Category Archives: Online Funding Portals

Securities Exchange Commission’s Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation – Annual Report 2019

SEC | Martha Millar | Jan 8, 2020

capital raising volume in private and public markets - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019Annual 2019 Report to Congress

The Office prepares an annual report to Congress summarizing its activities in supporting small businesses and their investors during the immediately preceding fiscal year. The report provides statistical information and analyses of the issues on which the Office has worked, information on steps that the Office has taken to improve small business services, and a summary of the most serious issues encountered by small businesses and their investors, including any unique issues encountered by minority-owned small businesses, women-owned small businesses, and small businesses affected by natural disasters. The FY2019 annual report was delivered on December 19, 2019.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019 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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Holiday Greetings from Lending Loop! 2019 Year In Review

Lending Loop | Reza Jafer | Dec 17, 2019

Lending Loop happy holidays - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019

2019 at Lending Loop was an exciting and fruitful year as we achieved significant company milestones. We are proud to have enabled 10,000+ Canadian individuals to cumulatively invest over $60M in Canadian small businesses.

 

2019 Highlights:

  • Over 400 businesses across Canada accessed $25,000,000+ of capital through Lending Loop
  • $4,000,000+ in interest and $14,000,000+ in principal paid to investors, contributing to their financial goals
  • Opened the investment platform to Trusts, Foundations, Charities, Partnerships, Corporations and Institutional partners to invest alongside Canadian individuals
  • Enhanced Portfolio Analytics allowing investors to have real-time insights into their portfolios
  • Launched getloop.ca - Canada's first 100% free business credit score monitoring service for business owners in partnership with Equifax

Our team was proud to receive recognition from Globe & Mail’s Report on Business as the 27th Fastest Growing Company in Canada, acknowledging the success of our ongoing mission to provide innovative financial solutions for small businesses.

 

Lending Loop and NCFA holiday greeting - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019

If you would like to learn more about the Lending Loop platform, visit www.lendingloop.ca/lenders or contact one of our registered Dealing Representatives at lenders@lendingloop.ca

Till next time, onwards and upwards!

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019 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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What to expect from social fundraising world in 2020

FundRazr | Mira Soullen | Dec 16, 2019

FundRazr holiday greetings and social fundraising 2020 - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019FundRazr is a free enterprise-class crowdfunding platform and the secret sauce behind 160,000 fundraising campaigns in 40+ countries. FundRazr is laser-focused on eliminating the guesswork of raising money online making it effortless and effective. 

What to Expect from the Social Fundraising World in 2020

Things are constantly changing in the world of social fundraising, also called “crowdfunding”, but it’s safe to say that 2019 was an especially interesting year. As some more traditional fundraising methods lost relevance, we helped many organizations try out crowdfunding and social media fundraising for the first time, embracing emotive, personalized storytelling and its wide-ranging impacts.

As a result, FundRazr’s community of nonprofits grew their social fundraising confidence and worked to engage Millennials and Gen Z with their causes, inviting them into giving and finding new longterm donors and advocates.

Wow. A year of change, for sure - but now, it’s almost over! What developments can we expect to see in the social fundraising world as we move into 2020?

See:  Social equity must be central to urban tech innovations

Businesses and Charities Will Find Better Ways to Collaborate

Commerce and charity working together is nothing new, but it’s a trend that will continue to strengthen. For many nonprofits, finding new longterm sponsors is uncharted territory, and many staffers may feel that it’s out of their wheelhouse. However, developing mutually beneficial sponsor relationships and marketing partnerships are critical goals to work towards. Once you find a business that’s the right fit, they won’t just provide monetary support - they’ll become passionate advocates for your cause!

Furthermore, an economic recession is a very real possibility for 2020 that must be taken into account. By working together, charities and for-profit businesses can mitigate the revenue shortfalls that are part of an economic downturn. This can be a mutually beneficial relationship - consumers may be more likely to spend money at a business where their dollar is doing something good, and people who would not have otherwise donated might be more likely to if they do it together with a sponsor: for example, you can offer Perks of your sponsor’s product, or receive a small percentage of your sponsor’s profits.

Working with sponsors can help you Make Everyday Giving Effortless (MEGE). People want to give easily, and through channels that are convenient to them. Today, that means giving through smartphones, and donations processed immediately so that they can be easily shared on social. Systems to gamify donation or offer fun perks in return apply here, too.

Donors Will Be Encouraged to Give Less, but More Often

When it comes to donations, frequency will be king. It might sound surprising, but ten $50 donations are a lot better than one $500 from the point of view of the fundraiser. These frequent, smaller micro-gifts help cultivate giving habits and emotional involvement in your cause, establishing the donor as part of your community and eventually, a long-term advocate. By giving often, they’re staying in touch, sticking around for updates on where your work’s at and how their gift will help. The more involved your donors are, the better their lifetime value for your organization.

