Category Archives: NCFA In The News

Canada’s Largest Investment Crowdfunding Platform Hits $10 Million of Combined Capital Raised to Support Growing Canadian Businesses

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Digital Journal - FrontFundr Release | April 9, 2019

Investment crowdfunding is an alternative source for companies seeking capital to grow their businesses.

VANCOUVER, BC, April 09, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- "We are pleased to announce that we have now raised a combined $10 million for Canadian companies through our online platform," said Peter-Paul van Hoeken, FrontFundr's C.E.O. "We have enabled over 18 Canadian companies to obtain the funding they need to grow while creating communities of supporters and advocates for each company's products and services."

Craig Asano, Founder and CEO of the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association, NCFA Canada said. "We are thrilled to see the growth of FrontFundr and congratulate them on reaching the $10 million milestone! It clearly demonstrates the availability and potential of investment crowdfunding capital to support the growth of Canadian businesses."

See:  How to Effectively Market an Equity Crowdfunding/Reg A+ Offering

Investment crowdfunding is an alternative source for companies seeking capital to grow their businesses. Partly available in some Provinces it was fully legalized in 2015. Crowdfunding not only allows Canadians to invest in private companies, from as little as $100, but it allows companies access to capital and a community of stakeholders. A recent example, and part of the $10 million raise, is Red Mountain, that enabled people to own a piece of a ski hill in British Columbia, Canada. Over $2,500,000 was raised through the campaign, from 742 backers, many of whom gained perks such as lift passes as well as shares.

About FrontFundr:

FrontFundr is an online investing platform that empowers Canadians to find and make direct investments in the private companies they believe in - and become stakeholders in their future. FrontFundr's online exempt market dealer (EMD) status plus its modern technology lets users across Canada easily invest in innovative growth businesses in under 12 minutes and starting from $250. Own your share.

View source:  here

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Canadian Crowdfunding Industry Highlights Urgent Need for Changes

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Locavesting | Staff Writer | March 16, 2018

Some Americans may envy Canada’s charming president and progressive politics, but when it comes to investment crowdfunding, the two countries are in the same boat.

In an appeal to government regulators this week, Canadian crowdfunding and financial tech advocates called out an “urgent need for regulatory changes and government support” for Canada’s entrepreneurial and capital raising ecosystem. That includes streamlining the country’s crowdfunding regulations and educating the public about the laws.

“Entrepreneurs are reluctant to start up in Canada due to the high costs (relative to a small financing), and significant ongoing regulatory burdens. Investors are inhibited by caps on investment and limited education about  the benefits and downside risks of crowdfunding and other exempt financings. This pushes many talented entrepreneurs and investors to overseas jurisdictions that better understand (and support) innovation and the economic potential of start-ups and small businesses,” writes the National Crowdfunding & FinTech Association (NCFA), a nonprofit Canadian trade group.

In Canada, online capital-raising rules vary by province, and efforts to “harmonize” the laws have fallen short.

The U.S. is in a slightly better position. The U.S. crowdfunding industry falls under a single federal framework, the 2012 JOBS Act.  However, 34 states have passed intrastate laws that can vary greatly.

But U.S. complaints are similar in other regards, including the need to improve burdensome regulations and educate the public about the new laws.

Of particular note, the NCFA decried the lack of support and incentives for education.

“Introducing new requirements/exemptions without a robust ongoing educational program is like asking new drivers to follow a road that contains no ‘signs’, without maps,” writes the NCFA.

In a 2017 survey by the NCFA, over 70% of respondents said more education was required to attract more investors to crowdfunding. A lack of awareness and education around crowdfunding laws is frequently cited as the number one challenge in the U.S. as well.

Data collection and analysis is also lacking, according to the NCFA.

Encouraging Investors

One area where Canada stands out may be in offering tax incentives for investors, although not specifically in conjunction with crowdfunding. The report doesn’t mention it, but some Canadian provinces, such as New Brunswick, have long offered tax incentives for local investors that have been held up as a model for the U.S.

Still, those efforts pale compared to the UK, where investment crowdfunding is more mature and investors may easily invest in local companies and startups via tax-advantaged retirement accounts. In the U.S., that requires setting up a separate (and cumbersome) self-directed IRA.

