Category Archives: Fundraising and Investing

Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors

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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, these businesses don’t necessarily have much to do with each other (besides the obvious of moving money around).

So while the investment numbers are up in aggregate, each sub-sector has a very different story. And it’s worth diving in more deeply to understand what’s really going on.

Wealth/Investing: Race to the bank

Wealth tech companies get a steady 10% of fintech investment year after year. There’s a durable view that they show real opportunity for disruption. One of the more interesting trends right now is that all the wealth and investment companies that have achieved scale—like SoFi, Acorns, and Wealthfront (another disclosure: my team has backed Acorns)—are doing the same thing: They’re adding a checking account. You could paint with a broad brush and say they are all trying to become banks. Not necessarily licensed banks, but rather, leveraging third parties and new technologies to try to become a consumer’s primary financial partner.

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This is really fascinating to me and raises a key question for our industry, and our society: Will consumers bail on traditional banks? Will they go to their employer with a new direct deposit authorization form and say “send my money to Betterment, to Acorns, to SoFi”? This is truly a new phenomenon. If it works, there’s a whole new era of fintech coming, where the banks go from the “Empire Strikes Back” phase that they’re in right now—and they start to worry again. It doesn’t mean wealth tech is toast if it doesn’t work, but it’s striking that all these companies had the same ideas at the same time.

Venture investment: $1.2 billion in 2017 (Source: CB Insights)
Startup energy: Steady as she goes

Insurance: Fast growth leads to full stack

Insurance startups are really at a pivot right now. Companies like Oscar or ZhongAn have scaled from nothing to billions a year in funding, and in the process, they’ve decided to be full stack. Historically, insurance startups Insureon and Zenefits were simply brokers or managing general agents, but increasingly there’s a take that startups need to be(come) carriers. I certainly understand that instinct—if you don’t control the product, someone else controls the capital. So, I get it. But return on equity for carriers tends to be around 9%. It doesn’t make sense for a VC to invest in a carrier. Not at all.

Moving forward, the insurance tech players need to figure this out. It will be the difference between insurance getting really transformed or having a bunch of brokers with fancy apps. And that second future is not going to create a lot of equity value.

Venture investment: $1.4 billion in 2017 (Source: CB Insights)
Startup energy: Awkward teenage years

Real Estate: Disruption in full effect

Real estate and crypto are the two areas where we see the most growth. In real estate, five of the venture world’s 10 most recent unicorns—Compass, OpenDoor, WeWork, Airbnb and UCommune—are real estate companies, whether you think of them that way or not. OpenDoor, for instance, invented a true “prop” brokerage, where they don’t broker a sale for 6%, but instead buy the property, find another buyer and make money on the spread. Zillow now says they’re doing the same thing, and there have been a bunch of fast followers. This incredibly stodgy industry—which hasn’t changed in a hundred years—is getting re-made.

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Venture investment: $1.2 billion in 2017 (Source: PitchBook)
Startup energy: First-movers moving fast

Cryptocurrency/Blockchain: Time to get serious

What can we say about crypto? Last year at our Fintech CEO Summit, we talked about how people were going to go to jail for initial coin offerings (ICOs). No one has gone to jail yet, but it’s tricky. ICO volume is still frothy, with a peak of $4.1 billion raised in March but otherwise running at roughly $1.5 billion a month. Plus, the noise out of government is getting louder and clearer that this is not some sort of safe harbor.

Beyond ICOs, we think about the crypto space in three parts: the crypto investing ecosystem, enterprise blockchain, and distributed applications.

For the first, a key question is: Will crypto be an asset class? Provisionally, I believe the answer is “yes.” The investing ecosystem is now maturing nicely, and several pioneers like Basis and Compound (last disclosure: both are portfolio companies), are filling in key elements of market structure, assuming people want to trade crypto at scale more in the future.

Regarding enterprise blockchain, is it actually a standalone business? The market is thriving if you count press releases, but not if you look for revenue outside of proof-of-concept. We provisionally said “no” to this question in the early days, but we have great entrepreneurs working on it—and I’m sure they’ll prove us wrong.

