Category Archives: NCFA Blog

Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

Crowdfund Insider | | Oct 7, 2019

Canadian flag2 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?Last week, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) adopted a “Blanket Order” for “Startup Crowdfunding Registration and Prospectus Exemptions.” In effect, the ASC was seeking to improve access to capital for smaller firms – a good thing- but the move also highlights the disparity between the provinces and a greater need for national harmonization of online capital formation rules. Financial services in Canada are all regulated at the provincial level thus there exists a degree of disparity regarding rules.

While a smaller country by population, Canada has consistently ranked high in entrepreneurship and innovation. According to a recent KPMG report, the Canadian Fintech ecosystem is thriving but, like any other country, more can be done.

Crowdfund Insider reached out to Denise Weeres, Director, New Economy at the ASC and Craig Asano, Executive Director and founder of the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA). The NCFA has long led the charge advocating on behalf of Canada’s emerging Fintech market and various securities crowdfunding platforms.

The New Economy Division of the ASC works closely with staff to coordinate efforts to facilitate capital-raising by new economy companies entering the capital market. The Division also strives to anticipate and act on issues and opportunities relating to emerging financial technologies (Fintech).

Our discussion with the two innovation proponents is shared below.


The ASC update to rules is in advance of national harmonization. Why update now?

Denise Weeres: It takes a while to get a national instrument in place.  We wanted to allow Alberta businesses and investors to be able to participate in this regime now.

What is the status of harmonization?

Denise Weeres: All of the CSA [Canadian Securities Administrators] jurisdictions are working cooperatively on the national instrument  – we are looking at harmonizing and exploring targeted amendments to improve upon the existing regime.

The maximum raise amount appears to be low in contrast to some other jurisdictions. Are there any expectations for this amount to be raised?

Denise Weeres: The maximum raise is consistent with the other participating CSA jurisdictions start-up crowdfunding regimes.

Start-up crowdfunding is intended for the very early-stage businesses.  It requires a very simple offering document – and significantly doesn’t require financial statements.

A funding portal that is not registered as a dealer can be used too.  The limits reflect the fact that investors likely won’t get all the information they would typically (both at the time of the offering and thereafter) and they may be using a funding portal that isn’t registered and wouldn’t get the protections associated with a registered dealer.

But start-up crowdfunding is not the only way to crowdfund in Canada.  It’s just one of a number of options available.

See:  Sep 22, 2019: NCFA Response to ASC Consultation Paper 11-701: Energizing Alberta’s Capital Market

For example, businesses can crowdfund through a registered dealer funding portal under the offering memorandum [OM] exemption where there is no limit at all on the maximum raise and much higher amounts for the amount that individual investors can invest;

  • $10K for anyone,
  • $30K for an “eligible investor” e.g., someone who had had and expects to have $75K net income or has $400K net assets
  • up to $100K for an eligible investor who also gets advice from a dealer that the investment is suitable for them and
  • no limit for accredited investors.

Under the offering memorandum exemption, the offering document has more detailed disclosure – more similar to the offering document used for U.S. crowdfunding – and like other jurisdictions, it involves a funding portal that is registered as a dealer.

In #Canada, businesses can crowdfund through a registered dealer funding portal under the offering memorandum (OM) exemption where there is no limit on the max raise & much higher amounts for the investors

Craig, how is the Canadian ecosystem evolving, in your opinion?

Craig Asano: The Fintech ecosystem in Canada is growing, albeit not fast enough!  ‘slow and steady’ compared to high competition, fast iterations and market depth of UK/US markets but Canadian tech is starting to attract the interest of US funds and international Fintech brands are taking notice too of which many are planning to include Canada in their rollout plans (ie Revolut).

New Fintech startups are launching all the time in a growing number of private and public incubators, accelerators, innovation hubs and grassroot event ecosystems that include a wide range of AI/data, Regtech (KYC, compliance automation), peer to peer debt/equity platforms, digital asset, crypto, DLT, NEO/challenger bank, Insurtech, personal finance, wealth management and alternative investing models.

Although the ecosystem is evolving the average consumer is conservative with lower Fintech awareness and adoption rates (similar to the US) than comparators in Europe and Asia.  Incumbents are strong and many Fintechs have partnered with institutions to tap capital resources, customers, data and global expansion infrastructure.  Canadian markets are smaller than the US and while it’s easy to launch it’s challenging to achieve sustainable business with significant compliance costs to operate across the country while acquiring customers not yet fully accustom to switching financial products.  There have been many successful fintech startups that are scaling from Lending Loop to Wealthsimple to Borrowell and FrontFundr who are all providing consumer-centric, simple to access, low cost, and tech-enabled financial products and services for new economy.

Open Banking is a juggernaut of an opportunity for data-driven Fintechs and consumers looking for choice, lower fees and innovative products but conversations are at a standstill until after the upcoming election.  The Ministry of Finance in Ottawa and appointed open banking advisory committee are no doubt watching the implementation challenges of PSD2 in Europe along with the progress being achieved in countries like Australia who are advancing national innovation initiatives like Open Banking ahead of Canada (and the US for what it’s worth).  Will these delays put Canada behind the eight-ball, or will we be able to catch-up quickly (leapfrog) and marry our robust tech sector with a historically strong banking system and begin to replace outdated infrastructure?

