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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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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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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.2): Canada’s Role in the Global Fintech Industry with Sue Britton, CEO & Founder of FGS

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | July 27, 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.2):  Canada's Role in the Global Fintech Industry - Interview with Sue Britton of FGS

Host:  Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest:  Sue Britton, CEO & Founder, FinTech Growth Syndicate

As CEO & Founder, Sue brings a depth and breadth of experience and passion in corporate innovation, partnering, B2B sales as well as overall market expansion to her clients.  The FinTech Growth Syndicate provides FinTech innovators and start-up company leaders the tools and expertise they need to grow their businesses and accelerate their response to the changing needs of their clients. We are a different advisory firm. Our model is designed to provide you with agile, on the ground experts – talent that has deep experience in corporate innovation, design thinking, commercialization, market expansion and partnering. We are truly deep in all things “FinTech” and are plugged into every corner of the ecosystem, and can leverage relationships and knowledge of the global FinTech ecosystem to accelerate innovation. Prior to starting the company, Sue was Vice President & Head of Global Innovation for D+H. the 21st largest FinTech globally.

About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Friday Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the legendary Sue Britton 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.


Subscribe to the channel and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.


Transcription of Interview

Manseeb Khan (MK): Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here and you are tuning in to the NCFA's newest podcast series Fintech Friday. I'm going be honest with you I'm a little nervous and my guest today our guest today is an absolute juggernaut in the industry. She’s been a veteran for 25 years in the space. Today I have Sue Britton and Sue. Thank you so much for making like this is incredible.

Sue Britton (SB): Thank you so much for being here as well like I totally flattered and here your way overdoing it, but I am thrilled to be here to chat with you.

[00:00:31] MK: I don't think so. I think I think you deserve everything that is said to be completely honest with you. You're the founder and CEO of the Fintech Growth Syndicate. Also known as I've just the FGS. Could you talk a little bit more of what it is, and I guess what made you launch it?

SB: Yes sure. The story of launching it has. You know I left the company I had a 25-year career working with some amazing Canadian companies that. Honestly, they are often tech companies. But we didn't. Twenty-five years ago, we didn't think of them as Fintech. They were technology companies providing solutions to financial institutions. And my last gig I ran innovation for one of the biggest tech companies in the world it's now called an Finastra. Love what I was doing and when the company decided they wanted to go in a different direction I just thought you know I'm going to start my own thing and keep doing what we were doing which is FGS is here to. Help accelerate innovation and we do that with big companies and help grow startups particularly fintech and play a role in the industry. Being a connector and someone who helps promote collaboration. So. It's been exciting. Last three years have been kind of crazy and exciting. That's incredible.

[00:01:59] MK: So, from your amazing resume you've also worked with the Canadian government. Right. So, my next question is the Canadian government doing everything they can to be globally competitive in the Fintech industry so it's a tough question although I'll answer it directly with no. Because

SB: I mean in the early days of FGS I got involved with global affairs and I am the fintech adviser to global affairs as part of their what they call their ICT advisory committee and basically what that means is. You know I'm giving them feedback about how their global affairs program is working which. I don't know if you know much about that space, but they are you know there's something like 1600 people around the world that are paid by the Canadian government to help companies like you know Curexe or Wealthsimple or you know you name one of the thousand fintech companies with. You know support them to do business in other countries. And so that to me is fundamental to what we need from the government. And there are other pockets that are also I think doing well and government is kind of this big label for policymakers and regulators. And the problem we have in Canada and I think this is a general comment about Canada. We have such a big geography that we set up our regulatory framework to be you know provincial based in some cases and. Across the board. You know there's no one. There's no one regulator there's no one policy maker and so like I think of it like it's this patchwork quilt. And so. Until we figure that out the government. Has a really hard time themselves trying to figure out how to make change happen. So

00:04:02 MK: So, I guess what type of fintech models do you think that Canadian fintech’s are I guess internationally acclaimed for and what sectors do you see up and coming. Canadian for their companies could leave a stamp on.

SB: Yes well, I don't mean to answer it like all of them, but I do think like when you think about the companies that have been successful inside and outside of Canada.

Wealthsimple as an easy company that comes to mind because you know they're so well-funded and they've got great partners in power financial and are a group of companies like investors group but there's also a lot of other companies that are still there in the wealth space. Artificial intelligence. You know I would probably be. Remised if I didn't say you know we are we are becoming in are very much a leader in that space element AI couple of years ago received over 100 million dollars in funding and the funding came from mostly international organizations or U.S. based. VCs that there are the power houses of VC investment and so that kind of started that I think what was already building it started a very much a you know. A wave of a focused startup. So, AI for sure generally but also within fintech. Companies like Fin AI I from Vancouver who you know are in the conversational banking space. So, there's been a lot of success stories. I think the challenge we have though is you know everyone that starts the company needs revenue to survive, cash is oxygen, yes exactly. And even if you are getting money seed money you know series A funding or whatever you know in the end those investors want to see a return on them on their investment. And so, you need to be able to demonstrate that you can sell quickly, and Canada hasn't been very good to Canadian startups to support that right. So, I think most of the techs are heading south of the border or especially to Europe and other places where it's just easier to get your foot in the door. There's more support and those. You know maybe except for the. U.S. know competition is. Wanted. In these other countries. Right. So sure, but we have we have some amazing fintech companies that have done well here in and outside of Canada and we don't do enough to brag about them. I think because I think that would probably make everybody feel a bit more optimistic.