The NCFA warns that, without action, Canada risks falling further behind in global competitiveness and financial innovation. They cite an Ernst & Young “Fintech Adoption Index” that put Canada near the bottom of global fintech adoption rates, at just 18 percent. The U.S. clocked in at 33%, the average adoption rate, trailing countries such as Australia (37%), the UK (42%), India (52%) and China (69%).

The NCFA concludes with recommendations, including streamlining the regulations and potentially adopting British Columbia’s more preferable framework. It also advocated for regulatory “sandboxes” that allow for controlled financial experimentation—an idea that has been implemented in the U.K. and proposed in the U.S.

Continue to the full article --> here

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Fintech in Canada: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

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CrowdfunInsider | JD Alois | Mar 14, 2018

Last week during the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada’s annual event, FFCON2018, there was a single presentation that provided a state of Fintech in Canada. Professor Michael King,  from the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab @ Ivey Business School, delivered an excellent synopsis of what’s working and what’s not.

Entitled “the Current State of Fintech in Canada: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” King’s deck bulleted out both the high and the low.

So what is working out well up North?

Canada is growing Fintech startups. There is more than 800 today which is pretty respectable for a smaller country.

Areas of prominence include Blockchain, AI, Payments, peer to peer and more.

See: CSE aims to be Canada’s first blockchain platform for trade clearing and settlement

There is an increasing number of incubators and accelerators to promote sector growth, plus recognition by universities and other support sectors that Fintech is of strategic importance.

What is not so good, or perhaps kind of bad?

Traditional financial institutions have been slow to adopt Fintech innovation or partner with emerging disruptive financial firms. King provided a painful, but probably not a unique example, where a traditional bank required 120+ signatures to partner with Fintech firm.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Heard in Toronto at #FFCON18: Blockchain is the Future, Alternative Finance is Now

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This past week, the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada(NCFA) held its annual event in Toronto that saw over 500 participants join to discuss Fintech from around the world. FFCON18 Velocity covered the wide-ranging spectrum of current topics in the realm of alternative finance including Blockchain, cryptocurrency and other forms of financial innovation. The event was appropriately held in the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto – the former home of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The NCFA always puts on a good event bringing together a diverse group of industry participants including investors, entrepreneurs, platforms and public officials – including provincial regulators. Crowdfund Insider was pleased to be involved in the annual event. Today, we are sharing just a few of the interesting quotes we heard while participating in FFCON18.

 

“Nobody knows anything. We are at the very beginning. It is going to be different from anything anyone is thinking right now.”

“Bitcoin has lost the race to be a currency but it is going to be a great store of value. A better gold.”

“I am a believer in utility tokens but security tokens are going to be bigger.”

“Regulators have two options: Regulators can roll out the red tape or roll out the red carpet. The genie is already out of the bottle.” – Lou Kerner, CryptoOracle

 

“When Ripple got started they were not exactly sure where to apply their technology.” – Diana Adachi, CEO of Pegasus Fintech

See: 

CSE aims to be Canada’s first blockchain platform for trade clearing and settlement

OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF

Continue to the full article --> here

 


The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Redesign headaches and production delays: Toronto inventor pushes forward with foot-powered washing machine

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CBCnews | Makda Ghebreslassie | Jan 4, 2018

An award-winning idea to build a pedal-powered washing machine has hit some snags and its inventor is facing questions about what's taking so long. But one expert has told CBC Toronto stories like this are common and are even to be expected before a new product finally makes it to store shelves.

Yi Jiang, the creator of the Drumi — an electricity-free, foot-powered washing machine — has experienced many challenges taking his product from mock-up to market.

"It's just taking us so much time and energy to figure out how to make things work," he said.

The prototype won the national James Dyson Award in 2015.

See: Finalists Announced for the 2016 Canadian Crowdfunding Summit Live Pitch

It's a compact washing machine, operated by a pedal, that can hold about two kilograms of clothing. That's usually three to five items.

All that is required is water, detergent, sanitizer and a few minutes of your foot pushing the pedal to spin the drum that holds the clothes.

Jiang gained financial support for the concept with pre-orders on the crowdfunding site Indigogo and his company's website.

'Not chump change'

Walter Sanchez says he came across the Drumi while reading an article about inventions that could make a difference in your life.

"I was attracted to that concept of having an item that is easily accessible to me that would make an otherwise tedious task more appealing and more functional and efficient," he said.

