wide range of companies, including Sony, Tomy and Eisai, are embracing this market even though it is still small.

Several financial service providers, including Yamaguchi Prefecture-based Yamaguchi Financial Group in western Japan, are seeking to capitalize on the trend by helping companies start crowdfunding campaigns.

A crowdfunding platform offering unlisted shares in exchange for investment is also emerging. It allows raising any amount less than 100 million yen on the internet from investors, including individuals investing up to 500,000 yen each. Such schemes are providing alternative financing options to an array of companies, from startups to multinationals.

Japan Cloud Capital, a Tokyo-based startup, is poised to launch Japan's first crowdfunding scheme of this kind. Emerada, an online fundraising and investment services provider, is also working on a similar plan.

Crowdfunding can help finance projects that are unlikely to qualify for loans from banks, which have stricter standards for credit management. It can also be used to estimate demand for products before launch.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Don Tapscott Announces International Blockchain Research Institute

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Bitcoin Magazine | | March 17, 2017

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The government of Canada, in partnership with other government bodies and private sector companies, is establishing a Blockchain Research Institute in Toronto to bring together the top minds in public and private sector research to build blockchain-based economies around the world.

Like the early days of the internet when defense and research agencies worked together to build the internet, the new foundation is hoping to engage researchers and companies that are willing to set aside their organizational biases and personal interests to develop the best possible models to go forward building a blockchain-based economy.

Don Tapscott, co-author of the bestselling book Blockchain Revolution,  announced the new initiative yesterday at the DC Blockchain Summit hosted by the Chamber of Digital Commerce. Funding will be drawn from a joint public-private partnership involving governments and some of the world’s biggest corporations, as well as new blockchain startups.

Founding members include Accenture, IBM, SAP, Digital Asset, NASDAQ, PepsiCo, Centrica, Liberty Global, the Government of Ontario, University Health Network and blockchain pioneers Nuco, Paycase, Artlery, Votem, Cosmos, YouBase and WISeKey. This initial list is expected to grow and include members of governments, companies and organizations from around the world.

See:  Toronto Blockchain Institute Launched

“Blockchain [technology] has the potential to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges — from streamlining trade, to establishing trust in transactions, to tracing provenance for food safety,” said Ross Mauri, general manager of z Systems at IBM. “By working with top experts from around the world, we’ll be able to take full advantage of blockchain [technology]’s inherent strengths — an openly governed, collaborative approach — to make global business more efficient and transparent for consumers.”

Juergen Mueller, SAP’s chief innovation officer, stated, “We believe blockchain is a transformative technology for businesses. The Blockchain Research Institute with its brilliant team will deepen and enrich the knowledge about blockchain [technology].”

Affiliate organizations include Hyperledger, The Chamber of Digital Commerce, coala.io and the newly created Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.

In making the announcement, Tapscott noted the advantages Canada already has with its Tech North corridor between Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo, with some of the world’s leading blockchain researchers and startups.

“The establishment of a research institute to study, identify and report at a more granular level will help stakeholders at all levels,” said Kyle Kemper, executive director of the Blockchain Association of Canada. “The fact that this initiative is being led by Canadians in partnership with experts worldwide is a testament to the fact that Canada is leading the blockchain revolution.”

Canada has a history of working internationally far beyond its relative size, so this initiative fits well in the Canadian tradition. The government of the province of Ontario, where the institute will be located, is one of the founding members.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to help Ontario build an innovation powerhouse and significantly improve government services too,” said the province’s Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa. “The new Institute, based in Ontario, will bring together the leading thinkers, researchers and entrepreneurs in the blockchain space and we’re proud and enthusiastic to support it.”

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Toronto-based blockchain institute launched

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Toronto Star | | March 17, 2017

Don and Alex Tapscott

The BRI has raised $2 million, co-founder Don Tapscott said.

A multi-million-dollar Toronto-based research initiative, the Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), was launched on Thursday to study the emerging technology.

Blockchain is a peer-to-peer transfer system that eliminates the need for middlemen by trusting the power of the crowd to verify transactions, which enables a decentralized online ledger. It’s “the second era of the Internet,” according to Don Tapscott, co-founder of BRI, who said, “This is 1993 all over again.”

The BRI was founded by Don and Alex Tapscott, co-authors of the book Blockchain Revolution. Alex was recently appointed to the International Monetary Fund’s high-level advisory group on fintech. He was one of two Canadians chosen for the group of 14, along with senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada Carolyn Wilkins.

See:  From IPO to ICO: blockchain’s finance revolution

The institute will “conduct the definitive exploration of blockchain use cases, opportunities and implementation challenges,” according to a press release.

Don Tapscott said the institute will hire about 30 of “the world’s leading experts” on a contract basis to conduct 30 projects.

“They’ll be projects like, how does this change manufacturing, health care, resources, energy, government and, of course, banks?” Tapscott said. “But there will also be projects about how it changes the way that we run companies and organizations.”

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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