[00:07:10] MK: Yes, for sure. Yes. Yes, you don't want you don't want any you don't want too many braggadocios us CEO especially I guess the fintech space being so hard to fund because we're not as willing to open our wallets as say the Americans or European countries are.

SB: You know it's funny you say that. So, I was at the Empire's fintech startups event a couple of weeks ago and Empire this is their second time they've had it there too. So, there was two of them and then on almost every panel they tried to match sort of us. People with Canadian people but it wasn't over. It was just more to get different perspectives. And one of the panels was about you know kind of the modern VC. And. The. Anyway, I had a follow up call from this gentleman and he's with a VC called reciprocal ventures. And they're based out of New York and they want to invest in Canadian fintech. I probably shouldn't but I could go on to give you 10 other examples of companies that want to invest in Canadian fintech growth. Like Canada's super-hot. From an investing standpoint. There is a lot of interest in our tech and our people are. Us. Companies and I would say like very much significantly in FinTech for sure.

[00:08:41] MK: I guess would be one of the advantages that Canada has. Would you say that our diversity plays a factor? Why does Canada have an edge in this space.

SB: Yes well, I mean I think Canada has this amazing concentration of talent. We have. You know Kitchener Waterloo Toronto. You know basically coast to coast we have amazing universities and master's programs. Now we have master's programs intact. Like who would have thought you know. And that's producing a lot of really great talent and talent and new technology. You know like Creative Destruction Lab is producing some amazing. Startups from talent and like across the country I think we like 500 different accelerators. So amazing. So, you know and we're not a big country like in terms of number of people. And so, you know I think what makes Canada so great is we've got we've got great talent that wants to you know. Get. A break. You know. Leading edge technology to the market and there's people that are willing to help them. Right. I guess

[00:10:03] MK: How do you see programs I guess like the Female Founders. That's part of the DMZ. How do you see these? Diverse programs within the startup accelerators. Playing a huge factor in the fintech space in general.

SB: Yeah, I'm glad you kind of brought me back to that. I know you asked me the diversity question. So being a female and I'm a founder of a FinTech accelerator as opposed to a tech product company but you know kind of regardless like. Diversity whether it's in you know gender or you know you know where you were born or what language you speak or your sexual orientation like that you know. It's a huge issue. Let's just say that right. Like where there isn't enough that you can do to continue to kind of try to drive diversity. And equality. You know. Challenge right for me as a female I can say I have had. You know I often actually wear my T-shirt. Because I have had several horrible experiences in my career that and when I look at some of the people even on our own team who are you know in their early 20s it's still shocking to me that there's still stuff going on. With you know people coming out of university who probably have. You know not any real sense of how to necessarily hand themselves in a. In a tough environment and it's I think it's a big. Problem. So. Programs like. The ones at the DMZ and move the dial and Shio and all these different great programs that are trying to, and I know I'm mentioning ones that are female. But yes, that's kind of my passion. But there are so meta. And yet there are still only scratching the surface of the problem. So how many fintech. Companies are founded and led by use by female CEOs. And I unfortunately because I get asked this question all the time. You know can we can you help us find female speakers because we don't want to have less than 50 percent females worse you know are speaking at our events and it's you know it there are lots of females out there don't get me wrong there's lots of great speaking opportunities for senior executives and so on. But try to find tell me how many CEOs and founders many are not that. And that's a that's a real shame. So, a female founders program. Like awesome. We need a hundred of them

[00:12:51] MK: I agree with you. I think the upside would be that like I guess that's kind of what makes fintech such an amazing emerging space because it's because traditionally finance has been a very much an old boys club. Yes right. Old Men's Club we're just like. It's the creme de la creme your youth like my dad to run the bank for 30 years I'm going to run that kind of mentality. Yes, but thankfully with fintech. You're seeing a little bit more a shift where it's a little bit more like the market is the market and the market decides the market doesn't care if you do X Y and Z for transgendered, black whatever it doesn't matter. They don't really care if you're making amazing product and. You are providing an amazing service. That's all that really matters.

SB: And it's something that's kind of like that is such a great insight that. You know and again, a knock against the incumbents who. Have you know maybe gotten fat and happy because they were needed at a certain point in time but then they get so big that now you've got this all these things that are kind of working against you know meeting the changes in the in the in the world. Right. Whether it's changes in technology or you know demographics or whatever. And yet startups don't have any of those issues. And so, you know a startup can be much more diverse a startup can and will attract many more females or otherwise. That's a great point. And so, I think so interestingly that maybe you know some of the things we need to do is focus our efforts more at trying to build more. Diversity within our technology community because at the end of the day you know well I think there's great stuff happening as a female. I'm still often less than a third less than a quarter or sometimes even less than. 5 percent of the audience said. Many of these. You know fintech related meet ups and events and whatever. And so, we're doing we're doing better than before we were before, but we keep the foot on the gas.

