Category Archives: Online Funding Portals

Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater

Crowdfund Capital Advisors | Sherwood 'Woodie' Neiss | Aug 7 ,2019

RegCF - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much GreaterIt has been just over 3 years since Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF) went into effect and most recently the industry surpassed a quarter of a billion dollars in commitments. Since inception over 1,800 companies in cities all across the United States have filed to raise money under Regulation Crowdfunding. Over 271,000 investors, most of which are friends, followers or customers of these businesses have made commitments to start, scale or expand operations.

The average raise stands around $237,000 which firmly addresses the Valley of Death[1] issue. Most of the successful companies are raising funds in less than 90 days which is far faster than other forms of financing like Venture Capital or Bank Loans. There’s been no fraud or Wild West as opponents had claimed.

“Essentially we built a financing mechanism which is doing exactly what we said it would,” said Sherwood Neiss Principal at Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) “We’re funding local businesses with a vested group of local investors that is creating local jobs and powering local economies.”

Regulation Crowdfunding began on May 16, 2016. It allows any startup or small business to raise up to $1,070,000 online from family, friends and followers (accredited or not) provided issuers use an online investment platform that is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and disclose information about their company and financial wellbeing.

See:  The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”

Since the industry began, Crowdfund Capital Advisors has been collecting information on every offering in its CCLEAR Database. CCLEAR is the leading Regulation Crowdfunding database that collects, cleans, aggregates and reports on all companies seeking funds via Regulation Crowdfunding as well as those doing parallel 506(c) offerings[2]. This information includes financial performance, security offering, valuation, industry, daily commitments and number of investors. The information is summarized and published on a daily basis on the CCLEAR Regulation Crowdfunding dashboard.

Here are some key data trends:

  • Capital commitments – From FY17[3] to FY18 capital commitments increased 178% from $45.7M to $81.1M. The second full FY of Reg CF saw capital commitments increase 139% to $113M. Total capital commitments to date is over $250M.
  • Issuers – During the same period the number of companies seeking to raise funds increased 187% from 317 to 592 and 137% to 810 in FY19. Total issuers to date is over 1,800.
  • Investors – The number of individual investors grew from 44.5k in FY17 to 92.6K in FY18 to 117.8K in FY19. Total investors to date is over 270,000.

“No matter how you look at it, there’s been an impressive growth of at least 250% in 2 years,” says Neiss. “If we extrapolate out over the next 2 years, we estimate that over 3,400 companies across the United States will receive half a billion dollars by over half a million investors.”

CCLEAR captures a maximum of 56 different industries from Advertising and Marketing, to Healthcare and Utilities. During the first fiscal year there were 44 industries represented. That number increased to 47 last fiscal year. While application software, alcoholic beverages, business services, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, personal services and restaurants were the most common industries seeking funds, financial services, business services, employment services and retail saw the greatest increase in offerings between the first and third fiscal years.

“The wide representation of so many industries speaks to the broad appeal of regulation crowdfunding to both companies seeking and investors looking to deploy capital,” says Neiss. “No matter what industry you are in, if you have an engaged group of customers that could be investors, Regulation Crowdfunding is something you should explore.”

Companies in 48 of the 50 States have registered to raise funds via Reg CF.

See:  OurCrowd Double IPO Success Provides Crowdfunding Validation

From an employment perspective, the data shows that Reg CF continues to sustain and support local jobs. In the first fiscal year over 1,482 jobs were supported. This grew by another 3,150 in the second fiscal year and another 4,448 in the third.

“Collectively almost 10,000 jobs have been supported around the United States since the launch of Regulation Crowdfunding,” says Neiss.

“We expect this number to grow by another 10,000 in the next 2 years. 20,000 jobs means 20,000 people employed by local businesses and reinvesting their income back into these communities through mortgage payments, groceries, dining out, education and more. This is how we support local economies. And we are doing it despite the current $1M cap on company raises. Imagine what we could do if we increased these caps from $1M to $5M, $10M or $20M? It is easy to see how we could increase this from 20,000 to 200,000 jobs.”

While not all Regulation Crowdfunding companies are revenue generating those that are had over $400M of Revenue in their most recent fiscal year.

“Given that the majority of these firms are growing and reinvesting their earnings, you can only imagine the multiplier effect that this has on local economies,” says Neiss. “Businesses are reinvesting into their local economies by purchasing goods and services to support them and hiring employees. And employees are using their paychecks to support themselves. Together we estimate they are pouring close to a billion dollars into local economies.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater 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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Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table

FrontFundr | Peter-Paul Van Hoeken | June 12, 2019

public seat at table 300x172 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much GreaterTraditionally, only a small group of investors, angel investors and other venture capitalists, have had access to investment opportunities in startups and growth companies. The public has been locked out from investing in startups.

Investments in early-stage companies are typically high-risk. That is why early-stage investors typically invest in a portfolio of at least 10-20 companies.  Those companies that are successful will realize exponential - ‘hockeystick’- growth and deliver huge returns for investors. The success of these companies can usually be attributed to the general public buying products and services from these companies. The same public that has had no access to investing in these companies and share in their success.

The public has been locked out from investing in startups.

Digital technology has been a significant enabler in creating online market places, such as Amazon and Shopify. These market places have dramatically increased access to products and services for every consumer and aggregated demand and supply supporting efficient price discovery that benefits all market participants.

See:  [Report] A New North Star: Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy

Why not apply the same digital technologies to connect private companies with the wider potential investor community supporting the entire process from discovery of investment opportunities to completion of investment transactions?

Welcome to the new venture capital market – The democratization of investing in early-stage companies where everyone, regardless of how deep their pockets are, can invest in companies they believe in. Investing online in private companies a.k.a. investment crowdfunding or equity crowdfunding. Anyone could become a shareholder of a company for minimum investment as low as $500, enabling the wider investor community to make multiple investments and diversify risk even with a relatively smaller sized investment portfolio.

Investment crowdfunding offers early-stage companies the opportunity to raise capital from the public - The same public that may be the early (and future) customers of these emerging companies. With investment crowdfunding, the public has taken a seat at the early-stage investing table and brought a large pool of available capital.

Investment Crowdfunding could unlock $2.5 billion per year in Canada for in early-stage companies

We estimate that in Canada $2.5 billion per annum of total financial assets held by Canadians could be directed towards investments in early stage companies. This figure is based on a conservative assumption that 1.8% of total financial assets would be directed towards investment in the private markets. $2.5 billion is a significant pool of capital in comparison to $162 million invested in Canadian startups by angel investor and $3.4 billion investments in Canadian startups and growth companies by venture capital and private equity firms in 2017.[1]

Investment crowdfunding can also help address the challenge for early stage companies to attract capital. Startup Genome published its Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019[2] on May 9th, ranking the top startup ecosystems in the world. No surprise Silicon Valley takes the first place. Toronto-Waterloo ranked 13th, up three spots from last year.

See:  $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies

Vancouver tumbled nine places from last year and ranked 24th. The report mentions that Vancouver as one of the top global ecosystems is hindered by a gap in early-stage funding, $320 million million in the period 2016 to first half 2018 compared to the worldwide average of $1.1 billion.

Investment Crowdfunding is democratizing the venture capital market

Montreal in 49th spot (down 15 places) $600 million went towards early-stage funding. However, even in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, early-stage funding in startups is relatively low in comparison to its 13th place ranking with US$1.1 billion in 2016 to H1 2018.

Startup Genome ranked London (U.K.) as the 4th global ecosystem for early-stage funding with $4.3 billion in 2016 to H1 2018. EU-Startups highlights London’s exceptional access to venture capital funds, angel investors, crowdfunding platforms, banks and other financial possibilities.[3]

In the U.K., where investment crowdfunding has been around for nearly ten years, it has gone mainstream and is now an integral part of the startup funding ecosystem.

High growth entrepreneurship is key to Canada’s future economic success. Early stage companies drive innovation, economic growth, jobs and wealth creation. We need to help get these startups and growth companies to access the finance they need to grow and thrive. As we have seen in other countries like the U.K., investment crowdfunding can help expand the early-stage capital pool. Moreover, it goes further than helping early-stage companies get funding, investment crowdfunding also enables the public to share the risks and returns on venture capital investments jointly.

See:  Architecting a New World: Investment Crowdfunding and Digital Assets

Investment crowdfunding has the potential to unlock a large pool of capital from the public and empowers everyone to invest in companies they believe in and share risks plus returns. Also in Canada, investment crowdfunding is poised to become integral to the venture capital market. Together we can make that happen.

Peter Paul van hoeken - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much GreaterPeter-Paul Van Hoeken is founder and CEO of FrontFundr, a Canadian investment crowdfunding platform. He is a director of the Private Capital Markets Association Canada (PCMA), Advisor to the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association Canada (NCFA) and member of the Ontario Securities Commission Launchpad Fintech Advisory Committee.

[1] Statistics Canada (2019), Canadian Venture Capital Association, CVCA (2019), National Angel and Capital Organization Canada, NACO (2017), FrontFundr Team Analysis (2019)

[2] Startup Genome (2019), Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019

[3] EU-Startups (2018), London’s startup ecosystem at a glance (November 20, 2018)

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater 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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TokenFunder announces Canada’s first Security Token Exempt Market Dealer

tokenfunder_first_token_EMD

TokenFunder Release | Alan Wunsche | April 22, 2019

TokenFunder has completed an important regulatory milestone of establishing TokenGX as Canada’s first registered Exempt Market Dealer with approval to issue digital securities using the TokenFunder security token issuance and investing platform.

TokenGX has been registered as Canada’s first Exempt Market Dealer (EMD) under the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) Regulatory Sandbox initiative and the OSC LaunchPad, with permission to issue digital securities on a public blockchain. (https://osc.gov.on.ca/en/Dealers_registrant-search_index.htm)

TokenFunder CEO Alan Wunsche says, “We are excited to establish TokenGX as Canada’s first Security Token Exempt Market Dealer. We knew earning this first-of-its-kind digital security token EMD registration in Canada wouldn’t be an overnight process – in fact, it was two years of design, development and iteration, working closely with the OSC LaunchPad and Canadian regulators to make this happen in a way that leverages our technology and puts investors first.”

Wunsche continued, “With this new EMD registration, we can provide an accessible, regulatory-compliant path for Canadians to invest in private Canadian companies. Our unique ability to execute Initial Token Offerings (ITOs) will help fund high-potential startups, scaleups and mature businesses raising capital by making them available to everyone. Retail investors will now have wealth-building opportunities previously only available to wealthy (accredited) investors.”

The TokenFunder Smart Token Asset Management Platform (STAMP) streamlines an automated Know-Your-Client (KYC) investor onboarding experience, enabling everyone to invest in accordance with up-to-date prospectus exemptions relevant to the issuing company. With efficient, blockchain-powered, record-of-ownership tracking built into the platform, investors will see their holdings and investor communications in a unified view on the platform’s portfolio dashboard. The platform’s investor relationship management services changes the landscape of today’s transactional offerings with longer term benefits for company issuers.

Related:

OSC approves first ICO in Ontario to TokenFunder

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

Wunsche added, “This begins with capital but there’s much more to the story. With many social, environmental and technological changes happening in the world today, people want investing opportunities that make a difference. We’re purpose-driven to offering everyday people impact investing and wealth-building opportunities that align with their values. Taking this path wasn’t easy but we’re excited about the democratization of investing opportunities in Canada, helping Canadians make an impact. As the number of offerings on the platform grows, this will enable liquidity and trading among investors not previously possible — we see this as the future of new digital asset marketplaces. This approval is an important step in our journey of offering a regulatory-compliant and efficient investing experience, so that everyone from accredited investors to loyal customers who want to become owners can participate, invest and make a difference.”

Contact us to fund your impact and reward your customers   
Companies seeking to fund their growing impact or reward their loyal customer base with ownership opportunities are invited to contact info@tokenfunder.com to receive further details about raising capital on the platform.

