Category Archives: Venture funding Best Practices

FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy

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NCFA Canada | By Samuel He | July 11, 2020

FFCON20 Fintech Draft Finally vs Numoola - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy

Image Credit: Inspiring / Shutterstock

 


Dealing with finances is time-consuming and difficult, especially when it involves contradictory goals, like paying off debt while investing for the future. Unfortunately, financial literacy is not emphasized in today’s educational curriculum.

Reports show that only 16% of Millennials qualified as “financially literate,” and over 75% of Canadians stated that they were not confident that they will ever achieve their financial goals.

Several companies have taken initiatives to offer assistance in this field. One company is Finally, a free online financial planning stimulator will provide guidance to users about their financial goals. Another is NuMoola, a family-focused consumer banking app that helps children develop good money habits using real money and gamified education.

Finally offers a DIY Financial Planning Simulator that helps users customize a tailor-made plan to best fit their needs. The simulator uses multiple financial algorithms and machine learning to make the process straightforward and efficient, creating a plan for the user in as little as 20 minutes.

A basic financial plan can be created for free, with the user having the option to subscribe for additional value-added services. Some of these services include automated money movement, access to a financial planning advisor, and cashback programs for assistance.

NuMoola approaches the problem from a different direction. The NuMoola app strives to make learning about financial literacy a less daunting endeavour. And their focus is on getting children to develop good lifelong financial habits early. The app features family-focused banking that allows children to learn the value of money and gamified educational tasks focusing on all aspects of banking and money management. Achieving financial awareness at this early stage prepares children to be financially responsible and tackle financial hurdles in the future.

 

You can see Finally and NuMoola pitch at FFCON20 DIGITAL’s Fintech Draft Competition!

Get a ticket, tune in and vote to show your support for Finally and NuMoola (and others, see below)

Check out their profiles and their competition at the FFCON20 RISE page.

 

 

FFCON20 Fintech Draft - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy

NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Refusal to embrace open banking puts Canada behind yet another curve

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Financial Post | Kevin Carmichael | July 10, 2020

Adam Feleskey Portag3 ventures - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacyAdam Felesky, chief executive of Portag3 Ventures LP, the venture-capital arm of Power Corp. of Canada, was primed to put his home country on the leading edge of finance at the end of last year.

“We’re on a mission to build global champions from a Canadian base,” Felesky told the TechCrunch website in early December when Portag3 announced it had raised $427 million for a new fund aimed at digital finance startups.

The “majority” of that money remains unallocated, Felesky told me this week, but that could soon change. The social distancing demanded by COVID-19 has sped up the shift to a digital economy, a boon for outfits such as Toronto-based Portag3, which specializes in identifying startups that have plans to disrupt finance. The pandemic caused a terrible recession, but anyone focused on digital technology barely noticed.

“We’ve been playing offence,” Felesky said during a Zoom interview organized by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association. “We’re excited about the environment right now. There are lots of opportunities.”

Without access to data, digital upstarts have little chance of stealing market share from legacy institutions, even if they offer a better service

Unfortunately for Canada, which, like most countries, will need all the investment it can get to recover from the coronavirus crisis, most of the opportunities that Felesky sees are elsewhere.

See:  Open banking would help the recovery

That’s because we Canadians — and, by extension, our elected representatives — refuse to get excited about open banking, the industry term for a regulatory regime that grants control of financial information to clients rather than the financial institutions that serve them.

Without access to data, digital upstarts have little chance of stealing market share from legacy institutions, even if they offer a better service. The United Kingdom, European Union and Australia are among the jurisdictions that have adopted open banking over the past couple of years and will benefit from a first-mover advantage as a result.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, meanwhile, keeps postponing a decision on whether it intends to follow, which probably suits the established banking oligopoly just fine.

Around the time Portag3 closed its latest round of fundraising, an expert committee appointed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau was finishing up a report that was relatively enthusiastic about open banking. In January, Morneau released the review and announced additional consultations would be held in the spring. Those meetings were postponed until autumn because of the pandemic, meaning regulatory clarity is at least a year away, if not longer.

