Category Archives: Fundraising and Investing

Dragons’ Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing

Share

Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018

Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms.

Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth.

“We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.”

Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts.

Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based on the customer’s ability to repay. There are no fixed payment schedules, maturity dates, late penalties or collateral, and companies typically repay their obligations within six months. They also don’t have to give up a chunk of equity in their company to venture capital firms to fund their marketing spend. “I really believe if they do this right it will disrupt traditional venture capital,” said Rajen Ruparell, founder of online mattress company Endy Canada Inc. and a new member of Clearbanc’s board of directors.

On Nov. 12 the couple revealed their company had raised US$70-million from 12 U.S. and Canadian venture capital firms and had done 500 deals with e-commerce firms to date, providing US$100-million in total funding – partially drawn from the money it had raised. After that news broke, Clearbanc was inundated with applications from 1,000 more companies seeking US$1-billion in total capital. “We used up the initial allocation much faster than we expected and realized we needed additional capital,” said Mr. D’Souza, co-founder and chief executive.

See:  Canadian tech leaders form coalition advocating for new blockchain regulation

The couple told their investors they needed more capital, and fast. A principal at one of Clearbanc’s investors, New-York venture capital firm CoVenture, introduced them to Jason Finger, chairman of Upper90, a private equity firm and one of CoVenture’s backers. That was on Nov. 16. Seventeen days later, Upper90 closed on a deal to provide Clearbanc with the US$50-million.

Mr. Finger said New York-based Upper90, which is backed by individuals who have built businesses, was set up to provide “alternative capital” to tech firms that have struggled to raise money because conventional financiers “misunderstood” their opportunity.

“When we met with [Clearbanc] we felt the stars were aligned and we were ready to deploy quickly ... we saw that the revenue growth [Clearbanc’s financing business] was able to drive was extremely compelling. It made us confident we would be helping businesses in a positive way."

Mr. D’Souza said Upper90’s money will be used to create a US$50-million, two-year fund that will be separate from Clearbanc’s capital structure but which it will draw from to finance its e-commerce customers. Clearbanc will manage the fund, taking an upfront management fee plus a share of the returns the fund earns from financing Clearbanc’s customers. Mr. D’Souza says he expects to be able to deploy the money four times over the fund’s two-year life, meaning it will be used to provide about US$200-million worth of financing in total. He said another new Clearbanc director, Keri Findley, a former partner with Third Point Hedge Fund, helped develop the fund structure.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
Read More
Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
Read More
Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
Read More
Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
Read More
SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
Read More
Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
Read More
MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
Read More
Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
Read More
Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks
Wharton University | Jan 10, 2019 Data science is making inroads into the world of impact investing, helping program designers and beneficiaries achieve closer alignment between their goals and strategies. While some are building on models from the business world to correlate different pieces of ecosystems to understand how impact flows, others are attempting to marshal next-generation digital technologies such as blockchain to improve outcomes in areas such as disaster response and land titling. The Rockefeller Foundation has been designing ways to harness data effectively in order to improve the effectiveness of impact investing. “Data really helps you understand the nature of the problem, and thinking about data ahead of time helps you structure your experiments and your interventions,” said Zia Khan, vice president of initiatives and strategy at the foundation. “Measuring data helps you prove what works, what doesn’t work, and then you can monitor and scale things up.” The data movement is infectious. Khan said he sees “increasing appetite to learn more from some of the countries that have done some breakthrough work,” such as Estonia and India. In particular, he cited India’s biometrics-based identification system called Aadhaar, which has enabled millions of previously undocumented residents to open ...
Read More
How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes

 

Share

The Security Token Field – The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?

Share

Forbes |

The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology.

Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the somewhat murky beginnings of Blockchain and embrace this new technology and the great potential it may hold for the future.

In this article we will be discussing three projects in the STO area, a crowdfunding platform, an AI based investment platform and finally a traditional company which is not a typical idea for blockchain.

See:  How Blockchain Can Help Marketers Build Better Relationships with Their Customers

One such project which has ambitious plans in the space is Crowd for Angels. This claims to be a regulated, crowdfunding platform that helps companies list their projects and helps them raise capital by way of equity, debt and crypto tokens. They claim to be are one of the first regulated entities in the UK and Europe to allow tokens to be sold through their platform. They recently launched a Sports Investment Security Token Offering where investors can own a share in a Premier League or Serie A club's shirt sponsorship.

The Sports Investor Coin ('SIC') is a Security Token that is expected to populate the world's first sport asset-backed portfolio. The founders run a successful sports marketing business that has brokered millions of dollars in deal value over the last 8 years. According to the founders, the capital raised from the sale of SIC Security Tokens will be used to make strategic acquisitions of sports sponsorship assets on a medium to long-term basis, using the adage of purchasing at wholesale price and selling at retail. These assets will eventually be sold initially through existing sales networks but will eventually be moved onto a digital marketplace.

"Before agreeing to list any project, we ensure the utmost transparency and due diligence to make sure that participants associated with any of the projects are genuine and act in the best interests of the investors with as little risk as possible", CMO Andrew Adcock said.

Crowd for Angels Director Tony de Nazareth said that utilizing the blockchain and tokens to digitize assets allows previously illiquid assets to become liquid and promote a market economy. Investors benefit from greater diversification, transferability, and transparency in decision making with the internet having now penetrated into the traditional financial markets, he added.

Malta is currently rolling out its blockchain and DLT legislation with several companies applying for a VFAA license in order to conduct ICO's and STO's. One of the most interesting as regards the latter is Valora, a Japanese company which aims to revolutionize the way the financial markets operate, or so, they claim.

Valora is a blockchain-based investment matchmaking platform which aims to disrupt the world of traditional investments while also bringing liquidity to the exciting ideas of tomorrow and any business visionaries who wish to make their project or blockchain-based business a reality.

See:  Blockchain’s potential will continue to spur public and private investment

Interestingly, it uses artificial intelligence (AI), data and opportunities to present investment opportunities and information to the investor - the investor uses this information to make an informed decision.  With 10 years of experience in the investment field, the Valora team are now using Artificial Intelligence to filter the quality of the offered services continuously. With the help of VALORA, investors have a wide array of ROI (return-on-investment) choices in the form of profit share, tokenized assets, bonus exit gains, and development projects. You can also make informed investments whilst choosing from a curated pool of projects. The fact that it is a public blockchain also ensures safety.

Valora's platform also assesses the risk and calculates the percentage of the project that is paid annually to the 3rd party insurer ( such as MIGA). It also enables the best investment opportunities to be more accessible than otherwise would only be reserved to VC Companies, Insiders or Banks. Users also have access to an untapped pool of global investment entities and business individuals.

Valora also claim to have unparalleled levels of liquidity which are also provided by the worldwide investment community. Not to mention the added advantage of investing in crypto-related and Blockchain projects with FIAT (fiduciary) currency. The concept was born when people wanted to invest but within the safety net of an established blockchain project like Ethereum, Cardano and EOS among others.

