Category Archives: Fintech and Real Estate

Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018

Diiiorio new condo penthouse - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump TowerA cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money.

Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets.

Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price.

“I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.”

The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as the Adelaide Hotel Toronto, and will be rebranded the St. Regis once a renovation is complete. Residences in the building are owned by JCF Capital ULC.

See:  $57.9B deployed into fintech so far this year, Canada one to watch

Di Iorio got into the cryptocurrency craze on the ground floor as a co-founder of Ethereum. He was active in Toronto’s early blockchain community and was on the initial team that put together Ethereum, now the leading alternative to the Bitcoin platform. Ether, the currency that runs on Ethereum, now has a market value of around $50 billion compared with Bitcoin’s $115 billion. Di Iorio now runs Decentral, an “innovation hub’ in Toronto focused on blockchain projects. It’s the creator of the popular cryptocurrency wallet Jaxx.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump TowerThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

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McKinsey Global Institute | Sep 19, 2019 Asia is increasingly the center of the world economy. By 2040, the region could account for more than half of global GDP and about 40 percent of global consumption. Global cross-border flows are shifting towards Asia on seven of eight dimensions, and the region’s growth is becoming more broad-based and sustainable as its constituent economies increasingly integrate with each other. This is a diverse region, but its different parts have complementary characteristics, and powerful networks are developing within Asia. Patterns of globalization are shifting, and these shifts are occurring faster in Asia than elsewhere, suggesting that more than any other region, Asia could shape the way globalization unfolds in the years to come. This new paper builds on the McKinsey Global Institute’s research on globalization in January 2019 by examining Asia’s rise on eight dimensions incorporating 16 types of flow, looking at the increasing integration of the economies of the region, and highlighting the development of three powerful new Asian networks: industrialization, innovation, and culture and mobility, and the rising cities that are pivotal components of those networks. The paper is one of a series on the Future of Asia, a multi-phase research project ...
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Cambridge Alternative Finance Centre | Sep 19, 2019 The second edition of the Global Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking Study provides new insights into the current state of the enterprise blockchain ecosystem. The study gathers survey data from 160 start-ups, established companies, central banks, and other public-sector institutions from 49 different countries worldwide. The empirical analysis specifically focuses on enterprise blockchain networks that have entered in production. Some Highlights from the report The banking, financial markets and insurance industries are responsible for the largest share of live networks: The trend indicated in 2017 has continued: 43 per cent of enterprise blockchain networks deployed in production can be attributed to Financial Services, far ahead of any other sector and industry. The specific use case of a network can be at times difficult to identify, but supply chain tracking, trading infrastructure, and document certification seem to currently dominate.   Companies and institutions from nearly every sector and industry of the global economy have been exploring the potential of blockchain technology in recent years. The Accommodation and Food Services as well as the Healthcare and Social Assistance sectors come at a distant second place with 6% of all networks each. Cost reduction is the main value ...
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Business Cloud | Alistair Hardaker | Sep 13, 2019 Only a few firms said they are now prepared for a potential crash out of the EU next month Most London FinTech firms are not prepared for the fallout of a no deal Brexit, says a new report. More than three quarters, (78 per cent) of firms surveyed by Innovate Finance said they were not prepared for Britain to leave the EU without a deal, and 45 per cent said they don’t feel prepared even if there is a transition period. The main concerns of a no-deal scenario shared by the FinTech firms were ‘passporting’, by which firms can apply for a ‘passport’ to do business throughout the EU, cross-border transactions, servicing EU clients and retaining and attracting new talent. The survey also reports that 38 per cent of FinTech say they have not taken any steps to prepare for Brexit, but the majoirty have begun tasks such as reviewing data processing, preserving talent and undertaking risk management procedures. See:  Europe’s fintech companies are preparing for a no-deal Brexit Who’s afraid of Brexit? Here’s why Canadian fintechs are flocking to London Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance, said: “At this time ...
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Financial Post | Julius Melnitzer | Sep 17, 2019 In a general sense, what the Bureau wants to know is whether the characteristics of certain digital markets favour concentration — a process called 'tipping' The Competition Bureau’s recent call to Canadians to flag anti-competitive conduct in the digital economy is raising eyebrows among industry professionals. Certainly, the Bureau’s consultation seems far more concrete than what is evident from the regulator’s statement that it “is examining concerns that certain digital markets have become increasingly concentrated.” “The Bureau is looking to collect information and understand facts to determine whether increased concentration is truly occurring,” says Anita Banicevic, a competition partner in Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s Toronto office. “But it’s also looking to see whether it should take enforcement actions and beyond that, a fairly open call for complaints on which to base such actions.” Although Banicevic acknowledges that the Bureau has “always been driven by complaints to a significant degree” and “does have the ability and resources to weed out the genuine complaints from those that are meritorious,” she still finds the call-out disquieting. “I remain concerned that the call for complaints is essentially a matter of looking for issues,” ...
