Category Archives: Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

FFCON20 RISE: Join us this Thursday, July 30 for Week 4 theme: LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE

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NCFA | FFCON20 Team | July 28, 2020

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Join us Thursday, July 30, 2020!  Leaders inspire a vision of the future, motivate and coach others, and bring together the resources and skills to achieve a vision.  They must overcome challenges and obstacles as they lead people, technology, markets and navigate regulation towards transformative change.

  • How humans can adapt during crisis and how to unleash it

  • How to understand and lead in culturally diverse and different environments

  • What are the 'People lessons' learned for growing organizations?

  • How can a dynamic leader capitalize on their vision, market and relationships?

  • Interactive Networking Breakouts!  Network and learn with experts on the topics of 'Pitching & Funding During Covid-19, Fintech Innovation and Growth Mentoring'

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Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities

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Crowdfund Insider | | Jul 27, 2020

SeedrsSeedrs raising capital - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities has long been an innovator in the secondary market for crowdfunded securities. Today, the leading UK based crowdfunding platform is announcing variable pricing for its secondary market.

Launched in 2017, Seedrs Secondary Market has continued to iterate and add new features and functionality. Of course, the biggest challenge is liquidity but that is something that should resolve itself over time as the platform grows and external issuers utilize the marketplace.

According to a recent blog post, Seedrs July market volume saw levels return to their “pre-Revolut levels of trading.” Seedrs states that during the July opening, 907 share lots were sold worth £229,000. There were 456 buyers and 423 sellers trading in securities issued by 162 businesses at an average value per business of £1.4k. Seedrs reports that each seller made an average profit of £202.

See:  OSC LaunchPad approves TokenGX (Tokenfunder) for Secondary Trading of Digital Securities

Variable pricing should make it easier for buyers and sellers to make a market by matching supply with demand more effectively.

In an email, Seedrs founder and Chairman Jeff Lynn said variable pricing represents an “important milestone in our work to be a full-scale marketplace for private investments.”

“The change will work as follows. Previously, as a prospective seller, you have only been able to list shares on the Seedrs Secondary Market at the set price we determine under our Valuation Policy (which is usually the company’s latest valuation). Buyers in turn have only been able to buy the shares at that price. Starting now, however, we will allow sellers to list their shares at a premium or discount price – up to 30% above or below the marked share price – if they so choose. Buyers will see each share lot and the price at which it is listed, and they can make their investment decision accordingly.”

The change is effective as of today and will be available during the August market day.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities 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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Is Open Finance worth getting excited about, or is it just spin?

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Sifted | Isabel Woodford | Jul 22, 2020

open banking US vs UK and Europe - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities

It's been a slow journey to get UK customers meaningful control of their bank data. Is the next phase of "open finance" the answer?

It’s a noble task to want to help users control, access and utilise their financial data better. The problem is, users aren’t convinced they want a third-party poking their nose into their data, or if it’s really of much use to them.

Here are their top four top takeaways about what it will take for open banking to take off, and why open finance is an important next step.

1) Success relies on building awareness

The panellists agreed that one key obstacle to open banking so far has been a trust-gap; fuelled by poor communication around user-benefits.

See:  3 examples of what open finance can do right now

Roisin Levine referenced research that still shows “very, very low percentages” of people say they’re willing to share their data in exchange for “more personalised services.” She said these vague concepts are unhelpful and apps need to “explain this stuff…don’t use these big, high-level generic terms.”

She recommended products leveraging open banking get more specific about the benefits to boost awareness.

“[We should ask]; do you want to ensure that the cash you have is in a high-interest account? Do you want to compare pricing on your insurance or… purchasing your energy? Then all of this stuff seems really common sense, and suddenly that applies to everyone.”

She added that trust in open banking is slowly “moving forward” and that seeing a value exchange is key in this respect.

“It’s kind of early days, but they will begin to get more and more used to it as time goes on.”

Another goal is to make open banking services so helpful that users don’t just want to use it; they want to pay for them. In particular, that might come from analytics tools currently being developed to give users intelligent insights into their future cash flow, for instance.

“Now I can see all [my accounts], but then you can show me what my actual cash flow is looking like in the next six months. What kind of decisions then can that drive?” Levine said.

2) The data is yours — but expect leaks

Another dilemma around open banking is uncertainty about what fintechs do with the data shared with them; again feeding into the trust question.

