Category Archives: Online Funding Portals

Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth

Progressa Release | Aug 14, 2018

ProgressaLogo0516 - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progressa, a Vancouver and Toronto based financial technology company, announced today it has successfully closed an $84 million equity and loan funding round. The equity financing was co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Gravitas Securities Inc. and included Eight Capital and Paradigm Capital as part of the syndicate. The equity capital allows Progressa to unlock a new forward-flow whole loan purchasing program for up to $72 million, with Vancouver-based credit fund Cypress Hills Partners.

The equity financing was largely supported by the Canadian investment banks who see the potential for Progressa to complete a go-public transaction (“IPO”) before the end of 2019.

Ali Pourdad, Progressa’s co-founder and CEO, commented, “Progressa is proud to have developed first-to-market technology solutions for the Canadian non-prime credit consumer market. Today’s enterprise business partners are utilizing the Company’s Powered by Progressa solutions to improve their customer experience, while enhancing collections recoveries and mitigating significant risk, a true win for both enterprise and Canadian consumers. We are pleased with this broad level of support from Canadian investment banks who see that Progressa is making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians.”

See:  Upstart Vancouver eyes Toronto’s fintech crown

This latest financing round is anticipated to be Progressa’s last private round, as it has now raised over $15 million of equity capital since inception and begins to prepare for an IPO. Kia Besharat, Senior Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets Origination at Gravitas Securities commented, “We are incredibly excited to have supported Progressa over both its bridge and pre-IPO rounds in 2017 and 2018. Ali has assembled a world-class management team and has operated the business like a public company for as long as we have been working with him. We look forward to continue watching Progressa’s success in tackling the vastly underserved collections debt and retail point-of-sale finance market in Canada.” Gravitas has acted as Exclusive Financial Advisor to Progressa since May of 2016.

In the past 5 years, Progressa has established itself as a market leader in Canada by developing innovative software solutions for enterprise business that tackles a traditionally negative collections process in a positive and socially responsible way. Progressa’s solutions ultimately protect the enterprises' brand reputation, among other things, utilizing non-traditional credit evaluation techniques to improve lending outcomes. With additional lending capacity, the Company can onboard new banking partners and continue on its mission to help Canadians borrow for the right reasons and improve their financial well-being.

Miller Thomson LLP, a leading national law firm with expertise in, among other things, technology and financial services, assisted with the legal aspects of the Company’s equity round and loan purchasing program. Kevin Refah, who is the lead relationship partner for Progressa, commented, “Progressa’s new financial capacity will help position it well to continue its ascent in the Canadian FinTech space, and we certainly look forward to continuing to support Progressa and its excellent management team on the company’s impressive growth trajectory.”

See:  Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors

“Cypress Hills Partners is proud to have been a part of Progressa's impressive growth over the past 3 years and is excited by our continued financial relationship. Progressa has proven to be a leader in serving Canadian unbanked and underbanked consumers with their highly successful instalment loan program,” said Kelly Klatik, Managing Partner with Cypress Hills Partners.

“They have demonstrated steady and continued growth in consumer underwriting practices and significant advancement in their adjudication technology required to further scale their lending business. We are proud to work with them as they continue their expansion and innovation in the Canadian FinTech industry.”

Progressa is experiencing a truly transformative year, expected to near $100 million of loan funding before the end of 2018. With offices in Vancouver and Toronto, the Company has over 100 team members and continues to make significant investments in its proprietary credit score that drives all of its enterprise software solutions.

Continue to the original release --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record GrowthThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

Latest news - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record GrowthFF Logo 400 v3 - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growthcommunity social impact - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth

Schulte Research | Paul Shulte | Aug 21, 2019 China is barreling forward on reforms and rolling out the crypto currency. It will be the first central bank to do so.  This will give added momentum to Libra. Libra could become a new anchor market for global IPOs. Take this seriously. Join if you can.  I’m pretty sure I’m right that it has backing from the very top of the US govt. 1. Cryptocurrency — The China coin is due to be rolled out in November. I hear that the distribution of the coin will be limited to 7 players: The big banks: CCB, ICBC, BOC, ABC. Alibaba and Tencent.   Positive momentum,,, Union Pay.   Interesting — to keep this alive. All others will be secondary.  The PBOC head did on SUnday make an explicit reference to Libra. As I suspected, China rightly sees Libra as a challenge to China’s early commanding lead in e commerce and payments in all of Asia and through the Silk Road. It clearly is.   Interestingly, HSBC and Stan Chart are cut out. No foreign banks in the consortium.    No foreign firms in Libra (except, weirdly,  Mercato Libra from Arge). 2. China ...
Read More
China coin crypto - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 20, 2019 TORONTO, ON Aug 20, 2019  The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) is pleased to announce that the Exponential Group (Exponential Ventures, Exponential Capital and Exponential Markets) has joined NCFA as an industry partner. NCFA's industry partners are builders, investors and innovators who have provided a significant level of service and/or contribution towards the sustainability and growth of NCFA and related fintech sectors globally.  We encourage the fintech ecosystem to support and collaborate with NCFA's global network of industry partners by engaging directly with their ventures of mutual interest. "Since founding NCFA in the summer of 2012, one of it's core missions has been working with communities of change that are passionate about enabling inclusive opportunities for 'big vision' companies seeking to change the world but need access to capital and resources to innovate competitive products and services that otherwise may not exist.  These companies often focus on new economies of scale that look beyond 'for profit' models alone.  Supporting and leading this change by developing new infrastructure and partnerships while leveraging new technologies can be a beacon of light resulting in massive transformation and change." - Craig Asano, ...
Read More
ExpoG logo final600 - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
MIT Technology Review | Mike Orcutt | Aug 15, 2019 Complying with regulators could mean the difference between going mainstream and remaining forever on the margins of the global financial system. One of the biggest knocks against cryptocurrency has always been its status as a refuge for tech-savvy criminals. Even as some bigger players—particularly exchanges that handle many billions of dollars in crypto-wealth each day—have gone out of their way to play nice with regulators, the image persists, in part because some crypto firms have evaded regulators by moving to jurisdictions that are less strict.  But the end of the lawless era may be nigh. A new set of global anti-money-laundering rules aimed at cryptocurrency exchanges has been handed down by the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization that sets standards for policing money laundering and terrorist financing. The rules, which call on exchanges to share personal information about their users with each other, are controversial. Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts think the privacy that drew them to the technology could evaporate. On the other hand, complying with the rules is likely to make the industry more attractive to mainstream financial institutions and users. In other words, cha-ching. See:  A Global ...
Read More
money laundering rules - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Pryor Cashman | Jeffrey Alberts and Dustin N. Nofziger | Aug 13, 2019 The Federal Reserve Board has announced plans to develop a real-time payment service that should appeal to FinTech companies and community banks. The Board announced last Monday that it will develop a new round-the-clock real time payment and settlement service to support faster payments in the United States. This new real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service, which will be known as the "FedNow Service," is anticipated to be available in 2023 or 2024. The Board is currently soliciting comments on all aspects of the proposed service in order to finalize its design and features. The Board's intention to operate a RTGS service is a win for community banks and FinTech companies, although it may threaten those FinTechs with business models centered around providing real time payments. The Board's plans were not developed in a vacuum. The Clearing House (TCH), which is owned by 30 of the world's largest commercial banks, previously rolled out a RTGS system known as the "RTP network" in November 2017 – some six years before the Board anticipates that its FedNow Service may first become available. The RTP network reportedly cost over $1 billion ...
Read More
cash payments - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Forbes | Ron Shevlin | July 1, 2019 OBSERVATIONS FROM THE FINTECH SNARK TANK A Seeking Alpha article titled Why Fintech May Not Be Fit For Public Consumption states: The year 2019 seems set to be a record-setting one for venture capitalist exit value capture by means of tech IPOs. But fintech doesn't seem to be a part of this picture. VCs are certainly putting money into fintech startups. There were 170 financings in the US in the first quarter of 2019. But, as Pitchbook says, 'not one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world seems particularly close to an offering.' " The article chalks this up to three primary causes: 1. Poor IPO performance in 2018. According to the article, "One reason nobody is in a hurry to go public is that the results of the last crop of fintech concerns that did go public have been unimpressive. Adyen and IntegraFin are prospering, but neither GreenSky nor EverQuote is "lighting up the heavens" according to Seeking Alpha. See:  OurCrowd Double IPO Success Provides Crowdfunding Validation 2. Mega-round financing. Seeking Alpha postulates that investor interest in mega-rounds--e.g., Qatar Investment Authority's investment of $500 million in SoFi and Tiger Capital leading a round that raised $300 ...
Read More
fintech IPO shortage - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Aug 12, 2019 Money spent in venture capital and other alternative investments is surging as investors look for riskier, but higher-yielding investments. The trend coincides with relatively low returns from more conventional Wall Street investments such as stocks and bonds, and a drop in the number of publicly traded companies. “In a world where big institutional investors find themselves starved for returns, it’s not surprising that they have steadily increased allocations to private markets and you’ve seen capital continuing to flow into the asset class,” says McKinsey Partner Bryce Klempner. Many global investors are turning toward Silicon Valley instead of Wall Street in search of returns. The total invested in private markets hit all-time highs last year and continues to break multi-decade records this year. In the first half of the year, total investments in venture capital hit a 19-year high of $53.3 billion, according to data from Refinitiv published last week. That marked a 21% increase by total dollar amount compared to the first half of 2018. See:  $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies The steady stream of funding comes alongside a drop in the number of publicly listed companies, rock-bottom global ...
Read More
unicorn - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
TechRepublic | Mary Shacklett | July 23, 2019 Learn how artificial intelligence and analytics can be used to improve customer service in banking. When I was a CIO for a financial institution, I worked with executives on the operations side to see how we could improve relationships with customers at our branches. Our front-line tellers at these branches were more like order takers—they did what customers asked, but no more. These employees were in low-wage positions, and they often had limited skills. One of the skills we wanted was interpersonal engagement with customers that you would typically find in a salesperson. We decided to hire people with retail and/or people-facing experience, figuring that we could train them to be tellers. We implemented systems that would prompt a teller to ask a customer about new products the customer might be interested in, and we offered financial incentives for enrolling customers in new products. The experiment yielded mixed results and likely would have gone better if we'd had some of the analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) automation tools that are available today. See:  How Jack Ma’s $290b SME credit engine is changing Chinese banking "Most customers tend to keep their accounts with ...
Read More
banking with AI - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Guest Post | Aug 14, 2019 You see a need. You know that your new business can fill that need. The problem is that it takes an incredible amount of capital to start a business. Besides purchasing equipment, raw materials, and computer systems, you also have the expenses that no one ever thinks about when opening a shop. Did you figure in the cost of hiring an accountant, a lawyer, and paying for workers compensation insurance? Instead of heading to the bank with your business plan in hand, you may consider whether working with a crowdfunding site might be another feasible way to raise cash for your business expenses. Here’s how crowdfunding sites work. Cash in Exchange for Equity Have you seen Shark Tank? On this TV show, investors decide whether or not they would like to provide capital for startups in exchange for a piece of the company. Sometimes the hosts compete against each other for the opportunity to invest. Sometimes they pool resources and form investment partnerships for a portion of ownership in the company. Occasionally budding entrepreneurs are sent away empty-handed. See:  Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much ...
Read More
Funding meeting - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Forbes | Biser Dimitrov | Aug 13, 2019 2019 is the year when the blockchain ecosystem and the crypto industry as a whole had to get sober. After a wild 2017 and a bear 2018, the blockchain space is back on an upwards trajectory with new developments. There are no more Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to distract the crypto ecosystem and the building mentality is back on. This post-ICO and post-useless-PR-partnerships age urges the blockchain community to be less focused on the current price of bitcoin and more focused on producing meaningful services and advancements. Big projects from established enterprises like Facebook Libra are taking all the media space now and this is net positive for the enterprise blockchain space as well. The first half of this year was full of blockchain developments led by large enterprises in almost all important sectors, including insurance, financial services, supply chain, healthcare and trade finance. There is a huge benefit in joining a specialized industry-focused blockchain consortium because you sit at the same table with your main competitors but at the same time you work toward the same goal. You are not alone in figuring out the benefits, implementations and roll-out of distributed ...
Read More
Blockchain and enterprise - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Wired UK Gov | Information Commissioner's Office | Aug 12, 2019 Reuben Binns, our Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Valeria Gallo, Technology Policy Adviser, discuss some of the key safeguards organisations should implement when using solely automated AI systems to make decisions with significant impacts on data subjects. This post is part of our ongoing Call for Input on developing the ICO framework for auditing AI. We encourage you to share your views by leaving a comment below or by emailing us at AIAuditingFramework@ico.org.uk. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires organisations to implement suitable safeguards when processing personal data to make solely automated decisions that have a legal or similarly significant impact on individuals. These safeguards include the right for data subjects: to obtain human intervention; to express their point of view; and to contest the decision made about them. See:  How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes These safeguards cannot be token gestures. Guidance published by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) states that human intervention involve a review of the decision, which “must be carried out by someone who has the appropriate authority and capability to change the decision”.  The review should include a “thorough assessment of all the relevant ...
Read More
Automated AI decisions - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth

 

Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18

IT Business | Bret Conkin | June 12, 2018

commercial real estate - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record GrowthReal estate and fintech have been integrating in exciting new ways in recent years.

Real estate online investment or crowdfunding has been a sector that has attracted significant interest in the U.S. over the last several years, with more than 100 portals launched to serve rapidly growing developer and investor interest. In fact, industry research hub crowdsourcing.org estimates that the industry will be worth more than $300 billion USD by 2025.

Why would developers consider an online and alternative financing route? A big reason, beyond the capital, is the significant marketing benefits that campaigns can generate, including community building.

Check out:  GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA

To investigate where the Canadian market for real estate crowdfunding is going in the next 12 months, we interviewed the two leading portals in Canada, online investment platform NexusCrowd and private equity firm R2 (though R2 notes that they position themselves as an online marketplace or fintech in commercial real estate, not as “crowdfunders”).

Learn more below.

Bret Conkin: How many projects and capital were raised via your portal in 2017? To date in 2018?

Amar Nijar, CEO of R2 Capital & Investments: Since our launch two years ago, R2 has funded 12 projects with $25 million of equity and more than $200 million of debt.

Hitesh Rathod, CEO of NexusCrowd Inc.: In 2017 – three deals worth $2 million. For 2018 to date – one deal worth $1 million, but we’re expecting at least two more deals near term for $3 million in additional capital raised. Keep in mind that we are very selective about the deals we put on the platform and that all deals have been fully subscribed. Of note, two deals closed within four weeks and two deals closed within 2 weeks.

ITB: What are your overall metrics now since the launch of your portal?

R2: We have 2,500-plus investors on our platform, with thousands more on our emails, newsletters, and social media platforms.

NexusCrowd: Eight deals completed, with more than $5 million raised, and more than $240 million in project value.

ITB: What (ballpark) portion of the capital stack has the “online marketplace” contributed to your recent projects?

R2: 75 per cent of the equity we funded has come via online as lead generation or execution.

NexusCrowd: We’ve contributed anywhere between 15 and 100 per cent of the total capital raise (debt or equity) for specific projects. As a percentage of total capital stack (debt and equity required for a project), between five and 20 per cent.

ITB: What was your biggest online raise to date for a project?

R2: Close to $5 million on our $90 million mixed-use project across from Bayview village Mall, located on Sheppard Avenue between Bayview Avenue and Leslie Street in Toronto’s high-end housing area.

See:  Blockchain in Real Estate: You Can Now Buy Fraction of House

NexusCrowd: Two projects each raised $1 million. Deal 1 – Debt financing for a town home development in Markham, Ontario. Deal 2 – Preferred equity financing for the development of 10 luxury homes in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

ITB: Has the market for alternative finance unfolded at the pace you expected? Faster? Slower? Why?

R2: Very slow, due to the regulatory burdens of compliance. Currently Canada is not the right country for such innovation, despite the talk by politicians, as it’s not meeting the policy objectives in reality.