[00:15:05] MK: I think it comes down to we have mediums like podcasts that we're doing right now. We have blogs. We have live events. I think. With everything with all those. I think that's going to help greatly accelerate that change. And you're going to see like whoa like programs like the female founders or like SheEO like we follow that's a kickass female CEO and like her insight there's just so much more unique than everything else and I'm yes, I can relate. I can resonate with that right. Yes, and or this certain transgendered CEO or the. CEO of X Nationality like they have such an interesting viewpoint you just like. I don't know it's like I guess people are slowly realizing that the pie is a lot bigger. Yes. And like hey everybody kind of a piece of this and. It's helping, mediums like this helped shedding light on people that you never would have thought about before. Kind of like oh crap that's how female CEOs feel. I never knew that. I never understood that. Now I can be a little more empathetic towards it because not more aware of it and we can navigate this way right.

SB: And you know one of our, at FGS has as You know and a new company. You know we're entrepreneurs we're not trying to you know kind of. Fit the norms that have been you know that are more often found in the corporate world. I don't care if my opinion isn't appropriate for you know, I mean I'm always going to be a professional. But we have to say what we think and course you know because. Because. That's that is another challenge with this whole diversity question. Like in the end I can say what I think but often you know the men in the room. Will you know do things to make us feel like we shouldn't course. And so, we need more outspoken people. On this topic. To continue to walk the streets. And. You know the reality is we do have mostly men making the decisions. Right. And mostly we put the poor white man has just been beat because it's like everybody's immediate you know scapegoat right. Oh, they're all you know wait. Old white men. And they're not. But the men male versus female. You know we're not going to really change things until we get men to say it's not OK to be complacent about the fact that you're you know your team is 95 percent. Male. It's just not right because we can give you all sorts of proof that females are just as capable just as smart just and you don't need to lift heavy boxes. Don't tell me that my physical strength isn't you know is part of the issue. It's more it's more the fact that you know men must agree and then make it and make it. A policy that. You know everyone's equal we're going to treat the people we're going to we're going to demonstrate equal you know division of opportunity just all different. Categories. Anyway. I feel like I said too much on Friday and we like this.

[00:18:23] MK: This is great because like I guess we're having to talk like how the whole talk started with like not enough people are talking about it. So, we started talking about it and now it's like oh there was that other guy if we can cover enough. So, you did talk about how it's important for entrepreneurs to speak their mind and see like issues and provoke change and be as provocative as they can to help change the tide this way or that way you do deem myself as an intrapreneur as an entrepreneur. So, I just yes. Could you explain why that is it's just important to have intrapreneurs in your organization. Yes, as it is to have entrepreneurs and organization.

SB: Yeah and I we’ll just take that completely away from the diversity question because I think. That's about you know so innovation is something that has gotten a bad rap as a way of characterizing trying to do something different in an established organization. But when you see innovation become a thing in a company it means that the company saying OK wait a second the where what got us to where we are today was great wasn't that it wasn't it wasn't you know it was great it was great. Do we've been very successful but what's going to get us from today to survive in the next 20 years is likely something different and we need to bring in people that. Are. 100 percent focused on. Thinking differently and move it because you know when you work in a corporate job for 25 years all the new stuff is in that far corner of your desk and you never get to it. And so, innovation these are entrepreneurs these corporate intrapreneurs are there to try and support the company knowing that. Technology is changing their customers’ needs are changing. You know what OK in the past was isn't ok and, in the future, and we want to work towards the future. Right. So, an entrepreneur is also like a startup entrepreneur. Right. And the entrepreneurs have to say wait a second we need to think differently, or you know start thinking about your biases or your barriers and think about how we can do this or how might we do this. So, I think that you know we do this naturally as entrepreneurs because we must survive. Right. But as entrepreneurs we need to give them more credit for they do a tough job that gets a lot of. And I don't know if I can say this but a lot of shit and a lot of kicks in the head on that you're right.

[00:21:07] MK: You know it comes down to as long as people inside companies are. Challenging I guess their CEOs or the heads of the heads of departments. I was like as long as people are understanding. What got us here is not going to take us so much stuff. Yes, because it's either you will evolve, or he dies sort of like how the right. It's like it's always it's always changing always getting better. It's like you know I could do I could do better.

