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Category Archives: Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs

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Forbes | | Aug 2018

Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups?

There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors.

Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner.

Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted.

Debt Financing

We’re all familiar with debt. At some point we’ve all probably at least had a student loan, signed up for a mobile phone contract, had a credit card, or an auto loan or lease. Debt means you are borrowing. Often, you will have to repay in monthly installments, over a fixed period of time, at a predetermined rate. Though this can vary depending on whether you are raising debt from investors, are using lines of credit or working capital loans, or even new hybrid convertible notes.

See:  Where to Find Startup Loans in 2018

The Pros of Debt Financing

As described in my book, The Art of Startup Fundraising, the biggest and most obvious advantage of using debt versus equity is control and ownership. With traditional types of debt financing you are not giving up any controlling interests in your business. It’s all yours. You get to make all the decisions, and keep all the profits. No one is going to kick you out of your own company.

Another big pro is that once you’ve paid back the debt your liability is over. With a fluid line of credit you can repay and borrow just what you need at any time, and will never pay more interest than you need to. Looking at the big picture, using debt can ultimately be far cheaper.

One major benefit that is frequently overlooked is that business debt can also create more tax deductions. This may not have a big impact at the seed stage, but can make a huge difference in net profits as you grow and yield positive revenues.

The Cons of Debt Financing

The most significant danger and disadvantage of using debt is that it requires repayment, no matter how well you are doing, or not. You might be burning cash for the first couple of years, with little in the way of net profits, yet still have to make monthly debt service payments. That can be a huge burden on a startup.

If entrepreneurs have not separated their personal and business credit, they may also find their entire life’s work and accomplishments are on the line if they default on the debt. Your home, cars, washing machine, and kids’ college fund can all become collateral damage.

It is also vital that borrowers understand that financing terms can change over time. Variable interest rates can dramatically change repayment terms later on. In the case of maturing balloon debt, like commercial mortgages, there is no guarantee of future availability of capital or terms when you may need to refinance. In the case of revolving credit lines, banks have a history of cutting them off, right when you need them most.

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Too much debt can negatively impact profitability and valuation. Meaning, it can lead to inferior equity raising terms in the future, or prevent it altogether.

Structures used by early stage startups such are convertible notes, SAFEs, and KISS. These forms of debt eventually convert into equity on a subsequent financing round so it is a good way to bring onboard people that are likely to partner with you on the long run with the business.

For later stage companies, the route to follow is typically venture debt.

Convertible Notes

Convertible notes are a debt instrument that also gives the investor stock options. This flexibility gives them security from the downside, and more potential upside if the start-up performs as expected. Theoretically it can also be easier for some to justify making the loan, which has specific returns and maturity dates, versus the unknown.

Convertible notes are much faster than equity rounds. There are only two documents in place, which are the convertible note purchase agreement outlining the terms of the investment, and the promissory note explaining the conversion and the amount that the investor is investing.

See:  Report: State of Regulation Crowdfunding Says No Gold Rush But an Undeniable Job Creator

With convertible notes, there are only three main ingredients the entrepreneur needs to look after.

The first ingredient is the interest that the entrepreneur is giving to the investor. This is interest to be accrued on a yearly basis on the investment amount that the investor puts into the company. The interest will continue to be applied until the company does another equity round, when the debt will convert into equity with the amount plus the interest received.

The second ingredient is the discount on the valuation. This means that if your next qualified round is at X amount of pre-money valuation, the investor will be converting his or her debt at a discount from the valuation that has been established in the next round by the lead investor.

The third ingredient to watch is the valuation cap. This means that regardless of the amount that is established on the valuation in the next round, the investor will never convert north of whatever valuation cap is agreed. This is a safety measure in the event that the valuation goes through the roof. It is a good way to protect your early investors and to reward them for taking the risk of investing in you at a very early stage.

Convertible notes are, in my mind, the fastest and cheapest way to fundraise. While equity rounds can be north of $20,000, convertible notes should not cost you more than $7,000.

One thing to keep a very close eye on is the maturity date. This is the date by which you agree to repay unless you have not done a qualified round of financing in which the convertible notes are converted into equity. For this reason, make sure that the maturity date is a date that you feel confident about. You need to be convinced that you will be able to raise a qualified round of financing on or before that date in order to convert the notes into equity and avoid being in default. The last thing you want to happen is to be in default and to have to shut down your business because investors are demanding their money back.

Below is a good example of how convertible notes play out in real life.

Equity Financing

This type of funding exchanges incoming capital for ownership rights in your business. This may be in the form of close partnerships, or equity fundraising from angel investors, crowdfunding platforms, venture capital firms, and eventually the public in the form of an IPO.

There are no fixed repayments to be made. Instead, your equity investors receive a percentage of the profits, according to their stock. Though there can be hybrid agreements which incorporate royalties, and other benefits to early investors.

Typically the term sheet will be summarizing what are the terms of the equity round. You can read more on term sheets by reviewing my Forbes pieces Term Sheet Template: What Entrepreneurs Should Include and Term Sheet: Here Is Everything Entrepreneurs Must Know When Fundraising.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. 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$ (EP24-Feb 8): Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr

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NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019

Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton

About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy!

  • Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets
  • Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases
  • Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin)

BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.”

* Senior Business and Technology Executive
* Proven Corporate / Product Development Execution
* Collaborative Leader / Corporate Strategist
* Experienced in Tech Mergers and Acquisitions
* IPO (OPTO) on NASDAQ 1999
* Successful sale of OPTO to EPAY April 2008
* Successful sale of Backstage Technologies to Real Networks 2010
* Multiple private buy/sell transactions while at Optio
* IPO (Modatech) on TSXV 1987
* Multiple successful software startups with Angel / Private Funding
* Mentor / advisor / board member of multiple startups
* Successful, deep partnerships with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Google

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

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan: Daryl thanks so much for sitting down with me today. I mean I'm super excited to jump right into it.

Daryl Hatton: Happy to be here. We're going to have some fun.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, could you just for the audience give us a little bit of who you are and essentially who and what Connection Point?

Is sure  well I'm Daryl Hatton founder and CEO companies call connection point. We're best known for FundRazr which our  enterprise crowdfunding platform is. I'm a serial entrepreneur, startup company took a public on Nasdaq way back in nineteen ninety-nine and we had one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. that year. Fast forward a bunch of years and I left that and said gee do I want to do business again. And I started Connection Point six months in the day after I left the other company. And along the way we started to do fundraising. We learned a whole lot about the market. And here we are.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, what made you kind of switch. Like so why crowdfunding ? Like this was I'm assuming this is early 2000s, right? Like you said you were essentially one of the OG's entrepreneurs out here. Yeah. Why crowdfunding ?