Source:  TokenFunder release

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater 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 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much GreaterFF Logo 400 v3 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greatercommunity social impact - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
NCFA Fintech Confidential Issue 2 FINAL COVER - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater

FCA | Sep 11, 2019 Speech by Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, delivered at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance annual conference, Judge Business School. Highlights: The UK has led the rest of the world with developments like the regulatory Sandbox, we are very proud of what has been achieved through it. Early engagement is incredibly valuable for monitoring, supervisory and policy purposes. Working with innovative firms helps us achieve a better bird’s-eye view, enhancing our understanding when the overall landscape is blurry and ­changing quickly. 'Stablecoin' is a term that has been widely adopted by industry, but we do not take it to be a distinct category of cryptoassets. Something labelled as a 'stablecoin' could sit within or outside of our regulatory perimeter. Note: this is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version. See:  FCA confirms new rules for P2P platforms Last month, Facebook announced its plans for Libra, the stablecoin it is planning to launch in conjunction with a number of payment and tech firms. As has been widely reported, along with other regulators and central banks, we have been discussing their plans with Facebook. If this comes ...
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NCFA Canada | Sep 13, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Sep 13: Funding is Female with Jill Earthy EP37 GUEST: JILL EARTHY, Head of Female Funders (Linkedin) HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host BIO:  Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. As Head of Female Funders (powered by Highine BETA), she is empowering female leaders to become investors in early stage companies. Her background includes being an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurs in various leadership roles and working as Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform. She is a community leader and active mentor, currently serving on the national Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC, and as Co-Chair of We for She. Jill was recently recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion award as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019. About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA'S Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Jill Earthy the Head of Female Funders. The talk about what ...
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TechCrunch | Kate Clark | Sep 12, 2019 Affirm, founded by PayPal’s Max Levchin, is said to be raising as much as $1.5 billion in a combination of debt and equity, according to people with knowledge of the company’s fundraising activities. Josh Kushner’s New York venture capital firm Thrive Capital is said to be leading the financing, with participation from the San Francisco outfit Spark Capital. Affirm declined to comment. Representatives of Thrive and Spark, existing Affirm investors, have not responded to a request for comment. Sources familiar with Affirm, which gives consumers an alternative to personal loans and credit by financing online purchases at point-of-sale, presume the round will be made up largely of a line of credit from a large financial institution, known as a warehouse facility. Affirm recently raised a $300 million Thrive-led Series F round in April at a valuation of $3 billion. Fintech companies focused on payments and lending, however, require a vast amount of capital to sustain operations. Those capital requirements coupled with the frothiness of the venture capital market justify this additional cash infusion. To date, Affirm has raised $1.03 billion in funding from Ribbit Capital, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed ...
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Le Monde with AFP | Sep 12, 2019 Bruno Le Maire expressed his hostility towards this cryptocurrency project, saying that "the monetary sovereignty of states is at stake" Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Thursday (September 12th) that France was refusing to authorize the development "on European soil" of libra, the cryptocurrency that Facebook wants to launch in 2020. "Considerable financial disorder" "The monetary sovereignty of states is at stake," said the minister at the opening of a conference of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) dedicated to the challenges of cryptocurrencies - without specifying, however, what concrete measures he wanted engage to prevent the spread of libra in Europe. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know In his speech, Bruno Lemaire described as "systemic" the risks that could result from this "possible privatization of a currency (...) held by a single actor that has more than 2 billion users on the planet" . "Any failure in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves, could create considerable financial disorders , " justified the Mayor, also fearing that the libra is replacing the national currency in the States where the currency is weak or ...
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Bruno Le Maire Minister Finance of France vows to block facebooks libra - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
CNBC | Bob Pisani | Sep 10, 2019 Key Points The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public. Jay Clayton says his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public and that his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Monday, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the lack of more IPOs and the inability of most of the Main Street investing public to access private markets was a “growing concern.” Clayton addressed what he called the “two segments” in capital markets: the public markets, and private ones, including private equity and venture capital investments. See:  The Solution To The Fintech IPO Shortage “Twenty-five years ago, the public markets dominated the private markets in virtually every measure,” he said. “Today, in many measures, the private markets outpace the public markets, including in aggregate size.” Clayton wants to make the ...
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Nesta UK | Rosalyn Old and Johnathan Bone | Sep 4, 2019 Earlier in May 2019, Nesta commissioned a report called 'Taking Ownership:  Community Empowerment through Crowdfund Investments' that looked at how community-led projects have the power to transform local areas socially, economically and environmentally and how institutions such as local governments, municipal authorities and foundations, can help community-led initiatives by making the most of new investment crowdfunding models (eg community shares and bonds). Key Findings Investment crowdfunding has been used to fund a broad range of local assets, including but not limited to, saving local shops and pubs from closure, creating new community centres and art spaces, and expanding leisure facilities and infrastructure projects. Potential opportunities in using investment crowdfunding for community-led initiatives include helping to fund projects that would otherwise struggle to access finance elsewhere, increasing the use of and volunteering for community initiatives, and strengthening local resilience and self-determination by bringing communities together to improve their area. The main challenges for community organisations raising money in this way include gaining access to assets to buy or use on a temporary basis, transitioning from grassroots fundraising to implementing a project and avoiding negative impacts on diversity and inclusion ...
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NCFA Canada on behalf of our partner's Lending Loop | Sep 11, 2019 HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A CHESHIRE CAT SMILE? Well they deserve it. Back in October 2015, NCFA made this introductory video with Cato Pastoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, about a peer to peer lending marketplace for small businesses model that was new to Canada but was achieving significant growth internationally. The question and opportunity was back then:  why not here in Canada? A question that many of us ask ourselves, ask the community and point fingers at strict regulations and high operating costs.  Well fast forward several years and growth obstacles later, and the Lending Loop story continues to impress with their latest milestone of lending over $50 million to deserving small businesses to help them grow and expand operations while providing retail and accredited investors direct access to a wide range of lending and investment options, a robust community and the chance to strengthen Canadian small business - here here! The early vision... Brandon Vlaar, Co-founder and CTO of Lending Loop sharing their good news! CONGRATS to the entire Lending Loop Team for achieving this latest milestone.  We've 'got your back' and look forward ...
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NCFA Guest Post | Sep 9, 2019 The world was shook when online money was first introduced. Some people didn’t like the idea. They’d prefer having something tangible, something that they can actually see and touch to use as currency. Some people were positive about the new experience. They believe that it can certainly make life more convenient. But hey, we’re now in 2019 and online currency is still widely in use. In fact, its uses have expanded way more since it was first introduced (read more). One of the most popular and controversial of its time was BTC or Bitcoin. Even without studying cryptocurrencies, you’ve probably heard this term once or twice before. You may have come across it in the internet or someone may have encouraged you to try trading it. After all, when cryptocurrency was first brought to light, many people saw its potential in the trading market. And it has been making noise ever since. See:  New Regulatory Framework for Canadian Retail Payments Coming in 2019 At first, Bitcoin was surrounded with a lot of controversy – and of course, a lot of doubt. People were scared of exchanging real world money for something that you ...
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Holt Accelerator | Samah El Falah | Sep 11, 2019 Holt Deal Day event series are seeking senior representatives of financial institutions, or fintech investors and experts to attend Holt’s Deal Day, taking place at Vancouver (Sept. 20th), Toronto (Sept. 23rd), Waterloo (Sept. 27th), Montreal (October, 2nd). Don’t miss out on the opportunity to interact with eight up & coming Fintech stars who will surely make a difference in Canada and beyond. As an investor, corporate or expert interested in Fintech, our Deal Days offer you an insider’s view of the upcoming trends and current challenges the industry is facing. What do the Deal Days consist of? Coffee / Registration (30 minutes) Canada Fintech Presentation by Holt (15 minutes)  Presentation on the current Fintech Ecosystem. The challenges & insights we gathered about 3 core fintech areas: Cybersecurity/Data Protection, Wealth Management (including Digital Assets), & Lending. 10 table mini-breakout session (30 minutes) Detailed roundtable discussions surrounding one of the topics covered during the Holt presentation. Speed-Dating (2 hours and 30 minutes) You will have the opportunity to see the 2019 cohort pitch after being part of the Accelerator program for a month. Just like our Selection Days, each pitch will end ...
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Reuters | Tom Wilson | Sep 11, 2019 LONDON (Reuters) - “Hi guys, could you please show me a firm bid for 100 bitcoin?” a seller texts on Skype. Joel Fruhman, right, and Dan Fruhman, directors of BCB Group pose for a photograph in London, Britain August 29 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson “One sec. $10270.” Two minutes later: “Sorry guys, that was an old order from Friday when skype wasn’t working.” “I really think we should get off skype. Bad things could happen. Someone is going to make an expensive mistake.” See:  New money-laundering rules change everything for cryptocurrency exchanges A messaging exchange over a potential $1 million deal, between a European asset manager looking to sell bitcoin and broker Joel Fruhman, illustrates the casual and often chaotic nature of cryptocurrency dealmaking. Trades involving hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars are routinely struck via brief chats on apps like Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat or Zoom, often with scant certainty over the identities of participants or the legal basis of agreements. “We’d end up in a Zoom call with about five ‘introducers’ - we didn’t really know who any of them were,” said Fruhman, a physicist by training who started a cryptocurrency ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8): Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr

NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019

Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton

FF EP24 Daryl Hatton banner1000 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater

About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy!

  • Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets
  • Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases
  • Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin)

BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.”

* Senior Business and Technology Executive
* Proven Corporate / Product Development Execution
* Collaborative Leader / Corporate Strategist
* Experienced in Tech Mergers and Acquisitions
* IPO (OPTO) on NASDAQ 1999
* Successful sale of OPTO to EPAY April 2008
* Successful sale of Backstage Technologies to Real Networks 2010
* Multiple private buy/sell transactions while at Optio
* IPO (Modatech) on TSXV 1987
* Multiple successful software startups with Angel / Private Funding
* Mentor / advisor / board member of multiple startups
* Successful, deep partnerships with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Google

Fundrazr and connectionpoint logo - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater

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Transcription of Interview

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

Manseeb Khan: Daryl thanks so much for sitting down with me today. I mean I'm super excited to jump right into it.

Daryl Hatton: Happy to be here. We're going to have some fun.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, could you just for the audience give us a little bit of who you are and essentially who and what Connection Point?

Is sure  well I'm Daryl Hatton founder and CEO companies call connection point. We're best known for FundRazr which our  enterprise crowdfunding platform is. I'm a serial entrepreneur, startup company took a public on Nasdaq way back in nineteen ninety-nine and we had one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. that year. Fast forward a bunch of years and I left that and said gee do I want to do business again. And I started Connection Point six months in the day after I left the other company. And along the way we started to do fundraising. We learned a whole lot about the market. And here we are.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, what made you kind of switch. Like so why crowdfunding ? Like this was I'm assuming this is early 2000s, right? Like you said you were essentially one of the OG's entrepreneurs out here. Yeah. Why crowdfunding ?

Daryl Hatton: It was actually 2008 and one of the things that we were looking to do is like I want to start this new business but because I was under an intellectual property rights deal with my previous company actually couldn't think about it really. And being careful about it didn't want to think about it while I was with the other company. So, six months in a day I now get free and out and I said OK what can I do. And it took from about September of that year until January to really figure out that I wanted to get into the social funding space. And the reason I was doing it was I was coaching a lacrosse team and I was looking for ways to get paid and to raise money for my team. So, I collect some fees and take some donations because we had a 50/50 turnouts and all that kind of stuff. And I had a little epiphany. I was trying to also get the guys out to practice and I was sending out emails. Nobody was showing up, but I started a Facebook group and posted the date, time of practice and I had a 100 percent attendance. The first time I did that, and a light bulb went on and said Hey can I get them to pay their fee like that. And FundRazr was born. So, it really was all about trying to scratch my own itch and in the early days as we developed the idea of paying the fees really didn't take off very well. But the idea of collecting donations went nuts and that's what we built the company around.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, could you still sticking on the early days I know on our call before we  even started the episode you compare like the early days of crowdfunding and how it's very parallel to now the early days of crypto and Block chain. Could you just go a little bit more detailed about that?

Daryl Hatton: Oh, for sure yeah. I mean when we started crowdfunding no one knew what to call it. And I even had the opportunity to buy crowdfunding dot.com as a domain name and was given some advice by a bunch of people in the industry going I never nobody ever wanted to call it that. Yeah right.  Oops. So, you know the interesting things that happened at that time, but we were really struggling in the beginning to try and talk about this intersection of social media and of finance technology and of marketing technology all into one platform that becomes a crowdfunding campaign. So, we used the word crowdfunding a whole lot. And if you went to the crowdfunding conferences everyone was talking crowdfunding and to the people who were not in the industry, they would come in they hear us and they're going. What the hell are you guys talking about. Like you're not making sense. All you're doing is dropping these buzzwords all the time and one of the things that I hear going on now at crypto conferences and block chain and the whole area of the new innovation and fintech around this is the same thing. There's a ton of terminology. Ask an entrepreneur what they do. And they'll have you know they'll talk about how they've got this unique twist on what they do with block chain to do Dut, Da Dut, Da. One of the lessons we learned from the crowdfunding world is can you explain what you do without ever using your buzzword. Can you explain the value of your business to somebody and have them get it? Why it's important. And why you're going to win without ever using the words. So, for any crowdfunding or any sorry crypto or block chain entrepreneur right now can you tell me why your business will be successful without ever using the words crypto or block chain or any of the terminology around it. What's the business value that you're delivering to the customer. And why is that really important. It may be a technical function that you're delivering but there's a business reason and they're not just a technology reason. And the companies that win are the ones that figure out how to communicate that business reason and build the technology to solve it. Big learning what we had over that time is just you know kind of buzzwords are cool and let make you feel like you're in the crowd but stop it. Start talking about your business and the value and the customers may see a little bit more boring. But it's got a way better higher chance of success.