On the bright side, there are protections in place and limitations; overseen by the regulator. Users completely own their data and can revoke the access they give to third-parties at any time.

See:  The Clearing House Releases Model Agreement For Sharing Financial Data

There are also restrictions on companies’ ability to sell the data directly to third-parties.

Instead, companies holding the data can monetise it by recommending new pension providers and taking a commission fee, for instance, or charging consumers for the service (like Monzo has done).

“What’s going to make or break the success longer term is ‘do you feel confident that you know where this data is going?'” Grose noted, highlighting the need to educate users on their data rights and companies’ use of their data.

Nonetheless, Levine warned that some companies might be tempted to charge a so-called ‘privacy premium’, whereby consumers get a worse deal or product based on their financial data.

“It only takes one kind of major loss of trust or issue that we find ourselves in a place where actually the whole industry is hurt, and we may be going backwards,” Levine said.

Meanwhile, Vans-Colina added there’s a big risk that open banking and finance data will get hacked and leaked.

See:  New regime needed to take on tech giants

“I think that’s probably inevitable,” he warned. “But the regulatory framework in place is strong. And it means that only regulated companies are able to process and hold the data. And I think it’s a trade-off as a society we have to decide. Do we want to take this step?”

He also emphasised that open banking had big security perks overall, explaining that the amount of fraud and cybercrime will “go down massively because of open banking.”

3) A cross-generational project

Apps like Moneyhub — which aggregate users’ various bank accounts — have proven most popular with the over 55s.

Yet Grose is confident that open banking rules are already benefiting the younger audience too.

“I recently saw someone did a survey, and a lot of Gen Z would actually use a bank account inside of TikTok,” he said. “You’re going to see a lot of companies start to access and provide financial services using this type of [banking] data and they can meet different generations and different groups where they are already. I think that’s going to be incredibly valuable for people.”

Incidentally, Vans-Colina’s new startup, Fronted, will also use open banking tools to help young renters get cheaper deposit loans, by accessing their bank data and assessing their affordability.

See:  Open Banking just got its own App Store

However, the inter-generational benefits may be less applicable to open finance. The fundamental benefit that open finance adds is being able to aggregate a wide array of different accounts and assets, which arguably millennials — the main audience of fintech apps — have less use for, given they generally have a smaller financial portfolio.

Still, Levine argues that pensions are important regardless of age, as well as is having a grasp on your investments and savings.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities 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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FFCON20 Draft Shortlist ENGAIZ: Building relationships through AI based risk mitigation

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NCFA | Samuel He | July 22, 2020

FFCON20 Fintech Draft Engaiz - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities

Technology innovation and competition has led to increased dependence on third-party providers for essential services.

The result has been an increase in security risks, data privacy, business resiliency, and reputation. These risks cost organizations millions of dollars every year. And the problem is made worse by trying to manage these risks with disintegrated risk management processes and manual governance.

Founded by Jai Chinnakonda, ENGAIZ is an automated AI-driven platform aimed at tackling these problems.

ENGAIZ’s mission is two-fold. One goal is to help enterprise customers effectively engage and govern third-party vendors. This strengthens relationships, mitigates risks, controls cost, driving performance and innovation.

The second is geared towards helping third-party vendors move from being a mere vendor to a trusted partner. It is a win-win scenario.

ENGAIZ uses machine learning and analytics to provide Integrated Governance and Continuous Risk Monitoring. Their services center on Strategic Vendor Engagement and Strategic Customer Engagement.

Strategic Vendor Engagement provides several benefits to organizations. The platform allows for the ability to schedule, track monthly, quarterly and annual business review meetings with their vendor partners. It also emphasizes a move from a focus on ‘Cost Savings’ to ‘Risk Sharing’ partnerships that fosters a culture of Innovation.

Strategic Customer Engagement provides ample benefits to third party providers. The centralized document repository increases efficiency by allowing the ability to manage and track customer-related documents all in one place. The platform also ensures that providers are compliant with tough regulatory requirements.

Now, if you want to know more about ENGAIZ, see them at FFCON20 RISE Fintech Draft. 

If you like what you see, toss them some stars and give them your votes.

View Engaiz Profile and Vote --> here

Check out other shortlisted Draft Companies --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities 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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Coinsquare to pay $2.2 million in OSC settlement

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Advisor's Edge | James Langton | Jul 21, 2020

Bitcoin - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed SecuritiesIt’s the regulator’s first enforcement case against a crypto trading platform

In a settlement that aims a shot across the bow of the fledgling crypto asset sector and mounts its first defence of whistleblowers, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) sanctioned crypto trading platform Coinsquare Ltd. and several executives.

