Category Archives: Crowdfunding Services

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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NACO hopes its Common Docs will standardize angel investment term sheets in Canada

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Betakit | | Apr 13, 2017

NACO common docs

On Tuesday, the National Angel Capital Organization gathered 100 angel investors and partners in Toronto to mark the launch of NACO’s Common Docs.

The organization has spent the past three months working with Canadian angel investors and founders on standard document templates, meant to act as a guideline, for early-stage startup investments. Open Angels’ Boris Mann and E-Fund’s Peter Dorsman acted as project leads working with Canada’s startup ecosystem.

“There’s all kinds of stories — and I’m sure each of you have your own stories — about the amount of friction and confusion that exists sometimes in deals and the way that they’re done,” NACO CEO Yuri Navarro said during the launch event. “And the sad side effects of that…just the way you structure a deal can actually have a significant, negative impact on a company in the future.”

Navarro said that the goal of Common Docs is to reduce the friction in negotiating deals by having the docs as a starting point, and give both founders and funders a better way to understand how deals are structured.

“This is really a matter of raising the literacy around this stuff from a Canadian perspective. There actually is no central Canadian repository of really anything,” said Mann. “The other thing that we sought to do was answer the question is, what is common? That was definitely something that was starting to come from the NACO membership, even some stories of saying

‘we lost a deal because we were told our terms weren’t market.’ What is common? What’s market?”

In a panel with founders and investors during the event, the speakers touched on some of the pain points that having a central resource could solve.

See:  Angel investing was always male-dominated. That’s finally changing

When it comes to getting more people interested in angel investing, Zoom.ai founder Roy Pereira said it’s important to get more young founders involved. “I think we have to get some of the younger people who had a few exits, or one exit at least, to get more involved in angel groups and crowdfunding,” said Pereira. “I find they’re not interested or they don’t see themselves in these groups. So I think there may be a disconnect, And they’re not investing as much as they could because they don’t see themselves in the community.”

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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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Calgary companies breaking ground in hot fintech sector

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Calgary Herald | Amanda Stephenson | March 7, 2017

Calgary economic development

Could Calgary become a Canadian hub for fintech, the latest hot sector to capture the imaginations of investors and entrepreneurs alike?

A small cluster of local companies are already breaking ground in the up-and-coming space, and — with the sector appearing poised to permanently shake up the global banking industry — some people believe Calgary could see more capital investment and startups launched in the near future.

Calgary Economic Development, eager to help diversify the local economy beyond its reliance on oil and gas, has already identified fintech as a sector of interest as it seeks to attract new and established companies to the city.

Download:  2016 Alternative Finance Crowdfunding in Canada Industry report

“I would say that we view it as an opportunity,” said Mary Moran, president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development. “I think it’s even easier for people in Alberta to make investments in fintech than in high-tech, because it’s closer to their main industry of oil and gas. Financial services is quite closely related to the energy industry.”

Fintech — an all-encompassing term that covers a host of financial technologies, from mobile banking apps to international money transfer services to crowdfunding platforms — is taking off worldwide. According to a 2016 report by the Digital Finance Institute and McCarthy Tetrault LLP, investment from private capital in fintech companies was US$12.21 billion in 2014, an increase of 200 per cent from the year before. In 2015, fintech investment grew again to US$22.3 billion, an increase of 75 per cent.

Some observers believe fintech has the capacity to disrupt all aspects of financial services — from banking to payments to wealth management — the way online shopping and video streaming disrupted the retail and entertainment sectors, respectively. The change is just coming later than it did in some other industries, in part because of the inherent conservatism of the banking and finance worlds.

“It’s a very off-line industry — you know, meet in person, use Excel spreadsheets, make phone calls — it’s very inefficient,” says Brock Murray, CEO of Katipult, a Calgary-based fintech company whose cloud-based software gives firms in private markets the ability to design, set up and manage an investment crowdfunding platform. “You can walk into these billion dollar funds and when you actually look at how they do things, it could be paper applications. The way they do things internally could be the way people were doing things six years ago in other industries.”