Manseeb Khan: No, I absolutely agree with you. And I guess I mean like you took a misstep and you said crowdfunding. I think crowdfunding is still in that same conversation. Now you want to be able to kind of give the elevator pitch with like your industry jargon. Right. You want to be able to like to go to like roll up to any random person at Starbucks and kind of like hey this is actually my business does sound like a good idea right.

Daryl Hatton: Yeah. And you know it's easy to stumble into. I mean as I just did it you know it's a shortcut for us to try and take a set of concepts that we have in our head and communicate more easily to other people who also have similar concepts. And it’s just good practice to try and do it without that. Yeah. Absolutely. It's  kind of fun once you get into it because you get to laugh at yourself a lot. Keep taking a shortcut.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. I can absolutely see that see that. So, you guys focus on an enterprise crowdfunding could you just explain a little bit like why is that different than the Kickstarter's and the Indigo's goes out there.

Daryl Hatton: Well yeah it might help to kind of hear the path we've got to with that. And so, let me give you a little bit of background. When we started our crowdfunding platform, we were all about personal funding. Helping people raise money because they had cancer, they had a tragedy, they had a car accident something happened in their lives and they needed emergency funds. And the best way to do that was to talk to the friends and family and get them to the money to help because those are the people, we're most invested in helping you. And it worked, it saved babies and it helped people recover from car accidents and then help people deal with medical bills especially in the United States and along the way. You know we one of the ways we had to communicate was to use Facebook to share and as we were doing that some non-profits came along, and they said you know we love this kind of toolset but it's kind of weird to use it as a person. So, could we use it under the name of our organization. So, we start. Or the name of our charity. So, we added features in to make it so that you could do a personal campaign or charitable campaign. And that ended up you know giving us a whole new set of requirements but a whole new set of customers. And then Kickstarter the time was doing a good job and Indiegogo was starting to do more in funding of entrepreneurial style projects or creative projects. And we ended up getting asked hey can we find our project with you because you guys seem to be really good at social sharing. So now we've got three constituent groups of customers personal, nonprofit and now entrepreneurial or creative and over the period of time as we built out all the features for all of those it started to become what we call an enterprise crowdfunding platform. And the reason for that is that we're solving a lot of the problems for those customers at a much more deep level about things like team` communications around running your crowdfunding campaign. Can you have a lot of people on your team both as managers. Which is pretty easy for most apps to think about but then also as things like promoters. Can you hire somebody on to the team whose job it is to go in and promote you to influencers in the industry and track the results and help figure out whether or not they're helping you raise money for your campaign. So, we call it an enterprise crowdfunding platform right now because the basics of what a crowdfunding campaign are have morphed into. In our case over 10 different ways to do campaigns and some of them are very charitable focused. Some of them are very personal focused and some of them are very much a business focus.

Manseeb Khan: I LOVE THAT! I kind of want you to tell the story that you told me over the phone of that father reaching out to you about as a little girl and like how the example that you use like some people create a business to create a business. Some people kind of fall into the business. Can you can you tell that story a little because I loved it so much.

Daryl Hatton: Yeah. You know one of the things people look at us with FundRazr and there is we've got the different brands we'll talk about this a little bit as well is that there's different ways to do crowdfunding. And when people look at our technology, they get confused by it. So, we actually give it different brand names to help separate the customers apart from each other. Funny enough. But the story that you're referring to when we first launched in it, we kind of have to do a relaunch of the platform in July of 2010 after surviving a near-death experience with Facebook kicking the chair out from underneath us and we'll talk about that maybe too. But basically. So, when we started the campaign and we're focused on these personal donations and my goal in starting this was to build a business. I wasn't trying to go save the world. I wasn't trying to raise money for charitable causes and that was because it was a good thing to do for the planet. I was trying to build a business and we were really struggling. Trying to help ourselves understand why customers were using this and what they were really trying to do. And it feels now like we were just so totally naive about what was going on. But so, we launched in July of 2010 and we're going along we're watching this incredible growth happening. All these people are using these campaigns and we're really focused on how we help them raise more money but not really thinking about why they're raising more money. And then we got a Christmas card, the Christmas card was from a family that had been living off the grid in Hawaii. I think there was maybe people living on the beach kind of thing. He got out of the U.S. military they'd hooked up as a couple they'd had a little girl and you know so they didn't have. They were kind of dropped out a little bit to the system. I think they didn't have health insurance that kind of thing. And they discovered that their little girl had been diagnosed with childhood leukemia. So, in the race to try and figure out how to save her again no health insurance in the US there for that. They found out that the military hospital in San Diego would take her because he'd been in the military, but they had to get the girl there A.S.A.P. because childhood leukemia is a very fast-moving disease. So, they put up a campaign or a FundRazr and they raised that I think it was thirty-five hundred dollars. They needed to get the flights. Like you know right now and given the low accommodation when they hit San Diego and they took a couple of days and they got her there and when they got her there the doctor said if you hadn't got her here today or tomorrow, she probably would have died. And so, they sent us a thank you card saying thanks for helping save our daughter's life. We didn't I mean that just smacked us hard. We had no idea that really that was kind of an end result if you will. The business value of what we delivered wasn't raising money. It was helping save somebody's life or helping save a puppy dog or helping someone recover from an accident. Those are the things the real value we're delivering it wasn't collecting money in a social environment. And so that epiphany just really changed how we looked at the business. And you know we still are a profit-making business, really low on the profit side because we're trying to scale it and it's a harder market than people might think. But it is you know there is that nice benefit that we actually have this big business value. That's a very personal value in a very charitable value in the background and that's a fantastic way to come to work every morning and think about what you do for the day is you help people save probably dogs and little girls.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I mean that's probably the best customer testimonial I've probably ever heard possibly ever if not in a very long time. You did briefly before you jumped in the store you talked about how you broke down your business in to different kind of brands could you talk a little bit more about that and how that ties it to you guys scaling because like you said you guys are not as quote unquote profitable because you're trying to scale. Could you talk a little bit more of the challenges scaling and being a crowdfunding service?

Daryl Hatton: Started connection point and we knew that. I don't know. I just had this hunch that the technology that we were going to build would have more than one use case in the marketplace because really,  it's a marketing system. And so what kind of problem are you trying to solve with it as a marketing system was a personal? Was it corporate? Was it charitable? So we started a FundRazr with the idea that it was the general-purpose platform for crowdfunding using a donations or a rewards type model. So, donations model being your traditional charitable thing. GoFundMe is a good example of that. The rewards model is the Kickstarter or Indiegogo model where you're doing an all or nothing campaign and you're giving the donor some reward back. So that was really it took the majority of our focus and energy and as a result we tended to lump more customers into that pile than we may should have because you know it was just more convenient just as kind of keep them focused on the one brand for a while. But over the last couple of years we've really noticed that a couple of different use cases are showing up that are worth separating them out from the main stream. So, it's all the same technology with a different skin on it and sometimes a little bit of a tweak to the feature set an example that is one of our brands we call CoCoPay. CoCoPay stands for collaborative community payments and it's designed to be used by businesses to allow or enable their customers to use crowdfunding to help them finance the purchase of the product or service. That's a big one mouthful but if you imagine I don't know if you remember. I don't know if we had this chat but there's the company in the States called in Enchroma and they do glasses that you can put on and if you're colorblind it'll help show you colors for about 80 percent of the people who are colorblind that put them on. It's really emotional to not have seen color. And now to see it. I mean this world is full of color, but the glasses are you know mildly expensive there between if you do it right, you're probably going to get two pairs of them they're going to be between five hundred  to one thousand dollars and some people can't afford that. So if you go to the Enchroma web site there's a spot on their site where you can use our technology to start a crowdfunding campaign that will with a  Enchroma branding tell the story using  Enchroma glasses and help you communicate that to your friends and family and co-workers and others in your social network and help you buy the glasses. Now it might be for you but one of the most common use cases is to buy them as a gift for somebody else. So, a classroom we'll get together buy them for their teacher and then or someone will buy them for a military vet they had that happen. Not quite sure how they got there with colored blind, but they did. So that was really cool. And then you know they'll buy them for Grandpa because Grandpa has never had it always took care of the kids, got them go to college, got the grandkids going  never really took the time to figure it out for himself or was it didn't have anything available. So, the family gets together buys Grandpa glasses that let him see color for the first time and the incredible folks tell you how to do it right to capture your YouTube moment. They say take a whole bunch of colorful balloons and take him outside somewhere and don't tell him what it's all about it just ask them to put all these cool looking sunglasses and they look cool stylish glasses and usually what happens is the glasses go on the glasses come off. The glasses go on glasses come off and whoever it is crying. And they because you know it's that it's a super emotionally, I get it and there's some guys that have just gone off on the oh god, Oh my God they're so funny. But the point is that by allowing the community to work together to buy something it may not seem like it's big a use case. But if you get into a lot of medical devices that are maybe ten thousand dollars because you need special Walker you need something that gives someone mobility. They may not be able to afford it right away but their friends and their family and their social networks would go let's fix that for them. Their good person we'll fix that for them and CoCoPay lets them you know safely raise the money and pay it to the company as opposed to paying it into the individual so that you don't have to worry about fraud and it's all or nothing so that if you don't raise enough money nobody's out you know you don't get halfway towards buying one of these things and now what do you do with all the money and refund it to everybody and take a few gets the payment companies you know you're kind of in a net loss for trying to do something good. So, it takes all the best of the crowdfunding technologies of all or nothing social sharing teamwork collaboration in our case you know branding of the company and puts it all together in a package that somebody can use to crowd finance a purchase. Is some idea of where it's the same technology? But if we're going to sell it to a company, they don't want to come to our Web site and see that we're raising, we're saving puppy dogs and little girls they're going how does this affect our business. Why am I doing that? And so, there's a dedicated site to CoCoPay to talk about its business value. But ninety-nine-point eight percent of the technology is the same as FundRazr.

Manseeb Khan: Mm hmm. I mean this does bleed into I guess my next question of corporate good right and how you're seeing. You've mentioned that in the phone call we have that how corporations are now not for the sake of oh hey we're going to go and plant trees just for the sake of planting trees. Now we're going to go and pick an issue that our customers or clients are very passionate about and then try to spearhead it and like the best example I can think of would be when Adidas and Nike decided to take all like ocean pollution plastic and remake it into sneakers because ocean pollution was something that both companies audiences were very passionate about. So, they created a sneaker behind it and that started this whole renewable shoe movement. Right. So why is or how is corporate got like corporate good better or better than the government initiatives that are going on or the charity initiatives or it is, or should we see it as more as like a tag on.

Daryl Hatton: One of the things I didn't say in the beginning. If you actually look at mission of what we have with Connection Point we're trying to well, we are We're reimagining philanthropy. And one of the reasons that we want to do that is that the hypothesis is that we can get causes, corporations and consumers to all work together to solve world funding problems because that everyone can have a win in that and the collective group of all of them also gets a win. So, for example you know you said it very well that consumers are now wanting to have their companies do more than just supply them the product. You know in the case  of the shoe companies they saw an opportunity to not only sell shoes but to solve an environmental problem at the same time. And they knew through research that their consumers would really like that. That's got a kind of a social impact space. You talk about multiple bottom lines you know the bottom line I get a great pair of shoes from a brand that I love the story behind the shoes is fascinating and fantastic. You know these used to be junk in the ocean and they've turned it into look at these things these are amazing. And that at the same time that's reducing pollution in the ocean. So, the consumer there is driving that behavior because they are demanding more from their partners and the partners are interested in doing this because it builds loyalty with their customers. Their ability to go in and use the best things of what corporations can do which is communication at massive scale and the ability to actually execute on programs to change social problems and in some cases though they need to have something like a charity partner actually do some of that work for them especially when it gets into softer skills. So if you've got a company that's not about saving plastic but maybe helping with mental health or maybe helping with child poverty or food distribution or food  safety quality for lower income families all sorts of things like that the corporation might want a partner with a charity for the charity deliver the work in the field but then be able to use the fact that they're supporting that charity as a story for their consumers saying hey you know we all care about this together. Why don't you buy our products? We work with this company and there's a trading of value that goes on in that system where they get money to the charity to do the work the consumer feels great because they know this charity is doing the work. And they may end up establishing a better relationship with the charity and they're more loyal to the company for buying that product. So, it I think it's one of the changes we're going to see in society in the next few years. Is this is going to become the standard way to do it. Because it takes advantage of the strengths of all three parties and we built a product around that that we call Sponsifi and Sponsifi designed to do the place where the company can even make an offer of to the donors or the contributors on how they might want to further support the cause. So again, getting that branding out there that says we're supporting this cause and helping the company get better value for the money that they can spend on it and a more measure of resolve. So that was a lot of words in there, but you know if you can take out the idea that basically cost corporation consumers are going to work together because they already are. We just want to make it easier to do and less expensive for the companies particularly. And I think we're going to see something else transform society.

