Category Archives: NCFA Blog

Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors

NCFA Canada on behalf of our partner's Lending Loop | Sep 11, 2019

Lending Loop passes 50 million - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A CHESHIRE CAT SMILE?

Well they deserve it.

Back in October 2015, NCFA made this introductory video with Cato Pastoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, about a peer to peer lending marketplace for small businesses model that was new to Canada but was achieving significant growth internationally.

The question and opportunity was back then:  why not here in Canada?

A question that many of us ask ourselves, ask the community and point fingers at strict regulations and high operating costs.  Well fast forward several years and growth obstacles later, and the Lending Loop story continues to impress with their latest milestone of lending over $50 million to deserving small businesses to help them grow and expand operations while providing retail and accredited investors direct access to a wide range of lending and investment options, a robust community and the chance to strengthen Canadian small business - here here!

The early vision...

 

Brandon Vlaar, Co-founder and CTO of Lending Loop sharing their good news!

CONGRATS to the entire Lending Loop Team for achieving this latest milestone.  We've 'got your back' and look forward to future growth and digital finance success - the best is yet to come!  Craig Asano, CEO, NCFA

 

See:  more coverage on Crowdfund Insider here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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NCFA Fintech Confidential Issue 2 FINAL COVER - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors

 

Holt Accelerator Joins NCFA as an Industry Partner

NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Sep 9, 2019

holt accelerator 1 - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors

TORONTO and MONTREAL, September 9, 2019  The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) is pleased to announce that Holt Accelerator has joined NCFA as an industry partner.

NCFA's industry partners are builders, investors and innovators who have provided a significant level of service and/or contribution towards the sustainability and growth of NCFA and related fintech sectors globally.  We encourage the fintech ecosystem to support and collaborate with NCFA's global network of industry partners by engaging directly with their ventures of mutual interest.

The name, Holt, is in honour of Sir Herbert Holt, who immigrated to Canada at the age of 18 in the late 1800's. He went on to become the longest serving president of the Royal Bank of Canada, Chairman of the Light, Heat and Power Company (formerly Hydro Quebec), and had controlling stakes or influence in another 300 companies internationally. His great, great grandson, Brendan Holt Dunn, wanted to give back to the Canadian ecosystem with the creation of the Holt Accelerator. Jan Christopher Arp would join as cofounder, and craft / implement the vision of building a fintech platform that accelerates the adoption of fintech solutions our society desperately needs.

"Our family has a history of investing, growing, supporting, and building financial companies for  the past five generations. With the rising need to support the customer journey through fintech adoption, we have decided to launch Holt Accelerator that focuses on integrating FinTech businesses with Canada’s best innovation partners, while expanding their international network.”  – Brendan Holt Dunn, Managing Partner, Holt Accelerator

"Since launching in 2017 the Holt Accelerator has been relentlessly pursuing the growth and development of leading Fintechs in Canada and around the globe.  This partnership is a testament to the valuable bridges being built coast-to-coast, and our collective commitment to support and strengthen the innovation finance ecosystem in the country and around the globe.” – Craig Asano, Founding CEO, NCFA

 

The best place to connect and get more information is at holtaccelerator.ai.

Holt Accelerator joins NCFA as an industry partner - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors

NCFA Interview with Jan Christopher Arp, Managing Partner, Holt Accelerator

What type of companies and investors does Holt work with, and how does Holt add value and accelerate its portfolio? 

Holt Accelerator seeks fintech companies that solve our 250+ Advisors biggest problems. Specifically, it's about finding the world's best fintechs at home and abroad and matching them with problem owners of financial institutions, as well as providing resources and connections to make a deal. Resources and connections include funding (or access to investors), product development (i.e. through partners or Advisors), or engagement with other relevant stakeholders. The result, companies in our portfolio have closed six-figure customer deals with financial institutions, raised multi-million seed rounds, or international portfolio companies have established Canadian subsidiary offices.

 

What fintech models do you get most excited about today and where do you see exponential growth happening in 1-3 years out?

Many areas excite us, but to name a few:

  • Improved customer profiling for either augmented due diligence, streamlined on-boarding, AML / KYC requirements, and/or increasing sales, as well as improved protection of the associated profile data,
  • Improving financial inclusion through lending, such as "niche" lending products or alternative credit scoring,
  • Democratizing access to existing and emerging asset classes for the masses,
  • Building infrastructure for blockchain during the "crypto winter", with special consideration for securitize token offerings (STOs).

 

Can you give us a run-down of the current cohort?  What’s on the horizon and how best can investors and interested parties meet these amazing Holt-backed fintech founders?