Specific to crowdfunding regulation in Canada, there’s still a long way to go to remain globally competitive in terms of caps, operating costs and the appropriate amount of regulation for the risk while making it feasible for licensed dealers and funding portals to have a sustainable practice.  The lack of harmonization and overly complex set of rules initially caused quite a backlash to the reputation of industry.

At present, there are far too few crowdfunding platforms and we need more operators to increase market volumes and reignite transactional interest among service providers, funding specialists, securities lawyers, and both retail and accredited investors.  Peer to peer lending is now proven and helping hundreds of companies’ access growth-orientated loans but needs its own set of proportionate regulation to level up further.  I look forward to next year to full harmonization which the CSA staff mentions will be out next year (ideally with the changes NCFA has been advocated for on behalf of industry for years).

Open Banking is a juggernaut of an opportunity for data-driven #Fintechs and consumers looking for choice, lower fees and innovative products 

How has NCFA’s collaboration with provincial regulators helped to move things along?

Craig Asano: We’ve developed a mutually beneficial relationship with regulators from the start which has been informative for both parties.  NCFA bridges the gap between stakeholder wants and needs and helps regulators better understand emerging innovations that are essential for Canada to remain competitive and current with the times.  The association polls its wide network of industry practitioners and aggregates feedback to regulators through comment letters, committee participation and bespoke submissions and calls.

We work with other agencies and encourage regulators to recognize a competitive perspective in their difficult role of regulating fair and efficient capital markets while protecting investors.  NCFA also gathers a significant amount of global market intel and research on how other jurisdictions are performing and shares with market participants and regulators alike in effort to bridge gaps and help stakeholders understand varied perspectives.  Regulators are regularly invited to NCFAs annual conferences where they participate to provide updates on emerging regulatory initiatives, challenges and concerns while providing education and resources for industry, companies and investors.

NCFA is appreciative of the challenge facing regulators and positions itself as an educational resource and network for the various provincial commissions to rely on at anytime.  While we advocate for specific asks on behalf of industry, we do so in ‘Canadian style’ which is a collaborative effort.

NCFA bridges the gap between stakeholder wants and needs and helps regulators better understand emerging innovations that are essential for Canada to remain competitive and current with the times #Fintech

What are your expectations for 2020?

Craig Asano: I expect to see more growth and investor appetite while regulators continue to reduce the burden which is overly burdensome now.  This means small wins for the industry but doubtful for large scale national initiatives like Open Banking to reach implementation by 2020.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development? 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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?FF Logo 400 v3 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?community social impact - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
NCFA Newsletter subscribe600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

FFCON20 Homepage Banner 600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

 

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

Sep 22, 2019: NCFA Response to ASC Consultation Paper 11-701: Energizing Alberta’s Capital Market

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

NCFA Canada | Sep 22, 2019

ASC  - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

NCFA is pleased that the Alberta government is undertaking this important initiative to the  benefit of all Albertans.  We acknowledge the substantial background information provided by 11-701.  This submission responds to the brainstorming headings pp. 24 – 31 and seeks to fill knowledge gaps with recent consultation data (mainly obtained in Edmonton) and pays specific attention to equity (investment) crowdfunding and peer lending in Alberta.

Download the Submission in PDF format --> Now

Key Takeaways

The NCFA recommends that the ASC undertake the following:

  • Review and publish a report that evaluates the effectiveness of Alberta’s investment crowdfunding and peer lending requirements compared to other jurisdictions in Canada and international competitors such as the UK, US and Australia, including a comparison of the relative cost of capital to other available financing options;
  • ASC to take a more active role as a resource for both early stage companies and investors including data collection, market analysis, and information sharing to ensure more fair and efficient capital market formation in Alberta;
  • Engage Innovate Edmonton and Platform Calgary following the detailed third-party study by Startup Genome to obtain detailed ecosystem benchmarking data for follow-on analysis of Alberta’s funding gaps;
  • Support the development of a tax relief program for investors to increase the volume of start-up risk capital allocated to non-traditional sectors (eg. financial technology) similar to the effective programs in the UK: SEIS[1] and EIS[2];
  • Work with other jurisdictions to harmonize the crowdfunding regime across Canada (CSA Staff Notice 45-324) with the goal of eliminating unjustified regulatory burden at the same time. We favour BC’s regime;
  • Modify existing requirements so that they are principles based and outcomes focused to enable businesses to comply in the way that best suits their operations – detailed or prescriptive controls should only be imposed when clearly justified;
  • Implement burden reduction amendments for crowdfunding (45-108):
    • Increase the 12 month issuer cap to $5 million or higher;
    • Increase the 12 month investor caps to $10k and allow accredited investors to fully participate;
  • Allow advertising and general solicitation on social media for all crowdfunding;
  • Allow fintech solutions to streamline KYC and suitability tests;
  • Startup crowdfunding business exemption (45-109) – remove lifetime cap of $1 million; or increase lifetime cap to minimum $5 million.

