Category Archives: Equity Crowdfunding

Prominent Group of Fintech Leaders Send Letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton Demanding an Increase in Regulation Crowdfunding to $20 Million

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Crowdfund Insider | | Jul 23, 2018

In a letter forwarded to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton, a group of Fintech leaders demanded the Commission to increase Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF) from the current $1.07 million max amount to $20 million – a substantial increase to current rules. The demand to increase Reg CF, an iteration of securities crowdfunding that was created by the JOBS Act of 2012, comes at a time when there is pressure for the US to maintain is position as a leader in investment crowdfunding the space. As pointed out by the signatories, both Germany and the UK have increased their crowdfunding threshold to €8 million (USD $9.4 million). The European Commission may move to make this a pan-European threshold with some EU insiders pushing for a higher amount.

The letter was sent under the letterhead of Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA), co-founded by Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss and Jason Best. The two founders were vital to the passage of the JOBS Act when President Obama signed the bill into law.

Neiss told Crowdfund Insider;

“Each of the parts of the JOBS Act served a niche well except for those companies that liked the idea of crowdfunding from Main Street investors without the costs of a Title IV (Regulation A+ offering). By increasing the maximum an issuer can raise to $20 million under Regulation Crowdfunding, we can now fill this void and allow a broader spectrum of small issuers into the marketplace. With 2 years of history and data under our belt, we can see that the system is working, capital is flowing, jobs are being created and money is being pumped into our economy. Rather than ask for another de minimus increase in the cap, let’s raise it to an amount that will really allow the industry to take off but in the same systematic and transparent way that benefits issuers, investors, and regulators.”

Neiss, in an email to Chair Clayton, said “the United States should not be left behind, but should make the bold move to increase the cap to $20 million.”

The SEC has the ability to act and such a move would most likely have the support of much of Congress and most likely the Executive branch. The question is whether, or not, Chair Clayton will be willing to take such a bold move that will clearly support small business and capital formation – a policy area Clayton has consistently said is one of his top leadership priorities.

See:  10 reasons the $1 million crowdfunding cap should be $20 million

The letter to Chair Clayton was signed by the following crowdfunding industry leaders:

  • Sherwood Neiss – CCA
  • Doug Ellenoff – Ellenoff, Grossman & Schole
  • Youngro Lee – CEO of NextSeed
  • Tyler Gray – COO of Microventures
  • James Dowd – Managing Director North Capital
  • Kendrick Nguyen, CEO of Republic
  • Ryan Feit – CEO of SeedInvest
  • Karen Kerrigan – Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council)
  • Ron Miller – co-founder of StartEngine
  • Nick Tommarello – CEO of Wefunder

Since the launch of Regulation Crowdfunding:

  • Over 1,000 companies have filed with the SEC to raise money on online platforms that are registered with FINRA to facilitate capital formation.
  • Over $137M has been committed to these issuers. 95% ($130.4M) of that capital was funded and invested into 715 companies (68.5% success rate).
  • These 715 companies are supporting 4,172 jobs and producing over $249M in revenue.
  • Issuers have filed in almost every state in the Union.
  • Issuers have been funded in 80 industries (according to Morningstar’s Global Equity Classification Structure).

The cap should be adjusted because:

  • There has been zero fraud, competent issuers have been able to raise serious capital from investors that believe in their products or services, and retail investors (for the first time in recent history) have a transparent, systematic way to back companies they believe in.
  • Successfully funded companies are supporting and creating valuable jobs and providing substantial economic activity in a broad range of locally important industries all around the United States.
  • The initial cap of US$1M was meant to be adjusted. Only once since the launch of Regulation Crowdfunding has this been adjusted and at the time only by $70,000. Such de minimus adjustments do not fully allow meritorious issuers to fully benefit from this new form of online finance nor expand the opportunity for issuers seeking to raise in excess of $1M.
  • The current $1M level is now far below what startups and SMEs need for seed stage capital. May 2018 data indicates that the median sized funding round for Angel or Seed stage companies in the US is $2M. This means that even for the smallest funding round the current limits do not allow an issuer to raise their entire round via Regulation Crowdfunding. This dramatically increases costs and time spent on raising capital by US businesses. This reduces the number of American innovators and job creators in the United States.
  • While the “funding gap” that Regulation Crowdfunding was meant to address is filling the void. The funding “opportunity” really comes from those small/medium firms that are seeking to raise up to $20M. Raising funds under $20M has become increasingly challenging as Venture Capital/Private Equity has moved upstream over the past decade. Raising the cap will allow issuers that wish to utilize this form of online finance the ability to raise in excess of $1M and tap their local investors without having to deal with the costly, time consuming process of either filing a full prospectus with the SEC or spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a private offering.
  • Many companies forego Regulation Crowdfunding in favor of Reg D, 506(c), because of the low Reg CF limit. This has the effect of reduced disclosure to investors, since Form D provides less information even than Form C. In addition, ordinary investors are cut out of some of the most attractive deals that have already attracted institutional funding, which seems unfair and counter to one of the goals of Reg CF.
  • Both the United Kingdom and Germany have adjusted their caps to 8M EUR (US$9.4M). The United States should not be a follower but a leader