After processing close to 600 applications from 74 countries, we've chosen the top 1% that are best suited to solve Canada's greatest challenges. If you are interested in becoming an Advisor, then take a look at our current cohort below, and let us know which company speaks to you. We will be in Vancouver, Toronto, Waterloo and Montreal, providing a chance to meet them in person, or reach us and we'll make the connection. Our current cohort includes:

  1. Conatix – a cybersecurity firm preventing fraud and data theft from the inside. Conatix helps banks detect suspicious employee activity, improper behavior, policy violations and other threats on IT networks with thousands of employees, in real time.
  2. ConfirmU - helping individuals with little or no credit history gain access to financial products by combining financial data and psycholinguistics into an alternative credit scoring system.
  3. HodlBot - a Canadian based customizable cryptocurrency trading bot that enables users to index the market, create and automatically rebalance their cryptocurrency portfolios.
  4. LexAlign - LexAlign PBC automates the "missing piece" for fraud and AML risk management: the ongoing monitoring, gap analysis and support of customer processes at scale, including for remote deposit capture (RDC), ACH and wires.
  5. Maat.ai - modernizing finance by creating new and compliant digital document management solutions. Their digital ID and wallet make secure interactions easy. This Mexican Fintech is enabling people and organizations to exchange digital documents safely, easily and efficiently, improving the experience for all parties.
  6. Manzil - many of the world's 1 billion Muslims cannot pay or receive interest on financial transactions, hindering their ability to purchase a home. Manzil offers them a murabaha mortgage, balancing modern business practices and religious obligations.
  7. MarketsFlow - tackling the performance gap in do-it-yourself digital wealth management, MarketsFlow offers a portfolio optimization platform delivering high returns for online investors. This British firm consistently outperforms other robo-advisors available today.
  8. WealthBlock.AI - US based WealthBlock.AI invites investors to view financial documents via a secure link and tracks the interaction between these investors and the entrepreneurs, to gauge interest and streamline follow ups.

What are the biggest opportunities and challenges with Fintech in Canada and how can industry, government and key stakeholders best lead the way for a sustainable and successful future?

Canada's biggest threat (and biggest opportunity) is our current inability to sync our world-class cities and provinces from coast-to-coast. The result, slow to advance on pressing matters, such as implementing our own Open Banking Framework (i.e. we are at minimum 5 years behind leaders, and the gap is growing), or defining a strategic direction for our Nation.

“Holt Accelerator will be hosting Deal Day's in various cities across Canada over the next several weeks, and we hope fintech leaders do their part to attend this nation-wide effort to unite us. If you can't engage now, then we encourage you to engage with other events / players, like our partners at NFCA, who have been doing some great work in the space for some time now.” Jan Christopher Arp, Managing Partner, Holt Accelerator

# # #

About NCFA

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.  For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

About Holt Accelerator

The Holt family legacy is rooted in tradition and entrepreneurship. Our history of investing, growing, supporting, and building financial companies for the past five generations, has led us to create the Fintech accelerator, powered by an AI solutions provider.  For more information, please visit https://www.holtaccelerator.ai/

 

CONTACTS:
Craig Asano
Founder and CEO
NCFA Canada
casano@ncfacanada.org

Jan Christopher Arp
Managing Partner
Holt Accelerator
jan@holtaccelerator.ai


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NCFA Fintech Confidential Issue 2 FINAL COVER - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors

 

Paul Schulte, Founder and Managing Editor, Schulte Research, Joins the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada’s Advisory Board

About NCFA Canada | C. Asano | August 23, 2019

Paul Schulte 150x150 - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors

Paul Schulte, NCFA Advisor, Banking and Financial Services

TORONTO, Aug 23, 2019 – The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Paul Schulte, Founder and Managing Editor of Schulte Research in Singapore, has joined the Association`s international Advisory Board to advise in the areas of Banking and Financial Services (profile).

Paul's roles in banking & financial services in the past 30 years include equity & fixed income research (buy & sell sides) in emerging markets. In recent years, technology has evolved rapidly to challenge all facets of financial services his core belief is: Liquidity & credit are everything; get bank liquidity & solvency right and the rest follows.

Aside from being the founder & editor of Schulte Research, he has taught for 18 years IN MBA programs: Tufts, HK UST, HKU, LMU Hilton School in LA & SUSS in Singapore. He has also worked for the Number 1 investment bank from Switzerland, US, UK, Japan, PRC & Holland starting in 1990. Paul has been a source for the WSJ, NYT, Bloomberg, Nikkei, FT, Economist, Barron’s & Forbes. His clients include some of the largest sovereign, pension, mutual and hedge funds globally. He served as an advisor to IOSCO, ASIC, HKMA, Malaysian SFC, PRC PBOC & CBRC, Thai SEC & Indonesian OJK and Bank Indonesia.