NexusCrowd: Slower than expected. It’s a combination of a couple of factors in my opinion – 1) Canadians are generally risk-averse and slower adopters of new products, and 2) Individuals aren’t aware of these alternative methods of investing.

ITB: What do you foresee for real estate “online marketplaces” in Canada over the next 12 months?

R2: Everybody is trying to carve his or her niche. Many think that having an online ID and password-based website with a docusign feature is an “online marketplace.” However, the players who truly engage the digital footprint with their good underlying investments, along with blockchain and security tokens, will be the clear winners over the next four years. Our current model is to provide a balanced risk-return portfolio via our online portal so investors have a dashboard to track their investments in real time. We are aiming to be the first ones in Canada to incorporate blockchain and security tokens into our platform by end of this year.

Continue to the full article --> here

 

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latest news - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth

 

Schulte Research | Paul Shulte | Aug 21, 2019 China is barreling forward on reforms and rolling out the crypto currency. It will be the first central bank to do so.  This will give added momentum to Libra. Libra could become a new anchor market for global IPOs. Take this seriously. Join if you can.  I’m pretty sure I’m right that it has backing from the very top of the US govt. 1. Cryptocurrency — The China coin is due to be rolled out in November. I hear that the distribution of the coin will be limited to 7 players: The big banks: CCB, ICBC, BOC, ABC. Alibaba and Tencent.   Positive momentum,,, Union Pay.   Interesting — to keep this alive. All others will be secondary.  The PBOC head did on SUnday make an explicit reference to Libra. As I suspected, China rightly sees Libra as a challenge to China’s early commanding lead in e commerce and payments in all of Asia and through the Silk Road. It clearly is.   Interestingly, HSBC and Stan Chart are cut out. No foreign banks in the consortium.    No foreign firms in Libra (except, weirdly,  Mercato Libra from Arge). 2. China ...
Read More
China coin crypto - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 20, 2019 TORONTO, ON Aug 20, 2019  The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) is pleased to announce that the Exponential Group (Exponential Ventures, Exponential Capital and Exponential Markets) has joined NCFA as an industry partner. NCFA's industry partners are builders, investors and innovators who have provided a significant level of service and/or contribution towards the sustainability and growth of NCFA and related fintech sectors globally.  We encourage the fintech ecosystem to support and collaborate with NCFA's global network of industry partners by engaging directly with their ventures of mutual interest. "Since founding NCFA in the summer of 2012, one of it's core missions has been working with communities of change that are passionate about enabling inclusive opportunities for 'big vision' companies seeking to change the world but need access to capital and resources to innovate competitive products and services that otherwise may not exist.  These companies often focus on new economies of scale that look beyond 'for profit' models alone.  Supporting and leading this change by developing new infrastructure and partnerships while leveraging new technologies can be a beacon of light resulting in massive transformation and change." - Craig Asano, ...
Read More
ExpoG logo final600 - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
MIT Technology Review | Mike Orcutt | Aug 15, 2019 Complying with regulators could mean the difference between going mainstream and remaining forever on the margins of the global financial system. One of the biggest knocks against cryptocurrency has always been its status as a refuge for tech-savvy criminals. Even as some bigger players—particularly exchanges that handle many billions of dollars in crypto-wealth each day—have gone out of their way to play nice with regulators, the image persists, in part because some crypto firms have evaded regulators by moving to jurisdictions that are less strict.  But the end of the lawless era may be nigh. A new set of global anti-money-laundering rules aimed at cryptocurrency exchanges has been handed down by the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization that sets standards for policing money laundering and terrorist financing. The rules, which call on exchanges to share personal information about their users with each other, are controversial. Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts think the privacy that drew them to the technology could evaporate. On the other hand, complying with the rules is likely to make the industry more attractive to mainstream financial institutions and users. In other words, cha-ching. See:  A Global ...
Read More
money laundering rules - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Pryor Cashman | Jeffrey Alberts and Dustin N. Nofziger | Aug 13, 2019 The Federal Reserve Board has announced plans to develop a real-time payment service that should appeal to FinTech companies and community banks. The Board announced last Monday that it will develop a new round-the-clock real time payment and settlement service to support faster payments in the United States. This new real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service, which will be known as the "FedNow Service," is anticipated to be available in 2023 or 2024. The Board is currently soliciting comments on all aspects of the proposed service in order to finalize its design and features. The Board's intention to operate a RTGS service is a win for community banks and FinTech companies, although it may threaten those FinTechs with business models centered around providing real time payments. The Board's plans were not developed in a vacuum. The Clearing House (TCH), which is owned by 30 of the world's largest commercial banks, previously rolled out a RTGS system known as the "RTP network" in November 2017 – some six years before the Board anticipates that its FedNow Service may first become available. The RTP network reportedly cost over $1 billion ...
Read More
cash payments - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Forbes | Ron Shevlin | July 1, 2019 OBSERVATIONS FROM THE FINTECH SNARK TANK A Seeking Alpha article titled Why Fintech May Not Be Fit For Public Consumption states: The year 2019 seems set to be a record-setting one for venture capitalist exit value capture by means of tech IPOs. But fintech doesn't seem to be a part of this picture. VCs are certainly putting money into fintech startups. There were 170 financings in the US in the first quarter of 2019. But, as Pitchbook says, 'not one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world seems particularly close to an offering.' " The article chalks this up to three primary causes: 1. Poor IPO performance in 2018. According to the article, "One reason nobody is in a hurry to go public is that the results of the last crop of fintech concerns that did go public have been unimpressive. Adyen and IntegraFin are prospering, but neither GreenSky nor EverQuote is "lighting up the heavens" according to Seeking Alpha. See:  OurCrowd Double IPO Success Provides Crowdfunding Validation 2. Mega-round financing. Seeking Alpha postulates that investor interest in mega-rounds--e.g., Qatar Investment Authority's investment of $500 million in SoFi and Tiger Capital leading a round that raised $300 ...