See:  ‘This Is Not a Passing Fad’: CFA Exam Adds Crypto, Blockchain Topics

Finally, distributed applications are the big prize. It’s clearly early days, but this is where the talent is heading. Will the Airbnb, Uber, and Amazon Web Services of the future simply be open source protocols powered by tokens that change the way we store our files, book our houses, book our travel, and manage our transportation? I don’t know when, but I believe we’ll get there. Someday.

Venture investment: $716 million in 2017 (Source: CB Insights)
Startup energy: Wild, wild west (and east and north and south)

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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, 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

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 $10M in Loans to Small Businesses Across Canada Small-business lending is an increasingly competitive area in fintech. PayPal, which was once a part of eBay, has a program called Working Capital and provides loans to merchants based on sales history. Amazon also does this for sellers, and began extending credit to small business owners ...
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CBC | Rob Antle  | Aug 6, 2018 Agency wants to make sure tax laws are being followed When Ottawa looks at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it sees problems. Bitcoin can be difficult to track, and there is the potential for "tax noncompliance" through unreported or under-reported income and capital gains. The Canada Revenue Agency "wants to understand how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate in the traditional economic space to ensure that tax laws are being followed," CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said in an emailed statement. "It is important to note that using digital currency does not exempt consumers from Canadian tax obligations." So CRA commissioned research on businesses that installed bitcoin automated tellers on their premises. A bitcoin ATM is not actually an ATM; it doesn't provide a connection to a customer's bank account. Rather, it's an internet-linked terminal that allows people to buy and sell bitcoins. See:  Learn about crypto payments - Fintech Fridays Podcast: ep1 with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments According to the study that followed — which surveyed 20 businesses — the taxman wanted to understand why a business would install a bitcoin ATM, along with "the perceived value it brings to businesses and their customers, and attitudes towards tax compliance in the ...
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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 10, 2018 We're excited to announce a new NCFA Podcast series called 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' 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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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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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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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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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 $9 million in Series A financing round led by Propel Venture Partners, with significant participation from Omidyar Network, the impact investing firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. The funds raised in this round will be used to rapidly scale and extend product features. Other investors include 25Madison, Clocktower Ventures, and Commerce Ventures. Shaquille O’Neal has joined the team as an Advisor and Advocate for the BYO workforce. “The traditional 9-5 career path doesn’t work for everyone, and we’re seeing more and more people set out to make their own way. Steady sees and serves this group, giving them the tools to discover new job opportunities, and the resources to earn more money and take control,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “Helping hardworking folks do and get more is an important mission and I’m excited to be part of it.” Work is changing. Full-time jobs are giving way to more flexible arrangements—shift work, part-time contracts, gigs, ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.3): Investing in Canadian Diversity with Peggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner at Roar Ventures

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 3, 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.3): Investing in Canadian Diversity - Interview with Peggy Van De Plassche of Roar Ventures

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: Peggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner, Roar Ventures

About this episode: On this episode of the Fintech Friday Podcast, host Manseeb Khan interviews the incredible Peggy Van De Plassche about doubling down on investing in diversity and launching her new fund, Roar Ventures!

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 (MK): Hi everybody Manseeb Khan here and you are tuning in to the NCFA's newest podcast series finito Fridays. And today I have an amazing amazing guest super talented she's odd She's a board member of probably every investment venture you can think of any amazing startup organization you can think of. She is actually a board member of the NCFA. Believe it or not I'm sitting down with the incredibly Peggy Van De Plassche. Peggy thank you so much for making it here. Thank you very much. To give you a little more context both me and Peggy are sick so if we do sound a little distorted please please bear with us. We both have teas both have our waters and tissue boxes so should be okay. So Peggy could you for just a minute give a brief introduction of who you are we're backgrounds from and your role in the financial tech community.

Peggy Van De Plassche (PV): OK well thank you so much Manseeb. I hope my accent and my cold will be will be still easy for people to understand me so as I'm sure you can hear my accent I am from France originally. I moved to Canada 15 years ago.  I live in Toronto was in Montreal for many years before that and well I'm a finance person by trade I fell in technology 12 years ago.  So I became fintech even before fintech really existed and was cool and I've been unbelievably lucky with my carrier because I've been (I am actually) an investor an entrepreneur incorporated as well so it really allowed me to see how we'll see the the interesting challenges coming in fintech from every seat at the table and right now actually and raising my first fund for world ventures and we are investing in early stage data and AI startups as focus for our financial services industry and there is a little twist to that is that we have a gender diversity overly and we are looking at companies that the needs that have c0-founders, management team, board members that are female. I would see a Funder's male founders who were very supportive and active in the change of diversity so I think I did my minute and I hope that it was clear enough Manseeb.

