F|T: The FinTech Times – Bad news comes in threes for Dapper Labs

Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou
Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou
Plus: Roham on the hot seat.

Welcome to the FinTech Times, a weekly newsletter covering the biggest FinTech news from around the globe. If you want to read F|T before anyone else, make sure to subscribe using the form at the bottom of this page.

Backed by Bay Street veterans, Obsiido wants to make alternative investing accessible (BETAKIT)

Obsiido came out of stealth earlier this year, and is currently running a waitlist as it works to launch its platform. The startup recently secured $815,000 CAD in pre-seed capital to make that happen.

NBA Top Shot CEO’s decadent lifestyle, ‘public shaming’ led to toxic culture as Dapper flails (THE BLOCK)

The Block spoke to 11 current and former employees who detailed the extravagant spending habits of Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou, including $200,000 a week yacht parties. These allegations couldn't come at a worse time amidst Dapper's significant staff cuts and a class action lawsuit claiming its NFTs are securities.

Uplinq partners with World Bank Group-linked global network to educate on financial inclusion (BETAKIT)

Launched in 2022, Uplinq claims to provide the first global credit assessment platform. Targeting small business lenders, the company says its API enables its users to access billions of unique and validated data signals to measure small businesses’ performance to support lenders’ credit decisions.

Inventures 2023: The Breakthrough Innovation Event

A one-of-a-kind experience, Inventures is a high-energy forum of conversations, convergence and creative collisions that attracts more than 3,000 investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders. It’s the place to discover new technologies, talent, capital, customers and markets.

Hosted by Alberta Innovates, Inventures brings the world’s brightest minds and boldest ideas together in Calgary for three extraordinary days of learning, sharing, inspiration and fun. The diverse program features eight curated program tracks with more than 150 sessions and 300+ speakers, including keynotes, expert panels, startup pitch events, networking opportunities, and more.

Register for Inventures 2023 today.

FTX includes more than 30 Canadian firms in sprawling creditors list (THE LOGIC)

A 116-page document that lawyers for FTX filed to the U.S. bankruptcy court for Delaware last month lists 36 Canadian entities and businesses, including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan; three well-known tech companies; two white-shoe law firms; the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation; a handful of Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses; two gaming influencers, Air Canada and former “Dragons’ Den” star Kevin O’Leary. It also lists the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Ontario Securities Commission and the federal Minister of Justice.

Canada’s small businesses want open banking, too (BETAKIT)

According to a recent survey by Mastercard, over the past two years 90 percent of small business owners with disabilities, 79 percent of Indigenous small business owners, and 71 percent of women small business owners have sought out new digital tools to manage their businesses.

Visa, Mastercard pause crypto push in wake of industry meltdown – sources (REUTERS)

Both Visa and Mastercard have decided to push back the launch of certain products and services related to crypto until market conditions and the regulatory environment improve, said the people, who asked not to be named as talks were confidential.

Latest Alberta, BC budgets target talent shortage with otherwise minimal new tech investment (BETAKIT)

Though British Columbia and Alberta’s latest budgets allocate some funding towards each province’s innovation sector, the promises for tech were minimal, with industry stakeholders hoping to see more for the sector and small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Canadian crypto pioneer Ted Livingston parts ways with Kin Foundation (THE LOGIC)

Ted Livingston, the founder and chief executive of the erstwhile Waterloo, Ont.-based messaging app Kik, and the team at his new startup Code have publicly split from the Kin Foundation, a non-profit created to support a crypto token that Kik launched in 2017.

How to build a diverse talent ecosystem for Canada (BETAKIT)

In an Op-Ed, Palette Skills Chief Strategy Officer AJ Tibando says Canada seems well placed when it comes to talent acquisition, particularly in tech and innovation.

However, Tibando argues that firms still struggle to recruit workers and an educated workforce alone is not enough to solve Canada's talent crunch.

Insurtech giant Equisoft lands $125M investment, eyes acquisitions (TECHCRUNCH)

Montreal-based Equisoft, an insurance and investment software developer, today announced that it raised $125 million in venture equity. It’s a large amount made more significant by the fact that the investment climate for insurtech vendors is growing increasingly challenging.

Canadian securities regulators tighten rules for crypto platforms following Voyager, Celsius, FTX collapse (BETAKIT)

These moves come in light of the recent collapse of a number of different unregulated international crypto trading platforms, from Voyager Digital to Celsius Network and FTX, amid the broader crypto downturn.

Crypto Companies Behind Tether Used Falsified Documents and Shell Companies to Get Bank Accounts (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

In late 2018, the companies behind the most widely traded cryptocurrency were struggling to maintain their access to the global banking system. Some of their backers turned to shadowy intermediaries, falsified documents and shell companies to get back in, documents show.

Non-custodial liquid staking platform Ether.Fi closes $5.3M fundraise (COINDESK)

Ether.Fi, a decentralized and non-custodial liquid staking platform founded by former CEO of Top Hat Mike Silagadze, said it closed a $5.3 million fundraising round. This comes after Silagadze's crypto-focused Gadze Finance sustained damage in the wake of the FTX meltdown in November.

How the biggest fraud in German history unravelled (THE NEW YORKER)

Late in the spring of 2020, Jan Marsalek, an Austrian bank executive, was suspended from his job as the chief operating officer of Wirecard, Germany’s fastest-growing financial-technology company.

On June 18, 2020, Wirecard announced that nearly two billion euros was missing from the company’s accounts.There were only two possibilities: the money had been stolen, or it had never existed.

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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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