Aspire Launches New Asset-Level Disclosure Module to Democratize Access to US Public Securitization Data by David Fry

SOURCE: Aspire Financial Technologies Inc.


April 11, 2017 12:00 ET

Aspire Financial Technologies Announces New Asset-Level Disclosure (ALD) Data and Analytics Module, Allowing Users to Better Understand Consumer Credit Asset Pools for Public Securitizations

Toronto-based FinTech company announces a new Data & Analytics module for US Asset-Backed Securities participants dealing with the increased level of data disclosure on public securitizations. 

TORONTO, ON--(April 11, 2017) – Aspire Financial Technologies Inc. (“Aspire”), announced today the release of a new Asset-Level Disclosure module, the "ALD Explorer" that will provide free access to market participants looking to access and analyze loan-level characteristic and performance data for asset pools of US public securitizations. On an ongoing basis, issuers publish these files to the SEC’s Edgar website. They currently cover the asset verticals of auto-loans, auto-leases, and CMBS, but will soon expand to RMBS and other debt securities.   The module is part of Aspire’s more broadly focused Gateway TM platform, which enables users to seamlessly research, workflow, monitor, and forecast their consumer or SME loan risk exposure, across multiple use cases. 

“We are excited to release a product that democratizes access to this increasing level of important securitization asset data, and provide the technology and analytics tools necessary to evaluate it.  From Wall Street dealers, to ratings agencies to the multitude of investors in public securitizations, we’ve seen a desire to access and analyze this data, coupled with a lack of technology to effectively manage it’s growing volume.  The result has been an uneven response among participants, leaving those without the right mix of capabilities, scrambling for the right tools”, Aspire CEO David Fry said. 

The release of consumer credit ALD data publicly provides for unique opportunities.  For the first time, Aspire Gateway ABS ALD module gives participants the ability to stratify and compile performance views both within individual trusts and across trusts with similar asset pools on the same platform.  Aspire released the product with an initial focus on auto loan asset pools, and will be expanding coverage to other verticals with filings on the SEC website.  Aspire also makes available individual raw CSV files converted directly from the issuer postings on its platform.

“I think the regulatory impetus for this level of asset-level disclosure on public securitizations was a necessary response to some of the causes of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.  All ABS market participants need to have a deeper understanding of the underlying securitization collateral beyond pool or rep-line level averages.  The new ABS ALD module facilitates this fundamental review, while at the same time, leveling the playing field for users to access and unlock value from this data”, David said.


As a result of Reg AB II from the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, starting in 2017 certain public securitization issuers must post Asset Level Disclosure (loan-level characteristic and performance data) for loans in public securitization trusts on an ongoing monthly basis. These postings are made on the SEC Edgar site. Currently files exist for auto-loans, auto-leases, and CMBS, but will include other debt securities like RMBS.  Aspire is collecting and aggregating this voluminous data that is growing as current deals age and new deals come to market, cleaning the data, enhancing it with finance-specific fields, and displaying it in views that are insightful to market participants.

About Aspire

Aspire is a Toronto-based financial technology company focused on accessing, unlocking and empowering lending data through advanced data and technology solutions.  Led by Co-Founders David Fry and Mark Lecker, the Aspire team is comprised of highly skilled and experienced financial services experts and software engineering talent.  Aspire’s inaugural product, the Aspire Gateway platform, provides high-powered data, analytics, reporting and risk infrastructure to Originators, Investors and Banks, across a broad set of lending asset verticals.  Aspire’ new ALD module is available on the Aspire website and provides loan-level data analytics capabilities, and similarly aims to significantly reduce costs and increase the empowerment of lending data using a robust 21st century technology infrastructure.  The new ALD Explorer can be found here:

Aspire adds Two new Advisory Board Members by David Fry

SOURCE: Aspire Financial Technologies Inc.


February 28, 2017 11:00 ET

Aspire Financial Technologies Announces Two New Advisory Board Appointments

 Toronto-based FinTech company announces new Advisory Board appointees, bringing a wealth of expertise in Securitization & Structured Finance, and Technology Company Operating and Investing.

TORONTO, ON--(February 24, 2017) –Aspire Financial Technologies Inc. (“Aspire”), announced today that it has appointed two new members to it’s Advisory Board, with immediate effect.  Joining existing Advisory Board Member and former Head of Markit Canada Craig Marthinsen, are Kristi Leo and Brice Scheschuk.   

“We are pleased to welcome Kristi and Brice to the Aspire Advisory Board”, said David Fry, CEO and Co-Founder of Aspire. “The addition of these two respected experts in their fields, brings a wealth of knowledge, relationships, and industry insight to Aspire”, David said. 

“Kristi and I worked together in the past on several structured finance transactions at Deutsche Bank, and I have a great deal of respect and admiration for her strong intellect, insights and determination.  She brings to Aspire a very broad toolkit of ABS expertise, deal knowledge and institutional relationships, and along with her current SFIG involvement, a considerable amount of industry knowledge and forward thinking.”

Representing one of Aspire’s longer-standing shareholders Globalive Capital on the Aspire Advisory Board is Brice Scheschuk.  “Since last March when Globalive became a shareholder of Aspire, Brice has been active in working with Aspire to help us execute on our growth plan.  He’s been a constant source of valuable insight and advice for me and Aspire, and we wanted to recognize and continue this with an Advisory Board appointment for him”, David said.

