F|T: The FinTech Times – Block and PayPal cull staffers in latest tech layoffs

Plus: Koho wants a licence to compete.

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 this form.

In banking licence pursuit, Koho is chasing a “seat at the table” and real competition

After years of leaning on other players to deliver its products, Toronto-based challenger bank Koho Financial has taken a step towards becoming an actual bank, becoming the first Canadian FinTech startup to secure a Schedule 1 banking licence.

In an interview with BetaKit, Koho founder and CEO Daniel Eberhard argued that gaining access to the same playing field as the country’s banks would permit Koho to “innovate at an infrastructure level” and build better deposit and lending products for Canadians.



Want to bring your innovations to life?

Get access to funding, expert guidance, and top incubators – where your impact is not just a dream, it’s the outcome.

Here’s a degree designed for you.

Register Now.

Jack Dorsey’s Block lays off ‘large number’ of staffers, adding to wave of tech industry cuts

Jack Dorsey this week made good on his promise to conduct layoffs at Block.

While Dorsey did not specify the number of Block employees laid off on Tuesday, a person familiar with the company said the number was close to 1,000. Dorsey did say that the layoffs were focused on Block workers at Cash App, Foundational, and Square. He added that operations overall were “getting leaner.” 

(Business Insider)

After years of providing free accounting and invoicing software, Wave rolls out paid model

Toronto-based Wave Financial is rolling out a new tiered pricing strategy that will see it begin to charge customers using its accounting and invoicing software.

“It was time to take Wave from a startup designed to remove a barrier to entry for aspiring entrepreneurs to a purpose-driven, profitable, and sustainable company designed to support small business owners at every stage of their journey,” wrote Wave CEO Zahir Khoja.


Bitcoin-based DEX Portal raises $34 million in seed funding from Coinbase Ventures and others

Portal, a startup building a Bitcoin-based cross-chain decentralized exchange and wallet, has raised $34 million in a seed funding round. Investors in the round included Coinbase Ventures, Arrington Capital, OKX Ventures, and Gate.io, Portal said Tuesday.

At $34 million, Portal’s seed round surpasses the typical size for a seed round. Duggirala said it was oversubscribed by more than two times due to increased interest in the growth of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

(The Block)

Shopify unveils term loans, lines of credit for merchants

Shopify has revealed two new loan offerings to merchants in what the company has called the “next evolution” of its lending business.

The e-commerce giant has now launched a line of credit as well as term loans as part of a recent roundup of new products and features through its winter 2024 Editions showcase. The two offerings are currently available only to merchants in the United States.


PayPal to Cut 9% of Staff in Companywide Layoffs

PayPal is laying off 9% of its staff, the company told employees in an email on Tuesday, as a newly appointed CEO looks to cut costs and improve profits.

The layoffs affected people across multiple teams, including engineering and research and development, according to LinkedIn posts from employees who were laid off. PayPal last January cut about 2,000 employees out of a total then of just below 30,000. 

(The Information)

Amid rising business costs, GoDaddy’s Young Lee shares how Canadian companies can keep them in check

The cost of doing business in Canada is rising, and compounding this problem is a wave of hidden costs that often elude initial budgeting and catch entrepreneurs and small businesses by surprise.

As Young Lee, Canada market and growth lead at GoDaddy puts it, “Canadian small businesses are stretched thinner than ever, particularly when it comes to their finances.”

As business costs continue to rise, Lee talked to BetaKit about how Canadian small business owners can keep expenses in check.


Tokens.com blazes in asset sale to StoryFire

Toronto-based cryptocurrency and Web3 firm Tokens.com has put its domain up for sale and entered into an agreement to sell two of its subsidiaries to online social entertainment and gaming platform StoryFire. The sale follows Tokens.com laying off 40 percent of its staff in November 2023.


Inovia report indicates Canadian software sector is returning to normal

Venture capital funding across the Canadian software sector is now seeing a return to normal after a challenging two years, signalling the start of a promising new phase, according to a new report from Inovia Capital.

FinTech companies such as Wealthsimple and Neo are now the most dominant in terms of VC funding, the report shows, with $5.7 billion invested into the vertical since 2019.


DataSnipper, startup that uses AI to eliminate some of the ‘dread’ in accounting, is valued at $1 billion in latest funding round

DataSnipper, a software startup that automates critical tasks for accountants and auditors, has raised an additional $100 million in venture capital in a deal that values the six-year-old company at $1 billion.

The round, which gives DataSnipper a coveted unicorn’s horn for reaching the milestone valuation, says a lot not just about the current appeal of any investment with a whiff of artificial intelligence about it. It’s also a harbinger of the likely impact AI will have on accounting, and on professional services more generally. 


Government of Canada finally launches consultations on SR&ED modernization

As promised late last month, the federal government has now launched consultations on its Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program.

The Department of Finance is seeking feedback on how to modernize and improve SR&ED in “cost-neutral ways” and the suitability of adopting a patent box regime by April 15, as it considers whether to give firms that develop and keep IP in Canada a tax break on sales of their inventions globally.


FTX Expects to Repay Customers in Full, Bankruptcy Lawyer Says

Customers and creditors of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX who can prove their losses will likely get back all of their money, the company told the judge overseeing the insolvency case.

“I would like the court and stakeholders to understand this not as a guarantee, but as an objective,” lawyer Andrew Dietderich said. “There is still a great amount of work, and risk, between us and that result. But we believe the objective is within reach and we have a strategy to achieve it.” 

(BNN Bloomberg)

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.

0 replies on “F|T: The FinTech Times – Block and PayPal cull staffers in latest tech layoffs”