SB: Things at once in a meeting like I should be change or retire. Yeah, I think that actually speaks to because you talked to a lot of fintech’s and they would say certainly the CEOs some of them will be very vocal and investors and other folks will be very vocal about the fact that you know our big banks are full of this huge layer of executives who really don't have any incentive to change course and maybe have an incentive not to change right. Because you know they're so huge and there's so many layers of them that they really can't challenge the CEO and they don't want to they're going to retire in five years. They've got big stock options on the table. They get paid you know 100 percent bonuses if they hit their financial targets which mean taking funding away from innovation and change or retire. I think you know as much as I don't necessarily support you know mass. Firings or changes I think you do. For any CEO to really be affected with innovation they need to realize that it's not just the other thing that they're trying to do. That one person is going to make somehow magically happen. It needs to be across the board across their executive team across their executive team’s executive teams you know like the 18 different layers horse and die. That is something that can only be CEO and board driven.

[00:23:04] MK: I agree with you, I love the change or retire. That's yes that's going to be a T-shirt at the end of this. I love that So. OK so what. Aside from everything we talk about what other big changes do you hope to see in the fintech space other levers other than Canadians community investors and Canadian Financial situations being a little bit looser with our wallets. Yes. What changes do you hope to see this space?

SB: seeing people take risks right. I think that is one of the things like if you look at RBC. And we don't work with them that we know their partner like beta they do very similar stuff to what we do and there's lots of that out there. So, it's great but I see them launching like RBC ventures. Now they're plunged which obviously ventures are about creating new ventures within not within. I take that back outside because they're physically outside of RBC but there are also. Products that they could probably launch inside of RBC but, yet you know kind of strangely not their products that will lead to more PC customers being able to do business. With RBC right. So, it's all in support of their goal. Now they're doing obviously reach which is an accelerator program. Those are those are risks. But. But that's the kind of stuff that we need to see happening and I don't see it necessarily as much with the other. The other big five you look at Desert and National Bank and some of the other. Smaller financial institutions and credit unions and they're doing some amazing things. But out are you know Canada is held back by the fact that the banks can still change because they are you know like collectively the ones that are you know 90 percent of the. Market. Have the power to slow some of these changes like open banking. Right. Right. I mean open banking is there are companies in Canada that can already facilitate open banking open making is already in the U.S. it's already in the U.K. you know it's it is going to make the fintech space explode. Because in theory what it does is it gives. The customer of the bank the ability to use a product that today they probably can't use or may not. Know may not be able to get access to for whatever reason. So, I mean those kinds of things I think going to see a ton more artificial intelligence-based solution. And again, to see a ton more. You know new product offerings. Outside the existing bank product offerings.

[00:25:00] MK: What advice would you give founders to help better foster positive relationships with these financial institutions

SB: Good question. I mean I think you know. I could probably talk for an hour about that because we work with a lot of founders or companies that are scaling to help them try and get you know their message clear to be able to sell to a financial institution so if you're. You know if your B2B obviously because this is probably more of a B2B conversation like you need to understand who that person is that you should be calling. You know it's funny I did a panel of you know kind of private event and I don't even remember when it was. Sometime it was called the north winds fintech blah blah something or other. Anyway, it was really great event. But. The panel was. Intact. Head of. Investments and partnerships and national banks. Had. Investments and partnerships. And both would say. Not a ton of. Canadian techs calling them. So shocking number wow. Yeah, I know I was like What the hell. Like that's not. That's. Because you hear more. Oh well you know I can't get my foot in the door. So, first. Anyone running a you know an investment fund that is looking to invest in FinTech companies or you know the partnership guys spent some time with them. Going to be careful that you're you know each organization is of a different maturity level when it comes to being able to work with a startup and unfortunately some. Some get off on the wrong foot right. Some do it. Proof of concept in their innovation lab and unfortunately their innovation isn't properly supported. Their CEO remember that like big middle and executive problem and so that PEOC never goes anywhere. But I think I think it's about just trying to understand what your product does that will help. That Financial Institution make sure that that's what you lead with instead of you. We're going to take you out of business this his or her approach whatever your product right. Because not you know. I had a boss like 20 years ago. That you know you have those bosses right in your career the ones that tell you things that you're a member. And. You said soon like they're not that smart. And I was like What are you talking about. He's like. Yeah, I mean you're presented to whatever another executive you know team the parent company and you're so perplexed why they're not getting it. And what he was saying was sometimes they just don't understand what you're telling them. So, you didn't mean like they're stupid, but he meant you know don't expect that just because you're meeting with an F SVP or the year and EVP that they have any clue what you're talking about. Right. Like you know like the need to you need to help them understand. I've built this product that will help you. You know reduce your costs or sell more or whatever it is their product does. And then go from there. That will create a much better conversation.

[00:29:28] MK: It's a lot like when if anybody has sales you learn if you can pitch to a nine-year-old and she or he or she gets it. You nailed it same mentality is that what you are telling me?

SB: I think so, but I mean I also think that You know plain language plain language but that the nine-year-old you know I think it has a master's in finance OK. No just like we're selling to your customer. Who is your target customer? How do you find them and get to them and then make yes get off on the right foot?