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Globe and Mail | Lauren Robinson | Sep 12, 2019 Lauren Robinson is general partner at Highline BETA and executive director at Female Funders For decades the research has been clear: businesses benefit from gender diversity. Women are starting businesses at a faster rate than ever before, and leadership teams that include women provide better financial returns for investors. Investing in women is good for business. But for women founders looking to launch and scale successful businesses, access to capital remains a major barrier. There is consistent data showing that deal flow is often sourced from pre-existing networks. This explains why women entrepreneurs have a higher likelihood of closing an investment when a female investor is involved: venture firms are twice as likely to invest in women-led startups if they have at least one female partner on their team, and women angel investors place greater importance on the gender of the founders they are considering investing in. Women entrepreneurs are more likely to access capital when there are women making investment decisions. This is critical when funding for female founders is stalled at 2.2 per cent of the total invested in the United States. We can do better. Why venture ...
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University of Pennsylvania | Wharton Knowledge | Sep 10, 2019 As the finance industry grapples with what the next generation of banks and payment systems will look like, it’s clear that partnerships are a linchpin for riding the wave of change successfully, whether you’re a multibillion-dollar traditional bank or a startup looking to bring cutting-edge technology into the mainstream. “The rails that these payment systems are built on date back 20-30 years – people are not starting to reinvent that alone; it isn’t an overnight thing – it’s incremental innovation adding up to something massive,” said Jennifer Lee, vice president focused on fintech at growth equity firm Edison Partners during the recent Fearless in Fintech conference at Wharton San Francisco. At the conference, which was co-sponsored by Knowledge@Wharton and Wharton Executive Education and organized by Momentum Event Group, Denise Leonhard, head of global credit expansion, business development and expansion at Paypal, used her company’s online payments system as an example of the challenges ahead. “We’ve built our infrastructure with all these different partners – payment networks, bank issuers … we’re all playing in a very messy soup,” she said. “What we’ve been building in the last 20 years has brought ...
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BBC | Sep 16, 2019 Kickstarter has been accused of "union-busting" after firing three employees. Taylor Moore, the company's head of comedy and podcasts, tweeted that he and another employee were fired on Thursday, while tech and design lead Clarissa Redwine was fired last week. All three were heavily involved in the formation of a Kickstarter union this year, Mr Moore added. Kickstarter confirmed the employees were fired, but denied that it was because of their union activity. Mr Moore tweeted that he had worked at the company for six years. He said that when Kickstarter fired him they "offered me no real reasons, but one month's severance for signing an NDA" - a non-disclosure agreement. "I will not be signing it." "The union busting campaign that Kickstarter management is engaging in is illegal and wrong," he added. "It is an unforgivable abandonment of the values of an organisation that I have loved and served with my whole heart." Ms Redwine also tweeted at the company, saying: "I will not be signing your termination agreement containing a non-disparagement clause. You can keep my severance." See:  A Digitized Staff Compliance Platform is a Must-Have She added: "Kickstarter's management continues to state ...
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FCA | Sep 11, 2019 Speech by Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, delivered at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance annual conference, Judge Business School. Highlights: The UK has led the rest of the world with developments like the regulatory Sandbox, we are very proud of what has been achieved through it. Early engagement is incredibly valuable for monitoring, supervisory and policy purposes. Working with innovative firms helps us achieve a better bird’s-eye view, enhancing our understanding when the overall landscape is blurry and ­changing quickly. 'Stablecoin' is a term that has been widely adopted by industry, but we do not take it to be a distinct category of cryptoassets. Something labelled as a 'stablecoin' could sit within or outside of our regulatory perimeter. Note: this is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version. See:  FCA confirms new rules for P2P platforms Last month, Facebook announced its plans for Libra, the stablecoin it is planning to launch in conjunction with a number of payment and tech firms. As has been widely reported, along with other regulators and central banks, we have been discussing their plans with Facebook. If this comes ...
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NCFA Canada | Sep 13, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Sep 13: Funding is Female with Jill Earthy EP37 GUEST: JILL EARTHY, Head of Female Funders (Linkedin) HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host BIO:  Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. As Head of Female Funders (powered by Highine BETA), she is empowering female leaders to become investors in early stage companies. Her background includes being an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurs in various leadership roles and working as Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform. She is a community leader and active mentor, currently serving on the national Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC, and as Co-Chair of We for She. Jill was recently recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion award as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019. About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA'S Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Jill Earthy the Head of Female Funders. The talk about what ...
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TechCrunch | Kate Clark | Sep 12, 2019 Affirm, founded by PayPal’s Max Levchin, is said to be raising as much as $1.5 billion in a combination of debt and equity, according to people with knowledge of the company’s fundraising activities. Josh Kushner’s New York venture capital firm Thrive Capital is said to be leading the financing, with participation from the San Francisco outfit Spark Capital. Affirm declined to comment. Representatives of Thrive and Spark, existing Affirm investors, have not responded to a request for comment. Sources familiar with Affirm, which gives consumers an alternative to personal loans and credit by financing online purchases at point-of-sale, presume the round will be made up largely of a line of credit from a large financial institution, known as a warehouse facility. Affirm recently raised a $300 million Thrive-led Series F round in April at a valuation of $3 billion. Fintech companies focused on payments and lending, however, require a vast amount of capital to sustain operations. Those capital requirements coupled with the frothiness of the venture capital market justify this additional cash infusion. To date, Affirm has raised $1.03 billion in funding from Ribbit Capital, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed ...
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When banks balk, ordinary investors can become city builders with ‘small change’