As a result, Portag3’s money probably will end up in places where governments have decided to embrace the future, rather than serve the interests of legacy interests by dallying. Canada will have exposure to the digital shift in financial services thanks to the ownership stakes Portag3 and others take in various international firms. But the actual champions of global finance will continue to come from elsewhere, and their clients in Europe and Asia will be first to enjoy the benefits of better service.

See:  NCFA Open Letter: Government should collaborate with Fintechs

“Unfortunately, we’re spending more time outside of Canada than inside of Canada because of some of these (regulatory) headwinds,” Felesky said. “It’s difficult to make some of these investments believing something may occur. We just don’t have any capital in businesses that are dependent on open banking.”

A new generation of finance entrepreneurs think decades of coddling have left the big banks too risk averse to be successful in the digital economy

There is a strongly held view among fintech advocates that the big banks are using their influence to delay regulatory changes that would entice new challengers for as long as they can.

Given the banking oligopoly’s outsized role in the federal government’s COVID-19 rescue, it’s fair to wonder if it will have even greater sway over Ottawa once the emergency is over. The argument that the guarantee of financial stability justifies protecting the largest institutions from competition will be strengthened by Bay Street’s ability to keep many mortgage holders and smaller companies afloat during the crisis.

See:  NCFA Announces Updated Virtual Interactive Programme for FFCON20 DIGITAL, the 6th annual Fintech and Financing Conference

There will need to be more urgency in Ottawa, too, and some of that will have to be directed by us, so call your member of Parliament. The opportunity cost of letting the banks and their regulators sort out open banking is too great.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Expanding the definition of entrepreneur

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McGill Alumni News | Tracey Lindeman | May 2020

soul of an entrepreneur - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacyWho gets to be called an entrepreneur?

In 2020, we generally picture young men in hoodies staring intently into laptops. Or perhaps a slightly more diverse cast of people dressed in business casual, discussing the merits of spreadsheets in the cloud. We may even imagine a member of the Hollywood elite, breaking out of their field and into a new wellness trend.

Rarely do we think of the Syrian restaurant owner, the person who runs the local plant shop or bakery, a freelancer who hustles ‘round the clock to meet deadlines and find new clients.

See:  Why Covid is your ticket to working by the beach

As David Sax, BA’02, argues in his latest book, The Soul of an Entrepreneur: Work and Life Beyond the Startup Myth, we’re doing a disservice to entrepreneurship — and to the vital role it plays in our society — by focusing our gaze so narrowly on what it means to be an entrepreneur.

“What drew me to write the book was this contradiction that I would see, which is that, in The Gazette, in Toronto Life, in The New York Times, in Businessweek, in all these other publications, and [in] the media and movies and books, we were hearing about this ‘golden age of entrepreneurship,’ that there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur,” says Sax on the phone from his home in Toronto.

That version of entrepreneurship, however, was mainly defined by tech entrepreneurship — the world of venture capital, million and billion-dollar investments, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions.

In his newly released fourth book, Sax — who is a self-employed writer by trade — examines who gets to wear the “entrepreneur” badge of honour in this day and age. It’s not entirely new terrain, he acknowledges. All of his books, including the award-winning Save the Deli and the more recent The Revenge of Analog (longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction) focus on entrepreneurs to some extent.

See:  The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship

For his latest book, his journey starts in Toronto at Soufi’s, a Syrian restaurant in the city’s Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood, and at Scarborough’s Crown Pastries — both owned by Syrian immigrant families whose visions of life in Canada leaned heavily on building something of their own. “That was my dream. To open a bakery,” Rasoul Salha told Sax.

Canada is a country built on small and medium sized businesses. According to Statistics Canada, there are about 1.5 million SMBs across the country and combined, these companies are responsible for employing nearly 90 per cent of Canada’s private-sector workforce. These companies make massive contributions to the country’s exports and overall GDP.

The situation is not dissimilar in the U.S., which is where Sax meets Tracy Obolsky, owner of New York’s Rockaway Beach Bakery. “I’d go to her bakery and we’d eat croissants and I’d watch her roll in and interview her, and then we’d go surfing later in the day,” he recounts. What he loved most about Obolsky’s story is that she more or less lived on her own terms. Yes, she worked hard and had only one day off a week. “But now she’s always sending me photos of her surfing and I’m like, ‘damn it,’ you know? That's the dream.”