In May of 2016, he went on the website for Jiang's company, Yirego, and pre-ordered it for $265 plus tax and shipping.

Sanchez says the website indicated pre-orders would be shipped out by the end of the year but that kept being pushed back.

He says he emailed Yirego last April and was told they did not know when the product would be shipped out and they would keep him informed.

But Sanchez says eventually all communication, including the company's monthly updates on its website came to a halt.

"The product doesn't get delivered and no one is returning your calls and there are no updates, so as a consumer it raises a lot of concern because three hundred and whatever dollars is not chump change for a lot of us," he said.

Jiang says the plan was to have the actual product shipped to customers by 2016 but that deadline has come and gone.

Yi Jiang says he was inspired to create the Drumi after having negative experiences with public laundromats. 'It's not just about the cost and the time consumption, it's also about the energy and the way that people are using it,' he says. (Makda Ghebreslassie/CBC News)

The delay, he says is partly due to redesigning the Drumi, adding new features and meeting manufacturing standards.

Jiang says because he was creating a whole new product with no electrical parts, off-the-shelf components were not an option.

He even had to design and produce basic parts like the springs the machine needs.

"It's like a concept car. You can't drive around a concept car," Jiang said.

But while his team works on improving the product, customers who pre-ordered are left waiting.

After sending several messages this past spring, Sanchez said the company finally contacted him and provided him with the refund he requested in October.

"The way the situation was handled, I think it was poor," said Sanchez.

Expect delays

Many of the challenges faced by the inventor of the DRUMI and its clients are very common, says Daryl Hatton, the CEO of  FundRazr and the director of the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada.

See: Crowdfunding raises a roof: Tips for newbie Crowdfunders

Hatton says people choosing to get behind products on crowdfunding sites need to fully understand what they are committing to.

"They will have to be patient because it frequently takes longer than they want. There's a chance that they might not ever get it. It's possible that the entrepreneur might fail and it won't work," he said.

"You're backing a venture and a concept and an idea more than just a purchase. There's risk involved," he said.

Hatton said there are things that entrepreneurs like Jiang can do to help ease the concerns of their clients.

"The number one advice is to over communicate and demonstrate the progress being made," he said.

Continue to the full article --> here

 

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a national non-profit actively engaged with social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, peer-to-peer (P2P), initial coin offerings (ICO), and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, networking opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, academia and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and online financing industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Crowdfunding 101

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Rogers Small Business | Robin Roberts | Nov 10, 2017

How to launch a successful campaign for the funds you need

Now that seven provinces (B.C., Sask., Man., Ont., Que., N.S. and N.B.) have legalized crowdfunding for businesses – which involves collecting small contributions from a large group of people – Canadian entrepreneurs have amassed between $250 million and $300 million in the last year alone to start up and scale up their businesses.

But successful crowdfunding is not just about posting a pitch on Facebook and expecting the cash to roll in. Craig Asano, founder and CEO of the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA), offers some tips and tools for launching a winning campaign.

Choose your model

There are many types of crowdfunding, but for entrepreneurs, there are really only two models: investment/equity and donation/rewards.

Investment/equity models allow an investor to either buy shares or securities in your venture, or to receive a profit from your product. The equity option is the most successful, according to the NCFA, but tends to work better for established companies looking to expand, rather than bootstrapping startups.

The donation/rewards model, on the other hand, allows people to give money without getting anything in return – other than rewards in the form of whatever the company is selling or providing (e.g., their name on a funders plaque, a free meal at the restaurant, etc.). This model works best for raising capital for a specific product or idea.

Plan, prepare and promote

“You wouldn’t go to market without a strategic plan,” says Asano, who recommends spending up to three months preparing your crowdfunding campaign, adding that you need a good value proposition to present to your customers or investors.

Present your project clearly – have a prototype, if appropriate – so potential donors are confident your venture is on solid ground.

To reach the maximum amount of potential investors, says Asano, you should already have a following, online and off – preferably made up of people who will care about your idea. Use social media, attend networking events, and let your family and friends (and friends of friends) in on your venture. If you can attract media attention, all the better. Research other successful (and failed) campaigns to see what worked, what didn’t and why.