You wouldn't expect a company that makes the famous red boxes used by British Prime Ministers to go for a Security Token Offering but that's exactly what Wickwar are doing.

Wickwar has been making its exclusive despatch red boxes for over 200 years. This London-based business makes handmade, bespoke items for elite clients. These include Theresa May, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and even the Queen of the United Kingdom, herself.

See:  Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019

Despatch boxes were originally used by British Members of Parliament to carry documents into the Commons Chamber. Two can now be found permanently in the Chamber on the central table and contain religious texts of the Oath for the day. Frontbenchers (ministers and shadow ministers) deliver their addresses from their side's despatch box. The despatch boxes in use today were gifts from New Zealand and designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to replace the boxes destroyed during bombings in the Second World War.

Now, Wickwar is working on its security token offering (STO) where investors are offered tokens to benefit from the possibility of token appreciation or unlocking the ecosystem’s utility. They are looking to raise funds in UK of about £2 million, eventually being valued at approximately £8 million. Wickwar is fully regulated under UK prospectus regulation with tokens in Ethereum ERC 1400 and tied to shares of 1 token which would be equal to 1 share £1 each. Funds raised will be used to expand the output of the factory and the workshop as well as to expand supply into Asia, due to a recent order of 100 units, where each unit retails for £5000.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
Read More
Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
Read More
Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
Read More
Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
Read More
SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
Read More
Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
Read More
MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
Read More
Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
Read More
Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks
Wharton University | Jan 10, 2019 Data science is making inroads into the world of impact investing, helping program designers and beneficiaries achieve closer alignment between their goals and strategies. While some are building on models from the business world to correlate different pieces of ecosystems to understand how impact flows, others are attempting to marshal next-generation digital technologies such as blockchain to improve outcomes in areas such as disaster response and land titling. The Rockefeller Foundation has been designing ways to harness data effectively in order to improve the effectiveness of impact investing. “Data really helps you understand the nature of the problem, and thinking about data ahead of time helps you structure your experiments and your interventions,” said Zia Khan, vice president of initiatives and strategy at the foundation. “Measuring data helps you prove what works, what doesn’t work, and then you can monitor and scale things up.” The data movement is infectious. Khan said he sees “increasing appetite to learn more from some of the countries that have done some breakthrough work,” such as Estonia and India. In particular, he cited India’s biometrics-based identification system called Aadhaar, which has enabled millions of previously undocumented residents to open ...
Read More
How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes

 

Share

Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019

Share
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018

In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions.

What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.)

See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee

IPOs looming

Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO isn't unthinkable in 2019. Credit Karma and Robinhood are cited as two possibilities, and other large companies may get serious about at least laying the IPO groundwork next year.

  • Vanessa Colella, head of Citi Ventures at Citigroup Inc.: "I do not think we’ll see any major mergers, acquisitions or IPOs in fintech specifically. Stripe has done some incredible work and has the potential to be one to watch for the IPO track, but ultimately we expect to see continued growth in the private market."
  • Lindsay Davis, analyst at CB Insights: "Fintechs have been focused on scaling up, and on products over profit. That mentality is fundamentally flipped when a company goes public. As a result, many have taken the slow approach to an IPO, and that trend is likely to continue since many of the rumored candidates have enough runway to stay private after record financing rounds in 2018."
  • Matt Harris, managing director at Bain Capital Ventures: "In terms of 2019 IPOs, it will be interesting to see if Credit Karma decides to go public. They certainly have the scale and profitability."
  • Kyle Lui, principal at DCM Ventures: "Many fintech companies have gained traction and are ripe for acquisition. Truly breakout companies like Robinhood will likely go public in 2019."

See:  Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings

Consolidation picks up

Our experts were unanimous on this one. There are plenty of startups out there that have gained enough footing for incumbents to take notice, but have stayed small enough that an acquisition is still feasible.

  • Lindsay Davis: "Digital-first 'challenger' banks are prime acquisition targets for incumbents. We’d also expect to see the largest fintech unicorns become more active on the M&A front, as we saw firms like Stripe and Credit Karma make more acquisitions in 2018."
  • Kyle Lui: "Major U.S. banks have over $100 billion of excess capital and a major appetite for technology. Meanwhile, many fintech companies have gained traction and are ripe for acquisition."
  • Arjun Sethi, co-founder of Tribe Capital: "We think there will be a continued increase in M&A interest from large finance companies. I think you'll see much larger transactions from traditional industry players as well as they evolve and become more tech stack-enabled."
  • Zachary Aron, principal in the payments and banking consulting practice at Deloitte: “It’s quite possible to see fintechs looking to continue to combine, to both create scale and a deeper and richer set of capabilities.”

 

Big tech vs. big finance

While more big tech companies are testing the waters in the finance industry, don't expect to see the emergence of the Bank of Facebook anytime soon.

  • Vanessa Colella: “Alibaba continues to make progress there with its large stake in fintech affiliate Ant Financial. And Google has been deepening their work in Asia with Google Pay, which is experimenting with QR codes for peer-to-peer payments. These players are digging in, and we expect that trend to continue.”
  • Matt Harris: “I’m skeptical that big tech will be more aggressive in fintech in 2019 ... privacy concerns will make that hard for many of them. Amazon is the notable exception. Never bet against them!”
  • Kyle Lui: "Big tech will get into finance, but it will happen slower than people think. Financial services is both slow-moving and highly regulated. It will take time for major tech companies to understand the landscape. Their initial focus will be providing key products for their customer or user base."

See:  A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services

The future of funding

Fintechs can thank the likes of SoftBank Group Corp. for the ample supply of capital, allowing more companies to expand quickly and test new products while remaining private. Most experts said they thought the money would keep flowing, though a turn in the economy could change that dynamic.

  • Vanessa Colella: "2018 was a year for massive funding rounds, and I can see that continuing into next year. There is a lot of capital in the private sector right now—venture funds have risen up to compete with SoftBank’s war chest, so we’re seeing more venture capital firms like Sequoia raise several billion dollar vision funds, which I anticipate will only continue to increase in size. Those funds will likely be deployed in the next two to three years, resulting in more funding and big valuation bumps in 2019."
  • Lindsay Davis: "In the second half of 2018, the data started to show a bigger pull-back in early-stage fintech deals and funding in the U.S., and that could continue heading into 2019. However, there is no shortage of big-pocketed investors like SoftBank actively looking to make fintech investments."
  • Frank Rotman, founding partner at QED Investors: "There are a growing number of mega-funds that need to deploy capital in nine-figure chunks so I see the valuation trend continuing for the best businesses in the space. But, if the economy shows any significant signs of slowing, I think the U.S. market in particular will see a modest reduction in availability of capital and rationalization of valuations as VC and PE firms become a bit more cautious in their outlook."