The Globe and Mail | | June 22, 2018

Eve picker small change - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

In today’s new model of real estate investment, a prospective investor can search for projects of interest on a laptop and, several mouse clicks later, send funds along. With no middlemen and no banks to decide which projects are worthy of financing, investment opportunities are no longer restricted to the very wealthy or the tried-and-true.

“This is investing democratized, and this is how capital will be formed going forward,” said Eve Picker, a Pittsburgh-based architect, city planner and founder of a real estate equity crowdfunding platform called Small Change.

Ms. Picker was a keynote speaker at the recent Building a Better City forum at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, co-hosted by The Globe and Mail and Dream REIT. She was among a diverse group of panellists who discussed the challenges of progressive development as urban populations continue to grow around the world.

According to Statistics Canada, more than 80 per cent of Canadians live in cities, which is one of the highest rates of urbanization in the G7. And as municipalities across the country tackle challenges that range from protecting heritage to improving road safety, finding capital to create more liveable cities is an ongoing challenge.

Ms. Picker believes crowdfunding is the answer, citing figures from the World Bank that estimate a global crowdfunding market potential of up to $96-billion by 2025.

“In 2010, that figure was under $1-billion. In 2016, crowdfunding surpassed all investments made by venture capital,” she said.

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

At Small Change, Ms. Picker uses crowdfunding to fill the financing gap by matching investors with developers, raising funds for transformative real estate projects with the goal of making cities more vibrant and liveable.

When she first arrived in Pittsburgh to work as an urban designer for its planning department, the city had lost half of its population due to the relocation of the steel mill industry. She began purchasing and remaking buildings in abandoned neighbourhoods in which no one else was ready to invest.

What she found was that making abandoned buildings functional and attractive again was the easy part. Despite the success of ground-breaking and innovative improvements that paved the way for the city’s revitalization, she struggled to find enough capital.

As banks became more skittish and federal community-building funds dried up, it became increasingly impossible to continue. Her financial partners evaporated, leading her to create Small Change.

“Innovation makes banks really nervous. They want to finance tried-and-true solutions, not new ones. But we need innovation – lots and lots of it – to build better cities,” she said.

“So how do we break the cycle? How can we finance change?”

Cue the arrival of fintech – the merger of finance with technology that has made possible now-ubiquitous products and services such as shopping on Amazon, online bank transfers and the ability to purchase bitcoin. As one of the fastest growing areas for venture capital, fintech is all about innovation.

“Banks won’t lend to tiny houses, your village on a barge, or your condos on a cruise ship, but the crowd just might,” she said.

“This rapidly growing tiny industry is the future of capital formation.”

So how does crowdfunding build better cities? Ms. Picker cited several of her own success stories when banks refused credit, which include funding a construction loan to build Pittsburgh’s first tiny house in an underserved neighbourhood.

With the use of crowdfunding, Small Change helped to convert a historic building to a premier co-working space, build affordable starter homes in New Orleans, and bring to fruition an artist co-op bed and breakfast that will provide affordable housing to artists.

Along with the need to provide more affordable housing and reimagine public spaces, other panellists at the forum spoke of the need to be more intentional in reflecting diverse cultures and meeting the needs of local populations.

