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Lombardi, who co-founded food-delivery app GroceryHero, will fill the role of managing director. The announcement comes a month after the Ontario Centres of Excellence acquired the incubator amid financial challenges brought on by COVID-19. (BetaKit, The Logic)

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Talking point: Lombardi is tasked with running a pared-down version of the Toronto-based incubator, which helped companies like Wealthsimple and Borrowell get their start. OneEleven is expected to hire just five staff, down from 15, and occupy just one floor of at 325 Front St. W., rather than two. OneEleven hosted 55 companies and more than 1,100 people at its peak. The incubator, which has been closed since April, hasn’t said how many firms will occupy the space when it reopens in October.

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The Toronto-based fintech, which has over 400,000 monthly users, is offering U.S. clients an account with no fees and is looking to expand the program into Canada. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Wave is the latest Canadian fintech to offer a bank account, following Wealthsimple, Neo Financial and Shopify, but CEO Kirk Simpson is confident its offering will stand out from the crowd. “We are the first product to come out with small-business banking and bookkeeping tied together seamlessly,” Simpson told The Logic. “Shopify has announced it but it’s not coming until the fall. We’ve already got users, and we’re excited to ramp that up.” Simpson said the initial U.S. focus is partially due to a less friendly regulatory environment in Canada, which also caused problems when Wave offered to distribute government COVID-19 aid. “We have a tremendous amount of data about our small business customers, in some ways more than what the banks see. And yet there’s been a reticence in Canada to open it up,” said Simpson. “We know in the U.S. that players like QuickBooks and Square and others are distributing funds. And in Canada it’s been a, quite frankly, frustrating experience to try and help.”

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As first reported by The Globe and Mail and BetaKit, multiple proposals have emerged to save the Toronto accelerator, whose chief backers include Oxford Properties Group and its parent Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System pension fund. Bidders include the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)—a provincially and federally funded agency that was a founding partner of OneEleven—and Mohamad Fakih, a Toronto entrepreneur known best for owning Paramount Fine Foods. (The Logic, The Globe and Mail, BetaKit)

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Talking point: OneEleven, whose alumni include Canadian financial technology companies Wealthsimple and Borrowell, announced its closure in April, citing financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Startups were told to vacate and arrange new terms with Oxford. Over a month later, there are competing visions for its revival. OCE hopes to make the accelerator a not-for-profit organization that helps startups find financing to grow. A spokesperson told The Logic the agency is in conversations with “numerous partners,” including “very positive” discussions with MaRS, to save it. Fakih told The Logic he believes it should be a private space “for entrepreneurs, run by entrepreneurs” and not be “a bureaucratic organisation that costs taxpayer money.” His proposal includes buying OneEleven and launching a seed fund to invest in early-stage startups who want to help it transform into “a lean, profit-centre that would continue to grow organically off its own revenues and investments.”

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Neo Financial, helmed by Andrew Chau and Jeff Adamson, intends to offer a credit card and savings account, and has over 17,000 people on its waitlist. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Chau and Adamson helped grow SkipTheDishes into a made-on-the-Prairies tech success story—with 4.4 million customers and over 2,300 employees—that was purchased by Just Eat for $186 million in 2016. The two plan to build this 50-person company in Western Canada, as well, launching first in Calgary in the next few months. It’s partnering with a bank outside the Big Five for its savings account before rolling out Canada-wide. Neo is the first portfolio firm under Harvest Venture Builder, an accelerator for Prairies-based startups that hopes to build multiple tech successes in the region. However, Neo plans to focus on consumer financing, an increasingly crowded market. Koho and Wealthsimple are offering bank accounts, and U.K.-based fintechs TransferWise and Revolut have been granted money-services business licences in Canada. Acquiring customers for this kind of business can be costly. Wealthsimple, for example, spends an estimated $20 million a year on marketing. Neo thinks it can compete by offering an easy user experience, a loyalty program and partnerships with smaller merchants.

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The San Francisco-based online loan firm will pay US$185 million for Boston-based Radius Bank. LendingClub said it will break even after two years if the deal, which is expected to take up to 15 months to close, goes through. (The Logic)

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Talking point: LendingClub is not only the first U.S. fintech to buy a bank—it’s also leapfrogging rivals like Square and Varo Money, which are looking to offer bank-like services by securing their own federal licences. Banks are able to offer a wider array of products than the fintechs seeking to take away their customers. LendingClub was a pioneer of personal online loans: it had the largest U.S. tech IPO in 2014, hitting an US$8.5-billion valuation. Its shares have dropped significantly since then—its current market cap is US$1.1 billion—but the firm is hoping today’s news will improve its prospects. LendingClub expects to save US$40 million a year in bank fees and other costs from the deal, and it will also be able to make money off the approximately US$1.4 billion in assets that Radius holds. In Canada, fintechs are offering bank-like products in an attempt to grow their market share. Both Wealthsimple and Koho have chequing accounts. U.K-based fintechs Revolut and TransferWise both have acquired money-service licences in Canada, as well.