Manseeb Khan: Yes. No absolutely that's kind of what crowdfunding is what one of the missions of crowdfunding is  to make the world make it a better place right. If it's be that you're saving a little girl or you're saving a little puppy or cleaning the oceans right like though the of the whole part is especially with I mean millennials like me. We love to see that like corporations’ charities governments are taking more of an initiative to actually go after these social causes because these social causes are so near and dear to our heart. And now that companies are kind of using that  maybe some  could be as a marketing ploy some could because they actually truly believe in the said cause it's. Yeah. Crowdfunding. It's going to be very exciting in the years to come. So, with that what is the future of crowdfunding look like. And essentially what are you excited about in the space right. Are you excited that maybe in the future you might have like this block chain integration? I excited that you can start tokenization a lot of donations?

Daryl Hatton: There's lots in there. Let's just before we go there let's think about one thing around. You know I talked a lot about causes and what's going on there and a lot of entrepreneurs that might be listening to this are going here. But what has that applied to me. I don't know I'm just trying to startup and I want to get this product out there and I'm having trouble with funding it. So, one of the benefits of crowdfunding in here is also the fact that because it enables communities to work together to solve a funding problem that's basically the bottom line and what it does. Let's not worry about whether it's charitable or corporate or whatever but if we all can work together and help us work together on that. One of the side effect benefits of this is that businesses that need not have been able to start before because of lack of capital can take a community of interested customers/prospects and we'll be customers and use the model to help them preorder enough product that they can go through the R&D phase the initial production run and get the product into the hands of consumers who really want it. That's a social benefit because now we have a company that was created out of thin air literally and it's providing income and it's providing satisfaction to consumers and it's providing opportunity for people that live out some of their dreams and maybe change the world because they've got a better widget in some form. It's more efficient it's more friendly it's easier to use, it goes faster whatever the real benefit in there is those things are helping our society as well. And a lot of the entrepreneurs that are starting up campaigns right now are small companies are realizing that they have to have that kind of social responsibility aspect baked into their company for two reasons one to attract their customers. And I think this is actually way more important doesn't get enough press to attract their employees. If you want to work for nameless soulless company, you know big office tower why I am here every day. This sucks you know I don't enjoy my work I don't really feel like I'm making an impact or by the way we work for the company we're really clear the part of what we do is to help with this social problem or you know 10 percent of the proceeds of the profits from our company go to support the producers families who are helping us build this neat new eco backpack you know I don't know make up a story there but basically that feeling of going to work and having purpose which we discovered by accident is one of the key motivators for digital natives, millennials and gen Z to want to go to work and they will work really a ton of harder and put more of their life into their work when they feel like that work has got an impact on the planet. So, you can use crowdfunding as a way to help fund the idea. And for all entrepreneurs that are looking to start up a business there. It's a great way to get revenue into your company without having to give up ownership you know equity and securities. Crowdfunding is great but you are giving up. It's the most expensive money you'll ever get because it costs you a big chunk of your company in the future. But sometimes that's all you can do. So, you do it. But if you can fund it with some of these others and have that social tie in you can not only launch your product but build a company where people want to work and where you can have some real satisfaction to work home at the end of the day. So, I think there's a lot in there and that's one of the things I'm very excited about. You know that's part of future is now because it's just not evenly distributed. Well who is it. Who said that the future is has arrived it's not just evenly spread out? We can do that now and then to answer your question about some of the other technology you know what I think of crypto and block chain and much of that industry about is how we make things more transparent and make it easy for us to see kind of our thread that ties through the financial story of the organization.  So, in the charitable world we look at this and say if you made a contribution to a cause to build wells in Africa. Which well in Africa did my money go to build in crypto being mechanism for kind of tracking where the value is with block chain being where did it deploy. What's the ledger of it seems like it's going to be a very interesting topic because when people make a donation they really want to know what good they did? And I can see some technology in there helping make that happen at the moment it's a bit of a geeky love because consumers aren't necessarily demanding that level of transparency, but it could be really cool once we have it because then they might start demanding it more once they know they can get it. So, I think there's lots of things will happen in our financial world because of this distributed ledger capability.

Manseeb Khan: And I think you'd like to harp on more of the transparency aspect. At some point I think people would be pretty excited to see that like oh hey I like that little girl that I donated 30 bucks to. You can kind of track it like how you track like your orders on Amazon right. At some point we'll probably get to like that level of transparency. really. Oh cool. They actually hit this goal or the next milestones that's like that's something to kind of look forward to and it's like it's maybe not gamifying it but like it's you know it just like fueling the fire of  doing good.

Daryl Hatton:  Your right on with that we actually do that now in FundRazr. We have a concept called micro project and we've been leading the industry and trying to talk about this transition from don't fund. I'll give me a really concrete example of this.

Manseeb Khan: No please do!

Manseeb Khan: There's a cause called One Girl Can that helps girls in Eastern Africa get an education because the founders of this cause were very successful in business and  the couple he continued to run the business and she decided to run her foundation on the side of it and the foundation was about helping these girls get an education because they knew that the change in the quality of the life for them and even more so for the members of their community was so huge. So, what they were doing is they're building schools in Eastern Africa. And last year we said to them you know that's a major project to build the school. What if we broke it down into a whole series of micro projects? Let's talk about each of the girls that needs to go through these schools and what would be their life like if they were able to go. What are their hopes and dreams and aspirations and let's get people to fund them individually because in aggregate you're going to get enough money to do your funding for the school? And so, we call that micro projects dividing a major project down into the hundreds or thousands of small little projects and our technology is designed to make that really efficient. But now the interesting thing the stories that can come out of this imagine that you know you sign up to help  Purdy one of the girls and she wants to be an engineer because we know that you signed up to fund just Purdy. We can send you updates on what's happening with just Purdy and her journey going through school. So, giving you that same kind of ongoing view into your social investment different you know you put in money but if you're looking for a social payback and not a financial payback. Letting you track Purdy progress we said our you know dream story here is that Purdy adds to her campaign because she's an adult she can do that a young adult but she gets out to her story saying guys I'm really nervous I'm going in for my final here. I really appreciate all the support you've given me to get to this point. M.M. You have an audience in North America around the world waited with bated breath and a little while later you get a thing going. I passed and happiness is going over North America. Because together they made a difference right. Yeah. So, it's that we're doing it now without having to have that level of transparency in the block chain you know to do that but maybe block chain help make it a little bit more precise a little more guaranteed.  That you know what really happened. Somebody just didn't read a verdict. You know the janitor there you want to know that you actually get the good work. Yeah. It brings up other stuff like how do we find overhead? But that a different problem to solve.

Manseeb Khan:  I love the fact that how. Like your example really solidifies the. It takes a village to raise a child. You're going to like hopefully in the future you're going to see like actual like villages or like  digital villages helping raise children like in Africa or like Syria or when they have you only got like following that story it's kind of like its kind of like a vlog.

Daryl Hatton: So, it's well you know I think one of the other projects we're looking at is to fund portable solar powered charging stations in for villages in Africa. And would people be willing to donate to help make that happen if they can hear the stories of the villagers lives that have been transformed. Because when they have power they can study. The kids in the village and study at night without having to burn kerosene in their homes which is so hard on their health and is expensive. So, if they could end up having light that will let them on their laptop or their phone or their board the tablet, they're starting to get some technology but they don't even have power yet. Giving them a way to have power, would consumers around the world be willing to support some of that and in you know in exchange for the stories that are going to come out of that village and the impact it's going to create. And if you take a kind of an interesting view of philanthropy as a form of entertainment it's a discretionary spend like it's we just choose to spend it. But some people are willing to spend small amounts of money to see that that result happen more than wanting to go to a movie or wanted to go up for you know a lot of people say hey I'll give up a cup of coffee discretionary spend element  every day for a month just to make sure Purdy gets through example right. That's philanthropy as entertainment. And I think that's one area we're heading to as well.

Manseeb Khan: I love it. Philanthropy is entertainment. I can.

Daryl Hatton: We're reimagining philanthropy. We've got to do that. You know you have basically all of this it is brain chemicals where you're buying endorphins and oxytocin when you make a contribution. That's how warm lovely feeling you get when you feel like you've helped somebody is oxytocin. It's the brain hormone and funnily enough it you know if you give lots of little gifts you get way more of it than if you give one big gift. So, in some ways I mean we're brain drug pushers. We're trying to get you hooked on philanthropy and crowdfunding is your gateway drug. So just be careful.

Manseeb Khan: I'm definitely using on the podcast description of crowdfunding is your gateway drug to philanthropy.

Daryl Hatton: Philanthropy is entertainment. God this story is writing itself right.

Manseeb Khan: Oh yeah. It really is. It really it really is. So too.

Manseeb Khan: I mean hey do you have any additional things you want to throw in like any anything that the audience should be aware of either. Things that you guys are doing at your company or thing other things that are going on in the crowdfunding space.

Daryl Hatton: I think one of the things that I would love more entrepreneurs to know in this is that if we're in the crowdfunding world together you know I talked a lot about how it takes community and I think first startup community in especially in FinTech space and others it is really important for us to think about how we help each other as opposed to how we're just always in competitive mode or selfish mode because it's amazing the amount of help that we've had on the way and the amount of help that now I can help muster for other startup companies. I'm currently advising 20 different startups and you know I've got a nice network that I've built up over the years that they can count on to help them. This working together thing which we learn through doing our crowdfunding business is one of the keys to actually making your business successful. And I really encourage a lot of the entrepreneurs to think about that that when they're thinking about how they ask for help. Also ask how they can help, and it changes the conversation dramatically. And you know you get much better results much faster.

Manseeb Khan: So, to wrap this up will be the best way for the audience to either contact you personally and or Connection Point. Do we snap you? Do we tweet you? do we e-mail you? Smoke signal? What we'll be the best way to contact you guys?

Daryl Hatton: Best way to hit me find me on LinkedIn. Daryl Hatton mention the show or else I might ignore you because so many sales guy is trying to hit me up that way and you can FundRazr.com.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome Darryl. Thank you so much for sitting down today. I mean and thank you for opening our minds to crowdfunding and making the world a much better place.

Daryl Hatton: Thanks for having me talk soon.

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

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater 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 FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop

NCFA Canada | Nov 2, 2018

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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Ep16-Nov 2:  Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses

About this episode:   On this episode NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO of Lending Loop Cato Pastoll. They chat about what opening banking is, how it might look like an app store, and how it gives power back to consumers. Enjoy! (see Transcript)

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest:  CATO PASTOLL, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop (view Linkedin)

Bio:  Cato Pastoll is the CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, Canada's first peer-to-peer lending marketplace for business lending. Prior to starting Lending Loop, Cato served as the Executive Vice President of a medium sized software consulting business. In addition to holding a senior management position, he attained experience building and managing robust commercial applications. Cato also brings relevant industry experience from his time developing a loan evaluation and management solution for a private mortgage lender.

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Transcription of Interview

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

Manseeb Khan: Today I have an incredible guest today. OK. If you heard of the company Lending Loop I have the CEO today. I got Cato.  Cato thank you so much for sitting down today. I mean I'm very excited to just get the show on the road. I mean we have a very interesting topic and I'm very excited to share with people.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I'm excited as well. Thanks for having me on.

Manseeb Khan: So, I guess for just a minute could you just give us a little bit of your background and essentially what Lending Loop is?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah Lending Loop Canada's first marketplace for small businesses to be able to access affordable financing. And then investors people like yourself and myself who want to lend money directly to businesses. So essentially what we're doing is cutting out the traditional intermediaries who will be lending and rather allowing businesses to be able to access financing from regular Canadians who want to lend money to them.