See:  [Survey Deadline Sep 20, 2019]: ASC consults on Energizing Alberta’s Capital Market

Benefits to Alberta will include:

  • Increased capital investment in the province and increased economic growth;
  • Increased investment options for investors that support small businesses across Alberta;
  • Reduced pressure on Albertan startups to raise capital from outside Alberta and Canada;
  • Crowdfunding sources remain in Canada;
  • More capital and improved access to capital specifically for small businesses, rural businesses, economically challenged sectors, and under-served groups (eg. women and Indigenous business owners);
  • More liquidity and transparency in the markets;
  • Improved probability of retaining high growth companies in Alberta; and
  • Accelerated commercialization of new products and services.

Crowdfunding helps to drive innovation, economic activity and job growth. It fills a critical early stage funding gap (‘valley of death’), enables more productive investment in venture markets, and strengthens early stage capital markets. Crowdlending also provides support to more mature companies looking to access capital that may fall outside the parameters of bank lending. And last, but not least, it helps to democratize investment by giving smaller investors direct access to the capital markets.

“Regulation may be the largest constraint to capital markets Fintech development in Canada, as we have not set out many of the same principles as in the U.S. and U.K.”[3]

This is not the time for Alberta to hold back.

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute comments.  NCFA would be happy to expand on any of the points raised in this submission.  We look forward to future developments.

See:  ‘We don’t have enough money’: Tech leaders debate constraints at Vancouver Startup Week

1.    Background and Context

Contrary to the intent of the crowdfunding exemption, Alberta’s crowdfunding requirements hinder access to capital for SMEs across many sectors. These requirements have restricted innovative opportunities for retail investors and our members feel the impact of this directly. The potential of opening up regulation is to significantly increase job creation and economic development, as experience in other jurisdictions shows. Alberta’s 417,000 small businesses would also benefit from the increased access to capital that crowdlending offers.  Canada has fallen behind international competitors like the UK and the US. Crowdfunding now provides the largest investment at the seed stage in the UK and peer-to-peer platforms now provide 15% of all new bank lending to small businesses.

2. Fintech and Crowdfunding are Being Held Back in Canada

Canada’s crowdfunding and fintech “ecosystem” should be competitive, be in line with global trends, and enable early stage entrepreneurs to access smaller amounts of capital at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately, it is not and does not. There is a ‘funding gap’ as smaller companies find it very challenging to raise debt or equity financing in Canada.

There is a 'valley of death' for start-ups at around the $250,000 level. Venture capital funding has increased, but VC dollars are mostly going to expanding firms. Angels are a lot less active than in the US and their investment amounts are lower. Banks generally steer clear of start-ups. This means fewer innovative start-ups, fewer opportunities for investors, lower economic growth and productivity and fewer jobs.

“Regulation may be the largest constraint to Fintech development in Canada, as we have not set out many of the same principles as in the U.S. and U.K.”[5]  The NCFA has conducted numerous stakeholder consultations which overwhelmingly tell us that regulatory requirements are overly prescriptive, complex and burdensome, disproportionately raising the costs of doing business for start-ups. Entrepreneurs are reluctant to start up in Canada due to high costs (relative to a small financing), along with concerns about ongoing regulatory burdens such as over-reaching and complex reporting requirements and compliance reviews.

Investors are inhibited by restrictions like caps on investment. Many talented entrepreneurs and investors move to (or invest in) overseas jurisdictions that better understand (and support) innovation and the economic potential of start-ups and SMEs.  If the NCFA recommendations were to be implemented, the experience of other jurisdictions makes clear that more capital would be raised, especially for under-serviced sectors (e.g. women and minority groups, including First Nations, and rural communities). Investors would have increased confidence and more freedom to invest as they choose – any increase in investor downside risks are anticipated to be low.

3. Alberta

The call for comments by the ASC is a leap towards positive change in the Albertan capital markets and crowdfunding landscape. While the in-depth background material supplied by the ASC in 11-701 clearly lays out the challenges for Albertan companies, there are updated consultative engagements with the entrepreneur communities in Edmonton and Calgary. These updated reports will be a useful addition to the ASC’s decision-making processes. They also provide excellent contacts for ASC’s engagement with Alberta’s major centers.