The regulator found the firm faked its trading volume, lied about it, and retaliated against an internal whistleblower. Following a virtual hearing, an OSC hearing panel approved a settlement with Coinsquare and its executives that includes over $2.2 million in sanctions and costs, as well as industry bans.

The sanctions follow admissions that the firm violated securities rules by reporting inflated trading volume, which was generated by an internal algorithm that produced 840,000 wash trades (involving 590,000 Bitcoins), representing 90% of the platform’s reported trading activity.

The OSC also found the firm made misleading statements about the phony volume when concerns were raised by clients on Reddit, and that Coinsquare retaliated against an internal whistleblower who brought concerns about the suspect volume to senior management. The whistleblower was terminated by the company.

See:  Wealthsimple to expand into crypto trading

In settling the case, the firm admitted to engaging in market manipulation by reporting inflated trading volumes, misleading clients about the suspect volume and retaliating against a whistleblower.

CEO Cole Diamond and founder, president and CTO Virgile Rostand admitted to facilitating the firm’s breaches of Ontario securities law, while former chief compliance officer (CCO) Felix Mazer admitted to failing to fulfil his role as CCO.

Under the settlement, Diamond and Rostand both agreed to resign from the firm. Diamond paid a $1 million penalty and Rostand paid $900,000.

Coinsquare, Diamond and Rostand agreed to pay $300,000 in costs.

“Being an innovator in our capital markets is not a free pass to disregard Ontario securities law,” Kehoe said in a statement following today’s hearing.  “All market participants – including those in novel industries – must act honestly and responsibly,” he added.

The two executives are also banned from registration for three years, and they are both banned from participating in the management of Coinsquare for three years.

Additionally, Diamond received a three-year director and officer (D&O) ban, and Rostand agreed to a two-year D&O ban (although there’s a carve-out in the deal that will allow them to be involved with a Coinsquare affiliate that’s not a market participant after one year).

Mazer is also banned for one year and agreed to pay $50,000 for his role in the misconduct.

See:  An IOSCO report highlights crypto trading issues, but stops short of setting standards

“Despite several employees raising concerns about inflated trading volumes, Coinsquare not only stuck with the practice, but lied to investors about it and retaliated against a whistleblower,” said Jeff Kehoe, director of enforcement at the OSC, in a statement.

As part of the settlement, Coinsquare and its subsidiary, Coinsquare Capital Markets Ltd., which was seeking registration with the OSC and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), are also required to “implement substantial corporate governance improvements” before it can continue to pursue possible registration with the OSC and IIROC.

These improvements include establishing independent boards of directors, appointing new CEOs and CCOs, creating an internal whistleblower program, and implementing policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities 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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Treasury mulls plan to set up coronavirus toxic debt body to save UK small businesses

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The Guardian | Kalyeena Makortoff  | Jul 16, 2020

Covid impact on small businesses - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed SecuritiesCity calls for state-owned recovery corporation to handle £35bn of unsustainable government-backed debt

The Treasury is reviewing a “radical” proposal for a new state-owned body that would manage £35bn of toxic coronavirus debt and help save up to 780,000 British businesses.

A City taskforce, the Recapitalisation Group, led by EY and the lobby group TheCityUK, is recommending that a government-owned UK Recovery Corporation be established to handle a growing pile of unsustainable government-backed debt that could otherwise wipe out thousands of businesses and lead to 3 million job losses.

See:  Refusal to embrace open banking puts Canada behind yet another curve

Businesses that took on debt through the government-backed coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) or bounce back loan scheme (BBLS) would be able to apply for special measures through the corporation if they were at risk of default.

The UK Recovery Corporation would be able to convert their government-backed debt into special financial instruments such as preference shares or an earnings-based profit tax, giving businesses breathing space to repay and recover from the coronavirus crisis.

This would help avoid using taxpayer money to cover unpaid debts if firms otherwise defaulted on their government-backed loans.

It is understood that the final report by the Recapitalisation Group, publicly released on 16 July, is being reviewed by the Treasury.

Adrian Montague, the former chairman of Aviva and chairman of TheCityUK’s leadership council, said:

“It’s clear that the Treasury are grappling with the problem of how they get these loans repaid without impairing the recovery. I think that some of our solutions are quite radical, so I think it’s obviously going to be for the Treasury to decide on how they want to take these ideas forward.”