This trend is also ideally suited to micro-projects, and with FundRazr, more campaigns doesn’t mean more time spent running them! Consider making a campaign for each individual project you’re working to complete - for example, each house you’re trying to build in a hurricane-damaged region, every family you want to provide with Christmas dinner, or every animal you need to keep off the street.

See:  Online Giving Trends Show Consistent Growth in the US Since Donation Crowdfunding Debuted in 2012

This kind of donation and fundraising is a win-win: it more closely mirrors the actual work your organization is doing, so that your donors feel like they’re “part of the team”. The more engaged donors are with your mission, the happier they’ll be to help.

Segmentation and Sophisticated Storytelling Will Become Even More Important - Personalizing Donor Experience is Everything

If you’re working in the nonprofit sector, it’s because you care about what you do. To fundraise successfully, you need to help potential donors care just as much. Storytelling is the way to engage people, but sophisticated, personalized storytelling is how you will truly engage as many people as possible.

Let’s say you’re running a wildlife rescue. Since you’re an animal nonprofit, you might draw the conclusion that anyone who loves animals could be a potential donor. And you wouldn’t be wrong, exactly - but it’s not that simple. For example, 20% of your donors might be donating because they care about hawks, while another 30% might like foxes, but not care as much about birds. Identifying these donor segments and marketing to them effectively will help you speak to them in a way that will resonate and optimize your revenue potential.

By showing your audience personalized content according to segmentation (showing your bird lovers hawks), you can make sure their impression of your charity is a memorable one.

Ephemeral Content Will Continue to Rise

In social fundraising, ephemeral content means two things: content that only exists for a short time (like Instagram Stories) or content we only pay attention to for a short time (an Instagram post). Clearly, ephemeral content is tailor-made for social media. This type of content lets you reach a wider audience, engage with them, and elicit an emotional reaction - all without too much labour-intensive content production.

Think of ephemeral content as a greeting card for your organization. It’s sent out to many people (Instagram’s hundreds of millions of users), is fun and simple (a nicely designed graphic, not an original video), and it shares a feeling by sharing the work you do. These personal, emotional stories will get the word out about your mission and plant the seed of donation in your audience’s minds. Make a plan to share content like this at least once a day.

Social Activism Will Keep Growing - And You Need to Keep Up 

People are more attentive to social causes than ever, and that’s a wonderful thing. Look at the climate justice movement Greta Thunberg is leading - people all over the world are getting involved, and a large part of it is on social media! Whatever your nonprofit’s mission adopting social fundraising tools and techniques will only get more important. In 2020, if your cause doesn’t have an online community cheering it on, it might as well not exist in the real world.

The statistics around online activism are staggering. Roughly half of United States citizens have been civically active on social media in the past year. If you’re wondering what that looks like, some examples are changing your profile picture to support a cause, posting about voting in an election, looking up information on protests or rallies, and using political or social hashtags.

See:  Crowdfunding campaign raises $3 million to protect Princess Louisa Inlet property

Many people believe we are living in a watershed moment for social change. People are dissatisfied with the current state of society, and are beginning to create a vision of what else is possible. As charities, if we offer actionable steps towards change, real progress is possible. If you share the impact each donation makes, it inspires people to give more often. It’s an exciting time for nonprofits, but we need to stay up to date with today’s world to take advantage of it.

Revenue Diversification Will be Even More Important

There are still many charities who rely on a single source of income. Whether it’s grants, major donors, or large fundraising events like galas, this is a risky proposition. With economic turmoil happening globally and older fundraising techniques dying out, it’s more important than ever to diversify to ensure cause longevity and survival.

It’s time for all nonprofits to push their comfort zones. It’s critical to try out new ways of revenue generation like crowdfunding. Establishing multiple streams of income will allow you to set up a sustainable charitable model that mitigates all inevitable risks.

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The Donor Journey’s End Will be Just as Important as its Beginning

We all know that a compelling, convincing story is important. Introducing potential donors to your cause, crafting a strong ask, and guiding people to the donate page are all essential parts of the donor journey. However, many nonprofits forget about optimizing the end of the journey - the actual donation page!

Unfortunately, we see many nonprofit websites with broken donate buttons or donation pages that aren’t optimized for mobile. When donors finally click ‘donate’ they’re at the peak of their emotional engagement with, and excitement for your cause.  The donation page, and the actual act of donating, should carry on this experience - not kill it.

