F|T: The FinTech Times – Canadian banks rank high in global AI innovation

Plus: Haun Ventures gets back into blockchain by investing in Chainalysis.

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Several Canadian banks rank high globally for AI research

Canadian banks hold three of the top 10 spots worldwide for artificial-intelligence innovation, according to a new ranking.

Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Bank of Montreal ranked third, sixth and ninth in the world, respectively, according to a report published early Tuesday by AI benchmarking platform Evident Insights Ltd.

“That was one of the biggest surprises when we ran the index for the first time, to just see how many of the Canadian banks sat so high, driven very much by their research and patent approach to AI innovation,” Evident chief executive officer Alexandra Mousavizadeh said in an interview.

(The Globe and Mail)

Harvest Ventures, New York-based IA Capital back Summit’s $3.5-million seed round

Kelowna-based digital insurance brokerage Summit has raised $3.5 million CAD in seed funding to build out its technology infrastructure and revenue teams.

The all-equity seed round was led by New York-based venture capital firm IA Capital Group with a follow-on investment from Calgary-based Harvest Ventures.

Founded in 2022, Summit calls itself a national insurance brokerage and risk management firm with technology-driven solutions.


Haun Ventures Buys the Dip in Chainalysis

Haun Ventures raised $1.5 billion to invest in crypto startups just before the market collapsed and venture deals slowed dramatically. Now, as the crypto market shows signs of a recovery, Haun is getting active—quietly grabbing a stake in one of the industry’s most high-profile survivors at a steep discount to its peak valuation.

Haun Ventures, which hadn’t invested in Chainalysis previously, has also been trying to organize a larger secondary share purchase from existing investors in recent months.

BetaKit reported last April: Chainalysis, a United States-based blockchain data platform, provides data, software and research services, partnered with the Calgary police to create the CPS Blockchain Investigation Team, dedicated to support cryptocurrency and blockchain-related investigations.

(The Information)

CleanBC program investigation prompts fear of provincial startup fallout from cleantech and grant experts

Allegations of conflict of interest at British Columbia cleantech grant programs for electric vehicles have sparked a provincial investigation into MNP’s administration approach.

Multiple grant and cleantech experts BetaKit spoke with believe that a review is warranted but expressed worry that the outcome for BC tech firms will be similar to the fallout from the Sustainable Development Technology Canada scandal, albeit on a much smaller scale.

“The best outcome is to do [this] review quickly and come to an agreement that gets the money flowing again soon,” Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Vancouver-based cleantech accelerator Foresight Canada, said in an interview with BetaKit.


SEC moves to sue Uniswap in bid to hobble fast-growing DeFi sector

The Securities and Exchange Commission warned Uniswap on Wednesday that it intends to bring an enforcement action against the company, which is the leading platform for DeFi—a segment of the crypto market where traders rely on computer protocols that act as automated market makers for exchanging various tokens.

Fortune has yet to learn the specific nature of the SEC’s allegations against Uniswap Labs—the company that built the protocol of the same name but does not control it. But based on the agency’s recent lawsuits against high-profile crypto firms like Coinbase, the agency is likely to claim the firm illegally offered unregistered securities to the public or that it failed to register as a broker or an exchange.


Define Capital closes $20 million to acquire and nurture profitable niche software companies

Through Toronto’s Define Capital, OMERS Ventures and RIV Capital alum Narbe Alexandrian plans to buy profitable vertical software-as-a-service and business-to-business software firms and grow them over the long haul.

“The idea is to create long-term value by acquiring these sticky SaaS and [B2B] software companies, optimizing them, and then just holding onto them forever, similar to a Constellation-type model,” Alexandrian told BetaKit in an exclusive interview.


Riskthinking.AI selected by OSFI to provide financial institutions with climate risk data

Toronto-based Riskthinking.AI has been chosen by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to provide climate risk data for financial institutions that are required to complete the 2024 Standardized Climate Scenario Exercise.

“Financial institutions are exposed to the consequences of climate change,” AMF president and CEO Yves Ouellet said in a statement. “The joint exercise we are launching today with our OSFI colleagues will help institutions be better prepared to manage climate change risks. It will also enable us to take the necessary actions to support financial market stability and the protection of Québec consumers.”


London fintech GoCardless taps shareholders for £131 million funding after losses widen

London fintech GoCardless has tapped shareholders for another £131 million in funding after it reported a deepening in losses.

The Google-backed business said it had completed a £90 million equity raise from its parent company, as well as a £41 million cash advance. It was not clear how the company’s valuation was impacted by the fresh funding, but the firm warned of “reduced appetite to invest in later-stage growth companies.”

(The Standard)

As crypto regains momentum, Coinbase Canada’s Lucas Matheson zeroes in on the next big goal: adoption

To Lucas Matheson, CEO of Coinbase Canada, it’s now clear that crypto as an asset class is “here to stay,” and the industry is now shifting to a new focus: driving adoption.

“Now is the opportunity for us to shift and help evangelize the opportunity for Canadians to get access to the digital economy,” Matheson told BetaKit.

In a recent fireside discussion with BetaKit interim CEO Satish Kanwar, Matheson explored how Coinbase is looking to catalyze crypto adoption in Canada, the role that the government will play, and Canada’s wider innovation opportunity.


TransferGo raises $10M to expand its remittance business in Asia, doubling valuation

TransferGo, the U.K.-based fintech best known as a consumer platform for global remittances, has raised a $10 million growth funding round from Taiwan-based investor Taiwania Capital, with a view to expanding in the Asia-Pacific region. It last raised a $50 million Series C funding round in 2021.


Intel says enterprises need choice to scale AI’s potential

Following Intel’s CEO keynote and announcement at the company’s Vision conference of more energy-efficient processing chips and an open AI app ecosystem, Asma Aziz, Canada Marketing Director at Intel, spoke with BetaKit about why the company believes the path to enterprise AI adoption is through open ecosystems rather than walled gardens.


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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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