[00:30:01] MK: OK. So. Sue what would be I guess your golden nugget that helped you with the massive success you so far in your career. What's the one, two things that stuck out like the true stood the test of time. That helped navigate through your success through your success.

SB: mean I think one is. You know I think instincts are important right now in this fast, fast moving world we live in. So, I would I would be you know I would say follow your instincts and when you're in your corporate career or whatever like you've been working for a while and people keep telling you that they don't think your ideas are right. But you do. You're probably right. And maybe it is time for you to go find another you know another place to do your stuff. When I left my last job which I didn't necessarily feel was as. Fulfilling as it should have been after 25 years. You know this is. Like what we're doing now is exactly what I was trying to do before and it's very successful. So that takes a lot. I mean it's going to take a lot of hard work. All right. Like it's not. It is a seven day a week thing. And. In FinTech in Canada. You must be on the ground. Right. You're not going to read a report, or you know check linked in feed or whatever and really truly understand how be successful you must get out and talk to people and you know put a face to a name and spend time understanding like there's pockets there's that I call them little subcultures. There's all these little pockets of you know groups of people who have relationships have done business together before having started companies before and they're all helping each other out. And if you can. Add some value to that conversation they'll help you out of course. Like we are a very collaborative group in FinTech. And so, I'd say like you know. Commit some time and do you. Community. Service. And. Be out there trying to. Learn. And., I think that will take you much further. Than. Anything Else.

[00:32:37] MK: So, what you're saying is stop listening to podcasts like this called the set of financial institutions that help fund your dream right. More or less. Where are you. OK. Thank you so much for Taking time out your busy schedule to be a guest. This is super insightful and fun.

SB: I love the national crowdfunding and fintech association I think Craig is awesome he's done some really great things. That is a community champion if there isn't. A good model for that everybody should. He asked you to do something. Do it like it's a you guys you and Craig and others like that. We need more of these so that's why I do this because I think it's important.

MK: Ok awesome shout out to Craig Asano. Thanks so much. Some fun I hope to have you around

SB: Yes, we do. Yes. All right. Thank you so much Oprah appreciate it.

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

 

 

 

 

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Charlene Cieslik, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Joins the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada’s Advisory Group

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About NCFA Canada | C. Asano | July 9, 2018

TORONTO, JUL 9, 2018 – The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Charlene Cieslik, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer (CAMLO) of Coinsquare, has joined the Association`s growing Advisory Group to advise on the areas Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering (view).

Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.

Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Toronto, is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, and was an original founder of the Toronto ACAMS Chapter.  She has lectured as a Professor at Seneca College and currently teaches in the Global Leadership Development Program at the University of Toronto on the subject of anti-money laundering and sanction compliance.

"I'm grateful for the honour to join the NCFA's Advisory Group. When it comes to securing financing for your venture, there are many powerful and impactful methods beyond traditional financing, and I'm excited to have the privilege of working to make more options accessible to entrepreneurs and investors - balancing the need for regulation, risk management, and possibilities of innovation while acknowledging the opportunities that transcend borders. The NCFA has built a stellar community that brings together thinkers and entrepreneurs in innovative technologies, and I'm looking forward to playing a role in expanding and building that community with the NCFA."

-- Charlene Cieslik, Chief Anti-money Laundering Officer, Coinsquare

“While global funding networks, protocols, models and digital asset infrastructure continue to evolve it’s critical that industry continues working with regulators and fintech champions to strike the right balance.  Charlene brings an incredible amount of experience to the table and is actively engaged in addressing the regulatory hurdles that need to be solved before these new technologies can scale and reach mass adoption.”  Craig Asano – CEO & Founder, NCFA

Source:  NCFA

# # #

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Craig Asano
Founder and CEO
NCFA Canada
416 618 0254
casano@ncfacanada.org