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McKinsey Global Institute | Sep 19, 2019 Asia is increasingly the center of the world economy. By 2040, the region could account for more than half of global GDP and about 40 percent of global consumption. Global cross-border flows are shifting towards Asia on seven of eight dimensions, and the region’s growth is becoming more broad-based and sustainable as its constituent economies increasingly integrate with each other. This is a diverse region, but its different parts have complementary characteristics, and powerful networks are developing within Asia. Patterns of globalization are shifting, and these shifts are occurring faster in Asia than elsewhere, suggesting that more than any other region, Asia could shape the way globalization unfolds in the years to come. This new paper builds on the McKinsey Global Institute’s research on globalization in January 2019 by examining Asia’s rise on eight dimensions incorporating 16 types of flow, looking at the increasing integration of the economies of the region, and highlighting the development of three powerful new Asian networks: industrialization, innovation, and culture and mobility, and the rising cities that are pivotal components of those networks. The paper is one of a series on the Future of Asia, a multi-phase research project ...
Read More
Asian tiger - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Cambridge Alternative Finance Centre | Sep 19, 2019 The second edition of the Global Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking Study provides new insights into the current state of the enterprise blockchain ecosystem. The study gathers survey data from 160 start-ups, established companies, central banks, and other public-sector institutions from 49 different countries worldwide. The empirical analysis specifically focuses on enterprise blockchain networks that have entered in production. Some Highlights from the report The banking, financial markets and insurance industries are responsible for the largest share of live networks: The trend indicated in 2017 has continued: 43 per cent of enterprise blockchain networks deployed in production can be attributed to Financial Services, far ahead of any other sector and industry. The specific use case of a network can be at times difficult to identify, but supply chain tracking, trading infrastructure, and document certification seem to currently dominate.   Companies and institutions from nearly every sector and industry of the global economy have been exploring the potential of blockchain technology in recent years. The Accommodation and Food Services as well as the Healthcare and Social Assistance sectors come at a distant second place with 6% of all networks each. Cost reduction is the main value ...
Read More
Cambridge Centre 2nd Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking study - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Business Cloud | Alistair Hardaker | Sep 13, 2019 Only a few firms said they are now prepared for a potential crash out of the EU next month Most London FinTech firms are not prepared for the fallout of a no deal Brexit, says a new report. More than three quarters, (78 per cent) of firms surveyed by Innovate Finance said they were not prepared for Britain to leave the EU without a deal, and 45 per cent said they don’t feel prepared even if there is a transition period. The main concerns of a no-deal scenario shared by the FinTech firms were ‘passporting’, by which firms can apply for a ‘passport’ to do business throughout the EU, cross-border transactions, servicing EU clients and retaining and attracting new talent. The survey also reports that 38 per cent of FinTech say they have not taken any steps to prepare for Brexit, but the majoirty have begun tasks such as reviewing data processing, preserving talent and undertaking risk management procedures. See:  Europe’s fintech companies are preparing for a no-deal Brexit Who’s afraid of Brexit? Here’s why Canadian fintechs are flocking to London Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance, said: “At this time ...
Read More
london tower bridge - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Financial Post | Julius Melnitzer | Sep 17, 2019 In a general sense, what the Bureau wants to know is whether the characteristics of certain digital markets favour concentration — a process called 'tipping' The Competition Bureau’s recent call to Canadians to flag anti-competitive conduct in the digital economy is raising eyebrows among industry professionals. Certainly, the Bureau’s consultation seems far more concrete than what is evident from the regulator’s statement that it “is examining concerns that certain digital markets have become increasingly concentrated.” “The Bureau is looking to collect information and understand facts to determine whether increased concentration is truly occurring,” says Anita Banicevic, a competition partner in Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s Toronto office. “But it’s also looking to see whether it should take enforcement actions and beyond that, a fairly open call for complaints on which to base such actions.” Although Banicevic acknowledges that the Bureau has “always been driven by complaints to a significant degree” and “does have the ability and resources to weed out the genuine complaints from those that are meritorious,” she still finds the call-out disquieting. “I remain concerned that the call for complaints is essentially a matter of looking for issues,” ...
Read More
big tech and competition bureau - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Globe and Mail | Lauren Robinson | Sep 12, 2019 Lauren Robinson is general partner at Highline BETA and executive director at Female Funders For decades the research has been clear: businesses benefit from gender diversity. Women are starting businesses at a faster rate than ever before, and leadership teams that include women provide better financial returns for investors. Investing in women is good for business. But for women founders looking to launch and scale successful businesses, access to capital remains a major barrier. There is consistent data showing that deal flow is often sourced from pre-existing networks. This explains why women entrepreneurs have a higher likelihood of closing an investment when a female investor is involved: venture firms are twice as likely to invest in women-led startups if they have at least one female partner on their team, and women angel investors place greater importance on the gender of the founders they are considering investing in. Women entrepreneurs are more likely to access capital when there are women making investment decisions. This is critical when funding for female founders is stalled at 2.2 per cent of the total invested in the United States. We can do better. Why venture ...
