F|T: The FinTech Times – Sequoia, A16Z, and Tom Brady (Oh my)

Plus: Alberta proposes regulatory sandbox to attract FinTechs, crypto companies to the province.

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LayerZero Labs reaches $1 billion valuation in round backed by Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz (BETAKIT)

Vancouver blockchain tech startup LayerZero Labs is the latest Canadian company to join the country’s growing group of unicorns, as it raised $135 million that values LayerZero at $1 billion.

Blockchain.com raises new funding at $14 billion valuation (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Startup Blockchain.com said it raised new funding that values the company at about $14 billion, more than doubling its worth in a sign that cryptocurrency firms still enjoy the favor of investors in turbulent venture capital markets.

Clearco commits to Dublin with $164.4 million CAD earmarked for Irish startups (BETAKIT)

As part of continued expansion plans, Clearco said that it has opened an international sales and business development hub in Dublin to help bolster and enable Clearco’s growth plans across Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific in 2022.

Helium changes name to Nova Labs, confirms $200M round on $1.2B valuation (SILICON ANGLE)

The name change, according to the company, provides a clear delineation of the company from the Helium Network, the Helium Blockchain, the Helium Token and the community of people who power the network and enterprises that run on it.


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Diagram and Real Ventures-backed Breathe Life acquired by US insurtech SE2 (BETAKIT)

Breathe Life provides insurers with cloud technology designed to improve the life insurance-buying experience for consumers and advisors, while Kansas-based insurance technology and services company SE2 focuses on life and annuity insurance. Both companies declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Apple working to bring more financial services in-house (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Apple Inc. is developing its own payment processing technology and infrastructure for future financial products, part of an ambitious effort that would reduce its reliance on outside partners over time, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Our Lady Peace’s Raine Maida says creators can’t afford “not to take advantage” of Web3, NFTs (BETAKIT)

At a recent event for BetaKit Patreon supporters, Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida and Horizon Blockchain Games co-founder and chief storyteller Michael Sanders discussed how NFTs could change the world of entertainment.

Robinhood adds four additional hours to extended trading for clients (CNBC)

As some Robinhood clients head back to the office following the pandemic, the stock trading app — which has experienced a slowdown in volume this year — is now offering extra hours in the morning and evening for its investors.

Dapper Labs, Wealthsimple, WonderFi founding members of new Canadian Web3 Council (BETAKIT)

The group aims to “position Canada as a leader in Web3 technology such as blockchain and cryptocurrency.” CW3’s eleven founding members include Dapper Labs, Ether Capital, Ledn, Figment, Wealthsimple, and Bitbuy owner WonderFi.

Alberta looks to become a Canadian cryptocurrency hub (CANADIAN PRESS)

The oil-and-gas producing province that prides itself on its entrepreneurial history is now touting its ambition to become a North American hub for companies trading in and offering services related to bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and other digital assets.

Alberta proposes regulatory sandbox to attract FinTechs, crypto companies to the province (BETAKIT)

The Alberta government is proposing a regulatory sandbox for financial services and FinTech companies. Bill 13, the Financial Innovation Act, signals that Alberta is willing to work with innovators and businesses that are developing cutting-edge products and technologies, the province said.

Papaya Global to buy Azimo for $150M-$200M to expand its payroll payments to more markets (TECHCRUNCH)

The Israeli startup is acquiring Azimo — the London-based money transfer business that Facebook once tried to buy to spearhead its own remittance efforts — a deal that will see Papaya Global moving into more markets, and launching more services such as instant payroll payments.

Canadian startups in Y Combinator tie all-time high at Winter 2022 Demo Day (BETAKIT)

Out of a cohort that comprises 414 startups, 15 Canadian companies participated in Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 Demo Day this week, the accelerator’s 34th to date. The two-day virtual event featured founders from 43 countries to pitch their businesses to selected investors and press.

Meet Tinkoff Bank, one of the only major Russian banks to avoid Western sanctions, and the last reliable link tech companies have to pay workers abroad (BUSINESS INSIDER)

Six people who work in tech internationally told Insider that Tinkoff, which has no physical branches, was the only Russian-based bank they were still able to use to send and receive money transfers from Western banks. Tinkoff is not among the 10 largest Russian banks, according to the Corporate Finance Institute, but it is seeing a surge in popularity among the tech industry for this reason, these people said.


Cameron Chaddad

Cameron is a fourth-year journalism student at Carleton University, with a minor in business. Originally from Ottawa, ON, his family roots are both Italian and Lebanese.

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