See:  ASC advances new capital-raising initiatives for start-up businesses

(a) Startup Genome Reports

In Edmonton, starting in May 2018, community meetings under the banner of the “Edmonton Innovation Ecosystem Community” engaged members of the innovation community.[6] To date, there have been 11 community consultations with key innovators on a near-monthly basis. The impetus for the first gatherings followed consultation with 50 entrepreneurs in Edmonton to gather their feedback on ecosystem performance. The EEDC engaged Startup Genome to begin measurement of the ecosystem performance. The Edmonton Report brought two key measurement instruments to the ecosystem, Global Market Reach (GMR) and Global Connectedness (GC).

startup genome edmonton report - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

Startup Genome Edmonton Ecosystem Assessment, May 2018

We ask that the ASC review the results of EEDC’s more detailed analysis of the ecosystem as part of their assessment of 11-701 responses. Notably, Edmonton lags behind its Canadian peers in attracting resources from within the country.  In addition, Edmonton ranked below what the report calls the Globalization Phase Average in Early Stage Funding per Startup, based on data from Crunchbase and Deal Room. The key actionable insights from this early analysis are that Edmonton should focus on increasing early stage funding by (1) widening the funnel and increasing startups with seed funding; (2) supporting the formation of more sources of capital (ie. Angel groups); and increasing access to Series A capital.  Calgary has also engaged Startup Genome for ecosystem benchmarking[7].

(b) Innovation Compass

Another work product from the EIEC meetings in Edmonton was the Innovation Compass report[8]. Due to perceived low numbers of early entrepreneur engagement, EEDC engaged ZGM Marketing to complete a third-party interview process with Edmonton Entrepreneurs to make recommendations that reflect the voice of Edmonton entrepreneurs. Engagement began in December 2018 and the final report was published June 20, 2019. The report provided community validated recommendations and directions for supporting the city’s tech innovation ecosystem. Among 14 recommendations and directions, the top recommendation was:

“Encourage pools of private investors from all sectors to move off the sidelines and start investing in local tech entrepreneurs.”

innovation compass edmonto recommendations - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

Highest priority recommendation from Edmonton innovation ecosystem community members in the YEG Innovation Compass Report.

(c) Edmonton Advisory Council on Startups (EACOS)

During the early meetings of the EIEC, it was recognized that a body completely separate from EEDC that reflected the voice of Edmonton entrepreneurs was needed. The Edmonton Advisory Council on Startups was formed with members representing all stages of entrepreneurship to ensure diversity. EACOS is comprised of 13 individuals representing students, seed, startups and scale-up stage companies, and investors. EACOS has published three position papers[9] aimed at increasing the size, throughput, energy, and success of the Edmonton startup community.   EACOS has identified a number of community priorities and access to capital is top of mind. EACOS has recommended:

“Intensified efforts to engage local investors into investing into local technology companies. Investors who have built capital through traditional means, like real estate and energy, need to be effectively engaged, educated, and presented with the portfolio opportunities of technology investments.”

4. Comparison: British Columbia

BC and some other jurisdictions have less burdensome crowdfunding requirements[10] that allow small firms to raise up to $250,000 per offering (twice a year), with participation from other provinces. While still not ideal, these less burdensome exemptions have proven to be much more effective than MI 45-108 in Ontario.

For background on exemptions in Canada see: https://www.bcsc.bc.ca/Securities_Law/Policies/PolicyBCN/PDF/BCN_2018-01__February_14__2018/. (This BCSC Notice expresses well many of the points we raise in this submission)

5. Canada’s Uncompetitive Position

Canada has fallen behind international comparators such as the UK. In the UK,  crowdfunding platforms were involved in 24% of all equity deals in 2017, but with 30% of seed stage deals in 2017.[11]

To see the advantages of a uniform, cross-border, and flexible crowdfunding regime, one need look no further than Regulation D in the US. The following are quotes from the recent Crowdfunding Capital Advisers Report.[12]

“2018 saw triple digit growth in unique offerings, proceeds and investors. More importantly, start-ups are successfully using Regulation Crowdfunding to raise meaningful capital in a relatively short period of time and at costs that are less than a typical Regulation D offering.

“Unlike venture capital, where less than 6.5 percent of start-ups successfully raise funds, the success rate in Regulation Crowdfunding hovers around an impressive 60 percent. A key data point for industry followers is that the average raise ($270,996) helps start-ups hurdle the “valley of death” they often face after expending their internal or personal capital.

“Regulation Crowdfunding is proving to be a jobs engine (creating on average 2.9 jobs per issuer), economic generator (pumping over $289 million of revenues into local economies)... There is still a lot of room for growth with Regulation Crowdfunding offerings as they equate to only 1.2 percent of all Regulation D offerings and only 4 percent of all capital raised under Reg D.

“The fact that the velocity of capital into funded offerings continues to be steady without signs of abnormal activity or irrational investor behaviour is a healthy indicator. Meanwhile, the rapid increase in the number of offerings and investors proves there is continued appetite for Regulation Crowdfunding from both issuers seeking capital as well as investors looking to diversify. This is true across the [US].

“Regulation Crowdfunding is also proving efficient. If we compare the average days to close (113) in 2018 and average raise ($250,635) of a successful Regulation Crowdfunding campaign to a traditional Regulation D offering, Regulation Crowdfunding most likely represents the most efficient, cost effective way to raise capital for start-ups and SMEs.”

The type of (published) data collection and analysis provided by the above report is rare in Canada, which is another serious impediment to decision making in this area. To back its recommendations, NCFA (and others) must rely largely on anecdotal evidence from its members.