Daryl Hatton: It was actually 2008 and one of the things that we were looking to do is like I want to start this new business but because I was under an intellectual property rights deal with my previous company actually couldn't think about it really. And being careful about it didn't want to think about it while I was with the other company. So, six months in a day I now get free and out and I said OK what can I do. And it took from about September of that year until January to really figure out that I wanted to get into the social funding space. And the reason I was doing it was I was coaching a lacrosse team and I was looking for ways to get paid and to raise money for my team. So, I collect some fees and take some donations because we had a 50/50 turnouts and all that kind of stuff. And I had a little epiphany. I was trying to also get the guys out to practice and I was sending out emails. Nobody was showing up, but I started a Facebook group and posted the date, time of practice and I had a 100 percent attendance. The first time I did that, and a light bulb went on and said Hey can I get them to pay their fee like that. And FundRazr was born. So, it really was all about trying to scratch my own itch and in the early days as we developed the idea of paying the fees really didn't take off very well. But the idea of collecting donations went nuts and that's what we built the company around.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, could you still sticking on the early days I know on our call before we  even started the episode you compare like the early days of crowdfunding and how it's very parallel to now the early days of crypto and Block chain. Could you just go a little bit more detailed about that?

Daryl Hatton: Oh, for sure yeah. I mean when we started crowdfunding no one knew what to call it. And I even had the opportunity to buy crowdfunding dot.com as a domain name and was given some advice by a bunch of people in the industry going I never nobody ever wanted to call it that. Yeah right.  Oops. So, you know the interesting things that happened at that time, but we were really struggling in the beginning to try and talk about this intersection of social media and of finance technology and of marketing technology all into one platform that becomes a crowdfunding campaign. So, we used the word crowdfunding a whole lot. And if you went to the crowdfunding conferences everyone was talking crowdfunding and to the people who were not in the industry, they would come in they hear us and they're going. What the hell are you guys talking about. Like you're not making sense. All you're doing is dropping these buzzwords all the time and one of the things that I hear going on now at crypto conferences and block chain and the whole area of the new innovation and fintech around this is the same thing. There's a ton of terminology. Ask an entrepreneur what they do. And they'll have you know they'll talk about how they've got this unique twist on what they do with block chain to do Dut, Da Dut, Da. One of the lessons we learned from the crowdfunding world is can you explain what you do without ever using your buzzword. Can you explain the value of your business to somebody and have them get it? Why it's important. And why you're going to win without ever using the words. So, for any crowdfunding or any sorry crypto or block chain entrepreneur right now can you tell me why your business will be successful without ever using the words crypto or block chain or any of the terminology around it. What's the business value that you're delivering to the customer. And why is that really important. It may be a technical function that you're delivering but there's a business reason and they're not just a technology reason. And the companies that win are the ones that figure out how to communicate that business reason and build the technology to solve it. Big learning what we had over that time is just you know kind of buzzwords are cool and let make you feel like you're in the crowd but stop it. Start talking about your business and the value and the customers may see a little bit more boring. But it's got a way better higher chance of success.

Manseeb Khan: No, I absolutely agree with you. And I guess I mean like you took a misstep and you said crowdfunding. I think crowdfunding is still in that same conversation. Now you want to be able to kind of give the elevator pitch with like your industry jargon. Right. You want to be able to like to go to like roll up to any random person at Starbucks and kind of like hey this is actually my business does sound like a good idea right.

Daryl Hatton: Yeah. And you know it's easy to stumble into. I mean as I just did it you know it's a shortcut for us to try and take a set of concepts that we have in our head and communicate more easily to other people who also have similar concepts. And it’s just good practice to try and do it without that. Yeah. Absolutely. It's  kind of fun once you get into it because you get to laugh at yourself a lot. Keep taking a shortcut.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. I can absolutely see that see that. So, you guys focus on an enterprise crowdfunding could you just explain a little bit like why is that different than the Kickstarter's and the Indigo's goes out there.

Daryl Hatton: Well yeah it might help to kind of hear the path we've got to with that. And so, let me give you a little bit of background. When we started our crowdfunding platform, we were all about personal funding. Helping people raise money because they had cancer, they had a tragedy, they had a car accident something happened in their lives and they needed emergency funds. And the best way to do that was to talk to the friends and family and get them to the money to help because those are the people, we're most invested in helping you. And it worked, it saved babies and it helped people recover from car accidents and then help people deal with medical bills especially in the United States and along the way. You know we one of the ways we had to communicate was to use Facebook to share and as we were doing that some non-profits came along, and they said you know we love this kind of toolset but it's kind of weird to use it as a person. So, could we use it under the name of our organization. So, we start. Or the name of our charity. So, we added features in to make it so that you could do a personal campaign or charitable campaign. And that ended up you know giving us a whole new set of requirements but a whole new set of customers. And then Kickstarter the time was doing a good job and Indiegogo was starting to do more in funding of entrepreneurial style projects or creative projects. And we ended up getting asked hey can we find our project with you because you guys seem to be really good at social sharing. So now we've got three constituent groups of customers personal, nonprofit and now entrepreneurial or creative and over the period of time as we built out all the features for all of those it started to become what we call an enterprise crowdfunding platform. And the reason for that is that we're solving a lot of the problems for those customers at a much more deep level about things like team` communications around running your crowdfunding campaign. Can you have a lot of people on your team both as managers. Which is pretty easy for most apps to think about but then also as things like promoters. Can you hire somebody on to the team whose job it is to go in and promote you to influencers in the industry and track the results and help figure out whether or not they're helping you raise money for your campaign. So, we call it an enterprise crowdfunding platform right now because the basics of what a crowdfunding campaign are have morphed into. In our case over 10 different ways to do campaigns and some of them are very charitable focused. Some of them are very personal focused and some of them are very much a business focus.

Manseeb Khan: I LOVE THAT! I kind of want you to tell the story that you told me over the phone of that father reaching out to you about as a little girl and like how the example that you use like some people create a business to create a business. Some people kind of fall into the business. Can you can you tell that story a little because I loved it so much.

Daryl Hatton: Yeah. You know one of the things people look at us with FundRazr and there is we've got the different brands we'll talk about this a little bit as well is that there's different ways to do crowdfunding. And when people look at our technology, they get confused by it. So, we actually give it different brand names to help separate the customers apart from each other. Funny enough. But the story that you're referring to when we first launched in it, we kind of have to do a relaunch of the platform in July of 2010 after surviving a near-death experience with Facebook kicking the chair out from underneath us and we'll talk about that maybe too. But basically. So, when we started the campaign and we're focused on these personal donations and my goal in starting this was to build a business. I wasn't trying to go save the world. I wasn't trying to raise money for charitable causes and that was because it was a good thing to do for the planet. I was trying to build a business and we were really struggling. Trying to help ourselves understand why customers were using this and what they were really trying to do. And it feels now like we were just so totally naive about what was going on. But so, we launched in July of 2010 and we're going along we're watching this incredible growth happening. All these people are using these campaigns and we're really focused on how we help them raise more money but not really thinking about why they're raising more money. And then we got a Christmas card, the Christmas card was from a family that had been living off the grid in Hawaii. I think there was maybe people living on the beach kind of thing. He got out of the U.S. military they'd hooked up as a couple they'd had a little girl and you know so they didn't have. They were kind of dropped out a little bit to the system. I think they didn't have health insurance that kind of thing. And they discovered that their little girl had been diagnosed with childhood leukemia. So, in the race to try and figure out how to save her again no health insurance in the US there for that. They found out that the military hospital in San Diego would take her because he'd been in the military, but they had to get the girl there A.S.A.P. because childhood leukemia is a very fast-moving disease. So, they put up a campaign or a FundRazr and they raised that I think it was thirty-five hundred dollars. They needed to get the flights. Like you know right now and given the low accommodation when they hit San Diego and they took a couple of days and they got her there and when they got her there the doctor said if you hadn't got her here today or tomorrow, she probably would have died. And so, they sent us a thank you card saying thanks for helping save our daughter's life. We didn't I mean that just smacked us hard. We had no idea that really that was kind of an end result if you will. The business value of what we delivered wasn't raising money. It was helping save somebody's life or helping save a puppy dog or helping someone recover from an accident. Those are the things the real value we're delivering it wasn't collecting money in a social environment. And so that epiphany just really changed how we looked at the business. And you know we still are a profit-making business, really low on the profit side because we're trying to scale it and it's a harder market than people might think. But it is you know there is that nice benefit that we actually have this big business value. That's a very personal value in a very charitable value in the background and that's a fantastic way to come to work every morning and think about what you do for the day is you help people save probably dogs and little girls.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I mean that's probably the best customer testimonial I've probably ever heard possibly ever if not in a very long time. You did briefly before you jumped in the store you talked about how you broke down your business in to different kind of brands could you talk a little bit more about that and how that ties it to you guys scaling because like you said you guys are not as quote unquote profitable because you're trying to scale. Could you talk a little bit more of the challenges scaling and being a crowdfunding service?

