F|T: The FinTech Times – Clearco, Coinsquare cut staff as Portage launches new late-stage fund

F|T: The FinTech Times – Clearco, Coinsquare cut staff as Portage launches new late-stage fund
F|T: The FinTech Times – Clearco, Coinsquare cut staff as Portage launches new late-stage fund

Plus: Caisse has to explain its risky bet on crypto lender Celsius.

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Clearco cuts a quarter of staff amid ‘significant headwinds’ (BETAKIT)

Co-founders Michele Romanow and Andrew D’Souza told Clearco employees about the cuts in an email Friday morning. The email, shared with BetaKit, said: “Today we have made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce by 125 people and are evaluating strategic options for our international operations.”

Jack Ma plans to relinquish control of Ant Group (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Billionaire Jack Ma plans to relinquish control of Ant Group Co., people familiar with the matter said, as part of the fintech giant’s effort to move away from affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. after more than a year of extraordinary pressure from Chinese regulators.

Portage Ventures Launches New Late-Stage FinTech Fund, Aiming to Raise Up to $1B (BETAKIT)

Portage co-founder and CEO Adam Felesky told BetaKit that PCS will invest in securities that combine debt and equity features and do not require startups to lock in valuations as with traditional equity fundraisings.

Crypto Exchange CoinFLEX Cuts Team Amid Cost-Saving Push (COINDESK)

CoinFLEX’s job cuts come after the firm proposed a plan to compensate depositors and strengthen its financial position as it seeks to recover more than $84 million in debt owed by a “large individual customer.”

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Take a look at these Canadian technology risk finance reports for Q2:

All data obtained via briefed.in. BetaKit is a briefed.in Tech Report media partner.

Coinsquare lays off 24 percent of employees amid turbulent crypto market, shifts focus to regulation (BETAKIT)

The Toronto-based startup confirmed to BetaKit that it has laid off about 24 percent of its employees, which included contract workers. Coinsquare has seen its workforce reduced from 125 employees before the layoffs to about 95 workers now. The company also introduced a pay cut for its executives, but declined to disclose further details.

Ethan Lou: Consolidation puts crypto sector on Competition Bureau’s radar (FINANCIAL POST)

In March, WonderFi Technologies Inc., a Vancouver-based crypto outfit backed by Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, closed its $206 million acquisition of exchange Bitbuy. Just a month later, WonderFI announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Coinberry, another trading platform, in a $38.5 million deal.

Then the competition agency came knocking.

From seed to table: building better food systems through impact investing (BETAKIT)

“It has to start with giving all people — with emphasis on all — enough food and nutrients to feed themselves,” said Ran Goel, founder of Fresh City Farms in Toronto. “That is the foundation. Then the question becomes: how do we do it in a way that can essentially continue indefinitely into the future?”

VC fund Variant raises $450 million, doubles down on Web3 amid ‘crypto winter’ (FORTUNE)

“We feel that over the next three to five years we’re going to see a wave of really high-quality projects that then propel us towards the mainstream [crypto] adoption,” said Variant co-founder Li Jin.

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Rocked by workplace scandals, Flutterwave now faces multi-million dollar fraud charges in Kenya (REST OF WORLD)

Since April, Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has launched investigations into transactions carried out by at least 10 firms and frozen dozens of bank accounts linked to Flutterwave, which ARA officials believe are “conduits for international money laundering”.

Crypto custody balance completes SOC 2 audit to boost customer confidence (BETAKIT)

The startup claims it is now the only Canadian digital asset custodian to achieve SOC 2 compliance for both its cold (offline) and hot (online) crypto storage systems.

Caisse must explain why they bet so risky on crypto lender Celsius (GLOBE AND MAIL)

Canada’s second-largest pension fund manager has finally acknowledged that its $150 million investment in Celsius Network is deteriorating because the New Jersey-based cryptocurrency lender is stuck in bankruptcy protection.

Now the Caisse must find out why the investment and risk management committee made such a bet in the first place, and the consequences these money managers will face for embarking on this costly accident.

Lemonade lays off 20% of Metromile staff after acquisition (CRUNCHBASE)

Lemonade said around 20% of Metromile’s team was affected. Lemonade is best known for offering homeowners, renters and pet insurance. Metromile focuses on car insurance. Both companies are fairly new to the public markets. New York-based Lemonade went public in 2020, while San Francisco-based Metromile went public last year in a SPAC deal.

BC securities regulator claims Blok Technologies, former executives misrepresented 2018 share sales (BETAKIT)

The British Columbia Securities Commission claimed in a release published Thursday that Blok “made a statement to investors that it knew, or reasonably should have known, misrepresented investors and violated the Securities Act.” These claims have not been proven.

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