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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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 ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Net with Amy Wan, CEO & Founder at Sagewise
University of Cambridge and Ivey Business School | by Tania Ziegler and Michael King | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 Americas survey of alternative finance conducted the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is nearing its closing stages. This global survey of crowdfunding and lending via online platforms is the benchmark for the industry, providing the most comprehensive data on this fintech activity.  In Canada, Cambridge is being assisted by their research partners and the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School.  NCFA is a supportive community partner. Leading platforms should have received an email with details on how to complete the survey from either Tania Ziegler at University of Cambridge or Professor Michael King at Ivey. It is vital that platforms participate in order to demonstrate the importance of this sector to Canadians and to policymakers at the federal and provincial levels. King says, “As we look ahead to the completion of the Federal Financal Sector Review early in 2019, this data will be vital for promoting open banking and other initiatives that support Canada’s fintech sector. When platforms opt out, they are effectively telling policymakers that alternative finance is not important and not worthy of the ...
Read More
Cambridge Survey of Alternative Finance Needs Your Participation!
Fortune | Matt Harris | Aug 8, 2018 Matt Harris is a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. He is consistently ranked as one of the top investors in fintech, having participated in the space since 2000. I’ve been proven wrong once again. For eight years running, I’ve predicted that fintech investment is going to plateau. Based on the start of 2018, it hasn’t yet. In fact, we saw more than $5.4 billion invested in fintech during the first quarter of the year, with no signs of slowing momentum. For perspective, fintech investment for all of 2014 was just under $4 billion, so that’s “5x” growth in four years. In 2001, per data from Venture Scanner, it was something like $300 million. With that said, this whole “fintech” thing is kind of a charade. As I shared with attendees last month during our annual Fintech CEO Summit, co-hosted together with Nyca Partners, the CEOs in our portfolios don’t actually run “fintech businesses.” They run a payments business or a lending business, or they build investing technologies, or they sell to banks or insurance or real estate companies. Regardless of what VCs tell limited partners, or how media cover the industry, ...
Read More
Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Aug 7, 2018 The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has initiated a new consultation that is going beyond the UK borders when it comes to Fintech innovation. Announced today, the FCA has created the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). The multinational group includes regulatory agencies from the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australian, France and more. FCA Director of Competition, Christopher Woolard, said the creation of GFIN is an important step for the FCA to be able to better understand and harness the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers, while managing the potential harm. “The establishment of the GFIN can help share the experiences and knowledge from across different markets, while also providing a platform for innovative firms wishing to scale their propositions via testing in multiple countries.” The members as announced include: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, USA) Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK) Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Ontario Securities Commission (OSC, Canada) Consultative Group to ...
Read More
Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators
Globe and Mail | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies plumbed new depths on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dented enthusiasts’ hopes for an VanEck exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin. A broad selloff in coins of all sizes reduced the market value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to about $230 billion, the lowest level since November. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, equivalent to erasing the entire market value of Visa Inc. twice over. (Shares of the payments processor are trading near a record high.) The SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve the Bitcoin ETF, dealing a blow to bulls who had bet a green light from the regulator would help sustain last month’s tenuous rally. Optimists are counting on the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to keep prices supported, but regulators and many institutional investors have remained wary amid concerns over security and market manipulation. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Bitcoin was down 5.6 pe rcent to $6,484 as of 8:19 a.m. in New York, recovering from a 7 percent drop earlier while extending its 2018 decline to 55 percent, according to Bloomberg ...
Read More
Crypto prices sharply down after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision
Digital Journal PR | Aug 7, 2018 ATLANTA--(Business Wire)--Steady, the income-building platform for the Build-Your-Own (BYO) workforce is already serving 100,000 Americans since it launched last week. The company, which today delivers personalized income-building opportunities, an income tracker, and exclusive relevant discounts, has raised $9 million in Series A financing round led by Propel Venture Partners, with significant participation from Omidyar Network, the impact investing firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. The funds raised in this round will be used to rapidly scale and extend product features. Other investors include 25Madison, Clocktower Ventures, and Commerce Ventures. Shaquille O’Neal has joined the team as an Advisor and Advocate for the BYO workforce. “The traditional 9-5 career path doesn’t work for everyone, and we’re seeing more and more people set out to make their own way. Steady sees and serves this group, giving them the tools to discover new job opportunities, and the resources to earn more money and take control,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “Helping hardworking folks do and get more is an important mission and I’m excited to be part of it.” Work is changing. Full-time jobs are giving way to more flexible arrangements—shift work, part-time contracts, gigs, ...
Read More
Shaquille O’Neal Joins Steady; Company Raises $9 Million in Series A Round of Funding from Leading Fintech Investors

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Charlene Cieslik, Advisor, AML and Compliance

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Charlene Cieslik, Advisor, AML and Compliance

Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.

Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Toronto, is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, and was an original founder of the Toronto ACAMS Chapter.  She has lectured as a Professor at Seneca College and currently teaches in the Global Leadership Development Program at the University of Toronto on the subject of anti-money laundering and sanction compliance.

"I'm grateful for the honour to join the NCFA's Advisory Group. When it comes to securing financing for your venture, there are many powerful and impactful methods beyond traditional financing, and I'm excited to have the privilege of working to make more options accessible to entrepreneurs and investors - balancing the need for regulation, risk management, and possibilities of innovation while acknowledging the opportunities that transcend borders. The NCFA has built a stellar community that brings together thinkers and entrepreneurs in innovative technologies, and I'm looking forward to playing a role in expanding and building that community with the NCFA."  Charlene Cieslik

 

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Toronto Fintech & Funding Networking Event (Jul 11, 2018): 4th Annual NCFA Summer Kickoff!

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | June 18, 2018

Summer Kickoff Networking - PATIO TIME!

Join the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of CanadaPegasus Fintech Inc.Fintech Growth SyndicateNikola Tesla Unite Ltd.,    Token FunderGowling WLG, Equibit Group, Mavennet, partners, affiliates and the Fintech & Funding community in the heart of upscale Yorkville (neighborhood) on the InterContinental's PATIO and Proof Bar for a night of revelry and prime networking mixer.  Interested in disrupting the finance industry, raising capital or participating in Canada’s growing alternative finance and fintech sectors? Here's a perfect opportunity to connect with emerging fintech startups (stealth mode) and experts, strategize with partners, pitch investors and mingle with Toronto’s burgeoning fintech, blockchain, AI and crowdfinance ecosystem.