Read More
fintech IPO shortage - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Aug 12, 2019 Money spent in venture capital and other alternative investments is surging as investors look for riskier, but higher-yielding investments. The trend coincides with relatively low returns from more conventional Wall Street investments such as stocks and bonds, and a drop in the number of publicly traded companies. “In a world where big institutional investors find themselves starved for returns, it’s not surprising that they have steadily increased allocations to private markets and you’ve seen capital continuing to flow into the asset class,” says McKinsey Partner Bryce Klempner. Many global investors are turning toward Silicon Valley instead of Wall Street in search of returns. The total invested in private markets hit all-time highs last year and continues to break multi-decade records this year. In the first half of the year, total investments in venture capital hit a 19-year high of $53.3 billion, according to data from Refinitiv published last week. That marked a 21% increase by total dollar amount compared to the first half of 2018. See:  $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies The steady stream of funding comes alongside a drop in the number of publicly listed companies, rock-bottom global ...
Read More
unicorn - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
TechRepublic | Mary Shacklett | July 23, 2019 Learn how artificial intelligence and analytics can be used to improve customer service in banking. When I was a CIO for a financial institution, I worked with executives on the operations side to see how we could improve relationships with customers at our branches. Our front-line tellers at these branches were more like order takers—they did what customers asked, but no more. These employees were in low-wage positions, and they often had limited skills. One of the skills we wanted was interpersonal engagement with customers that you would typically find in a salesperson. We decided to hire people with retail and/or people-facing experience, figuring that we could train them to be tellers. We implemented systems that would prompt a teller to ask a customer about new products the customer might be interested in, and we offered financial incentives for enrolling customers in new products. The experiment yielded mixed results and likely would have gone better if we'd had some of the analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) automation tools that are available today. See:  How Jack Ma’s $290b SME credit engine is changing Chinese banking "Most customers tend to keep their accounts with ...
Read More
banking with AI - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Guest Post | Aug 14, 2019 You see a need. You know that your new business can fill that need. The problem is that it takes an incredible amount of capital to start a business. Besides purchasing equipment, raw materials, and computer systems, you also have the expenses that no one ever thinks about when opening a shop. Did you figure in the cost of hiring an accountant, a lawyer, and paying for workers compensation insurance? Instead of heading to the bank with your business plan in hand, you may consider whether working with a crowdfunding site might be another feasible way to raise cash for your business expenses. Here’s how crowdfunding sites work. Cash in Exchange for Equity Have you seen Shark Tank? On this TV show, investors decide whether or not they would like to provide capital for startups in exchange for a piece of the company. Sometimes the hosts compete against each other for the opportunity to invest. Sometimes they pool resources and form investment partnerships for a portion of ownership in the company. Occasionally budding entrepreneurs are sent away empty-handed. See:  Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much ...
Read More
Funding meeting - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Forbes | Biser Dimitrov | Aug 13, 2019 2019 is the year when the blockchain ecosystem and the crypto industry as a whole had to get sober. After a wild 2017 and a bear 2018, the blockchain space is back on an upwards trajectory with new developments. There are no more Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to distract the crypto ecosystem and the building mentality is back on. This post-ICO and post-useless-PR-partnerships age urges the blockchain community to be less focused on the current price of bitcoin and more focused on producing meaningful services and advancements. Big projects from established enterprises like Facebook Libra are taking all the media space now and this is net positive for the enterprise blockchain space as well. The first half of this year was full of blockchain developments led by large enterprises in almost all important sectors, including insurance, financial services, supply chain, healthcare and trade finance. There is a huge benefit in joining a specialized industry-focused blockchain consortium because you sit at the same table with your main competitors but at the same time you work toward the same goal. You are not alone in figuring out the benefits, implementations and roll-out of distributed ...
Read More
Blockchain and enterprise - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
Wired UK Gov | Information Commissioner's Office | Aug 12, 2019 Reuben Binns, our Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Valeria Gallo, Technology Policy Adviser, discuss some of the key safeguards organisations should implement when using solely automated AI systems to make decisions with significant impacts on data subjects. This post is part of our ongoing Call for Input on developing the ICO framework for auditing AI. We encourage you to share your views by leaving a comment below or by emailing us at AIAuditingFramework@ico.org.uk. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires organisations to implement suitable safeguards when processing personal data to make solely automated decisions that have a legal or similarly significant impact on individuals. These safeguards include the right for data subjects: to obtain human intervention; to express their point of view; and to contest the decision made about them. See:  How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes These safeguards cannot be token gestures. Guidance published by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) states that human intervention involve a review of the decision, which “must be carried out by someone who has the appropriate authority and capability to change the decision”.  The review should include a “thorough assessment of all the relevant ...
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Automated AI decisions - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record GrowthThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business

NCFA Canada | By Gary Buisansky | May 11, 2018

fintech in Canada - What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business

Summary

It's not every day we wake up to hear that the Ontario Government has committed to a loan of 3 million Dollars for small business. A market woefully underserved by traditional lenders.

