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Fintech Fridays EP57: 10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding: Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS Act

About NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Apr 11, 2022

NCFA FF EP57 10 years of investment crowdfunding UPDATED resize 2 - Fintech Fridays EP57:  10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding:  Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS Act

Apr 8, 2022: NCFA's Fintech Fridays podcast episode 57

10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding: Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS Act

About this episode:

10 years ago in 2012, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) was signed into law in the U.S. (and eventually a similar exemption was approved in Canada) to encourage more capital to flow to startups, support innovation, and, create jobs. It's significance cannot be understated as the rule change allowed private companies to raise capital by selling securities digitally for the first time via registered online platforms and dealer-brokers.  Regulation crowdfunding also democratized previously excluded retail investors (non-accredited) by allowing them to invest directly in startup ventures empowering a new era of digital finance.

See:  Crowdfunding is Now a Serious Way for Private Ventures to Raise Capital

A tremendous amount of advocacy and regulatory change efforts took place to make this happen, and since then the original JOBS Act rules have been improved for investment crowdfunding in the U.S., such as increasing the fundraising cap from US$1 million to US$5 million (not in Canada though, we've asked for years ahem).

But there are still many challenges and myths to be debunked. While venture financings are at an all time high in sectors like fintech, it does not mean that startups are awash with capital.  While there is growing interest among retail investors to participate directly in these offerings, and take control of their investment future, education and awareness still remains a top priority if industry is to grow in the right ways.  Having said that, in the United States, RegCF recently surpassed $1billion raised.  Canadian figures are more modest with at least $100 million in equity financings raised on a leading platform.

Today there's also a JOBS Act 2022 proposal on the table but will these changes be sufficient to support evolving technologies and their capabilities while also protecting investors?  Regulatory change is slow and regulators should support innovation and competition.  All stakeholders need to continue to support efforts to make capital markets whole, so EVERYONE can benefit from the advancements in technology or the wealth gap will continue to widen.

This is a not to be missed episode for anyone interested in the past or future of digital finance and capital markets.  Join investment crowdfunding pioneers in both Canada and the U.S. who discuss the 10 year journey from a wide variety of perspectives including the evolution of first generation marketing platforms to the arrival of second generation decentralized finance models powered by blockchain technologies.

Duration:  92mins

Timestamps:

00:00:00 NCFA Fintech Fridays Intro
00:00:17 Craig Asano, NCFA Canada
00:02:06 Andrew Dix, Crowded Media Group
00:02:49 Sherwood 'Woodie' Neiss, Crowdfund Capital Advisors
00:03:32 Kim Wales, CrowdBureau Corp
00:04:23 Alixe Cormick, Venture Law Corporation
00:04:13 Peter-Paul Van Hoeken, FrontFundr
00:05:48 Alan Wunsche, Tokenfunder
00:08:21 RegCF advocacy (SEC, Congress, White House)
00:10:47 Designing the framework
00:11:58 Purpose of the JOBS Act
00:15:10 Road to Equity Crowdfunding in Canada: Change is hard (and long)
00:26:22 Blockchain finance: education and regulatory challenges
00:33:38 Crowdfunding’s Impact and opportunity: first US$1 billion
00:38:39 RegCF to digital finance
00:41:57 Evolution of digital finance Gen1 to Gen2
00:49:23 Digitalizing private capital markets
00:55:03 Ontario’s exemption 45-108 setup to fail
00:59:46 JOBS Act 2022 bill proposed to improve rules in the U.S.
01:00:10 Canada harmonizes equity crowdfunding rules Sep 2021
01:04:00 Educating regulators
01:06:00 Regulators need to support innovation and competition
01:09:00 Financial inclusion
01:11:00 Canadian ECF $100 million and beyond
01:17:00 Decentralized Finance is the future
01:19:00 Convergence and reducing wealth gaps
01:23:00 Regulatory culture change and sandbox
01:25:00 Capital markets need to work for everyone
01:30:00 Closing remarks

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP57:  10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding:  Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS ActThe 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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Why raising an SPV may be better than a debut venture fund

TechCrunch | Caterina Fake | Apr 7, 2022

Caterina fake - Why raising an SPV may be better than a debut venture fundYou have social capital in your industry and access to hot startups. You know top investors. You’re smart, have hustle, know what it takes. It’s almost inevitable, and maybe even your destiny: You are going to be a VC. And so you ask the VCs you know: How do I raise my first fund? You ask me, Caterina Fake, and my answer is counterintuitive: Don’t.