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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FCA Regulatory Sanbox | Aug 8, 2018 Find out about the 29 businesses that have been accepted into cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox to test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms. We received 69 applications for cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox. Applications came from a diverse range of firms operating across the financial services sector including in areas such as consumer credit, automated advice and insurance. 29 firms have been accepted to develop towards testing, including 3 firms that were accepted as part of previous cohorts but did not proceed to test. Firms that have been accepted to develop towards testing are listed below, except for one firm that has asked not to be named at this point in time. See:  Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators We have accepted a number of firms that will be testing propositions relating to cryptoassets. We are keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks. Tests will be conducted on a short-term and small-scale basis and the FCA is working with each firm to agree testing parameters and ...
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Progressa Release | Aug 14, 2018 TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progressa, a Vancouver and Toronto based financial technology company, announced today it has successfully closed an $84 million equity and loan funding round. The equity financing was co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Gravitas Securities Inc. and included Eight Capital and Paradigm Capital as part of the syndicate. The equity capital allows Progressa to unlock a new forward-flow whole loan purchasing program for up to $72 million, with Vancouver-based credit fund Cypress Hills Partners. The equity financing was largely supported by the Canadian investment banks who see the potential for Progressa to complete a go-public transaction (“IPO”) before the end of 2019. Ali Pourdad, Progressa’s co-founder and CEO, commented, “Progressa is proud to have developed first-to-market technology solutions for the Canadian non-prime credit consumer market. Today’s enterprise business partners are utilizing the Company’s Powered by Progressa solutions to improve their customer experience, while enhancing collections recoveries and mitigating significant risk, a true win for both enterprise and Canadian consumers. We are pleased with this broad level of support from Canadian investment banks who see that Progressa is making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians.” See:  ...
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CNBC Markets | Kate Rooney  | Jul 24, 2018 Fintech company Square is boosting its small-business lending with an eBay partnership. Square Capital, the lending arm of the payment start-up, will be available to eBay sellers looking to expand their business operations. Starting in the third quarter, merchants on the site can apply for a loan as small as $500 and up to $100,000 to help with everything from payroll and inventory to equipment and marketing, the companies announced Tuesday. Square Capital’s focus since launching in 2014 has been on those businesses historically excluded from the larger financial system. The partnership will offer access to capital for those who have been “underserved when seeking funding” and give U.S. sellers a "seamless funding experience," said Jacqueline Reses, head of Square Capital. See:  What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business Lending Loop Surpasses $10M in Loans to Small Businesses Across Canada Small-business lending is an increasingly competitive area in fintech. PayPal, which was once a part of eBay, has a program called Working Capital and provides loans to merchants based on sales history. Amazon also does this for sellers, and began extending credit to small business owners ...
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Square partners with eBay to expand lending for 'underserved' small businesses
CBC | Rob Antle  | Aug 6, 2018 Agency wants to make sure tax laws are being followed When Ottawa looks at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it sees problems. Bitcoin can be difficult to track, and there is the potential for "tax noncompliance" through unreported or under-reported income and capital gains. The Canada Revenue Agency "wants to understand how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate in the traditional economic space to ensure that tax laws are being followed," CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said in an emailed statement. "It is important to note that using digital currency does not exempt consumers from Canadian tax obligations." So CRA commissioned research on businesses that installed bitcoin automated tellers on their premises. A bitcoin ATM is not actually an ATM; it doesn't provide a connection to a customer's bank account. Rather, it's an internet-linked terminal that allows people to buy and sell bitcoins. See:  Learn about crypto payments - Fintech Fridays Podcast: ep1 with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments According to the study that followed — which surveyed 20 businesses — the taxman wanted to understand why a business would install a bitcoin ATM, along with "the perceived value it brings to businesses and their customers, and attitudes towards tax compliance in the ...
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CRA surveyed businesses to find out why they're taking bitcoin ATMs
NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 10, 2018 We're excited to announce a new NCFA Podcast series called 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges! FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Nets Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Amy Wan, Founder & CEO, Sagewise About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with LA legal tech entrepreneur Amy Wan, the CEO/Founder of Sagewise, a smart contracts dispute resolution startup. They talk about why smart contact safety nets are important, the bridge between legal tech and fintech and how Amy closed out her seed round while being pregnant. Enjoy! Subscribe to the channel and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here Transcription of Interview Manseeb Khan: Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan and you are tuning in to NCFA newest show Fintech Fridays. Today we have an amazing guest. She's a rock star in the industry. Ladies and gentlemen. Amy Wan is with us today. She's the CEO of Sagewise Amy thanks so ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Net with Amy Wan, CEO & Founder at Sagewise
University of Cambridge and Ivey Business School | by Tania Ziegler and Michael King | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 Americas survey of alternative finance conducted the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is nearing its closing stages. This global survey of crowdfunding and lending via online platforms is the benchmark for the industry, providing the most comprehensive data on this fintech activity.  In Canada, Cambridge is being assisted by their research partners and the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School.  NCFA is a supportive community partner. Leading platforms should have received an email with details on how to complete the survey from either Tania Ziegler at University of Cambridge or Professor Michael King at Ivey. It is vital that platforms participate in order to demonstrate the importance of this sector to Canadians and to policymakers at the federal and provincial levels. King says, “As we look ahead to the completion of the Federal Financal Sector Review early in 2019, this data will be vital for promoting open banking and other initiatives that support Canada’s fintech sector. When platforms opt out, they are effectively telling policymakers that alternative finance is not important and not worthy of the ...
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Cambridge Survey of Alternative Finance Needs Your Participation!
Fortune | Matt Harris | Aug 8, 2018 Matt Harris is a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. He is consistently ranked as one of the top investors in fintech, having participated in the space since 2000. I’ve been proven wrong once again. For eight years running, I’ve predicted that fintech investment is going to plateau. Based on the start of 2018, it hasn’t yet. In fact, we saw more than $5.4 billion invested in fintech during the first quarter of the year, with no signs of slowing momentum. For perspective, fintech investment for all of 2014 was just under $4 billion, so that’s “5x” growth in four years. In 2001, per data from Venture Scanner, it was something like $300 million. With that said, this whole “fintech” thing is kind of a charade. As I shared with attendees last month during our annual Fintech CEO Summit, co-hosted together with Nyca Partners, the CEOs in our portfolios don’t actually run “fintech businesses.” They run a payments business or a lending business, or they build investing technologies, or they sell to banks or insurance or real estate companies. Regardless of what VCs tell limited partners, or how media cover the industry, ...
Read More
Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Aug 7, 2018 The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has initiated a new consultation that is going beyond the UK borders when it comes to Fintech innovation. Announced today, the FCA has created the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). The multinational group includes regulatory agencies from the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australian, France and more. FCA Director of Competition, Christopher Woolard, said the creation of GFIN is an important step for the FCA to be able to better understand and harness the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers, while managing the potential harm. “The establishment of the GFIN can help share the experiences and knowledge from across different markets, while also providing a platform for innovative firms wishing to scale their propositions via testing in multiple countries.” The members as announced include: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, USA) Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK) Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Ontario Securities Commission (OSC, Canada) Consultative Group to ...
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Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators
Globe and Mail | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies plumbed new depths on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dented enthusiasts’ hopes for an VanEck exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin. A broad selloff in coins of all sizes reduced the market value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to about $230 billion, the lowest level since November. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, equivalent to erasing the entire market value of Visa Inc. twice over. (Shares of the payments processor are trading near a record high.) The SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve the Bitcoin ETF, dealing a blow to bulls who had bet a green light from the regulator would help sustain last month’s tenuous rally. Optimists are counting on the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to keep prices supported, but regulators and many institutional investors have remained wary amid concerns over security and market manipulation. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Bitcoin was down 5.6 pe rcent to $6,484 as of 8:19 a.m. in New York, recovering from a 7 percent drop earlier while extending its 2018 decline to 55 percent, according to Bloomberg ...
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‘This Is Not a Passing Fad’: CFA Exam Adds Crypto, Blockchain Topics

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Bloomberg | By and | Jul 16, 2018

It might be the definitive sign that cryptocurrencies have arrived on Wall Street.

CFA Institute, whose grueling three-level program has helped train more than 150,000 financial professionals, is adding topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain to its Level I and II curriculums for the first time next year. Material for the 2019 exams will be released in August, giving candidates their first opportunity to start logging a recommended 300 hours of study time.

CFA added the topics, part of a new reading called Fintech in Investment Management, after industry participants showed surging interest in surveys and focus groups. The worlds of finance and crypto have become increasingly intertwined after last year’s Bitcoin boom, with regulated futures now trading in Chicago, blue-chip firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. dabbling in digital assets, and scores of Wall Streeters joining crypto-related startups.

More:  Traders With Pockets Full of Crypto Quit Wall Street

While digital coins have tumbled in 2018 and the real-world impact of blockchain ventures has thus far been limited, some observers say the technology could ultimately transform swathes of the global financial system.