See:  News on China cryptocurrency and more reforms

Paul has authored numerous books such as “The Next Revolution in our Credit-Driven Economy: The Advent of Financial Technology” integrates market theory & practice to help investors identify fintech opportunities & help regulators create a sustainable environment. In conjunction with SUSS, he co-authored "Handbook of Blockchain, Digital Finance, And Inclusion” (AI, the IOT & Insurtech in China).

Check out Paul Schulte's new book: AI & Quantum Computing for Finance & Insurance: PRC VS US. https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/11371

“At the moment, we're witnessing financial technology stocks eating away at the liquidity foundations of banks -- Alibaba, Tencent, Google, Grab, Kabbage, GS? They are the future.” – Paul Schulte, Managing Editor, Schulte Research

“The growth and influence of global fintech markets (and players) such as Asia is remarkable.  Paul’s experience and ability to see deep into the confluences of financial powers in all things banking and financial services in emerging markets and his core understanding of innovative technologies is a huge asset.  We are thrilled to have him join NCFA’s advisory board and look forward to his contributions as we venture overseas.”   – Craig Asano, Founder & CEO, NCFA

Source:  NCFA

# # #

About NCFA

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. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

About Schulte Research

The focus of Schulte Research is technological change in banks & insurance and the way this affects prices. Our clients include some of the largest sovereign, pension, mutual and hedge funds globally.  In 2014, Mr. Schulte wrote “The Next Revolution in our Credit-Driven Economy: The Advent of Financial Technology”. He was credited for seeing the disruption to banks early. He is an advisor on Fintech to six bank boards, two insurance boards and five regulators. He is also a frequent keynote speaker.  For more information, please visit http://www.schulte-research.com/

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Craig Asano
Founder and CEO
NCFA Canada
416 618 0254
casano@ncfacanada.org


 

Latest news - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and InvestorsFF Logo 400 v3 - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investorscommunity social impact - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors

FCA | Sep 11, 2019 Speech by Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, delivered at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance annual conference, Judge Business School. Highlights: The UK has led the rest of the world with developments like the regulatory Sandbox, we are very proud of what has been achieved through it. Early engagement is incredibly valuable for monitoring, supervisory and policy purposes. Working with innovative firms helps us achieve a better bird’s-eye view, enhancing our understanding when the overall landscape is blurry and ­changing quickly. 'Stablecoin' is a term that has been widely adopted by industry, but we do not take it to be a distinct category of cryptoassets. Something labelled as a 'stablecoin' could sit within or outside of our regulatory perimeter. Note: this is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version. See:  FCA confirms new rules for P2P platforms Last month, Facebook announced its plans for Libra, the stablecoin it is planning to launch in conjunction with a number of payment and tech firms. As has been widely reported, along with other regulators and central banks, we have been discussing their plans with Facebook. If this comes ...
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Christopher Woolard2 - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors
NCFA Canada | Sep 13, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Sep 13: Funding is Female with Jill Earthy EP37 GUEST: JILL EARTHY, Head of Female Funders (Linkedin) HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host BIO:  Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. As Head of Female Funders (powered by Highine BETA), she is empowering female leaders to become investors in early stage companies. Her background includes being an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurs in various leadership roles and working as Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform. She is a community leader and active mentor, currently serving on the national Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC, and as Co-Chair of We for She. Jill was recently recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion award as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019. About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA'S Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Jill Earthy the Head of Female Funders. The talk about what ...
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FF EP37 female funders 1 - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors
TechCrunch | Kate Clark | Sep 12, 2019 Affirm, founded by PayPal’s Max Levchin, is said to be raising as much as $1.5 billion in a combination of debt and equity, according to people with knowledge of the company’s fundraising activities. Josh Kushner’s New York venture capital firm Thrive Capital is said to be leading the financing, with participation from the San Francisco outfit Spark Capital. Affirm declined to comment. Representatives of Thrive and Spark, existing Affirm investors, have not responded to a request for comment. Sources familiar with Affirm, which gives consumers an alternative to personal loans and credit by financing online purchases at point-of-sale, presume the round will be made up largely of a line of credit from a large financial institution, known as a warehouse facility. Affirm recently raised a $300 million Thrive-led Series F round in April at a valuation of $3 billion. Fintech companies focused on payments and lending, however, require a vast amount of capital to sustain operations. Those capital requirements coupled with the frothiness of the venture capital market justify this additional cash infusion. To date, Affirm has raised $1.03 billion in funding from Ribbit Capital, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed ...
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Le Monde with AFP | Sep 12, 2019 Bruno Le Maire expressed his hostility towards this cryptocurrency project, saying that "the monetary sovereignty of states is at stake" Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Thursday (September 12th) that France was refusing to authorize the development "on European soil" of libra, the cryptocurrency that Facebook wants to launch in 2020. "Considerable financial disorder" "The monetary sovereignty of states is at stake," said the minister at the opening of a conference of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) dedicated to the challenges of cryptocurrencies - without specifying, however, what concrete measures he wanted engage to prevent the spread of libra in Europe. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know In his speech, Bruno Lemaire described as "systemic" the risks that could result from this "possible privatization of a currency (...) held by a single actor that has more than 2 billion users on the planet" . "Any failure in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves, could create considerable financial disorders , " justified the Mayor, also fearing that the libra is replacing the national currency in the States where the currency is weak or ...
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Bruno Le Maire Minister Finance of France vows to block facebooks libra - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors
CNBC | Bob Pisani | Sep 10, 2019 Key Points The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public. Jay Clayton says his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public and that his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Monday, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the lack of more IPOs and the inability of most of the Main Street investing public to access private markets was a “growing concern.” Clayton addressed what he called the “two segments” in capital markets: the public markets, and private ones, including private equity and venture capital investments. See:  The Solution To The Fintech IPO Shortage “Twenty-five years ago, the public markets dominated the private markets in virtually every measure,” he said. “Today, in many measures, the private markets outpace the public markets, including in aggregate size.” Clayton wants to make the ...
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Nesta UK | Rosalyn Old and Johnathan Bone | Sep 4, 2019 Earlier in May 2019, Nesta commissioned a report called 'Taking Ownership:  Community Empowerment through Crowdfund Investments' that looked at how community-led projects have the power to transform local areas socially, economically and environmentally and how institutions such as local governments, municipal authorities and foundations, can help community-led initiatives by making the most of new investment crowdfunding models (eg community shares and bonds). Key Findings Investment crowdfunding has been used to fund a broad range of local assets, including but not limited to, saving local shops and pubs from closure, creating new community centres and art spaces, and expanding leisure facilities and infrastructure projects. Potential opportunities in using investment crowdfunding for community-led initiatives include helping to fund projects that would otherwise struggle to access finance elsewhere, increasing the use of and volunteering for community initiatives, and strengthening local resilience and self-determination by bringing communities together to improve their area. The main challenges for community organisations raising money in this way include gaining access to assets to buy or use on a temporary basis, transitioning from grassroots fundraising to implementing a project and avoiding negative impacts on diversity and inclusion ...
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taking ownership community empowerment through crowdfunded investment - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors
NCFA Canada on behalf of our partner's Lending Loop | Sep 11, 2019 HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A CHESHIRE CAT SMILE? Well they deserve it. Back in October 2015, NCFA made this introductory video with Cato Pastoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, about a peer to peer lending marketplace for small businesses model that was new to Canada but was achieving significant growth internationally. The question and opportunity was back then:  why not here in Canada? A question that many of us ask ourselves, ask the community and point fingers at strict regulations and high operating costs.  Well fast forward several years and growth obstacles later, and the Lending Loop story continues to impress with their latest milestone of lending over $50 million to deserving small businesses to help them grow and expand operations while providing retail and accredited investors direct access to a wide range of lending and investment options, a robust community and the chance to strengthen Canadian small business - here here! The early vision... Brandon Vlaar, Co-founder and CTO of Lending Loop sharing their good news! CONGRATS to the entire Lending Loop Team for achieving this latest milestone.  We've 'got your back' and look forward ...
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Lending Loop passes 50 million - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors
NCFA Guest Post | Sep 9, 2019 The world was shook when online money was first introduced. Some people didn’t like the idea. They’d prefer having something tangible, something that they can actually see and touch to use as currency. Some people were positive about the new experience. They believe that it can certainly make life more convenient. But hey, we’re now in 2019 and online currency is still widely in use. In fact, its uses have expanded way more since it was first introduced (read more). One of the most popular and controversial of its time was BTC or Bitcoin. Even without studying cryptocurrencies, you’ve probably heard this term once or twice before. You may have come across it in the internet or someone may have encouraged you to try trading it. After all, when cryptocurrency was first brought to light, many people saw its potential in the trading market. And it has been making noise ever since. See:  New Regulatory Framework for Canadian Retail Payments Coming in 2019 At first, Bitcoin was surrounded with a lot of controversy – and of course, a lot of doubt. People were scared of exchanging real world money for something that you ...
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digital tokens and coins - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors
Holt Accelerator | Samah El Falah | Sep 11, 2019 Holt Deal Day event series are seeking senior representatives of financial institutions, or fintech investors and experts to attend Holt’s Deal Day, taking place at Vancouver (Sept. 20th), Toronto (Sept. 23rd), Waterloo (Sept. 27th), Montreal (October, 2nd). Don’t miss out on the opportunity to interact with eight up & coming Fintech stars who will surely make a difference in Canada and beyond. As an investor, corporate or expert interested in Fintech, our Deal Days offer you an insider’s view of the upcoming trends and current challenges the industry is facing. What do the Deal Days consist of? Coffee / Registration (30 minutes) Canada Fintech Presentation by Holt (15 minutes)  Presentation on the current Fintech Ecosystem. The challenges & insights we gathered about 3 core fintech areas: Cybersecurity/Data Protection, Wealth Management (including Digital Assets), & Lending. 10 table mini-breakout session (30 minutes) Detailed roundtable discussions surrounding one of the topics covered during the Holt presentation. Speed-Dating (2 hours and 30 minutes) You will have the opportunity to see the 2019 cohort pitch after being part of the Accelerator program for a month. Just like our Selection Days, each pitch will end ...
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Holt deal days 2019 - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors
Reuters | Tom Wilson | Sep 11, 2019 LONDON (Reuters) - “Hi guys, could you please show me a firm bid for 100 bitcoin?” a seller texts on Skype. Joel Fruhman, right, and Dan Fruhman, directors of BCB Group pose for a photograph in London, Britain August 29 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson “One sec. $10270.” Two minutes later: “Sorry guys, that was an old order from Friday when skype wasn’t working.” “I really think we should get off skype. Bad things could happen. Someone is going to make an expensive mistake.” See:  New money-laundering rules change everything for cryptocurrency exchanges A messaging exchange over a potential $1 million deal, between a European asset manager looking to sell bitcoin and broker Joel Fruhman, illustrates the casual and often chaotic nature of cryptocurrency dealmaking. Trades involving hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars are routinely struck via brief chats on apps like Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat or Zoom, often with scant certainty over the identities of participants or the legal basis of agreements. “We’d end up in a Zoom call with about five ‘introducers’ - we didn’t really know who any of them were,” said Fruhman, a physicist by training who started a cryptocurrency ...
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Exponential Group Joins NCFA as an Industry Partner | Interview with ExG Co-Founder, James Wallace

NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 20, 2019

ExpoG logo final600 - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors

TORONTO, ON Aug 20, 2019  The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) is pleased to announce that the Exponential Group (Exponential Ventures, Exponential Capital and Exponential Markets) has joined NCFA as an industry partner.

NCFA's industry partners are builders, investors and innovators who have provided a significant level of service and/or contribution towards the sustainability and growth of NCFA and related fintech sectors globally.  We encourage the fintech ecosystem to support and collaborate with NCFA's global network of industry partners by engaging directly with their ventures of mutual interest.

"Since founding NCFA in the summer of 2012, one of it's core missions has been working with communities of change that are passionate about enabling inclusive opportunities for 'big vision' companies seeking to change the world but need access to capital and resources to innovate competitive products and services that otherwise may not exist.  These companies often focus on new economies of scale that look beyond 'for profit' models alone.  Supporting and leading this change by developing new infrastructure and partnerships while leveraging new technologies can be a beacon of light resulting in massive transformation and change." - Craig Asano, Founder and CEO, NCFA

 

Meet James Wallace, Co-Founder of the Exponential Group

Exponential Group is the world's first fully integrated early-stage seed capital, business advisory, later stage capital raising, digital issuance and trading.

 

Q1. How did you get to where you are today?

James:  A whole lot of failures that led to a massive amount of learning.

 

 

Q2. What can you attribute your achievements to date to?

James:  Empathy for the excluded, plus grit and determination.

 

 

Q3. What’s the story behind founding Exponential Group and specifically what problems are you interested in solving as a Founder?

James:  An unwavering intention to migrate society to a free, inclusive and abundant paradigm by resolving government and financial exclusion.  Alleviate suffering and expand human potential to enable meaningful living.

 

 

Q4. Can you tell us more about the Digital Asset Impact Fund?

James:  The exchange-traded diversified digital asset impact fund will allow anyone access to a fund that holds a board basket of digital assets. These assets include tokenized real estate, currencies, precious metals, art, and venture capital. This is the easiest way to participate in migrating the economy to the digital asset world.

 

 

Q5. What role/impact do you think blockchain and digital securities will have on the future of financial services?

James:  Blockchain introduces trust to the Internet for the first time. Said another way, a trusted engagement is a secured value exchange, whether that’s an exchange of time reading content on a blog, giving personal data to your government, or trading any store of value such as a digital asset for fiat currency.

Different blockchains verify various aspects of user engagement online. As more and more blockchains connect to support the services of web users, non-blockchain equipped services will simply fall away, as they will not (and can never) be trusted.