MK: Yeah no it was amazing. So you do come from as as you mentioned you do come from the banking space.  Could you just talk a little bit more about that transition from being a part of CIBC being a part of BMO and then transitioning and starting your own venture.

PV: Yes yes definitely. Well I have done that twice actually.  So I went from being like maybe six-seven years ago now to a more entrepreneurial background. I was working for were entrepreneurs and I was started companies for him and managing his media office so that was really my first real brush with entrepreneurship and the thing that I felt extremely funny at the time is that oh my god I have no meetings because they are coming from the moon in the large banks you know always doing meetings. That was definitely a feeling of freedom that I could manage my time the way I wanted. But at the same time you know like obviously you have the perks up where you are. And also it's you don't have the support of a large organization. And in one and you move a little annoyance from an large organization. But on the other end you don't have the processes you know have the rigor. That comes with a large organization as well. So actually leaving a large organization is also what made me the first time really appreciate some of the things that were that were coming with large organizations but also the opportunity to write my own story is something that you know besides being an entrepreneur is you cannot really do that that. I would say ever in a large corporation banking on venture

MK:  Yeah no I totally agree.  It's very difficult to say but especially being in a part of a huge organization just like the banking system it's very hard to I guess be a little bit more entrepreneurial and just have a little bit more freedom to be a little bit more creative when it comes to your ideas and your ambitions and your goals right.

PV: Yeah and you know it it comes back to diversity its diversity of diversity of backgrounds you know like if you look at the banking industry it's still a very very homogenous in Canada.  And it makes obviously things way more difficult when they shouldn't be by having a system that is not very prone to thinking and doing things differently.

MK: What made you want to start Roar ventures and I guess what makes in your eyes what makes Roar ventures stand out compared to the other I guess VC funds.

PV: Yeah well I guess it's it's probably the same answer to both of your questions I started Roar because I first obviously had this entrepreneurial bug in me so that's definitely something but also I'm still a bit of a whitespace in the way most VC operate. So we start seeing a challenge I have is that we're actually not really data driven. So I'm not sure we're always optimizing our returns financially but also the fact that we're very very prudent seats and our science vis LOFAR not a lot of bias in the way you're funding your entrepreneurs. So as you know you know women are diverse people with a dress cultural backgrounds are way less funded and are traditional I would say male type entrepreneurs that we are in North America. So so for me again one of the things that was very important which with my venture was the opportunity to use data not only to be better in my returns but actually to remove a lot of PR in the industry and I would say the last thing is really linked with my profile and the fact that not only am I an investor but I'm also an operator. But they also understand collaborate and you really need that to be able to help young entrepreneurs grow and be successful. The international NGOs is very important to me so that's also something as I'm speaking with LP really making sure for Elfi mix of international LP that we'll be able to help my portfolio company grow. So I would say I didn't really look at me when I decided to to start Roar. I looked at OK what are the whitespace I see in the industry that I will be able to hopefully fill in with new ventures.

MK: That's incredible because I think that's the one important thing but I guess a lot of entrepreneurs or people are drawn to entrepreneurship right they see a wide space they see a problem that needs to be solved. And I guess in your case would be the lack of diversity the lack of just underrepresentation in certain sectors and you just Hey I have the experience I have the talent I have the drive and I have the operational know how to build something that helps build these amazing white spaces with the incredibly talented people that are under I guess Roar ventures right.

PV: Yeah you know it's it's very this idea of doing good work and doing well.  So it's a bit of super super tough.  So I do I do sincerely believe that the VC industry and the investment industry in general are not just VC but PE is the same as we usual to play but also in Canada. Now to really make our country grow and are like you know we're still very much resource base when I speak with international investor lot of them don't know Canada. They don't know what we're doing in AI. I we are great with startups. And and I mean this years as a crutch to create to make sure that. We're building a future for all Canadians which I mean and sustainable jobs.

