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WonderFi responds as shareholders Kaos Capital, Mogo push for board overhaul

On Wednesday, Miami’s Kaos Capital issued a statement indicating that the hedge fund management firm, Vancouver-based FinTech company Mogo, and other investors (a group Kaos said collectively represents 22 percent of WonderFi’s shareholders) are demanding that WonderFi’s “entrenched and disorganized” board be replaced.

In response, WonderFi has alleged that one of the firms behind these claims is “engaged in an attempt to gain control of WonderFi without paying a premium to shareholders, and that “Mogo introduced Kaos to WonderFi to further its longstanding goal of gaining control without paying a premium.”

Kaos said it plans to nominate five individuals to the WonderFi board ahead of the crypto company’s May 21 annual general meeting. Mogo and Kaos plan to support each other’s board nominations.

Having already experienced multiple significant leadership changes since 2021, WonderFi is now engaged in a heated boardroom battle.


‘There’s buy-in from the industry. They’re ready to go’: An exit interview with Canada’s unofficial open banking czar

It’s been a slog trying to make open banking a thing in Canada.Whenever it does become a reality, Abraham Tachjian will deserve much of the credit.

Tachjian, whose appointment ended at the end of 2023, says he talked to more than 200 people in the almost two years he was in the role, grinding his way to a consensus between rivals in legacy banking and fintech upstarts that will form the basis of what will be one of the most significant overhauls of financial regulation in recent memory.

Tachjian reflected on his experience working with policymakers, the complaints over the many delays, the benefits of learning from mistakes made elsewhere, and his belief that what’s happening in banking will move to other data-rich industries.

(The Logic)

Earned wage startup ZayZoon brings on two new backers with Series B extension

Calgary-based FinTech startup ZayZoon has raised an additional $15 million USD in financing through the extension of its Series B round. ZayZoon originally closed $34.5 million USD in debt and equity Series B financing in September 2023, which brings its Series B round to $49.5 million USD.

The round extension was led by Israeli venture fund Viola Fintech with participation from Intuit Ventures, previous investor Export Development Canada, and the original Series B round leader Framework Venture Partners.


FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years for crypto fraud

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday for the massive fraud and conspiracy that doomed his cryptocurrency exchange and a related hedge fund.

The sentence in Manhattan federal court was significantly less than the 40 to 50 years in prison that federal prosecutors wanted for Bankman-Fried, and much more than the five to six-and-a-half years that his lawyers had suggested. “There is a risk that this man will be in position to do something very bad in the future,” Judge Lewis Kaplan said before he sentenced the 32-year-old. “And it’s not a trivial risk at all.”


RealSage closes $5.5 million CAD to fuel growth of AI-powered real estate software

Toronto-based RealSage, which sells artificial intelligence-powered data intelligence software to help multi-family rental housing asset managers operate more efficiently, has secured $5.5 million CAD ($4 million USD) in seed funding.

The proptech startup intends to use this funding to fuel its continued United States expansion and product development efforts.


Synctera is the latest banking-as-a-service startup to lay off staff

Banking-as-a-service startup (BaaS) Synctera has conducted a restructuring that has resulted in a staff reduction, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.

While Synctera did not share how many employees were impacted, a report in Fintech Business Weekly pegs the number to be about 17 people, or about 15% of the company. Doing the math, that means the company had about 113 employees prior to the cuts, and about 96 now.

BetaKit recently reported: Synctera, which holds a majority Canadian engineering team, secured $18.6-million USD in its second Series A extension and went fully live in Canada in December 2023.


Inside Mercury’s Stumble From Fintech Hero to Target of the Feds

The meeting last July between officials from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and executives from Choice Financial Group was tense.

They scolded Choice for allowing overseas Mercury customers to open thousands of accounts using questionable methods to prove they had a presence in the U.S. And they were peeved that Choice hadn’t vetted a compliance system Mercury was using, which the agency said was flagging a curiously low number of suspicious transactions.

“You can’t let any fintech run the show,” one of the FDIC examiners told the Choice executives.

The details of Choice’s meeting with the FDIC provide a rare window into how regulators are clamping down on fintechs by focusing on the banks they rely on behind the scenes.

(The Information)

Notman House is for sale. A startup-led effort wants to buy it back

Montréal startup space Notman House is officially on the market, and local real estate investment and rental startup Guiker wants to buy it with the help of community investors.

The proposal comes after the OSMO Foundation defaulted on its debts to the Business Development Bank of Canada and Investissement Québec, who provided initial grants to finance Notman House.

“We’re really kind of on the brink of losing Notman House,” Gabriel Sundaram, co-founder of Mission.dev, told BetaKit. “What we believe is that our initiative is the only one that gives an opportunity for Notman’s mission to continue to exist.”


B.C. files unexplained wealth order against co-founder of defunct crypto exchange Quadriga

The co-founder of defunct cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX may lose hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cash, gold and luxury items if he is unable to prove he obtained that wealth lawfully.

The B.C. Civil Forfeiture Office has filed an application for an “unexplained wealth order” – a controversial new legal tool in British Columbia – that could result in the forfeiture of $250,200 in cash, 45 gold bars, four luxury watches and several items of pricey jewellery by Michael Patryn.

(The Globe and Mail)

C100 launches new Growth Program to support later-stage companies

C100 has launched a new program aimed at supporting the growth of later-stage Canadian technology companies.

The new Growth Program is designed to address challenges faced by fast-growing tech companies in Canada, such as the scarcity of risk-tolerant capital, a lack of senior talent capable of assisting with global expansion, and insufficient personalized mentoring for the founders of scaling firms.


Stripe and Amazon Elevate Retail in Canada with Checkout-Free Just Walk Out Technology

Stripe is expanded its partnership with Amazon to power payments for retailers using Just Walk Out technology in Canada.

Merchants in Canada use Stripe Terminal’s WisePad3S reader attached to physical entry gates, and Stripe automatically processes the payment after the guest leaves. Stripe Connect will programmatically route payments from shoppers directly to businesses using Just Walk Out technology.


Crypto Exchange KuCoin Violated Anti-Money Laundering Laws, U.S. Charges

U.S. federal prosecutors charged crypto exchange KuCoin and two of its founders with violating anti-money laundering laws on Tuesday, saying the exchange operated in the U.S., lied to at least one of its investors about operating in the U.S. and failed to both register with U.S. government entities and maintain an anti-money laundering program.


The post F|T: The FinTech Times – Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25 years first appeared on BetaKit.

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