6. Canada’s Competition Bureau

As the Competition Bureau has pointed out[13], a more flexible approach to regulation and better government support would provide significant economic benefits by freeing entrepreneurship. It would also help to keep our entrepreneurs in Canada (along with the related jobs), boost GDP (especially by improving productivity), and encourage the commercialization of new products and services generally.  It is well-documented that overly complex, prescriptive regulation is a much higher burden for smaller firms and so is inherently anti-competitive.  For a disappointing progress report on the Bureau’s recommendations of Dec 2017.  See: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04392.html

7. ASC Brainstorming Ideas and Comments

(a) Information resource for Alberta start-ups and early stage businesses on capital raising options

  • Raising capital shouldn’t be a ‘black box’. Companies and investors would benefit if the ASC could:
    • provide a roadmap to the various financing options including use of exemptions, what typical companies (and investors) that qualify look like, average time to market, related costs and effort, and capital flows;
    • publish sample templates of the expected quality of good offering documents;
    • work with industry to develop a transparent resource database that is widely available.
  • Dovetailing with EACOS recommendations on entrepreneur preparedness, more information on successive financings would benefit the Alberta tech ecosystem. The ASC could consider hosting this data in an anonymized format so that Alberta startups could learn about their local comparables.

(b) Information resource for investors in Alberta

Some market participants have suggested there might be a role for the ASC in increasing investor understanding respecting the exempt market and considerations when investing in start-up and early stage businesses

  • The ASC assuming an educational role could only be beneficial to Albertan investors, especially those that are seeking to diversify outside of real estate or oil and gas. An equity crowdfunding or peer lending platform operating in Alberta could then easily point to this resource as a third party unbiased educational resource for investors.
  • In addition to local investors, ASC could work with economic development agencies to provide education on exempt market trends and developments to international investors and funds with a new focus on emerging technology as a means to diversify the Alberta economy.
  • Highlighting a range of companies by sector and capital raised in private markets would help investors understand high growth SME opportunities.

(c) Expanding the accredited investor exemption to include educated, experienced investors

What are the right combinations of education and experience? For the educational component, should we consider courses such as those offered through the CVCA Canadian Private Capital Investment School or the NACO Academy for those investing in private markets?

  • The accredited investor exemption if expanded to include educated and experienced investors would unlock latent capital in Alberta while increasing opportunities for qualifying investors and allow for greater portfolio diversification.
  • Any expansion of the accredited investor definition should aim to ensure that investors understand the risks involved with investing in private market securities such as reduced disclosure and lack of liquidity and provide education on the evolving trends of online financing such as peer lending, investment crowdfunding, and digital assets.
  • Education should be tendered and open to all private capital market training bodies, associations, licensed exempt market dealers, and investor-orientated groups and structured to be flexible and allow a wide range of participation to enable:
    • the right balance of training expertise and collaboration;
    • wide program accessibility;
    • current and relevant training content updated on an annual or periodic basis;
    • range of “textbook” and experiential training delivery;
    • certification and listing for public verification on an ASC database; and
    • capture of investor risk acknowledgement such as ability to withstand loss
  • The certificate of training could then be used by equity crowdfunding and lending exempt market dealers and portals to validate investor training in a streamlined manner (rather than have investors go through the same process with various dealers and portals time and time again).

Given that the policy rationale for the accredited investor exemption is ‘ability to withstand loss’, would it be appropriate to impose some limit on the amount that can be invested by an educated/experienced investor that is not otherwise an accredited investor e.g., the greater of $30,000 and 5% of their investment portfolio?

  • Accredited investor and qualifying experienced-educated investors should be allowed to fully participate without caps in investment crowdfunding and peer lending offerings.
  • Accredited investors should be encouraged to invest in or along-side a Start-up Business Exemption campaign. The participation of accredited investors at higher levels will provide non-accredited investors with added value as the investment group will perform greater due diligence than investors only investing the minimum threshold amount in a Start-Up Business Exemption offering.

(d) Addressing the compliance challenges associated with confirming accredited investor status

The central party could then confirm, through a unique investor identifier, to any business or dealer to whom the investor provided the unique identifier, that based on the information provided, the investor qualifies as an accredited investor, without the need for the investor to reveal all of their personal information.

  • This is a logical and reasonable solution that mirrors recreational licensing and even academic author identification systems (see Orcid ID).
  • Unique IDs could be used as part of a background check which will help reduce the number of days required to verify ID prior to being permitted to participate on equity crowdfunding or peer lending platforms.
  • There are numerous ‘regtech’ solutions now in the market that can be assessed by the ASC for potential use and deployment.
  • Any investor verification system should be neutral to avoid a single group monopolizing a provincial (or national)system.

(e) Registration exemption for finders

We are interested in feedback on a dealer registration exemption for sales to investors that are accredited investors who also meet certain education and/or experience criteria. We are interested in how such an exemption could be tailored to adequately protect investors but help address the issues associated with smaller financings that are not being serviced by registered dealers.