MK: What would be your thesis to be great. So when you have entrepreneurs that are either trying to become a part but that you are either vetting for your ventures or be it any of the other organizations be part of I guess would be your thesis or what are you looking for in an entrepreneur to take them on.

PV: Yeah. So so you know we spoke about diversity that's something that for me it's very very important someone who really understand and value diversity not because it's fashionable but because it brings value you know like it out feel good and it's a rational thing to do. That's say the first thing. The second thing is obviously an approach that is very collaborative. And. Again the goal for me when I invest in an entrepreneur is to let him do his job. This is the one was the best position to lead his organization that if I can help I'll be happy to do that. And that's really something that is important is set in a two way conversation where you can have someone bouncing back. The Good The Bad and The Ugly were you and being able to help. In order for them to be very successful and you know sometimes unfortunately people every bit of securities which don't always make them you know welcoming help and I think that's that's unfortunate here not good for the growth of the company. So. Collaboration very important for me and I would say the third thing is really ambition and ambition global ambition very very important for me I really want people to look at that and you know I do believe Canada should become what is east to cyber security for AI. So for me being entrepreneurs who really believe that they can go above and beyond North America is very very key.

MK: So everybody you heard it here first Canada is going to become the Israel of AI. So I'm excited for the other for that. You absolutely will we have amazing people like you and just incredibly talented people in this space to make that make a reality. Right so it's it's a matter of time in my in my perspective really well.

PV: Yes it is.  But at the same time there is also a bit of an urgency here you know like we've been in Canada extremely extremely well positioned with the AI obviously the U.S. China. You know they are not really standing still either.  And and as I speak with a lot of international and potential investors in China Europe's of America even in the U.S. people don't know enough or great we are. And you know like it's it's it's it's nice to be nice but you know I think now is the time to really be a bit more assertive on our amazing we.

MK: Yeah I told you either the world have a I guess misunderstanding of how incredible Canadians are because we are just seen as just very nice very polite people that live in igloos and drink maple syrup right.

PV: Exactly.

MK: Aside from gender diversity being open to I guess advice and having a willing to change and looking globally what else is a part of. guess your vetting process when it when it when it comes to our founder.

PV: Yeah well you know I would say that the vetting process is probably very similar to what you see with a lot of VCs obviously really like serial entrepreneurs. That's of use because these are people who know what you're doing.  You want to. I would say technology Edge where you have a special factor where you have a special set of data a special algorithm that guides are going to give you that is going to give you an edge. Very important. What is your value prop as you know with data in AI. We are just scratching the face of the use cases. So very important to know OK what other use cases you're you're starting with in the financial services industry. The fact that I and some of my advisor from our ex of the corporate where we can definitely vent a of these cases because I've seen in the past many times the great idea is that when you're willing to corporate world you know that you're never going to be able to sell because it might be definity a white space or a bank or an insurance but that might be also so risky for them and they will never touch that with a ten foot pole. So and so it's it's it's very important to see what are the use cases that by the organization is going for and I would say that the last thing which is very important for me in terms of due diligence is the fact that once again I really really want to bring not only data but also of standardization. So I really want to make sure that when we do our due diligence is the same regardless of the people we are speaking with. And what I mean is that sometimes we get very excited by a good salesperson and great salesperson doesn't mean that he or she is going to be the best operator but at the same time the challenge is that if you tend to look at people who might be seen in our venue which is by default what we all do you're not irrationally. Increase the number of points you might give someone who will look like you or think like you. And that's something I really really want to make sure I'm winning as much as possible for an hour from my vetting process.

MK:  So I guess the standardization the founder themselves. And I guess the VC ploy a little bit more self-awareness and understanding. Ok hey I'm an amazing salesperson and want to focus on sales. I'm good at the tag on a co-founder that can be a little bit more on the operational side of it right.

PV: Yeah. And what I mean by that is that when when an entrepreneur comes here we see he or she is an incredible salesperson and meaning don't show Manisha woman as sometimes for an investor it's difficult to stick to a script. They fall in love with a song before you know so. So what I mean by standardization is making sure that you're not skipping 12 questions that might be a bit harder because oh my god you love that guy so much and really want to be close to her.