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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
Read More
Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
Read More
Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
Read More
Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
Read More
SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
Read More
Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
Read More
MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
Read More
Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
Read More
Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks
Wharton University | Jan 10, 2019 Data science is making inroads into the world of impact investing, helping program designers and beneficiaries achieve closer alignment between their goals and strategies. While some are building on models from the business world to correlate different pieces of ecosystems to understand how impact flows, others are attempting to marshal next-generation digital technologies such as blockchain to improve outcomes in areas such as disaster response and land titling. The Rockefeller Foundation has been designing ways to harness data effectively in order to improve the effectiveness of impact investing. “Data really helps you understand the nature of the problem, and thinking about data ahead of time helps you structure your experiments and your interventions,” said Zia Khan, vice president of initiatives and strategy at the foundation. “Measuring data helps you prove what works, what doesn’t work, and then you can monitor and scale things up.” The data movement is infectious. Khan said he sees “increasing appetite to learn more from some of the countries that have done some breakthrough work,” such as Estonia and India. In particular, he cited India’s biometrics-based identification system called Aadhaar, which has enabled millions of previously undocumented residents to open ...
Read More
How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes

 

Share

Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval

Share

Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018

Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel.

Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus.

See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF

Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold.

The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical evidence. Further, this type of price co-integration “is evidence of a well-functioning capital market.”

The firms went on to explain that “Similar to commodity futures, the spot and futures prices [of bitcoin] are tightly linked,” again providing “evidence of a well-functioning capital market.”

On another note, they argued that the bitcoin ecosystem is “less susceptible to manipulation” than other commodities which already support exchange-traded products.

For example, insiders might possess or trade information related to the supply of physical commodities – say, if a new source for an asset is discovered, or if some event lowers the production – and this may impact price.

Bitcoin does not face this sort of issue, the presentation notes, adding:

“The linkage between the bitcoin markets and the presence of arbitrageurs in those markets means that the manipulation of the price of bitcoin on any single venue would require manipulation of the global bitcoin price in order to be effective … Bitcoin therefore is no more susceptible to manipulation than other commodities, especially as compared to other approved ETP reference assets.”

See:  Crypto prices sharply down after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision

Any attempt to manipulate bitcoin’s price “would require overcoming the liquidity supply of such arbitrageurs who are effectively eliminating any cross-market pricing differences,” especially as these arbitrageurs are likely to have their funds stored on different exchanges to take advantage of price differences.

The applicants’ pitch came a day before SEC chairman Jay Clayton said concerns about market manipulation are one of the barriers preventing an ETF approval.

Speaking at CoinDesk’s Consensus: Invest conference a day after the presentation, Clayton explained that “the prices retail investors are seeing are the prices they should rely on, and free from manipulation.”

Continue to the full article --> here


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
Read More
Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
Read More
Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
Read More
Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
Read More
SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
Read More
Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
Read More
MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
Read More
Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
Read More
Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks
Wharton University | Jan 10, 2019 Data science is making inroads into the world of impact investing, helping program designers and beneficiaries achieve closer alignment between their goals and strategies. While some are building on models from the business world to correlate different pieces of ecosystems to understand how impact flows, others are attempting to marshal next-generation digital technologies such as blockchain to improve outcomes in areas such as disaster response and land titling. The Rockefeller Foundation has been designing ways to harness data effectively in order to improve the effectiveness of impact investing. “Data really helps you understand the nature of the problem, and thinking about data ahead of time helps you structure your experiments and your interventions,” said Zia Khan, vice president of initiatives and strategy at the foundation. “Measuring data helps you prove what works, what doesn’t work, and then you can monitor and scale things up.” The data movement is infectious. Khan said he sees “increasing appetite to learn more from some of the countries that have done some breakthrough work,” such as Estonia and India. In particular, he cited India’s biometrics-based identification system called Aadhaar, which has enabled millions of previously undocumented residents to open ...
Read More
How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes

 

Share

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23): Future of Business Tokenization – How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder

Share

NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money

About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy!

  • The future of business tokenization
  • How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry
  • How blockchain challenges the concept of money

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin)

Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and startups.

Alan is a leading blockchain / fintech expert. Alan has hands-on finance and technology executive with deep governance, strategic planning, process reengineering, big data analytics, risk management and information management transformation consulting experience. Alan is elected Canadian Chair of Canada’s ISO/TC307 Blockchain Standards Committee. Alan is a blockchain startup CEO, conference speaker, blockchain community organizer. Throughout his 25 year career, Alan has been a trusted business partner to CIO’s, CFO’s CRO’s, CMO’s and CHRO’s, leading business performance improvement programs by transforming finance, customer and risk IT systems, processes, and organizational structures.

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here

 


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan: Hey Everybody. Hopefully you're having a fantastic day. Manseeb Khan and you were tuning into Fintech Fridays is brought to you by the National Fintech and Crowdfunding Association also known as the NCFA.  Today I have the absolute pleasure of having Alan Wunsche the CEO of Token Funder. Alan thank you so much for sitting down.

Alan Wunsche: It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

Manseeb Khan: No absolutely. I'd love to. Just for a second ,for I guess some of the audience members that may not know who you are and what your company is. Could you just for a minute tell us who you are and what Token Funder is?

Alan Wunsche: Sure thing. So, my name is Alan Wunsche and I am the CEO of Token Funder. Who I am. So, I started in blockchain four years ago having left the traditional banking space. So, I worked at it as an executive in a fairly large bank. But I left and who I am really is a leader of a company that is on the leading edge of a lot of this new era of funding and alternatives to what is currently our financial infrastructure and banking system. So Token Funder and we can talk about anything you want to in terms of your questions. So, I'm sure you'll have lots of them, but I'll just say Token Funder as a company. We started on this journey of two years ago. To build a platform for companies to use in a legal regulatory compliant way such that they could use the latest in blockchain technology and bring their company to the market and use it as a funding vehicle so that these companies that would go under the platform can raise funds and do that in a way that helps really drive a democratization of ownership. So, what drove Token Funder is not that we could just do something that was happening already, and you know crowdfunding existed for sure but that was a real eye opener that we could also do crowdfunding. But in really interesting ways on through blockchain. So, we took the approach that we were going to take a company keep it in Canada, build it in Canada use it initially as a service for Canadian companies and then go global. So, in a nutshell Token Funder is  building really an alternative funding mechanism and some additional services that now make us look like a funding and growth company for startup companies and scale ups. So, we're getting interest from not just your super early startups but also companies that are in market as well.

Manseeb Khan: That's very exciting. I can't wait to, I don't know if you can talk about that but maybe next time when you come on the show would love to dive a little bit deeper on like the growth stuff that you guys are interested in.

Alan Wunsche: Sure, we can talk, or we could talk a little bit about that today.

Manseeb Khan: Ok. Also, you mentioned you guys are actually going to help companies when it came to regulation. Could you talk a little bit more about that because when you think of raising tokens and raising Regulations definitely have been something that people have been concerned of. If not, there's been a lot of ambiguity when it came to regulations. When you talk about regulations what does that mean to you. And what is that coming from your end?