Read More
lauren robinson - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
University of Pennsylvania | Wharton Knowledge | Sep 10, 2019 As the finance industry grapples with what the next generation of banks and payment systems will look like, it’s clear that partnerships are a linchpin for riding the wave of change successfully, whether you’re a multibillion-dollar traditional bank or a startup looking to bring cutting-edge technology into the mainstream. “The rails that these payment systems are built on date back 20-30 years – people are not starting to reinvent that alone; it isn’t an overnight thing – it’s incremental innovation adding up to something massive,” said Jennifer Lee, vice president focused on fintech at growth equity firm Edison Partners during the recent Fearless in Fintech conference at Wharton San Francisco. At the conference, which was co-sponsored by Knowledge@Wharton and Wharton Executive Education and organized by Momentum Event Group, Denise Leonhard, head of global credit expansion, business development and expansion at Paypal, used her company’s online payments system as an example of the challenges ahead. “We’ve built our infrastructure with all these different partners – payment networks, bank issuers … we’re all playing in a very messy soup,” she said. “What we’ve been building in the last 20 years has brought ...
Read More
future of fintech partnerships - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
BBC | Sep 16, 2019 Kickstarter has been accused of "union-busting" after firing three employees. Taylor Moore, the company's head of comedy and podcasts, tweeted that he and another employee were fired on Thursday, while tech and design lead Clarissa Redwine was fired last week. All three were heavily involved in the formation of a Kickstarter union this year, Mr Moore added. Kickstarter confirmed the employees were fired, but denied that it was because of their union activity. Mr Moore tweeted that he had worked at the company for six years. He said that when Kickstarter fired him they "offered me no real reasons, but one month's severance for signing an NDA" - a non-disclosure agreement. "I will not be signing it." "The union busting campaign that Kickstarter management is engaging in is illegal and wrong," he added. "It is an unforgivable abandonment of the values of an organisation that I have loved and served with my whole heart." Ms Redwine also tweeted at the company, saying: "I will not be signing your termination agreement containing a non-disparagement clause. You can keep my severance." See:  A Digitized Staff Compliance Platform is a Must-Have She added: "Kickstarter's management continues to state ...
Read More
kickstarter acused of unionbusting - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
FCA | Sep 11, 2019 Speech by Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, delivered at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance annual conference, Judge Business School. Highlights: The UK has led the rest of the world with developments like the regulatory Sandbox, we are very proud of what has been achieved through it. Early engagement is incredibly valuable for monitoring, supervisory and policy purposes. Working with innovative firms helps us achieve a better bird’s-eye view, enhancing our understanding when the overall landscape is blurry and ­changing quickly. 'Stablecoin' is a term that has been widely adopted by industry, but we do not take it to be a distinct category of cryptoassets. Something labelled as a 'stablecoin' could sit within or outside of our regulatory perimeter. Note: this is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version. See:  FCA confirms new rules for P2P platforms Last month, Facebook announced its plans for Libra, the stablecoin it is planning to launch in conjunction with a number of payment and tech firms. As has been widely reported, along with other regulators and central banks, we have been discussing their plans with Facebook. If this comes ...
Read More
Christopher Woolard2 - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
NCFA Canada | Sep 13, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Sep 13: Funding is Female with Jill Earthy EP37 GUEST: JILL EARTHY, Head of Female Funders (Linkedin) HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host BIO:  Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. As Head of Female Funders (powered by Highine BETA), she is empowering female leaders to become investors in early stage companies. Her background includes being an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurs in various leadership roles and working as Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform. She is a community leader and active mentor, currently serving on the national Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC, and as Co-Chair of We for She. Jill was recently recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion award as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019. About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA'S Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Jill Earthy the Head of Female Funders. The talk about what ...
Read More
FF EP37 female funders 1 - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
TechCrunch | Kate Clark | Sep 12, 2019 Affirm, founded by PayPal’s Max Levchin, is said to be raising as much as $1.5 billion in a combination of debt and equity, according to people with knowledge of the company’s fundraising activities. Josh Kushner’s New York venture capital firm Thrive Capital is said to be leading the financing, with participation from the San Francisco outfit Spark Capital. Affirm declined to comment. Representatives of Thrive and Spark, existing Affirm investors, have not responded to a request for comment. Sources familiar with Affirm, which gives consumers an alternative to personal loans and credit by financing online purchases at point-of-sale, presume the round will be made up largely of a line of credit from a large financial institution, known as a warehouse facility. Affirm recently raised a $300 million Thrive-led Series F round in April at a valuation of $3 billion. Fintech companies focused on payments and lending, however, require a vast amount of capital to sustain operations. Those capital requirements coupled with the frothiness of the venture capital market justify this additional cash infusion. To date, Affirm has raised $1.03 billion in funding from Ribbit Capital, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed ...
Read More
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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump TowerThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For