  • We agree that a registration exemption for qualified ‘finders’ would help expand the pool of investors and supply more capital to early stage companies.
  • Finders should be required to notify the ASC of their identity or could be required to associate with registered dealers or engaged by investment platforms.
  • Finders not associated with registered dealers could be required to report periodically on their investor prospecting activity using technology to streamline communications. This would not only provide employment opportunities for finders but also minimize unreported finder type activity that occurs anyway while increasing the transparency in the exempt market for smaller financings.

(f) Reducing compliance costs for registered dealers when dealing with accredited investors

This applies across the piece in the crowdfunding sector. Each requirement should be cost justified by regulators.

(g) Addressing other registered dealer compliance burdens

For crowdfunding related burden reduction examples we encourage the ASC to review NCFAs submission to the Ontario Securities Commission of March 1, 2019 – burden reduction.[14]

(h) Facilitating angel investment funds

Should we consider adviser registration exemptions where accredited investors have a limited amount of capital at risk?

  • Yes, especially if accredited investor status is expanded to include well educated and experienced investors. In this scenario, with small amounts of capital deployed and a demonstrated ability to withstand a specified loss, barriers to obtaining capital from multiple crowd sources would be reduced.

(i) Facilitating the development of a retail, publicly-traded fund focused on innovative businesses

  • We feel this is best answered by VCs and institutions.

(k) Facilitating a semi-public market that allows secondary retail trading by non-public companies

  • The illiquid nature of exempt market securities is often cited as a major concern of prospective investors so anything that assists secondary trading is welcomed.
  • A secondary market for exempt securities would also benefit early employees of start-up companies by allowing them to liquidate holdings pre-IPO and thus help early stage companies to offer creative compensation packages and attract a wider range of employees to help them grow.[15]
  • A semi-public market should be open to all types of exempt securities from crowdfunding to security tokens to allow fair and efficient markets to form.

(m) Fostering crowdlending and peer-to-peer lending

  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is providing SMEs with financing in many jurisdictions, including the US, the UK, New Zealand and Australia, at rates which are considerably lower than those offered by competitors.
  • The popularity of P2P lending in the UK has increased exponentially in recent years, with nearly £10 billion being transferred through such platforms in the past ten years and approximately £1.2bn having been transferred through P2P platforms in the second quarter of 2019 alone.
  • The current securities regulatory regime in Canada imposes costs and burdens that create significant impediments to the success of any P2P platform and by extension the availability of financing to Canadian SMEs.
  • The current regime in Canada is not suited to allowing companies to raise debt financing as it treats them as issuers. The regulatory requirements for becoming an issuer are simply too burdensome for small loan sizes (for example a $50,000 loan).
  • The sheer magnitude of P2P lending and its positive impact on the economies of  advanced jurisdictions elsewhere suggests that it would be beneficial for Canadian SMEs if the regulators in Canada were to adopt a regime specific to P2P lending. A regime modeled on those successfully implemented in jurisdictions, like the UK, where P2P lending has been proven to provide much needed funding to SMEs while ensuring an appropriate level of protection for investors.

About the NCFA

The National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada (the Association) represents over 2,000 fintech SMEs and individual members that support financial and capital market innovation, small businesses and technology. We are pleased that the Alberta government is undertaking this important initiative to the benefit of all Albertans.  Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

 

Download the Submission in PDF format --> Now


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

Latest news - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?FF Logo 400 v3 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?community social impact - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
NCFA Newsletter subscribe600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

FFCON20 Homepage Banner 600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

 

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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

Lending Loop passes 50 million - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development? 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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?FF Logo 400 v3 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?community social impact - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
NCFA Newsletter subscribe600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

FFCON20 Homepage Banner 600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

 

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

Holt Accelerator Joins NCFA as an Industry Partner

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Sep 9, 2019

holt accelerator 1 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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


Latest news - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?FF Logo 400 v3 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?community social impact - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
NCFA Newsletter subscribe600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

FFCON20 Homepage Banner 600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

 

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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

Paul Schulte 150x150 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?FF Logo 400 v3 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?community social impact - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

