Global fintech and funding innovation ecosystem

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Vena Solutions Achieves Elite Centaur Status $100M ARR

Milestone Release | Jul 15, 2024

Freepik Unicorn and centaurs - Vena Solutions Achieves Elite Centaur Status $100M ARR

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Canadian finance startup, Vena Solutions, has announced that its annual recurring revenue (ARR) has surpassed $100 million USD, awarding it the esteemed Centaur classification, which is granted to privately held SaaS companies who generate $100 million USD in annual revenue.

  • Vena's ARR milestone highlights the company's strong annual growth, which is being driven by a rise in the demand for its financial planning and analysis (FP&A) products. Serving more than 1,800 companies in a variety of industries, Vena has proven its scalable solutions, broad market appeal, and just closed a record setting quarter.
  • Vena is dedicated to innovation and recently released an AI-powered tool, Vena Copilot. With the use of Microsoft Azure Open AI technology, this application improves FP&A skills and gives finance teams access to increased operational efficiency and strategic insights.
  • Vena actively promotes a lively community by putting on events like Excelerate Finance, providing free online courses, and starting programs like Vena Academy. These initiatives support the development of an informed user base and improve client interactions.

See:  Are you a Pig, Gazelle or Bear? Beyond Unicorns, Zoology of startups

Hunter Madeley, CEO at Vena:

“Achieving this designation represents an exciting milestone on the amazing journey we’re enjoying with our customers and partners as we transform the office of finance and empower FP&A teams everywhere. From our founding days, we’ve believed that the most impactful organizations in the world have always been those that best leverage the power of data and their people in pursuit of a clear and meaningful mission. Our platform makes that possible and we are so grateful to have played our part in the success our customers realize every day. This achievement reflects the deep and abiding commitment of our employees as we build a culture and company focused on helping our customers plan to grow. We still have so much more to do, but it’s nice to take a beat and celebrate this latest milestone together.”

Some Notable Canadian Unicorn Fintechs

Canada's fintech landscape includes several unicorn companies, as published in Failory.

  • Wealthsimple: One of the most well-known fintech unicorns in Canada, Wealthsimple is renowned for its user-friendly investing platform.
  • Neo Financial: Known for its innovative financial products and quick expansion, this company attained unicorn status with a valuation of more than $1 billion.
  • FreshBooks: Achieving unicorn status with a robust market presence, this cloud-based accounting software provider serves small and medium-sized enterprises.

See:  How Fintechs Can Integrate AI for Efficiency Gains

  • Figment: Thanks to its ground-breaking platform, this unicorn-status company specializes in Web3 staking, and blockchain infrastructure.
  • eSentire: With a valuation of more than $1 billion, this cybersecurity solutions company has attained unicorn status.
  • Axelar: With its strong platform, the company has achieved unicorn status by offering decentralized communication solutions for blockchain ecosystems.

Conclusion

This accomplishment is a major milestone for Vena Solutions, demonstrating that Canadian fintech firms can compete and flourish internationally. Vena is well-positioned for continued growth and success with a focus on innovation and consumer value.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Vena Solutions Achieves Elite Centaur Status $100M ARRThe 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, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Markets React to Trump’s Assassination Attempt

Crypto News | Jul 15, 2024

Freepik banknote with bitcoin - Markets React to Trump's Assassination Attempt

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Donald Trump's Support for Bitcoin and Impact on Trade and Financial Markets

On Saturday, President Donald Trump narrowly survived an attempted assassination at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania.  Markets reacted on Monday, with the price of Bitcoin skyrocketing over $63,000 (over 10%).  In the wake of the attack, investors responded favourably, seeing Bitcoin as a decentralized and safe financial instrument amidst periods of political instability. Furthermore, the Republican platform has officially declared its stance on digital assets, and Trump will be speaking at the upcoming Nashville, Tennessee, Bitcoin Conference.