Manseeb Khan: I'm glad that I can be my own little investor and help as many small businesses that I can. So, I mean the topic that I really want to discuss with you today is a topic that many of us probably seen in the media it from blog posts or even from videos would be open banking. So, could you guess a little bit. Tell us what open banking is and I guess how integral and what this means to the bank space?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. Open Banking can generally cover a lot of different areas or mean a lot of different things. But a high level generally kind of what people are referring to is the ability for people to be able to access banking data or other companies to be able to access your banking data. So, it's likely that you and I and probably the people who are listening to this have a bank account with maybe one of the big five Canadian banks or perhaps the smaller bank and they have a lot of data on transactional history around us. Who we are, our address all types of personal information as well as transactional bank information. Now that information is incredibly valuable and really the theory is that that information should belong to you not actually to the bank and we're open banking is really kind of contemplating is sharing that information or at least giving you the ability to access and share that information that your will. So, if what you say you want to give Lending Loop access to that information. Very seamlessly that you would authorize the banks to give us that information we'd be able to access that in order to provide better products. Products and experiences

Manseeb Khan: Ha. Okay. So, this kind of this really ties into I guess having a digital identity and having a sovereign identity right of we're seeing a lot of people pushing it from individual CEOs like yourself or just other institutions or other I guess organizations pushing for this identity and that having a digital identity would just be one more step closer. Open banking would be one more step closer of having digital identities and having companies in the future actually recognize your digital passport. In a sense, right?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah absolutely. I mean like it or not and, in a capitalist, driven society. Finance and financials are really a core to who you are from an identity perspective not just from a verification or an identification perspective but more importantly kind of makeup. A lot of the pieces of information and how many who someone is. And so, when we think about kind of open banking exactly what you just referenced is true. Now we're talking about layering on financial type information on somebody's personal profile if you want to call it that. So absolutely this is really something that that is. Kind of critical. When it comes to determining what that future of identification and Id profile look like.

Manseeb Khan: I like the aspect of it. You get to pick and choose who you share information and it's a lot like I guess if you have an android phone you can actually go within the apps and then you can kind of like pick and choose what the app can get access to it's kind of interesting of like it's the very similar concept but look more like a broader perspective. Yeah. Lending Loop can have this, this, this, and this but RBC or TD can't have  access to that, So I like that.

Cato Pastoll: That's a really good analogy and yeah, I think one that a lot of people identify with you know even with Facebook being in the news a lot lately. A lot of it is around that and like who get see your information and you get to share that information. You know open banking is basically extending that to the financial realm like who gets to access and see financial data because up until this point it's really only been banks that have been able or allowed to see that. And maybe that is actually to your benefit to be able to share that information with either you know people that you know or other companies that you want to do business

Manseeb Khan: Wouldn't an open banking be a threat to the current banking system now because now what open banking is or what I'm understanding is it's opened up a broader marketplace for people. For customers to just be able to pick and choose and to switch between banks with a couple of clicks right? Like I could switch my mortgage plan if I currently have it with CIBC I can switch it to TD because I've got these better rates, or I want to switch my savings plan from RBC back to TD or whatever so. I guess. Why would banks themselves even. Put their hat in the ring for this and. Why would banks even consider this at all?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah and I don't think that it's voluntary. I think I can do more. More part of a general pressure to provide better experiences to consumers. Banks are an oligopoly in their highly regulated and they're essentially protected by governments in every authority including Canada. Right. So, the banks are incredibly hard to create. They're also an incredibly hard to break down and that's when we think about like why this might happen. Really, it's too people you know to the benefit of the people who use banks so just the regular people. The customers and the businesses that leverage banking services. No, it's in our interest to. Be allowed to access that data. And I think kind of philosophically a lot of people believe that data actually belongs to you not the bank. You know the bank is kind of providing us with that service but at the end of the day. The data that they are leveraging, with the data that we're providing to them you know a lot people can have the sentiment that that belongs to us. Now what that actually means that from imprecations perspective is. You know people who are looking to build better products or better experiences for customers can now do that by kind of treating banks as kind of like your back in infrastructure right. Traditionally you think about banks as you were just describing and as you know that the end to end delivery of a product or service very like the know that they're giving you credit cards they give you mortgages. Well you know the bank doesn't have to not exist if somebody else to provide a credit card or mortgage they can rather just kind of be the backend service provider. where they allow other people, you know other companies to basically be more of that front-end customer facing solution that leverages their infrastructure their data maybe even the technology to be able to deliver some of those solutions. So, you know the reason that we're moving in this direction is because at the end of the day it's of benefit to the customer benefit not just from an experience perspective but also financially you know on average Canadian banks are generating. That to 2x the average ROE of U.S. banks and 3x the average ROE of UK banks. So, when you think about that you know people like yourself and me are actually paying for that and you know it's not surprising to think that policymakers and politicians want to kind of shake that up and actually. Give some value back to customers who are actually using it, the Canadian banks.

Manseeb Khan: Going back to the cell phone analogy it more of a market like it actually a true and true marketplace where we will have like the TD version of an app store and you'll have like financial tech companies like ourselves coming in and just providing all these services right.

Cato Pastoll: In a way I mean many different ways, there are many different ways that it could play out in practicality that that's for sure. One of the ways you know what a bank becomes I think is an interesting question and probably one that we could we could spend a whole hour talking about like what a bank might look like in the future as a result of it. But I think that the underlying thing is that they need to share or open data to people who want access.

Manseeb Khan: And it just makes I mean again I’m probably thinking of this more of a from a fintech standpoint because I'm so much  for team David here. It just makes banks even more like customer centric right.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean you know. Going on that point about being customer centric or delivering product experiences that are better or cheaper for customers if fintech or financial technology companies are able to do that much better than banks are. And so, as a customer I'm going to win by being allowed or being able to access those services seamlessly you know going back to your point maybe not directly in the interest of the banks but in the long run it's kind of in the overall interest of Canadians.

Manseeb Khan: So how do you see open banking impact. Companies like yourself like being in the loan service industry and giving more customers to get from around?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. I mean for us you know we're as you mentioned we're in the lending industry if you want to call it about you know we're in the business of kind of connecting investors with small businesses. When you think about what we do at a higher level and really what we're trying to create is a better way for small businesses to access financial services. And the reason is that that that that that particular segment of customers that have been under serviced by traditional financial institutions or traditional lenders. So, you know when we think about what this means for a company like ourselves it's not just about how it applies to you or your lending product or how maybe it makes a loan application was seamless. It also opens up doors of possibilities for us to be able to deliver other products and experiences to those customers who may not have had access to those products or services before.

Manseeb Khan: So, it gives you an opportunity to be more or less a little bit more of a diverse company than just being centric on one part of the banking industry, right?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. I mean can I just keep harping on that point. You know you want to be customer centric. It allows you to be more customer centric because you're able to access more of the relevant information to your customers and providing them with better access to products and services.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no absolutely and especially if you have the data to back that up. so, then you can make it very tailored and very niche so that's very incredible. So, I guess since open banking is a very brand-new concept and you're seeing regulations being a little bit more tailored to the country I mean you're seeing places in the EU like they just adopted their second payment services directive. Right. The P2D2 which forces banks to open up the data and regulate the new market right. So, they're making more of a push to the financial tech companies that are allowed to have access to your data has to be actually regulated. have to go have to meet these guidelines, have to jump through these hoops. So, based off just stuff that's is happening in the EU, in Australia recently, you've been seeing in Japan they're slowly getting started. What does open banking regulations look like in Canada and I guess how you would want them to either be similar or different tailored to the Canadian market.

Cato Pastoll: It's a fair question. I think if you look at the progress here generally we're about five to 10 years behind any other authority when it comes to financial regulation. Generally speaking we're in our industry for example were significantly behind new jurisdictions like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. So, I you know I don't think you're seeing the same level of progress here in Canada as you're seeing in other jurisdictions. I think we're going to be much slower to adopt these things. There can sometimes be an advantage to being second or not being first and that advantage can be seeing what goes well and what doesn't go in other jurisdictions. I think like you know thinking about what this might look like. I think. Really you got to go back to who is this benefiting at the end of the day this is about driving value back to consumers. driving  back to people who use banking. Driving value back to small businesses. So, when we think about kind of what that might look like and what regulators need to consider when they're kind of creating new legislation on new frameworks for these businesses to exist or are these policies to exist really, I think the most important thing. To consider in that regard is how is it like who is going to benefit and how is it going to benefit them. I think something that kind of is light touch in terms of what it actually means for  fintech companies what it means to consumers what it means for banks. what one end up being that effective. And we'll probably see a little minor adoption I think I'd rather see us spend some time and create a robust strategy and policy around how we can create really rapid innovation in our banking sector. And I'll kind of give you the flip side of that coin if we don't do that and we don't do a great job of it. International companies that do benefit from open banking do benefit from fintech advancement and changes are likely to come to Canada at some point and kind of dominate the market here. So, you know the incentive is there because I think we've a great opportunity but there's also a massive kind of warning that we're given at risk which is if we're not fast enough to kind of jump into the race and we're going to get beaten by our international counterparts. So, you know that that's something that I really kind of. Think about from a regulatory perspective which is you want to get it right, but you don't want to spend too much time that you end up getting left behind.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no. I mean traditionally Canadians are very much by the book and they like to stay within the lines. So, it makes sense that Canada I guess like you to mentioned right either becomes second or third or fourth when it comes to fully adopted open banking and just later on hopefully dominate the open banking. We should probably like take our time understand fully and actually. The more information we have the more again data we've collected we can actually move accordingly towards that. I mean and again it's evolved or parish right. If we don't figure out fast enough we're just going to die out and nobody wants that.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean you look at kind of like what's happening with Netflix. you know Netflix is I think inevitably going to destroy the media industry here in Canada. You know when we think Rogers and Bell, Cogeco you know those companies have been protected by our government for so long. And regulation has been so slow to change, and people have heralded that.  You know on the flip side of that we're now seeing companies like Netflix, US companies that really have no attachment or need to this in Canada. From a from a domestic point of view you know they are solely headquartered in the U.S. Their assets are in the U.S. capital is flowing into the U.S. when we pay on that Netflix bills every month. You know they slowly but surely taking over that industry that was once Canadian. And I think that there's a stark warning that to think about there is a real possibility that that happens in banking or in the financial sector here in Canada. So, I think you know we do need to move pretty quickly because I think if we give the same attitude that we do in the telco industry or in the media industry that's definitely not a good sign. So, while being thoughtful is important taking too long is perhaps even more dangerous.

Manseeb Khan: But on that note it would be kind of funny to us to when we have kids of just of like yeah you know like before all you have to get is a Bell and Rogers and actually have cable. Now  the big three are the big four are like Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu so that be really funny.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah but the problem is. The problem is those companies are Canadian right now. That's like the fundamental challenge that you know people don't talk about that often but that's a lot of capital and a lot of profit that's being sucked out of Canada. I like that really scares me when I think about the future of the Canadian economy. Like I don't think we should put that as lightly as you know as we do great for me at the consumer I'm paying one tenth of what I did on my Rogers Bill. On my Netflix subscription. But at the end of the day like I think we're all kind of losing a little bit as Canadians. And I think that's something that like you know regulators and policy makers really need to pay attention to.

Manseeb Khan: No absolutely because it's I mean doing the show. I got to sit down with amazing CEOs like yourself and just understand the Canadian fintech marketplace a little bit better and it would really suck to see and like the Canadian fintech space just kind of slowly start diminishing because there's so much potential to so much promise and so many companies in the space itself are doing such amazing things. It really sucked to have I guess either American company or an Asian company to come in and just undercut everybody because we don't have the  regulations in place we have the right rules in place because again we took too long to figure it out.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, you're absolutely right. Like you said there's so much potential here. I think we need to really pay attention to that. Look at the positives like I don't like kind of always being  negative and saying what if you know what if this happens or what if a U.S. company comes to dominate. I think there's so much potential in so many positives here that so much of the right infrastructure. But sometimes I think the speed with the urgency doesn't exist. And I think like that that's the one thing that I think all of us as a community. Both you know the people that use our services as well as other companies in the space I think we could all do a better job of stressing that urgency to push things forward faster and innovate faster. Just kind of for our own benefits as well

Manseeb Khan: I guess. Do you see open banking being a little bit more global? Because I mean the reason I'm asking is because we're going to we're going to hopefully have regulations here in Canada when it comes open bank and you're already seeing this in the EU and you start to see this in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand like you've mentioned. Do you see  a global open banking regulation put in place with a I guess be it a Frankenstein version of some rules and regulations from Canada or some rules and regulations from the EU like do you see a global open banking regulation put in place later on? Once we fully adopted this concept.

