F|T: The FinTech Times – The Neo Unicorn

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Plus: Applications are open for the Calgary FinTech Awards.

Welcome to the FinTech Times, a weekly newsletter covering the biggest FinTech news from around the globe. If you want to read F|T before anyone else, make sure to subscribe using the form at the bottom of this page.

Neo Financial joins Canada’s unicorns as Peter Thiel’s Valar triples down with $185 million round (BETAKIT)

The round marks the third consecutive round that Peter Thiel-backed firm Valar Ventures has led for Neo. Much like fellow bank challenger Wealthsimple had Power Corp and Paul Desmarais III’s backing in its early days, Neo has that in Peter Thiel-backed Valar.

Crypto.com passes the 50 million user mark (AXIOS)

That’s more than a fivefold increase from the last time Crypto.com disclosed its user stats, in late 2020, and CEO Kris Marszalek says he expects the number to hit 100 million by year-end.

PayTic raises $2.95 million to help banks, credit unions centralize program management (BETAKIT)

Founded in 2020 by CEO Imad Boumahdi, PayTic’s mission is to help banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions increase control, transparency, and auditability of their payment products with less effort and cost.

MainStreet eliminates a third of its staff, citing ‘today’s incredibly rough market’ (BUSINESS INSIDER)

In January 2022, MainStreet flew the entire company out for a week-long working vacation in Maui. Workers who questioned the expense were told the startup was aiming to land a significant Series B funding round that would ensure runway. But the funding that ultimately materialized was smaller than originally planned, and on Tuesday the company cut around 50 employees — roughly a third of its workforce.


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Pocketed co-founders pocket $25,000 prize money in pitch contest for women entrepreneurs (BETAKIT)

Established in 2002, The Forum is a registered Canadian charity that was created to help women entrepreneurs gain access to resources and community as they build their businesses.

Google-backed neobank Open becomes unicorn with new funding (TECHCRUNCH)

Millions of small and medium sized businesses in India struggle with maintaining multiple bank accounts, bookkeeping of their daily spending, and bandying out payments to employees. The startup, which has partnerships with over a dozen top banks in India, is used by more than 2.3 million businesses and processes over $30 billion worth transactions each year, it said.

Platform Calgary opens applications for Calgary Fintech Awards (BETAKIT)

The Calgary Fintech Awards is a six-week program for FinTech startups based in Calgary to receive FinTech-specific workshops and advisory from industry experts. Among the 25 startups that will be selected, 10 will be able to receive pitch coaching and take part in a series of in-person events. The top five companies will have the opportunity to pitch live at the awards ceremony to win up to $250,000 in cash prizes.

SEC Nearly Doubles Crypto Enforcement Unit Size to Tackle Fraud (VICE)

The agency will create 20 new positions in its Cyber Unit to deal with the growing crypto industry, bringing the unit’s total number up to 50, as well as rename the group the “Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit” to reflect its growing focus on the world of cryptocurrency.

Square makes loans offering available for Canadian small businesses (BETAKIT)

Square Loans initially launched as Square Capital in 2014. Prior to launching in Canada, Square Loans was made available in the United States (US) and Australia. The payments company claims that it has provided more than $9 billion USD in financing to more than 460,000 businesses, with an average loan size of $6,750 USD.

From partners to competitors: What Stripe’s latest move means for Plaid (TECHCRUNCH)

That new product is called Financial Connections and the company says it will give Stripe’s customers a way to connect directly to their customer’s bank accounts, to access financial data to speed up or run certain kinds of transactions. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is pretty much exactly what another fintech giant, Plaid, already does.

OneVest secures $5 million to help companies like Neo Financial launch wealth management products (BETAKIT)

OneVest wants to make it easier for banks and FinTech startups alike to roll out digital wealth management experiences and services. The Calgary and Toronto-based company has secured $5 million CAD in seed funding led by Luge Capital with support from National Bank’s NAventures, OMERS Ventures, Panache Ventures, and other investors to accelerate the growth of its wealth management platform.

TurboTax will pay $141 million for scamming taxpayers (PROTOCOL)

Under the agreement, a total of 4.4 million taxpayers who used TurboTax’s free edition for tax years 2016 through 2018 will get a direct payment of approximately $30 for each year. These users were told that they had to pay to file, even though they were eligible to file for free using the IRS Free File program, which Intuit withdrew from in 2021. In New York, 176,000 residents who were “tricked into paying to file their federal tax return” will receive a total of more than $5.4 million.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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