Equities.com | By Equity Multiple Team | August 8, 2017

Equity Platform 300x147 - Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For

Since the JOBS Act of 2012 opened the door for equity crowdfunding, dozens of startups have taken up the mantle of “real estate crowdfunding” – depending on your definition, there are now dozens to well over 100 platforms offering some form of real estate micro-investing, affording retail investors unprecedented access to real estate investments. For individual investors managing their own portfolios, the vast array of options can be overwhelming. Discerning investors are right to evaluate the landscape critically, and only pursue those investments and investing platforms that align with their strategy.

While each offers a unique focus and value proposition to investors, platforms have now consolidated into several main categories of the business model:

eREITs: Fundrise and RealtyMogul, two of the original players the real estate crowdfunding space, have pivoted to offering semi-blind funds that aggregate properties throughout the country. These investments offer built-in diversity and very low minimums, making them appropriate for less experienced investors.

Commercial equity investing: probably the closest to the original idea of real estate crowdfunding, these platforms offer CRE equity opportunities to accredited investors, allowing them to participate in high-upside, larger commercial projects. While the return potential is often great, these tend to be the long term and riskier than other RECF investments. Thus, these kinds of investments are most appropriate for investors who have time to really understand the risk factors in play, and who have at least a working knowledge of real estate equity investing

Debt investing: Some platforms take some or all of an existing real estate loan, secured by a deed on the underlying property, and syndicate it out to a network of individual investors at a fixed rate of return. Other platforms act as the lender, issuing a loan to a real estate developer or flipper. In either case, the platform’s network of investors are offered a flat annual rate of return - typically between 7% and 12% - over a relatively short term - generally 6 to 18 months. Since these investments are secured by the property and short in a term, they tend to be a good fit for more risk-averse investors.

See:

Understanding the spectrum of models can help investors prioritize those offerings that best fit their portfolio objectives, whether that be stable cash flow, preserving wealth for retirement, or opportunistic pursuit of high upside. Given the relatively low minimums, many platforms offer, there may be room in an individual’s portfolio to invest through several platforms and achieve further diversification.

Regardless of what model a platform operates under, investors are advised to take a close look at the track record and experience of the people behind the platform. Attentive customer service is a must – platforms should practice transparency and be willing and able to answer any questions investors have.

Individual Deals - What to Look For

Some platforms perform their own diligence on investments, which should give you some comfort as an investor. Even so, you’ll want to understand some key components of any deal you consider and be sure it aligns with your investing objectives before pulling the trigger. Here are some of the main things to consider:

Risk Factors - No investment is without risk, even fixed-rate, short-term debt investments. Examples of risk factors are tight construction timelines, a precarious labour market in the area, an unsubstantial track record or aggressive leverage on the part of the Sponsor who originated the deal. Again, if risk factors aren’t presented transparently, or the platform is unable or unwilling to field questions about risk factors, this should raise a red flag.

Payout Structure - While debt deals are mostly straightforward, equity investments can be much more complex. Be sure to understand where your investments fit in the capital stack, and what order you will be repaid principal and profits relative to the Sponsor and other LP investors.

Cash Flow and Liquidity - Simply looking at how many dollars you’re expected to receive over the lifetime of a deal (the simple return) or even a time-weighted return (IRR - internal rate of return), won’t give a complete picture of the timing and magnitude of returns. Depending on the business plan for the project and how the platform has negotiated and deal, you may receive distributions monthly or quarterly, and you may begin receiving cash flow from rent immediately, at some point partway through the term, or not at all in the case of a ground-up development or rehab. Similarly, repayment of principal may be projected for the end of the term, partway through the term, or piecemeal in the case of partial sales or a refinance. Be sure that the schedule of distributions and principal repayment is palatable to you given your liquidity needs.

Once again, if any aspect of the deal is unclear or doesn’t pass the sniff test, don’t hesitate to ask questions of the platform offering it.

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ncfa logo 100.gif?zoom=1 - Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

How Real Estate Investing Is Spurring Millennial Home Ownership

Forbes | By Christine Michel Carter | July 25, 2017

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Millennials are the largest group of home buyers for the fourth consecutive year, according to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. Nearly 40% of home buyers were under 36 years old.

So what’s driving the change in Millennial home ownership?

Forty-nine percent of Millennial buyers had at least one child, also according to the report. That is up six percentage points from two years ago. Also, while Millennials are not racing down the aisle, they are purchasing homes with their partners. Though marriage rates declined, the number of U.S. adults in cohabiting relationships reached nearly 18 million last year, up 29% since 2007. About half of those cohabiters (those living with an unmarried partner) are younger than 35. But most importantly, in a joint Real Estate Investment Survey with Harris Interactive, RealtyShares found that 55% of Millennials are enthusiastic about home ownership as an investment, and over half would invest in property other than their primary residence.

With all the enthusiasm Millennials have towards real estate investment, for them, it is still a foreign and confusing concept with many barriers. In fact, 70% of all Americans think investing in real estate is more difficult than investing in other asset classes. Few are aware of the options towards home ownership, such as borrowing from retirement, real estate crowdfunding or house hacking.

See: Could Real Estate Crowdfunding Help Millennials Retire Sooner?

Not surprisingly, Millennials believe technology makes the real estate investment process easier. That’s why Kendra Barnes, millennial and real estate investment coach, started The Key Resource, a digital resource educating and empowering fellow Millennials to invest in real estate. Barnes herself owns a 4-plex, duplex and single family home in Washington, D.C.- a city with a strong housing market. Today Barnes makes nearly $200,000 in annual rental income and plans to buy at least two more properties before the end of 2017 in other states. Barnes relates to other Millennials with regards to the order in which they’re making big decisions- she bought a house, got married and then invested in real estate:

We had no plans of ever buying rental property- not because we didn’t think it was possible, we just never even considered it. One day we played Rich Dad’s board game Cash Flow and it changed our lives. We realized that we were doing absolutely nothing to build wealth and at the rate we were going we’d have to work until we were old and gray. We decided to get into real estate investing and started making sacrifices that most people wouldn’t in order to reach our goals. We downsized to a one car household, saved more, and borrowed from our retirement account to buy our first property.

