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The Fintech revolution: How startups are changing the world of finance


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The Fintech revolution: How startups are changing the world of finance

A new generation of financial technology startups are changing the world of finance in ways that were once considered unimaginable. They’re making it easier for businesses to manage their investments using artificial intelligence, transfer funds across borders in less time and help clients raise funds using robo-advisors.

Follow the money

It’s not hard to see why financial technology startups are growing in popularity. This year, they’ve managed to raise $8 billion globally, close 469 deals and push six startups into “unicorn” status.

#Fintech startups won’t put banks out of business anytime soon, but they’re growing in influence.

In years past, most financial institutions focused on partnering with emerging startups in order to better leverage their expertise. Although, all that that may soon change.

As the industry continues to innovate, traditional firms are concentrating less on strategic partners and more on outright acquisitions. This allows them to better integrate new technology into their workforce. It also prevents competing companies from benefiting from that same technology.

The revolution behind the scenes

More institutions are seeing how beneficial acquiring startup technology can be for the bottom line.

A 2016 report by IDC and SAP found a quarter of global banks were interested in buying a fintech company. By 2017, Pricewaterhouse discovered that a whopping 50 per cent of surveyed companies planned on purchasing a startup.

Some of the more notable acquisitions made just this year include JP Morgan’s purchase of online payment service WePay for around $220 million and Moneyfarm’s purchase of online advice service Ernest for an undisclosed amount.

So, what’s driving this change? Money, of course.

The same report found that acquisitions increase adoption rates and make it easier to integrate necessary technology. “By adopting one of the many solutions brought by innovators, Financial Institutions can gain incremental returns and find a way to expand new products and services and reach new customers.”

To hear more from BusinessCast, hosted by Robert Gold, make sure to visit our official iTunes page.

The accessibility-focused technology making the impossible possible

Almost 14 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older have a disability, according to a 2012 Statistic Canada report. That number, the most recent figure available, means that 3.8 million people live with a mental or physical impairment. Worldwide that number jumps to about 190 million, which works out to approximately 15 per cent of the global population.

As the world’s elderly population continues to grow more people will come to rely on assistive technology. Startups willing to invest in this sector now have the ability to capitalize on this booming demographic.

Breakthrough technology

Accessibility technology, a term used to describe equipment that improves how individuals with disabilities function, has grown in popularity.

The technology is helping the impaired in a variety of ways that many able-bodied take for granted. For instance, Amazon’s voice-controlled Alexa is more than just a personal assistant to many. Individuals that can hold a phone may not see it as a life-changing piece of technology, but for those who can’t dial 9-1-1 it could be the difference between life and death.

Toronto-based AccessNow, founded by Maayan Ziv, is just one of the many startups making the world a more accessible place. Listen to the latest BusinessCast episode, hosted by Robert Gold, to hear Maayan’s inspirational story. Afterwards take a look below at the futuristic products that may someday transform society. To hear more from BusinessCast, make sure to visit our official iTunes page.

Life-changing technology


  1. This finger-reader may still be in the prototype phase, but when it does eventually become a reality it’ll be a game changer for the visually impaired. Unlike most of today’s e-readers that work exclusively with computer screens this device can read printed text and has the capability to turn any text into audio.
  2. Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have developed an innovative way for the people with disabilities to regain basic motor functions using electrical implants attached to the brain’s motor cortex area. The experimental procedure temporarily restored function to a U.S. ’s arm earlier this year and is currently in clinical trials.
  3. Helping deaf people ‘hear’ could be as simple as attaching a small electrical device to their tongue, if three University of Colorado professors have their way.The device when worn on an individual’s tongue connects to an earpiece that can discern anyone’s words when spoken out loud and then is transmitted to their brain.

Is Canada the next global leader in tech? Yes.

Some of today’s biggest game-changing startups call Canada home these days. This includes local high-growth companies  like Shopify, WattPad and Element A.I., which secured an eye-watering $135 million investment earlier this year.Even America’s top tech companies have pivoted north in recent years; lured by Canada’s thriving tech scene.Google, Uber and Microsoft have launched new satellite offices this year, while Amazon — the godfather of e-commerce — is considering Toronto for its new North American headquarters.

Canada on the world stage

These new developments may come as a surprise to some, but it really shouldn’t. Canada has one of the most liberal immigration policies in the world and some of the top tech incubators — which churn our new talent and companies every day — are located in the city. However, Toronto’s greatest strength lies in its talent base. Tech innovators attracted by our world-class institutions that include Google’s artificial intelligence lab and million-dollar Vector Institute bring with them investors and venture capitalists that help transform the city.

Of course, Canada’s quickly maturing tech landscape can be confusing. Enter: The DMZ. The startup incubator’s new podcast entitled BusinessCast powered by the DMZ tackles the latest in tech news and innovation.

The first episode in the series investigates Canada’s winning tech streak. Chartered accountant and host Robert Gold chats with DMZ Executive Director Abdullah Snobar about the state of tech entrepreneurship and, more importantly, why the world should care about Canadian startups.Make sure to check out our BusinessCast podcasts here.