These small stories of struggle and victory are everywhere in entrepreneurship, Sax argues, yet the mythology of the tech startup sucks up a disproportionate amount of air in the room. He believes that the prevalent archetype of what an entrepreneur is expected to be  — a Mark Zuckerberg-type figure  —  reinforces existing inequalities. For instance, tech funding remains male dominated, with less than three per cent of VC money in the U.S. going to women-founded companies in 2019.

See: 

Stories about tech entrepreneurs dominate the news, even though tech companies only represent a small fraction of all business activity. Large media organizations, governments and other hugely influential entities have, in a way, become entranced by the tech story, he says.

“The greater story of all the other entrepreneurs who aren't part of that world of venture capital-funded technology startups aren't being told, aren't being valued. It's not something that's taught at business schools,” says Sax.

“And yet the majority of people who graduate from universities like McGill and become entrepreneurs will go into all sorts of different fields.”

What’s gone on since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic may be an important turning point, he notes.

Self-isolation rules forced many people to rely on their own community’s resources — something that Sax feels has laid a new foundation for how we will think about small business in the future.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum

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Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance | Tania Zielgar | Jun 17, 2020

Global Benchmarking and Covid 19 Survey Banner - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacyNCFA Intro:  NCFA is please to provide continued support as a National industry partner of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance research initiatives in Canada.  It's absolutely essential that data and research be collected and anlayzed to help identify trends, inform policy and understand the state of industry during these times of global risk and innovative change.  We strongly advise all fintech firms, research partners and anyone who is able to help this important survey collection initiative by completing the survey and sharing it widely among your network.

Overview of the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey

For the past several years, the CCAF has produced comprehensive industry-focused research on the evolution of alternative finance; documenting and analysing the development of Crowdfunding, P2P/Marketplace Lending and other FinTech markets from across 190 countries.

This year’s benchmarking survey will also include the recently launched The Global Covid-19 Fintech Market Rapid Assessment Study, in partnership with the World Bank Group and the World Economic Forum. The empirical data collected will be used to understand Covid-19’s impact on the FinTech markets, how the global FinTech industry has responded and some of the immediate regulatory and policy implications. This research program has resulted in 20 reports, which are disseminated freely to inform policy and raise public awareness of alternative finance. This research has provided unique detail and insight into the changing FinTech landscape, creating a valuable evidence-base for policymakers, regulators, and industry stakeholders to utilize when evaluating the FinTech ecosystem within their local context or from a globally comparative perspective.

The Fintech landscape is changing rapidly as a result of Covid-19. This report, and the historical data on this industry more broadly, provide signposts as to the general development trajectories of firms when faced with this pandemic, and where strengths and weakness may lie.

The survey will hence include two key components:
1.    Time-series data required to continue the CCAF long-standing tradition of benchmarking and scoping the industry (referring to your 2019 activities), and
2.    Covid-19 focused time-sensitive data on a) market performance, b) regulatory needs & policy asks, and c) operational changes & implications.

The long-term impact of Covid-19 is yet to be known. By coupling longitudinal data with this research initiative, we can begin to test the resiliency of this market and provide clear, evidence-based assessments on how the sector will continue to develop.

As with all our reports, the Global Covid-19 Fintech Market Rapid Assessment (anticipated publication Q3) and the Annual Global Alternative Finance Industry Report (Q4) will be made available to the public and actively disseminated to provide key insights to regulators, policymakers and key industry stakeholders.  

Cambridge global benchmarking survey taxonomy - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy

Thanks in advance for your contribution to the study:  Take the Survey Now

https://jbs.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7PRyNSA3B5IKIrX

The Covid-19 pandemic presents both serious challenges and potential opportunities for the global FinTech industry to grow and scale, with the long-term effects yet unknown. By coupling the CCAF’s longitudinal data with this exciting research initiative, we can begin to test the resiliency of this market and provide clear, evidence-based assessments on how the sector will continue to develop.

