Category Archives: Crowdfunding Press Releases

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release | July 21, 2017

Funds to Be Used to Speed Adoption of Free Credit Information and Digital Credit Products and Deepen Use of Artificial Intelligence.

TORONTO, JULY 21, 2017--Financial technology company Borrowell announced today it has secured $12 million (CAD) in equity funding and $45 million in new credit facilities. The Series A equity round is being led by Portag3 Ventures LP, Equitable Bank and White Star Capital, with participation by FirstOntario Credit Union and other new and existing investors, and brings the company’s total equity financing to $16.7 million. The credit facilities are being provided by Concentra and FirstOntario Credit Union for the purpose of funding ‘one click’ loans to prime consumers. This latest round of funding will allow Borrowell to provide free credit information and loans to more people.

See:  CIBC partners with fintech innovator Borrowell to deliver “one-click” online loans

With consumer debt at record levels, Borrowell has found significant demand for its products, which empower customers to improve their financial well-being. More than 300,000 Canadians have a Borrowell account, with thousands more signing up each week.

"In just over two years since our launch, we've experienced tremendous growth, centered around our mission of helping consumers make great decisions about credit," said Andrew Graham, co-founder and CEO of Borrowell. "Over three hundred thousand Canadians have used Borrowell to learn their credit score or check their rate on a loan. This doesn’t include the many more we’ve served through our partnership with CIBC.”

“Fintech companies like Borrowell are essential to improving the well-being of Canadians. With its groundbreaking technology, Borrowell is providing customers with access to products and services that otherwise would not be available to them,” said Adam Felesky, president of Portag3 Ventures.

“We’re very happy with the progress Borrowell has made in such a short period of time,” added Andrew Moor, president and CEO of Equitable Bank. Equitable Bank is one of Borrowell’s original investors. “They’ve demonstrated a strong ability to execute and forge strategic partnerships.”

“We’re excited about Borrowell’s ability to use data to generate deep consumer insights,” said Jean-François Marcoux, managing partner of White Star Capital. “We look forward to using our global network and resources to help Borrowell scale more quickly, both in Canada and abroad.”

Dave Schurman, FirstOntario’s divisional CEO of corporate investments, said, “We are pleased to establish a funding partnership with Borrowell, both as an equity investor and by providing capital for making consumer loans across Canada that are fast, easy, and a cheaper alternative for consumers than carrying a balance on a higher priced credit card.”

Ryan Graham, executive vice president of Wholesale Banking with Concentra added, “Building on our expertise as a funder of alternative consumer assets, we’ve tapped into the growth and innovation happening in the fintech industry. This investment helps drive Concentra’s business strategy with credit unions, and strengthens our consumer lending portfolio, enabling Concentra to deliver a wider range of investment options.”

See:  Borrowell and Equifax Canada Partner To Provide Canadians Free Access to Credit Scores

The funds will be used to drive Borrowell's mission of financial empowerment. The company started by offering smart borrowing solutions to manage consumer debt and has since expanded to help Canadians through free credit score monitoring and financial recommendations. Borrowell is making significant investments in data science and artificial intelligence to better predict and build the financial tools and products that consumers will need to improve their financial well-being.

About Borrowell

Borrowell helps consumers make great choices about their credit. With its free credit score monitoring, personal loans and product recommendations, Borrowell empowers Canadians to improve their financial well-being and be the hero of their credit. Borrowell was named by LendIt as one of six emerging companies globally "that has demonstrated the greatest potential to impact the future of consumer lending," and was shortlisted as a top "disruptor" in PwC's 2017 Vision to Reality awards. For more information, visit www.borrowell.com

About Portag3 Ventures

Portag3 Ventures is an early-stage investor dedicated to backing innovating financial services companies working to benefit all consumers. Exclusively sponsored by Power Financial Corporation, IGM Financial Inc. and Great West-Lifeco Inc., Portag3 gives new ideas a unique environment to grow. Portag3 makes longer-term commitments, and combined with its industry intelligence is an ideal partner for the ambitious and creative entrepreneur. For more information, visit www.p3vc.com