See:  Learn all about the latest innovation finance models in venture funding:  VanFUNDING Nov 28, Vancouver

And once your campaign is launched, keep your donors or investors in the loop about its progress.

Tell a story

To boost your crowdfunding campaign’s potential for success, create an emotional connection between you, your idea and your supporters. Use video, photos and narration to tell a compelling story about why you want to launch your business or product, or grow your company. Two of the most popular crowdfunding portals, Indiegogo (for entrepreneurs) and Kickstarter (for creative projects), walk you through the process and provide online support, as do other platforms, such as Canadian companies Seedlify and FrontFundr.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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Five common options for financing your small business

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Financial Post | Danny Bradbury | Oct 10, 2017

Which method you choose depends on your company's current situation and its goals

For most small businesses, financing can be a challenge. Whether you need bridge capital to keep the business running in tough times, or structured debt for long-term growth, it pays to have a strategy for seeking out those elusive financing dollars. Statistics Canada found that just over half (51.3 per cent) of businesses requested external financing in 2014.

Equity-based financing options like venture capital often make the headlines, but less than one per cent of small businesses requested this in 2014. Debt-based financing is far more common, as is trade credit from suppliers.

Here are five financing options to turn to, depending on the type of small business you run, and its situation.

Bootstrapping

Funding yourself is a long-established and responsible way to get a small business off the ground. Bootstrappers are risk takers but also lateral thinkers. Rather than saddling themselves with debt or giving up ownership of their small company, they will use their own savings and potentially sell some assets to help finance their business in the early days.

Bootstrappers may work a side gig until they are confident that their new business idea has the legs to stand on its own. They may pre-sell products and services to help fund early-stage development. The successful ones cleave to one overarching principle: get to revenue quickly. If you’re going to bootstrap your company, the only thing that counts is the sale.

Small business loan

A small business loan is the most traditional route for those taking a debt-based approach to small business financing. Banks are often a first port of call, although they are naturally conservative, and they understand the higher risk involved with smaller operations that may have little to no credit history or collateral. This can make bank loans difficult to secure and could drive businesses toward such alternative lenders as OnDeck. Always ensure you understand the exact terms – and your payment commitments – before agreeing to a loan.

In Canada, another option is the government’s Small Business Financing Program, which provides up to $1 million in financing for purchasing or improving land, property or equipment. There are limitations though: working capital, inventory, labour and advertising are all excluded under this initiative.

Friends and family

If conditions from a financial institution are not to your liking, you could always borrow money from the Bank of Mom & Dad. Friends and family funding is a common way for small, high-growth businesses to get started, but it comes with some baggage.

See:  Current Fintech, Altfi, P2P, ICO, Crowdfunding News

It’s easy for money issues to cloud personal relationships, so small business people pursuing friends and family financing must be careful not to let emotion get in the way. Set out clear expectations around loan terms, including a percentage and payback date. Just because you were raised by those doing the lending doesn’t mean you can do away with legal advice. It keeps everyone on the same page.

Angel investors

Small business owners willing to give up some equity can go in search of an angel investor. These full-or part-time investors put their own money into early-stage businesses, hoping for future return if they succeed.

You may give up part ownership of your company to these investors, but they often bring contacts and experience difficult to find elsewhere. It also means that you aren’t saddled with loan payments that can cripple your cash flow. AngelList connects investors with startups, while Canada’s National Angel Capital Organization has a directory of potential investors.

These investors suit entrepreneurs with high-growth businesses and a clear exit strategy. Would-be Mark Zuckerbergs should apply. Owners of family-run laundromats with no plans to take over the world should look elsewhere.

Crowdfunding

If your business idea is that good, why not spread it around? Crowdfunding is a growing financing model, with $133 million raised in 2015 alone, according to a report from the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. Consumer-focused businesses with some digital element to their products or services tend to do well with this model.

See:  VanFUNDING 2017 - NOV 28 Vancouver:  Raise Funding for Your Business leveraging All the Latest Methods

You can crowdfund using two broad approaches: reward/donation-based models, or debt/equity funding. The former are unregulated outside of traditional consumer protection and business laws. Selling equity in the company or taking loans with some promise of payback will bring you under regulatory scrutiny, but is still possible in some regions.

The Government of Canada’s Canada Business Network says equity crowdfunding is currently an option in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Conditions vary between provinces and depend on exactly how your crowdfunding process works.

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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