Don’t start by raising a fund.  Start with SPVs.

SPVs – special purpose vehicles – are an underappreciated and overlooked way to break into venture investing. SPVs are much faster to raise than a fund, easy to set up, and, best of all, generate returns faster, because fees and carry are paid out deal by deal. Good for companies, good for investors and good for you, the future VC.

See:  Why is venture capital still ignoring women? The case for investing is clear.

SPVs are seen as bush league by VCs, because they’re not “real” funds, but their wins are just as real. They’re a disruptive on-ramp that lots of rookie —  and seasoned — VCs use to outmaneuver their slower-moving peers, get into otherwise inaccessible opportunities, and, if all goes as planned, ring the bell at the NYSE or light their cigars with $100 bills.

Y Combinator invented the SAFE so founders could raise capital in smaller chunks and raise it faster. It revolutionized fundraising. SPVs are like SAFEs for VCs.

What makes SPVs so useful? Consider: SPVs are cheap and easy to set up on a variety of platforms, including AngelList, Canopy, Assure, Carta, Republic, Flow and Stonks. (Full disclosure, Stonks and Flow parent company Dapper Labs have received funding from my firm, Yes VC.)

A standard SPV on AngelList takes a couple of days and costs $8,000. Meanwhile, a traditional fund — which involves formation, drafting agreements and onboarding LPs — usually takes months and can add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

See:  Doug Ellenoff on US Reg CF Increasing Issuer Caps to $5 million: Investment Crowdfunding Will Challenge Traditional Venture Capital

You can market SPVs to a much broader group of investors than a traditional fund, bringing in non-institutional investors (family offices, HNWs, any accredited investor). They like SPVs because it is like investing directly in a company, except you do the hard work sourcing, building relationships and closing the deal for them — they just get to pick.

Founders like SPVs too, because they bring in a group of investors who can be useful to them, SPVs can close quickly, and SPVs don’t clutter up their cap table. Founders will often send investors your way — say friends and family, small checks, potential advisers and investors who didn’t get into the last round.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Why raising an SPV may be better than a debut venture fundThe 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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Osler Deal Points Report: Insights into Venture Capital Deals and Financings

Osler | Michael Grantmyre, Natalie Munroe, Ryan Unruch, David Jamieson, André Perey | Mar 22, 2022

number of Osler financings by office - Osler Deal Points Report: Insights into Venture Capital Deals and FinancingsIntroduction to the Deal Points Report

Welcome to Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s inaugural annual comprehensive report on venture capital and growth equity financing transactions in the emerging and high growth companies ecosystem: the Deal Points Report: Venture Capital Financings.

The report synthesizes data from 332 venture capital and growth equity preferred share financings completed by Osler from 2019 to 2021, representing more than US$5.68 billion in total transaction value.  The report is unique within the market as it draws on both publicly available data, as well as Osler’s confidential anonymized data sources, to deliver deeper access to comprehensive financing-related data.

See:  Crowdfunding is Now a Serious Way for Private Ventures to Raise Capital

Select Highlights from the Deal Points Report

  • There was a marginal decline in series A financings which is consistent with findings from other Canadian reports, such as those prepared by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and CPE Analytics.
  • While 2020 saw a material increase in Series Seed and Series A financings and fewer Series B and later stage financings, the data for 2021 shows significant increases in Series B and other later stage financings, with only marginal declines in Series Seed and Series A financings.
  • Companies in the Information Technology industry (including artificial intelligence, blockchain, adtech, edtech and cybersecurity) made up over 39% of all companies raising a financing round covered by the Deal Points Report, with Consumer / Retail based companies having the second highest concentration of financings, representing 19% of the financings covered by the Deal Points Report.