Beyond the benefit this will have for small business, it provides testimony to the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada’s continued advocacy for financial and regulatory support to the sector. (You can read the NCFA’s March 2018 submission to Finance Canada here and Lifting the Veil on Peer to peer Lending in Q1 2016 here).

As an industry, while we navigate the regulatory hurdles, there are some lessons we can take away from this, to better help ourselves and the Canadian market. There are also several Canadian success stories which we should not lose sight of. AI, Crypto currency and blockchain, are all thriving in Canada.

Ontario Government supports small business

Lending Loop, an active member of the NCFA, has been making the news lately with an announced 2-year pilot project partnership with the Ontario Government for a $3 million loan.

If you're not familiar with Lending Loop, it fills an important void in the market, connecting small businesses and Canadian retail investors, willing to lend to them.

Through the Lending Loop platform, small companies can finance loans at reasonable rates, often within days of their loan application.

These borrowers face very real challenges securing funding in the Canadian market with debt finance to SME's considered very risky. Where loans are made, they usually come with eyewatering interest rates, reflecting their often-limited track record, lack of financial information and availability of collateral.

See:  Ontario government invests in fintech to boost small-business lending

Loans provided by Lending Loop will now have a 10% government participation, with the government portion of the loan amount treated like any other; the principle amount will be repaid together with interest.

The anchor investment by the Ontario Government will enable total funding of around $30 million to Ontario's SME's providing welcome relief to an under banked market and provide leveraged economic benefit into the broader economy.

This is a clear win for all parties. But what can the greater fintech community learn from this success?

The importance of government relationships and support for fintech companies

Cato Pastoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, makes the point that fintech companies underestimate the importance of government relationships, particularly those in the startup phase. He suggests:

"Its up to you to educate the regulators about your business and what societal benefits it provides. You need to make yourself heard. For the most part, fintech entrepreneurs do not make it a priority to try work with government.

It can be vital, particularly in regulated industries, to find the time and make the effort. The governments role is to hear the challenges industries and people are facing and want to understand the dynamics of the market".

In his experience, regulators and government only hear part of the story and if fintech does not speak up, then regulators are left with only the incumbents viewpoint.

Government recognizes that Canada can play a bigger game

In a study released in December last year, the Canadian Competition- Bureau, observed:

"...other jurisdictions have more welcoming and innovationconducive regulatory environments than Canada. The United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Germany, Australia and Hong Kong have been identified as leading fintech hubs based on talent, funding availability, government policy and demand for fintech".

This contrasts with the position in Canada, where regulatory gaps, uncertainty and lack of consistency across provinces prevail.

An 11-point plan has been proposed, that includes harmonizing regulation across geographic boundaries, and identifying a fintech policy lead for Canada. These solutions would go a long way to addressing key roadblocks in the growth and development of Canadian fintech. Additionally, Craig Asano, Executive Director of the NCFA, makes the point that:

To help verify Canadas competitive position relative to other jurisdictions, additional resources and support are needed for data collection and education. This will help quantify the number of fintech companies, capital investments, financings and loan volumes of new funding models, and the time and cost spent on compliance.

The Canadian government is extremely well placed to support the sector. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the largest VC fund in the country with over $1 billion in capital under management. Most Canadian VC funds have government money, either directly through BDC investing in the funds or indirectly through funds of funds that in turn invest in VC's.

The significance of government involvement and ability to support and foster a sustainable fintech sector, with market confidence is critical. The C.D. Howe Institute makes the case for a suite of recommendations that, if adopted, will better position Canada to take advantage of its investments in the technological revolution that is underway throughout the economy.

Right way round regulatory sandboxes could offer short term benefits

While Canada makes use of regulatory sandboxes to help start-ups test new products or services in a controlled environment, there is room to improve the model. Unlike competitor countries including the UK and Australia, which offer flexible and proportional regulatory frameworks, Canada follows a more paternalistic model.

See:  How Blockchain and Crypto are Impacting Canadian Fintech Markets

Cato Pastoll says the Canadian model has it the wrong way around.

In Canada one must adjust your business to fit in with the existing regulatory models rather than forcing regulators to figure out how best to regulate.

Getting this right is critical in his view, particularly if we are going to compete with other countries.

What this requires is a mind shift followed by active dialogue between stakeholders and industry to work out a better framework for regulatory sandboxes.

That said, there are some areas of fintech where accelerator programs and innovation hubs are showing strong results.

Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain is accelerating in Canada

KPMG International in their Pulse of Fintech Q4'17 Report, highlights AI as a major driver of innovation in the Americas, particularly in the US and Canada.

It refers to Canada as, "a hotbed for fintech innovation", and goes on to say that Canada’s participation in the space is getting more notice with world-class fintech hubs in Canada rapidly maturing with increased attention from US investors.

Crypto currency and blockchain related ventures are also recognizing Canada as a friendly jurisdiction.  With strong investor appetite available, crypto mining companies, Hut 8 Mining, BitFury and HIVE have all come to market to capital through the TSX-V.

See:  Registration Open: Convergence of the titans: Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, Irakli Beridze, to Present in Toronto at AiDecentralized Summit (May 22)

More recently, the Ontario Securities Commission consented to the listing of the first Canadian Bitcoin ETF on the TSX under the ticker, HBLK which invests in companies involved in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

And over the past few days, Huobi a Singapore-based bitcoin exchange, (and the world’s number three exchange by 24-hour volume), has stated its intention to expand its operations to Toronto.