Connections to web pages and native applications that are not secured and validated by blockchains will simply cease to exist over time. Bad players will slowly go extinct as blockchain-based services prevent their access to users.

The network of blockchains will eventually become the new Internet. And, because we believe absolute trust scales absolutely, ExV invests in platforms that create and grow trust with their users, in addition to adding significant value by solving a major problem.

 

Q6. What’s the greatest risks and challenges to improving mass adoption and education of blockchain and other technologies with the potential to impact great social change?

James:  Education and updating regulation. In parallel, we need to help everyday investors understand that there are only benefits to digital securities, as well as press the regulators to allow access to digital asset investments for retail investors. We believe the rest will happen naturally.

 

 

Q7. Where do you see Exponential Group in 3-5 years from today?  How can our community help out and get involved and where can we get more information?

James:  Exponential Group will continue to focus on expanding cross-border digital securities trading and as a result we believe in 3-5 years we will be one of the largest global investors, issuers and traders of digital securities.

Exponential Group is looking for dynamic founders to assist in issuing high quality digital securities and investors that wish to upgrade their investment portfolios to contain digital assets.

The best place to connect and get more information is at exgroup.ai.

 

Thanks to James and the Exponential Group for their support of the NCFA Community.  We look forward to collaborating and continuing to advance the development, adoption and growth of industry!

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors 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

Latest news - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and InvestorsFF Logo 400 v3 - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investorscommunity social impact - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors
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Fintech Investor Interview: Peggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner, Roar VC

Roar Ventures | Peggy Van De Plassche | June 28, 2019

roar ventures - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and InvestorsIntro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 2 of a 4 part series.

 

What is your background, and how did you come to found Roar Ventures?

Peggy:  I studied in Finance in France, graduating in 2001. Not the best year to join the VC world 🙂 I worked in finance for a credit union, then joined a PE-back firm, managing amongst other things their value creation program, which I absolutely loved! Then I moved to Montreal and shortly after joined CGI, this is where I learnt my software. It was a new group aiming at allocating capital among the different LPs that have been acquired through multiple acquisitions. We had solutions mainly in the US and Canada with the biggest sectors being Financial services and Government. It was awesome! I really loved the organization, my boss, my colleagues, the role, simply amazing.

I moved to Toronto & joined BMO. Also, great learning opportunities, my boss, Joanna Rotenberg, was a fantastic role model. I was also allocating capital to tech projects. My goal was always to go to VC/PE and I was building my skill set and network. We were hearing more about Fintech in the US & in the UK and I thought that it was where I wanted to go and be early on the trend that I saw as disruptive. I joined a wealthy software entrepreneur to start Fintech companies for him and also invest in the space. It was a wild ride, definitely invaluable learnings and a great way to reposition my career.

See:  FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.3-Aug 3): Investing in Canadian Diversity with Peggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner at Roar Ventures

Being early in Canada on the trend I advised large organizations with their digital banking strategies. I ended up joining CIBC as VP, Innovation. Great opportunity to cement my network and understand the challenges and opportunities large FIs have. After CIBC, I advised Portag3 VC for ~1 year and decided to launch Roar VC following the announcement of the VCCI. I applied, interviewed ... and was not selected for funding! The whole process went from February to November, during this time I lined up investors but when the allocation didn’t come through the dominos fell on the wrong side and was back at the drawing board. It was a great opportunity to rethink my thesis, especially in fintech, as many funds had launched in one year in Canada.

I took some time to reassess my best options and decided to pivot...like any entrepreneur would do when getting a curve ball. I am now working with a business partner who is also a dear friend, focusing on later stage opportunities through an independent sponsor model and I am still doing angel investments in the early stage Fintech space and get involved with the companies I invested in.

 

How have you seen the Canadian fintech ecosystem change in the past 5 years? How has the Canadian fintech ecosystem evolved?

Peggy:  Overall our Fintech entrepreneurs are getting more savvy:

  • More and more entrepreneurs are starting their go-to-market (GTM) strategy with selling in the US or the UK which I believe is a winning strategy.
  • B2C in financial services in Canada being extremely difficult, many fintechs pivoted to B2B as their main source of revenues and growth.
  • Entrepreneurs are taking more US money as more US investors are coming north to find great entrepreneurs at good valuations.
  • Many startups entrepreneurs got burned badly through banks partnerships and are approaching these opportunities with more circumspection.

See:  Fintech Investor Interview: Karim Gillani, General Partner, Luge Capital

How can we strengthen and grow the Canadian fintech ecosystem?

