F|T: The FinTech Times – The unravelling of LoanSnap after raising $100 million

LoanSnap CEO Karl Jacob (right) and backer Richard Branson (left) in 2018.
Plus: Ratehub has a new CEO.

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After raising $100M, AI fintech LoanSnap is being sued, fined, evicted

AI mortgage startup LoanSnap is facing an avalanche of lawsuits from creditors and has been evicted from its headquarters in Southern California, leaving employees worried about the company’s future, TechCrunch has learned.

LoanSnap, founded by serial entrepreneurs Karl Jacob and Allan Carroll, has raised around $100 million in funding since its 2017 seed round, $90 million of which was raised between 2021 and 2023, according to PitchBook. Investors include Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, the Chainsmokers’ Mantis Ventures, Baseline Ventures, and Reid Hoffman, LoanSnap says.

Despite the capital it raised, since December 2022, LoanSnap has been sued by at least seven creditors, including Wells Fargo, who collectively alleged the startup owes them more than $2 million. LoanSnap has also been fined by state and federal agencies and nearly lost its license to operate in Connecticut, according to legal documents obtained by TechCrunch.


Executive turnover continues in Canadian tech as Ratehub names new CEO

Toronto-based FinTech company Ratehub has appointed Naga Parvatharajan as its new CEO in the latest in what has been a flurry of executive turnover in Canadian tech this year.

Parvatharajan is taking the role from co-founders Alyssa Furtado and James Laird, who led the firm as co-CEOs since its start in 2010. He brings over two decades of experience to the top job, most recently serving as general manager of multiple lending businesses at American online bank SoFi.


Women in Capital Markets rebrands as VersaFi to help advance women beyond core Bay Street

Women in Capital Markets, a leading organization for promoting and advancing women’s careers on Bay Street, is rebranding after nearly three decades to become VersaFi – a nod to a broader mandate beyond traditional finance.

Historically, WCM focused on fields such as equity research as well as corporate and investment banking. Under its new brand […] and new chief executive, Tanya van Biesen, VersaFi will add the likes of financial technology firms to its scope.

(The Globe and Mail)

Apollo Insurance closes $18.5 million CAD for new buy now, pay later subsidiary

Vancouver and Toronto-based insurtech startup Apollo Insurance has launched a new subsidiary offering a buy now, pay later facility for insurance premiums called FinShore.

FinShore, a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo, will offer its BNPL facility exclusively to Apollo’s customers. Last week, FinShore secured $18.5 million CAD in debt financing to support its launch.


Crypto Exchange Kraken Is in Talks for Pre-IPO Fund Raising Round

Kraken, one the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges, is considering raising a final funding round ahead of a possible initial public offering after receiving inquiries from potential investors during the current digital-asset market rally, according to people familiar with the matter.

The exchange would likely seek to raise more than $100 million, one of the people said.

(BNN Bloomberg)

Canadian-founded Staging Labs acquired by Merkle Science

Staging Labs, a Miami-based Web3 cybersecurity startup founded by a Canadian duo, has been acquired by New York-based Web3 risk and intelligence platform Merkle Science for an undisclosed amount.

As part of the deal, Staging Labs will incorporate its team under Merkle Science. The deal is intended to help Merkle Science expand its presence in the United States and Canada and broaden its range of products.


FTX seeks to stop outside litigation against insiders, VC firms

FTX on Tuesday asked a U.S. judge to stop outside litigation against company insiders and venture capital firms accused of playing a role in the bankrupt crypto exchange’s collapse, saying the lawsuits undermine FTX’s own effort to repay customers.

The lawsuits, including class action complaints filed by FTX customers, could eat into an estimated $16 billion recovery that the company intends to pay customers in its bankruptcy, FTX said in court documents filed Tuesday in federal court in Miami.


MaRS makes layoffs as part of business model “resetting”

MaRS Discovery District has made reductions to its staff as the Toronto innovation looks to get back to its “original vision,” BetaKit has learned.

Multiple sources indicated to BetaKit that the hub made a staff reduction this week. Alison Nankivell, CEO of MaRS, confirmed the layoffs with BetaKit, stating the hub is examining how its spaces, programs, and community can “propel Canadian innovation in a shifting global context.”

Sources who spoke with BetaKit under condition of anonymity indicated that at least 20 roles were cut, including MaRS’ chief delivery officer Krista Jones.


Robinhood Doubles Down on Crypto With Deal for Bitstamp

Robinhood is wading deeper into crypto with a $200 million deal for Bitstamp, despite the Securities and Exchange Commission’s warning that it plans to sue the brokerage over its digital-assets business.

The deal for the crypto exchange comes a month after Robinhood disclosed that it received a so-called Wells notice that the regulator is preparing to sue the company over alleged violations of securities laws.

The acquisition is Robinhood’s largest to date and would allow the firm to serve institutional crypto clients and expand its crypto offerings internationally, the company said. Bitstamp holds more than 50 licenses and registrations globally.

(The Wall Street Journal)

Feds resume SDTC funding under NRC following damning AG report

The federal government has resumed funding for Sustainable Development Technology Canada as it prepares to bring the embattled cleantech agency under the National Research Council of Canada in the coming months.

The restoration of funding is being announced amid the release of a damning report by Canada’s Auditor General Karen Hogan, which found “significant lapses” in SDTC’s governance and management of public money. The federal government has also appointed new positions to lead the agency through the upcoming transition.


TD bribery woes spread to Florida as new allegations surface

Fresh allegations that a longtime Toronto-Dominion Bank branch worker in Florida took a series of US$200 bribes to help clients move millions to Colombia by skirting anti-money-laundering defenses are adding to the lender’s mushrooming U.S. legal problems.

Gerry Aquino Vargas, the now-former retail banker in a Hollywood, Florida, outpost of Canada’s second-largest bank, falsified documents to open dozens of accounts and provided concierge-like services to help cash flow across borders, according to American prosecutors. In another recent case, a former TD branch employee in New York admitted to bypassing the bank’s compliance measures to defraud a customer.

(BNN Bloomberg)

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Feature image via Karl Jacob on LinkedIn.

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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