Daryl Hatton: Started connection point and we knew that. I don't know. I just had this hunch that the technology that we were going to build would have more than one use case in the marketplace because really,  it's a marketing system. And so what kind of problem are you trying to solve with it as a marketing system was a personal? Was it corporate? Was it charitable? So we started a FundRazr with the idea that it was the general-purpose platform for crowdfunding using a donations or a rewards type model. So, donations model being your traditional charitable thing. GoFundMe is a good example of that. The rewards model is the Kickstarter or Indiegogo model where you're doing an all or nothing campaign and you're giving the donor some reward back. So that was really it took the majority of our focus and energy and as a result we tended to lump more customers into that pile than we may should have because you know it was just more convenient just as kind of keep them focused on the one brand for a while. But over the last couple of years we've really noticed that a couple of different use cases are showing up that are worth separating them out from the main stream. So, it's all the same technology with a different skin on it and sometimes a little bit of a tweak to the feature set an example that is one of our brands we call CoCoPay. CoCoPay stands for collaborative community payments and it's designed to be used by businesses to allow or enable their customers to use crowdfunding to help them finance the purchase of the product or service. That's a big one mouthful but if you imagine I don't know if you remember. I don't know if we had this chat but there's the company in the States called in Enchroma and they do glasses that you can put on and if you're colorblind it'll help show you colors for about 80 percent of the people who are colorblind that put them on. It's really emotional to not have seen color. And now to see it. I mean this world is full of color, but the glasses are you know mildly expensive there between if you do it right, you're probably going to get two pairs of them they're going to be between five hundred  to one thousand dollars and some people can't afford that. So if you go to the Enchroma web site there's a spot on their site where you can use our technology to start a crowdfunding campaign that will with a  Enchroma branding tell the story using  Enchroma glasses and help you communicate that to your friends and family and co-workers and others in your social network and help you buy the glasses. Now it might be for you but one of the most common use cases is to buy them as a gift for somebody else. So, a classroom we'll get together buy them for their teacher and then or someone will buy them for a military vet they had that happen. Not quite sure how they got there with colored blind, but they did. So that was really cool. And then you know they'll buy them for Grandpa because Grandpa has never had it always took care of the kids, got them go to college, got the grandkids going  never really took the time to figure it out for himself or was it didn't have anything available. So, the family gets together buys Grandpa glasses that let him see color for the first time and the incredible folks tell you how to do it right to capture your YouTube moment. They say take a whole bunch of colorful balloons and take him outside somewhere and don't tell him what it's all about it just ask them to put all these cool looking sunglasses and they look cool stylish glasses and usually what happens is the glasses go on the glasses come off. The glasses go on glasses come off and whoever it is crying. And they because you know it's that it's a super emotionally, I get it and there's some guys that have just gone off on the oh god, Oh my God they're so funny. But the point is that by allowing the community to work together to buy something it may not seem like it's big a use case. But if you get into a lot of medical devices that are maybe ten thousand dollars because you need special Walker you need something that gives someone mobility. They may not be able to afford it right away but their friends and their family and their social networks would go let's fix that for them. Their good person we'll fix that for them and CoCoPay lets them you know safely raise the money and pay it to the company as opposed to paying it into the individual so that you don't have to worry about fraud and it's all or nothing so that if you don't raise enough money nobody's out you know you don't get halfway towards buying one of these things and now what do you do with all the money and refund it to everybody and take a few gets the payment companies you know you're kind of in a net loss for trying to do something good. So, it takes all the best of the crowdfunding technologies of all or nothing social sharing teamwork collaboration in our case you know branding of the company and puts it all together in a package that somebody can use to crowd finance a purchase. Is some idea of where it's the same technology? But if we're going to sell it to a company, they don't want to come to our Web site and see that we're raising, we're saving puppy dogs and little girls they're going how does this affect our business. Why am I doing that? And so, there's a dedicated site to CoCoPay to talk about its business value. But ninety-nine-point eight percent of the technology is the same as FundRazr.

Manseeb Khan: Mm hmm. I mean this does bleed into I guess my next question of corporate good right and how you're seeing. You've mentioned that in the phone call we have that how corporations are now not for the sake of oh hey we're going to go and plant trees just for the sake of planting trees. Now we're going to go and pick an issue that our customers or clients are very passionate about and then try to spearhead it and like the best example I can think of would be when Adidas and Nike decided to take all like ocean pollution plastic and remake it into sneakers because ocean pollution was something that both companies audiences were very passionate about. So, they created a sneaker behind it and that started this whole renewable shoe movement. Right. So why is or how is corporate got like corporate good better or better than the government initiatives that are going on or the charity initiatives or it is, or should we see it as more as like a tag on.

Daryl Hatton: One of the things I didn't say in the beginning. If you actually look at mission of what we have with Connection Point we're trying to well, we are We're reimagining philanthropy. And one of the reasons that we want to do that is that the hypothesis is that we can get causes, corporations and consumers to all work together to solve world funding problems because that everyone can have a win in that and the collective group of all of them also gets a win. So, for example you know you said it very well that consumers are now wanting to have their companies do more than just supply them the product. You know in the case  of the shoe companies they saw an opportunity to not only sell shoes but to solve an environmental problem at the same time. And they knew through research that their consumers would really like that. That's got a kind of a social impact space. You talk about multiple bottom lines you know the bottom line I get a great pair of shoes from a brand that I love the story behind the shoes is fascinating and fantastic. You know these used to be junk in the ocean and they've turned it into look at these things these are amazing. And that at the same time that's reducing pollution in the ocean. So, the consumer there is driving that behavior because they are demanding more from their partners and the partners are interested in doing this because it builds loyalty with their customers. Their ability to go in and use the best things of what corporations can do which is communication at massive scale and the ability to actually execute on programs to change social problems and in some cases though they need to have something like a charity partner actually do some of that work for them especially when it gets into softer skills. So if you've got a company that's not about saving plastic but maybe helping with mental health or maybe helping with child poverty or food distribution or food  safety quality for lower income families all sorts of things like that the corporation might want a partner with a charity for the charity deliver the work in the field but then be able to use the fact that they're supporting that charity as a story for their consumers saying hey you know we all care about this together. Why don't you buy our products? We work with this company and there's a trading of value that goes on in that system where they get money to the charity to do the work the consumer feels great because they know this charity is doing the work. And they may end up establishing a better relationship with the charity and they're more loyal to the company for buying that product. So, it I think it's one of the changes we're going to see in society in the next few years. Is this is going to become the standard way to do it. Because it takes advantage of the strengths of all three parties and we built a product around that that we call Sponsifi and Sponsifi designed to do the place where the company can even make an offer of to the donors or the contributors on how they might want to further support the cause. So again, getting that branding out there that says we're supporting this cause and helping the company get better value for the money that they can spend on it and a more measure of resolve. So that was a lot of words in there, but you know if you can take out the idea that basically cost corporation consumers are going to work together because they already are. We just want to make it easier to do and less expensive for the companies particularly. And I think we're going to see something else transform society.