“We saw the field advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable,” said Stephen Horan, managing director for general education and curriculum at CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. “This is not a passing fad.”

The CFA material on crypto and blockchain will appear alongside other fintech subjects including artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and automated trading. More crypto topics, such as the intersection of virtual currencies and economics, may eventually be added to the curriculum, Horan said.

“It will be beneficial for us, since there’s been a huge expansion and adoption of crypto in our investment universe,” said Kayden Lee, 27, a financial economics student at Columbia University who took the CFA Level I exam in June and is interning as a fund analyst in Singapore during his summer break.

“But more importantly the focus is on fintech and blockchain,” Lee said. “How it works to improve, unravel or even disrupt certain sectors.”

See:  Could Cryptocurrency Be the Investment Opportunity of a Lifetime?

The new topics will also make an appearance in the CFA readings on professional ethics, an area that some say is lacking in the crypto world. Many virtual currency projects operate in a legal gray zone, while digital-asset trading venues and initial coin offerings are rife with examples of fraud, market manipulation, money laundering and theft.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Click for News:

 

FCA Regulatory Sanbox | Aug 8, 2018 Find out about the 29 businesses that have been accepted into cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox to test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms. We received 69 applications for cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox. Applications came from a diverse range of firms operating across the financial services sector including in areas such as consumer credit, automated advice and insurance. 29 firms have been accepted to develop towards testing, including 3 firms that were accepted as part of previous cohorts but did not proceed to test. Firms that have been accepted to develop towards testing are listed below, except for one firm that has asked not to be named at this point in time. See:  Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators We have accepted a number of firms that will be testing propositions relating to cryptoassets. We are keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks. Tests will be conducted on a short-term and small-scale basis and the FCA is working with each firm to agree testing parameters and ...
Read More
FCA Regulatory sandbox participants - Cohort 4
Progressa Release | Aug 14, 2018 TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progressa, a Vancouver and Toronto based financial technology company, announced today it has successfully closed an $84 million equity and loan funding round. The equity financing was co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Gravitas Securities Inc. and included Eight Capital and Paradigm Capital as part of the syndicate. The equity capital allows Progressa to unlock a new forward-flow whole loan purchasing program for up to $72 million, with Vancouver-based credit fund Cypress Hills Partners. The equity financing was largely supported by the Canadian investment banks who see the potential for Progressa to complete a go-public transaction (“IPO”) before the end of 2019. Ali Pourdad, Progressa’s co-founder and CEO, commented, “Progressa is proud to have developed first-to-market technology solutions for the Canadian non-prime credit consumer market. Today’s enterprise business partners are utilizing the Company’s Powered by Progressa solutions to improve their customer experience, while enhancing collections recoveries and mitigating significant risk, a true win for both enterprise and Canadian consumers. We are pleased with this broad level of support from Canadian investment banks who see that Progressa is making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians.” See:  ...
Read More
Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
CNBC Markets | Kate Rooney  | Jul 24, 2018 Fintech company Square is boosting its small-business lending with an eBay partnership. Square Capital, the lending arm of the payment start-up, will be available to eBay sellers looking to expand their business operations. Starting in the third quarter, merchants on the site can apply for a loan as small as $500 and up to $100,000 to help with everything from payroll and inventory to equipment and marketing, the companies announced Tuesday. Square Capital’s focus since launching in 2014 has been on those businesses historically excluded from the larger financial system. The partnership will offer access to capital for those who have been “underserved when seeking funding” and give U.S. sellers a "seamless funding experience," said Jacqueline Reses, head of Square Capital. See:  What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business Lending Loop Surpasses $10M in Loans to Small Businesses Across Canada Small-business lending is an increasingly competitive area in fintech. PayPal, which was once a part of eBay, has a program called Working Capital and provides loans to merchants based on sales history. Amazon also does this for sellers, and began extending credit to small business owners ...
Read More
Square partners with eBay to expand lending for 'underserved' small businesses
CBC | Rob Antle  | Aug 6, 2018 Agency wants to make sure tax laws are being followed When Ottawa looks at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it sees problems. Bitcoin can be difficult to track, and there is the potential for "tax noncompliance" through unreported or under-reported income and capital gains. The Canada Revenue Agency "wants to understand how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate in the traditional economic space to ensure that tax laws are being followed," CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said in an emailed statement. "It is important to note that using digital currency does not exempt consumers from Canadian tax obligations." So CRA commissioned research on businesses that installed bitcoin automated tellers on their premises. A bitcoin ATM is not actually an ATM; it doesn't provide a connection to a customer's bank account. Rather, it's an internet-linked terminal that allows people to buy and sell bitcoins. See:  Learn about crypto payments - Fintech Fridays Podcast: ep1 with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments According to the study that followed — which surveyed 20 businesses — the taxman wanted to understand why a business would install a bitcoin ATM, along with "the perceived value it brings to businesses and their customers, and attitudes towards tax compliance in the ...
Read More
CRA surveyed businesses to find out why they're taking bitcoin ATMs
NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 10, 2018 We're excited to announce a new NCFA Podcast series called 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges! FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Nets Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Amy Wan, Founder & CEO, Sagewise About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with LA legal tech entrepreneur Amy Wan, the CEO/Founder of Sagewise, a smart contracts dispute resolution startup. They talk about why smart contact safety nets are important, the bridge between legal tech and fintech and how Amy closed out her seed round while being pregnant. Enjoy! Subscribe to the channel and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here Transcription of Interview Manseeb Khan: Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan and you are tuning in to NCFA newest show Fintech Fridays. Today we have an amazing guest. She's a rock star in the industry. Ladies and gentlemen. Amy Wan is with us today. She's the CEO of Sagewise Amy thanks so ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Net with Amy Wan, CEO & Founder at Sagewise
University of Cambridge and Ivey Business School | by Tania Ziegler and Michael King | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 Americas survey of alternative finance conducted the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is nearing its closing stages. This global survey of crowdfunding and lending via online platforms is the benchmark for the industry, providing the most comprehensive data on this fintech activity.  In Canada, Cambridge is being assisted by their research partners and the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School.  NCFA is a supportive community partner. Leading platforms should have received an email with details on how to complete the survey from either Tania Ziegler at University of Cambridge or Professor Michael King at Ivey. It is vital that platforms participate in order to demonstrate the importance of this sector to Canadians and to policymakers at the federal and provincial levels. King says, “As we look ahead to the completion of the Federal Financal Sector Review early in 2019, this data will be vital for promoting open banking and other initiatives that support Canada’s fintech sector. When platforms opt out, they are effectively telling policymakers that alternative finance is not important and not worthy of the ...
Read More
Cambridge Survey of Alternative Finance Needs Your Participation!
Fortune | Matt Harris | Aug 8, 2018 Matt Harris is a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. He is consistently ranked as one of the top investors in fintech, having participated in the space since 2000. I’ve been proven wrong once again. For eight years running, I’ve predicted that fintech investment is going to plateau. Based on the start of 2018, it hasn’t yet. In fact, we saw more than $5.4 billion invested in fintech during the first quarter of the year, with no signs of slowing momentum. For perspective, fintech investment for all of 2014 was just under $4 billion, so that’s “5x” growth in four years. In 2001, per data from Venture Scanner, it was something like $300 million. With that said, this whole “fintech” thing is kind of a charade. As I shared with attendees last month during our annual Fintech CEO Summit, co-hosted together with Nyca Partners, the CEOs in our portfolios don’t actually run “fintech businesses.” They run a payments business or a lending business, or they build investing technologies, or they sell to banks or insurance or real estate companies. Regardless of what VCs tell limited partners, or how media cover the industry, ...
Read More
Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Aug 7, 2018 The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has initiated a new consultation that is going beyond the UK borders when it comes to Fintech innovation. Announced today, the FCA has created the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). The multinational group includes regulatory agencies from the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australian, France and more. FCA Director of Competition, Christopher Woolard, said the creation of GFIN is an important step for the FCA to be able to better understand and harness the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers, while managing the potential harm. “The establishment of the GFIN can help share the experiences and knowledge from across different markets, while also providing a platform for innovative firms wishing to scale their propositions via testing in multiple countries.” The members as announced include: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, USA) Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK) Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Ontario Securities Commission (OSC, Canada) Consultative Group to ...
Read More
Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators
Globe and Mail | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies plumbed new depths on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dented enthusiasts’ hopes for an VanEck exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin. A broad selloff in coins of all sizes reduced the market value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to about $230 billion, the lowest level since November. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, equivalent to erasing the entire market value of Visa Inc. twice over. (Shares of the payments processor are trading near a record high.) The SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve the Bitcoin ETF, dealing a blow to bulls who had bet a green light from the regulator would help sustain last month’s tenuous rally. Optimists are counting on the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to keep prices supported, but regulators and many institutional investors have remained wary amid concerns over security and market manipulation. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Bitcoin was down 5.6 pe rcent to $6,484 as of 8:19 a.m. in New York, recovering from a 7 percent drop earlier while extending its 2018 decline to 55 percent, according to Bloomberg ...
Read More
Crypto prices sharply down after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision
Digital Journal PR | Aug 7, 2018 ATLANTA--(Business Wire)--Steady, the income-building platform for the Build-Your-Own (BYO) workforce is already serving 100,000 Americans since it launched last week. The company, which today delivers personalized income-building opportunities, an income tracker, and exclusive relevant discounts, has raised $9 million in Series A financing round led by Propel Venture Partners, with significant participation from Omidyar Network, the impact investing firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. The funds raised in this round will be used to rapidly scale and extend product features. Other investors include 25Madison, Clocktower Ventures, and Commerce Ventures. Shaquille O’Neal has joined the team as an Advisor and Advocate for the BYO workforce. “The traditional 9-5 career path doesn’t work for everyone, and we’re seeing more and more people set out to make their own way. Steady sees and serves this group, giving them the tools to discover new job opportunities, and the resources to earn more money and take control,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “Helping hardworking folks do and get more is an important mission and I’m excited to be part of it.” Work is changing. Full-time jobs are giving way to more flexible arrangements—shift work, part-time contracts, gigs, ...
Read More
Shaquille O’Neal Joins Steady; Company Raises $9 Million in Series A Round of Funding from Leading Fintech Investors

