Category Archives: Fintech and Real Estate

Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

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

A 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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The 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

Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
Read More
Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
Read More
$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
Read More
Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A 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 ...
Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
Read More
Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
Read More
What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 

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When banks balk, ordinary investors can become city builders with ‘small change’

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The Globe and Mail | | June 22, 2018

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.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


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Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
Read More
Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
Read More
$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
Read More
Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A 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 ...
Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
Read More
Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
Read More
What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

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Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For

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

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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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.

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How Real Estate Investing Is Spurring Millennial Home Ownership

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Forbes | By Christine Michel Carter | July 25, 2017

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

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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.

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German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market Booms

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CrowdfundInsider | By  | June 21, 2017

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.

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 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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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.

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GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA

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

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.

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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.

 

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

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Market Wired | May 18, 2017

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

TORONTO, 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)

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