F|T: The FinTech Times – WonderFi goes international with Australian crypto licence

WonderFi CEO Dean Skurka.
Plus: Nuvei confirms it is in takeover talks.

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WonderFi to acquire Australian crypto trading licence as “solid foundation” for international expansion

Toronto cryptocurrency company WonderFi has reached a deal to purchase an entity registered to provide crypto trading services in Australia.

In an exclusive interview with BetaKit, WonderFi CEO Dean Skurka said that international expansion—which the Toronto Stock Exchange-listed firm deprioritized during the crypto downturn—has become an important part of WonderFi’s growth strategy again now that market conditions have improved.


Rails launches with $6.2M round for its decentralized FTX alternative

Rails, a decentralized crypto exchange, has raised $6.2 million in attempts to fill the void FTX left behind after crashing in 2022, the startup’s co-founder and CEO Satraj Bambra exclusively told TechCrunch.

It is currently in the early stages of launching an offshore service in select crypto-friendly countries, which does not include the U.S.

The round was led by Slow Ventures with investment also from CMCC Global, Round13 Capital and Quantstamp.

BetaKit reported last month: Bambra, Round13’s Digital Asset Fund managing partner, highlighted that a lot has happened in the broader crypto market over the past two years. “Everyone has been decimated [and] it’s been very hard to invest in crypto,” he told BetaKit in an interview.


Nuvei stock rises as company confirms discussions following report of potential buyout

In a late March 17 statement, Nuvei confirmed that it is in talks with “certain third parties” about a potential takeover transaction that could lead to the Montréal payments company going private.

Nuvei shares responded on market open Monday by jumping up nearly 20 percent on the TSX, going from $29.48 per share on Friday’s close to $37.57 at 11:30 am EST Monday.

Having once traded as high as $171 per share in 2021, Nuvei would join a wave of Canadian tech companies going private following significant stock value declines.


BlackRock-backed commodities exchange startup Abaxx raises cash

Abaxx Technologies Inc., a financial technology startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. commodity strategist, is raising fresh equity as it prepares to launch trading in commodities futures.

The Canadian company, which says it’s on the cusp of opening a new exchange and clearinghouse based in Singapore, will use the money to fund operations and growth. The firm expects to handle its first trades in the next few weeks, Chief Executive Officer Josh Crumb said.

(BNN Bloomberg)

SEC orders Delphia to pay $225,000 USD for “false and misleading” statements about use of AI

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered the US division of Toronto-based FinTech startup Delphia to pay a $225,000 USD penalty for statements it made about its use of artificial intelligence.

Specifically, Delphia said it “put[s] collective data to work to make our artificial intelligence smarter so it can predict which companies and trends are about to make it big and invest in them before everyone else.”

The SEC said it found this statement to be inaccurate, noting that “Delphia did not in fact have the AI and [ML] capabilities that it claimed.” The SEC referred to this practice as “AI washing.”


Robinhood Co-Founder to Step Down as Creative Chief

Robinhood co-founder Baiju Bhatt will no longer serve as an executive at the company whose app helped facilitate a meme-stock craze.

Bhatt has been at or near the helm of Robinhood, an online brokerage that offers everyday investors an easy-to-use interface, since its inception in 2013. The company said on Thursday that he would step down from his role as chief creative officer to pursue other entrepreneurial interests.

(The Wall Street Journal)

FinTech startup VoPay makes inroads in US, UK markets

Vancouver-based embedded financial service platform VoPay has established a partnership with New Jersey’s Cross River Bank and is taking its first step towards a European expansion.

VoPay says the partnership it established last week with Cross River Bank accelerates its expansion into the United States and will give it access to the US banking and payment network infrastructure.

The FinTech startup also plans to use London, United Kingdom to anchor its European expansion and has been accepted into the UK FinTech branch of the Canadian Technology Accelerators program.


Budgeting app Copilot is booming now that Mint is dead, leading to $6M Series A

Intuit is winding down budgeting app Mint this week, and that’s become good news for competitor Copilot. Mint’s demise represents both the end of an era and proof that consumers want more from their finance app, founder Andrés Ugarte told TechCrunch.

The New York-based CEO started the subscription-based personal finance tracker in January 2020 to offer an alternative to Mint. Today, Copilot has more than 100,000 subscribers with a majority of them coming into the app at least once a day.

Copilot was able to parlay that growth into a $6 million Series A round of funding


One year later, what filled the hole SVB left in Canadian tech lending?

One year after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, venture capitalists and lenders BetaKit spoke with said the ecosystem is missing one of a small number of doors to knock on for debt funding.

The bank’s four-year run in Canada changed the tech lending landscape significantly, with its presence prodding the Big Five banks to start competing for startups’ business and giving smaller companies better access to bank pricing for debt.

With those banks hoovering up former SVB Canada talent and customers in the past year, the country’s major financial institutions are set to be more active tech lenders.


Uber leads $100M investment in African mobility fintech Moove as valuation hits $750M

Moove, an African mobility fintech that offers vehicle financing to ride-hailing and delivery app drivers, has raised $100 million in a funding round as it plots expansion into new markets.

The four-year-old mobility fintech buys fleets of vehicles, which it then sells to drivers through the platform. Its software offers financing to drivers through a credit-scoring system, enabling drivers to buy new vehicles for ride-hailing, logistics and deliveries.


The BetaKit Keynote Stage lands in Vancouver for INNOVATEwest 2024

The BetaKit Keynote Stage is heading west, set to host captivating conversations with tech leaders at INNOVATEwest 2024.

On April 16 and 17 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the stage will feature a roster of tech luminaries, including Canva chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki, key figures from Canada’s quantum sector, and a lively conversation between Koho founder and CEO Daniel Eberhard and Wealthsimple co-founder and CEO Michael Katchen.


Swiss fintech nsave gets $4M to enable people from unstable economies open offshore accounts

Swiss fintech nsave, which is making banking in Switzerland accessible to people in countries with unstable banking sectors or facing high inflation, has raised $4 million seed funding.

Amer Baroudi and Abdallah AbuHashem co-founded nsave in 2022 from lived experiences. Baroudi told TechCrunch that he witnessed his family lose their life savings due to currency devaluation and the inability to open bank accounts in foreign countries upon fleeing war in Syria years ago, as they were regarded too risky.

He said offshore banking has always been accessible to a small number of people, often the wealthy or those with great networks, adding that nsave is out to democratize that access to everybody else.


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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