Manseeb Khan: Yes. No absolutely that's kind of what crowdfunding is what one of the missions of crowdfunding is  to make the world make it a better place right. If it's be that you're saving a little girl or you're saving a little puppy or cleaning the oceans right like though the of the whole part is especially with I mean millennials like me. We love to see that like corporations’ charities governments are taking more of an initiative to actually go after these social causes because these social causes are so near and dear to our heart. And now that companies are kind of using that  maybe some  could be as a marketing ploy some could because they actually truly believe in the said cause it's. Yeah. Crowdfunding. It's going to be very exciting in the years to come. So, with that what is the future of crowdfunding look like. And essentially what are you excited about in the space right. Are you excited that maybe in the future you might have like this block chain integration? I excited that you can start tokenization a lot of donations?

Daryl Hatton: There's lots in there. Let's just before we go there let's think about one thing around. You know I talked a lot about causes and what's going on there and a lot of entrepreneurs that might be listening to this are going here. But what has that applied to me. I don't know I'm just trying to startup and I want to get this product out there and I'm having trouble with funding it. So, one of the benefits of crowdfunding in here is also the fact that because it enables communities to work together to solve a funding problem that's basically the bottom line and what it does. Let's not worry about whether it's charitable or corporate or whatever but if we all can work together and help us work together on that. One of the side effect benefits of this is that businesses that need not have been able to start before because of lack of capital can take a community of interested customers/prospects and we'll be customers and use the model to help them preorder enough product that they can go through the R&D phase the initial production run and get the product into the hands of consumers who really want it. That's a social benefit because now we have a company that was created out of thin air literally and it's providing income and it's providing satisfaction to consumers and it's providing opportunity for people that live out some of their dreams and maybe change the world because they've got a better widget in some form. It's more efficient it's more friendly it's easier to use, it goes faster whatever the real benefit in there is those things are helping our society as well. And a lot of the entrepreneurs that are starting up campaigns right now are small companies are realizing that they have to have that kind of social responsibility aspect baked into their company for two reasons one to attract their customers. And I think this is actually way more important doesn't get enough press to attract their employees. If you want to work for nameless soulless company, you know big office tower why I am here every day. This sucks you know I don't enjoy my work I don't really feel like I'm making an impact or by the way we work for the company we're really clear the part of what we do is to help with this social problem or you know 10 percent of the proceeds of the profits from our company go to support the producers families who are helping us build this neat new eco backpack you know I don't know make up a story there but basically that feeling of going to work and having purpose which we discovered by accident is one of the key motivators for digital natives, millennials and gen Z to want to go to work and they will work really a ton of harder and put more of their life into their work when they feel like that work has got an impact on the planet. So, you can use crowdfunding as a way to help fund the idea. And for all entrepreneurs that are looking to start up a business there. It's a great way to get revenue into your company without having to give up ownership you know equity and securities. Crowdfunding is great but you are giving up. It's the most expensive money you'll ever get because it costs you a big chunk of your company in the future. But sometimes that's all you can do. So, you do it. But if you can fund it with some of these others and have that social tie in you can not only launch your product but build a company where people want to work and where you can have some real satisfaction to work home at the end of the day. So, I think there's a lot in there and that's one of the things I'm very excited about. You know that's part of future is now because it's just not evenly distributed. Well who is it. Who said that the future is has arrived it's not just evenly spread out? We can do that now and then to answer your question about some of the other technology you know what I think of crypto and block chain and much of that industry about is how we make things more transparent and make it easy for us to see kind of our thread that ties through the financial story of the organization.  So, in the charitable world we look at this and say if you made a contribution to a cause to build wells in Africa. Which well in Africa did my money go to build in crypto being mechanism for kind of tracking where the value is with block chain being where did it deploy. What's the ledger of it seems like it's going to be a very interesting topic because when people make a donation they really want to know what good they did? And I can see some technology in there helping make that happen at the moment it's a bit of a geeky love because consumers aren't necessarily demanding that level of transparency, but it could be really cool once we have it because then they might start demanding it more once they know they can get it. So, I think there's lots of things will happen in our financial world because of this distributed ledger capability.

Manseeb Khan: And I think you'd like to harp on more of the transparency aspect. At some point I think people would be pretty excited to see that like oh hey I like that little girl that I donated 30 bucks to. You can kind of track it like how you track like your orders on Amazon right. At some point we'll probably get to like that level of transparency. really. Oh cool. They actually hit this goal or the next milestones that's like that's something to kind of look forward to and it's like it's maybe not gamifying it but like it's you know it just like fueling the fire of  doing good.

Daryl Hatton:  Your right on with that we actually do that now in FundRazr. We have a concept called micro project and we've been leading the industry and trying to talk about this transition from don't fund. I'll give me a really concrete example of this.

Manseeb Khan: No please do!

Manseeb Khan: There's a cause called One Girl Can that helps girls in Eastern Africa get an education because the founders of this cause were very successful in business and  the couple he continued to run the business and she decided to run her foundation on the side of it and the foundation was about helping these girls get an education because they knew that the change in the quality of the life for them and even more so for the members of their community was so huge. So, what they were doing is they're building schools in Eastern Africa. And last year we said to them you know that's a major project to build the school. What if we broke it down into a whole series of micro projects? Let's talk about each of the girls that needs to go through these schools and what would be their life like if they were able to go. What are their hopes and dreams and aspirations and let's get people to fund them individually because in aggregate you're going to get enough money to do your funding for the school? And so, we call that micro projects dividing a major project down into the hundreds or thousands of small little projects and our technology is designed to make that really efficient. But now the interesting thing the stories that can come out of this imagine that you know you sign up to help  Purdy one of the girls and she wants to be an engineer because we know that you signed up to fund just Purdy. We can send you updates on what's happening with just Purdy and her journey going through school. So, giving you that same kind of ongoing view into your social investment different you know you put in money but if you're looking for a social payback and not a financial payback. Letting you track Purdy progress we said our you know dream story here is that Purdy adds to her campaign because she's an adult she can do that a young adult but she gets out to her story saying guys I'm really nervous I'm going in for my final here. I really appreciate all the support you've given me to get to this point. M.M. You have an audience in North America around the world waited with bated breath and a little while later you get a thing going. I passed and happiness is going over North America. Because together they made a difference right. Yeah. So, it's that we're doing it now without having to have that level of transparency in the block chain you know to do that but maybe block chain help make it a little bit more precise a little more guaranteed.  That you know what really happened. Somebody just didn't read a verdict. You know the janitor there you want to know that you actually get the good work. Yeah. It brings up other stuff like how do we find overhead? But that a different problem to solve.

Manseeb Khan:  I love the fact that how. Like your example really solidifies the. It takes a village to raise a child. You're going to like hopefully in the future you're going to see like actual like villages or like  digital villages helping raise children like in Africa or like Syria or when they have you only got like following that story it's kind of like its kind of like a vlog.

Daryl Hatton: So, it's well you know I think one of the other projects we're looking at is to fund portable solar powered charging stations in for villages in Africa. And would people be willing to donate to help make that happen if they can hear the stories of the villagers lives that have been transformed. Because when they have power they can study. The kids in the village and study at night without having to burn kerosene in their homes which is so hard on their health and is expensive. So, if they could end up having light that will let them on their laptop or their phone or their board the tablet, they're starting to get some technology but they don't even have power yet. Giving them a way to have power, would consumers around the world be willing to support some of that and in you know in exchange for the stories that are going to come out of that village and the impact it's going to create. And if you take a kind of an interesting view of philanthropy as a form of entertainment it's a discretionary spend like it's we just choose to spend it. But some people are willing to spend small amounts of money to see that that result happen more than wanting to go to a movie or wanted to go up for you know a lot of people say hey I'll give up a cup of coffee discretionary spend element  every day for a month just to make sure Purdy gets through example right. That's philanthropy as entertainment. And I think that's one area we're heading to as well.

Manseeb Khan: I love it. Philanthropy is entertainment. I can.

Daryl Hatton: We're reimagining philanthropy. We've got to do that. You know you have basically all of this it is brain chemicals where you're buying endorphins and oxytocin when you make a contribution. That's how warm lovely feeling you get when you feel like you've helped somebody is oxytocin. It's the brain hormone and funnily enough it you know if you give lots of little gifts you get way more of it than if you give one big gift. So, in some ways I mean we're brain drug pushers. We're trying to get you hooked on philanthropy and crowdfunding is your gateway drug. So just be careful.

Manseeb Khan: I'm definitely using on the podcast description of crowdfunding is your gateway drug to philanthropy.

Daryl Hatton: Philanthropy is entertainment. God this story is writing itself right.

Manseeb Khan: Oh yeah. It really is. It really it really is. So too.

Manseeb Khan: I mean hey do you have any additional things you want to throw in like any anything that the audience should be aware of either. Things that you guys are doing at your company or thing other things that are going on in the crowdfunding space.

Daryl Hatton: I think one of the things that I would love more entrepreneurs to know in this is that if we're in the crowdfunding world together you know I talked a lot about how it takes community and I think first startup community in especially in FinTech space and others it is really important for us to think about how we help each other as opposed to how we're just always in competitive mode or selfish mode because it's amazing the amount of help that we've had on the way and the amount of help that now I can help muster for other startup companies. I'm currently advising 20 different startups and you know I've got a nice network that I've built up over the years that they can count on to help them. This working together thing which we learn through doing our crowdfunding business is one of the keys to actually making your business successful. And I really encourage a lot of the entrepreneurs to think about that that when they're thinking about how they ask for help. Also ask how they can help, and it changes the conversation dramatically. And you know you get much better results much faster.

Manseeb Khan: So, to wrap this up will be the best way for the audience to either contact you personally and or Connection Point. Do we snap you? Do we tweet you? do we e-mail you? Smoke signal? What we'll be the best way to contact you guys?

Daryl Hatton: Best way to hit me find me on LinkedIn. Daryl Hatton mention the show or else I might ignore you because so many sales guy is trying to hit me up that way and you can FundRazr.com.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome Darryl. Thank you so much for sitting down today. I mean and thank you for opening our minds to crowdfunding and making the world a much better place.

Daryl Hatton: Thanks for having me talk soon.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

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Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
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NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
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Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
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Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
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Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
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CNBC | Elizabeth Schulze | Jan 31, 2019 Navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector. Fintech firms are proactively applying for licenses in EU countries ahead of the Brexit deadline. So far Brexit uncertainty hasn't dented investment into London's thriving fintech market. Europe's fintech companies are getting serious about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. As uncertainty looms over the U.K.'s split from the EU, the industry gathered this week at the Paris Fintech Forum. Payments providers, cryptocurrency exchanges and digital banks all said they were taking steps to prepare for the worst-case scenario. But navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector who are luring in users with borderless, frictionless payment and banking solutions. "It is obvious the bigger the market is, the better it is for fintechs, the faster it is they can start, the more opportunities they have," Wim Mijs, CEO of the European Banking Federation, told CNBC on Wednesday. "If you cut off that market, you're hurting yourself, which is Brexit in one word." See:  Who’s afraid of Brexit? Here’s why Canadian fintechs ...
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Europe's fintech companies are preparing for a no-deal Brexit
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Feb 1, 2019 Regulation Crowdfunding (or Reg CF), created by Title III of the JOBS Act, has been available for several years now. While not without its shortcomings, Reg CF has been leveraged by hundreds of issuers, typically smaller firms, raising over $100 million since May 2016. This past week, Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) published a report on Reg CF entitled “2018 State of Regulation Crowdfunding,” providing a snap-shot of the securities exemption and its overall performance. Crowdfund Insider communicated with CCA principle Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss regarding the report. Neiss told CI the promise of Reg CF as a jobs creator and economic engine is starting to prove true: “Back in 2012, the promise of Regulation Crowdfunding was jobs, a local economic generator, and an industry revitalizer. With the close of the 3rd calendar year of Reg CF we can see that those promises are holding true. Reg CF is proving to be a jobs engine (creating on average 2.9 jobs per issuer), economic generator (pumping over $289 million of revenues into local economies) and industry supporter (enabling 82 unique industries in regions across the USA).” See:  Prominent Group of Fintech Leaders Send Letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton Demanding an Increase in Regulation Crowdfunding ...
Read More
Report: State of Regulation Crowdfunding Says No Gold Rush But an Undeniable Job Creator

 

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Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins

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Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019

  • Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds

  • Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection

Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies.

The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed.

Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30.

Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, to avoid being hacked, moved the "majority" of digital coins into cold storage.

See:  CIBC Has Frozen $28 Million of Vancouver Crypto Exchange’s Funds Since January

His security measures are understandable. Virtual currency exchanges suffered at least five major attacks last year. Japan, home to some of the world’s most active digital-asset exchanges, has also hosted two of the biggest known crypto hacks: the Mt. Gox debacle of 2014 and the theft of nearly $500 million in digital tokens from Coincheck Inc. last January.

The problem is, Robertson said she can’t find his passwords or any business records for the company. Experts brought in to try to hack into Cotten’s other computers and mobile phone met with only "limited success" and attempts to circumvent an encrypted USB key have been foiled, his widow, who lives in a suburb of Halifax, said in the court filing.

"After Gerry’s death, Quadriga’s inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost," Robertson said, adding that the company’s access to currency has been "severely compromised" and the firm has been unable to negotiate bank drafts provided by different payment processors.