 

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UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany

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Crowdfund Insider | | Jul 2, 2018

In a significant policy move by the UK government, the threshold for investment crowdfunding has been upped to €8 million thus matching the recent change by Germany which announced the same funding limit. This increase is due to a change in the Prospectus Directive.

In the UK, there is no limit on how much a crowdfunding platform may raise online. But a rule requiring a full blown prospectus at €5 million has, in effect, created a significant speed bump for investment crowdfunding platforms – one that has rarely been breached due to the cost of creating and complying with a prospectus requirement.

The change announced today, should have an important impact on UK crowdfunding platforms as it will help make the online capital formation industry far more viable as issuers seek larger funding amounts raised via the issuance of securities online. In the early days of UK crowdfunding most issuers raised smaller seed round amounts. Today, issuers span a far wider range of funding requirements from seed stage to scale up. Frequently, these offerings are done in partnership with professional investors such as VCs or experienced angels.

See: 

The industry leadership organization, the UK Crowdfunding Association (UKCFA), welcomed the UK government’s decision to change the rule – a change that becomes actionable almost immediately – on July 21st.

Investment crowdfunding platforms, both debt and equity, have been increasing the scale and scope of investment offers with many platforms already consistently raising the maximum €5 million for SME’s and infrastructure projects in the UK. The extension is said to enable a new age of crowdfunding for larger businesses and tackle more significant infrastructure projects in a diverse sector of industry.

A spokesperson for the UKCFA shared a statement with CI:

“Our members are already working now on investment offers which could take advantage of this opportunity for larger, more efficient capital raising through investment based crowdfunding without compromising on levels of due diligence. The economics of the previous threshold no longer added up, creating a distortion in the market which has now been addressed. This means that a new sector of ‘scale up’ businesses will be able to benefit from the option of choosing crowdfunding as a route to funding their growth and success.  It also helps maintain the UK’s competitive position as a great place to start and scale a business.”