Holt Accelerator | Sam El Falah | Feb 27, 2020 The Holt Fintech accelerator is currently taking applications for its 2020 cohort and looking for the best and brightest companies to join. The Holt program is designed for Fintech startups who are pre-Series A (i.e. bootstrapped, pre-seed, seed, bridge) and pride themselves in offering startups as much visibility as possible! How can they help your startup? Capital: We can provide up to $130k in capital and meetings with potential investors Ecosystem: Plug into Holt Financial's digital bank and exchange for new revenue sources Potential Clients: Key people in financial institutions & a network of over 300 Fintech influencers worldwide See:  Holt Accelerator Joins NCFA as an Industry Partner Think you are ready to be part of the Holt adventure? Mark your Calendar! The application deadline is May 9th, 2020, 11:59 PM EST. http://bit.ly/35u0jsN For more information visit www.holtaccelerator.ai Social Media Profiles: https://www.linkedin.com/company/holt-accelerator https://www.facebook.com/HoltAccelerator https://twitter.com/HoltAccelerator #Holt2020 #JoinTheFamily #FintechAccelerator 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 ...
Read More
holt apply - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
BCSC | Release | Feb 27, 2020 Vancouver – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is seeking comment on proposed harmonized rules for start-up securities crowdfunding. Proposed National Instrument 45-110 Start-up Crowdfunding Registration and Prospectus Exemptions would replace and enhance the requirements currently in effect in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Enhancements from the current requirements include: Increasing to $1 million (from $500,000) the maximum total amount that could be raised by a business under the crowdfunding prospectus exemption per year; Increasing to $2,500 (from $1,500) the maximum investment a purchaser can make in an offering, with a higher limit of $5,000 if the purchaser obtains advice from a registered dealer that the investment is suitable for the purchaser; Requiring funding portals to annually certify that they have sufficient working capital to continue operations for the following year. “Small businesses and start-ups need unified regulatory requirements for securities crowdfunding to expand their access to capital,” said Louis Morisset, Chair of the CSA and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “This proposed National Instrument would introduce a single, harmonized set of rules, and increase the thresholds for capital-raising and investing, while still providing ...
Read More
bcsc  - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
AS/COA | Luisa Horwitz | February 19, 2020 In a region where a large portion of the population is underbanked, fintech offers an innovative solution for Latin America, paving the way for wider financial development, competition, and inclusion in the region. In the case of Argentina, fintech startups are sprouting and spreading fast. Pierpaolo Barbieri, founder of the startup Ualá, talked with AS/COA Online’s Luisa Horwitz about what motivated him to make the financial system more accessible in Argentina, a country where more than half of people have never had access to a non-cash payment method. “What we try to do is democratize access to financial services,” says Barbieri, who in this episode also covers the generational divide when it comes to fintech, as well as what the sector looks like across Latin America. “We don’t want to change the system from within; what we want is a new system.”  Continue to the full article --> here See Fintech Friday Podcast Episodes 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 ...
Read More
Fintech in argentina - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
UK FCA | Feb 21, 2020 This analysis also contributes to the decisions we make affecting consumers, market integrity and competition. Drivers of change The first chapter describes the common themes across sectors with a focus on those themes that are having the greatest impact on the sectors we regulate. And in the light of EU withdrawal and its impact on financial services markets, we give an overview of our position in the current international context. The 7 sectors The remaining chapters cover all the markets we regulate: retail banking and payments retail lending general insurance and protection pensions savings and retirement income retail investments investment management wholesale financial markets Continue to the full article --> here Download the 86 page PDF Report - Sector Views (Key Areas of Harm Identified) 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, ...
Read More
UK Fintech sector views - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
TransUnion Canada | Release | Feb 24, 2020 New TransUnion study considers common myths around the profile of FinTech borrowers in Canada FinTechs are not just attracting younger Canadians: 46% of FinTech borrowers are over the age of 40 Short-term loans are not the primary focus for FinTechs: 88% of FinTech loan terms are between 13-60 months FinTechs are not just catering to 'underbanked': 51% of FinTech consumers have 3 or more existing credit products TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2020 /CNW/ - A new study from TransUnion explores the evolving trends around the FinTech lender landscape in Canada. The research study analyzed over 21 million non-mortgage credit products originated in Canada from Q1 2017 to Q2 2018. The study's findings reveal key insights that appear to debunk commonly held beliefs around the profile of FinTech borrowers in Canada, as well as the ways that FinTech lenders are employing and embracing different credit strategies compared to some of the more traditional lenders. See:  Robocop vs. Terminator in Fintech; Comparing DeFi originations to Digital Lenders in the early years The study defined FinTech lenders as those who rely on advanced computer algorithms or other technology as their primary platform to enable, support or ...
Read More
transunion fintech report on lending trends - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 19, 2020 Credit card giant Visa has granted its principal membership to a cryptocurrency company for the first time. Officially awarded to cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase in December, but not revealed to the public until today, the membership cuts out a crucial, and expensive middleman from the process of issuing a debit card that lets users spend their own bitcoin, ether and XRP anywhere Visa is accepted. Perhaps even more importantly though, the principal membership makes Coinbase the first cryptocurrency company with the power to issue debit cards for others, including other cryptocurrency companies and more traditional firms alike. Visa confirmed it granted Coinbase the principal membership, clarifying that the company itself won’t actually accept cryptocurrency when the project goes live later this year. See:  Visa R&D Arm Develops a Blockchain System That Could Replace Financial Data Aggregators While Coinbase says it’s not planning on issuing cards to others anytime soon, the principal membership status marks a potentially important new revenue stream for the company, which Forbes estimates saw a 40% decline in earnings last year. By simplifying the process of spending cryptocurrency anywhere Visa is accepted, the membership also lays the foundation for ...