MK:  Yes it's a lot like a first date. You don't want to like the one I'm the one to make sure you vet them and want to make sure they're on the same page and everything. Okay perfect. Got it.

PV: You know what's interesting is that so HVA did a study maybe 6-9 months ago and they were showing why many women entrepreneurs get less funding by men and did lot a lot of analysis done on interviews from VCs to entrepreneurs and what they noticed is that when entrepreneurs is a female. Two thirds of the questions asked by the VCs are actually prevention focused. So all can you do all. Are you going to mitigate the risk in that type of question when it's a male. Two thirds of the questions are promotion focused. So can you be all or fast are you going to be able to do in another geography. So that was actually really the base of why woman gets with less funding than men. It wasn't anything else. So I think a script removes that tendency that we all have due to social conditioning. I'm not saying anyone is mean or whatever to ask settled certain types of questions of certain type of people.

MK: That's why we have programs like the female founders like are the DMZ and these accelerators are starting to have a little bit better of a diverse diverse programs to have a little bit more inclusion and I guess to make these female founders or more I guess bulletproof when it comes to when it comes to pitching VCs and to help you stigmatize the entire I guess scope when it comes to when when the season investors think of entrepreneurship.

PV: Yeah you know I think it's a type of process that needs to change at every level because I hear you in the concept of saying OK you want your female founders to be bullet proof. Why would they have to be more bulletproof vest and men because they know that if you have them get a seat. So you really need to work at every really big bet. You're totally right because things won't change overnight. You still need to to a female expecting that type of question. So some advice that was given recently to two female founders was OK. Act like a politician.  You know if you asked another prevention type question answer your own version of that question but is it going to be promotion based. It's a way to deal with that.

MK: Programs like female founders and she and SHEOo are. I mean hopefully we can have more programs like this to help make diversity a little bit more you know some palatable.

PV: And you know I've been very fortunate because I've been working on collaborating in the gender diversity space for the last 10 to 12 years and before it was two people or so I've seen now what works what doesn't work so in a big corporation the most impactful change you can make is through your hiring process.  You know it has been does business still a lot of organizations. When I was at CIBC. I was leading the diversity diversity committee that. It is shown by organizing events organizing things that might be a bit softer don't really make any change. So I'm very bottom line focused personally so I always go for it was going to be the best ROI. So for example again I took upbraids going to be hiring. If I look at programs to your point that that will be impactful in the in the gender diversity space. Alonzo Bodden this amazing non-profit that was launched by Shalamar from extreme venture.  And what I call Geldart is he's organized a catalyst for middle school girls just before selling their elective so get more comfortable with technology and they get more comfortable with speaking computer science when they are very young because everything we're doing right now in gender diversity space for adults women is great. But we also need to work at the root of a problem so adding more women in STEM for example is a very good way to add to make these changes. And I like to I would say on shorter term and longer term initiatives to really make make an impact.

MK: Anywhere I could get my little sister more computers more learn more than welcome really.

PV: Lets you know at the end of the day you want it's 50 percent of the population.  It's good for everyone to have more educated people.  Woman women are not navigator's and going to go in fields that's going to create value for themselves for their family but also for the country.  So it is just a win win win it's just something to do.

MK: And just to wrap this up will be your advice. If not golden nuggets that's that you've held very close.

PV: Yeah I think that there are maybe two. One is really.  We might be cliche I'm sorry but one is dream big you know unfortunately we are constantly approaching a situation where people are trying to make us play small because it scares everyone when we're playing big bets you really really want to make sure you're dreaming big and you know for me it's very much. I have this litmus test which is OK when I die which hopefully is going to be a long time when I die. Will I regret doing this on and doing it. And usually I can tell you it's a very good indication of what what you should do.  And that was a very good indication for me to start ventures and the second thing which also is quite well-known is to have great resilience because things are always way more complicated. Difficult. We're more costly at many levels than what you think they would be. So you need to dream big but you need to also have a great resilience to make it happen.

MK: But that immediately click. That's that's the vice my founder and CEO Jonathan at Curexe at first two things. When I when I first got on board it's like we have this incredible world map of like okay we took over Canada next is this. Now we're going to do this and I guess they're resilient right.

PV: They just need to remind yourself that every day of everything the way that you just need to remember every day.  Ok. Well tomorrow is another day and we're going to fight another day.

