The imbalance between the relative successes of Canada’s major financial institutions and the relative anonymity of its FinTech sector was a key area of focus throughout the daylong AltFi Toronto event. The stage played host to a range of experts from tech and finance, from Canada and abroad, each offering their thoughts on why the country’s FinTech industry is lagging behind, and how best to enable it to catch up.
The recently published “Breaking New Ground: The Americas Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report” – spearheaded by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance – explores a market which produced $36.49 billion in funding volume in 2015. Of that total, Canada generated $206.96 million, up 240% from the $60.81 million that was recorded in 2014. The Cambridge report focused solely on the exchange-based platforms, i.e. marketplace lenders and a range of crowdfunders. Despite the somewhat limited scope of this report, it’s clear that Canada’s alternative finance space – while growing – is at an earlier stage in its growth trajectory than its neighbour the US (which has produced c. 99% of the funding that has to date been delivered by alternative financiers in the Americas).