Osler has undertaken publishing the Deal Points Report as we believe this data should be available to all stakeholders within the emerging and high growth companies ecosystem.

See:  Decentralizing Venture Capital: DAO

 

  • Ontario and British Columbia have the highest concentration of companies raising a financing round – representing, respectively, 58.7% and 18.2% of all Canadian companies included in the Deal Points Report. This is consistent with the recent Year-End 2021 – Canadian VC & PE Market Overview released by the CVCA, which highlights a high concentration of investments in emerging and high growth companies located in Ontario and British Columbia.
  • Steady increase in the number of companies founded by women at the seed financing stage covered by the Deal Points Report from 13.5% in 2019 to 20.5% in 2021, and overall representation of women founded companies in approximately 15% of all financings covered by the Deal Points Report.
  • Pricing direction for financings – Up, Down and Flat rounds –generally aligned with U.S. reports, such as Fenwick’s Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey [PDF] and Wilson Sonsini’s The Entrepreneurs Report [PDF]. In our Deal Points Report, 88.2% of financings covered were Up Rounds, with only a minority of transactions (7.2%) being Down Rounds.
  • Valuations for companies in the Information Technology industry (including artificial intelligence, blockchain, adtech, edtech and cybersecurity) represented significant valuation increases between financings of, on average, 235%.
  • The overall timing to close a financing, measured from the date a term sheet is executed until the initial closing date of the financing has steadily declined from 2019 to 2021, from 62 days to 52 days.

Continue to the full article --> here

Download the 42 page Deal Points Report --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Osler Deal Points Report: Insights into Venture Capital Deals and FinancingsThe 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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JOBS Act of 2012: Ten Years of Legalized Investment Crowdfunding

Crowdfund Insider | | Apr 5, 2022

Jobs Act Sherwood Neiss and Jason Best - JOBS Act of 2012: Ten Years of Legalized Investment CrowdfundingNCFA:  Congrats JOBS Act and to everyone who moved the needle back then and continues to move the needle now.  This was the catalyst to peer to peer platform finance, emergence of 'arm chair dragons', VC as-a-service, and to the popularity and growth of AltFi and Fintech broadly

The JOBS Act of 2012 was signed into law by President Barack Obama ten years ago today, on April 5, 2012. In a rare moment of bipartisanship, Republicans and Democrats joined together to help private firms raise much-needed growth capital via online securities offerings.

Under the new rules, Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF), and Regulation D 506c were created. Regulation A (Reg A+) received a key update for a securities exemption that effectively no one used prior to the JOBS Act. Firms using these exemptions were initially able to raise up to $1.07 million using Reg CF and up to $50 million under Reg + – from both accredited and non-accredited investors.  Reg D 506c, approved online capital formation from accredited investors. A new financial intermediary was created as well. Funding Portals, a new type of intermediary, are FINRA regulated platforms that are legally able to issue securities under Reg CF (along with regulated broker-dealers).

See:  Crowdfunding is Now a Serious Way for Private Ventures to Raise Capital

Now, becoming law did not mean these new rules were immediately actionable. It took the Securities and Exchange Commission years to complete everything. It was only in mid-2016 that the SEC approved the final rules for Reg CF.

Last year, the SEC improved securities crowdfunding rules by raising the Reg CF funding cap from an anemic $1.07 million to $5 million – far more in line with seed rounds. Reg A+ got some attention too as issuers are now able to raise up to $75 million in a min-IPO type offering. There were other improvements too.

Today, securities crowdfunding platforms have raised over a billion dollars – creating new jobs and allowing younger firms – frequently outside established tech hubs – to raise growth capital.