It should be a priority to make sure their donation page is mobile-optimized. Social sharing must be enabled and the page should have a short story reminding donors why they decided to give. If you’re working with FundRazr, use our one-page donation template. It includes all the necessary elements the make sure donation is just like the rest of their experience - positive and inspiring!

Change might be scary, and social fundraising world has seen a lot of change over the past year. But even though 2020 will be bringing more change, it’s a great and exciting time to be a nonprofit - as long as you’re willing to adapt.

Happy Holidays and hope your 2020 will be exciting and positive.

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019 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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Raising money for Ontario based businesses just got a lot easier

FrontFundr | Will Tang and Victoria Bennett | Dec 13, 2019

Startup crowdfunding exemption - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On November 27, 2019, FrontFundr obtained discretionary approval to use start-up crowdfunding rules already available in other provinces. Working with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), Canada's largest investment crowdfunding platform now offers its clients a simplified process to crowdfund in Ontario – providing opportunity for both companies and investors.

What does this mean for Canadian private companies?

Inefficient crowdfunding regulations that previously inhibited companies from raising capital from the public in Ontario have been removed. FrontFundr is now in a position to help its start-up clients based in Ontario and in any other jurisdictions in Canada to raise money from retail investors in Ontario. And conversely, Ontario investors now have an opportunity to invest in start-up companies from across the country.

Access to capital can make or break a company,” said Peter-Paul Van Hoeken, Founder and CEO of FrontFundr. “We see our role as democratizing the private markets. We have successfully helped 42 companies raise capital; we are pleased the largest province in Canada now provides better access to crowdfunding in line with the rest of the country.

At FrontFundr, we are all about democratizing capital – providing companies access to capital is in our DNA.  We have been change-makers since we launched our platform in 2015 – successfully funding companies and transforming the Canadian private markets landscape by creating new opportunities for all Canadians.

What more info?  View FrontFundr podcast

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019 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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FrontFundr Further Expands Investor Access to Private Investment Deals

FrontFundr Release | Dec 10, 2019

FrontFundr and Deal square - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019

Canada’s largest equity crowdfunding platform connects to DealSquare, a centralized platform for private placements

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Silver Maple Ventures Inc. is pleased to announce new synergies between its two fintech platforms designed to enable robust investor access to private market deals and further simplify the transaction process. FrontFundr, Canada’s leading equity crowdfunding platform and exempt market dealer, has officially become a participating dealer on DealSquare, Canada’s first centralized dealer platform for private placements. The team at Silver Maple Ventures is excited to be first movers in providing widespread investor access to private market deals, digitally connecting capital-raisers to all investors, investment dealers and their advisory networks.

“In recent years, the private markets have been growing twice as fast and producing 3-4% higher returns than the public markets, but the average retail investor hoping to diversify their portfolios have traditionally been locked out and unable to participate. With FrontFundr, all investors can get in on the private market action,” says Peter-Paul Van Hoeken, Founder and CEO of Silver Maple Ventures Inc.

“The synergies work both ways. On the one hand, FrontFundr can now make its private placements available to other dealers and advisors by connecting to DealSquare. On the other hand, FrontFundr can make private placements listed on DealSquare available to its community of equity crowdfunding investors, truly democratizing access to the private markets.”

Launched in October 2019, DealSquare simplifies the current private placement process for dealers, advisors and capital raisers. The platform is a fintech solution to the traditionally fragmented private markets developed in partnership with NEO, where private placement deals are most often marketed through word-of-mouth and transacted using archaic technology. Through DealSquare, investment opportunities are marketed online, subscriptions processed electronically and transactions are closed using NEO Connect, seamlessly integrating a client’s exempt securities into their portfolio account.

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However, companies completing private placements still rely on friends, family, business relationships and accredited investors inefficiently raising money from a very small group of investors. With the onboarding of FrontFundr to DealSquare, accredited and non-accredited investors now have the opportunity to participate in private placements posted on DealSquare.

FrontFundr has pioneered investment crowdfunding in Canada. As of today, FrontFundr’s community of 15,000 accredited and non-accredited (retail) investors can search, find, review and complete an investment in private placements, all within one session and on one digital platform. Since launch in June 2015, over $20 million has been raised on the FrontFundr platform, with $5 million raised in 2019 alone, and nearly $15 million anticipated to be raised through the platform in 2020. With offerings for a range of investor types, the average FrontFundr investment is approximately $5,000, with a median investment of approximately $2,000 per investment.

FrontFundr continues to lead the democratization of the private markets in Canada. On November 27, 2019 the company obtained approval from the Ontario Securities Commission to use start-up crowdfunding rules in Ontario that were already available in other provinces. FrontFundr can now offer previous and future issuer clients the opportunity to raise up to $250,000 twice per year and any Ontarian can invest up to $5,000 with each offering where suitable.