Read More
Coinbase crypto visa payments - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
Forbes | Ron Shevlin | Feb 21, 2020 LendingClub, one of the nation’s first peer-to-peer lenders (oops! I mean, “marketplace” lenders—real ”peer to peer” lending lasted all of about a month), announced it plans to acquire Radius Bank, a relatively small Boston-based bank, unknown to most people outside of the industry (and within, for that matter). The press release announcing the pending deal contained the usual platitudes from the acquiring CEO: “This is a transformational transaction that allows us to reimagine banking in a way that is free from legacy practices and systems. We will create a category-defining experience for our members that will dramatically enhance the resilience and earnings trajectory of our business.” Despite the buzzword-laden proclamation, this acquisition makes a lot of sense for both parties for reasons that go beyond what many observers have reported on. The Short-Term Benefits Aren’t About Radius Bank Much of the discussion about the deal has focused on the obvious and shorter-term benefits of the acquisition, including a more stable source of funding and a $40 million reduction in bank fees and funding costs, both of which will help boost the spread Lending Club earns on the loans it keeps on its ...
Read More
LendingClub banner  - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
Pymnts | February 18, 2020 Online bank N26‘s decision to exit the U.K. has customers feeling left behind, CNBC reported. The Berlin-based digital bank said it would not be able to operate in the country anymore in the wake of Brexit, as it will no longer have a license to do business there. The startup will shutter all of its U.K. locations on April 15. N26 made its entry into the U.K. in October of 2018 — more than two years after the U.K. made its decision to leave the European Union, but six months before Brexit was officially planned. However, the fact that N26 used Brexit in its reasoning to leave the U.K. hasn’t sat well with some. One customer in London told CNBC that he was “outraged” that the company had used Brexit as an excuse, calling it “fake news.” He said N26 needed “an excuse” for investors, and had found in Brexit a convenient scapegoat so that it wasn’t N26’s own failure. Others said they were disappointed in the closure, enjoying the extra bonuses that come with accounts. See:  Majority of London FinTechs not prepared for no-deal Brexit N26 is one among a new breed of branchless ...
Read More
N26 and Brexit - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
TechTalks | Andrey Sergeenkov | Feb 12, 2020 As 2018 drew to a close, crypto skeptics were ready to write obituaries after the devastating bear market that year. Talk of blockchain and cryptocurrency demise was rife among seasoned analysts. Just over twelve months later, the industry has shown remarkable resilience to rebound back. Regulators are a segment of stakeholders who seem to be appreciating that crypto is here to stay, with Federal agencies in the US and Chinese authorities praising the potential of this technology in their respective countries’ digital future. Blockchain technology has gained independent credibility over and above its application in cryptocurrency. The opportunities are endless as the emerging enterprise sector continues to draw plaudits. So far, this technology has grown in spite of regulatory infrastructure rather than because of it. A suitable regulatory climate is essential for widespread adoption. See:  The Decade in Blockchain — 2010 to 2020 in Review This is how Jason Lee, Vice President of NEM Foundation, describes the industry’s evolution: “2017 was the year of the blockchain craze. In 2018, we hit the brakes towards the end of the year. For 2019 and the start of 2020, Don Tapscott at the World Economic ...
Read More
blockchains - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
Betakit | Isabelle Kirkwood | Feb 10, 2020 PwC Canada and CB Insights have released the MoneyTree report on Canadian investment trends for the second half and full year of 2019 (all figures in USD). “Increased competition for funding from global investors has created a healthy funding environment for Canadian startups.” Last year saw Canadian venture capital (VC) funding rise to a record-setting $4.1 billion. Although Canadian funding experienced an 11 percent decline in deal count last year, the report tracked a 16 percent increase in year-over-year funding. Some massive rounds from last year were not included in this year’s report, including Verafin’s round, as the company did not disclose the debt and equity break out, and Sonder’s $210 million raise as the company is now headquartered in the United States. A strong year for AI, FinTech, cybersecurity Artificial intelligence companies saw increased investor attention in 2019, investment in Canadian AI companies more than doubled in the second half of 2019. Last year’s funding to Canadian AI companies saw a 49 percent year-over-year increase in 2019 to $658 million with deal count reaching a new record at 57 deals. See:  The paradox of 2020 VC is that the largest funds ...
Read More
funding by region 2019 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

 

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

Exponential Group Joins NCFA as an Industry Partner | Interview with ExG Co-Founder, James Wallace

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 20, 2019

ExpoG logo final600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development? 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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?FF Logo 400 v3 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?community social impact - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
NCFA Newsletter subscribe600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

FFCON20 Homepage Banner 600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

 

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

Fintech Investor Interview: Peggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner, Roar VC

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

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

roar ventures - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?Intro:  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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?Peggy 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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development? 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 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?FF Logo 400 v3 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?community social impact - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?
NCFA Newsletter subscribe600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

FFCON20 Homepage Banner 600 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?

 

share save 171 16 - Canada Update: Alberta Updates Crowdfunding Regulations but Where Does Canada Stand in the National Harmonization of Rules? What about Fintech Development?