Quadriga CX’s directors posted a notice on the firm’s website on Jan. 31 that it was asking the Nova Scotia court for creditor protection while they address “significant financial issues" affecting their ability to serve customers. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, and Ernst & Young has been chosen as a proposed monitor.

See:  Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation

“For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us," the firm said. “Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful."

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org


CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
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JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
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Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
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Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
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NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
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Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
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CNBC | Elizabeth Schulze | Jan 31, 2019 Navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector. Fintech firms are proactively applying for licenses in EU countries ahead of the Brexit deadline. So far Brexit uncertainty hasn't dented investment into London's thriving fintech market. Europe's fintech companies are getting serious about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. As uncertainty looms over the U.K.'s split from the EU, the industry gathered this week at the Paris Fintech Forum. Payments providers, cryptocurrency exchanges and digital banks all said they were taking steps to prepare for the worst-case scenario. But navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector who are luring in users with borderless, frictionless payment and banking solutions. "It is obvious the bigger the market is, the better it is for fintechs, the faster it is they can start, the more opportunities they have," Wim Mijs, CEO of the European Banking Federation, told CNBC on Wednesday. "If you cut off that market, you're hurting yourself, which is Brexit in one word." See:  Who’s afraid of Brexit? Here’s why Canadian fintechs ...
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Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Feb 1, 2019 Regulation Crowdfunding (or Reg CF), created by Title III of the JOBS Act, has been available for several years now. While not without its shortcomings, Reg CF has been leveraged by hundreds of issuers, typically smaller firms, raising over $100 million since May 2016. This past week, Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) published a report on Reg CF entitled “2018 State of Regulation Crowdfunding,” providing a snap-shot of the securities exemption and its overall performance. Crowdfund Insider communicated with CCA principle Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss regarding the report. Neiss told CI the promise of Reg CF as a jobs creator and economic engine is starting to prove true: “Back in 2012, the promise of Regulation Crowdfunding was jobs, a local economic generator, and an industry revitalizer. With the close of the 3rd calendar year of Reg CF we can see that those promises are holding true. Reg CF is proving to be a jobs engine (creating on average 2.9 jobs per issuer), economic generator (pumping over $289 million of revenues into local economies) and industry supporter (enabling 82 unique industries in regions across the USA).” See:  Prominent Group of Fintech Leaders Send Letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton Demanding an Increase in Regulation Crowdfunding ...
Read More
Report: State of Regulation Crowdfunding Says No Gold Rush But an Undeniable Job Creator

 

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Report: State of Regulation Crowdfunding Says No Gold Rush But an Undeniable Job Creator

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Crowdfund Insider | | Feb 1, 2019

Regulation Crowdfunding (or Reg CF), created by Title III of the JOBS Act, has been available for several years now. While not without its shortcomings, Reg CF has been leveraged by hundreds of issuers, typically smaller firms, raising over $100 million since May 2016.

This past week, Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) published a report on Reg CF entitled “2018 State of Regulation Crowdfunding,” providing a snap-shot of the securities exemption and its overall performance.

Crowdfund Insider communicated with CCA principle Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss regarding the report. Neiss told CI the promise of Reg CF as a jobs creator and economic engine is starting to prove true:

“Back in 2012, the promise of Regulation Crowdfunding was jobs, a local economic generator, and an industry revitalizer. With the close of the 3rd calendar year of Reg CF we can see that those promises are holding true. Reg CF is proving to be a jobs engine (creating on average 2.9 jobs per issuer), economic generator (pumping over $289 million of revenues into local economies) and industry supporter (enabling 82 unique industries in regions across the USA).”

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

According to their research, proceeds for campaigns that closed in 2018 increased 154% from $71.2 million in 2017 to $109.3 million in 2018. Total proceeds since inception by the end of 2018 was $194 million.

The number of successful offerings increased 189% from 221 in 2017 to 417 in 2018. The average success rate of a campaign jumped from 58.9% in 2017 to 63.9% in 2018.

The average raise by an issuer is $271,000.

The total number of investors in successful offerings increased 190% from 77,558 in 2017 to 147,448 in 2018.

Unlike the hubris of the initial coin offering world, Reg CF offerings have experienced slower, more sustainable growth, according to CCA.

“Yes there has been no Gold Rush into Reg CF,” says Neiss. “We consider that a good thing. Reg CF issuers tend to be early stage, high risk firms. Investors need to take care when deciding if and how much they want to invest in these enterprises. A slow and methodical growth of the industry now will help the industry in the future.”

While the hope was for online capital formation to provide access to funding beyond established innovation hubs, that hasn’t happened:

“The data shows the entrepreneurial hubs like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Austin are popular locations for Reg CF companies. Other cities and states around the USA that are interested in promoting jobs and supporting industries in which they have a core competency, should look at these cities/states and copy their success,” explains Neiss.

See:  $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies in Australia

CCA believes that Reg CF has been good but it could be even better. Notably, Reg CF could be “poised for serious growth if the SEC would increase the issuer cap from $1,070,000 to $20,000,000:”

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org


CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
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The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019
CNBC | Elizabeth Schulze | Jan 31, 2019 Navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector. Fintech firms are proactively applying for licenses in EU countries ahead of the Brexit deadline. So far Brexit uncertainty hasn't dented investment into London's thriving fintech market. Europe's fintech companies are getting serious about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. As uncertainty looms over the U.K.'s split from the EU, the industry gathered this week at the Paris Fintech Forum. Payments providers, cryptocurrency exchanges and digital banks all said they were taking steps to prepare for the worst-case scenario. But navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector who are luring in users with borderless, frictionless payment and banking solutions. "It is obvious the bigger the market is, the better it is for fintechs, the faster it is they can start, the more opportunities they have," Wim Mijs, CEO of the European Banking Federation, told CNBC on Wednesday. "If you cut off that market, you're hurting yourself, which is Brexit in one word." See:  Who’s afraid of Brexit? Here’s why Canadian fintechs ...
Read More
Europe's fintech companies are preparing for a no-deal Brexit
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Feb 1, 2019 Regulation Crowdfunding (or Reg CF), created by Title III of the JOBS Act, has been available for several years now. While not without its shortcomings, Reg CF has been leveraged by hundreds of issuers, typically smaller firms, raising over $100 million since May 2016. This past week, Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) published a report on Reg CF entitled “2018 State of Regulation Crowdfunding,” providing a snap-shot of the securities exemption and its overall performance. Crowdfund Insider communicated with CCA principle Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss regarding the report. Neiss told CI the promise of Reg CF as a jobs creator and economic engine is starting to prove true: “Back in 2012, the promise of Regulation Crowdfunding was jobs, a local economic generator, and an industry revitalizer. With the close of the 3rd calendar year of Reg CF we can see that those promises are holding true. Reg CF is proving to be a jobs engine (creating on average 2.9 jobs per issuer), economic generator (pumping over $289 million of revenues into local economies) and industry supporter (enabling 82 unique industries in regions across the USA).” See:  Prominent Group of Fintech Leaders Send Letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton Demanding an Increase in Regulation Crowdfunding ...
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Report: State of Regulation Crowdfunding Says No Gold Rush But an Undeniable Job Creator

 

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Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) – Regulators Launch Global Sandbox Pilot

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FCA and GFIN Members | Jan 31, 2019

The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) was formally launched in January 2019 by an international group of financial regulators and related organisations, including the FCA. This built on the FCA’s early 2018 proposal to create a global sandbox.