Alan Wunsche: Sure, we do have a fairly well-established securities regulations in Canada, the US, UK, Australia, and other places right. So, these regulations that we're referring to include securities regulations that also includes anti-money laundering regulations that the government is obviously concerned about. So, when you think about looking at the kind of journey we had. So when I talk about the regulatory route that we had, we started working with the Ontario Securities Commission launch pad when they first came out and we looked and said okay we looked around and there were some early indications that that at least one company essentially had to leave or decided to leave didn't have to but decided to leave and incorporate in another jurisdiction. And it could have been you know Barbados or Switzerland or one of these others. And the reason for that being that the regulators didn't have as much certainty for them or that very likely their particular business was going to result in the securities offering. So, these companies said to themselves well will establish ourselves in another authority. So that essentially, we don't have to worry about the regulatory concerns or restrictions that may be placed on the company here in Canada. And that actually worked really well in 2017 and into the mid part of 2018. So, they raised a lot of cash. Now where the story is important for your audience if you're going to go down this road. So those companies that raised on cash outside did not include a process that's referred to as KYC. And sometimes some little misunderstood. But I'm sure you've talked about that with the previous podcasts. I'll just repeat it. KYC meaning know your customer or your client and in the given the traditional kind of initial coin offering process that you could have undertaken outside of Canada, Us and as I said Australia or the UK you could go out and you can anonymously raise funds from pretty much anyone in the world because blockchain allows for that to happen fairly anonymously. So not purely anonymously but we will get into the technology around that. So, company could go to Switzerland, Barbados or the Caymans and these other jurisdictions say OK set up shop we've got a new business and you can invest in us quote unquote right. But we're not going to worry about who you are, we're not going to really worry about those things. Well if you're going to do that in Canada if you're going to do that as a Canadian company in Canada there's very clear guidance and regulations that you really have to understand who that person is that's investing. And the reason for that is because you have to also understand their risk profile. So, know your customer just doesn't mean you actually know what they're you know what their name is and where they live. But for the sake of investor protection and this is throughout Canada throughout the U.S. for the sake of investor protection you really have to understand the risk profile of the investor and whether your particular investment is a good suitable investment for your business or for them into your business. I should say so. So, I'm just and drawing some contrasts for you and any audience at this point because you know what's happened is that we've gone through kind of a two-year process here working with the regulators and we added KYC. So, I'll talk about maybe our token offering we added KYC is a process in terms of our Canadian offering. And that's in contrast to a company that didn't do that well. Now the OSC and the S.E.C. are coming back around to these do these coin offerings that happen over 2017 and 18 and saying well you were actually selling an unregistered security. And if you've not protected yourself and it was impossible to do so you've allowed Canadian residents to invest in your business.  Then we have a problem with that. So, when we did our token offering this the process we went through last year. So, we started last over the winter into the early part of 2018 and through the whole hype cycle of all these ICOs and here we are in Canada doing a token offering that has KYC understands the risk suitability of these potential investors. And we turned a lot of people away that we're interested in investing because we determined that it wasn't just suitable investment for some of them. So, it's essentially an online process that we installed, and  we know who the investor is, we white list them in a smart contract and then we also token it. We also issued a token which would probably end up being our token and that token also had some rights. So, we're going to continue a little bit more along the contrasting because many of those new projects that went out in 2017 and 2018 outside of our jurisdiction would have terms essentially that that included something like you're contributing to this particular project but frankly you have no rights whatsoever. And just hope and pray that our new protocol token will be appreciating in value and oh by the way you can go and trade it and pump and dump it on one of these new digital exchanges. Well that's what our regulators here refer to as the Wild West. We contrasted that with OK. So if you're going to invest to get a Canadian startup such as ours you're going to have to have some patient money and we won't issue our token on a digital exchange that you can go pump and dump in because if we just don't believe it's appropriate next to other regulators by the way in the Canadian context and as long as you have some patient capital and you're willing to consider at risk capital and then we think it's appropriate for a part of your portfolio. So just like any other kind of proper investment process we implemented  that kind of steps and we had an offering memorandum and we had an annual report attached to the offering memorandum I should say and audited financial report. And that's the kind of disclosure that investors expect. Now I'll just stop there because I'm sure you've heard of the whole speculation craze that happened with initial coin offerings and now it's kind of fallen apart and for good reason now that they are in  the broad world.

Manseeb Khan: You did mention a really good point of talking about how KYC it goes a little bit further than just other than the baseline surface level like first name, last name and where you're really from. I'm glad that you guys actually took a little bit more of initiative of understanding. Not only is it important to understand who you are but would this be a good enough investment for you. Right. Not even like oh hey yeah this is  money we're taking it. Its you guys have a more of a screening process, more a vetting process which hopefully more companies like yourself in the space to start to adopt and actually have these like set requirements that people have to kind of meet to either throw their money in like you mentioned patient money. People  don't think of patient money when you talk about blockchain or crypto because they think again, they think pump and dump  which makes sense because a lot of the news and a lot of the media out there is very much of oh look at this coin. It went from zero to 100 million and then the founders just disappeared, or they just shut everything down right.

Alan Wunsche: Yeah. I mean this is really important, and I hate the term pump and dump  but unfortunately, it's out there.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I'm not a fan of either.