See:  ‘Mugshot Edition’ Trump NFTs Blending Politics, Memorabilia and Digital Assets

  • Trump now supports Bitcoin, changing his earlier unfavourable stance. In his view, Bitcoin is a safe, decentralized substitute for established financial institutions that is necessary for both personal financial sovereignty and economic stability.  Trump's endorsement of Bitcoin has the potential to significantly influence trade policy in the future by encouraging international trade and lowering dependency on fiat currencies. This is consistent with his overarching economic plan to promote innovation and global market competitiveness.
  • Following the assassination attempt, Polymarket showed Trump's chances of winning the 2024 presidential election significantly rose to 71%, it's all time high. This uptick indicates that investors are becoming more confident in his capacity to withstand setbacks and lead with steadiness, which will make him more appealing to fans and market players.
  • Trump's Republican Party platform for 2024 calls for an end to the crackdown on cryptocurrencies, indicating a more welcoming regulatory climate for digital assets. This well-rounded strategy promotes innovation while safeguarding consumer interests, possibly establishing the United States as a frontrunner in the digital economy.

Despite Failed Assassination Attempt, Trump to Speak at Upcoming Bitcoin Conference in Nashville

On July 27, Trump will headline the Nashville Bitcoin Conference, where he will address his support for cryptocurrencies and their effects on trade and the economy. It is anticipated that his speech will clarify his position on fair regulation of cryptocurrencies and their integration into traditional financial systems. Politicians and investors are looking forward to this event for insights into future regulatory approaches to crypto.

Conclusion

The assassination attempt's effect on markets and Donald Trump's recent support for Bitcoin in the face of political unrest. His endorsement suggests that trade policies may change and that regulations pertaining to digital assets may become more lenient.

See:  Fortune 100 & 500 Embrace Blockchain, Driving Onchain Growth

Investors and lawmakers are anxious to learn more about Trump's plan to incorporate Bitcoin into the banking system and pave the way for important advancements in the digital economy as he gets ready to speak at the Nashville Bitcoin Conference.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Markets React to Trump's Assassination AttemptThe 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, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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NFX: Start Thinking ‘Service-as-a-Software’

AI | Jul 11, 2024

Freepik AI assisted person interacting with AI robot - NFX:  Start Thinking 'Service-as-a-Software'

Image: Freepik (AI assisted)

SMEs will be Turbocharged as we move from 'AI Tools' to 'Guided AI Agents'

We agree with NFXs recent post that using "Guided AI Agents" instead of "AI tools" can automate a large amount of work and advance automation beyond simple job execution to produce efficiencies and specific business outcomes.  For the first time ever, there's a technology that can help solve the problem of 'delivering uniqueness at scale', and small-and-medium-enterprises (SMEs) need to take advantage of this momentous opportunity.

1. Automation Potential

“This very moment, we could easily automate away 60% to 70% of the global economy’s work hours with AI.”

2. From “Tasks” to “Outcomes”

Guided AI Agents represent a shift in focus from completing tasks to achieving outcomes. This approach enables businesses to measure success based on tangible results rather than the effort spent on individual tasks.

See:  Report: Responsible AI Insights and Tips for Investors

“You can measure success in new customers gained, articles placed, deals closed. Outcomes.”

  • Marketing with AI increases conversion rates by 20% and customer satisfaction by 10%.
  • According to the Small Business Council, 93% of SMBs concur that AI is increasing profitability and saving them money.
  • Small businesses should provide AI services with the goal of producing quantifiable business results, making sure that fintech solutions complement the expansion goals of SMBs.

3. Delivering Uniqueness at Scale

SMBs have a variety of demands, and guided AI agents can meet those needs by offering customized solutions at scale. With the help of AI, small firms may now effectively compete with larger corporations by using AI to complete hard jobs.

“We can finally deliver uniqueness at scale.”

“Now, Guided AI Agents run in the background, requiring no additional time investment from the SMB.”

  • Guided AI agents can meets specific and unique requirements of SMEs in conjunction with best practices.
  • Provide AI-powered financial process management solutions that handle everything 'holistically' from payroll to invoicing, improving user experience and operational effectiveness.

See:  Google’s AI Boom Drives 50% Rise in Carbon Emissions

  • SMEs should incorporate AI solutions that run on their own, freeing up SMBs to concentrate on their core business operations while the AI takes care of intricate financial responsibilities in the background.

Outlook

The concept of "service-as-a-software" is driving this transformation, emphasizing the shift from traditional human-centric services to automated, scalable software solutions. Guided AI Agents embody this inverted thinking by offering tailored, automated services that can handle complex tasks and deliver specific outcomes without continuous human involvement leading to an increase in productivity.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - NFX:  Start Thinking 'Service-as-a-Software'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, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Boost Your Business with Xero’s Beautiful Business Fund

Funding | Jul 10, 2024

Xero Beautiful Business Fund - Boost Your Business with Xero's Beautiful Business Fund

Image: Xero Beautiful Business Fund (website)

Xero's Beautiful Business Fund is back for 2024!

The Xero Beautiful Business Fund initiative is designed to help small businesses flourish, offering over CA$630,000 in funding across various regions, including Canada (excluding Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, and the US.

  • More than CA$630,000 in total funding available.  Prize winners are responsible for any applicable taxes.
  • Eligible countries include Canada (excluding Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, and the US. 
  • You must be a Xero small business customers in one of the specified regions with maximum 50 employees.
  • Apply by the deadline August 27, 2024
  • Winners will be announced at the end of October 2024

Step 1:  Choose One or More Categories

For your entry, choose one or more of the following categories. To increase your chances of winning, you can enter all categories:

  • 🌿Innovating for Environmental Sustainability --> Tell us how your company is advancing its sustainability initiatives.
  • 🤝 Strengthening Community Connection --> Emphasize the contributions and positive impact you're bringing to the community.

See:  UK Announces £7.3 Billion to Unlock Green Private Investment

  • 🚀 Trailblazing with Technology --> Showcase your creative use of technology to take the lead in your sector.
  • 📈 Upskilling for the Future --> Describe the steps you're taking to fill in skill shortages and preparing your team for success in the future.

Step 2: Prepare Your Entry

  1. Click the ‘Enter Now’ button.
  2. Complete the entry form. Give a brief overview of your company and the chosen category.
  3. Make a 90-second film that explains your business objectives and your intentions for the financing. This might be a straightforward phone video that you self-recorded.

Step 3: Submit Your Entry

See:  Trudeau Announces $2.4 Billion AI Funding Package

Entries must be submitted by August 27, 2024.  Winners will be announced at the end of October 2024.

Prizes and Judging

Entries will be evaluated according to how innovative, significant, and workable your ideas are. Make sure your proposal explains how the financing will help you accomplish your business goals in a straightforward and appealing way. Go here for additional information on the judging details.

  • Four winners from each country will receive CA$15,000 each (these are country prizes)
  • Four global winners will be selected from the country winners, each receiving an additional CA$40,000 (global prizes)

Spread the Word

This is a fantastic way for Xero to encourage small business innovation with direct funding support while also growing it's customer and fan base.

See:  U.S. Expanding Access to Capital Act Boosts Startup Funding

Check out these FAQs for more information, or contact xerobbfund@xero.com.


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

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UK Announces £7.3 Billion to Unlock Green Private Investment

Funding | Jul 10, 2024

UKs national wealth fund - UK Announces £7.3 Billion to Unlock Green Private Investment

Image from press release: UK's National Wealth Fund

UK Announces Major Boost for National Wealth Fund

On July 9, 2024, the UK government has announced intentions to invest £7.3 billion in funds to the National Wealth Fund for economic development and sustainability.  The goal is to unify major financial institutions under a single plan and stimulate private investment, especially in the green and growing industries.

Realignment of Financial Institutions

The British Business Bank and the UK Infrastructure Bank will be merged into the National Wealth Fund as part of the new project. The goal of this realignment is to produce a more unified investment strategy that capitalizes on these institutions' advantages to attract significant private sector investment. The announcement coincided with the launch of this enormous project, which took place at No. 11 Downing Street with the gathering of the National Wealth Fund Taskforce by Chancellor Rachel Reeves and Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds.

