F|T: The FinTech Times – Circle is losing to Tether, Square merchants lose connectivity

Plus: Meet the Y Combinator Summer 2023 cohort startups with Canadian connections.

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Clay Financial raises $1.7 million CAD to develop its home-equity sharing agreement platform (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Clay Financial has raised a $1.7-million CAD pre-seed round to develop its digital platform for home-equity sharing agreements (HESA).

As an alternative to reverse mortgages and home- equity lines of credit, HESAs are designed to allow homeowners to convert some of their equity into cash, in exchange for a share of their home’s future appreciation.

What makes HESA different from the other two options is that there is no monthly interest payment, Clay said.

Outage at Payments-Platform Square Puts Merchants in a Bind

The payments-platform Square was hit by widespread outages Thursday and Friday, leaving business customers around the U.S. unable to access their accounts or process credit-card payments.

With reports of Square-reliant merchants losing out on customers, at least one Square competitor saw opportunity in the outage. “Tired of unexpected processing interruptions?” tweeted Shift4, a payment processing company that focuses on retail and hospitality merchants. “Switch today!”

Former Global Founders Capital partner launches Northside Ventures to back pre-seed Canadian entrepreneurs across North America (BETAKIT)

Armed with $6.25 million USD and buy-in from big-name investors and experienced operators, Canada finally has a new pre-seed focused venture fund Northside Ventures.

After spending the past few years building out the Canadian tech investment operations of Germany’s Global Founders Capital, Northside head Alex McIsaac is targetting a fund size of $15 million to back Canadian founders on both sides of the border.

Addressing Canada’s talent gap in the tech industry boils down to removing the barriers for equity-deserving groups.

The Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) program is a cost-free digital and professional skills development initiative that bridges the employment gap. It equips students in their final semester and post-secondary graduates with in-demand skills for entry-level tech roles.

ADaPT supports a diverse group of talent from varied educational backgrounds, with 81% of participants identifying as belonging to at least one equity-deserving group. Backed by 70+ hours of intensive training, the program exposes participants to tech career pathways.    

The ADaPT program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and led by Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute in collaboration with TECHNATION Canada. 

To support future talent in thriving tech careers within Canada’s changing job market and become an ADaPT employer, find out more here.

E-commerce loan startup Wayflyer secures $1B deal from Neuberger Berman (TECHCRUNCH)

Wayflyer, which provides financing to e-commerce startups in exchange for a portion of their future revenue, today announced that it secured $1 billion in capital from investment management firm Neuberger Berman.

Wayflyer aims to put a new spin on providing revenue financing to e-commerce merchants — leveraging data analytics and repayments based on a company’s revenue activity. Co-founder and CEO Aidan Corbett told TechCrunch that the platform can forecast things like when a merchant might start seeing additional financing issues down the line.

Meet the Y Combinator Summer 2023 cohort startups with Canadian connections (BETAKIT)

Learn more about the seven Canadian-affiliated tech startups participating in Y Combinator’s Summer 2023 Demo Day.

VaultPay, which wants to enable financial institutions to transform local businesses into bank agents by providing core payment infrastructure for Central Africa, will get a chance to pitch to a select group of inverstors.

Circle wanted to create a financial revolution. Instead, it’s losing the stablecoin wars to Tether (FORTUNE)

On a fateful evening in March, Jeremy Allaire sat in a Dubai hotel room as a catastrophe unfolded. Thousands of miles away from his team, the CEO of Circle could only watch as the company’s flagship product—the stablecoin USDC—lost its $1 peg and tumbled on every major crypto exchange.

Nulogy CFO offers tips for fundraising in a chaotic environment (BETAKIT)

Founders looking for growth capital are having a harder time than ever amidst record lows in VC funding. However, trading equity for VC cash is not the only path forward.

Nulogy is taking advantage of different financing paths, and its CFO, Sanjay Dhawan, shared details about his company’s $20 million raise in March 2023 while offering advice for founders fundraising in turbulent times.

How Deel Became Payout Provider for Prop Trading Firms, Including Site Frozen by CFTC (THE INFORMATION)

Four-year-old Deel has become one of the fastest-growing and most valuable startups by positioning itself as a way for businesses to hire contract employees anywhere in a snap. What the human resources startup doesn’t talk about in its prolific marketing is the fact that the company, last valued by investors at $12 billion, has also become the exclusive way nearly a dozen websites in a high-risk corner of retail investing say they pay traders.

Future workforce: where Gen Z wants to work and how startups can support them (BETAKIT)

The Work-Learn Institute (WxL) at the University of Waterloo asked Gen Z what they look for in a company or career path and recently released a full data report on its findings.

Speaking with BetaKit, Ross Johnston, Executive Director for the University of Waterloo’s Co-operative Education, shared his thoughts on WxL’s data and how startups can support and cultivate Gen Z talent.

11,196 Years Jail Sentence for Faruk Özer, CEO of Collapsed Turkish Crypto Exchange Thodex (COINDESK)

Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of the collapsed Turkish crypto exchange Thodex, his sister Serap Özer and his brother Güven Özer have been sentenced to 11,196 years, 10 months and 15 days in prison.

Thodex was one of Turkey's largest crypto exchanges before it suddenly went offline in April 2021 and Özer went missing. Over 400,000 members were left in the dark without access to deposits of $2 billion in cryptocurrencies.

Cultivator’s incubated startups surpass $100 million in private funding (BETAKIT)

Cultivator was launched in 2019 to help buttress the region’s visibility on the national tech stage by addressing the gaps and barriers in Saskatchewan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This week, it hit a new benchmark: the companies nurtured through Cultivator have collectively raised more than $100 million in private capital since 2019.

Secure payments co ThetaRay raises $57m (GLOBES)

AI-powered secure global payments company ThetaRay announced the completion of a $57 million financing round led by Canadian firm Portage, with participation of existing investors JVP, OurCrowd and others.

Sean O’Connor steps down as managing director of Conexus Venture Capital, Emmertech (BETAKIT)

Sean O’Connor is stepping down as managing director of Regina, Sask.-based Conexus Venture Capital and Emmertech.

Under O’Connor’s leadership, per CVCA reports, Conexus Venture Capital has grown into one of the country’s most active early-stage VC funds and played an important role in the growth of the tech ecosystem in both Saskatchewan and the Prairies. With AgTech-focused Emmertech, its impact has been felt across Canada.

Kyle Scott, who has served as co-managing director alongside O’Connor since 2021, will continue to head the two funds.

Drake-Backed Crypto Casino Stake Loses $40M in 'Unauthorized' Transfers (DECRYPT)

Popular crypto betting platform Stake has been exploited, losing around $40 million in funds, blockchain security experts said.

"Three hours ago, unauthorised [transactions] were made from Stake’s ETH/BSC hot wallets. We are investigating and will get the wallets up as soon as they’re completely re-secured," the company tweeted. "User funds are safe," it added.

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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