EVENT DETAILS:

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

~5:30 PM - 9:00PM+

InterContinental Yorkville (PATIO & Proof Bar)

220 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M5S 1T8 (map)

LIMITED TICKETS - GET'M BEFORE THEY'RE GONE!

$25 Early SOLD OUT!

$35 Standard SOLD OUT!

$50 Late - Last Chance SOLD OUT!

THANKS FOR ANOTHER GREAT EVENT - SOLD OUT!

AND OFFICIALLY KICKING OFF THE SUMMER!

  • All include entrance to private event, a complimentary drink, hors d'oeuvres, prizes, entertainment, and prime networking
  • Taxes and fees extra.  No refunds 7 days before the event (after Jul 4).  Ticket transfers ok.
  • If it rains the event will take place inside the Proof Bar
  • Checkout photos from last year's Summer networking event here
  • Inclusive Deals for fintech students, starving start-ups and women founders: email for code: info@ncfacanada.org
  • NCFA Members deal: Save 25% https://bit.ly/2IxBi4s  (Not a member yet? Join today and save)

All ticket registrations by July 3 will be automatically entered into a July 4th draw taking place 6pm at Yonge and Dundas square at driver/showcase event to WIN 2 VIP tickets:

Congrats to the following multiple winners of the tickets!

Ryan Correia,MD Equivesto Inc.

Emily Cornelius, Marketing, Equibit

  • Draw will take place July 4th at 6pm at Yonge and Dundas Niko race car driver/showcase event.
  • 2 winners will be drawn and receive 2 x tickets entrance with VIP pit passes for Saturday, July 7 at the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix sponsored by event partner NIKOCoin

 

This event is for the Fintech & Funding, Blockchain, AI and Alternative Investing Community

Innovators and investors interested in financial innovation, networking and collaborating with startups, investors, angels, early stage-focused VC's and industry experts and developers in alternative finance, crowdfunding, fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, blockchain, ICOs / STOs, Artificial Intelligence-driven investing and other financial innovation sectors.

  • Women founders
  • Companies actively raising capital
  • Investors and syndicates interested in investing
  • Fintech advisors, consultants, and development experts (startups, institutions, researchers, academia, government)
  • Financial innovators and developers looking to partner or collaborate
  • High growth fintech start-ups (stealth mode) and scale-ups.  Private or public.
  • Developers looking for opportunities and to connect with businesses
  • Funding platforms, dealers, providers and their client networks
  • Anyone interested in emerging fintech trends, regulations and industry developments

Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world usually do - Steve Jobs

Venue (Patio and covered Proof Bar)

 

Event Host and Partners:

The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a 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 valued contributing member and get perks.

For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

 


Pegasus Fintech, Inc.focuses on supporting innovative solutions in the Financial Services, Technology, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency communities.  Pegasus has developed a full-service process for assisting organizations who want to do an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).  Together with our team of highly skilled industry professionals and partners we create, with our clients, the necessary business, legal, accounting, technology development, capital and funding strategies, whitepapers, roadmaps, marketing and sales processes to deploy successful and compliant ICOs.  Pegasus also has created an integrated network platform, called the Pegasus Matrix, supporting interactivity through Pegasus supported ICO use cases.  Pegasus is a partner of Polymath and is the first North American Sponsor Firm of the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX).

For more information, please visit:  pegasusfintech.com


FinTech Growth Syndicate (FGS) is a business accelerator that accelerates sales, partnering and marketing strategies for new and growing FinTech companies and implements internal or external innovation strategies and projects for financial institutions and technology incumbents.  We are deeply connected to the FinTech community and stakeholders and help organizations find partners and build awareness within the FinTech ecosystem.

For more information, please visit:  fintechgrowthsyndicate.com

 


Gowling WLG is an international law firm created by the combination of Gowlings, a leading Canadian law firm, and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG), a leading UK-based international law firm.  With more than 1,400 legal professionals in 19 cities across Canada, the UK, Continental Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Gowling WLG provides clients with top-tier legal advice at home and abroad in a range of areas.  Our clients have access to in-depth expertise and experience in key global sectors, including advanced manufacturing, energy, financial services, infrastructure, life sciences, natural resources, real estate and tech.  We see the world through our clients’ eyes, and collaborate across countries, offices, service areas and sectors to help them succeed – no matter how challenging the circumstances. Our culture is, above all, about people and teams, based on our belief in the power of relationships to deliver tangible business results.

