Briefing

Fintech company Borrowell closes $20-million Series B funding round

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An online loan provider that offers Canadians free credit-score reports has raised an additional $20 million in equity and venture debt funding, co-led by Power Financial’s Portag3 Ventures and White Star Capital, which participated in its Series A. Silicon Valley Bank, Clocktower Technology Ventures and Argo Ventures also participated in the venture debt funding round. The company, which launched in 2015, said it has surpassed a million users. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The funding round bolsters Power and its subsidiaries’ growing portfolio of Canadian fintechs. In May, Wealthsimple announced a $100-million fund raise, $30 million of which came from Power—which, along with its subsidiaries Portag3 and IGM, owns a 88.6 per cent stake in the robo-adviser. And, last week, Portage3 led a $55-million round in Diagram Ventures, which helps launch fintech companies. Power’s interest is at odds with the trends in the sector. An April report from Fintech Growth Syndicate found that the number of new fintechs in Canada is slowing and that the number and size of deals in Toronto remained low, relative to other financial centres. A report from EY, meanwhile, found low adoption rates compared to other countries, with only 18 per cent of Canadians saying they used at least two fintech services during a six-month period in 2017, compared to 33 per cent globally.