F|T: The FinTech Times – Crypto abandons Collision

Plus: Jeeves launches venture capital alternative for startups.

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With crypto under water, Ripple makes a splash announcing first Canadian office in Toronto (BETAKIT)

Ripple intends to hire 50 engineers initially for its Canadian office. However, Ripple’s SVP of people, places and communications, Kiersten Hollars, told BetaKit that the startup’s long term plan is to expand to hundreds of blockchain software engineers including applied machine learning scientists, data scientists, and product managers.

Tech leaders and investors confront industry’s sudden slump as Collision Conference returns (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Nearly a quarter of the crypto and blockchain companies that had planned to attend Collision pulled out at the last minute, including the large crypto lending platform Celsius Network Ltd., which last week indefinitely froze customer withdrawals and transfers, and has since said it will need more time to restore operations.

Jeeves launches venture capital alternative for startups (BETAKIT)

Jeeves is not alone in offering upfront financing to Canadian businesses. It faces competition from a number of Canadian tech companies that offer similar products, including Clearco, Lightspeed, and Shopify. Both Jeeves Growth and Working Capital offer financing starting at $100,000 with no personal guarantees, covenants, or warrants.

Goldman Sachs Leading Investor Group to Buy Celsius Assets: Sources (COINDESK)

Goldman Sachs appears to be gauging interest and soliciting commitments from Web3 crypto funds, funds specializing in distressed assets and traditional financial institutions with ample cash on hand, according to a person familiar with the situation. The assets, most likely cryptocurrencies having to be sold on the cheap, would then likely be managed by participants in the fundraising push.

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Amid crypto crash, Dapper Labs CEO remains very bullish on Web3 (BETAKIT)

Dapper Labs co-founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou noted that this is the second crypto crash the nearly five-year-old startup has been forced to navigate. “We started Dapper Labs in 2017, immediately went through a bear market cycle, and that’s where we built the whole company,” he said.

Crypto trading platform Bitpanda cuts headcount by a third (SIFTED)

As a hypergrowth company we were experiencing growing pains,” Bitpanda’s three cofounders Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek and Christian Trummer wrote in the blog post to staff.

“In keeping up with the industry, our team’s growth rate has been too high […] We reached a point where more people joining didn’t make us more effective, but created coordination overheads instead, particularly in this new market reality.”

Why VC Deven Parekh doesn’t mind “overpaying” for a good deal (BETAKIT)

Parekh has invested in software for his entire VC career but has never seen growth quite like during the COVID-19 pandemic. He chalks this growth up to a massive acceleration of companies adopting software, first for working remotely during the depths of the pandemic but now for a hybrid and flexible work future.

European fintech SumUp raises €590 million (AXIOS)

This reflects softening valuations for European fintech, given reports from earlier this year that investors were floating a €20 billion mark for SumUp.

After hiring freeze, Wealthsimple makes staff cuts (BETAKIT)

Wealthsimple has since published Katchen’s letter on Medium, and in response to request for comment a spokesperson for Wealthsimple directed BetaKit to the letter. They also noted, “At this time our core focus is on taking care of our employees who will be leaving us today.”

Crypto Exchange FTX in Talks to Acquire Stake in BlockFi (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Mr. Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange, FTX, is in talks to acquire a stake in BlockFi, a crypto lender that FTX gave a $250 million credit line this week, people familiar with the matter said. His other company, Alameda Research, also acquired a big ownership stake in Canadian crypto broker Voyager Digital Ltd.

Amid crypto crash, WonderFi makes case for long-term survival (BETAKIT)

In a corporate update call, Vancouver-based WonderFi laid out how the crypto crash has impacted the company and the steps it has taken to survive the market downturn—including laying off 15 to 20 percent of its staff.

Neobank Stashfin raises $270 million, tops $700 million valuation (TECHCRUNCH)

The startup has raised $70 million against equity and $200 million as debt as part of its Series C funding round, Stashfin said. Uncorrelated Ventures, Abstract Ventures and Fasanara Capital financed the new round with participation from existing investors including Altara Ventures, Tencent, Kravis Investment Partners and Snow Leopard.

The Case Of The Missing $46 Million (TORONTO LIFE)

For all its theoretical promise, however, crypto has always had a practical problem: Where do you keep it? Crypto owners commonly store their coins in digital wallets, applications that they can access through private keys consisting of 64 random numbers and letters (or a simplified sequence of 12 random words). Without those keys, no government, bank or company can take away their coins. Enthusiasts see this as crypto’s defining feature, but it’s also its biggest bug.

M&A likely to be a significant driver of value for Canadian tech firms in 2022 (BETAKIT)

Canada will soon close out the first half of 2022, and already, the market for initial public offerings (IPOs) appears unrecognizable from that of 2021. PwC’s Canada-focused M&A report found M&A activity across the country saw similarly explosive growth last year. In 2021, the total value of Canadian private M&A deals exceeded $171 billion CAD, up from $105 billion CAD in 2020.

To infinity and back: Inside Axie’s disastrous year (REST OF WORLD)

By late March, the game’s daily active users had dropped to just under 1.5 million from a high of 2.7 million in late 2021. The value of the main in-game currency had fallen from about $0.40 to $0.02.

Better.com loses three more senior executives, including SVP and VP of sales (TECHCRUNCH)

White, Bellingham and Moffatt had been at Better for at least six years, and their departures are yet another blow to the embattled startup, which has made headlines over the past several months — starting in December 2021 with one of several mass layoffs.

Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist working out of the U.K. and a staff writer for BetaKit.

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