F|T: The FinTech Times – Bench and Shopify alumni get $11 million to launch “Stripe for accounting”

Teal co-founders, CEO Ian Crosby and design lead Adam Saint.
Plus: Neo Financial credit products will now report to Equifax.

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Bench and Shopify alumni announce $11 million CAD to build “the Stripe for accounting” with Teal

Led by Bench co-founders Ian Crosby and Adam Saint, Vancouver-based Teal has announced approximately $11 million CAD ($8 million USD) in seed funding to provide bookkeeping infrastructure to vertical software-as-a-service businesses.

Teal provides out-of-the-box tools to help vertical SaaS companies launch their own accounting platforms in as little as four weeks, including fully functioning app code repositories and native integrations with external data sources.

The goal is to help those businesses offer their SMB end customers the ability to more easily draw insights into things like real-time cash flow, per-product profitability, and access tax filing and support from live bookkeepers.


Neo Enhances Credit Building Opportunities for New Canadians with Expanded Reporting

Calgary-headquarterd Neo Financial is helping new Canadians put down financial roots with an announcement that the Neo Secured Credit card, along with all Neo credit card products, will now report to Equifax Canada.

This new reporting is in addition to its existing reporting to TransUnion, giving Canadians a full credit profile for broader lender acceptance.


Blossom closes $2.1 million to grow its investing social network in the US

Vancouver-based FinTech startup Blossom Social has secured more than $2.1 million CAD in seed funding to fuel the growth of its investing social network south of the border.

While the startup’s original goal was to work with Canadian regulators to become the country’s first “social brokerage,” consisting of a social network app that also enabled Canadians to buy and sell stocks directly, Blossom abandoned this vision 10 months ago, eschewing the competition, complexity, costs, and geographic limitations associated with becoming a brokerage in favour of being a pure-play social platform.

“If you think of LinkedIn as the social network for everything jobs and career, we’re building the social network for everything money and finance,” CEO Maxwell Nicholson told BetaKit in an exclusive interview.


WonderFi’s board games: Inside the battle for control of Canada’s crypto contender

Toronto-based cryptocurrency-trading company WonderFi is working to position itself as Canada’s safe, blue-chip choice for mainstream crypto investors. But it also has a propensity for high-profile drama, as evidenced by its recent boardroom brawl.

The Logic took a closer look at this battle and what’s been going down at WonderFi, whose shareholders just approved a deal to revamp the firm’s board and settle the dispute between WonderFi, its biggest shareholder Mogo, and activist hedge fund Kaos Capital.

(The Logic)

Paytm, PSP Investments alumni announce $5.25 million to build a super app for Canadian immigrants called Beacon

Toronto and Montréal-based FinTech startup Beacon has emerged from stealth, announced $5.25 million CAD in previously undisclosed seed funding, and launched the first iteration of its planned ‘super app’ for Canadian immigrants.

The startup is developing an app aimed at helping immigrants settle and begin building their lives in Canada more easily. Beacon will provide resources, guides, and various financial products to newcomers, beginning with its newly launched pre-arrival solution.


Vitesse, a payments and treasury management platform for insurers, raises $93M to fuel US expansion

U.K. fintech Vitesse has closed a $93 million Series C round of funding led by investment giant KKR.

The platform provides easy access to domestic banking services to remove friction from cross-border payments, as well as services like liquidity management, cash-flow forecasting, and real-time visibility into cash positions in a myriad of accounts and currencies.


Startupfest shares full schedule for 2024 tech festival

Montréal technology festival Startupfest has released a detailed agenda for its upcoming event, which will take place at the Grand Quay from July 10 until July 12 this summer.

Speakers and mentors at Startupfest will include Shopify president Harley Finkelstein, Indigo CEO Heather Reisman, and BetaKit chair Satish Kanwar.

Like in years past, Startupfest 2024 will feature educational talks, workshops, and networking opportunities for startups, investors, and other players from across Canada’s tech ecosystem.


Mike Silagadze’s Ether.fi soars as ether owners pile in to hot crypto startup

Mike Silagadze had been dabbling in bitcoin for a decade when he decided in 2021 to fully commit to cryptocurrency. The Toronto tech entrepreneur left Top Hat, the online textbook company he’d led, moved to Grand Cayman and started a crypto hedge fund, figuring he’d found a low-risk way to make solid returns on digital currencies.

Then, in November, 2022, crypto exchange operator FTX Trading Ltd. filed for bankruptcy, tying up US$5.4-million of the assets Mr. Silagadze’s company managed.

Now, 18 months later, Mr. Silagadze’s retooled Ether.fi SEZC is one of the hottest things in the rebounding crypto market. He’s building Ether.fi into a blockchain-based financial services entity that allows users to save and invest crypto and spend it on real-life things.

(The Globe and Mail)

Pesa is banking on Canadians’ sense of duty

Tolu Osho knows first-hand the sense of responsibility that many newcomers to Canada feel when it comes to sending money back home.

“I started thinking about solving this problem on how to ensure that people can transfer or send money back home at a reasonable cost,” said Osho.

In 2021, Oshu worked with software engineers Yusuf Yakubu and Adewale Afolabi to launch Pesa, an app that aims to make sending and receiving funds across borders as hassle-free as transferring money locally.

“There’s a culture shock when it comes to the financial aspects of moving to a new country,” he said. “We want to be able to get people familiarized with this experience, even before you land or just when you land, so that it looks like you never missed a beat.”


Employees at fintech giant Revolut to cash in with $500m share sale

Bosses at Revolut, Britain’s biggest fintech, are drawing up plans to allow employees to cash in with a sale of stock valued at hundreds of millions of pounds.

Sky News has learnt that the banking and payments services provider is lining up investment bankers to coordinate a secondary share sale worth in the region of $500m (£394m).

City sources said that Nik Storonsky, Revolut’s co-founder and chief executive, was determined to seek a valuation of at least the $33bn (£26bn) it secured in a primary funding round in 2021.

“This will not be a down-round,” said one person familiar with Revolut’s thinking.

(Sky News)

Daniel Vranesic of TXIO is on a mission to improve personal finance

You would think that Daniel Vranesic, CEO of Toronto-based TXIO, would be difficult to surprise with numbers.

For years, TXIO has licensed its banking, payments and brokerage platform to a range of global clients. But when the company developed Neontra, an app for managing and planning personal finance, Vranesic decided to test the product’s “non-essential spending” category on himself.

“I knew I made too many non-essential purchases, especially sports-related gear for my kids,” he said. “But when our AI-generated insights told me how my non-essential spending compared to the average Canadian, I was shocked.”


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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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