The GFIN is a network of 29 organisations committed to supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers.

The GFIN seeks to provide a more efficient way for innovative firms to interact with regulators, helping them navigate between countries as they look to scale new ideas. This includes a pilot for firms wishing to test innovative products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction.

It also aims to create a new framework for co-operation between financial services regulators on innovation related topics, sharing different experiences and approaches.

Confirming the GFIN’s functions

The GFIN was proposed in a consultation paper in August 2018. The GFIN received 99 responses from 26 jurisdictions in response to the consultation paper. The response from industry and other international regulators was overwhelmingly positive in favour of establishing the GFIN to facilitate a new practical method of regulatory collaboration on innovation and creating an environment for cross-border testing.

Following this consultation, the GFIN has finalised terms of reference for governance and membership of the group and confirmed 3 primary functions:

  • To act as a network of regulators to collaborate and share experience of innovation in respective markets, including emerging technologies and business models, and to provide accessible regulatory contact information for firms.
  • To provide a forum for joint RegTech work and collaborative knowledge sharing/lessons learned.
  • To provide firms with an environment in which to trial cross-border solutions.

Since the end of the consultation, the GFIN has discussed further development of our core functions and next steps of the network. Alongside discussions on the sharing of experience, regulators involved agreed to launch a pilot phase of cross-border testing (for firms) and to formalise the membership and governance structure for regulators and international organisations interested in joining the Network.

See: 

 

Following the consultation feedback, the GFIN has:

  • Opened a 1-month application period for a pilot phase of cross-border testing. Interested firms are asked to submit applications to relevant participating regulators by 28 February 2019.
  • As part of the finalised terms of reference for governance and membership, expanding from the founding 12 members, the group now includes 29 organisations. Financial regulators and related organisations with a commitment to supporting innovation in the interest of consumers are invited to join.

Cross-border testing applications – pilot phase for firms

Consultation feedback indicated widespread support for creating an environment that allowed firms to simultaneously trial and scale new technologies in multiple jurisdictions, gaining real-time insight into how a product or service might operate in the market.

To support the development of cross border testing we have opened a 1-month application window for firms interested in joining a pilot cohort for cross-border testing.

Firms wishing to participate in this pilot phase must meet the application requirements of all the jurisdictions in which they would like to test. For example, a firm wishing to test in the UK, Australia and Hong Kong must independently meet the eligibility criteria, and/or other relevant standards, of the regulators in those jurisdictions.

Interested firms should note whether a particular regulator is the relevant authority for the proposed activity before applying to test in their jurisdiction.

Each regulator will decide whether a proposed test meets its individual screening criteria, areas of interest, and ability to support the activity. Each regulator will also make sure that appropriate safeguards for their jurisdiction are in place. Regulators are only responsible for tests in their jurisdictions and should consider the associated risks. We believe this is important to maintain high standards of consumer protection and market integrity in regulators’ respective jurisdictions.

Pilot tests will run for a 6-month period, unless regulators agree to extend them. We expect the pilots will run from Q2 2019.

This pilot is as much a trial for GFIN members as it will be for firms. We are looking for firms who can be flexible and agile in their participation, and can provide GFIN regulators with feedback on their experience. Firms will benefit from the opportunity to test and compete in the regulated space, and their tests will help inform the future work of the network. Over time, trials could inform regulatory authorities about potential areas of regulatory convergence (eg streamlined applications), although we stress this is a longer-term opportunity.

Since GFIN cannot override national legislation, a separate application is required to each regulator firms would like to test with. GFIN members will then coordinate with each other around the application. The deadline for testing applications is 28 February 2019.

Submit an FCA application.

Continue to the full article  --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org


CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
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Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
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Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
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Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
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NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
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CNBC | Elizabeth Schulze | Jan 31, 2019 Navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector. Fintech firms are proactively applying for licenses in EU countries ahead of the Brexit deadline. So far Brexit uncertainty hasn't dented investment into London's thriving fintech market. Europe's fintech companies are getting serious about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. As uncertainty looms over the U.K.'s split from the EU, the industry gathered this week at the Paris Fintech Forum. Payments providers, cryptocurrency exchanges and digital banks all said they were taking steps to prepare for the worst-case scenario. But navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector who are luring in users with borderless, frictionless payment and banking solutions. "It is obvious the bigger the market is, the better it is for fintechs, the faster it is they can start, the more opportunities they have," Wim Mijs, CEO of the European Banking Federation, told CNBC on Wednesday. "If you cut off that market, you're hurting yourself, which is Brexit in one word." See:  Who’s afraid of Brexit? Here’s why Canadian fintechs ...
Read More
Europe's fintech companies are preparing for a no-deal Brexit
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Feb 1, 2019 Regulation Crowdfunding (or Reg CF), created by Title III of the JOBS Act, has been available for several years now. While not without its shortcomings, Reg CF has been leveraged by hundreds of issuers, typically smaller firms, raising over $100 million since May 2016. This past week, Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) published a report on Reg CF entitled “2018 State of Regulation Crowdfunding,” providing a snap-shot of the securities exemption and its overall performance. Crowdfund Insider communicated with CCA principle Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss regarding the report. Neiss told CI the promise of Reg CF as a jobs creator and economic engine is starting to prove true: “Back in 2012, the promise of Regulation Crowdfunding was jobs, a local economic generator, and an industry revitalizer. With the close of the 3rd calendar year of Reg CF we can see that those promises are holding true. Reg CF is proving to be a jobs engine (creating on average 2.9 jobs per issuer), economic generator (pumping over $289 million of revenues into local economies) and industry supporter (enabling 82 unique industries in regions across the USA).” See:  Prominent Group of Fintech Leaders Send Letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton Demanding an Increase in Regulation Crowdfunding ...
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Report: State of Regulation Crowdfunding Says No Gold Rush But an Undeniable Job Creator

 

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Fielding high-performing innovation teams

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McKinsey&Company | By Matt Banholzer, Fabian Metzeler, and Erik Roth | January 2019

Innovation is a team sport. For projects to succeed, they must be staffed with the right combination of talent. Here is how to ensure your initiatives have the players they need to win.

The CEO of a globally recognized bank is frustrated with the lack of innovation performance delivered by her company. She sets up an incubator charged with developing a portfolio of new high-growth businesses. Inside this incubator, she places teams of high performers from the core businesses of the bank in part-time roles. Recipe for success, or a road to nowhere?

See:  Passion For Banking Innovation Fueled By Fintech, Big Tech Disruptors

CEOs of other companies face similar challenges around innovation. They struggle to identify “intra-preneurs” within their organizations who possess the rare mix of commercial and technical skills to shepherd new products to market. Employees within R&D groups may not have the external orientation to uncover valuable customer insights, while commercial leaders often lack the technical acumen to translate client needs into product attributes. Hiring “innovators” from the outside isn’t always an effective solution as newcomers may struggle to navigate complex, operationally focused organizations.

It can be tempting for executives accountable for the delivery of critically important innovation initiatives to believe that simply assigning an initiative to high-performing talent will yield success. However, when it comes to innovation, it is rare to see individuals who possess the full range of skills needed to lead an initiative.

For starters, innovation initiatives require skills and mind-sets that are under-developed in even the highest performers. The obstacles that arise in optimizing an existing dominant business model, such as boosting same-store sales or making a factory more efficient, are well-understood. History can be a useful guide in mastering performance in these environments. Scaling a new business successfully, on the other hand, often requires the experience to respond to and navigate new contexts where the rules of success are yet to be written. Innovators must craft bold but realistic visions, conceive entirely new value propositions that sync with customer challenges, and manage extreme uncertainty. In essence, the team must operate more like a start-up that can adapt development and commercialization plans based on continuously challenging assumptions and learning what will propel their business to scale.

It’s unlikely that one person will possess all the capabilities such initiatives demand. The likelihood is even lower in large, successful organizations. Instead, our experience shows that a well-constructed team that brings together the needed abilities of a world-class innovator can compensate for the lack of “founders.” To do this, first you must understand what the critical traits are that drive the most successful innovators, and second, you must have a method of assessing your employees against these traits. With this information in hand, companies are able to form high-performing innovation teams.

Ten traits of successful innovators

Over decades of combined experience working with companies pursuing innovation-led growth and start-ups, we have identified ten traits that distinguish the most successful innovators (Exhibit 1). While many of these capabilities are well-recognized, we have seen that reframing the discussion from individuals to teams helps tremendously to unlock performance in most organizations.

See:  Quebec needs new innovation strategies to level the playing field for domestic tech

Assessing each team member’s innovation aptitude can help you build a stronger whole. The ten traits can be grouped into four categories. We find that a successful team needs a base level of competence in all four.

1. Vision

The first group of traits highlights the ability to identify opportunities and inspire others to pursue them. Articulating a compelling vision, and the skill to translate it into a differentiated value proposition that breaks through the noise of the marketplace is a talent in itself. Uncovering is an intrinsic curiosity to see the possibility in a given context and distill the most valuable insights. “Uncoverers” use these insights and pattern recognition to interpret unmet needs and define highly valuable problems to solve. Generating is the ability to develop meaningful value propositions that solve significant customer problems. The most successful “generators” meld the big-picture market context with a thorough understanding of an organization’s strategic position, including its underlying capabilities. Selling is the ability to explain the nuances of what creates the value for a new proposition and carefully tailor it to the target audience. “Sellers” are compelling enough to motivate people to sway internal stakeholders on the value of pursuing a given innovation opportunity and marshaling the required resources to drive commercialization. These people are also gifted in crafting the marketing elements of a new proposition.

2. Collaboration

People with the second collection of traits foster effective teamwork and change management, bringing cohesion to a group. Those strong at motivating tend to be charismatic leaders adept at spurring action by creating a work environment that tolerates failure as a necessary aspect of the innovation process. Networking is the essential skill in maintaining connections among all the stakeholders in a project. Successful innovators seek input from outside the team and—as importantly—outside the organization, linking with ecosystem partners such as universities, other start-ups, or incubators.

Orchestrating, meanwhile, refers to the ability to supply projects with the needed resources and to monitor the team’s activities to ensure these resources are effectively deployed; in other words, that workloads are distributed appropriately and the team can “do more with less.”

People with this skill combine attention to detail and the ability to anticipate roadblocks with an ease in developing relationships, talents that make them adept at resolving conflicts.

See:  A Focus on the Future: How to Run a Forward-Thinking, Profitable Business

3. Learning

Most entrepreneurs exhibit absorbing, a quality manifested in a deep curiosity about anything that could help their venture succeed and a willingness to explore leads as they arise. Such individuals continually pursue new ideas and quickly incorporate lessons from multiple sources.

4. Execution

The final group of traits enables quick decision-making amidst uncertainty while maintaining a realistic pace of progress. Pioneering skills enable individuals to break down ideas into an achievable sequence of activities. These team members tend to be the first to challenge the status quo, have resilience and perseverance when faced with setbacks, and quickly adapt plans to new input or conditions. Deciding encompasses strong critical-thinking skills that enable people to draw conclusions from imperfect information.

“Deciders” blend pattern recognition with a high degree of pragmatism which enables them to synthesize insights, draw implications, and get things done. Tabulating, meanwhile, is the ability to apply financial modeling to size an opportunity and then use scenario planning to de-risk a given project.

“Tabulators” use their quantitative orientation to accurately judge risks and payoffs as they plan their initiatives.

While some of these traits are complementary—for example, pioneers are often good decision makers, owing to their ability to forge paths and make judgments amidst uncertainty—almost no individual will possess all ten. Some leaders are great at inspiring others, but poor at timely delivery of results. Others excel at planning but need help with selling the vision. Just as the best entrepreneurs know what qualities they lack and surround themselves with individuals who complement their strengths, so corporate innovation teams must ensure that the group as a whole represents all the key capabilities. A team lacking people with uncovering skills will likely end up focusing on incremental change. A group without networking capabilities may end up tackling a problem outside the company’s core competence without spotting an opportunity to bring in a partner.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org


CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
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JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
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Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
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The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
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SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
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Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
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Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
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The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019
CNBC | Elizabeth Schulze | Jan 31, 2019 Navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector. Fintech firms are proactively applying for licenses in EU countries ahead of the Brexit deadline. So far Brexit uncertainty hasn't dented investment into London's thriving fintech market. Europe's fintech companies are getting serious about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. As uncertainty looms over the U.K.'s split from the EU, the industry gathered this week at the Paris Fintech Forum. Payments providers, cryptocurrency exchanges and digital banks all said they were taking steps to prepare for the worst-case scenario. But navigating the uncertainties of Brexit is proving to be a tough task for newcomers in the financial services sector who are luring in users with borderless, frictionless payment and banking solutions. "It is obvious the bigger the market is, the better it is for fintechs, the faster it is they can start, the more opportunities they have," Wim Mijs, CEO of the European Banking Federation, told CNBC on Wednesday. "If you cut off that market, you're hurting yourself, which is Brexit in one word." See:  Who’s afraid of Brexit? Here’s why Canadian fintechs ...
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Europe's fintech companies are preparing for a no-deal Brexit
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Feb 1, 2019 Regulation Crowdfunding (or Reg CF), created by Title III of the JOBS Act, has been available for several years now. While not without its shortcomings, Reg CF has been leveraged by hundreds of issuers, typically smaller firms, raising over $100 million since May 2016. This past week, Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) published a report on Reg CF entitled “2018 State of Regulation Crowdfunding,” providing a snap-shot of the securities exemption and its overall performance. Crowdfund Insider communicated with CCA principle Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss regarding the report. Neiss told CI the promise of Reg CF as a jobs creator and economic engine is starting to prove true: “Back in 2012, the promise of Regulation Crowdfunding was jobs, a local economic generator, and an industry revitalizer. With the close of the 3rd calendar year of Reg CF we can see that those promises are holding true. Reg CF is proving to be a jobs engine (creating on average 2.9 jobs per issuer), economic generator (pumping over $289 million of revenues into local economies) and industry supporter (enabling 82 unique industries in regions across the USA).” See:  Prominent Group of Fintech Leaders Send Letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton Demanding an Increase in Regulation Crowdfunding ...
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Report: State of Regulation Crowdfunding Says No Gold Rush But an Undeniable Job Creator

 

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