About Equitable Bank

Equitable Bank is Canada's ninth largest independent Schedule I bank and offers a diverse suite of residential lending, commercial lending and savings solutions to Canadians. Through its proven branchless approach and customer service focus, Equitable Bank has grown to almost $23 billion of Assets Under Management. Equitable Bank also recently launched EQ Bank, a mobile-first digital bank, with the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account as its flagship product. Equitable Bank employs nearly 600 dedicated professionals across the country, and is a 2017 recipient of Canada's Best Employer Platinum Award, the highest bestowed by AON. For more information, visit www.equitablebank.ca

About White Star Capital

White Star Capital is an early-stage Venture Capital firm investing in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building the iconic companies of tomorrow. With offices in London, New York and Montreal and a team with deep operational expertise, we partner closely with the teams we back to help them scale globally. For more information, visit www.whitestarvc.com

About Concentra

Concentra is the wholesale bank and trust company for Canada's credit unions. We bring national connections to local credit unions, helping to serve nearly 6 million members across Canada. Concentra specializes in lending and investment solutions for credit unions to improve performance, manage risk, and grow member relationships. For more information, visit www.concentra.ca

About FirstOntario Credit Union

FirstOntario has been serving Members in the Golden Horseshoe, including Hamilton, Halton, the Niagara Region and Southwestern regions of Ontario since1939. FirstOntario is the province’s second largest credit union with more than 115,000 Members and $4.7 billion in assets under management. Everyone is welcome to be part of FirstOntario for financial services including daily transactions, mortgages, lines of credit, loans and investments. FirstOntario profits are invested into the communities we serve through support for entrepreneurs, competitive rates and charitable pursuits including our award-winning student nutrition program. Learn more about us today at FirstOntario.com

For further information, please contact Britt Aharoni at media@borrowell.com or 647-716-5113. 


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 1600+ 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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Women outperform men in seed crowdfunding, according to analysis by PwC and The Crowdfunding Centre

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PWC | July 11, 2017

New report shows that while more men use seed crowdfunding than women, women are more successful in reaching their finance goals than men in all sectors and geographic regions across the globe.
  • This analysis of over 450,000 seed crowdfunding campaigns from nine of the largest global crowdfunding platforms shows that female-led campaigns were 32% more successful at reaching their funding target than male-led campaigns
  • While men typically seek higher funding targets, female-led projects achieve a greater average pledge amount than male-led projects: on average each individual backer contributes $87 to women and $83 to men (a difference of almost 5%)
  • Even in more male dominated sectors, such as the technology sector, where there are nine male-led campaigns to every one female-led campaign, female-led campaigns are more successful, 13% to 10% respectively
  • The US and the UK are the most thriving countries for seed crowdfunding with the largest volumes of campaigns. In both countries, 20% of male-led campaigns reached their targets compared with 24% and 26% of female-led campaigns respectively
  • However, men continue to use seed crowdfunding substantially more than women and raise substantially more finance than female-led campaigns; 89% of campaigns raising over $1 million were male-led campaigns compared with 11% of female-led
PwC and The Crowdfunding Centre today launched their joint report, Women Unbound: Unleashing female entrepreneurial potential, which explores the experience of women in achieving finance raising success through seed crowdfunding compared with more traditional finance raising routes.
The report findings, which are based on two full years of seed crowdfunding data (2015-16) tracked by The Crowdfunding Centre, include the results of over 465,000 seed crowdfunding campaigns from nine of the largest crowdfunding platforms globally.
The report finds that while men clearly use seed crowdfunding more than women, women are more successful at crowdfunding than men. Seventeen percent of male-led campaigns reach their finance target, compared with 22% of female-led campaigns. Overall campaigns led by women were 32% more successful at reaching their funding target than those led by men across a wide range of sectors, geography, and cultures.
Crowdfunding is a disruptive innovation which has provided new routes to funding for individuals, startups and growing businesses. It enables them to engage and interact directly with the market and with thousands of backers, supporters, customers and potential partners like never before. Seed crowdfunding is the use of ‘rewards based’ crowdfunding platforms to fund the creation, launch or development of new businesses, products, and services where backers pay upfront for a product, service or project. Since its inception, seed crowdfunding's footprint has continued to spread with the levels of finance raised through the nine platforms analysed in this report jumping from $10 million in 2009 to over $767 million in 2016, with backers from over 200 countries.
Women-led campaigns performed better in terms of securing their funding goals than campaigns led by men when we segregate the data for every sector and every country. In countries with the largest volumes of seed crowdfunding, the UK, and the US, 20% of male-led campaigns reached their targets. Yet female-led campaigns outperformed, with 24% of women in the US and 26% of women in the UK successfully reaching their campaign funding target.
This trend continues in countries where seed crowdfunding is not yet as wide-scale or successful. For example, 11% of female-led campaigns in Africa were successful compared with 3% of male. And in E7 countries (China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, and Turkey), 10% of female-led campaigns reached their goals compared to 4% of male-led campaigns.
Even in what some consider to be more masculine sectors, for example, technology, where we see nine male seed crowdfunders for technology ventures to every one female crowdfunder, 13% of women were successful in achieving their funding goal compared to just 10% of men. Similarly, in the digital technology sector, where there are three male-led campaigns to every one female-led, women achieved a 16% success rate compared to just 9% for men.
Media contacts:
The Crowdfunding Centre
PwC
Jamie Veitch
Phone:  +44 (0)7904 272 200
E-mail: press@thecrowdfundingcentre.com
Aoife Flood
Phone: +353 (0)87 2799296
E-mail: aoife.flood@ie.pwc.com
Michelle Rodger
Phone: +44 (0)844 8844 943
E-mail: press@thecrowdfundingcentre.com
Maya Bhatti
Phone: +44 (0) 7808105682
Email: maya.bhatti@uk.pwc.com
About the Crowdfunding Centre
The Crowdfunding Centre is crowdfunding's global observatory, founded by Barry James and his team in 2013 which now provides the world's largest repository of data on crowdfunds harnessed to provide data and evidence based reports and tools for business, government, entrepreneurs, investors, and academia. Find out more and get reports and data for your sector, country or city by visiting TheCrowdfundingCentre.com
About PwC
At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 223,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.
PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.
SOURCE: PWC press room (view release)
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Fintech Sandbox and Ontario Centres of Excellence Announce Partnership