Alan Wunsche: You know And I'll also. We didn't invent this. These are best practices that are already baked into our securities legislation. Not everyone appreciates this. So, when we started working with the launch pad you know it was it was a learning experience on both sides. So, we shared everything we knew about blockchain we came in and said this is how it all works. We're going to tokenize these businesses. Oh well what does that mean. And we can talk a little bit about that subsequently but ok sounds interesting sounds like something really novel. Now we'll also make sure that you're aware of how we expect companies to behave like good corporate citizens in the Canadian space. And you know it is very clear if you choose to look for it that it says when you accept investment into your business you need to understand a person's risk profile. In fact, that's what goes on in the online trading world today. And you know there are existing rules that say essentially, you're supposed to look at them every time anyone makes a trade and that it's a risk suitable trade for them. And there's other kinds of you know online verification that people have to do. So very similar. Just because we are in a new space doesn't mean that we have to create everything from scratch. And I want to make that point because we took the time to really understand what the big boys and let's call it, we're doing and then apply it to our particular case. So, you know we scaled it down to make it appropriate for us and we got some particular exemptions for our token offering such as being able to raise funds from our own platform which is something that traditionally you're not allowed to do. So, there were certain things that we essentially were allowed to experiment with. And this is part of trying to frankly do the right thing work with it, work with our regulators and use the latest innovative technology. Now for your benefit and others let's be clear that's a long process. So, it would have been and trust me in terms of temptation it would have been a one-month process for us to go to Barbados or Caymans or Switzerland or another place like that raised 20 million dollars. We ended up doing about a nine-month process. So not for the faint of heart to just stay here. There's a lot of regulatory discussions that ended up happening just to be super clear about that. But you know what. At the end of the day I think we're proving out that doing it for the right reasons and doing the right thing. Actually, let you sleep at night and hopefully let your kind of do right by everyone in the space. And I mean you know I've been in this space now for four years. When Ethereum  kind of hit the world. I saw it launch with a small group of folks here in Toronto and I was disappointed Ethereum had to leave the country for Switzerland. I understood how it was kind of regulatory uncertainty and other reasons that that drove that decision. But you know still you want to. You want to do it. You want to build a business for the right reasons and act accordingly. My background I didn't mention this as a CA now we're part of the new CPA organization. And you know there's ethics and guidelines and all of that good stuff that frankly went out the window in the ICO craze and it was disappointing to see all those ICOs that kind of tarnish the image of the blockchain industry. So yeah. Yes. So, I mean moving forward we're living in an environment now. I'll just add that you know while we're using the blockchain technology we're also that kind of company although we're called Token Funder, we're not saying to people you know we're somehow blockchain or bitcoin evangelists or ether evangelists if it makes sense for your business. We're going to we're going to help you out.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah like you've mentioned a couple of things. There's always going to be bad actors that make sense and I guess any new emerging industry just do again like you've said. Doing the right thing is always the right thing and helps to sleep at night right. It would have been a lot easier for. You're seeing a lot of these crypto companies going to the Cayman Islands or going to Switzerland or what have you and not really knowing that like okay cool like this. Okay. Awesome. The Cayman Islands is very right now. They're very willing to work with crypto companies and everything but this goes back down to KYC of knowing your customer and knowing. Okay cool. But What about everybody else. What about people in the rest of the world. What about Canada in the US and all the other markets that are very apprehensive when it comes to this new market. You can't really tackle them, and you can't really maximize or just sorry. If not anything you can capitalize on because they're restricted to the rules and regulations just because you're not. It's not as an even playing field as you might really think it's a temporary fix if anything.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, it's really complex because as I said the temptation was there and the temptation was strong enough for a lot of companies to go and do it frankly. And you know just say well we're going to do this in another jurisdiction and will eventually come home and try to. Well let's just park that because there's tax reasons also that people make tax, or you know businesses tax decisions to go to these kind of tax havens and we get all that. Now ultimately, you're going to have to come back here. Ultimately if you're businesses here and you're interested in living and working in this great country then you have to come back around to our environment. Now so all of that going to make it clear that it's a process that I believe in and yet we're trying to make change within the regulatory regime. There are outdated regulations there and there's no question about it. There are regulations today that benefit the big players and the incumbents. So, you know a startup getting into this space for alternative funding and a startup like ours that is looking to do have a marketplace for these future tokens. That's great. Trust me that kind of system that's in place today makes it difficult. So, we're trying our level best to  get change and to get exemptions to make some of these existing regulations work for startups that want to innovate in the space.

Manseeb Khan: Which I mean it makes sense because like we talked in the past I mean if anything last episode we talked about how we had Charlene from Coinsquare. I like Charlene, she’s great. She is really! she mentioned she's like hey look people have to understand that the banks had 20 years at this and they're still I mean to this day they're still trying to figure out regulations and everything. So, it’s kind of make sense that especially in the startup community in Canada it's been very new, it's very new around the world. Entrepreneurship is finally getting the warm embrace that it's longing  for so many years now. And it makes sense that I guess for the time being that it is an uphill battle and hopefully within due time with  amazing players like you want amazing players like Her the regulators be the government or be it any other bodies understand where you guys are kind of coming from an understand that hey like having regulations that are not as rigid, a little bit more fluid it only benefits everybody in the long run.

Alan Wunsche: Yeah. I just add also to this point there are a lot of restrictions about  what investors can do. And you know there's a lot of good reasons historically for that. Now we're moving into a world where the millennial generation wants to manage their own portfolios. They want the kind of freedom that a decentralized place can offer them. They look around and you know we talk to many that you know they're in their 20s 30s and you know they're saying why. Why are these startups and innovative companies’ kind of limited to the accredited investors that are the really wealthy ones? So why did the really wealthy people get to continue to get first dibs if you will  on the really great next investment. And  that was really one of those kind of if you will big why's or big reasons for us pushing for the democratization we're where we said we could have easily have cut short our timeline for  our own token timeline and said yes are legal and others said this is easy just let accredited investors in and shut out all the retail investors and we said no we really believe deeply that this is a space now that let's say a startup is getting some traction it can go to the marketplace and wants to have you know a broad ownership pool of up its platform let's say. Like let's just say there's you know that the future Airbnb and wants a broad level of ownership through this new mechanism well you know is it limited to just accredited investors. We don't believe it necessarily needs to be. As long as again the retail investors aren't spending you know investing everything they know into a super high risk or everything they have into a super high-risk investment that kind of throws caution to the wind. But it's I want to get the point across here that we have the ability to make it easy for someone to go directly to a company and invest almost directly without traditional kind of financial intermediaries that that are the big names that you might see today and you won't describe them but  you can apply new technology in a way that that really reduces the friction between the investor and the company and want to open that up to the retail investor. And if you think it's like crowdfunding Well it's like crowdfunding on a new level. Yes, it's Yeah. Oh, for sure. And then and then we're looking at you know traditionally when you invest in a private company there are pretty strict rules for traditional reasons that are that are still good reasons about the liquidity and you know they were there so many of these ICOs that said you would get immediate liquidity and  then you can go. You know you don't have to believe in the company you can go get an immediate liquidity on you know X,Y or Z digital exchange. And that's great. Do whatever you want on the other end of the spectrum. We've traditionally been very restrictive about or quite restrictive about what the retail liquidity to look like in a private company and we believe that there's no changes that should happen. So, it's a bridge, right? We in effect to we as a company here are looking to  and have been you know I describe ourselves as kind of a bridge between the traditional way things for working and in the existing regulatory environment. But I mean we've got very clear regulations Yeah. we can change them.

Manseeb Khan: It is very important to again have companies like you, have amazing people like you in the space to make not only I guess the old traditional world but also the new world understand like millennials like me. I'm like Yeah. No why can't I invest in the next and Airbnb and become an accredited investor. But I'd love to. I'll be amazing.

Alan Wunsche: Today you wouldn't be able to.

Manseeb Khan: Exactly because there's so many rights now to become accredited investor. There’re so much more criteria you have to meet. And like you said for private companies it's even more so. Right there there's even more rules and even more red tape for just a 23-year-old college student like me to like to invest in next Airbnb like we're not there yet. But it's very exciting that it could be on track and that there is stuff put in place to make sure that one day everybody can potentially invest in the next Airbnb.