MK: Peggy thank you. Thank you so so much for today. I know today is definitely not the best for both of us though did. I think we did incredible. Thank you so much.  I can't wait to have you again.

PV: Thank you so much Manseeb have a fanastic day.

MK: You too take care.

 

End of Podcast

 


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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Hedera Hashgraph raises $100 million for fast and secure blockchain alternative

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VentureBeat | Dean Takahashi | Aug 1, 2018

Move over blockchain. Hedera Hashgraph has raised $100 million via a future token sale from institutional investors as it seeks to create a new commerce network based on its “hashgraph consensus” technology. That’s a fancy term for a new distributed public ledger that the company says can function much faster, more securely, and at a larger scale than current blockchain technologies.

The Dallas, Texas-based company will use the money from its public sale of future tokens to accelerate development of key services to be provided by Hedera. The company says the amount of money raised shows how much potential it has to change the internet as we know it and overcome the obstacles that have stopped cryptocurrency and blockchain from disrupting the world’s financial systems.

“As a technology, it’s a fundamental advance in the world of distributed systems,” said Hedera CEO Mance Harmon, in an interview with VentureBeat. “It has fantastic performance, and it achieves the best in security one can have in the field.”

He added, “Small systems have achieved this in the past, but never at scale. Bitcoin had terrible performance, but it is reasonably secure. It was always a trade-off. What hashgraph does for the first time is break that trade-off, maximizing both security and performance.”

That means it can be used as a foundation for a cryptocurrency that can function at hundreds of thousands of transactions per second in a single cluster of computers (a shard), compared to five for Bitcoin and 15 for Ethereum. With enough clusters operating in parallel, the performance can reach millions of transactions per second, and that is enough to handle commerce on a gigantic scale, Harmon said.

See: 

“This is like the difference between a calculator and a computer in what we can do,” he added.

The Hedera Hashgraph provides a new way to arrive at distributed consensus, or verifying something like a transaction to satisfy people who don’t know each other or trust each other. They do this in a collaborative way without the need for a trusted intermediary, like a bank.

With the blockchain, achieving that consensus can take a long time, slowing down technologies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum when it comes to doing transactions. The compute-heavy task, dubbed “proof of work,” can make Bitcoin more secure, but it also slows it down. In closed networks, proof of work isn’t necessary, but that means sacrificing security.

Hedera Hashgraph doesn’t require the compute-heavy proof of work that slows down some of the blockchain platforms. It uses something dubbed the “virtual voting consensus algorithm,” which dispenses with the proof of work and runs extremely quickly. And so Hedera Hashgraph aims to run transactions at least 1,000 times faster than other cryptocurrencies, Harmon said.

One of the things Hedera Hashgraph will enable is the micropayment, or the ability for one party to pay another a fraction of a penny, Harmon said.

“We think that will be incredibly important for things like the internet of things, where the things will discover each other and engage in commerce automatically in a micro economy,” Harmon said.

He also said it could enable high-throughput transactions for online games, where you can use the hashgraph to verify the authenticity of resources, like a sword in a vast universe.

“You could do a fully distributed Metaverse,” Harmon said, referring to the world of virtual worlds envisioned by sci-fi author Neal Stephenson in the 1992 novel Snow Crash. “It ensures scarcity of items, and you can’t cheat. We think gaming will be a huge vertical for us, and it was part of our original motivation. The vision for cyberspace is for an individual to grab a piece of the space, play together, work together, exchange goods and services, and do it without having to trust a central third party with their privacy and their data. That was the goal.”

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 ...
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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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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
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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!
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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 ...
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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FINTECH FRIDAY$ Weekly Podcast

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Financial technology, blockchain, artificial intelligence, peer and alternative finance

 

FINTECH FRIDAY$ is a weekly podcast brought to you by NCFA and partners, where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech and Funding community and talk about trends, product innovations, developments and challenges!  Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers with hosts Manseeb Khan and others.

What to get involved?   info@ncfacanada.org

Ep1:  Facilitating Global Crypto Payments and the Future of Digital Assets

To kickoff the first episode of our Fintech Fridays weekly podcast, our host Manseeb Khan is joined by Samir Bandli, Director of Strategic Partnerships of CoinPayments, to talk about the future of crypto from its role today and its role in the future.  CoinPayments offers merchants an option to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment and currently works with over 700+ altcoins. (more...)