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CrowdfundInsider | By

The Boston based company Fintech Sandbox and the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to bring the Fintech Sandbox model into Ontario and eventually the rest of Canada.

The President and CEO of OCE, Dr. Tom Corr, spoke on this MOU:

“This new partnership between FinTech Sandbox and OCE is a unique opportunity that will give the growing fintech ecosystem in Ontario access to data, networks, platforms and events that will help accelerate growth and support the creation of high-quality jobs in the province. Signing this MOU with FinTech Sandbox will allow OCE to continue building on our programs and offerings in fintech innovation in Ontario.”

See: Fintech Regulation: Achieving the right balance to foster innovation

Fintech Sandbox is a nonprofit organization concerned with the promotion of global financial technology innovation. They provide Fintech startups with free critical data and resources to assist them with their business development. By providing this service for free, new Fintech companies can avoid the expensive cost of accessing large, relevant data. In return for this free information, startups collaborate and share what they learn in order to benefit the whole Fintech market.

OCE is a government funded organization that works with the commercialization of new and relevant innovations that can potentially shape future markets, thus ensuring that Ontario will be a global competitor. They work closely with industries, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors, and governments in order to help cultivate these new ideas. OCE’s investments include advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech energy, environment, and water.

Continue to the full article here--> 

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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Disruptive interest rate marketplace empowers the consumer

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Interest Piggy Release | May 26, 2017

TORONTO, May 24, 2017 /CNW/ - Getting the most competitive interest rate and finding the right financial provider becomes easier thanks to InterestPiggy.com, a new online interest rate marketplace that empowers consumers to find the best rates for their mortgages, savings, loans or GICs.

"With a steady rise in interest rates, consumers will be looking for the best deal to purchase a home, apply for loans, or even set up a savings account," says Manny Kandola, founder and CEO of InterestPiggy.com.

"This new platform saves consumers time and allows them to connect with multiple financial providers, so they're left feeling confident that they've received the best possible rate available."

There is no charge for consumers to sign up on InterestPiggy.com and input their requirements on the platform. Their posting is immediately delivered to a network of providers including banks, credit unions, alternative lenders and brokers who put forward competitive interest rates. Consumers also have the option of inviting their current financial provider to join the competition.