General Manager of Huobi, Ross Zhang stated;

"Canada is emerging as a leading blockchain nation, and Toronto is set to become one of the next most active blockchain hubs across North America".

Canada's fintech time is now

This serves to demonstrate that If Canada is to capitalize on the wave of fintech opportunity washing our shores, we need to act swiftly and get our regulatory house in order.

Without the need to reinvent the wheel, we can borrow from global best practices. We must continue to lobby for a unified regulatory framework and insist that the Federal Government champion fintech. Fintech after all has the wherewith-all to make a marked difference in our economy.

It would be a sad day if in years to come, we look back and wonder how we let slip what could have been ours to have.

Gary B - What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business

 

Gary Buisansky is a freelance writer for NCFA and founder of Coin My Copy  which specializes in writing marketing content, including white papers, website copy, articles and case studies for fintech and traditional finance companies.

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small businessThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to over 1700+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry.  Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE!  Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:  ncfacanada.org

U.S. regulator sues LendingClub over hidden fees

Reuters |Anna Irrera | Apr 25, 2018

LendingClub banner - U.S. regulator sues LendingClub over hidden fees

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. regulator sued online lender Lending Club Corp (LC.N) on Wednesday for allegedly overcharging consumers and misleading them on hidden fees.

The Federal Trade Commission said in a complaint filed in federal court in California that LendingClub deducted hidden fees from the loans it issued to borrowers, despite promising “no hidden fees.”

LendingClub also allegedly deducted payments automatically from consumers’ bank accounts even when they had paid off their loans, or had canceled automatic payments, according to the complaint. Some consumers were allegedly charged double payments, the complaint said.

LendingClub shares were down as much as 16 percent at $2.72 following the news.

The San Francisco-based start-up is one of the largest companies known as peer-to-peer lenders and runs a website where consumers can apply for loans that are either funded by individual investors or by institutions such as banks.

“We support the important role that the FTC plays in encouraging appropriate standards and best practices,” a spokesman for LendingClub said in a written statement. “In this case, we believe the FTC is wrong, and are very disappointed that it was not possible to resolve this matter constructively with the agency’s current leadership.”

LendingClub has been in recovery mode since May 2016, when it acknowledged issues, including the way it had sold loans to an investor, prompting the departure of its then chief executive.

Its shares have fallen more than 88 percent since its initial public offering in late 2014.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - U.S. regulator sues LendingClub over hidden feesThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  ncfacanada.org

 

Compliant Airdrops: CoinList Service to Offer Investors Free Crypto Giveaways

Coindesk | Brady Dale | Apr 25, 2018

coinlist compliant airdrops 1024x515 - Compliant Airdrops: CoinList Service to Offer Investors Free Crypto Giveaways

Who thought giving something away could be so complicated?

That's the question crypto innovators have had to come to terms with since the concept of "airdrops" - or the practice of gifting tokens in massive giveaways - has come under the scrutiny of government regulators.

But with the launch of a new product Wednesday, CoinList, an initial coin offering (ICO) facilitator spun out of the renowned startup incubator AngelList, is looking to streamline the process of airdrops in a way that doesn't run afoul with the law.

Aptly named Airdrops, the product runs users through compliance checks and attestations so that a token issuer can give CoinList's users free tokens. On top of that, if the issuer is looking for users that meet certain criteria (be it a profession or location), they can verify that users actually fit those backgrounds.

Video:  Interview with Coinlist General Counsel, Georgia Quinn (at FFCON18)

In this way, CoinList CEO Andy Bromberg believes he has found a way to enable airdropped offerings at a time when many in the industry are looking for a compliant service. Token issuers themselves have had no shortage of issues here, with some, including video-monetization service Stream, even backing off the concept altogether because of the regulatory uncertainty.

Indeed, the SEC hasn't taken a formal stance on how it views crypto tokens delivered through ICO, airdrops or other forms of sales and giveaways, but it's clear regulators are currently investigating that question.

Still, Bromberg is confident in his assembled solutions, and in interview, he hinted at dialogue with regulators that would attest to the viability of the service.

"In our typical compliance first mindset, we sat down and said: Is there a way to pull this off without violating securities laws? And what we came to is the compliant Airdrops product," Bromberg told CoinDesk.

He continued:

"I can't comment on individual discussions with the SEC. What I can say is we are in frequrent communication with them and -- based on our understanding of securities law -- we are very comfortable with this."

Not only does the startup believe it has a solution for working under existing securities law, but it's also opening up its existing user base of past investors to new token issuers. Once users have gone through the company's compliance flow, they will be verified to receive airdrops, and CoinList will take a nominal fee from users (less than $1 per airdrop) to accept new tokens.

To date, according to its website, CoinList has run $850 million worth of token sales through its platform, representing what could be a vast pool of people interested in investing and taking part in future crypto tokens.

Compliance as a service

While that pool of potential investors will likely be attractive for token issuers, Coinlist's product is opt-in - a feature added to reduce spam and mitigate the security threats that have become a common annoyance from crypto enthusiasts involved in such offerings.

Also, CoinList says it's only willing to work with token issuers that are focused on complying with the law. And that's partly because CoinList will be promoting these projects for issuers.

See:  The Cryptocurrency Industry Might Actually Benefit From an Ad Ban

Still, CoinList's Airdrops product seems to be set up whereby all the compliance effort is offloaded from the issuer, which many issuers will like since many are not securities law experts.