So far, more than 1m businesses have taken on debt of £31.7bn through the BBLS scheme, which is aimed at the UK’s smallest businesses and is 100% government-backed. A further 54,538 loans worth £11.85bn have been granted to small and medium-sized businesses through the CBILS scheme, which comes with an 80% government guarantee.

See:  UK Government Adds COVID-19 Program to Support Early State Ventures. Is it Enough?

The report estimates that 2.3m businesses will have a CBILS or BBLS loan by the end of March 2021.

While BBLS loans, which are interest and payment-free for 12 months, will come up for repayment from March 2021, the City taskforce warned that a solution needed to be in place by the end of October 2020. That is when companies will come under greater financial pressure with the winding down of state measures including the furlough job retention scheme.

Montague said: “We had originally thought this would be a problem for March next year, but actually it’s going to hit in Q4 this year when the rent relief starts to end, when the furlough scheme starts to unwind, and when VAT payment deferrals need to be made. So it’s not far away.  “We are urging the government to take immediate action to address these issues.”

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities 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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3 examples of what open finance can do right now

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Yapily | Joe Terry | Jun 19, 2020

Open Finance image - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed SecuritiesThe average Briton's relationship with their bank lasts longer than their marriage - and this inertia can be costly. Banks have always been the one-stop shops for all things finance, but thanks to open finance that has changed.

Digital offerings in the financial services sector have changed the way we expect to interact with our banks and manage our finances. Gone are the days where switching is difficult, opening a new account takes weeks or applying for a loan means printing out bank statements.

Open finance is enabling a new wave of innovative financial services. The access to data made available by open banking connections is more versatile than originally imagined. The majority of sectors can now benefit from access to the API links created during the open banking era, meaning that customers can easily share their financial data. From mortgages and pensions to payment solutions, open finance encapsulates the idea of accessibility and removes barriers for banks, firms and consumers to interact more efficiently.

See:  Open banking in Canada - Interview with Senator Deacon at FFCON20

How could open finance change the credit process?

Businesses could benefit from a new, more accessible way of accessing credit. Using open finance could increase efficiency as opposed to the traditional methods used when assessing a businesses loan or credit application. Choosing to use this option means businesses could share their financial data instantly, meaning the lender could:

  • Carry out faster eligibility checks.
  • Assess affordability and credit worthiness instantly.
  • Gain immediate access to historical transaction data.

Businesses would in turn benefit from access to faster funds without laborious checks and waiting times. Open finance would transform credit assessments and could be automated, ensuring less human error, ultimately improving overall lending efficiency.

Open finance can solve the inefficiencies in money management.

How many finance apps do you have on your phone?

The odds are, if you have a credit card, more than one bank or accounting software on your phone, then you have a few different apps. Usually, all of the platforms or apps have different login details (you’re lucky if you only ever use face ID). It can be a nightmare, checking balances, transferring funds and managing accounts.

Open banking provides a secure and scalable method, whereby innovative firms can create money management apps that could collate all of your data in one place. Given the consumers consent, financial data from different accounts and financial institutions can be pulled together and be managed within one platform or app.

See:  UK: Open Finance: The FCA Consults On How To Transform The Financial Services Market

Open finance enables the automation of financial management. Innovative firms could create platforms to enable applications to make financial decisions based on consumer information and preferences. A great example of this is moving money to the best interest rate available, maximising the return on savings and the opposite for debt, where moving debt to the lowest interest rate for overdrafts and credit cards could be automated.

Do you check and compare prices for utilities or insurance online?

Today's online comparison sites play a big role in what financial product customers end up purchasing. The quotes are usually generated by the user going through roughly 4 or 5 pages, typing in the relevant information to that product. Customers are then presented with many different quotes or estimates based on the information they have typed in.

Of course, typing in this information presents various challenges. Fraudulent entries being the most frequent. This may be in an attempt to reduce the cost of the product or service or it could be due to human error. However, comparison sites, pension providers, utility companies, insurers and more can utilise open banking data to see the real financial picture, automatically increasing effectiveness and reducing risk. The data made available through open banking could help simplify the process for firms and consumers.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities 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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Week 7 Artificial Intelligene in Fintech resize - Bid – Ask: Seedrs Secondary Market Now Allows Variable Pricing for Listed Securities



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