Peggy:  To strengthen the ecosystem we need to have more Fintechs scaling, creating growth along the way and successful employees who will themselves start Fintech companies.  Meaning, we need more sales!  Sales and marketing are usually where we are falling short versus US companies both in terms of expertise and in terms of use of proceeds.  Focusing more on GTM and growing the top line is primordial to have Canadian champions.  US allocates a way higher use of proceeds to sales and marketing both in percentage and value.  Oftentimes that S&M expertise is not available in Canada and should be brought from the US.

What advise would you give to Canadian fintechs competing globally?

Peggy:  Focus on your sales and GTM strategy early.  CEO’s should not delegate the sales process prior to $1m ARR.  Sell in the US very early on, have a multi-layer sales strategy: small deals, medium deals and large deals to manage sales cycle and cash flow.  Get these clients logos as soon as you can on your pitch deck :-)…In 3 words: sell, sell, sell!

 

What keeps you awake at night?

Peggy:  My cat!  Ethics in Fintech, with the progress of AI I am worried that we will exclude a part of the population by pricing them out of the market.  Lending and insurance are areas where things can degenerate very quickly.  FMP, expansion of financial exclusion versus financial inclusion is real, especially as there is no global or even national framework.  Dying from a thousand cuts...

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Peggy:  Think Global!!   Canada is amazing...and the world is a big place where we have what it takes to thrive.

We need these Canadian champions!!

 

Peggy VanDePlassche photo - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and InvestorsPeggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner, Roar VC (LinkedIn)

Peggy Van De Plassche is an experienced technology, operations, strategy and finance executive with expertise in new venture development, business management and restructuring, investment management, strategic planning and financial analysis.  A finance professional by trade, Peggy started working in technology 15 years ago, before fintech was a word. She is a founding partner at Roar VC, which invests in Canadian Data AI startups catering to the financial services industry. Prior to launching Roar VC, she was senior advisor at Portag3 Ventures as well as VP Innovation at CIBC. Peggy has also worked at CGI and BMO, founded 113 Ventures, invested in tech companies, and consulted for large organizations and startups.

 

More Canadian Fintech Investor Interviews in this 4 part series:


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Fintech Investor Interview: Karim Gillani, General Partner, Luge Capital

Luge Capital | Karim Gillani | June 2019

luge capital - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and InvestorsIntro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series.

 

What is your background, and how did you come to co-found Luge Capital?

Karim:  My background is in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, I was at PayPal, leading M&A activities in Canada. I joined PayPal through its $890M acquisition of Xoom, a renowned cross-border remittance company, where I started the Corporate Development practice. I have an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Finance degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto.

Luge Capital was the byproduct of highly motivated LPs, and a recognition that fintech venture capital needed a kickstart at the early stages. David Nault and I co-founded Luge in early 2018 with a new model to seek out entrepreneurs in the US and Canada that not only had a drive to take over the world, but also built their product to reflect that inevitability. We spend a lot of time with our companies because we believe our experience as former operators can be valuable, and we've architected a fund that is collaborative with our LPs.

How have you seen the Canadian fintech ecosystem change in the past 5 years? How has the Canadian fintech ecosystem evolved?

Karim:

  • In the last five years, we’ve seen the emergence of fintech companies expand. Since 2013, between 70 and 100 new fintech companies are founded in Canada every year. Prior to 2011, it was about 20 per year. Payments continues to lead all other categories, but we’ve seen meaningful emergence of crypto-focused companies in the last two years.
  • We’ve also seen systematic maturing of entrepreneurs in financial services. There is a greater understanding for the nuances of specific industries, and bigger ambitions to tackle problems that are global in nature.
  • The big banks have set up formal structures internally to talk to fintech companies, engage in pilots, become customers and invest directly.
  • There is more capital available now than 5 years ago for talented founders at almost all stages. With the entrance of Luge as a fintech-focused investor, there is even more money for early stage companies that need support to see their products take off. We’ve also seen capital inflow from America VCs who are realizing the tremendous calibre of our Canadian founders.

 

How can we strengthen and grow the Canadian fintech ecosystem?

Karim:  Financial services accounts for approximately 20% of the Canadian economy, if you include real estate. It’s the single biggest sector in our country. And most of it still relies on old, archaic infrastructure. When you open a new bank account, an RESP account, or buy life insurance, the process is still driven by pen and paper. We need motivated entrepreneurs who have a deep understanding of the inefficiencies within financial services to overhaul how we interact with money and data. And we need those entrepreneurs to not only solve for Canada, but also for other geographies that suffer from the same (or worse) inefficiencies.

See: 

What advice would you give to Canadian fintechs competing globally?

Karim:  Solve the big problems and do it well. Strive to be the best in the world at what you do, otherwise someone else will push you out. Some founders don’t realize that with limited financial resources, you still have meaningful assets that can be leveraged to create value: passion, enthusiasm, time and industry experience. Never doubt that a small group of talented people can make a huge difference in the world.