See you at the Summer Kickoff Fintech Networking on June 22!!  @The Spoke Club Rooftop Patio (early tix available)

The identity and contact information of both consumers and providers is masked during the 48 to 72-hour timeframe, with information shared only after the competition closes and a match is made. With a competitive rate established, providers and consumers simply connect to finalize the deal.

For financial providers, InterestPiggy becomes a tactical sales tool that can widen their scope of new clients.

As an added feature, InterestPiggy has a two-way rating system that enables both consumers and providers to learn from their peers' previous experiences.

About InterestPiggy.com
InterestPiggy is a Toronto-based FinTech company dedicated to revolutionizing the process of shopping for financial products. Visit interestpiggy.com for more details.

SOURCE InterestPiggy 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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Canadian FinTech startup Mylo launches mobile app and raises $1.25M

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Digital Journal | May 23, 2017

Mylo Financial Technologies (Mylo), a Montreal-based FinTech startup that offers a mobile personal finance platform to help Canadians achieve their financial goals, has successfully raised $750K and completed its pre-seed financing round. This latest raise brings Mylo's current financing to $1.25M, led by Ferst Capital Partners (FCP) with the participation of leading FinTech angel investors.

"I founded my first company fresh out of university, so I experienced first-hand the challenges of managing my money on an entrepreneur's budget," says Philip Barrar, CEO, and Founder of Mylo. "Many Canadians have difficulty achieving their financial goals because managing one's personal finances is complicated, time-consuming and for many, inaccessible. Mylo is working hard to change this."

The company raised $500K at the ideation stage from Ferst Capital Partners in January 2016 as one of its Foundry startups. It has raised an additional $750K in May 2017, closing its pre-seed round of $1.25 million.

"Mylo is solving a fundamental problem and providing financial inclusion through a complete re-imagination of what the future of personal finance management will be. They have put together an incredible team, developed the technological foundation and are innovating in an important way," says Jay Ferst, Managing Partner at Ferst Capital Partners.

Mylo, which launched its iOS beta version in February 2017 and is currently onboarding its 11,000+ waitlist users onto the platform, plans to use this funding to grow its technical and operations teams, expand its user base and complete the acquisition of a registered asset management firm.

About Mylo Financial Technologies:

Mylo is a mobile platform that automatically rounds up every purchase that users make and invests the spare change so that they can achieve their financial goals. Then, once plugged in, Mylo uses artificial intelligence to provide personalized insights and recommendations so that the users can make better financial decisions. Mylo helps optimize users' insurance coverage, significantly reduce interest payments, maximize travel points and more. www.mylo.ai

About Ferst Capital Partners:

Ferst Capital Partners (FCP) is an investment firm on the forefront of change. As investors, we provide strategic capital and support to FinTech startups. As a startup studio, we support the next generation of emerging FinTech entrepreneurs who are working hard to improve the financial lives of all Canadians. We focus on how Canadians spend, save, borrow, insure and invest their hard-earned money because we believe these things are important. www.ferstcapital.com

To schedule interviews, please contact:
Philip Barrar
Chief Executive Officer
Mylo Financial Technologies
pbarrar@mylo.ai

Laviva Mazhar
Senior Analyst
Ferst Capital Partners
lmazhar@ferstcapital.com

SOURCE: fMarketwired (view release)

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Fintech Platform futureshare Launches to Help Canadian Homeowners Unlock Their Real Estate Wealth

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Market Wired | May 18, 2017

Alternative to HELOCs and reverse mortgages means homeowners don't have to sell to tap into their home equity

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 18, 2017) - There is more than $2.9 trillion in unmortgaged real estate equity in Canada (CREA), and today fintech platform futureshare launches to help Canadians unlock that real estate wealth without taking on new debt. The company was founded in 2016 as an alternative to home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and reverse mortgages and gives homeowners a lump sum free of ongoing payments and interest rates in exchange for a percentage of the home's appreciation, which can be paid out without penalty at any time or once the property is sold. futureshare's online platform is the first of its kind in Canada and is now live in beta and accepting online applications for homes within Ontario with plans to launch in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia by the end of 2017.

