F|T: The FinTech Times – Neo Financial goes all-in on partner credit cards, US regulators worry of Binance bank run

Plus: National Bank acquires Silicon Valley Bank’s Canadian commercial loan portfolio.

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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.

U.S. prosecutors worry Binance charges could cause run on exchange (SEMAFOR)

U.S. Department of Justice officials are considering fraud charges against crypto exchange Binance, but Federal prosecutors worry that if they indict Binance, it could cause a run on the exchange similar to the one that befell now bankrupt platform FTX.

The debate highlights the complicated and rapidly evolving nature of crypto enforcement and regulation in the U.S., where firms operate in a legal gray area and consumers enjoy none of the protections of the traditional banking system.

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.

Ramp expands into procurement, lands Shopify as a customer (TECHCRUNCH)

Fintech startup Ramp announced today that it is entering the procurement space as it focuses more on “complex” enterprises and that it has landed a new customer in Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify.

Over time, Ramp has continued to add on to its offerings — having started out as a corporate card startup company and gradually over time adding features such as bill pay, vendor management and travel expense management, among others.

Luge Capital’s David Nault on making investment decisions through the AI hype cycle (BETAKIT)

How can venture capitalists take an informed approach while investing in technologies that are in the middle of a hype cycle?

BetaKit sat down with Luge Capital’s co-founder and general partner David Nault at Startupfest this year, where he spoke about his personal investment thesis and how Luge Capital’s portfolio companies are incorporating AI into their strategies.

Israeli AI Startup Vesttoo Sparks a Global Insurance Scandal

Israeli startup Vesttoo, which promised to use artificial intelligence to spread the risk of insurance policies, is embroiled in scandal thanks to an old-fashioned problem: an alleged multibillion-dollar fraud involving faked letters of credit.

“This has shaken the confidence of investors,” said Marcos Alvarez, global head of insurance at credit-rating firm DBRS Morningstar. “You’re going to see increased scrutiny and tightening of controls on this section of the market,” he added.

Experienced developers share their career advice for young professionals (BETAKIT)

Growing as a developer is about more than finding new ways to ship code.

BetaKit spoke with two leaders–Ricardo Maldonado, a Development Lead at Calgary-based Suncor, and Betheena Elgincolin, Senior Technology Architect at TELUS–about their careers and what advice they would share with junior colleagues.

Moneris Appoints James Hicks as New President and CEO (FINTECH.CA)

Canadian payment solutions leader Moneris has named James Hicks as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective mid-September.

Hicks was most recently Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer with Nexi Group’s Merchant Services business and was based in Germany.

Canadian venture status report: Q2 2023 (BETAKIT)

New data from briefed.in gives an optimistic outlook on the venture health of Canada's biggest tech ecosystems in Q2 2023.

Following a sluggish start to the year, Toronto and British Columbia's tech ecosystems saw a resurgence in venture funding in the quarter, mostly due to larger deals between fewer companies. 

Alberta tech is on pace to eclipse its 2022, with companies raising a lively $123.8M in Q2 2023. Québec followed suit, maintaining an upward trajectory in the quarter, growing 42 percent from Q1 2023 and 81 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, venture deal volume in the Waterloo Region reached a three-year low in the second quarter of 2023, but unreported deals could be shaping an unfair perception of the local tech sector.

Apple Card’s Savings account reaches over $10B in deposits (TECHCRUNCH)

Apple announced today that Apple Card’s high-yield Savings account offered by Goldman Sachs has reached over $10 billion in deposits from users since launching in April.

“With each of the financial products we’ve introduced, we’ve sought to reinvent the category with our users’ financial health in mind,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, in a statement.

Graphite Ventures closes $110-million Fund IV as firm builds its national presence (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Graphite Ventures has reached $110 million CAD in the final close of its Fund IV as the firm continues to expand its reach beyond Ontario to startups Canada-wide.

While Graphite is industry agnostic, it concentrates investments in B2B SaaS, FinTech, digital health, and “capital-efficient hardware” with many companies using AI and machine learning.

Robinhood beats revenue estimates, shares fall on decline in users (REUTERS)

Robinhood Markets Inc. reported higher second-quarter revenue on Wednesday as interest rates continued to buoy the online brokerage’s interest income, achieving profitability for the first time as a public company even as it saw fewer users.

Canadian startup struggles continue as Silofit closes up shop, Top Hat and Fable cut staff (BETAKIT)

More Canadian technology startups have made the difficult decision to cut costs or close down amid a sector-wide downturn.

Just this week, Silofit officially closed its doors and Fable announced that it laid off employees. Top Hat has also reduced its headcount, BetaKit has learned. This trio is far from alone.

Katie Haun launched a $1.5 billion crypto fund—and then the industry blew up. How has she navigated crypto’s year from hell? (FORTUNE)

Katie Haun trudged up a three-and-a-half-mile trail, one of her favourites around the Stanford Dish in the hills over Palo Alto, but Haun wasn’t out for leisure.

Instead, her small team of 11 needed to invigorate themselves for a high-stakes show-and-tell to persuade the wealthy backers of her $1.5 billion firm that—even as the crypto industry lay in tatters—everything was going according to plan.

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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