Continue to the full article --> here


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FCA Regulatory Sanbox | Aug 8, 2018 Find out about the 29 businesses that have been accepted into cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox to test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms. We received 69 applications for cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox. Applications came from a diverse range of firms operating across the financial services sector including in areas such as consumer credit, automated advice and insurance. 29 firms have been accepted to develop towards testing, including 3 firms that were accepted as part of previous cohorts but did not proceed to test. Firms that have been accepted to develop towards testing are listed below, except for one firm that has asked not to be named at this point in time. See:  Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators We have accepted a number of firms that will be testing propositions relating to cryptoassets. We are keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks. Tests will be conducted on a short-term and small-scale basis and the FCA is working with each firm to agree testing parameters and ...
Read More
FCA Regulatory sandbox participants - Cohort 4
Progressa Release | Aug 14, 2018 TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progressa, a Vancouver and Toronto based financial technology company, announced today it has successfully closed an $84 million equity and loan funding round. The equity financing was co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Gravitas Securities Inc. and included Eight Capital and Paradigm Capital as part of the syndicate. The equity capital allows Progressa to unlock a new forward-flow whole loan purchasing program for up to $72 million, with Vancouver-based credit fund Cypress Hills Partners. The equity financing was largely supported by the Canadian investment banks who see the potential for Progressa to complete a go-public transaction (“IPO”) before the end of 2019. Ali Pourdad, Progressa’s co-founder and CEO, commented, “Progressa is proud to have developed first-to-market technology solutions for the Canadian non-prime credit consumer market. Today’s enterprise business partners are utilizing the Company’s Powered by Progressa solutions to improve their customer experience, while enhancing collections recoveries and mitigating significant risk, a true win for both enterprise and Canadian consumers. We are pleased with this broad level of support from Canadian investment banks who see that Progressa is making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians.” See:  ...
Read More
Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
CNBC Markets | Kate Rooney  | Jul 24, 2018 Fintech company Square is boosting its small-business lending with an eBay partnership. Square Capital, the lending arm of the payment start-up, will be available to eBay sellers looking to expand their business operations. Starting in the third quarter, merchants on the site can apply for a loan as small as $500 and up to $100,000 to help with everything from payroll and inventory to equipment and marketing, the companies announced Tuesday. Square Capital’s focus since launching in 2014 has been on those businesses historically excluded from the larger financial system. The partnership will offer access to capital for those who have been “underserved when seeking funding” and give U.S. sellers a "seamless funding experience," said Jacqueline Reses, head of Square Capital. See:  What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business Lending Loop Surpasses $10M in Loans to Small Businesses Across Canada Small-business lending is an increasingly competitive area in fintech. PayPal, which was once a part of eBay, has a program called Working Capital and provides loans to merchants based on sales history. Amazon also does this for sellers, and began extending credit to small business owners ...
Read More
Square partners with eBay to expand lending for 'underserved' small businesses
CBC | Rob Antle  | Aug 6, 2018 Agency wants to make sure tax laws are being followed When Ottawa looks at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it sees problems. Bitcoin can be difficult to track, and there is the potential for "tax noncompliance" through unreported or under-reported income and capital gains. The Canada Revenue Agency "wants to understand how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate in the traditional economic space to ensure that tax laws are being followed," CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said in an emailed statement. "It is important to note that using digital currency does not exempt consumers from Canadian tax obligations." So CRA commissioned research on businesses that installed bitcoin automated tellers on their premises. A bitcoin ATM is not actually an ATM; it doesn't provide a connection to a customer's bank account. Rather, it's an internet-linked terminal that allows people to buy and sell bitcoins. See:  Learn about crypto payments - Fintech Fridays Podcast: ep1 with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments According to the study that followed — which surveyed 20 businesses — the taxman wanted to understand why a business would install a bitcoin ATM, along with "the perceived value it brings to businesses and their customers, and attitudes towards tax compliance in the ...
Read More
CRA surveyed businesses to find out why they're taking bitcoin ATMs
NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 10, 2018 We're excited to announce a new NCFA Podcast series called 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges! FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Nets Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Amy Wan, Founder & CEO, Sagewise About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with LA legal tech entrepreneur Amy Wan, the CEO/Founder of Sagewise, a smart contracts dispute resolution startup. They talk about why smart contact safety nets are important, the bridge between legal tech and fintech and how Amy closed out her seed round while being pregnant. Enjoy! Subscribe to the channel and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here Transcription of Interview Manseeb Khan: Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan and you are tuning in to NCFA newest show Fintech Fridays. Today we have an amazing guest. She's a rock star in the industry. Ladies and gentlemen. Amy Wan is with us today. She's the CEO of Sagewise Amy thanks so ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Net with Amy Wan, CEO & Founder at Sagewise
University of Cambridge and Ivey Business School | by Tania Ziegler and Michael King | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 Americas survey of alternative finance conducted the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is nearing its closing stages. This global survey of crowdfunding and lending via online platforms is the benchmark for the industry, providing the most comprehensive data on this fintech activity.  In Canada, Cambridge is being assisted by their research partners and the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School.  NCFA is a supportive community partner. Leading platforms should have received an email with details on how to complete the survey from either Tania Ziegler at University of Cambridge or Professor Michael King at Ivey. It is vital that platforms participate in order to demonstrate the importance of this sector to Canadians and to policymakers at the federal and provincial levels. King says, “As we look ahead to the completion of the Federal Financal Sector Review early in 2019, this data will be vital for promoting open banking and other initiatives that support Canada’s fintech sector. When platforms opt out, they are effectively telling policymakers that alternative finance is not important and not worthy of the ...
Read More
Cambridge Survey of Alternative Finance Needs Your Participation!
Fortune | Matt Harris | Aug 8, 2018 Matt Harris is a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. He is consistently ranked as one of the top investors in fintech, having participated in the space since 2000. I’ve been proven wrong once again. For eight years running, I’ve predicted that fintech investment is going to plateau. Based on the start of 2018, it hasn’t yet. In fact, we saw more than $5.4 billion invested in fintech during the first quarter of the year, with no signs of slowing momentum. For perspective, fintech investment for all of 2014 was just under $4 billion, so that’s “5x” growth in four years. In 2001, per data from Venture Scanner, it was something like $300 million. With that said, this whole “fintech” thing is kind of a charade. As I shared with attendees last month during our annual Fintech CEO Summit, co-hosted together with Nyca Partners, the CEOs in our portfolios don’t actually run “fintech businesses.” They run a payments business or a lending business, or they build investing technologies, or they sell to banks or insurance or real estate companies. Regardless of what VCs tell limited partners, or how media cover the industry, ...
Read More
Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Aug 7, 2018 The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has initiated a new consultation that is going beyond the UK borders when it comes to Fintech innovation. Announced today, the FCA has created the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). The multinational group includes regulatory agencies from the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australian, France and more. FCA Director of Competition, Christopher Woolard, said the creation of GFIN is an important step for the FCA to be able to better understand and harness the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers, while managing the potential harm. “The establishment of the GFIN can help share the experiences and knowledge from across different markets, while also providing a platform for innovative firms wishing to scale their propositions via testing in multiple countries.” The members as announced include: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, USA) Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK) Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Ontario Securities Commission (OSC, Canada) Consultative Group to ...
Read More
Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators
Globe and Mail | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies plumbed new depths on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dented enthusiasts’ hopes for an VanEck exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin. A broad selloff in coins of all sizes reduced the market value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to about $230 billion, the lowest level since November. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, equivalent to erasing the entire market value of Visa Inc. twice over. (Shares of the payments processor are trading near a record high.) The SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve the Bitcoin ETF, dealing a blow to bulls who had bet a green light from the regulator would help sustain last month’s tenuous rally. Optimists are counting on the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to keep prices supported, but regulators and many institutional investors have remained wary amid concerns over security and market manipulation. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Bitcoin was down 5.6 pe rcent to $6,484 as of 8:19 a.m. in New York, recovering from a 7 percent drop earlier while extending its 2018 decline to 55 percent, according to Bloomberg ...
Read More
Crypto prices sharply down after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision
Digital Journal PR | Aug 7, 2018 ATLANTA--(Business Wire)--Steady, the income-building platform for the Build-Your-Own (BYO) workforce is already serving 100,000 Americans since it launched last week. The company, which today delivers personalized income-building opportunities, an income tracker, and exclusive relevant discounts, has raised $9 million in Series A financing round led by Propel Venture Partners, with significant participation from Omidyar Network, the impact investing firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. The funds raised in this round will be used to rapidly scale and extend product features. Other investors include 25Madison, Clocktower Ventures, and Commerce Ventures. Shaquille O’Neal has joined the team as an Advisor and Advocate for the BYO workforce. “The traditional 9-5 career path doesn’t work for everyone, and we’re seeing more and more people set out to make their own way. Steady sees and serves this group, giving them the tools to discover new job opportunities, and the resources to earn more money and take control,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “Helping hardworking folks do and get more is an important mission and I’m excited to be part of it.” Work is changing. Full-time jobs are giving way to more flexible arrangements—shift work, part-time contracts, gigs, ...
Read More
Shaquille O’Neal Joins Steady; Company Raises $9 Million in Series A Round of Funding from Leading Fintech Investors

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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When banks balk, ordinary investors can become city builders with ‘small change’

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The Globe and Mail | | June 22, 2018

In today’s new model of real estate investment, a prospective investor can search for projects of interest on a laptop and, several mouse clicks later, send funds along. With no middlemen and no banks to decide which projects are worthy of financing, investment opportunities are no longer restricted to the very wealthy or the tried-and-true.