Samir Bandali, Director of Partnerships

Ep2:  Canada's Role in the Global Fintech Ecosystem

On this episode of the Fintech Friday Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the legendary Sue Britton, CEO & Founder of the Fintech Growth Syndicate, and talk about what Canada has to do to stay competitive in the fintech space, Canada being super hot to outside investors, and why diversty is going to revolutionize finance. (more...)

Sue Britton, CEO & Founder

Ep3:  Investing in Canadian Diversity

In this episode of the Fintech Friday Podcast, host Manseeb Khan interviews the incredible Peggy Van De Plassche, General Partner Roar Ventures, about doubling down on investing in diversity and launching her new Data/AI investment fund! (more...)

Peggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner

Ep4:  Importance of a Smart Contract Safety Net

On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with LA legal tech entrepreneur Amy Wan, CEO/Founder of Sagewise. 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!  (more...)

Amy Wan, Founder & CEO


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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Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology

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Coinsquare release | Jul 30, 2018

Coincapital was recently granted OSC registration and partnered with STOXX to launch two indices that track companies focused on blockchain, AI, and other emerging technologies

TORONTO, July 30, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced the launch of its subsidiary Coin Capital Investment Management Inc (Coincapital) and registration of Coincapital by the OSC as an exempt market dealer, investment fund manager, and portfolio manager. This new division will offer a suite of investment products focused on emerging technologies including blockchain, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrencies. The division also recently signed a partnership with Deutsche Boerse Group's index provider STOXX to launch two indices; one focused on AI and biotech and the other focused on blockchain technologies.

See: 

"There is a strong appetite for investors to access growth in the technology sector, but not enough specialized or niche offerings available to them," said Lewis Bateman, the CEO of Coincapital. "We are at a critical inflection point in the technology sector and Coincapital is perfectly positioned, given its relationship to Coinsquare and deep sector expertise, to take advantage of the next phase of industry growth."

The first index is the iSTOXX Developed Markets B.R.AI.N. Index. It went live on July 26th, 2018, and tracks a diversified portfolio of global securities focused on the biotech, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology sectors.

The second index set to be built is the STOXX Yewno Developed Markets Blockchain Index, which tracks the blockchain technology sector. The index uses proprietary AI algorithms to identify companies that invest heavily into blockchain technologies.

"With the launch of Coincapital, we will leverage our knowledge of the emerging technology sector to provide an excellent investment opportunity for Canadians across a wide range of high growth assets," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "When it comes to emerging technologies, investors are excited about the opportunity but should not trust generic ETF firms chasing the next big trend. Coincapital solves that problem by bringing deep sector expertise to the table."

Coinsquare also recently announced the launch of Coinsquare Licensing, a division of Coinsquare that will enable domestic and international businesses to offer a cryptocurrency trading solution powered by Coinsquare's technology. The launch included a partnership with Vancouver-based DLTα 21, a leading global blockchain investment bank, to launch a cryptocurrency trading platform in Japan using Coinsquare's white labelled technology.

Source:  view release


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 ...
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:  ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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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 ...
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
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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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Millennials Turn To Crowdfunding For Mortgage Down Payments

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Pymnts.com | Jul 17, 2018

When one tries to Google the phrase “millennials and mortgages,” something curious happens. Two different – and in some cases, mutually exclusive sounding – accounts of millennials and their home-buying habits, or lack thereof, emerge.

Millennials are either dragging down the housing market because they can’t/won’t buy houses, or millennials are both leading the modern mortgage market and simultaneously leading it into the digital age.

It’s a lot of apparently contradictory data about a rising generation of consumers that is often discussed, but not nearly as often well-understood. The upshot is that millennials are buying houses – but not at the rates that consumers in the same age cohort have historically bought homes.

“Historically low mortgage rates and increasingly favorable employment conditions should have generated a far greater number of home purchases by young adults, especially in the last five years,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

And the fact that they haven’t has turned up a lot of data, revealing that the market for millennial real estate consumers remains an extremely uneven and, for many, rather uncertain place.

The Complex Demographic

Born between 1980 and 2000 (roughly), the millennial generation is a sharply age-bifurcated place, despite the common habit of talking about millennials as though they are a fairly homogeneous group when they really aren’t.

Younger millennials – those born between 1989 and the year 2000 – are still in their 20s, in some cases still in college and mostly new to the adult world of work and commerce. They aren’t buying houses – but even historically speaking, college students and recent grads have never been an incredibly highly active share of the housing market.

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

Older millennials – born before 1988 – are in their 30s, have spent longer in their careers, and are more likely to have gotten married and started families. PYMNTS, in a study of that older subset of millennials – bridge millennials – found that their spending, saving and general interests are very distinct, both from their younger fellows in the millennial generation and the population at large. Those consumers are buying houses, and are a driving force in some markets. The conventional wisdom of a few years ago – that the millennial generation had evolved beyond homeownership – has not exactly been proven.

“Millennials are shaping the market more than anyone realized. In fact, half of all buyers are under 36 and half of sellers are under 41,” said Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman, referring to results from a survey of more than 13,000 homeowners, sellers, buyers and renters that were part of the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends.

But while millennials may be driving the real estate markets, data released by the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center indicates that generationally speaking, they are participating in the homeownership markets less, with an ownership rate running 8 percent to 9 percent behind previous generations.

Why that is the case is broken down over dozens of factors, including income, race, education level, marital status, region, city and parental homeownership status, to name a handful of the most oft-cited data points. In general, the data agrees that when it comes to homeownership, the majority of millennial sellers are white, college-educated, earning a household income over $100,000 and have parents who own homes.

The data across sources also seems to agree that, despite programs like FHA that are designed to lower the initial costs of homeownership, the down payment is the stumbling block that keeps most millennial buyers away.

The Down Payment Dilemma

According to data released last month by Redfin, affording a down payment was the leading concern among millennials looking to purchase a home in the last 12 months, with 50 percent of millennial respondents noting down payment woes.

Redfin’s data echoes the Urban Institute’s in noting that down payment anxiety is not quite evenly experienced. While 24 percent of millennial respondents reported gift money from family as an expected source of funds for a down payment, that expectation grew to 40 percent among households with income north of $100,000.

Meanwhile, households earning less than $100,000 are more likely to report saving money out of their paycheck toward a mortgage, or taking on a secondary source of employment to raise the funds.

“For millennials who have launched their careers while working to pay off student loans in the last decade, having enough to set aside toward a down payment would have been a significant accomplishment,” said Sheharyar Bokhari, senior economist at Redfin. “These results reveal some of the inequalities that have been exacerbated in the years following the recession, with the well-off having more flexibility and thereby ability to become homeowners and build more wealth, through advantages like financial support from family and the opportunity to invest in the stock market.”

Some of those inequalities, reports have noted, can actually be aided by education, since many millennials hold a somewhat dated belief that a first-time homebuyer needs a full 20 percent to put down on a purchase. In fact, the median average down payment rate on first-time mortgages in the U.S. is 5 percent – and the FHA program allows first-time buyers to go as low as 3.5 percent. That means many millennials may be closer to affording homeownership than they think.

More:  How Real Estate Investing Is Spurring Millennial Home Ownership

But, as the Urban Institute pointed out, millennial buyers are clustered around urban markets, yet another complicated factor.

“Millennials prefer living in high-cost cities, where housing supply is inelastic,” the study notes.

And inelasticity breeds expense. In high demand metro markets, where home prices can average at or about $500,000, saving up for a down payment – even a 3.5 percent down payment – could take a matter of years.

Zillow estimates that at today’s rates, it would take someone renting a home in the Seattle metro area nearly three years to save a 3.5 percent down payment on a home – assuming housing prices don’t rise at all during that time, which of course they will.

And this is where startups like HomeFundMe come into play.

New Methods of Access

Run by lender CMG Financial, HomeFundMe gives otherwise qualified (by credit score and income) homebuyers a way to crowdfund down payments and other associated costs from family members and friends. As part of a conventional financing agreement with a bank or mortgage lender, consumers can receive cash gifts toward a down payment, but the circle of eligible gift givers is very limited – and those gifts must be carefully (and sometimes arduously) verified.

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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, 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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