F|T: The FinTech Times – FinTech platforms are leaning more on buy now, pay later

Plus: Desmarais family quietly reshapes a financial empire.

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After only four years in market, OMERS Ventures is pulling out of Europe to focus on North America (BETAKIT)

Pulling out of the European market, OMERS Ventures has opted to refocus its investment efforts on Canada and the United States (US) amid the market downturn.

The retreat comes just four years after OMERS Ventures began ramping up its focus on the region with a €300-million fund for European startups followed closely by its first $750-million USD transatlantic fund.

Going forward, the majority of OMERS Ventures’ new investments will be in North American firms, where it also plans to open a new New York office.

Billionaire Desmarais family quietly reshapes a financial empire

The Desmarais clan is back in dealmaking mode. Only this time, it’s not simply to expand their empire — it’s to fix it.

The aim is to gain greater exposure to higher-growth areas of financial services, including managing money for Americans from the ultra-rich to the middle class, while cutting loose some legacy assets accumulated in past deals.

Brookfield and Sequoia Heritage’s reported new fund is well-positioned to scoop up discount tech startups (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management and Silicon Valley’s Sequoia Heritage have reportedly teamed up to take advantage of the current economic environment, creating "an investment vehicle to capitalize on plunging valuations of venture-backed companies.”

Per the Financial Times, the two companies are investing $250 million USD apiece to found a new company called Pinegrove Capital Partners.

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.

ION seals acquisition of Italy's Prelios from Davidson Kempner in estimated $1.5 bln deal (REUTERS)

U.S. hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management (DK) said on Friday it had agreed to sell Prelios to fintech firm ION Group, in a long-awaited deal which two sources said valued the Italian credit manager at 1.35 billion euros

DK, which did not disclose the sale price, had been looking for a buyer for years, and held discussions for several months with ION.

As startups look to US for capital, Antler’s Shambhavi Mishra calls on Canadian VCs to lead more rounds (BETAKIT)

Coupled with geopolitical tensions, rising interest rates, and inflation, funding for startups in Canada and beyond has dried up, leaving some to make layoffs or close up shop.

According to Antler’s director of growth and portfolio Shambhavi Mishra, the fact Canadian founders still find it easier (and faster) to secure capital from the United States is among several taboo topics early-stage founders have raised at Startupfest this year.

Fintech platforms are leaning more heavily on BNPL (MODERN RETAIL)

Buy-now-pay-later services, though controversial for the potential to rack up debt, have become a popular way for some consumers to finance an e-commerce purchase via installment plans.

Fintech companies are reporting growth in the volume of BNPL payments, with major players like PayPal and Block aiming to shore up market share in a crowded sector.

RBCx Capital’s ‘Capital Whisperer’ Sue Umapathy on “return to due diligence” (BETAKIT)

Following the record-breaking peaks for venture funding in 2021, investors’ approach to capital deployment have shifted, with some calling it a “return to due diligence.”

RBCx Capital vice president Sue Umapathy, who’s been given the nickname ‘Capital Whisperer’ by her team, shared the firm’s approach to due diligence with BetaKit, confirming that timelines for that process have been increased.

Carlyle, GIC Skip Ant’s Buyback After Valuation Slumps 70%

A number of global investors including Warburg Pincus and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are opting out of Ant Group Co.’s proposed share buyback after the Chinese fintech’s valuation was slashed by more than 70%.

Jack Ma-backed Ant last month proposed to buy back as much as 7.6% of its shares, giving investors a chance to pare back exposure to the company that’s been ensnared by a years-long regulatory crackdown.

Neo Financial goes all-in on embedded finance with new suite of credit cards (BETAKIT)

Neo Financial claims customers will receive significant travel benefits and insurance through its newest partnership with Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific airline.

This partnership is the latest in a prolific campaign of embedded finance committments the FinTech company has announced over the past few weeks, including a financial credit card with a corporation launching its own financial division, and a secured credit card to help Canadians build credit.

FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail over alleged witness tampering (REUTERS)

Sam Bankman-Fried is heading to jail after a U.S judge on Friday revoked his bail, finding probable cause that the indicted founder of the bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange tampered with witnesses at least twice.

The judge's decision to jail Bankman-Fried ahead of his Oct. 2 fraud trial over FTX's collapse came after prosecutors said he had "crossed a line" by sharing private writings by former romantic partner Caroline Ellison with a New York Times reporter.

National Bank acquires Silicon Valley Bank’s Canadian commercial loan portfolio (BETAKIT)

The National Bank announced Aug. 1 an agreement to acquire the commercial loan portfolio of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) Canadian branch.

The portfolio is comprised of approximately $1 billion CAD in loan commitments, of which some $325 million CAD are outstanding. The assets will be integrated into National Bank’s Technology and Innovation Banking Group, under the leadership of Tuyen Vo, head of this group since 2019.

Sam Altman’s Eyeball-Scanning Crypto Project Worldcoin Is Having An Identity Crisis (FORBES)

Is it a crypto company? A biometric authentication platform? A “human economic system”? Inside Worldcoin’s struggle to find itself.

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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