“This is investing democratized, and this is how capital will be formed going forward,” said Eve Picker, a Pittsburgh-based architect, city planner and founder of a real estate equity crowdfunding platform called Small Change.

Ms. Picker was a keynote speaker at the recent Building a Better City forum at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, co-hosted by The Globe and Mail and Dream REIT. She was among a diverse group of panellists who discussed the challenges of progressive development as urban populations continue to grow around the world.

According to Statistics Canada, more than 80 per cent of Canadians live in cities, which is one of the highest rates of urbanization in the G7. And as municipalities across the country tackle challenges that range from protecting heritage to improving road safety, finding capital to create more liveable cities is an ongoing challenge.

Ms. Picker believes crowdfunding is the answer, citing figures from the World Bank that estimate a global crowdfunding market potential of up to $96-billion by 2025.

“In 2010, that figure was under $1-billion. In 2016, crowdfunding surpassed all investments made by venture capital,” she said.

See:  Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18

At Small Change, Ms. Picker uses crowdfunding to fill the financing gap by matching investors with developers, raising funds for transformative real estate projects with the goal of making cities more vibrant and liveable.

When she first arrived in Pittsburgh to work as an urban designer for its planning department, the city had lost half of its population due to the relocation of the steel mill industry. She began purchasing and remaking buildings in abandoned neighbourhoods in which no one else was ready to invest.

What she found was that making abandoned buildings functional and attractive again was the easy part. Despite the success of ground-breaking and innovative improvements that paved the way for the city’s revitalization, she struggled to find enough capital.

As banks became more skittish and federal community-building funds dried up, it became increasingly impossible to continue. Her financial partners evaporated, leading her to create Small Change.

“Innovation makes banks really nervous. They want to finance tried-and-true solutions, not new ones. But we need innovation – lots and lots of it – to build better cities,” she said.

“So how do we break the cycle? How can we finance change?”

Cue the arrival of fintech – the merger of finance with technology that has made possible now-ubiquitous products and services such as shopping on Amazon, online bank transfers and the ability to purchase bitcoin. As one of the fastest growing areas for venture capital, fintech is all about innovation.

“Banks won’t lend to tiny houses, your village on a barge, or your condos on a cruise ship, but the crowd just might,” she said.

“This rapidly growing tiny industry is the future of capital formation.”

So how does crowdfunding build better cities? Ms. Picker cited several of her own success stories when banks refused credit, which include funding a construction loan to build Pittsburgh’s first tiny house in an underserved neighbourhood.

With the use of crowdfunding, Small Change helped to convert a historic building to a premier co-working space, build affordable starter homes in New Orleans, and bring to fruition an artist co-op bed and breakfast that will provide affordable housing to artists.

Along with the need to provide more affordable housing and reimagine public spaces, other panellists at the forum spoke of the need to be more intentional in reflecting diverse cultures and meeting the needs of local populations.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