CoinList's product allows for airdrops that might fall under Regulation S and Regulation D and will also collaborate with AngelList spin-off Republic, which has a license to sell securities under limited conditions to non-accredited investors using Regulation CF.

The company is also doing a country-by-country analysis to determine what sorts of checks issuers will need to do in order to airdrop to users around the world.

Depending not only on the goals of the issuer and who they want to give to, different levels of know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements will be needed, and whether issuers can to both accredited and unaccredited investors or one or the other.

And all of this has already proven enticing to token issuers. Bromberg told CoinDesk the company is in negotiations with more than one issuer to use its Airdrops product but declined to disclose which ones.

While CoinList has so far been focused on fundraising, Bromberg said that potential issuers will not have to have a token sale on the platform in order to use the new product.

"We're interested in exploring this model where in some cases ... funding might be separate from distribution," Bromberg said.

 

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Compliant Airdrops: CoinList Service to Offer Investors Free Crypto GiveawaysThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  ncfacanada.org

Etherparty Announces Global Crowdfunding Contest Valued at $300,000

Etherparty Release | April 4, 2018

Etherparty Logo 01 - Etherparty Announces Global Crowdfunding Contest Valued at $300,000

VANCOUVER, April 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ - Etherparty Smart Contracts Inc. ("Etherparty"), a Vancouver blockchain technology company, is excited to announce the Rocket Three for Free contest, which will offer three projects or startup companies the opportunity to win full use of Etherparty's cryptocurrency crowdfunding platform, Rocket, free of charge.

The anticipation surrounding the launch of Etherparty's crowdfund creator has been steadily growing for months, and with the imminent arrival of Rocket, Etherparty has decided to hold a contest for startups looking to crowdfund using cryptocurrency. The smart contract solution developed by Etherparty called Rocket can be used on Bitcoin or Ethereum and is valued at USD $100,000.

Starting today, April 4, 2018, and running until April 30, 2018, applicants can submit a report, detailing their project, white paper and token purpose and functionality, along with company information including team LinkedIn profiles, social media channels, and Github, if public.

See:  Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $100,000,000 in Capital Commitments – Signaling an Industry that is Here to Stay and Reaching $1 Billion in the next 5 years

Once all of the applications have been submitted, short-listed companies will be interviewed by Etherparty's leadership team, and the three winners will be announced in May. In addition, outside of the three winners, Etherparty will be selecting up to 100 projects that will be able to receive a discount to launch their crowdfund with Etherparty.

"The contest is an amazing chance for a few young companies to harness the latest in crowdfunding technology at no cost, and no risk," said Kevin Hobbs, CEO at Etherparty.

Each winner will receive free token and crowdfund smart contracts, along with $20,000 worth in marketing services, to support their business and crowdfunding initiatives. The Rocket contest is looking to reward the best of the best, and Etherparty is excited to see what the community has to submit.

"We are looking for blockchain projects that are innovative and exciting, and we especially love projects that are problem-solving a large or global issue."

Only one submission per startup is allowed, and each submission must contain all of the required information to be eligible. To learn more about the Three for Free contest, visit contest.etherparty.com/threeforfree.

For continued updates, visit etherparty.com and subscribe to the company mailing list. You can also join the Etherparty conversation via Telegram, or on Facebook, Twitter, and BitcoinTalk.

About Etherparty

Etherparty is a blockchain technology company that develops end-to-end smart contract solutions powered by the FUEL token. Learn more about Etherparty and its software products at etherparty.com.

SOURCE Etherparty release


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Etherparty Announces Global Crowdfunding Contest Valued at $300,000The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  ncfacanada.org

OSC approves first ICO in Ontario to TokenFunder

OSC LaunchPad | Nov 23, 2017

Token Funder ICO announcement OSC 1024x512 - OSC approves first ICO in Ontario to TokenFunder

Release:  OSC Launchpad approves Token Funder to be the first token offering out of Ontario

OSC approves initial coin offering

Investment Executive | James Langton | Nov 23, 2017

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has approved Ontario's first-ever regulated initial coin offering (ICO).

Under the auspices of the Canadian Securities Administrators' "regulatory sandbox", the OSC granted regulatory relief to Toronto-based Token Funder Inc., which will exempt the firm from the dealer registration requirements, and allow it to carry out an ICO under existing prospectus exemptions.

"We are pleased to announce that we just approved the first token offering out of Ontario. It is important that we continue to foster innovative new ways to raise capital and invest, and this announcement is a testament to the dedicated support we are providing in this space," the commission says in a statement.

According to the OSC's decision, the firm was established to create a "smart token asset management platform", which is intended to, among other things, "facilitate third-party issuers raising capital through the offering of blockchain-based securities, including tokens and coins."

Token Funder also intends to provide token and coin management and governance services for issuers, and to facilitate token transfers, subject to regulatory approval.

The proposed ICO will be used to fund the creation of the platform, and to facilitate transfers of digital FNDR tokens under prospectus exemptions. The firm is planning to create 1 billion FNDR tokens on the ethereum blockchain, and to distribute up to 200 million on them as part of the offering (raising around $10 million).

The relief was granted with conditions, including: the firm will conduct know-your-client (KYC) and a suitability review for each investor; and investors undergo a comprehensive onboarding process to ensure, among other things that they have a "detailed understanding" of cryptocurrency and digital token offerings.

This "should not necessarily be viewed as a precedent" for other firms, the OSC decision says.


ncfa logo 100.gif?zoom=1 - OSC approves first ICO in Ontario to TokenFunder

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit ncfacanada.org.