See:  Katipult Secures Capital Partner for 2017 Growth

That’s starting to change as customers become more comfortable with dealing with money online, and as the major financial institutions realize they have to adapt or get left behind. Murray says Katipult — which just secured a substantial new capital investment in its latest funding round — has been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, as excitement around fintech takes off.

“The sheer dollar volume that lies in these different types of firms — from banks to credit unions to hedge funds — there’s a significant amount of money there,” Murray said. “And it’s one of those industries that is disproportionately behind in terms of how they use technology, so I think investors are recognizing the huge potential there.”

Katipult began building out its software two and a half years ago and now has 20 employees — a number it expects to double over the next six months as a result of the recent capital investment. (Murray declines to disclose a dollar value, other than to say it was a “multi-million dollar” investment). The company also plans to explore opportunities for partnerships and acquisitions.

But while there’s no denying fintech is a hot space right now, Marcos Lopez — CEO of Calgary company Solium — says the term is more than a passing trend. Solium, whose software platform allows public and private companies to manage their employee stock option plans and share purchase programs, has been in business since 1999, when “fintech” wasn’t even a word.

“I think it’s an invented term. It’s really just about using technology to increase automation and service, which we do in all aspects of our lives,” Lopez says. “So instead of calling it a buzzword, I would say instead it’s an investment theme right now that people are starting to learn about and put energy behind — much like self-driving cars and virtual reality.”

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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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Katipult Secures Capital Partner for 2017 Growth

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Market Watch | Katipult Release | Feb 7, 2017

Katipult software for private capital markets

Feb 07, 2017 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - February 07, 2017) - Canada's FinTech standout Katipult has secured a substantial capital investment in a round of funding according to CEO and Founder Brock Murray. The company provides a Platform-as-a-Service that's like Shopify for private capital markets. Its software allows firms to setup and manage a platform to offer privately issued, exempt securities to non-accredited, accredited and institutional investors.

Investment in FinTech companies is red hot, however CEO Brock Murray says his company isn't a sector play for investors, rather that Katipult is a business with strong fundamentals, a talented team, and massive growth potential. "With our new partner, we are poised to build a transformative company that makes enterprise-ready software accessible, affordable, and painless for firms in the Alternative Investment industry. From day one, we've set out to build a phenomenal product that removes the inefficiencies and regulatory hurdles for our clients and it's great to have a long-term strategic partner, to significantly increase our resources to do so."

See:  Katipult named Canada’s most innovative Fintech company

The company plans to use the money to expand its team to 40 employees, explore partnerships and acquisitions, and look at opportunities for vertical migration. "The success of our clients is our success," says Murray. "We are going to be aggressively pursuing growth strategy, and bolstering our product and support services to help our clients launch Investment Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer Lending, and Investor Management platforms."

Katipult's run rate and growth are putting it on track to be one of Canada's top FinTech companies in 2017, and one to watch on the international stage. Katipult is a market leader in its specialty markets including the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom, and has a physical presence in North America, Europe, and Asia.

About Katipult

Katipult is a financial technology (FinTech) company that offers proprietary cloud-based software infrastructure that allows firms to design, setup, and operate an investment platform across multiple distribution channels including web, mobile, and social media. Katipult is being used in over 20 unique regulatory environments to grow investor networks, efficiently manage investors, and streamline deal flow administration. www.katipult.com

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Press Contact Katipult Brock Murray bmurray@katipult.com +1 403 457 8008

 

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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Katipult named Canada’s most innovative Fintech company

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Digital Journal - Katipult Release | Oct 2016

katipult-pheak-measCanada’s technology sector can proudly speak of a number of homegrown giants disrupting online sectors from social media management (Hootsuite), to web browsing (Mozilla Firefox), ecommerce (Shopify), and also workplace chat (Slack). Katipult is looking to be placed amongst these names as the dominant Canadian player in Financial Technology (Fintech).

