F|T: The FinTech Times – FreshBooks cuts 10 percent of staff to target profitability

Plus: Jack Dorsey's Block accused of facilitating fraud.

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FreshBooks lays off 10 percent of staff as company targets profitability (BETAKIT)

The staff cuts affected approximately 80 members of the accounting software company’s 800-person team, according to a letter obtained by BetaKit that was sent to FreshBooks employees.

This headcount reduction marks FreshBooks’ second round of layoffs in recent months.

Short seller accuses Jack Dorsey’s Block of facilitating fraud

Hindenburg Research, the small investment firm whose critical investigative reports pummeled shares in an Indian industrial conglomerate and an electric-vehicle start-up, published a 17,600-word report on Thursday accusing Block of overstating its user base and failing to stamp out fraud and illegal activity on its platforms — particularly Cash App, its mobile payment service.

Shares in Block fell, closing 15 percent lower on Thursday.

BC suffered biggest year-over-year venture funding drop among all Canadian ecosystems in 2022 (BETAKIT)

According to a new report from briefed.in, startups in BC raised a total of $1.3 billion in 2022 down by 67.5 percent from 2021, but up by 34 percent from 2020. Of all the Canadian tech regions tracked by briefed.in, BC saw the most significant year-over-year decline in funding.

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Do Kwon charged with fraud by US prosecutors in New York

Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon was charged by US prosecutors with orchestrating a yearslong cryptocurrency fraud that wiped out at least $40 billion in market value.

U.S. SEC threatens to sue Coinbase over some crypto products (REUTERS)

The SEC has been ratcheting up efforts to crack down on the largely unregulated crypto industry since the implosion of FTX last year, and staking services such as Coinbase's Earn are under increased scrutiny for not being registered.

Québec budget aimed at stimulating the economy with investments in tech sectors, skilled labour (BETAKIT)

Québec Finance Minister Eric Girard released the 2023-2024 budget, making clear that the provincial government is betting on economic growth. The plan earmarks $900 million towards new initiatives intended to stimulate economic productivity and innovation, and $615 million to address the labour shortage.

Wealthsimple partners to launch private credit fund for retail investors (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Online financial services provider Wealthsimple Technologies Inc. is expanding into the private credit market in a partnership with alternative asset manager Sagard, allowing retail investors to access a sector typically reserved for institutions and Canada’s ultrawealthy.

In order to access the fund, clients need to have a minimum of $100,000 in deposits at Wealthsimple and must make a minimum investment of $10,000 in the fund.

Mogo posts $75M loss, sells crypto in Q4 (THE LOGIC)

Vancouver-based FinTech firm Mogo disclosed that it sold all the bitcoin and ether it purchased in January 2021 for $1.25 million at a loss, recouping just $625,000 in November 2022. Mogo also posted a net loss of $75 million in Q4, driven in part by a $31.5 million impairment charge to its 34 per cent stake in Toronto crypto trading platform Coinsquare.

After losing $10,000 in crypto, Staging Labs co-founder developing solutions to protect digital assets (BETAKIT)

“Our aim is to act as the ultimate line of defense for crypto, enhancing user safety even after the confirmation process has started, regardless of whether it was initiated by the user themselves or as a result of phishing and malicious activities,” said Staging Labs co-founder François Le Nguyen.

Exclusive: $7 billion tech unicorn Carta bet big on managing employee equity for public companies. Now it's telling them to get off its platform. (BUSINESS INSIDER)

The company's departure from public markets represents a major strategic reversal for CEO Henry Ward who as late as 2020 was telling the Financial Times that he intended to put the New York Stock Exchange out of business.

Though it's unclear why Carta made the decision to withdraw from public markets, multiple sources both inside and outside the company told Insider that the company struggled to service the needs of publicly traded companies.

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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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