Cato Pastoll: It's a good question. It's also a really difficult question. It's kind of one of those things like what comes first that you know the chicken or the egg  that type of thing. And what I mean by that is I think what's going to happen is that there will be no global banking existing and global financial technology services existing before regulation for it actually. Oh, I believe I'll be able to have  a you know quote unquote like the ability to move money seamlessly. Anywhere in the world sooner than I think regulation around how that's going to happen. And I think you can kind of apply that if you look at like Uber and Airbnb and then those types companies that have kind of come before a regulation caught up to them. I think you're going to see the same thing in open banking I don't think that. Companies are going to wait for regulators to create new rules or policies. I think that the innovation is actually going to come out and I think like some of those products services that probably fall on that you know on the edges of the of the categories of banking will probably force the issues for that to happen And that's just kind of my theory on it is I think you know the regulation will tend to lag the innovation. And I think you'll see that in the open banking space as well.

Manseeb Khan: Usually when you think regulation you don't really think innovation. So that's just a very hard balance to how right you because you want to protect investors you want to protect consumers at the same time you don't want to be in last place. So, it's a very hard beam to really balance on.

Cato Pastoll: You end up shooting if you over protect you end up shooting yourself in the right. Like I think the notion there's sometimes a flawed notion that no industry is better than a bad industry and that's very rarely the case. You know like at least having the possibility of making mistakes and learning from those mistakes gives you a better foot hold then simply not doing something because you're scared to try. And I'm sure you know if you see anyone in the startup space or are worked in an overseas company you know they'll give you a similar message which is not trying is definitely much worse than trying and failing. I think you know that's a really difficult message to share with a regulator or a policymaker like that. That's a really scary thing to say to somebody like that but it's definitely true because there's other people in the world who are thinking like that and I think like that that's something that I think we as Canadians have a big thing to overcome going back to what you said about conservatism. You know we are inherently more conservative. And so, getting over that barrier is definitely something that. We have to kind of actively think about.

Manseeb Khan: We definitely have to bite the bullet and understand that like we're really going to have to test and learn especially when it comes to policies and regulations because Open banking is such a new concept. and it's such like you said even when I even mention the whole oh I guess would be like an app store. It might not right because open banking such like a I guess of fluid into a lucid concept that it's going to have to be as fast as I guess changes in a startup like that's  the mentality we are going to have to have. When it comes to open banking because that's how fast and fast paced it's going to become.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean there's lots of there's lots of variables or unknowns as you said. So, it's not it's not a simple or straightforward answer to this. You know there could be an app store. It could be that a fundamentally changes the way the bank clerk it could even be that banks don't exist at all. You know I wouldn't rule out any possibility. So, you know when we think about what it means for the future of the financial sector or the future of banking I think we have to be open to all possibilities in terms of. What might things look like in 5 10 or 15 years.

Manseeb Khan: So, when you think of open banking one of the first concerns to mind would be the cyber risk and the security risk right because since we want to open up the data and make it accessible for quote unquote all there definitely will be privacy concerns. Could you talk a little bit more on the privacy concerns when it comes to open banking  or why or why not. It might be there, and I guess go  a bit more detail about that?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. You know if anything I kind of you are the as I least of it's done right. I view it as better for the customer when it comes to things like privacy. Like what it really is you know when you think about it giving people access and the ability to control their own data and whether data goes in it get shared with. Like right now you have very little control over it you know where your data is, how it gets stored, who it gets shared with. Like really, you’re just trusting whoever you're storing that data with. I think we're starting to see that change. You know I think especially Facebook is probably the biggest example of that obviously it's been in the news a lot over the last year. You know they've been under an incredible amount of pressure. To get better and exactly what I just described which is. You know giving people oversight over whether that is how it's managed how it's stored and who gets to access that information. I think there's a similar opportunity here with. Finance and with banking. Where you're giving the customer control over their own data. And for me there's no better way of doing it than giving your, putting the control in the hands of the customer. You know if they choose to give somebody access to that data that's their choice, but they should be fully aware of the choice and fully aware of the consequences of doing that. Right. So, when I think about this I think there's a tremendous opportunity because you know we're really opening up a world that is significantly more transparent than the world that exists today when it comes to data and privacy.

Manseeb Khan: Do you see open banking. I mean again we  did talk about being open and open minded. But do you see open banking going into blockchain and becoming a little bit more decentral, so the security risk gets greatly mitigated?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean I think that's definitely a case of blockchain now. Do I see that actually happening in the short term? I would say probably not just based on the amount of change that would be required to enter that infrastructure, but I think it does make a case for that type of technology. I think you were talking about the same thing at the end of day which is. Giving that access control privacy back to the individual. And really. Like. Technology is like blockchain technology are really about doing exactly that. So, I can't predict whether or not that you know that's going to happen or whether it's going to happen in the short- medium term but I would say it's definitely something that could play a role in mitigating some of those risks. I also think that you know one thing that is important is. Regulation and policy have a really important role to play there as well. Like in terms of who is allowed to play who go out and access that data. That's really where regulators need to step in and be focused on which is kind of keeping the bad actors out and keeping the good actors. And., I think that that would kind of be like the high-level answer I give to that which is I think there's some opportunity for it, but I think it's going to take time to fully flush out and really for us to determine how it's going to work.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no I agree with the whole keep the bad actors out and keep the good actors in because that's something that we've been many guest have actually touched on that in the previous episodes because the bad acting like it's as much as it very much sucks you're seeing a lot of bad actors get a lot more notoriety and if not more media exposure when it comes to like spaces like fintech, spaces like crypto and blockchain because it's so new it's revolutionary It's very easy to just really  shit on them because they're just like no like look at all that look all the bad use cases. What about all the great use cases so it goes back to like having policymakers and regulators having a little bit more of a startup mindset just like being a little bit more open of OK like learn how to vet the good actors and how do we keep them how do we make sure that they're being regulated. Also innovative at the same time. so, it's oh boy it's definitely, they are definitely juggling like 15 balls the same time but. But in due time it's very possible.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah there's a lot of balls to juggle like all of the things are double edged swords  right because you know when you're too strict your kind of disincentivized to get active and you end up with only bad actors who are trying to take advantage of gaps in the system. Right.  There’re so many times where you need, you know you can't be too light, and you can't be too heavy. If you are too heavy like I just described, you know you end up with a system whereby only the only people who aren't that to the play are bad actors who will take advantage of gaps or holes. And if you're too light it's kind of like the inverse of as well. Right away you let everybody in. But you really open up the floodgates or you know anyone whether they're good or bad to participate. So, you kind of have to find a balance between being too light and too hard. And that definitely you know it sounds a lot easier than it is in reality it's not an easy challenge for anybody to overcome.

Manseeb Khan: So, I mean I guess I'll throw this to you   I  do you have anything that we didn't cover comes open banking that's either been on top of mind or be it's something that's been keeping you up at night?

Cato Pastoll: No, I think like I mean it's been really interesting conversation, so you appreciate you kind of taking the time and having me on. I think when we look at the future and what this actually means. I think one of the you know one of the things that I always try to remind people is you know reflecting back on how it is actually going to impact me. You know you hear a lot of buzz was thrown out there on a regular basis on AI, blockchain, opened banking, fintech.  But like really like what it means for you as a customer or as a consumer is you end up getting more choice. You end up paying less money. And you end up with better products and services that you can use in your everyday life. That's why that's why fundamentally it's important. So, I think kind of going into the why. like why I should actually care about this. It's probably a conversation that we don't have enough. I think it's easy to kind of get carried away with some of these concepts at a high level but at the end of the day we also should be thinking about who is actually going to be benefiting and why is it important for us. As a society to adopt new ideas or new technologies. And. It's really got to go back to it's got to benefit the people that are using that are the end users of financial or financial sector and not just people like you and me.

Manseeb Khan: More or less believe the hype. It's like the hype real, believe the hype.

Cato Pastoll: Yes. But also understand it.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah OK. Fair enough.

Manseeb Khan: So, what I guess what excites you the most about open banking? We've talked the talk a little bit about. What are you most excited about. Be it if it directly impacts your business or even if it directly impacts you. What are you most excited about when it comes up that open banking?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, it's giving people choice here. For me I get really frustrated by lack of choice I get you know get frustrated if I can only choose between Rogers and Bell. You know I get frustrated but if I can only choose between one or two banks I think for me the ability to be free and have choice and have lots of different people who are aggressively trying to compete for my business is really great because at the end of the day I win when that happened so I think you know when I think about this I think it's just the possibilities in terms of the different products and services that people will be able to create by getting access to a system that they didn't previously have access to. And being able to play a role in the banking sector where really, they were only you know. Five to 10 real players in Canada that that really were playing any meaningful part and how it took shape.

Manseeb Khan: Cato. So, what would be the best way for people to contact you if they want to pick your brain more when it comes to open banking . Maybe they'll learn a little bit more of Leading Loop what will be the best way to contact you. Do we snapchat, you do we tweet, you can we do we contact you via smoke signals like will be the best way to contact you ?

Cato Pastoll: Yes, smokes signal is probably number one but if you can't reach me by smoke signal then I am on Twitter. so, you can find me on there and also check out. I definitely encourage everyone to check out Lending Loop. It's a really awesome way to kind of use your money to invest in Canadian small businesses. Web sites just lending loop.ca. So, if you haven't checked it out already. I would encourage anyone who is listening to check that out. And yeah, I guess that I appreciate you kind of taking the time. Tweet at me or smokescreen me. If you're looking for me.

Manseeb Khan: Smokescreen would be difficult but whoever you are whoever out there like finds find you through via smokescreen that's  a very special individual for sure. So,  Cato thank you so much for sitting down today. I had. I mean I've learned a lot more open banking then I thought I did. So, this is this has been incredible and I'm very excited to have you on the show again.

Cato Pastoll: So yeah. Great, chatting with you.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, no worries so on the behalf of the NCFA Canada's leading national and fintech crowdfunding association. I wish you an amazing fintech Friday and weekend.

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

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater 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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Where to Find Startup Loans in 2018

LendingArch | Lewis Mudrich | Oct 4, 2018

small business lending 1024x297 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater

If you need some funding for your small business then you may be wondering where to start, as well as how to find, the best options and most competitive rates (especially when you’re browsing through small business loan options).

Indeed, getting funding for your startup can seem like a daunting task. At the same time, there are a variety of financing options available if you know where to look. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you.

Here is where you can find the best small business loans in 2018:

Startup financing loans

Canadian startups can apply for a startup financing loan through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). This loan is specifically designed for startups in the first 12 months of business and can be used to help launch and grow the business.

According to the bank’s website, the loan can be used for:

  • Working capital to supplement an existing line of credit
  • Fixed assets
  • Fund marketing and startup fees
  • A franchise purchase
  • Advisory services

In order to qualify for a BDC loan, you must have a business plan in place, have experience in your field, provide personal and credit references, and show market potential. You can apply for a BDC startup loan here.

Microloans

Does your business have a social enterprise slant and community focus? You may be able to get approved for microloans from Community Micro Lending. You can apply for the lender’s “Start-Up Loan” of up to $5,000 or, if you’ve been in business for more than a year, you may be eligible for an Expansion Loan of up to $10,000. In order to qualify for this microloan program, you must be an aspiring or current entrepreneur located in the Southwest BC area.

If you’re working on a green business or green technology startup, you can also check out Microloans for green business. For example, the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union offers startup loans of up to $35,000 and expansion loans of up to $70,000.

There’s also the ACCESS Community Capital Fund that can provide loans of up to $5,000. The ACCESS Community Capital Fund is a Canadian Registered Charity that helps business owners access microloans. Some other microloan programs include the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, The Alterna Savings Community Micro-Finance Program, and ACEM Microcrédit Montréal.

Keep in mind that microloan opportunities can vary based on province so be sure to look for programs in your area.

Government financing

If you want to get your startup off the ground, you’ll be happy to learn that there are many different government financing options available.

The Government of Canada, for example, offers several different types of small business loans. These vary depending on industry, demographics, and location. For example, loans range from the Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development financing to FACTOR funding for the sound recording industry - and lots of options in-between.

To find out what’s available, look at programs that you are eligible for - based on your region - as well as certain demographic groups that you may belong to. Be sure to do your research and make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before applying for a loan.

Credit cards

Now, here’s a lending option that you may already have access to: your credit card. While credit cards aren’t an ideal funding source, you can use them if you need to purchase products and equipment for your business - perhaps while applying for other small business loans. Just be aware: credit cards may have sky-high interest rates. With that said, there are special business credit cards  that may be a good fit for what you need.

Check out:  4th Annual VanFUNDING 2018:  CONVERGE Conference, Nov 29-30 in downtown Vancouver

Credit cards should be the last business funding option as you certainly don’t want to incur insurmountable debt at a high interest rate. Not only that but the repayment terms may not be that flexible. On the other card, a business credit card can help you manage short-term cash flow issues.