See:  Green Fintech 2.0 Shows Progress in the UK

Dame Amanda Blanc, the CEO of Aviva, C.S. Venkatakrishnan of Barclays, and Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, are among the prominent individuals on the task group, which is chaired by the Green Finance Institute. Their combined experience is anticipated to direct the strategic allocation of the extra £7.3 billion, which will be overseen by the UK Infrastructure Bank to enable prompt investments.

Rachel Reeves, Chancellor of the Exchequer:

"This new Government is getting on with the job of delivering economic growth. We need to go further and faster if we are to fix the foundations of our economy to rebuild Britain and make every part of our country better off.  Britain is open for business – and the work of change has begun."

See:  Fintech Can Combat Corporate Greenwashing

Ed Miliband, Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary

"Our Mission to make Britain a clean energy superpower is about investing in Britain. Our National Wealth Fund will help create thousands of jobs in the clean energy industries of the future to boost our energy independence and tackle climate change."

Conclusion

Strong public-private partnerships will be essential to achieving the new National Wealth Fund's potential to transform the UK's economic environment, with specific plans expected to be unveiled at the next international investment summit. This bold plan aims to establish the UK as a leader in innovation and green sectors while also promoting economic growth.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - UK Announces £7.3 Billion to Unlock Green Private InvestmentThe 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, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Fig Financial: Canada’s First Digital Personal Loan Provider

Launch Release | Jul 10, 2024

Freepik tirachardz personal loan - Fig Financial: Canada’s First Digital Personal Loan Provider

Image: Freepik tirachardz/personal loan

Fig Financial introduces a fully digital personal loan platform in Canada, with 10 second rapid approvals

With the launch of its services, Fig FinancialCanada's first fully digital personal loan provider—is changing the personal lending market with approachable online solutions. More than 9,000 Canadians have benefited from the company's over $135 million CAD in personal loan funding to date via various partnerships. Fig is now directly available to customers, offering a quicker, more transparent, and safe borrowing experience.

Overview

  • In as little as ten seconds, Fig Financial provides quick loan approvals. Unlike typical banks, where the application procedure can take days or weeks, this one can be finished in about ten minutes.
  • Users can easily apply for loans at any time and from any location thanks to the user-friendly, entirely digital application process. Flexible loan terms, payback plans, and amounts allow for customization to meet specific needs.

See:  How Fintechs Can Integrate AI for Efficiency Gains

  • Fig fills a significant void in the industry by offering straightforward, transparent and hidden-free information on loan terms.
  • The latest security protocols protect user's data.
  • The management team at Fig, led by CEO Francois Cote, has over 50 years of combined expertise in fintech and financial institutions. Fig's dedication to innovation and customer-focused solutions is emphasized by their experienced leadership.
  • With competitive interest rates starting as low as 12.99% right now. There are no early repayment penalties, so borrowers who pay off their loans early can save money on interest.

Francois Cote, CEO, Fig Financial:

“We are providing a true alternative to banks for every Canadian who needs better lending options. And we are doing what the banks won’t: making this experience entirely online. If you need to cover unexpected bills and expenses, make home improvements, or pay off your debt faster–whether it’s 3pm or 3am–Fig is available to you.”

See:  nesto Acquires CMLS Group, Katipults to Forefront of Canadian Mortgage Lending

Interested in Partnering with Fig Financial to Unlock Revenue?

  • According to their website, partnering with Fig Financial gives companies an easy, API-first approach to monetise their existing clientele and draw in new ones.
  • Even for near-prime and non-prime consumers, Fig offers flexible lending alternatives thanks to its excellent approval rates and sizable balance sheet, which is supported by Fairstone Bank.
  • Automated decisioning, comprehensive servicing and collections, and referral fees on loans are all advantageous to partners.