"Canada's housing market has billions in untapped equity and futureshare is giving that wealth back to Canadians to help them reduce financial stress and live happier lives. We're revolutionizing the process by giving Canadians an alternative to home equity loans or HELOCs that's interest rate and payment free, allowing them to unlock their real estate wealth and increase their cash flow," said Michael Orrbrooke, CEO and founder of futureshare. "Whether it is, for example, for home improvements, debt consolidation, for funding retirement or investing in a small business, futureshare wants to help Canadians achieve their financial goals without adding new debt."

See: Real Estate Crowdfunding - An Emerging New Asset Class

The average Canadian owes $1.67 for every dollar in income (StatsCan), and futureshare is designed to help homeowners access the equity tied up in their home without adding to their ongoing debt burden. Unlike a reverse mortgage or HELOC, futureshare doesn't require homeowners to have perfect credit scores or to fall within a specific income bracket, and it doesn't increase monthly payments. A homeowner's eligibility is based primarily on their home value and whether they have at least 25 per cent equity ownership in their home. Homeowners will be able to access on average up to 10-20 per cent of their home equity using futureshare's platform, and unlike a loan, there's no ongoing payments or interest rates.

Canada has become a hub for fintech innovation, with venture capital financing for fintech companies increasing by 74% from 2015 to 2016 (Thomson Reuters). Like other fintech platforms, futureshare's process is simple and easy to complete online. Homeowners can use the online equity release calculator to see how much of their wealth they can unlock, and once they complete the 90-second pre-qualification questions, the homeowner receives a real-time conditional offer outlining the details of the equity release amount and terms they could receive. The home is then appraised and a final offer is sent via email by futureshare to the homeowner, with the credit application and underwriting process continuing online. Homeowners receive their funds, via electronic transfer, on average within 10-15 business days of signing the final offer.

About futureshare

futureshare provides an alternative to home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and reverse mortgages, helping homeowners unlock their real estate wealth without having to sell their home. The online platform provides consumers with the opportunity to receive funds based on an appraisal on their home in exchange for a portion of their homes future appreciation, meaning that homeowners have zero ongoing payments, and incur zero interest. futureshare is currently available in beta in Ontario with plans to launch in Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia by the end of 2017. futureshare is based in Toronto, and the platform launched in May 2017.

To learn more about futureshare, visit futureshare.ca.

Social media links:

Facebook: facebook.com/futuresharedf
Twitter: twitter.com/futuresharedf

For additional information, contact:

Jamie Gillingham
Eighty-Eight
Account Manager
jamie@eightyeightagency.com
416-944-2722

SOURCE: futureshare (view release)

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Robin Ford, Former BC Securities Commission Executive Commissioner, Joins National Crowdfunding Association of Canada’s Advisory Group

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | May 16, 2017

Robin Ford, Advisor, Governance and Regulation

VANCOUVER, MAY 16, 2017 – The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Robin Ford, Former British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) Executive Commissioner, has joined the Association as Advisor, Governance and Regulation.

After 25 years as a public-sector lawyer and regulator, Robin is now consulting in the areas of financial services regulation, governance, and compliance.  She has extensive experience working with and advising regulators and the regulated, leading projects and teams, and facilitating organizational change.

Robin has served as Executive Commissioner at the BCSC, Chief Counsel, Insurance at the UK Financial Services Authority, and legal adviser to the UK and British Columbia Governments.  She played an important role in an ambitious program of regulatory reform and in integrating 9 regulators into the newly formed UK FSA, as it became a more analytically disciplined, risk-based, and outcomes-focused regulator.

“Having such a highly experienced and capable senior ex-financial services regulator join the NCFA Advisory Group speaks volumes about how much the regulated crowdfunding sector in Canada has developed and its potential to raise, lend, or share capital and facilitate investment. We’re very pleased to have Robin join the community to help bridge the gap between regulators and the alternative markets and to support regulations that are both suitable for online financial marketplaces and globally competitive.”  Craig Asano, Executive Director, NCFA Canada

“I was delighted to be asked to join the Advisory Group of the NCFA, which has already achieved so much to facilitate developments in the crowdfunding sector. I look forward to contributing on regulatory and governance issues." Robin Ford, Former BCSC Executive Commissioner

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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. For more information please visit: www.ncfacanada.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Craig Asano
casano@ncfacanada.org
416 618 0254

 

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