F|T: The FinTech Times – Procurify, Hiive secure new funding to tackle spend management & secondaries

Hiive's co-founders
Hiive's co-founders.
Plus: Plaid hires first CFO on road to IPO.

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Procurify closes $68-million CAD Series C to invest in AI, global expansion of spend management platform (BETAKIT)

Vancouver-based spend management and procurement software startup Procurify has secured more than $68 million CAD ($50 million USD) in Series C funding.

This latest capital brings Procurify’s total funding to more than $95 million. Procurify plans to use the funding to fuel its global expansion, roll out new payment capabilities, and strengthen its procure-to-pay platform with artificial intelligence.

US fintech Plaid hires first chief financial officer on road to potential IPO (FINANCIAL TIMES)

US financial technology start-up Plaid has hired Former Expedia CFO Eric Hart as its own first CFO, a milestone in its highly anticipated plans to go public following a failed sale to Visa two years ago.

His appointment fills a major vacancy in Plaid’s preparation for an initial public offering, which co-founder and chief executive Zach Perret has said is his aim for the company, without offering a timeline.

Hiive secures $5.7-million CAD Series A to improve VC secondary trading (BETAKIT)

Hiive has built a venture capital (VC) secondary marketplace designed to centralize and automate the opaque and fragmented market for trading private, VC-backed company stocks.

After bootstrapping itself to cash flow breakeven and seeing a year of growth amid challenging VC and public market conditions, Hiive has secured its first external capital: $5.7 million CAD ($4.2 million USD) in Series A financing.

Do you love chasing people to fill out their expense reports?

How about trying to piece together what you are spending across your entire org?

We didn’t think so.

Float can help. Float helps Canadian companies and finance leaders with their fintech platform. Smart corporate cards that can be configured to limit where and how much people can spend, and spend management software that helps with receipt compliance, receipt chasing, and reporting.

Learn more and get started at www.floatcard.com

IRS will pilot free, direct tax filing in 2024 (TECHCRUNCH)

The IRS will test a free tax filing service in 2024 for a subset of lucky taxpayers in as many as 13 states, the agency announced today. Direct File, as the service is called, is a shot across the bows of TurboTax, H&R Block and other paid tax prep services, whose owners have resisted free and simple tax filing for decades.

What Allen Lau learned from Wattpad’s $754-million acquisition (BETAKIT)

Allen Lau, co-founder and former CEO of Wattpad, has had first-hand M&A experience leading his company to its $754-million CAD acquisition deal with Naver in 2021.

Now, Lau wants to share the lessons he learned with Canadian founders currently pursuing M&A in an ever-changing economy. Ahead of his TechExit appearance on October 25, Lau spoke to the current state of M&A, the value of mentorship, and what role VCs can play.

As interest rates rise, some fintechs pull back offerings to small, mid-size businesses (THE LOGIC)

Amid rising interest rates and inflation, corporate-card fintechs like Calgary-based Caary Capital and Miami-based Jeeves are changing their offerings to insulate themselves from risk.

Canada losing its appeal to Indian tech workers following diplomatic tensions, affordability challenges (BETAKIT)

Nearly half of the 32,000 tech workers who moved to Canada between April of 2022 and March of 2023—15,097 in total—originated from India.

Not only has the geopolitical situation made it harder for Canadian employers to attract tech workers from India, but it’s also made life more difficult for those already here. The sudden suspension of visa services means Canadian citizens who don’t currently have a valid visa are unable to travel between the two countries.

ECB starts preparation for digital euro in multi-year project (REUTERS)

The European Central Bank took a further step on Wednesday towards launching a digital version of the euro that would let people in the 20 countries that share the single currency make electronic payments securely and free of charge.

The ECB said it would start a two-year "preparation phase" for the digital euro on November 1, in which it would finalise rules, choose its private-sector partners and do some "testing and experimentation".

Conexus, Emmertech alum Sean O'Connor joins TechBrew Robotics as CEO (BETAKIT)

Sean O'Connor, former managing director of Conexus Venture Capital and Emmertech, has joined Salmon Arm, BC AgTech startup TechBrew Robotics as CEO, BetaKit has learned.

TechBrew, an Emmertech portfolio company that builds mushroom-picking robots, first hired O'Connor as interim CEO earlier this year.

In an exclusive interview with BetaKit, O'Connor laid out why joining TechBrew was a "natural" move for both parties, spoke about the startup's progress to date under Boudreau's leadership, and shared where the AgTech firm plans to go from here.

Canadian crypto firms revamp themselves as bear market drags on (THE LOGIC)

Bitcoin, Ether, Atom and Flow all finished the third quarter of 2023 with double-digit price declines, as did all but one of the Canadian crypto stocks The Logic tracks. Amid these conditions, Montreal-based crypto trading platform has sought to diversify its revenue.

Ripple Ventures plants flag in Vancouver as firm envisions “coast-to-coast” Fund III (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based early-stage venture firm Ripple Ventures is setting up shop in Vancouver as it eyes the final close of its third venture fund later this year.

The move out west is a strategic one for Ripple Ventures. The firm is raising its third venture fund, which recently received a $7.5-million investment from the federal government’s renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI). 

Ripple Ventures is looking to take a more coast-to-coast approach with Fund III, which presumably starts with building out a physical presence in Western Canada.

US SEC drops claims against two Ripple Labs executives (REUTERS)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dropped claims against two Ripple Labs executives in its lawsuit alleging the blockchain company violated U.S. securities law, according to a court filing in New York on Thursday.

The agency said in court papers it is dropping claims that Ripple Chief Executive Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen aided and abetted sales of the cryptocurrency XRP which a judge has found amounted to unregistered sales of securities.

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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