F|T: The FinTech Times – 50 percent drop in sector deal volume last year

Plus: Plaid hires its first president and stablecoins need consultation.

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Deal volume in Canada’s FinTech sector fell by 50 percent in 2023

Following last year’s decline in investment and deal activity across Canada’s FinTech sector, startups should brace for sustained sluggishness for the next six to eight months, according to a new report from KPMG.

The latest Pulse of FinTech report found that in 2023, investment in Canadian FinTech companies dropped by 30 percent to $1.2 billion CAD ($920 million USD). Deal volume in the sector also fell last year by roughly half, with only 109 total deals tracked during the year.

Canada’s results mirror a global decline in FinTech investment, with deals falling by 65 percent and values by 73 percent. In a statement, Georges Pigeon, a partner in KPMG in Canada’s deal advisory practice, said he expects 2024 to be “pivotal” for Canada’s FinTech sector as many startups draw down on capital raised 18 to 24 months ago.


Plaid Hires First President

Plaid has hired its first president, Jen Taylor, in a sign that the company is preparing for an initial public offering. Taylor was previously Cloudflare’s chief product officer and had worked for Salesforce, Meta Platforms and Adobe before that.

Taylor is the second major executive hire Plaid has made in the past six months, following the appointment of the company’s first chief financial officer, Eric Hart, in October.  

(The Information)

As stablecoin compliance deadline looms, Canada’s crypto industry calls for consultation

In a recent letter, a broad swath of cryptocurrency players operating in Canada have called on the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) to rethink its approach to regulating fiat-backed stablecoins.

The February 5 letter, which has been signed by 21 businesses and nonprofits that use such tokens, argues that the CSA, Canada’s umbrella markets regulator, should develop stablecoin rules in concert with industry stakeholders and the federal government.


The FDIC’s First Chief Innovation Officer Made Big Claims. Many Don’t Stack Up

In 2015, fintech founder and eventual FDIC Chief Innovation Officer Sultan Meghji was sitting in a co-working space when a loud bang clapped through the room. Meghji turned to a colleague and said the violent pop gave him flashbacks to the time he was shot.

He told some he was shot during a summer program with the U.S. Naval Academy. Or with special forces in Iraq. Or in Afghanistan. Or during a training exercise in Arizona. In another telling, the late senator and Vietnam veteran John McCain was present.

According to interviews with more than two dozen people who have worked with or known Meghji over the past 20 years, he has a penchant for grand tales.

(The Information)

Wealthsimple surpasses combined $200 million for venture, private credit, equity funds

Wealthsimple’s three alternative investment funds have seen demand from retail investors: the Toronto-based FinTech startup told BetaKit that it has now raised over $200 million CAD collectively across its funds, which span venture capital, private credit, and private equity.

Wealthsimple began rolling out its alternative offerings in April 2022 to give qualified retail investors access to asset classes typically available only to institutional investors and the ultra-wealthy.


Tracey Black to step down as president, CEO of Payments Canada

Tracey Black will soon step down from her role as president and CEO of Payments Canada.

It’s unclear why Black, who has worked at Payments Canada since November 2018, has chosen not to renew her term. She oversaw the implementation of the Lynx system for large-value, time-sensitive payments, as well as Payments Canada’s efforts to modernize the country’s payments system including the long-awaited Real-Time Rail system.


Crypto Payments App Oobit Raises $25M in Series A Funding Round Led by Tether

Mobile payments app Oobit raised $25 million in a Series A funding round, the company said Monday.

The firm is planning to open up the capability to third-party wallets, which will transition Oobit into a non-custodial crypto payments app, it said.


How to make data-driven decisions in your startup

Collecting and analyzing data to inform decisions is key to any startup’s growth. But in a world of unlimited data, failing to choose the right metrics to measure actually inhibits high-quality decision-making.

This is a challenge that Dillon Mullaney, VP of Revenue at Mozart Data, sees regularly with clients. Speaking with BetaKit, Mullaney explained how he builds high-quality dashboards that drive specific, relevant action.


Accounting software startup Pennylane becomes France’s latest unicorn

Just like clockwork, Pennylane is raising another €40 million ($43 million at today’s exchange rate).This new funding round comes after the accounting startup raised €4 million in 2020, €15 million in 2021, another €15 million in 2021 again, €50 million in 2022 and €30 million in 2023.

You might think that it’s quite a lot of money for a company working on . . . accounting software? That’s because the startup is growing nicely with more than 2,000 accounting firms now using Pennylane as their main software tool.


Ted Livingston’s new micropayments startup Code closes $6.5 million in seed financing

Kitchener-Waterloo-based Web3 startup Code has closed $6.5 million in seed funding to scale its new global micropayments platform.

Code, which pitches itself as a global payments platform that allows creators to earn money on anything they put online, was founded by Ted Livingston, the founder and former CEO of Canadian unicorn Kik, which was once among the world’s most popular chat apps.


Worldline to lay off 8% of its workforce

French digital payments company Worldline said on Wednesday it would cut its global workforce by around 8% as part of a cost reduction plan initially announced in October.

The fintech company’s shares sank in October after it shocked investors by cutting full-year targets and announcing that it was cutting ties with some merchants to reduce crime risks.


Blockchain startup Hivello raises $3.3 million CAD in pre-seed funding

Toronto-based Hivello has closed $3.3 million CAD ($2.5 million USD) in pre-seed funding as it looks to make building Web3 applications more accessible.

Founded in 2022, Hivello is looking to be a disruptor in Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePIN), a concept that revolves around using blockchain technology to develop and maintain infrastructure in the physical world.


Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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