This Study will provide a global assessment of the FinTech ecosystem’s responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, with particular attention to the industry’s response to challenges and their regulatory and policy concerns.  This survey will result in a jointly published report between the CCAF, World Bank and World Economic Forum, and will be made available online.  You can find further information on the Study in the accompanying press-release.

The survey will close on July 31st. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the CCAF research team directly:  Tania Ziegler (t.ziegler@jbs.cam.ac.uk).

Take the survey now --> here

 

Other links you may like:

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance Publishes First Global Report on Alternative Finance: Over $300 Billion in Volume in 2018

Cambridge: Global Regulator Survey Results – Regulation of Alternative Finance is Key to Make Sector Safe to Scale for the Masses

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Liquid Avatar Integrates with Disrupted Logic Interactive to Reach 60 Million+ Gamers

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KABN Sytems North America | Ben Kessler | June 16, 2020

KABN and Disruptive Logic Interactive - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy

Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - June 16, 2020) -  KABN Systems NA Holdings Corp. (CSE:KABN) (formerly Torino Power Solutions Inc.) (the "Company" or "KABN" or "KABN North America"), a Canadian Fintech company that specializes in continuous online identity verification, management and monetization, is pleased to announce that it has entered an initial agreement to integrate its Liquid Avatar platform (www.liquidavatar.com) with Disrupted Logic Interactive's ("DLI") ctalyst® platform to enhance the experience of online and eSports gamers.

Founded in 2012 in Vancouver, BC, by a team of seasoned video, gaming, advertising and technology leaders, DLI's ctalyst® platform currently works with over 130 game producers and has an additional 150 developers awaiting invitation to join the network. ctalyst® is a one-stop, self-contained, and full-service platform similar in concept to Google's AdWords, AdSense, and Analytics, but designed just for video games and e-sports. With the 130 game producers, the peak reach has been 60 to 70 million players and manages over 150 unique data points and analytics on opt-in participants. It is anticipated that when the additional 150 game developers are invited into the program, the reach could extend to over 500 million gamers worldwide.

See:  NCFA Announces Updated Virtual Interactive Programme for FFCON20 DIGITAL, the 6th annual Fintech and Financing Conference

KABN North America's platform provides, at no cost to consumers, the ability to create a digital identity with the Liquid Avatar platform, verify their identity through KABN ID and create value for the use of their identity through KABN North America's cashback, engagement and loyalty program KABN KASH, as well as the KABN Visa card.

KABN North America generates revenue by providing users with high value services and delivering permission-based offers that fit their aggregated public data profiles. KABN never rents, sells or provides data to outside parties without permission, and complies with jurisdictional privacy rules and regulations.

KABN North America is working with DLI and its game developers to promote Liquid Avatar to US and Canadian gamers through the online game registration and certain game incentives.

"The ability to increase player reach outside of the game and the ability to empower users to control the use of their digital identity is a fundamental reason why we've partnered with Liquid Avatar," said Tom Raycove, CEO of DLI. "KABN's ecosystem presents a tremendous opportunity for DLI and our game developers to create revenue while building increased value for players."

Liquid Avatar - Delivering Reach, Value and Revenue

Game Developers - Liquid Avatar provides developers with the ability to extend their reach and revenue generation with players by having gamers activate Liquid Avatars. Any revenues generated by those gamers in the KABN Network will be shared by KABN, DLI and game developers.

Advertisers - For in-game advertisers, DLI manages over 150 unique data points and, together with Liquid Avatar, can assess if a gamer has more than 1 account, allowing unique advertising to be delivered not just based on individual game play of an individual person and not just the number of accounts, increasing both value for the advertiser and potentially increasing overall revenue in the ecosystem.

Gamers - By signing up in-game for a Liquid Avatar account, the user will have the ability to earn special rewards and value from the game developer. They will also have the ability to potentially create and manage in-game avatars with Liquid Avatar and extend their game personas to the real world. Working with DLI, the data points collected can support both the opportunities in Liquid Avatar and products like KABN KASH to create more personalized offers from merchants and increase the potential revenue generated by KABN North America.