Crowdfunding

The internet isn’t just about cat memes and popular catch-phrases, it’s also a place to get money for your startup. Using the power of crowdfunding, you can utilize your network and the vastness of the internet to get your message and business out there and make some money.

Using sites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and specialized platforms like iFund Women (you guessed it: for female founders!) you can share information about your project and garner support from friends, family, and colleagues. Usually these sites take a fee for posting your project page, but the money you can raise will hopefully offset those fees. For more comprehensive options, check out this crowdfunding directory.

Family and friends

If you’re lucky, you may have a family member or friend who is willing to provide funds to help you with your startup costs. On one hand, this can be great as there is less red tape and hassle to get you your much-needed cash. On the other hand, if things go awry, you may lose more than your investment.

If you go this route, be sure to treat it like a business relationship. Create a contract and have a payment schedule that works for both of you. It’s important that both parties feel comfortable in this situation - it’s not just about getting your hands on the cash.

Small business loans from online lenders

If you can’t get approved for a traditional bank loan and you don’t want to hit up your friends and family, you still have another great option for a small business loan. You can apply for a loan through an online lender.

For example, LendingArch helps startup founders and small business owners compare loan options effortlessly and easily. You can compare your options in a matter of seconds and the application process is simple. On top of that, LendingArch doesn’t require any collateral for your startup loan and offers flexible repayment schedules to accommodate your business.

Better yet: when applying for a small business loan online through LendingArch, you won’t find the same restrictions you typically encounter with other loans. So, if you need funding to start your company or expand your business, we’ve got you covered.

There are no hidden fees, rates are competitive rates, and you can create a company profile in mere minutes. From there, you can start an application to see which small business loans are available to you.

See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance

Bottom line

If you’re a startup founder looking for funding for your business, there are many options out there. Using this guide, you can check out the various resources that are available to you and find a small business loan that suits your needs. But remember: be sure to apply for a loan with reasonable interest rates and repayment terms. This way you can pay back the loan on terms that work for you while focusing on growing your business.

Interested in checking out your startup loan options? Compare small business loans at LendingArch!

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater 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 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much GreaterFF Logo 400 v3 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greatercommunity social impact - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater

FCA | Sep 11, 2019 Speech by Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, delivered at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance annual conference, Judge Business School. Highlights: The UK has led the rest of the world with developments like the regulatory Sandbox, we are very proud of what has been achieved through it. Early engagement is incredibly valuable for monitoring, supervisory and policy purposes. Working with innovative firms helps us achieve a better bird’s-eye view, enhancing our understanding when the overall landscape is blurry and ­changing quickly. 'Stablecoin' is a term that has been widely adopted by industry, but we do not take it to be a distinct category of cryptoassets. Something labelled as a 'stablecoin' could sit within or outside of our regulatory perimeter. Note: this is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version. See:  FCA confirms new rules for P2P platforms Last month, Facebook announced its plans for Libra, the stablecoin it is planning to launch in conjunction with a number of payment and tech firms. As has been widely reported, along with other regulators and central banks, we have been discussing their plans with Facebook. If this comes ...
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NCFA Canada | Sep 13, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Sep 13: Funding is Female with Jill Earthy EP37 GUEST: JILL EARTHY, Head of Female Funders (Linkedin) HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host BIO:  Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. As Head of Female Funders (powered by Highine BETA), she is empowering female leaders to become investors in early stage companies. Her background includes being an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurs in various leadership roles and working as Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform. She is a community leader and active mentor, currently serving on the national Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC, and as Co-Chair of We for She. Jill was recently recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion award as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019. About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA'S Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Jill Earthy the Head of Female Funders. The talk about what ...
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TechCrunch | Kate Clark | Sep 12, 2019 Affirm, founded by PayPal’s Max Levchin, is said to be raising as much as $1.5 billion in a combination of debt and equity, according to people with knowledge of the company’s fundraising activities. Josh Kushner’s New York venture capital firm Thrive Capital is said to be leading the financing, with participation from the San Francisco outfit Spark Capital. Affirm declined to comment. Representatives of Thrive and Spark, existing Affirm investors, have not responded to a request for comment. Sources familiar with Affirm, which gives consumers an alternative to personal loans and credit by financing online purchases at point-of-sale, presume the round will be made up largely of a line of credit from a large financial institution, known as a warehouse facility. Affirm recently raised a $300 million Thrive-led Series F round in April at a valuation of $3 billion. Fintech companies focused on payments and lending, however, require a vast amount of capital to sustain operations. Those capital requirements coupled with the frothiness of the venture capital market justify this additional cash infusion. To date, Affirm has raised $1.03 billion in funding from Ribbit Capital, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed ...
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Le Monde with AFP | Sep 12, 2019 Bruno Le Maire expressed his hostility towards this cryptocurrency project, saying that "the monetary sovereignty of states is at stake" Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Thursday (September 12th) that France was refusing to authorize the development "on European soil" of libra, the cryptocurrency that Facebook wants to launch in 2020. "Considerable financial disorder" "The monetary sovereignty of states is at stake," said the minister at the opening of a conference of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) dedicated to the challenges of cryptocurrencies - without specifying, however, what concrete measures he wanted engage to prevent the spread of libra in Europe. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know In his speech, Bruno Lemaire described as "systemic" the risks that could result from this "possible privatization of a currency (...) held by a single actor that has more than 2 billion users on the planet" . "Any failure in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves, could create considerable financial disorders , " justified the Mayor, also fearing that the libra is replacing the national currency in the States where the currency is weak or ...
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CNBC | Bob Pisani | Sep 10, 2019 Key Points The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public. Jay Clayton says his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public and that his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Monday, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the lack of more IPOs and the inability of most of the Main Street investing public to access private markets was a “growing concern.” Clayton addressed what he called the “two segments” in capital markets: the public markets, and private ones, including private equity and venture capital investments. See:  The Solution To The Fintech IPO Shortage “Twenty-five years ago, the public markets dominated the private markets in virtually every measure,” he said. “Today, in many measures, the private markets outpace the public markets, including in aggregate size.” Clayton wants to make the ...
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Nesta UK | Rosalyn Old and Johnathan Bone | Sep 4, 2019 Earlier in May 2019, Nesta commissioned a report called 'Taking Ownership:  Community Empowerment through Crowdfund Investments' that looked at how community-led projects have the power to transform local areas socially, economically and environmentally and how institutions such as local governments, municipal authorities and foundations, can help community-led initiatives by making the most of new investment crowdfunding models (eg community shares and bonds). Key Findings Investment crowdfunding has been used to fund a broad range of local assets, including but not limited to, saving local shops and pubs from closure, creating new community centres and art spaces, and expanding leisure facilities and infrastructure projects. Potential opportunities in using investment crowdfunding for community-led initiatives include helping to fund projects that would otherwise struggle to access finance elsewhere, increasing the use of and volunteering for community initiatives, and strengthening local resilience and self-determination by bringing communities together to improve their area. The main challenges for community organisations raising money in this way include gaining access to assets to buy or use on a temporary basis, transitioning from grassroots fundraising to implementing a project and avoiding negative impacts on diversity and inclusion ...
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taking ownership community empowerment through crowdfunded investment - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
NCFA Canada on behalf of our partner's Lending Loop | Sep 11, 2019 HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A CHESHIRE CAT SMILE? Well they deserve it. Back in October 2015, NCFA made this introductory video with Cato Pastoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, about a peer to peer lending marketplace for small businesses model that was new to Canada but was achieving significant growth internationally. The question and opportunity was back then:  why not here in Canada? A question that many of us ask ourselves, ask the community and point fingers at strict regulations and high operating costs.  Well fast forward several years and growth obstacles later, and the Lending Loop story continues to impress with their latest milestone of lending over $50 million to deserving small businesses to help them grow and expand operations while providing retail and accredited investors direct access to a wide range of lending and investment options, a robust community and the chance to strengthen Canadian small business - here here! The early vision... Brandon Vlaar, Co-founder and CTO of Lending Loop sharing their good news! CONGRATS to the entire Lending Loop Team for achieving this latest milestone.  We've 'got your back' and look forward ...
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NCFA Guest Post | Sep 9, 2019 The world was shook when online money was first introduced. Some people didn’t like the idea. They’d prefer having something tangible, something that they can actually see and touch to use as currency. Some people were positive about the new experience. They believe that it can certainly make life more convenient. But hey, we’re now in 2019 and online currency is still widely in use. In fact, its uses have expanded way more since it was first introduced (read more). One of the most popular and controversial of its time was BTC or Bitcoin. Even without studying cryptocurrencies, you’ve probably heard this term once or twice before. You may have come across it in the internet or someone may have encouraged you to try trading it. After all, when cryptocurrency was first brought to light, many people saw its potential in the trading market. And it has been making noise ever since. See:  New Regulatory Framework for Canadian Retail Payments Coming in 2019 At first, Bitcoin was surrounded with a lot of controversy – and of course, a lot of doubt. People were scared of exchanging real world money for something that you ...
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Holt Accelerator | Samah El Falah | Sep 11, 2019 Holt Deal Day event series are seeking senior representatives of financial institutions, or fintech investors and experts to attend Holt’s Deal Day, taking place at Vancouver (Sept. 20th), Toronto (Sept. 23rd), Waterloo (Sept. 27th), Montreal (October, 2nd). Don’t miss out on the opportunity to interact with eight up & coming Fintech stars who will surely make a difference in Canada and beyond. As an investor, corporate or expert interested in Fintech, our Deal Days offer you an insider’s view of the upcoming trends and current challenges the industry is facing. What do the Deal Days consist of? Coffee / Registration (30 minutes) Canada Fintech Presentation by Holt (15 minutes)  Presentation on the current Fintech Ecosystem. The challenges & insights we gathered about 3 core fintech areas: Cybersecurity/Data Protection, Wealth Management (including Digital Assets), & Lending. 10 table mini-breakout session (30 minutes) Detailed roundtable discussions surrounding one of the topics covered during the Holt presentation. Speed-Dating (2 hours and 30 minutes) You will have the opportunity to see the 2019 cohort pitch after being part of the Accelerator program for a month. Just like our Selection Days, each pitch will end ...
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Reuters | Tom Wilson | Sep 11, 2019 LONDON (Reuters) - “Hi guys, could you please show me a firm bid for 100 bitcoin?” a seller texts on Skype. Joel Fruhman, right, and Dan Fruhman, directors of BCB Group pose for a photograph in London, Britain August 29 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson “One sec. $10270.” Two minutes later: “Sorry guys, that was an old order from Friday when skype wasn’t working.” “I really think we should get off skype. Bad things could happen. Someone is going to make an expensive mistake.” See:  New money-laundering rules change everything for cryptocurrency exchanges A messaging exchange over a potential $1 million deal, between a European asset manager looking to sell bitcoin and broker Joel Fruhman, illustrates the casual and often chaotic nature of cryptocurrency dealmaking. Trades involving hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars are routinely struck via brief chats on apps like Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat or Zoom, often with scant certainty over the identities of participants or the legal basis of agreements. “We’d end up in a Zoom call with about five ‘introducers’ - we didn’t really know who any of them were,” said Fruhman, a physicist by training who started a cryptocurrency ...
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World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding

Crowdfund Insider | | Sep 18, 2018

Jon medved - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much GreaterIn many ways, OurCrowd epitomizes the aspirations of what investment crowdfunding has the potential to deliver for both issuers and investors. By providing access to quality deals to smaller (accredited) investors, OurCrowd has opened up an asset class previously closed off to all but the very fortunate. On OurCrowd, you can find yourself investing alongside some of the biggest names in venture capital – at the exact same terms – an important distinction. It is also important to note that OurCrowd has skin in the game for each offering it lists on the platform – thus interests are aligned: OurCrowd wants the company to succeed and it also very much wants to see a return on its own investment. These qualities make OurCrowd a compelling option for investors that are willing to shoulder an element of portfolio risk that can also drive some outsized returns.

OurCrowd is based in Israel – where many of its investments are made – but its vision is to empower investors globally and fund companies regardless of geographic borders. This is what you want to see in the digitized, internet fueled Fintech age.

CI recently caught up with Jon Medved, the ubiquitous founder and CEO of OurCrowd, for an update on platform progress as they execute on their mission to democratize access to opportunity.


Earlier this year, you indicated OurCrowd would top USD $1 billion of investment at some point this year. Is this still on track?

Jon Medved: Yes, our growth in both active new investors and average investment sizes are scaling according to plan through the first half and we believe we will have an even stronger second half result.

Recently OurCrowd was recognized as the top VC in Israel, do you think you can replicate this accomplishment in other countries over time?