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FCA Regulatory Sanbox | Aug 8, 2018 Find out about the 29 businesses that have been accepted into cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox to test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms. We received 69 applications for cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox. Applications came from a diverse range of firms operating across the financial services sector including in areas such as consumer credit, automated advice and insurance. 29 firms have been accepted to develop towards testing, including 3 firms that were accepted as part of previous cohorts but did not proceed to test. Firms that have been accepted to develop towards testing are listed below, except for one firm that has asked not to be named at this point in time. See:  Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators We have accepted a number of firms that will be testing propositions relating to cryptoassets. We are keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks. Tests will be conducted on a short-term and small-scale basis and the FCA is working with each firm to agree testing parameters and ...
Read More
FCA Regulatory sandbox participants - Cohort 4
Progressa Release | Aug 14, 2018 TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progressa, a Vancouver and Toronto based financial technology company, announced today it has successfully closed an $84 million equity and loan funding round. The equity financing was co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Gravitas Securities Inc. and included Eight Capital and Paradigm Capital as part of the syndicate. The equity capital allows Progressa to unlock a new forward-flow whole loan purchasing program for up to $72 million, with Vancouver-based credit fund Cypress Hills Partners. The equity financing was largely supported by the Canadian investment banks who see the potential for Progressa to complete a go-public transaction (“IPO”) before the end of 2019. Ali Pourdad, Progressa’s co-founder and CEO, commented, “Progressa is proud to have developed first-to-market technology solutions for the Canadian non-prime credit consumer market. Today’s enterprise business partners are utilizing the Company’s Powered by Progressa solutions to improve their customer experience, while enhancing collections recoveries and mitigating significant risk, a true win for both enterprise and Canadian consumers. We are pleased with this broad level of support from Canadian investment banks who see that Progressa is making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians.” See:  ...
Read More
Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
CNBC Markets | Kate Rooney  | Jul 24, 2018 Fintech company Square is boosting its small-business lending with an eBay partnership. Square Capital, the lending arm of the payment start-up, will be available to eBay sellers looking to expand their business operations. Starting in the third quarter, merchants on the site can apply for a loan as small as $500 and up to $100,000 to help with everything from payroll and inventory to equipment and marketing, the companies announced Tuesday. Square Capital’s focus since launching in 2014 has been on those businesses historically excluded from the larger financial system. The partnership will offer access to capital for those who have been “underserved when seeking funding” and give U.S. sellers a "seamless funding experience," said Jacqueline Reses, head of Square Capital. See:  What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business Lending Loop Surpasses $10M in Loans to Small Businesses Across Canada Small-business lending is an increasingly competitive area in fintech. PayPal, which was once a part of eBay, has a program called Working Capital and provides loans to merchants based on sales history. Amazon also does this for sellers, and began extending credit to small business owners ...
Read More
Square partners with eBay to expand lending for 'underserved' small businesses
CBC | Rob Antle  | Aug 6, 2018 Agency wants to make sure tax laws are being followed When Ottawa looks at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it sees problems. Bitcoin can be difficult to track, and there is the potential for "tax noncompliance" through unreported or under-reported income and capital gains. The Canada Revenue Agency "wants to understand how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate in the traditional economic space to ensure that tax laws are being followed," CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said in an emailed statement. "It is important to note that using digital currency does not exempt consumers from Canadian tax obligations." So CRA commissioned research on businesses that installed bitcoin automated tellers on their premises. A bitcoin ATM is not actually an ATM; it doesn't provide a connection to a customer's bank account. Rather, it's an internet-linked terminal that allows people to buy and sell bitcoins. See:  Learn about crypto payments - Fintech Fridays Podcast: ep1 with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments According to the study that followed — which surveyed 20 businesses — the taxman wanted to understand why a business would install a bitcoin ATM, along with "the perceived value it brings to businesses and their customers, and attitudes towards tax compliance in the ...
Read More
CRA surveyed businesses to find out why they're taking bitcoin ATMs
NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 10, 2018 We're excited to announce a new NCFA Podcast series called 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges! FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Nets Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Amy Wan, Founder & CEO, Sagewise About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with LA legal tech entrepreneur Amy Wan, the CEO/Founder of Sagewise, a smart contracts dispute resolution startup. They talk about why smart contact safety nets are important, the bridge between legal tech and fintech and how Amy closed out her seed round while being pregnant. Enjoy! Subscribe to the channel and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here Transcription of Interview Manseeb Khan: Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan and you are tuning in to NCFA newest show Fintech Fridays. Today we have an amazing guest. She's a rock star in the industry. Ladies and gentlemen. Amy Wan is with us today. She's the CEO of Sagewise Amy thanks so ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Net with Amy Wan, CEO & Founder at Sagewise
University of Cambridge and Ivey Business School | by Tania Ziegler and Michael King | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 Americas survey of alternative finance conducted the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is nearing its closing stages. This global survey of crowdfunding and lending via online platforms is the benchmark for the industry, providing the most comprehensive data on this fintech activity.  In Canada, Cambridge is being assisted by their research partners and the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School.  NCFA is a supportive community partner. Leading platforms should have received an email with details on how to complete the survey from either Tania Ziegler at University of Cambridge or Professor Michael King at Ivey. It is vital that platforms participate in order to demonstrate the importance of this sector to Canadians and to policymakers at the federal and provincial levels. King says, “As we look ahead to the completion of the Federal Financal Sector Review early in 2019, this data will be vital for promoting open banking and other initiatives that support Canada’s fintech sector. When platforms opt out, they are effectively telling policymakers that alternative finance is not important and not worthy of the ...
Read More
Cambridge Survey of Alternative Finance Needs Your Participation!
Fortune | Matt Harris | Aug 8, 2018 Matt Harris is a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. He is consistently ranked as one of the top investors in fintech, having participated in the space since 2000. I’ve been proven wrong once again. For eight years running, I’ve predicted that fintech investment is going to plateau. Based on the start of 2018, it hasn’t yet. In fact, we saw more than $5.4 billion invested in fintech during the first quarter of the year, with no signs of slowing momentum. For perspective, fintech investment for all of 2014 was just under $4 billion, so that’s “5x” growth in four years. In 2001, per data from Venture Scanner, it was something like $300 million. With that said, this whole “fintech” thing is kind of a charade. As I shared with attendees last month during our annual Fintech CEO Summit, co-hosted together with Nyca Partners, the CEOs in our portfolios don’t actually run “fintech businesses.” They run a payments business or a lending business, or they build investing technologies, or they sell to banks or insurance or real estate companies. Regardless of what VCs tell limited partners, or how media cover the industry, ...
Read More
Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Aug 7, 2018 The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has initiated a new consultation that is going beyond the UK borders when it comes to Fintech innovation. Announced today, the FCA has created the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). The multinational group includes regulatory agencies from the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australian, France and more. FCA Director of Competition, Christopher Woolard, said the creation of GFIN is an important step for the FCA to be able to better understand and harness the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers, while managing the potential harm. “The establishment of the GFIN can help share the experiences and knowledge from across different markets, while also providing a platform for innovative firms wishing to scale their propositions via testing in multiple countries.” The members as announced include: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, USA) Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK) Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Ontario Securities Commission (OSC, Canada) Consultative Group to ...
Read More
Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators
Globe and Mail | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies plumbed new depths on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dented enthusiasts’ hopes for an VanEck exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin. A broad selloff in coins of all sizes reduced the market value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to about $230 billion, the lowest level since November. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, equivalent to erasing the entire market value of Visa Inc. twice over. (Shares of the payments processor are trading near a record high.) The SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve the Bitcoin ETF, dealing a blow to bulls who had bet a green light from the regulator would help sustain last month’s tenuous rally. Optimists are counting on the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to keep prices supported, but regulators and many institutional investors have remained wary amid concerns over security and market manipulation. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Bitcoin was down 5.6 pe rcent to $6,484 as of 8:19 a.m. in New York, recovering from a 7 percent drop earlier while extending its 2018 decline to 55 percent, according to Bloomberg ...
Read More
Crypto prices sharply down after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision
Digital Journal PR | Aug 7, 2018 ATLANTA--(Business Wire)--Steady, the income-building platform for the Build-Your-Own (BYO) workforce is already serving 100,000 Americans since it launched last week. The company, which today delivers personalized income-building opportunities, an income tracker, and exclusive relevant discounts, has raised $9 million in Series A financing round led by Propel Venture Partners, with significant participation from Omidyar Network, the impact investing firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. The funds raised in this round will be used to rapidly scale and extend product features. Other investors include 25Madison, Clocktower Ventures, and Commerce Ventures. Shaquille O’Neal has joined the team as an Advisor and Advocate for the BYO workforce. “The traditional 9-5 career path doesn’t work for everyone, and we’re seeing more and more people set out to make their own way. Steady sees and serves this group, giving them the tools to discover new job opportunities, and the resources to earn more money and take control,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “Helping hardworking folks do and get more is an important mission and I’m excited to be part of it.” Work is changing. Full-time jobs are giving way to more flexible arrangements—shift work, part-time contracts, gigs, ...
Read More
Shaquille O’Neal Joins Steady; Company Raises $9 Million in Series A Round of Funding from Leading Fintech Investors

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Equity crowdfunding is eroding the best returns VC funds used to enjoy

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VB | | May 13, 2018

There’s been a sea change in Series A investment rounds that has been gradually – but persistently – eating away at venture capital (VC) funds’ highest-ROI category investments, and the reason it’s happening may surprise you.

According to Cooley’s VC trends, the median Series A valuation has moved up from $16.5 million to $23.0 million in just the past two years. VCs aren’t just competing for fewer early-stage deals, they’re also paying a lot more for them. Around the time that orange became the new black, seed rounds became the new Series A, with valuations doubling between 2012 and 2017, according to Pitchbook. (What used to be called seed-stage is now termed “pre-seed.”)

How we got here

You might think this is just an organic consequence of too much money chasing too few deals, especially given that the last time we saw this much VC investment was in pre-bubble 1999. Ironically, one of the most powerful changes brought about by dot-com was the democratization of angel investing in startups, taking many early stage deals off the table before VCs could get a look at them.

Based on over 30 years of raising capital, plus my own participation in the ecosystem as an angel investor for the past last 20 years, my sense is that widespread angel investor empowerment began after the dot-com bubble. By 2000 a lot of “new money” investors were minted, and only a relative few had taken enough gains off the table before the bust to be able to invest in venture capital funds. Many took to the streets, joining angel investment clubs and online communities to start sprinkling their money around on green shoots.

See:  Jan 8, 2018: Intro Presentation on Raising Equity and Funding for your Startup

As fans of the TV show Startup Junkies will recall, in 2007, my company at the time, Earth Class Mail, was faced with the dilemma of whether or not to accept a venture investment from Ignition Partners (the largest VC fund in Seattle at the time). We raised a lot of eyebrows among Silicon Valley VCs for raising $12 million in angel money, including $8.9 million from 96 Keiretsu investment club members alone (what “crowdfunding” was before it moved online). Most VCs were dismissive of the investment prowess of angel groups at the time.

Take VC money, lose control

Our concern over taking VC instead of more angel money? By investing just $6 million out of a total of $18 million, one VC would redefine the Series A term sheet, effectively take control of the board, and ultimately determine the company’s destiny.

That concern turned out to be justified. After all, we had a good thing going with an army of “brand ambassador” angel investors who helped us find customers, strategic partners, and plenty of capital. Alas, our management team was drawn to the allure of a prestigious VC investment like a moth to a burning light.

We knew that taking institutional VC with aggressive Series A preferences meant ceding control to a single concentrated investor.

Just one year later, Ignition had its own internal scandal that caused an implosion within the partnership. The shrapnel impacted many of its portfolio companies, including us. As a result of this external event, our founders, 70 percent of our employees, 140 angel investors, and three board members were kicked to the curb. The company lost its engine room and bridge in one catastrophic event, sending it into survival mode for the next five years and an eventual packaged bankruptcy designed to get only the VC’s money out when the fund reached its 10-year term.

For my next startup, I went to the fledgling AngelList platform (before they introduced deal syndication) and put our seed round together from a handful of savvy angel investors pitched over a web conference, and a F500 corporate strategic investor.

I used AngelList again with my current startup, iMovR, to raise a quick $225,000 round through the Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners syndicate in 2015. Even angel groups were beginning to lose their popularity due to the many time-consuming stages of their processes.

An exciting alternative: Equity crowdfunding

It was the JOBS Act of 2012 – creating Title III and Title IV equity crowdfunding structures – that ultimately squeezed VCs out of many of the best early-stage deals. Why? Instead of just the four percent of the population that have the income to declare themselves accredited for participating in Reg D rounds, anyone in the general public could invest in a Reg CF or Reg A+ offering.

While equity crowdfunding rounds attract large numbers of small investors, these angels become avid brand ambassadors for companies and help them generate more visibility and sales. The SEC even managed to catch some of the lightning of Kickstarter’s popularity by enabling “investor perks” as part of the security offering, now a fairly common feature of crowdfunding deals.

More: 

Eighteen months ago, I started a spreadsheet to track dozens of crowdfunded deals to help us choose between Reg CF, Reg A+, and the new breed of “side-by-side” Reg CF/Reg D hybrid offering structures. At the beginning there were virtually no other companies at our stage of revenue ($10 million+). A study commissioned by the SEC indicated one-third of the crowdfunded companies were pre-revenue, and the majority had generated under $1 million in sales. Issuers were often first-time entrepreneurs.

Remarkably, in recent months there have been numerous Reg A+ and side-by-side rounds issued by companies with $5 million-$15 million in revenues-to-date and led by seasoned entrepreneurs who clearly had the connections and track records to raise traditional VC. In interviewing some of these CEOs I sensed many of them chose this path after having similar challenges with VCs in their prior ventures.

Many angel investors have startup experiences of their own and have seen first-hand how some VCs can push perfectly good companies to exit too fast or for valuations that advantage the VCs over all other stakeholders. They also recognize that investing directly into companies means they get to pocket the fund expenses and 20 percent profits interest that are deducted before winnings are shared with limited partners.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry.  Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE!  Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Report: Crowdfunding Platform OurCrowd Reaffirms Expectation to Top $1 Billion this Year

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Crowdfund Insider | | May 6, 2018

OurCrowd is one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in the world and, perhaps, the largest early stage platform globally by now. The five year old firm has quickly gone from zero to nearly $1 billion in capital raised with the expectation to surpass the billion dollar mark at some point in 2018.

See:  Israeli crowdfunding co OurCrowd raises $72m

Recently, OurCrowd CEO and founder Jon Medved visited with SkyNews in Australia to update on their progress. Medved explained their approach of providing access to the venture capital access class to a far wider audience. You can’t pick up the phone and call Sequoia Capital if you are a smaller investor. Medved said the most exciting news is the fact OurCrowd now has had 20 exits from their portfolio companies. One of the more recent exits was with Jump, a company in the bike sharing space that was sold to Uber and Invertex that Nike bought. OurCrowd’s success means that it is adding about 500 global investors each month.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, 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 and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Here’s what motivates a crowdfunding investor to back a campaign

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Insider.co.uk | By Philip Gates | Apr 23, 2018

Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing way to raise much-needed capital for businesses. But how can you make one eye-catching enough to attract investors? John Auckland of crowdfunding communications agency TribeFirst outlines the dos and don'ts

Equity crowdfunding campaigns - such as Drink Baotic - are all about attracting and engaging investors. So what exactly are investors looking for? What makes the difference in their decision to invest or not?

Retail investors versus sophisticated investors

You can categorise investors into two types: retail and sophisticated.

Retail investors are investing more emotionally. Sophisticated investors typically invest more than retail investors, but the amount they invest doesn’t necessarily reflect their level of sophistication.

Check out:  How to Think About Your Business Model and Pitch It to Investors

While it’s definitely more a spectrum than two clear camps, there are some common identifying features:

● Retail investor goes with gut decision/Sophisticated investors have an appraisal process.

● Retail investors make their decisions based on emotional attachment/Sophisticated investors made decisions based on rational attachment.

● Retail investors will typically look for pros/Sophisticated investors are looking for cons.

● Retail investors = heart first/Sophisticated investors = head first

● Retail investors are gambling with disposable income/Sophisticated investors view crowdfunding as one of the riskier assets in their portfolio.

● Retail investors want to be part of a journey/Sophisticated investors are investing to make a return.

Some critics of crowdfunding have claimed that retail investors shouldn’t exist at all. I find this view patronising.

Firstly, as long as you are aware of the risks, then it’s your money to do with as you will. Secondly, I have seen many well-managed and institutionally-funded companies still go on to fail.

See:  Fintech lures millennial investors away from asset managers

Risk exists everywhere. But is it any less noble to invest in something because you believe in the idea, rather than investing simply to make a profit?

And the crowd has proven it has greater foresight than you’d think. The data suggests the crowd is often as good at predicting the future success of a company as professional analysts.

It’s not surprising, really. The crowd is representative of the market.

What can you do to stand out to both retail AND sophisticated?

So what can you do to appeal to both kinds of investors.

Assuming your company is in a healthy state, organise a consumer marketing and PR campaign to hit at the same time as your crowdfunding campaign.

You’ll be able to update investors with your progress in real time. Having a buzz about your company during your raise will drive retail investors to your campaign and give sophisticated investors confidence.

Also:  Venture funding best practices

What will turn investors off?

There are some things that you need to avoid entirely, including:

● Not answering questions openly on the public forum.

● Not including a financial model.

● Not making yourself available during the campaign.

● Not doing your homework.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, 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 and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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