F|T: The FinTech Times – Stripe & Robinhood make layoffs, Financeit acquires competitor

Plus: FTX considers a reboot?

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Financeit acquires consumer-loans competitor Simply Group Financial (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Financeit has made another step towards becoming the leading home-improvement financing provider in Canada by acquiring its biggest competitor, Simply Group Financial, for up to an estimated $225 million.

FTX Begins Talks on Reboot Amid Regulatory Crackdown on Crypto Exchanges (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

FTX is moving ahead with plans to restart its flagship international cryptocurrency exchange, an effort that will face major challenges as regulators ratchet up their oversight of the industry and the company works its way through bankruptcy proceedings.

ApplyBoard co-founder launches Passage to address Canada’s skilled worker shortage with $40-million seed round (BETAKIT)

Martin Basiri, co-founder and former CEO of ApplyBoard, has a new startup that aims to help fill Canada’s skilled labour gap.

Founded this year and armed with $40 million CAD in initial seed funding, Passage is building a software platform designed to match international students and immigrants to Canadian workforce needs and connect them with financing.

Visa acquires Brazilian fintech startup Pismo in $1B blockbuster deal (TECHCRUNCH)

Credit card giant Visa is acquiring Brazilian payments infrastructure startup Pismo for $1 billion in cash in what is likely one of the largest fintech acquisition deals taking place this year so far.

In a written statement, Visa said that by acquiring Pismo, it “will be positioned to provide core banking and issuer processing capabilities across debit, prepaid, credit and commercial cards for clients via cloud native APIs.”

Almost sideswiped by a Stripe acquisition, Helcim responds with new Smart Terminal (BETAKIT)

Last week, FinTech and payment startup Helcim unveiled its latest hardware product: a new point-of-sale device called Smart Terminal.

The journey to this launch was not an easy one for the Calgary-based startup. According to founder and CEO Nicolas Beique, the terminal was initially scheduled for a 2022 release before "the rug pulled from underneath us."

Robinhood Lays Off About 7% of Its Full-Time Employees

Robinhood Markets is cutting about 7% of its full-time staff, the online brokerage’s third round of layoffs in just over a year as the company adjusts to a slowdown in customer trading activity.

PitchBook analysts say 2023 VC funding is “pretty much shot,” long-term recovery appears likely (BETAKIT)

As the economy has deteriorated, non-traditional investors have pulled back from the venture capital space and the IPO market has cooled.

Despite some positive signs recently indicating that the state of play is on its way toward improving, PitchBook analysts believe that it will still take some time for the overall VC market to rebound—let alone reach its previous highs.

Stripe Lays Off Dozens, Mostly in Recruiting (THE INFORMATION)

Stripe has laid off a few dozen employees, most of them recruiters, in its human resources department.

The staff cuts, while affecting a tiny percentage of the company’s roughly 7,000-person workforce, are part of a broader wave of belt tightening in tech and an effort to reorient locations where the company plans to hire.

AWS, NVIDIA launch global FinTech accelerator for seed-stage startups (BETAKIT)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) in partnership with NVIDIA, a major supplier of artificial intelligence hardware and software, has set up a new global FinTech accelerator for seed-stage startups.

The accelerator aims to help FinTech companies using AI and machine learning in financial services.

Quandri raises $8.5M Series A to bring process automation to insurance brokers and agencies (TECHCRUNCH)

Quandri, a Vancouver-based startup, is taking a very different approach to robotic process automation (RPA) with its digital workers for the insurance industry and has secured $8.5 million to show for it.

Instead of having to build automation themselves, Quandri essentially pre-builds these bots for their customers, which also means that the team has to focus on a very specific niche: insurance.

Immigration Minister details strategy for attracting foreign tech talent, digital nomads (BETAKIT)

Canada is in a global race for the worldwide tech talent pool, according to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. In a bid to stay ahead of competition, Fraser introduced what he called the country’s first strategy focused on attracting foreign tech workers.

Syzl crowned PITCH winner at Collision 2023 as other startups win cash prizes from The DMZ (BETAKIT)

More than 1400 startups attended Collision this year, and a number of them were recognized as winners and funding recipients at the tech conference.

Toronto-based Chexy, which offers a rewards platform for renters, won The DMZ’s grand prize of $50,000. This follows the startup’s $1.3 million CAD pre-seed raise announced just the week prior.

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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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