See:  A new denim collection gives jeans a digital identity

DLI / catalyst® - The agreement with KABN North America provides opportunities for DLI to increase their ongoing reach with gamers, create value for the ecosystems and generate revenues beyond in-game advertising. Liquid Avatar and KABN will share revenues generated inside the KABN ecosystem for users generated from DLI's referrals.

KABN North America - By working with DLI and other organizations that have large networks of non-verified users, Liquid Avatar can potentially create significant revenue and value for its partners and the KABN Network. This process both increases reach for Liquid Avatar and can potentially reduce customer acquisition costs significantly.

KABN North America Product Suite

KABN North America has 4 primary products that enable users to verify, manage and monetize their digital identity:

  • KABN ID: a reusable, Always On, compliant, biometrically based, identity verification and validation platform that forms the engine of the KABN Network.
  • LIQUID AVATAR: a digital image-based "wallet and keyring" platform that allows users to manage their digital identity.
  • KABN Card: an approved prepaid Visa card that includes a mobile banking wallet that supports both digital and traditional currencies.
  • KABN KASH: a robust loyalty and engagement platform with cashback and card-linked programs.

"This agreement with DLI creates an opportunity to reach a significantly large, low acquisition cost and highly scalable market to increase the reach of Liquid Avatar," said Benjamin Kessler, CEO. "KABN's suite of services will provide an ecosystem to empower these users to manage and control their digital identity and to benefit from unique, permission-based offers that will create revenues for KABN, DLI and game developers."

DLI is currently exploring its own private funding program and KABN North America has expressed interest in participating as a lead order, subject to completion of a definitive agreement, review of the offering, and receipt of all necessary approvals.

Over the coming weeks, KABN will begin its rollout of products and programs, initially on an invitation-only basis to its customers, social media, gaming and its network partners.

About DLI - www.disruptedlogic.com

Founded in 2012 in Vancouver, BC, by a team of industry professionals from gaming, advertising, technology and the motion picture industry, Disrupted Logic Interactive currently has 7 employees. Disrupted Logic has developed the ctalyst® technology which is live and in market.

ctalyst® is a one-stop, self-contained, and full-service platform similar in concept to Google's AdWords, AdSense, and Analytics, but designed just for video games and e-sports. ctalyst® ads are a natural, native, and genuine playable and enjoyable part of the video gaming experience. The ctalyst® engine manages over 150 user datapoints and analytics on an opt-in basis.

The platform has 130 participating game producers and an additional 150 developers awaiting invitations with an audience peak reach of approximately 60 to 70 million people. Disrupted Logic expects that when the additional 150 game developers are invited into the program, the platform's reach to the gaming industry could extend to over 500 million users worldwide.

For more information, please visit: www.disruptedlogic.com

About KABN - www.kabnnaholdco.com

KABN Systems NA Holdings Corp. through its wholly owned subsidiary KABN Systems North America Inc. focuses on the verification, management and monetization of digital identity, empowering users to control and benefit from its use of their online identity.

 

View:  source release


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Behind tech layoffs lay systemic cash flow negative companies

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Medium | Gonzalo Espinoza Graham | May 31, 2020

public companies and covid layoffs - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy

Since the pandemic started, there’s been approximately 61,260 tech layoffs [1]. Close to 30% of the layoffs came from public tech companies, 85% of those companies are unprofitable.

No deep insights here, just the simple fact that the once growth hyper focused startups grew to be publicly traded companies without ever sorting their unit economics, and now their mediocracy has real consequences on real people.

See:  How Regulation Crowdfunding Stood up to the First Weeks of Coronavirus – Almost Opposite of the Public Markets

This includes household names such as Uber, Lyft, Casper, and Eventbrite which we’ve all used, and begs the question: why did we allow so many unprofitable companies IPO? When did losing money become acceptable and the new normal for publicly traded companies?

Here’s to a new generation of entrepreneurs who prioritize building sustainable businesses.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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What the last 2 months of fundraising tells us about the future

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TechCrunch | Russ Heddleston | Jun 3, 2020

the future crystal ball - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacyFor many startups looking to secure funds, the fundraising marketplace has been a bit of a roller coaster. While there are signs that should make founders feel very optimistic (more on that here), it’s important to know how we got to this point.