For more information, please visit: gowlingwlg.com


Equibit Group is the company that developed the Equibit coin (EQB) and an initial product suite for application of the open-source Equibit network. This decentralized application of blockchain technology enables a worldwide, peer-to-peer equity and debt marketplace.  In much the same way that Bitcoin applied digital technology to currency and payments, Equibit eliminates the need for expensive infrastructure and third-party facilitation from depositories or transfer agents. The Equibit network connects issuers with investors directly. Registration, transfer, settlement and investor relations can all be managed securely and digitally within a decentralized environment.  With Equibit Group, capital markets meet the blockchain.

For more information, please visit: equibitgroup.com


TokenFunder is a Canadian company building a blockchain-powered venture funding platform and investment market. Our mission is to allow every investor equal access to invest in the best companies. We are a pioneer, the first company to work with the Ontario Securities Commission LaunchPad to launch Canada's first security token offering on the Ethereum public blockchain.

For more information, please visit: tokenfunder.com


 

Mavennet provides private enterprise blockchain solutions that enable high transaction throughput and interoperability between multiple blockchain platforms. These solutions are powered by Mavennet's core technology stack, Aion for Enterprise, built using foundational components of the public Aion network.

 


INTERESTED IN GETTING INVOLVED?

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Peer-to-peer lending will help small businesses stay afloat

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The Globe and Mail | Michael King and Craig Asano | May 30, 2018

With interest rates on the rise and the Canadian banks moving up lending rates, the higher cost and reduced availability of credit will affect all Canadian businesses, like a rising tide lifting all boats. Inevitably some boats will be swamped and sink, particularly if they are smaller and more vulnerable.

One set of borrowers at greater risk are Canada’s 1.14 million small businesses, defined as companies that employ up to 99 workers. Statistics Canada reports that small businesses represented 98 per cent of all businesses, employed 70 per cent of workers, and generated 30 per cent of each province’s GDP on average. This category includes startups and high-growth firms, which represent Canada’s best hope for job creation and economic growth.

As credit becomes less available, small businesses face a difficult choice of cutting back on investment or turning to more expensive borrowing, such as credit cards or payday loans. Either option is bad.

Fortunately, small businesses now have an alternative source for loans called peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. These online platforms match borrowers and investors directly and can provide loans cheaper and faster than traditional sources. How can that be? The answer is technology.

Taking a step back, small businesses are financed differently than big ones. Most Canadian startups have neither the credit history nor the collateral to secure a bank loan. Statscan reports that more than 80 per cent of startups rely on alternative funding sources such as the entrepreneurs’ savings and personal loans taken out by owners. Only 45 per cent can access credit from financial institutions and 19 per cent receive trade credit from suppliers.

Technology is disrupting this paradigm. P2P lending platforms allow businesses (and individuals) to take out a loan online with the funds crowdsourced by investors who pool their savings to fund loans. Traditionally only financial institutions were set up to screen borrowers and allocate credit. But technologies such as the internet, cloud computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence have opened this asset class to new lenders such as your neighbour or a fellow business owner.

Canada’s first P2P platform, Lending Loop, was launched in late 2015 – a decade after this model was pioneered in Britain by Zopa. Last month, Lending Loop passed $20-million in loans funded on its platform by more than 20,000 Canadian investors. While $20-million is impressive, it is still only a sliver of the $95-billion of credit outstanding to Canadian small businesses as reported by Statscan.

The average small business borrower on Lending Loop’s platform is borrowing $75,000 to $100,000 for three to five years. While interest rates vary substantially, P2P loans typically start at around 6 per cent with an average interest rate of 12 per cent, significantly lower than a credit card. These loans are used to finance inventory and equipment, or to hire new employees.

The Canadian P2P lending market got a boost this month when the Ontario government announced it would contribute $3-million over the next two years to loans funded on Lending Loop’s platform. The Ontario government will fund up to 10 per cent of small business loans, supporting funding of $30-million.

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Besides the obvious benefit to small businesses, Ontario’s announcement was important for two reasons. First, Ontario has drawn attention to P2P lending as an alternative funding source and raised awareness among businesses to accelerate adoption. And second, by partnering with a fintech startup, Ontario is leading by example and giving a boost to entrepreneurs working to democratize finance.

Here are four more steps that Canadian policy makers can take to promote P2P lending:

First, Canada should follow Britain and adopt new P2P lending regulations, as opposed to shoehorning this sector under existing equity regulations. New regulations should ensure the cost of due diligence borne by lenders is proportionate to the investment risk.

Second, retail investor caps for P2P lending should be raised over time if this asset class is proven to be low risk, increasing the pool of funds available to meet the needs of small businesses.

Third, the federal government should partner with industry to provide more education for investors and small businesses. This effort should include data collection and benchmarking to allow researchers to establish what is working and what is not.

Fourth, Canada should adopt Britain’s mandatory referral program. Banks that reject a small-business loan must refer unsuccessful applicants to a government portal that connects them with alternative lenders who may be able to assist them.

Our hope is that Canadian politicians recognize that promoting innovation means more than cutting ribbons and offering tax credits. It is about plugging holes in a leaky financial system and adding wind to the sails of small businesses to move them forward.

 

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, 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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