F|T: The FinTech Times – Consumer payments startup Braid shuts down, Goldman Sachs drops BNPL

Plus: Ten Key Labs secures $10.5 million, launches AI equity management tool for founders.

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Ten Key Labs secures $10.5 million, launches AI equity management tool for founders (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based software startup Ten Key Labs has announced $10.5 million in seed funding and launched a new equity management platform called Mantle.

Through Mantle, Ten Key Labs aims to help startup founders simplify and automate capitalization table management, equity issuing, fundraising options, planning, forecasting, and signing and data rooms for documents.

Consumer payments startup Braid, backed by Index and Accel, shuts down (TECHCRUNCH)

Braid, a four-year-old startup that aimed to make shared wallets more mainstream among consumers, has shut down.

Founder Amanda Peyton described the struggles that Braid faced after having issues with a sponsor bank that led to the company “effectively [being] in a coma from July 2022 to January 2023.” Without a sponsor bank, the company was in limbo.

Quickly secures $10 million in equity and debt to help businesses pay promptly (BETAKIT)

A Calgary-based FinTech startup that helps small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) unlock capital has secured $10 million CAD in debt and equity in seed financing. Quickly offers what it calls an early payment technology that companies can incorporate into their supply chains.

This enables firms to offer early payments at a discount to any of their vendors suppliers, or well as anyone else invoicing the company.

Pitch Fund Applications Open!
Founders Fund Canada has launched its annual Pitch Fund, supporting early-stage women entrepreneurs across Canada with access to up to $15k in grants and services.

This initiative offers a streamlined application process that takes under 30 minutes, with applicants submitting a 2-minute pitch. All applicants receive personalized feedback to enhance their pitching skills. The Pitch Event, hosted by partners Futurpreneur & BDC, takes place on November 9th, 2023, both virtually and in Toronto.

Founders Fund Canada, an initiative by tea-inspired wellness company Tease, addresses barriers faced by women-owned businesses. It has raised and distributed over $250,000 in micro grants and programming. Applications close on October 19th, 2023.

For more details and to apply, visit www.foundersfund.ca

Goldman Sachs Offloads ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Firm in Quick Retreat (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday that it would offload GreenSky, a major player in the “buy now, pay later” lending sector, less than two years after buying the company, in the latest hit to its consumer-finance ambitions.

The outlook for both Goldman and the buy now, pay later industry was vastly different in 2021 when the bank paid $1.7 billion for GreenSky, which focuses on home improvement loans.

Federal government announces first VCCI inclusive growth stream VC fund recipients (BETAKIT)

The Government of Canada is investing up to $25 million CAD into five Canadian venture capital (VC) funds through the inclusive growth stream of the renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI).

These VC fund recipients include Calgary-based District Ventures Capital and The51’s Food and AgTech Fund, Toronto’s BKR Capital and Ripple Ventures, and Halifax-based Sandpiper Ventures.

CFTC charges Voyager co-founder Stephen Ehrlich with fraud

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged Voyager Digital co-founder Stephen Ehrlich with fraud and for failing to register with the agency.

Ehrlich and his firm lied to customers, and then, when Voyager began to collapse, kept lying in an effort to hide the crypto lender's true financial health, the CFTC said.

As the U.S. prepares to introduce open banking, Canada’s plan stalls (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Last summer, financial technology company Borrowell Inc. launched a new product that allows users to add their rent payments to their credit report.

There’s just been one snag: It’s sort of broken.

Open banking is the term for an updated set of rules that makes it faster and more efficient for financial institutions to exchange information. Tech companies are worrying Canada is falling behind.

BetaKit Live: Bridging the cybersecurity gap for SMBs (BETAKIT)

Ahead of Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023, Mastercard found that only 16 percent of small business owners are certain of next steps to take following an cyber attack, with just 18 percent totally confident their business could fully recover within six months.

In partnership with Mastercard, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed panel conversation on what Canadian small business owners can do to bridge their cybersecurity gap.

California passes law mandating VC firms to release investments’ diversity information (TECHCRUNCH)

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 54 that will effect any VC firm operating in the state. This includes any VC headquartered, has operations, has invested in companies that operate in or are based in, or have received investments from residents in California.

Once the law goes into effect, VCs must report, for example, the race of the people they back, as well as their disability status and whether they’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community. It notes that disclosing information is voluntary and founding teams won’t be penalized for not answering.

Caroline Ellison, Adviser to Sam Bankman-Fried, Says He ‘Directed’ Her to Commit Crimes (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Within the first 15 minutes of her testimony, Caroline Ellison repeatedly blamed Sam Bankman-Fried for crimes that led to FTX’s implosion.

The crypto space has been rocked by the absence of FTX and the drama surrounding its trial. Once receiving mega fundraises during the crypto bull market, PitchBook reports a tumble of 63 percent in Crypto startup funding in the third quarter last year, the lowest since 2020.

Carefull lands $16.5M to shield seniors from financial fraud (TECHCRUNCH)

Carefull, a fintech platform that aims to help banks protect older customers from fraud, scams and “money mistakes,” today announced that it raised $16.5 million in a Series A round.

Bringing the company’s total funding to $19.7 million, co-founder and co-CEO Todd Rovak says the proceeds will go toward expanding NYC-based Carefull’s network of partners, product development, and integrating with additional banking customers.

Neo Financial, Jobber, WaitWell among winners of sixth annual Start Alberta Tech Awards (BETAKIT)

Twelve awards were handed out to companies and members of Alberta's tech ecosystem at the Start Alberta Tech Awards hosted in Edmonton this week.

The 2023 awards not only celebrated some of this year's standout deals and capital raises, but also turned the spotlight to the province's emergent ventures. The Scaleup of the Year Award, which recognizes Alberta’s later-stage companies, went to Neo Financial.

SumUp’s valuation falls as low as $4.1B, as Groupon and others sell off their stakes (TECHCRUNCH)

Shares in SumUp, a privately-held European payment technology business that focuses on point-of-sale transactions, are currently being sold in inside sales (to other existing investors in the company) at a valuation that might be as low as $4.1 billion — a drop of nearly 52% on SumUp’s previous valuation of $8.5 billion, achieved when it raised $624 million in June 2022.

SoftBank’s PayPay App Showcases Masayoshi Son’s Clout in Japan (BNN BLOOMBERG)

PayPay Corp. is one of SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son’s success stories, going from zero to more than 60 million users in five years. The payments app now seeks to keep its pace of double-digit growth with help from other SoftBank portfolio companies, according to its co-chief operating officer.

PayPay is one of the few fruitful initiatives from Son’s strategy that encouraged portfolio companies to cooperate with one another.

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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