Alan Wunsche: That's the exciting part about this. And you know I talked to so many people. You know I  still feel young but I'm not as young as you are. No. You see you know 20 20 and 30-year old. I mean in terms of age but in terms of you know that the mindset is why can't we do this mindset right. Let me just be clear. There are very good reasons  why there's certain regulations in place essentially to prevent the scamming that happened all around the world in the ICO craze. OK. So, putting that aside if we can do this very in a safe manner it still looks after the investor protections then why can't a retail investor get in on the next really cool startup. Why does it have to be kind of limited or why should a retail investor be limited to you know twenty-five hundred dollars or something like that. You know when an accredited investor by the way who is typically very wealthy you know they have much higher limits but they're not always frankly more intelligent or aware of what this new technology is. So, we get a lot of people saying well I really understand this technology why I am limited. You know a small tiny little investment. What's the art of the possible and how can we get it. How can we get a safe environment? And it's not in or position and opened the door to a broad kind of democratization of investing opportunities.

Manseeb Khan: This bridge is very much it can be built like again all regulations are not there to like they're not out to get us right. Like the man isn't like putting us down or anything. Like you mentioned what we've pretty much started the show off with like Hey these rules and regulations are put in place so that we don't get any more scam. There's no pump and dumps and this whole potential market gets kind of blown to bits because there's no rules in place as the Wild, Wild West and everyone kind of gets screwed over which is terrible. Since you are working with startups and I'm myself in the startup world do you see ICOs taking over IPO's  in the future and I guess what the future of ICOs is look like to you given that your opinion is a little bit biased but still.

Alan Wunsche: Yeah, I mean for sure I'm biased in looking at what the art of the possible is. So, what is possible, and I don't  you know for the last couple of years since we started Token Funder,  I didn't use the word ICO whenever I talk to anyone in this space. I mean of course the ICO term was taken off, but I more can keep them in this initial token offerings and the token being the more generic form because not everything you put out there is a coin or a crypto currency. So that's kind of like where do you see the future right. I do think that token offerings and this democratization of investing opportunities  into innovation puts us into innovative startups will be very real and it's a very real outside alternative funding mechanism for companies. Now what that means is that. There's that there's going to be a transition period. So, it's yeah. Let's say and we all know what's going on with the broader crypto currency in quotes. Marketplace today. Right. So, the value of its down and it would seem that even know  some people that have lost some amount of value added and all that. But let's just in one sense if we put that aside it's quite efficient to move anything of value whether it be a share in a company or you can say I'll take this business and I'll put 10 percent of this business on to go into a token that people could buy into. And then there's a marketplace for it. It's very efficient and you don't need a large infrastructure when you already have a public blockchain. You don't need to use a traditional funding vehicle. So, people have also asked me if I could address this in other in other conference panels and whatnot. Whether this is the venture capital and ultimately the answer is not necessarily because some companies may want just one or two people investing in them and some companies might want thousands of people investing in for different reasons for different business reasons. So they'll be a hybrid but there's no question that the token offering model is a very efficient one and you can just imagine you know in the future you're going to have your wallet there and you're going to have a wallet that shows some Canadian cash or some other kind of currencies and then you'll have you know a share of. So, what your startup called? It's called Curexe. Ok. So Curexe. So, I'll have a share of Curexe alongside a share of Apple alongside you know some crypto in a wallet. And  if I want to sell that share of Curexe. So, you know I'll be able to do so with whatever is appropriate you can be in the marketplace. And this will be the new way of our next generation of investing. And it's going to be powered by public blockchains I believe.

Manseeb Khan: I'm very excited for it to be one of those many thousands of investors if anything this is just another leg that's going to be attached to the  be it VC's, be it any other investment funds out there right. Because it's just in a sense they're just diversifying. And if anything, it just can be a supplement. Right. Like it is an alternative way of funding. It's going to be a shift. Your absolutely right.

Alan Wunsche: So yeah. Where did and where do you want to take the conversation.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. So, you did mention a little bit more of tokenization of businesses. Could you talk a little bit more of that? What is a tokenized  business? What does it mean? How do I get my start up to become a tokenized business?

Alan Wunsche: I won't give you the  fully comprehensive answer to it but just think about think about some example’s tokenization is this mechanism of enabling fractional ownership and then the fairly easy transferability of that fractional ownership. That's from person to person in a blockchain right through the blockchain. There's very recently an example where a company tokenized in an entire building. So, imagine an entire building. Thought of as you know a particular token. And then imagine being you know on one side of the country and you just want to invest in a you know in a fraction of a building that happens to be on the other side of the country. No problem. And then you know your circumstances change and you'd like to liquidate that and or the value of that building goes up. You can. You can basically sell your interests. This this is technically so easy to do on the blockchain now. Now we've just got to kind of connect with the real world. And the real-world documentation that says by the way this building is represented on a blockchain officially at this location. And now go now it's available for people to buy into and transfer. That's  really interesting. So, I took great interest in that. There’re other examples of. There's an example that I think is  intriguing and I'd be interested in your take on this. There's this company called rally road. So, they've now said we'll go out and on behalf of people will go out and buy this this antique car and this antique car is X and it's a named vehicle it's a real vehicle. Happens to have no value X today and we believe that if we hold onto it it'll have value Y tomorrow. So, we convert that into a token and allow for fractional ownership of that particular antique car. And it's called rally road. So, they're embarking on a tokenizing that kind of asset. And then at some point you know on a fairly regular basis the company will presumably say OK, so this asset is now worth X, worth Y and if you've got enough appreciation out of it you can now sell your interest.

Manseeb Khan: That sounds amazing. I'd love to own a piece of it like a 1969 Mustang or something like. that Ford Mustang would be. It would be exactly the kind of example that that I heard talked about it so. Oh wow.  All kinds of really interesting cars that they happen to be focused on so that's just that's just one model. So now cars, real estate, business, business shares you name it any essentially any assets. Just kind of marry up to the legality of it  and people are considering you know that the home or the condo that you own. You know if you want some help in owning that you have that house or condo down the road. I'm sure it will be quite possible that you'll say great I've got this this residence that is known in the world in you know as registered by the government and under this lot. And you know identity and oh by the way I'm willing to legally sell a fraction of it. Which is going to be pretty easy for you for that residence to be the tokenized.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No, I love it. I'm waiting for the day for a company to say like hey you want it we tokenize it.

Alan Wunsche: So, this is it so Token Funders vision here is to start with companies and you know doing it in a manner that allows them just to say let's call it equity, let's call it debt let's call it something like that and we'll do that right. But we have got a lot of other interesting thoughts around how we can take the token model and not just be about capital raise. Yeah. And so, some of those ideas I've just kind of touched on here. So you have the hope that these  other spaces certainly interest me  and then we become  so the other thing I mentioned at the top of this chat with you is we've said that and we're going to also build a network around these companies that we're currently helping and that's what I call this not just funding but actually involved in the growth of the company so identifying advisors and resources from wherever they might be and providing them with an incentive of a token. say to help that particular startup. So that you're not just then a startup that's only getting you know help and  guidance from those immediately around you but that that can come from anywhere in the world if you incentivize it through a token structure.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No that's wow I can't wait for that.  Yeah. No, I'm working on it. No that's wow. No that's  incredible. I can't wait for that. So, like I'd like a nice network or even. You can probably call a community of just advisors and just people like be it from actual customers that are willing to use it or be from actual like V.C.s that are willing to like oh yeah no I can totally see that like the actual implementation of this XYZ  product or service like you might have right.