Outlook

With its quick, open, and safe digital platform, Fig is ready to compete in the sector and provide a strong alternative finance solution from traditional banking.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fig Financial: Canada’s First Digital Personal Loan ProviderThe 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, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Fintech in 2024: Growth, Challenges, and Opportunities

Global Fintech Market Report | Jul 9, 2024

BCG and QED 2024 Global Fintech Markets - Fintech in 2024: Growth, Challenges, and Opportunities

Image: Global Fintech 2024 (BCG and QED Investors)

The 2024 Global Fintech Report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and QED Investors provides a comprehensive view of the continuously evolving fintech landscape. The research provides key insights for fintech startups, investors, and financial institutions globally by highlighting important trends, growth projections, and noteworthy hurdles. Ten takeaways from the study are outlined below, emphasizing the prospects and threats that will influence the direction of fintech.

💹 $1.5 Trillion in Revenue by 2030 (positive)

  • By 2030, the global fintech market is expected to generate $1.5 trillion in sales, rising at a rate of around five times that of 2023.  The fintech industry has enormous potential, as seen by its exponential expansion. This is still a lucrative opportunity for innovators, and offers a profitable chance to develop and grow.

📈 14% Annual Revenue Growth (positive)

  • Over the last two years, global fintech sales have increased at a rate of 14% per year (or 21% if crypto and China-related fintechs are taken out).  The fintech industry's steady revenue growth is indicative of both its tenacity and the rising demand for digital financial services. Businesses can take advantage of this trend to grow their operations and draw in investment.

🏦 100 Million Users at Nubank (positive)

  • In May 2023, Nubank achieved the milestone of 100 million users, with the objective of being the biggest and most lucrative bank in Latin America.  Nubank's success is inspiring for digital challenger banks who may be encouraged by their approach of adopting aggressive growth strategies while concentrating on user acquisition.

📊 9 Percentage Points Increase in EBITDA Margins (positive)

  • Public fintech companies' EBITDA margins have increased by 9 percentage points on average, although many of them are still below the "rule of 40" barrier".   Increasing EBITDA margins are a sign of growing efficiency and profitability for fintech companies. Many still have to strike a balance between profitability and expansion, though, which is a crucial lesson for anyone hoping for long-term success.

💸 70% Decline in Fintech Funding (negative)

  • Fintech funding has decreased by 70% since its peak, with an 81%–89% dip in late-stage investments (series C to E+). The considerable reduction in funding emphasizes how critical sustainability and sound financial management are. Businesses need to concentrate on developing solid business models that are resistant to changes in funding.

🌍 1.5 Billion Unbanked Adults (positive)

  • Fintech opportunity to target the 1.5 billion unbanked (and 2.8 billion underbanked) adults in the world. Fintech companies have a huge untapped opportunity in unbanked and underbanked global populations and to create products and services that promote financial inclusion.

🔒 78% Increase in Data Compromise Incidents (negative)

  • Data breaches rose 78% in the United States in 2023, and identity fraud accounted for over 40% of Bank Security Act reports. The increase in data breaches highlights how important it is for fintech to have strong cybersecurity safeguards. To safeguard client data and uphold confidence, businesses must place a high priority on data security.

📱 5x Growth in Real-Time Payments in India (positive)

  • Over the course of three years, the number of monthly real-time payments in India increased five-fold, from 2.6 billion to 13.3 billion. Businesses can improve their domestic payment systems by taking a cue from India.

💼 $320 Billion in Embedded Finance Revenue (positive)

  • By 2030, the embedded finance market is forecasted to bring in $320 billion, with the small and medium-sized business sector leading the way at $150 billion. By incorporating financial services into non-financial platforms, embedded finance has the potential to completely transform the financial services sector.

🤖 GenAI's Impact on Productivity (positive)

  • The application of GenAI has the potential to drastically reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Businesses should invest in integrating GenAI technology to enhance service delivery, and increase productivity and competitiveness.

Outlook

The 2024 Global Fintech Report: Prudence, Profits, and Growth by BCG and QED investors presents a positive outlook for the fintech industry, highlighting future growth despite obstacles such as funding volatility and cybersecurity. Fintech firms and financial institutions focused on innovation, compliance, and strategic alliances will have the greatest chance of success.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech in 2024: Growth, Challenges, and OpportunitiesThe 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, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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