In order to provide important investor protections as the retail community enters the private markets space, FrontFundr developed a Suitability Assessment Manager (SAM) and secured discretionary approval from the Canadian securities regulators earlier this year. This online tool is fully integrated into the FrontFundr platform and performs an electronic suitability assessment automatically, enabling an investor to complete a security purchase from start to finish in one online session. SAM is a significant step forward in democratizing access to the private markets, making it easy and efficient for everyone.

About Silver Maple Ventures Inc.
Silver Maple Ventures Inc. (“SMV”) is an exempt market dealer and holding company of FrontFundr Financial Services Inc. (“FrontFundr”) and DealSquare Technologies Inc. (“DealSquare”). With offices in Toronto and Vancouver, the SMV team are national leaders in the private capital markets, developing and operating two fintech platforms to provide access to private markets in Canada and simplify the transaction process. Launched in 2015, FrontFundr is Canada’s leading online marketplace that allows all investors, accredited and non-accredited, to participate in curated private placements through equity crowdfunding. DealSquare launched in October 2019 as Canada’s first centralized dealer platform for private placements, digitally connecting capital-raisers to investment dealers and their advisory networks.

Source:  FF Release


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019 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 Canada Directory Category: Capital Markets | DeFi | Crowdfinance

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Canada Directory Category: Capital Markets | DeFi | Crowdfinance 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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Lock BTC, Get DAI: Lending Firm Bridges Bitcoin-DeFi Divide in Latin America

Coindesk | Leigh Cuen | Oct 29, 2019

ledn making moves - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019Canadian startup Ledn, which offers bitcoin-backed fiat loans, now also offers dollar-pegged DAI loans, connecting bitcoin users with ethereum’s decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

Ledn co-founder Mauricio Di Bartolomeo, a Venezuelan expat, told CoinDesk this new partnership with stablecoin promoter MakerDAO was driven by customer demand.

Out of “thousands” of users, more than half of Ledn’s users are in Latin America, Di Bartolomeo said, where ethereum-backed DAI is increasingly seen as an alternative to strictly regulated dollar transfers. In fact, this past weekend the central bank of Argentina restricted civilians to buying only $200 in USD per month, down from the previous $10,000.

“In Argentina, if you receive a bank transference in USD they convert it immediately to ARS (Argentinian Nuevo peso), and you lose money,” Nadia Alvarez, MakerDAO’s head of business development in Latin America, told CoinDesk. “We know BTC hodlers don’t want to sell their BTC, but they need liquidity, for their daily expenses. That is why we think this is relevant for Latin America.”

Ledn isn’t the first company to notice that bitcoiners are eager for access to the ethereum community’s experimental loan products. Silicon Valley startups in the Cross-Chain Working Group are also working on a different solution to allow wrapped bitcoin tokens directly on the ethereum blockchain.

Plus, later this month Maker token holders, who govern the stablecoin ecosystem, will vote on whether to include bitcoin among the upcoming multi-collateral version of DAI. (Currently, DAI tokens are only made by locking up ether tokens in smart contracts that monitor ether prices and automatically liquidate the ether collateral if the price plummets.)

See: 

In the meantime, Ledn will buy ethereum-backed DAI from over-the-counter traders and manage bitcoin custody for loan clients. Di Bartolomeo said clients across Latin American have reported banking issues comparable to Argentina, although unique for each context, which is why they are turning to DAI. He added Colombians make up 16 percent of Ledn’s user base, the largest demographic in Latin America, followed by Venezuelans at 12 percent.

“Several users have expressed that they would like to use stablecoins like DAI to purchase additional digital assets and others to access more financial services,” he said.

DeFi boom

Ledn users will soon be able to lock up their bitcoin and spend DAI at 750 merchants across Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, according to MakerDAO’s Alvarez.

Separate from the loan startup, MakerDAO is partnering with product-provider Pundi X, and planning to install point-of-sale devices across Latin America so that DAI users can spend crypto directly on goods and services. In addition, brick-and-mortar locations will enable a user in Argentina to send fiat or DAI to Venezuela, for example, with Pundi X’s debit card–esque Xcard.

“The [Ledn] DAI loan gives bitcoiners the opportunity to enter into the DeFi world, and all the projects inside the ecosystem,” Alvarez said.

Di Bartolomeo told CoinDesk he’s excited to work with MakerDAO precisely because they have “boots on the ground” where his customer base lives. Dozens of people have attended DAI meetups in Mexico City, Bogota and Buenos Aires over the past year. Globally, MakerDAO records currently show more than 60,000 DAI wallet addresses in October 2019.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Securities Exchange Commission's Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation - Annual Report 2019 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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