Jon Medved: Our focus is on becoming not only the “most active VC investor” but becoming one of the “most successful VC investors.”

When we started, I don’t think many believed that our model could scale this effectively, yet here we are.

Since this asset class has a long growth curve of 7-10 years or beyond to bear the greatest fruits, we know we need to be persistent but patient.

We now have 20 different portfolio companies whose value is $100 million or more, so many of our investments are starting to mature and we are encouraged by their progress. The next phase will clearly be to replicate our level of activity in Israel to other regions of the world. While we are already sourcing about 30% of our deals outside of Israel, we would like to grow this percentage. The key to doing this will be to open up more offices (we already have 11 worldwide offices), sign more global strategic partners, and to engage more active investors who will help us source and diligence quality deal flow in their regions and their areas of expertise.

See:

This month, OurCrowd announced its second investment in unicorn Klook which was your first China investment. How is deal flow for China based firms?

Jon Medved: Our growing network in Asia is a credit to the strong partnerships we have enjoyed in the region. As with everything in our industry, the winning formula always starts with the right people. Not only the people within our organization and across our strategic alliances, but the people we choose to invest in.

In Asia, more than anywhere, access to deals comes from a position of trust. As we grow our investment community in Asia, we hope to find more deals like Klook. Asia has so much promise and upside and spectacular entrepreneurs—but the key will be to deliver added value to these companies and provide them with important access to the rest of our global network.

OurCrowd has a growing portfolio of sector funds for investors. How are these progressing? Will you always offer single firm investments?

Jon Medved: Absolutely we will continue to offer single firm investments; this has been and will continue to be the bedrock of our investment platform.

Our unique ability to deliver deal-by-deal discretion and the “freedom of choice” continues to be a really exciting core of our business. This is especially true as we offer companies at different stages (from Series A to Series E), in different sectors, and with the ability to invest in multiple rounds (we have some companies where we have already participated in 5 rounds of funding!)

The fact that someone can access great globally recognized venture capital funds with a minimum investment of only $50,000 is a game changer.

Jon Medved and Craig NCFA for web 768x1024 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater

However, that said, we are also excited by the growing fund opportunities that we are providing on the platform. We now offer 13 different funds, which fulfill a real need for our investors who want managed portfolios and diversification.  The fact that someone can access great globally recognized venture capital funds with a minimum investment of only $50,000 is a game changer. While maintaining our single company investments we also plan to also expand our fund model to many other sectors and strategies, because there is a real synergy between our funds and the single companies on our platform.

More:

 

What about institutional growth. Last time we spoke much of the platform growth was being fueled by institutional money. Is this continuing? What type of institutional interest are you seeing?

Jon Medved: We have indeed signed several agreements recently with institutional investors who have become our largest and most active investors and partners to date.

What is really exciting about this institutional growth is that it has not come at the expense of our 25,000 accredited investor base. We continue to grow this accredited investor base, and we are proud that we continue to offer deal access to both the individual accredited investor and the huge institution on the same terms. This is a fulfillment of our goal to democratize access to quality venture capital. We are seeing growing institutional interest in our individual company investments especially as many of our deals start to raise $10 million and up on our platform, where there is room for institutions to take a real swing and get the size they want.

Also, the institutions like the fact that they can build their own personalized fund of funds on our platform where they can get a basket of funds without paying the additional fees and carry normally associated with fund of funds.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater 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 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much GreaterFF Logo 400 v3 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greatercommunity social impact - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater

FCA | Sep 11, 2019 Speech by Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, delivered at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance annual conference, Judge Business School. Highlights: The UK has led the rest of the world with developments like the regulatory Sandbox, we are very proud of what has been achieved through it. Early engagement is incredibly valuable for monitoring, supervisory and policy purposes. Working with innovative firms helps us achieve a better bird’s-eye view, enhancing our understanding when the overall landscape is blurry and ­changing quickly. 'Stablecoin' is a term that has been widely adopted by industry, but we do not take it to be a distinct category of cryptoassets. Something labelled as a 'stablecoin' could sit within or outside of our regulatory perimeter. Note: this is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version. See:  FCA confirms new rules for P2P platforms Last month, Facebook announced its plans for Libra, the stablecoin it is planning to launch in conjunction with a number of payment and tech firms. As has been widely reported, along with other regulators and central banks, we have been discussing their plans with Facebook. If this comes ...
Read More
Christopher Woolard2 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
NCFA Canada | Sep 13, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Sep 13: Funding is Female with Jill Earthy EP37 GUEST: JILL EARTHY, Head of Female Funders (Linkedin) HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host BIO:  Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. As Head of Female Funders (powered by Highine BETA), she is empowering female leaders to become investors in early stage companies. Her background includes being an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurs in various leadership roles and working as Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform. She is a community leader and active mentor, currently serving on the national Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC, and as Co-Chair of We for She. Jill was recently recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion award as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019. About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA'S Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Jill Earthy the Head of Female Funders. The talk about what ...
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TechCrunch | Kate Clark | Sep 12, 2019 Affirm, founded by PayPal’s Max Levchin, is said to be raising as much as $1.5 billion in a combination of debt and equity, according to people with knowledge of the company’s fundraising activities. Josh Kushner’s New York venture capital firm Thrive Capital is said to be leading the financing, with participation from the San Francisco outfit Spark Capital. Affirm declined to comment. Representatives of Thrive and Spark, existing Affirm investors, have not responded to a request for comment. Sources familiar with Affirm, which gives consumers an alternative to personal loans and credit by financing online purchases at point-of-sale, presume the round will be made up largely of a line of credit from a large financial institution, known as a warehouse facility. Affirm recently raised a $300 million Thrive-led Series F round in April at a valuation of $3 billion. Fintech companies focused on payments and lending, however, require a vast amount of capital to sustain operations. Those capital requirements coupled with the frothiness of the venture capital market justify this additional cash infusion. To date, Affirm has raised $1.03 billion in funding from Ribbit Capital, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed ...
Read More
max levchin - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
Le Monde with AFP | Sep 12, 2019 Bruno Le Maire expressed his hostility towards this cryptocurrency project, saying that "the monetary sovereignty of states is at stake" Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Thursday (September 12th) that France was refusing to authorize the development "on European soil" of libra, the cryptocurrency that Facebook wants to launch in 2020. "Considerable financial disorder" "The monetary sovereignty of states is at stake," said the minister at the opening of a conference of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) dedicated to the challenges of cryptocurrencies - without specifying, however, what concrete measures he wanted engage to prevent the spread of libra in Europe. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know In his speech, Bruno Lemaire described as "systemic" the risks that could result from this "possible privatization of a currency (...) held by a single actor that has more than 2 billion users on the planet" . "Any failure in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves, could create considerable financial disorders , " justified the Mayor, also fearing that the libra is replacing the national currency in the States where the currency is weak or ...
Read More
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CNBC | Bob Pisani | Sep 10, 2019 Key Points The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public. Jay Clayton says his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public and that his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Monday, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the lack of more IPOs and the inability of most of the Main Street investing public to access private markets was a “growing concern.” Clayton addressed what he called the “two segments” in capital markets: the public markets, and private ones, including private equity and venture capital investments. See:  The Solution To The Fintech IPO Shortage “Twenty-five years ago, the public markets dominated the private markets in virtually every measure,” he said. “Today, in many measures, the private markets outpace the public markets, including in aggregate size.” Clayton wants to make the ...
Read More
SEC jay clayton - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
Nesta UK | Rosalyn Old and Johnathan Bone | Sep 4, 2019 Earlier in May 2019, Nesta commissioned a report called 'Taking Ownership:  Community Empowerment through Crowdfund Investments' that looked at how community-led projects have the power to transform local areas socially, economically and environmentally and how institutions such as local governments, municipal authorities and foundations, can help community-led initiatives by making the most of new investment crowdfunding models (eg community shares and bonds). Key Findings Investment crowdfunding has been used to fund a broad range of local assets, including but not limited to, saving local shops and pubs from closure, creating new community centres and art spaces, and expanding leisure facilities and infrastructure projects. Potential opportunities in using investment crowdfunding for community-led initiatives include helping to fund projects that would otherwise struggle to access finance elsewhere, increasing the use of and volunteering for community initiatives, and strengthening local resilience and self-determination by bringing communities together to improve their area. The main challenges for community organisations raising money in this way include gaining access to assets to buy or use on a temporary basis, transitioning from grassroots fundraising to implementing a project and avoiding negative impacts on diversity and inclusion ...
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taking ownership community empowerment through crowdfunded investment - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
NCFA Canada on behalf of our partner's Lending Loop | Sep 11, 2019 HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A CHESHIRE CAT SMILE? Well they deserve it. Back in October 2015, NCFA made this introductory video with Cato Pastoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, about a peer to peer lending marketplace for small businesses model that was new to Canada but was achieving significant growth internationally. The question and opportunity was back then:  why not here in Canada? A question that many of us ask ourselves, ask the community and point fingers at strict regulations and high operating costs.  Well fast forward several years and growth obstacles later, and the Lending Loop story continues to impress with their latest milestone of lending over $50 million to deserving small businesses to help them grow and expand operations while providing retail and accredited investors direct access to a wide range of lending and investment options, a robust community and the chance to strengthen Canadian small business - here here! The early vision... Brandon Vlaar, Co-founder and CTO of Lending Loop sharing their good news! CONGRATS to the entire Lending Loop Team for achieving this latest milestone.  We've 'got your back' and look forward ...
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Lending Loop passes 50 million - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
NCFA Guest Post | Sep 9, 2019 The world was shook when online money was first introduced. Some people didn’t like the idea. They’d prefer having something tangible, something that they can actually see and touch to use as currency. Some people were positive about the new experience. They believe that it can certainly make life more convenient. But hey, we’re now in 2019 and online currency is still widely in use. In fact, its uses have expanded way more since it was first introduced (read more). One of the most popular and controversial of its time was BTC or Bitcoin. Even without studying cryptocurrencies, you’ve probably heard this term once or twice before. You may have come across it in the internet or someone may have encouraged you to try trading it. After all, when cryptocurrency was first brought to light, many people saw its potential in the trading market. And it has been making noise ever since. See:  New Regulatory Framework for Canadian Retail Payments Coming in 2019 At first, Bitcoin was surrounded with a lot of controversy – and of course, a lot of doubt. People were scared of exchanging real world money for something that you ...
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digital tokens and coins - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
Holt Accelerator | Samah El Falah | Sep 11, 2019 Holt Deal Day event series are seeking senior representatives of financial institutions, or fintech investors and experts to attend Holt’s Deal Day, taking place at Vancouver (Sept. 20th), Toronto (Sept. 23rd), Waterloo (Sept. 27th), Montreal (October, 2nd). Don’t miss out on the opportunity to interact with eight up & coming Fintech stars who will surely make a difference in Canada and beyond. As an investor, corporate or expert interested in Fintech, our Deal Days offer you an insider’s view of the upcoming trends and current challenges the industry is facing. What do the Deal Days consist of? Coffee / Registration (30 minutes) Canada Fintech Presentation by Holt (15 minutes)  Presentation on the current Fintech Ecosystem. The challenges & insights we gathered about 3 core fintech areas: Cybersecurity/Data Protection, Wealth Management (including Digital Assets), & Lending. 10 table mini-breakout session (30 minutes) Detailed roundtable discussions surrounding one of the topics covered during the Holt presentation. Speed-Dating (2 hours and 30 minutes) You will have the opportunity to see the 2019 cohort pitch after being part of the Accelerator program for a month. Just like our Selection Days, each pitch will end ...
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Holt deal days 2019 - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater
Reuters | Tom Wilson | Sep 11, 2019 LONDON (Reuters) - “Hi guys, could you please show me a firm bid for 100 bitcoin?” a seller texts on Skype. Joel Fruhman, right, and Dan Fruhman, directors of BCB Group pose for a photograph in London, Britain August 29 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson “One sec. $10270.” Two minutes later: “Sorry guys, that was an old order from Friday when skype wasn’t working.” “I really think we should get off skype. Bad things could happen. Someone is going to make an expensive mistake.” See:  New money-laundering rules change everything for cryptocurrency exchanges A messaging exchange over a potential $1 million deal, between a European asset manager looking to sell bitcoin and broker Joel Fruhman, illustrates the casual and often chaotic nature of cryptocurrency dealmaking. Trades involving hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars are routinely struck via brief chats on apps like Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat or Zoom, often with scant certainty over the identities of participants or the legal basis of agreements. “We’d end up in a Zoom call with about five ‘introducers’ - we didn’t really know who any of them were,” said Fruhman, a physicist by training who started a cryptocurrency ...
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BCB group directors - Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater