F|T: The FinTech Times – Wealthsimple partners with Interac, Luge Capital is ready to cut cheques

Plus: Neo Financial, Float headline LinkedIn top startups list.

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Luge Capital looks to buck FinTech trends with $71-million CAD first close of new fund (BETAKIT)

With FinTech funding mired in a global slump, Luge Capital believes it has the record and strategic partners to capitalize in a market coming down from its “sugar rush.”

The Montréal and Toronto-based FinTech-focused VC firm announced a $71-million first close of its target $100-million fund. Luge is looking to expand its team from both an operational and investing standpoint.

Inside Sam Bankman-Fried’s Family Bubble (THE NEW YORKER)

At Stanford Law School, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried specialized in ethics and social fairness. Now that their son stands accused of one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history, they’re scrambling for legal escape routes.

Wealthsimple to join Interac e-transfer system under expanded access guidelines (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based FinTech startup Wealthsimple announced it secured provisional approval to join Interac’s e-transfer service, becoming the first participant under its expanded access guidelines that will allow more than just banks and credit unions to participate.

On Elevate’s FinTech stage, which was programmed by BetaKit, Hanna Zaidi, chief compliance officer for payments at Wealthsimple, expressed her satisfaction with a deal that “allows for greater connectivity for users,” but noted that Canada “still needs a real-time rail (RTR) system.”

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Insurtech company backed by Google's AI fund raises $100M (BIZJOURNALS)

In an interview, Openly CEO Ty Harris explained that the $100 million Series D round will cover operations and also "feeds" the company's balance sheet to keep up with the premium growth.

Headquartered in Boston's Back Bay, Openly uses its AI-powered software to generate home insurance quotes based on sources including county records, current and prior home listings and aerial photos.

Neo Financial, Float, and Cohere headline LinkedIn’s sixth annual list of Canada’s top 15 startups (BETAKIT)

In its blog post, LinkedIn highlighted difficulties faced by startups this year, such as venture capital deals in Canada dropping by 71 percent on an annual basis in the first quarter, higher interest rates, and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Despite that, the list of Canada's top 15 startups reflects the resilience of FinTech and artificial intelligence (AI) startups, with just over half of the ranked startups involved in either of those sectors.

Robinhood is cutting jobs, reorganizing teams, and focusing on credit cards to solve a shrinking user base, insiders say (INSIDER)

Robinhood is laying off more employees and reorganizing teams as part of a new focus on credit cards as the company tries to mitigate a shrinking user base, insiders say.

In June, Robinhood announced plans to acquire no-fee credit card startup X1 for $95 million. Insiders say the company is planning to merge X1 with its Robinhood Money organization.

The changes come as Robinhood tries to address a shrinking user base. Monthly active users, the company reported, decreased by 400,000 to 10.6 million between July and August.

Elevate announces CIX acquisition and new $2-million innovation challenge for youth mental health (BETAKIT)

Elevate kicked off this year’s tech and innovation festival on its main stage by announcing its acquisition of the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) and a partnership with MaRS and Kids Help Phone to launch a $2-million innovation challenge aimed at improving youth mental health.

Crypto Exchange Kraken Plans to Offer Trading in US-Listed Stocks (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Kraken, one of the oldest names in crypto, plans to offer trading in US-listed stocks and exchange-traded funds, marking the 12-year-old company’s first foray outside its cryptocurrency roots.

With a 2024 launch target, Kraken will initially offer trading in the US and UK through a service built by a new division called Kraken Securities.

Kraken followed up this announcement by integrating Interac e-transfer as an available funding option for its platform as well as support for eight new coins.

Front Row Ventures closes over-subscribed $5.5-million CAD pan-Canadian fund (BETAKIT)

Front Row Ventures, the university student-led fund that invests in student-led startups, has closed $5.5 million for its first pan-Canadian fund.

Historically, Front Row Ventures has focused on investing in early-stage, student-led Canadian startups. The fund received $600,000 in 2017 from Real Ventures to invest in 24 student-led startups over the next four years.

Apple is ordered to face Apple Pay antitrust lawsuit (REUTERS)

Apple was ordered on Wednesday to face a private antitrust lawsuit by payment card issuers accusing the company of thwarting competition for its Apple Pay mobile wallet.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said the plaintiffs could try to prove that Apple violated the federal Sherman antitrust law by enforcing a 100% monopoly over the domestic market for tap-and-pay wallets for iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

Jack Dorsey faces full Square agenda (PAYMENTS DIVE)

Block Head Jack Dorsey will have plenty to keep him busy as he adds Square CEO duties to his job next week.

As more competitors fight for market share in the point-of-sale space and Square’s growth has slowed, Dorsey will be playing catch-up on the sales side. Square recently revamped its strategy to focus salespeople on specific industry verticals.

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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