Alan Wunsche: I'm just going to I'm just going to add a little reality to this right now. So, I just recently came from the global Ethereum developers conference called Dev Con in Europe it was  in Prague and there were thousands of developers and continue to work on the next big thing. And also, creative people. So, the UX is really important. The important thing that folks listening to this will probably want to understand this is that we're not quite there in this new infrastructure called you know in this case the Ethereum that it's scalable worldwide as we might want it to be. So, we expected that there was there was going to be some changes this year. And so there was a lot of kind of pent up hope and all the anticipation for upgrades to the public blockchain for scalability. And now it's being pushed into 2019 but it's not that far off. So while it's not a platform that's fully scalable such that you know you can put every single asset in the entire world on a public blockchain and know we can run a piece of network on the public blockchain those are still very visionary but 2019 is now the year that we can anticipate some upgrades to scalability and speed throughput on these blockchains. So that's kind of a dose of reality.

Manseeb Khan: I love it. I can't wait, so yeah everybody you heard it here first. Make sure 2019 you guys start earmarking for getting a piece of that Ford Mustang that I so badly want. There you go. I can't wait. I can't wait. So, can anything else that really excites you that's going on in the space other than owning a piece of a building and owning a piece of my dream car.

Alan Wunsche: I think it's generally really exciting that this is going to be a technology that will bring and has really kind of awakened. I'd say a vast number of people in the population around asking real big questions around Where's the power in today's society? Who's running our big financial systems? Are they running it the right way? Should we be decentralizing some of this power? I mean these are really big questions. I don't have all the answers to them, but I think it's been real. The technology itself has been a really good catalyst to asking these questions and to ask questions of governments that they currently manage are central banks and central currencies. When and if let's say in the coming years they'll start to suggest that we're going to have central bank digital currencies as they are looking at today. It will be really interesting and it's exciting to think about these things, but it also be interesting to think and important for people to think about you know Are they getting the privacy they need going forward? Are they getting investment opportunities? Is this technology decentralizing our power structures? What will happen if we have no central bank digital currency? I think it's actually opening up exciting conversations for  a lot more people to understand how money moves. Who manages. Are our societies. Who governs our societies and how money flows and those are so those are some really big socio-economic questions in in the context of you know things to think about. This is not just a blockchain, but this is a technological shift that we're going through with the impact on a lot of jobs too. Oh absolutely. So, what do I think. I think that you know opening up this dialogue about what is money? Is Bitcoin money? Is ether money? Should it be, or should it be something else? This is an exciting time to be challenging the status quo and in doing it and always doing it for the right reasons right. Yeah absolutely. But for decades had infrastructure that's been very centralized. And now people have the opportunity to rethink some of that with decentralizing technology. Rethink the fact that you know one or two or three very large companies own our social identity if you allow them to do so and we may have you know the decentralized version of Facebook that gives you your identity back. That's exciting.

Manseeb Khan: It really is because it's this is the first-time in. I kind of want to say first time in a long time where power is really going back to the people and the people actually have the power to fight back. And every everybody's kind of looking at the current way the world works. How do how money flows. Who actually runs and operates the money. Who and why they get to operate the money everyone is kind of looking at it as more. they're looking at it more skeptically if anything right and their take their second guessing it. And there's  again the technology is emerging where maybe not only fight back but maybe create a world where it's a little bit more of an even playing field and where everybody and anybody can hopefully one day participate, own a building, buy my dream car. You know and take it from there.

Alan Wunsche: You said it even playing field and that's the whole discussion around decentralization and is there. What playing fields are we evening. I think it'll be a bigger wake up call. Should there be a nobody wants this frankly, but should there be another recession. Because you know in 2008, 2009  we all lived through it. We kind of woke up and realized hey call your financial infrastructures really entangled in you know something that happened and see in Greece or in Italy or in you know or in the U.S. or somewhere reek contagion on the broader world and you know we had a liquidity crisis. That got people concerned that they understood where and how our financial world was managed and so nobody wants it. But you know think about the fact that this is a disintermediating excuse me technology. It's potentially decentralizing existing power structures. It's a could level the playing field, it could bring new opportunities for people to decentralized large. I can call them kind of large centralized web properties that exist today. There's that there's a there's a book that's out you know after Google may or may not have the title exactly right. But you know it's a discussion. It's a  book about how the blockchain will in fact decentralize what Google looks like today. And this is a new time. I mean it opens up a lot of new questions and maybe I'll just leave it there because you know I don't have all the answers.

Manseeb Khan: No, I just think it's early but it's an exciting time. Yeah. No, I think it's a great way to really end it like this is. I'm excited. I mean I get own my dream car a lot faster than I thought I could. Oh, I got to get to a real estate a lot faster. I'm very, I'm very fired.

Alan Wunsche: Maybe a thousandth of that dream car.

Manseeb Khan: I mean hey  I rather own a piece of it and none of it.

Alan Wunsche: Very good.

Manseeb Khan: All right. So, Alan thank you so much for again coming on the show. I can't wait to have you on again. And thanks for refiring the dream.

Alan Wunsche: I'm excited for you and it's a pleasure to be here with you today.

Manseeb Khan: Absolutely. All right Alan. So, thank you again. So, on behalf of the National Fintech and crowdfunding association I wish you an amazing Fintech Friday and weekend.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

Subscribe and Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here

Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges!

Interested in getting involved as a partner or participant? info@ncfacanada.org

 


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
Read More
Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
Read More
Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
Read More
Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
Read More
SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
Read More
Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
Read More
MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
Read More
Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
Read More
Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks
Wharton University | Jan 10, 2019 Data science is making inroads into the world of impact investing, helping program designers and beneficiaries achieve closer alignment between their goals and strategies. While some are building on models from the business world to correlate different pieces of ecosystems to understand how impact flows, others are attempting to marshal next-generation digital technologies such as blockchain to improve outcomes in areas such as disaster response and land titling. The Rockefeller Foundation has been designing ways to harness data effectively in order to improve the effectiveness of impact investing. “Data really helps you understand the nature of the problem, and thinking about data ahead of time helps you structure your experiments and your interventions,” said Zia Khan, vice president of initiatives and strategy at the foundation. “Measuring data helps you prove what works, what doesn’t work, and then you can monitor and scale things up.” The data movement is infectious. Khan said he sees “increasing appetite to learn more from some of the countries that have done some breakthrough work,” such as Estonia and India. In particular, he cited India’s biometrics-based identification system called Aadhaar, which has enabled millions of previously undocumented residents to open ...
Read More
How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes

 

Share

VanFUNDING Brings Leading Blockchain, FinTech, RegTech, and Capital Innovation Experts to Vancouver #VF2018

Share

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / November 15, 2018 / VanFUNDING 2018: CONVERGE, an annual innovation, technology and capital event organized by the National Crowdfunding and FinTech Association (NCFA), will take place in Vancouver on November 29-30 at Parq Vancouver.