Around the beginning of 2022, CI connected with Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss, Principal at Crowdfund Capital Advisors and a key proponent in the creation of the JOBS Act who was there when the bill was signed into law, said the industry is at a tipping point as investors backed startups at a record pace during 2021.  Neiss said that the online capital formation sector is “accelerating as we’ve never seen” before.

Sep 2013:  Why is September 24th a Huge Day for Entrepreneurs? Title II of the US JOBS Act and Crowdfunding for Accredited Investors Begins

We reached out to Neiss earlier today for his thoughts on the ten year anniversary of the JOBS Act, he shared:

“It is hard to believe that ten years ago today, we were sitting in the Rose Garden as President Obama signed Regulation Crowdfunding and the JOBS Act into law. Tearfully, I sat there as he called the work that we did walking the halls of Congress, lobbying, testifying, and negotiating the final framework for Investment Crowdfunding a “gamechanger.” Today, like a proud parent, I look over the industry data, and I see how thousands of innovative pre-IPO startups and small businesses all across the United States have been able to turn to a new pool of investors … the American people.”

See:  US Investment Crowdfunding Exemptions Explained

“I’m humbled that it has already become a billion-dollar industry; how we delivered on what we promised: a balanced way for entrepreneurs to raise necessary money from willing investors while providing investors with the disclosures the regulators wanted them to see and guardrails to mitigate losses; and how it will forever change the way companies are funded going forward,” he added. “At the same time, I realize there is still much to do, and our work is not done. We will continue to be a champion for the industry, collaborate with the regulators and help scale our nation’s entrepreneurs so anyone with a great idea and a passionate group of investors can perhaps become the next unicorn!”

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - JOBS Act of 2012: Ten Years of Legalized Investment CrowdfundingThe 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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Crowdfunding is Now a Serious Way for Private Ventures to Raise Capital

Crowdfund Insider | | Mar 22, 2022

investing in ventures - Crowdfunding is Now a Serious Way for Private Ventures to Raise CapitalTraditionally, only accredited investors, private equity firms, or major financial institutions have been able to invest in early-stage, high-growth companies before an initial public offering. While there are many VCs and angels out there, they hear many pitches, they have many options, their funding often makes up only part of what a start-up needs and can come with some significant strings attached.

But in March 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) changed a key regulation known as Regulation A, Tier 2, now enabling U.S. based companies to raise up to $75 million every 12 months from a wider range of investors, including retail investors. This was a major, under-reported addition to the startup founders’ toolkit.

See:  On-chain capital is the future of startup funding

Blockchain and digital investor onboarding technology are now making it comparatively easy for founders to turn to retail investors in funding their still-privately held businesses, with shares issued in the form of tokens securely recorded on public blockchains such as Avalanche, Algorand, Ethereum, or permissioned chains if more privacy is needed. This can be a fundamentally better way to raise capital, and privately held companies and their customers are already taking notice.

Unlocking wealth creation

Gone are the days of Microsoft, Amazon, and Oracle, whose early IPOs were seen as opportunities for individual investors to share in unicorn-driven wealth.  While an IPO used to be a sign that a company had “made it”, today it can just as easily be a sign of its decline. Creating a market for shares of private businesses before they go public can create both liquidity and eliminate the fall to earth that often follows an IPO.

Let’s explore why a Mini-IPO capital raise from individual investors can make sense for your business:

  • A Mini-IPO allows you to raise capital directly from your existing customers and fans, creating an opportunity to deepen, cement and increase the value of those relationships.
  • When your customers are also your shareholders, their interests become even more tightly aligned with yours.
  • Because a Mini-IPO is an almost entirely digital process, you can perform one much faster and less expensively than a traditional IPO, since tasks previously performed by transfer agents, lawyers and other middlemen during business hours can be performed automatically by smart contracts in milliseconds.
  • Issuing your shares on the blockchain also allows you to manage your shareholders digitally, with real-time investor cap tables, instantaneous reporting, and much tighter control over investor communications and rewards (more on that below).