See also: Fintech Lures Millennial Investors Away From Asset Managers

Continue to the full article --> here

ncfa logo 100.gif?zoom=1 - How Real Estate Investing Is Spurring Millennial Home Ownership

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market Booms

CrowdfundInsider | By  | June 21, 2017

Photo by Christoph Mahlstedt Hamburg Germany 600x422 - German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market Booms

The German real estate crowdfunding market is set to more than triple in size this year. Real estate developers, asset managers, and, most recently, real estate agents are joining the fray of real estate crowdfunding platforms, trying to unseat the handful of leaders who have already established a strong leadership position in this very young market.

The road ahead for the German real estate crowdfunding market has been cleared. The threat of being excluded from the scope of application of the crowdfunding regulation, the Kleinanlegerschutzgesetzt (KASG), was taken off the table last month. The crowdfunding market can move ahead on its exponential growth path.

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Exponential Growth

The German real estate crowdfunding market is very young. Although a few projects appeared as early as 2012, the market has only taken off after the entry into force of the KASG in July 2015. Most real estate projects raise funds in form of subordinated loans regulated by the KASG.

Michel Harms 300x200 - German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market BoomsMichel Harms tracks the overall crowdinvesting industry through his crowdfunding barometer and his aggregation site crowdinvest.de which lists all crowdinvesting projects available in Germany. According to his reports, real estate accounts for 80% of the crowdinvesting market. In 2016, the market doubled in size to reach €40 million. In the first five months of 2017 alone, 51 real estate projects raised €52 million. One can reasonably expect the market to triple in size by the end of 2017.

In 2016, more than 80% of the 48 projects were residential development projects (construction, renovation, rehabilitation), half of which were located in big German cities, with Berlin being the top location. As mentioned, most platforms use the regulated subordinated loans, ahead of bank loans and bonds. The average loan duration is 21 months, the median interest rate 6%.

See: Could Real Estate Crowdfunding Help Millennials Retire Sooner?

Three leaders emerge

In the short time since 2015, three leaders have already emerged: Exporo, Zinsland and Bergfuerst, three platforms dedicated real estate crowdfunding. Together, they make up for more than three-quarters of the real estate crowdfinancing.

Exporo was incorporated in 2013 by Simon Brunke, CEO, Björn Maronde, Julian Oertzen and Tim Bütecke. The company launched its first project as Exporo GmbH at the end of 2014. Since then, the platform has broken away from the pack by raising more than €64 million cumulatively, which amounts to a market share of over 40%. The platform has financed more 52 projects, including 21 in 2017 alone. Many of these are large projects, at the upper limit of the German prospectus-exemption of €2,5 million. To fuel its expansion, Exporo recently raised €8 million from e.ventures, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Sunstone and BPO Capital.

Zinsland was founded in 2014 by Carl-Friedrich von Stechow, CEO, Dr. Stefan Wiskemann and Moritz Eversmann. The platform launched its first project in 2015. Since then, it has financed 25 projects, including 10 in 2017, for a total of €18 million. It claims 2,600 members.  To meet its aggressive growth plans the company expect to double its number of employees by year end.

Bergfürst was started much earlier than its competitors, in 2011, as an equity crowdfunding platform launched by Dr. Guido Sandler, CEO, and Dennis Bemmann. The platform launched its first real estate project in 2014 and pivoted shortly after to dedicate itself exclusively to real estate projects. To date, the platform has raised nearly 13 million to finance 20 real estate projects. Whereas most competitors require a minimum investment of €500, Bergfürst lets retail investors participate with €10.

Bergfürst transition to real estate crowdfunding is an exception. Other equity crowdfunding platforms who fund SMEs and startups, such as Seedmatch (through Mezzany), Companisto or FunderNation, have tried their hand in real estate crowdfunding with a few projects. But they seem to have given up competing with the more specialized platforms.

 

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ncfa logo 100.gif?zoom=1 - German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market Booms

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA

Mississauga.com | by Louie Rosella | June 7, 2017

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NexusCrowd, a Canadian real estate crowdfunding platform, has a number of projects on the go through crowdfunding, including a $12 million real estate redevelopment project announced in 2015 boasting three properties — one in Mississauga.

Real estate crowdfunding is experiencing explosive levels of growth, particularly in Mississauga and across the GTA.

NexusCrowd, a Canadian real estate crowdfunding platform, has a number of projects on the go through crowdfunding, including a $12 million real estate redevelopment project announced in 2015 boasting three properties — one in Mississauga.

NexusCrowd bills itself as the first investment platform in Canada that provides investors with exclusive access to co-invest with established real estate developers and investors in real estate deals that have reached at least 50 per cent of the funding target.