The event showcases leading technologies and experts in blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence and alternative finance that are making an impact on Canada, the capital markets and the world.

The event will feature over 50 speakers including Monique Morden, CEO of Judi.ai; Brady Fletcher, Managing Director, TSX Venture Exchange at TMX Group; Toufi Saliba, CEO of Toda.Network; Mark Wang, Director of Capital Market Regulation, BC Securities Commission; Paul Schulte, Managing Editor, Schulte Research; Rojin Nair, General Manager Fintech Solutions for Celero and more.

The event will also feature its annual pitching program that will award three "Front of the Line"Dragon's Den Golden Tickets and other prizes to the winning startups. Startups selected to pitch include Flux Network, Capiche Capital Technologies, Very Good Butcher, Squamish Canyon, Drive Hockey, Veme, Moca Estimator, Symend and HeyBryan.

As NCFA Canada CEO, Craig Asano states, ''We are witnessing unprecedented change that is already affecting our daily lives - how we interact with financial services, generate digital wealth, invest, evaluate, consume, vote, store, transfer, and purchase anything of value.''

The past year has been saturated with news about blockchain's capabilities and its potential to vastly alter traditional financial ecosystems. However, as Toufi Saliba, CEO of TODA Network, notes, ''The global penetration of [this technology] is less than 0.2 per cent, of which, the vast majority of blockchains are scams.'' While individuals should remain cautious about fraudulent businesses that have arisen from people looking to cash in on the hype, Saliba explains that the next wave of blockchain adoption and utilization will be ''like a tsunami, [where] you can partake in what's yet to be the most disruptive technology in human history, or ignore it and get disrupted."

This year's theme, CONVERGE, immerses participants in content covering new capital market innovation, decentralized models, computer intelligence, infrastructure, alternative investment opportunities and the evolution of the ICO and security token offering (STO).

''The ICO market has shifted towards securitized token offerings and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this change and enabling a true security token standard with Etherparty, which offers AML KYC controls on assets that are issued from financial institutions or companies looking to raise funds through equity financing,'' said Lisa Cheng, Founder and Head of R&D for Vanbex Group.

Save your spot: http://vanfunding.com/

Link to video: watch here

VanFUNDING wouldn't be possible without the generous support of The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA), Toda.Network, Judi.ai, Vanbex Group, Northern Block, FrontFundr, REITIUM, FintruX, Holt Accelerator, TIMIA Capital, JJ Human Capital, Schulte Research and more.

About the NCFA:

The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA) 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. Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Media Contact:

Brittany Whitmore
Exvera Communications Inc.
Brittany@exvera.com

SOURCE: National Crowdfunding Association of Canada

Share

Innovative tech is shaping the future of financial services

Share

BNN Bloomberg | November 9, 2018

#VF2018 promises to be a comprehensive overview of emerging technologies and alternative financing options

  • The #VF2018 Conference features blockchain, AI, fintech, funding innovations, and alternative finance options for investors and businesses
  • This year’s theme, CONVERGE, engages participants and builds bridges across the most disruptive emerging technologies
  • Immersive educational content, over 50 speakers, and a multitude of networking and partnership opportunities

The 2018 VanFUNDING Conference comes at a perfect time for investors and enthusiasts alike to dive into the vast world of fintech, blockchain, artificial intelligence, digital banking, and much more. Held at Parq Vancouver from November 29-30, this event promises to be the epitome of innovation and knowledge.

Emerging, Disruptive Technologies

Our world is undergoing a period of unprecedented change, especially when it comes to emerging technologies in the financial realm. For instance, we have seen how AI has been adopted into various industries where it powers chatbots and self-driven vehicles. We have also seen how digital commerce has been at the forefront of eliminating the need for paper. Most importantly, we have come to the clear realization that blockchain’s momentum is not slowing down anytime soon and that its capabilities for revolutionizing the financial industry go beyond merely eliminating the “middleman.”

The VanFUNDING 2018 Vancouver Conference comes at a perfect time for investors and capital market participants to learn more about these burgeoning technologies, which together make up the future of finance and other key industries in our modern world.

Apart from the major news that we have heard about blockchain, the advancement of AI projects has been paramount in efforts to further automate work processes and mitigate human error and oversight. With the power to improve fraud detection, enhance financial management, and generate unique trading strategies through historical data observation, the potential here is limitless.

As NCFA CEO, Craig Asano states, “We are witnessing unprecedented change that is already affecting our daily lives — how we interact with financial services, generate digital wealth, invest, evaluate, consume, vote, store, transfer, and purchase anything of value.” With this in mind, it is clear that the need for comprehensive, educational fintech events has never been higher.

In order to provide a holistic analysis of these emergent technologies, #VF2018 will boast workshops, presentations, and mentorship opportunities to encompass the breadth and depth of knowledge these essential topics necessitate. The focus of the conference will be to provide immersive educational content, highlighted by over 50 expert speakers and abundant networking possibilities for attendees, while also providing a pitching platform for emerging players to connect with investors and scale their profile.

Embedded Image
Toufi Saliba, CEO, TODA Network is a pillar in industry helping blockchain technologies achieve massive scale.

Building Bridges

In addition to helping companies understand the best practices of raising capital in public and private markets, the conference will also build bridges between these technologies that are empowering our markets. For instance, what are the key connections between blockchain and AI? How can FinTech utilize blockchain to overhaul obsolete banking systems? How can blockchain make our payments and wealth more secure? What are the technical impediments to mass adoption? These are just a few of the pertinent questions #VF2018 will set out to address.

Moreover, the past year has been especially saturated with news about blockchain’s capabilities and its potential to vastly alter traditional financial ecosystems. The technology has shown immense potential to push us closer towards a utopian financial world, but as Toufi Saliba, CEO of Toda, notes, “The global penetration of [this technology] is less than 0.2 per cent, of which, the vast majority of blockchains are scams.” While individuals should remain cautious about fraudulent businesses that have arisen from people looking to cash in on the hype, Saliba explains that the next wave of blockchain adoption and utilization will be “like a tsunami, [where] you can partake in what's yet to be the most disruptive technology in human history, or ignore it and get disrupted."

To echo and expand on Saliba’s thoughts, over 1,200 blockchain patent applications were filed in 2017, up from 594 in 2016 — many of these applications were submitted by blue-chip financial institutions like Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and others.

What’s Next

Overall, #VF2018 is set up to be a tremendously apropos event for the modern world. The global fintech realm continues to experience disruption on a daily basis via modern technologies such as blockchain and AI. The innovations of today could become antiquated as soon as tomorrow, given the rate at which these technologies are evolving. As such, the demand for immersive, educational content that examines these emerging technologies and their future outlook has skyrocketed. Events such as #VF2018 are essentially acting as a portal into the future, where attendees can stay ahead of the curve to pragmatically anticipate what tomorrow will bring.

To get tickets to this event, click here.

Share