 

What keeps you awake at night?

Karim:  Three things:

  1. The huge amounts of debt (especially student debt) that exists across North America. The US alone has $1.56 trillion of student debt across 44.7 million people, and $1.03 trillion of credit card debt across 197 million people.
  2. Approximately 1.7 billion people still don’t have access to a bank account, which would not only keep them safe from storing value in cash but would connect them to the formal financial system.
  3. Millennials are entering (or have recently entered) adulthood and are not able to save enough to become financially independent. Millennials are only saving 5.3% of their income on average, and 53% of the population between 21 and 37 still rely on their parents for financial assistance.

 

Karim yellow background low rez 200 - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and InvestorsKarim Gillani, General Partner, Luge Capital

Karim has an extensive background in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, Karim led Corporate Development for Xoom, a leading cross-border remittance company that was acquired by PayPal in 2015 for USD $890 million. Before that, Karim managed M&A and investment activities for BlackBerry in Silicon Valley. He developed the company’s overall strategy for mobile payments and commerce, including NFC payments, P2P and App World. Karim spent several years working for Redknee Solutions in the UK where he designed network infrastructure, including mobile money solutions, for carriers in East Africa and Western Europe.

 

More Canadian Fintech Investor Interviews in this 4 part series:


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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There’s no doubting these Toronto Raptors anymore

CBC Sports | Devin Heroux | June 14, 2019

raptors 2019 nba champions - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and InvestorsLed by the stoic Kawhi Leonard, team sheds years of disappointment with 1st NBA championship

There's no more wondering what might have been.

No more talking about missed shots or missed opportunities. No more heartbreak.

Not this time. Not this team.

The Toronto Raptors are on top of the basketball world, 24 years in the making. For the first time in the team's history, the Toronto Raptors are NBA champions.

Led by the King of the North, Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors 114-110 and silenced the hostile Oracle Arena crowd to take the basketball crown away from the back-to-back defending champions.

It was Toronto's 106th playoff game in team history. It was Toronto's 106th game of the season. They won the Finals in six games. Now the Larry O'Brien championship trophy is heading to "The 6ix."

"I can't really think right now, this is crazy. This is awesome man," said Toronto guard Kyle Lowry. "Toronto! Canada! We brought it home baby! We brought it home!"

Leonard became just the third player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP with two different teams – joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lebron James.

"This is what I play basketball for," Leonard said. "This is what I work out for."

Raptors president Masai Ujiri risked it all for this moment. He fired the NBA coach of the year, Dwane Casey, after another playoff failure a year ago. He traded away the franchise's most popular player, DeMar DeRozan, for Leonard. He certainly wasn't popular with the fans a year ago at this time.

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In fact, it was one year and a day ago Nick Nurse, an assistant on Casey's staff, was promoted to head coach, and he rewarded Ujiri by guiding the Raptors to an NBA title in his first season at the helm.

Winning has a way of making people forget and forgive. Ujiri has never been more popular.

But long before the brilliant championship moment Thursday night at Oracle Arena when the bright lights of the basketball world shone down on the Toronto Raptors, there was darkness.

The path to this title for this cast of characters on the Raptors roster has been paved with heartaches and setbacks. Fred VanVleet was five when his father was shot to death. Kawhi Leonard was 16 when his father was killed. Serge Ibaka's mother died when he was just eight. And Pascal Siakam's dad was killed in a car crash when Pascal was 20.

And then there's Lowry, the longest-serving Raptor, who grew up in the rough and tough neighbourhoods of North Philly. He was raised by a single mother and his grandmother, and they did everything they could to make sure he could play basketball.

"Going to work, getting up at five in the morning and going to work and making me cereal, having a bowl of cereal sitting in the refrigerator with some milk and being able to provide for me and my brother and my family. That's pressure," Lowry said earlier in the week.

"Just being willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that your kid will see better than what you've ever seen."

All championship teams resonate with fans to some degree because people love a winner. And all championship teams have stories of adversity, stories of triumph against all odds.

But at the heart of this Raptors team is resiliency, a foundation of unshakable poise built up through a lifetime of hard knocks. And perhaps that's what's made the nation fall in love with this team in particular.

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Competitive spirit

Despite being elite basketball players and being paid millions of dollars, there's a relatability with the players because there are many in this country who know what it means to be heartbroken, only to rise above.

That's why, in the face of doubters and haters and people who said this team could never win, the Raptors rose above.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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NCFA Fintech Confidential Issue 2 FINAL COVER - Lending Loop Surpasses $50 million Milestone and helps thousands of Canadian Businesses and Investors