Katipult is proprietary cloud-based software infrastructure that allows firms in private capital markets to design, setup, and manage an Investment Crowdfunding, Peer 2 Peer Lending, or Investor Management platform. The software provides unparalleled adaptability for regulatory compliance, asset structures, business model, and localization requirements. Katipult boasts compliant platforms in over 20 unique regulatory environments.

See:  VersaPay Signs Partnership Agreement With Katipult To Bring Secure Investment Crowdfunding Software To The Canadian Market

Private capital markets are plagued with operational inefficiencies and detailed compliance requirements which presents a huge opportunity for firms looking to remove these pain points. As the largest banking institutions in the world look to harness Fintech into their operations, Katipult is positioning itself in the right place at the right time.

Unlike many disruptive tech companies that come from tech hubs like San Francisco, New York, or Singapore, Katipult was founded in Calgary, Canada in the shadows of the Oil & Gas sector. “If you work in Calgary’s business district you most likely work in Oil & Gas so the support ecosystem is very different than what you would see in the Valley” says Brock Murray CEO of Katipult. That doesn’t mean you’re at a disadvantage, as Calgary is an amazing city with a strong financial sector and entrepreneurial spirit.

Katipult was recently featured in Calgary Economic Development’s “National Be Part of the Energy Campaign”, highlighting the company as one of the up-and-comers in the city. In previous years, Katipult also won RBC’s Emerging Enterprise of the Year Award. “Anytime you’re recognized for your efforts it’s great” said Murray. “We’re hoping we’ll be able to collaborate closer with Canada’s large financial institutions as there are many complimentary opportunities both domestically and internationally.”

Katipult deals with dozens of API integrations into our software from other leading Fintech companies including KYC & AML background checks, big data analytics & smart messaging, payment processing, contract creation & electronic signature. Its most recent initiatives dealing with secondary trading and blockchain technology are likely turning heads within traditional finance firms and banks as the level of sophistication and the speed it can setup a client platform will disrupt the current landscape dramatically.

Read more 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 1300+ 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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Banks adopt blockchain for mortgage valuation system

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Financial Times - Hong Kong | | Oct 18, 2016

blockchain-applications

Bank of China and HSBC aim to launch property survey database

Bank of China and HSBC are among a group of lenders aiming to launch mortgage services in Hong Kong using blockchain — the decentralised database technology behind the digital currency bitcoin.

So far, Bank of China (Hong Kong) has led tests on a property valuation system for home loans based on blockchain technology, according to Duncan Wong, vice-president of financial technologies at Astri, the government-backed research institute working on the system. He said the bank plans to go live with it next month.

It will use the secure database capabilities of blockchain to provide quick property valuations for mortgage applicants in Hong Kong. At present, when customers apply for mortgages, the banks hire surveyors to value the property being bought. But as different customers shop around for mortgages, the same survey work is often conducted multiple times on the same property.

See:  A good policy on crowdfunding will enhance Hong Kong’s role as global financial centre

Now, blockchain can be used to create a decentralised network of banks and surveyors through which the latest valuations can be listed, verified and shared — in a matter of seconds.

“To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first production-grade [blockchain] mortgage system to integrate with a bank,” Mr Wong explained.

HSBC and several other banks in the city have also “aligned the data requirements to be posted in blockchain”, according to one person involved in the project, although they are yet to finalise plans for joining the system.

BOCHK confirmed it was testing such products. HSBC declined to comment.

Adopting blockchain for banking products such as mortgages represents a major step in the use of new technology for traditional banking businesses. Until now, banks have talked up the potential uses of blockchain but have also kept it at arm’s length, fearing repercussions from regulators.