See:  Could Real Estate Crowdfunding Help Millennials Retire Sooner?

Just last fall, NexusCrowd announced it has closed its fourth real estate investment offering, raising $517,000. By partnering with Downing Street Realty Partners, NexusCrowd allowed accredited investors to participate in the development of a mixed-use commercial real estate project located in downtown Toronto.

“We have now raised over $2 million for four private real estate investments using our innovative investment platform,” said Hitesh Rathod, CEO of NexusCrowd. “Offering high-quality exclusive investment opportunities to our investors is our top priority and we are excited to announce that we are working on additional partnerships to further expand our product offering.”

NexusCrowd was part of what was hailed Canada’s first crowdfunded real estate project in fall 2015 and featured another Mississauga location.

“This type of deal is extremely exclusive,” said Rathod in a 2015 interview with The Mississauga News. “I think crowdfunding has huge potential. It just needs to be done the right way. You need to do due diligence. It can be a risky proposition and I work to mitigate risk.”

One of the three assets in the $12 million project is a 25,000-square-foot former pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at 951 Verbena Rd., in the area of Tomken and Britannia roads. The other two properties are industrial facilities in Etobicoke.

Continue to the full article --> here

ncfa logo 100.gif?zoom=1 - GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

 

Fintech Platform futureshare Launches to Help Canadian Homeowners Unlock Their Real Estate Wealth

Market Wired | May 18, 2017

Alternative to HELOCs and reverse mortgages means homeowners don't have to sell to tap into their home equity

futureshare logo f73b1f120530895f8a4210b62726c115 - Fintech Platform futureshare Launches to Help Canadian Homeowners Unlock Their Real Estate WealthTORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 18, 2017) - There is more than $2.9 trillion in unmortgaged real estate equity in Canada (CREA), and today fintech platform futureshare launches to help Canadians unlock that real estate wealth without taking on new debt. The company was founded in 2016 as an alternative to home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and reverse mortgages and gives homeowners a lump sum free of ongoing payments and interest rates in exchange for a percentage of the home's appreciation, which can be paid out without penalty at any time or once the property is sold. futureshare's online platform is the first of its kind in Canada and is now live in beta and accepting online applications for homes within Ontario with plans to launch in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia by the end of 2017.

"Canada's housing market has billions in untapped equity and futureshare is giving that wealth back to Canadians to help them reduce financial stress and live happier lives. We're revolutionizing the process by giving Canadians an alternative to home equity loans or HELOCs that's interest rate and payment free, allowing them to unlock their real estate wealth and increase their cash flow," said Michael Orrbrooke, CEO and founder of futureshare. "Whether it is, for example, for home improvements, debt consolidation, for funding retirement or investing in a small business, futureshare wants to help Canadians achieve their financial goals without adding new debt."

See: Real Estate Crowdfunding - An Emerging New Asset Class

The average Canadian owes $1.67 for every dollar in income (StatsCan), and futureshare is designed to help homeowners access the equity tied up in their home without adding to their ongoing debt burden. Unlike a reverse mortgage or HELOC, futureshare doesn't require homeowners to have perfect credit scores or to fall within a specific income bracket, and it doesn't increase monthly payments. A homeowner's eligibility is based primarily on their home value and whether they have at least 25 per cent equity ownership in their home. Homeowners will be able to access on average up to 10-20 per cent of their home equity using futureshare's platform, and unlike a loan, there's no ongoing payments or interest rates.

Canada has become a hub for fintech innovation, with venture capital financing for fintech companies increasing by 74% from 2015 to 2016 (Thomson Reuters). Like other fintech platforms, futureshare's process is simple and easy to complete online. Homeowners can use the online equity release calculator to see how much of their wealth they can unlock, and once they complete the 90-second pre-qualification questions, the homeowner receives a real-time conditional offer outlining the details of the equity release amount and terms they could receive. The home is then appraised and a final offer is sent via email by futureshare to the homeowner, with the credit application and underwriting process continuing online. Homeowners receive their funds, via electronic transfer, on average within 10-15 business days of signing the final offer.

About futureshare

futureshare provides an alternative to home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and reverse mortgages, helping homeowners unlock their real estate wealth without having to sell their home. The online platform provides consumers with the opportunity to receive funds based on an appraisal on their home in exchange for a portion of their homes future appreciation, meaning that homeowners have zero ongoing payments, and incur zero interest. futureshare is currently available in beta in Ontario with plans to launch in Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia by the end of 2017. futureshare is based in Toronto, and the platform launched in May 2017.

To learn more about futureshare, visit futureshare.ca.

Social media links:

Facebook: facebook.com/futuresharedf
Twitter: twitter.com/futuresharedf

For additional information, contact:

Jamie Gillingham
Eighty-Eight
Account Manager
jamie@eightyeightagency.com
416-944-2722

SOURCE: futureshare (view release)