We’ve used data from the 2020 DocSend Startup Index to track three major metrics to show us real-time trends in the fundraising marketplace. Using aggregate and anonymous data pulled from thousands of pitch deck interactions across the DocSend platform, we’re able to track the supply and demand in the marketplace, as well as the quality of pitch deck interactions.

The main two metrics we’ll be looking at are Pitch Deck Interest and Founder Links Created. Pitch Deck Interest is measured by the average number of pitch deck interactions for each founder happening on our platform per week, and is a great proxy for demand. Founder Links Created is how many unique links a founder is creating to their deck each week; because each person you send a document to in DocSend gets a unique link, we can use this as a proxy for demand by looking at how many investors a founder is sending their deck to.

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When looking at what’s happened so far this year, we can potentially see where the marketplace is headed.

January and February were off to a roaring start

We all know 2018 was a great year for startup fundraising. And that can be seen in how many pitch decks were being consumed per founder across our platform. In fact, Q1 of 2018 posted nine of the highest weekly totals in all of 2018 and 2019. Investors’ demand was high and there was a lot of capital to deploy. But while 2020 didn’t come out of the gate as strong, demand started gaining momentum by February. In fact, the week of February 10th actually surpassed the demand in the same week of 2018 and was a whopping 19% ahead of 2019.

But the fundraising market isn’t a one-way street, there needs to be a steady supply of pitch decks being sent by founders to meet investor demand. During Q1 of 2018, founders were conservative in sending out their pitch decks (it might not be a coincidence that this is when we started to see a lot of “mega rounds,” as there was far less supply than there was demand). However, founders started courting far more investors in 2019, generating more interest and competition for their companies. We saw a huge jump in links created in the first two months of 2020 and it peaked at a 41% increase year-over-year during the week of January 27. According to the data, 2020 was on pace to match the fundraising activity of 2018.

When things ground to a halt

While it’s clear the trend was moving toward another blockbuster year for fundraising, we’ll never know what was going to happen. We saw the first drop in investor interest in the week of February 24th, just as people were becoming more aware of the very real threat of COVID-19.

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In fact, founder activity actually started to decline the week of February 17th. While the first two weeks of March saw the beginnings of the market shift (the first two weeks of March dropped nearly 12% as compared to the first two weeks of February), the week of March 16th is when we saw the major drop.

The week of March 16th saw pitch deck interest down more than 20% and links created down more than 21% from their 2020 height in February. This is also the week many places adopted shelter-in-place or other social-distancing orders. It was also when the economic impact began to affect many companies, with VCs spending more time with their portfolio companies as the COVID-19 crisis intensified. In fact, the top four worst days of 2020 for Pitch Deck Interest (other than in the first week of January) were: March 19th, 6th, 12th and 20th.

What April can tell us about finding a new normal

After the initial decline in March, founders and VCs both bounced back fairly quickly. In fact, the next week VC interest increased 10% while the number of Founder Links Created increased by 12%. However, for the following few weeks the number of links created by founders either stayed flat or dropped. But that isn’t the case for VCs. Demand for pitch decks rose steadily all the way through the week of April 20th, which was 25% up year-over-year. In fact, seven of the top 10 best days for Pitch Deck Interest in 2020 were in the month of April.

There could be many reasons founders aren’t sending their decks out with the fervor they were in January and February. Many are adjusting their business models and plans to account for the new environment, some are concerned they may be asked to change their valuation or ask and still others are working with their current investors rather than seeking more outside capital.

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What we do know is that investor interest was on par earlier this year to outpace 2018, and investors only took a brief pause to adjust in March when the pandemic hit. That means there is just as much capital ready to deploy, and just as much investor interest as there was earlier this year. However, founders are still adjusting to the new market conditions. This means the fundraising marketplace is starting to look very much like it did in early 2018, with investor interest high, but founders supply not quite meeting the demand. This is good news for founders, as some of their fears of less favorable terms may not actually be a reality.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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