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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 1300+ 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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White Label Crowdfunding 101: Part I – Pros & Cons

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Crowdfund Insider | Bret Conkin | Aug 12, 2016

Crowdfunding 101 white label vendors

So you want to start a Crowdfunding Portal….

Crowdfunding and Fintech in general are demonstrating dramatic growth due to many factors including the growth of the sharing economy, technology innovations and the liberalization of securities regulations in the US and Canada.

A sure indicator of critical mass for online industries is the entry of white label software.  Equity crowdfunding, real estate crowdfunding, marketplace lending and other white label (also called private label) fintech solutions are now available in many countries.  These solutions can provide more than the ability to start a new portal.  What may surprise you is that white label has evolved so that it can also generate strong returns for certain existing businesses like real estate developers.

See:

Part I of this series looks at how white label crowdfunding works, applications, pros and cons plus key considerations in choosing a white label strategy.  Part II will introduce some of the primary vendors, their reference customer sites, key considerations in selection and other insights to help you navigate the options.

What is White Label Crowdfunding?

Software that enables the offering of Crowdfunding or investor management functionality without the huge capital expense and lengthy timeframe of building software/portals from scratch.

Most vendors operate on a SaaS model of software delivery enabling access from all devices with an Internet connection and web browser.  The ongoing licensing (and usual monthly subscription fees) grants access to software upgrades, new features, customer support, IT maintenance and central hosting.

How It Works

While feature sets vary, the core functionality is usually offered in these buckets:

  • Marketing 
    • Rich Project deal pages with videos, imagery, text and campaign metrics
    • Distribution tools like social sharing, transactional and campaign emails
    • Templates or custom branding and user experience
  • Finance
    • Decks, key documents, deal rooms, investor forums
    • Payments, escrow, audit trails
  • Administration
    • Investor and Project dashboards
    • Content Management systems – Blogs, FAQs, Curation
    • Reporting and Analytics
  • Compliance
    • Investor accreditation and identity verification
    • Anti-Money Laundering
    • Built-in or custom exemption workflows

What are White Label Crowdfunding’s Applications?

Are you a financial services firm like a fund, asset manager, broker, dealer or bank?  Do you have assets and investors to acquire and manage?  Do you conduct private placements, syndication or other deals offline?  Read on.

Or are you a business that requires considerable investment or financing to operate like a real estate developer?  Do you have funding gaps or a desire to market projects in innovative new ways?  You’re in the right place.

Or are you an entrepreneur interested in running a crowdfunding portal or platform?  Do you have a relevant background in technology and/or finance?

Each of these businesses can benefit from exploring the benefits that investment “crowdfunding” software can offer versus current processes and existing financial services software.

Related:  2016 Canadian Crowdfunding Directory

Pros and Cons

Let’s consider then the pros and cons of Buy (White Label) vs. Build (Custom development).

White Label Pros

  • Speed – Vendors offer site build-outs in as soon as 4 weeks.  A more conservative timeframe would be 2-3 months.  Custom software can easily take one to two years for development.
  • Reduced capital investments – Set-up fees typically range from USD $5,000 to $25,000 with ongoing monthly fees of USD $1,000 – $3,0000.  SaaS reduces the need to invest in your own hardware for hosting.  Custom development can easily exceed $500,000 in relatively short order given the high cost of quality developers, design, QA and compliance resources.
  • Best practices – Vendors have the benefit of serving multiple customers and often multiple markets providing key learning on what works, trends and feature demand.  Customers get access to these upgrades ongoing.
  • Security and Maintenance – Centrally hosted solutions are designed to be robust and scale reducing downtime or unwanted access.  The IT experts retained by the vendors can provide support and maintenance often without additional fees.
  • Reduced project risk – Selecting the right vendor can provide access to valuable expertise on markets, product and tactics.  They bake into the workflows the compliance required in the markets they operate in and with the exemptions or regulations applicable.  They also may provide models, networking, business advice or other value.

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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 1300+ 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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