See:  US Investment Crowdfunding Exemptions Explained

  • A Mini-IPO is a sector-agnostic solution. Whether you’re an established tech start-up, a consumer products company, in hospitality or real estate, you can turn to your customers for your next capital raise rather than relying on angels and VCs.
  • This has other advantages, too: your customers are already invested in your business emotionally (as early adopters) and with their dollars. When they become shareholders, they are more likely to understand and stick with you through growing pains and can be involved in growing your business without the need to surrender control or board seats.
  • Finally, a Mini-IPO can increase the liquidity of your shares since secondary markets now exist to trade these digital asset securities. Since businesses are remaining private longer than ever, founders and early investors traditionally need to wait approximately 10 years before finding liquidity. By creating the ability for individuals to invest and trade in your private company, no longer are you unable to sell shares to willing buyers when you need to buy a new house, put a kid through school, launch another start-up, or have unforeseen life events.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Crowdfunding is Now a Serious Way for Private Ventures to Raise CapitalThe 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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Holt Exchange Investment and Growth Program: Applications open until May 27

Holt Exchange | Jan Arp | Mar 25, 2022

Holt Exchange Investment Growth Program - Holt Exchange Investment and Growth Program:  Applications open until May 27

Holt Xchange is a global venture capital fund investing in early/seed stage entrepreneurs across the globe. Holt invests in fintech applications including digital banking, digital lending, payments, digital ID, real estate tech / proptech, regtech, cybersecurity, wealthtech, data analytics, infrastructure platforms, etc.  Holt Xchange invests via its virtual investment & portfolio growth program, held once every year during July-Sept. Over the last 4 years, Holt has backed 35+ companies (https://holtxchange.com/our-portfolio/) across 10 countries. Benefits include capital, network, support, and service providers.

Applications for @TheHoltXchange investment & growth program designed for early/seed-stage fintechs is now open! You have until May 27th end of day to apply.


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NCFA Weekly News & Insights


Receive up to $135,000 in equity financing, as well as the potential to unlock further follow-on investment via SPVs / angel network, direct access to over 500+ Holt Advisors, weekly support from the Holt staff, and access to over 30 service providers providing significant discounts on Tier 1 software ($200K+ credits with partners like Amazon, Hubspot and more).

If you want to find out more about the program, visit our website here →  https://holtxchange.com/investment-program/ 

Contact: For any information regarding social media, please contact sarah@holtxchange.com. For any information regarding program, please contact gaurav@holtxchange.com .


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Holt Exchange Investment and Growth Program:  Applications open until May 27The 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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London Stock Exchange to work with Floww to raise capital for private companies

Reuters | Huw Jones | Mar 15, 2022

LSE - London Stock Exchange to work with Floww to raise capital for private companies

LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) said on Tuesday it had teamed up with digital private asset platform Floww to enter the market for unlisted companies that want to raise capital.

Britain is reforming its capital market after leaving the European Union to ensure London still attracts global investors.

The UK listings regime has already been eased in a bid to attract more technology firms to the exchange, but the finance ministry also wants to make it easier for private companies to access funds and attract more retail investors.

"LSEG will work with Floww to help launch their private primary capital raising facility, while exploring liquidity and secondary market options, including through the use of new technologies," the exchange said in a statement.

See:

How to Revolutionize the Private Capital Markets

Private markets propelled by ‘push and pull’ have grown exponentially

Floww allows investors to monitor and track their investments in private companies and already features 7,000 company profiles and 70 venture capital firms.

"With LSEG, we are on course to building a connected network for all market players to share and manage their data, deals and opportunities and the ability to trade shares in companies at any stage," Floww CEO Martijn De Wever said.

Many smaller companies have turned their backs on a public listing, citing heavy costs and regulatory requirements, according to a finance ministry consultation paper last year.

Building a bridge between private and public companies is seen as a way to build a pipeline of listings.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - London Stock Exchange to work with Floww to raise capital for private companies 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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