About Kristi Leo.   As founder and President of Boulder Advisors, Kristi has established a hands-on, best in class advisory firm delivering full-service, comprehensive advice and strategic solutions to the structured finance industry, specializing in consumer and commercial finance companies and their investors.  Boulder Advisors has advised on debt and capital raises of more than $2.2 billion for consumer finance companies and investments by large private equity firms and hedge funds.   Prior to founding Boulder Advisors in 2013, Kristi was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank NY, where she held several leadership roles within Global Markets.  Most recently, she served as Co-Head of the U.S. Structured Finance Origination and Banking Group and Head of the Unsecured Consumer Asset team.  Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 1998, Kristi worked as a public accountant at PriceWaterhouse.  Kristi earned her B.A. in Accounting from Texas A&M University.  


About Brice Scheschuk:  Brice is the CEO of Globalive Capital, CFO of Pragmatic Solutions, past CFO of WIND Mobile and past CEO of Globalive Communications. He has twenty (20+) years’ experience building and operating companies and led the capital raising and due diligence efforts at WIND Mobile and Globalive Communications. He obtained his CA designation at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). Selected current and past board and advisory positions include Cranson Capital, Espresso Capital, Findev (TSX: TNG), Globalive Communications, iLookabout (TSX: ILA), OutsideIQ, Partsroom, Plaza Ventures, Pitchpoint Solutions, Pragmatic Solutions, Samba Days/Rewards, SceneDoc, Varicent Software, Web Host Industry Review, WIND Mobile, World of Angus and Zoocasa.


About Aspire

Aspire is a Toronto-based financial technology company focused on accessing, unlocking and empowering lending data through advanced data and technology solutions.  Led by Co-Founders David Fry and Mark Lecker, the Aspire team is comprised of highly skilled and experienced financial services experts and software engineering talent.  Aspire’s inaugural product, the Aspire Gateway platform, provides high-powered data, analytics, reporting and risk infrastructure to Originators, Investors and Banks in the lending arena.  Aspire aims to significantly reduce costs and increase efficiency for these user groups using a robust 21st century technology infrastructure.  Aspire will be attending the SFIG ABS West Conference in Las Vegas Feb. 27-March 1, as well as exhibiting at the world’s largest FinTech lending conference, LenditUSA at the Javits Center in NY, on March 5-7. 


Find out more at


For more information, please contact:
David A. Fry, CEO
Aspire Financial Technologies Inc.
ph: 647.317.7180

2016: A break-out Year for On-Line and Marketplace Lending in Canada by David Fry

Breaking out in 2016

2016 was a strong year for Canadian FinTech companies, from both growth and funding perspectives.  The Globe and Mail recently reported that Canadian FinTech companies raised close to $265mm in funding in 2016, up 74% from 2015, to the highest level since 2000.  Also of note is that this increase in funding for Canadian FinTech companies was in stark contrast to the trend see in both the US and UK, where investment in FinTech declined 25-30% from 2015 levels.  Even though the absolute volume of FinTech investment in Canada remains small compared to similar US and UK figures, the trend for FinTech investment in Canada continues to be upwards.  From a slow start, Canadian consumers and businesses are gradually embracing FinTech products and solutions, and investors are backing the FinTech companies positioned for this increasing FinTech adoption.

One group of companies that represents a significant sub-sector of FinTech in Canada, is the on-line, or Marketplace Lending (MPL) sector.  Aspire is well positioned in this sector as a Data and Analytics platform to MPL participants, including our Canadian Data Partner, Progressa.  2016 was a break-out year for this sector, with a significant number of transactions worth highlighting.

2016 Highlights

Our vote for Canadian FinTech lender of the year (if there was such a thing!), and also FinTech deal of the year, would go to Financeit.  Financeit purchased over $400mm of Home Improvement assets from TD Bank this fall, after completing 2 equity financing rounds during the year, led by Goldman Sachs and the Prisker Family.  Debt financing for the TD deal came from Concentra, who continues to expand their asset base in the Alternative Lending sector in Canada.

Bank/Fintech partnerships dominated the Canadian landscape in 2016:  Borrowell partnered with CIBC, Thinking Capital with BNS, Lendful with Alterna Bank, Grow with several BC and other western Canadian credit unions, and US SME lender Kabbage partnered with BNS.  If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, seemed to be the motto for both FinTech lenders and banks.

SME lender Lendified became the first Canadian Marketplace Lender since CommunityLend (now Financeit) to apply for and receive an Exempt Market Dealer license to sell debt securities backed by Lendified SME loans to Accredited Investors, under the new OSC Launchpad initiative.

Elsewhere, we saw equity financing rounds for Progressa, Fundthrough and Healthsmart, IOU Financial launched in Canada, Wellspring was re-born as Flexiti, and First Access, a non-prime auto lender based in Alberta, expanded their funding base with credit facilities provided by ATB and Ares Management.

Avant came and went in Canada during 2016, although their departure was less a reflection of the value of the Canadian opportunity, and more one of a refocus on their domestic business.

Bank Partnerships dominate

As noted above, 2016 saw several Canadian financial institutions partnering with Cdn FinTech lenders.  The FI rationale for this is relatively simple.  First, despite a rumour of their untimely demise in 2015, Canadian banks in fact are alive and well, and are certainly not lying down and handing over their best customers to FinTech upstarts.  Partnering with FinTechs is a simple way for banks to retain customers, dip a toe in the FinTech water, and show shareholders how forward-thinking the bank is.  The second reason these deals make sense is that like fixed income investors around the world, FI’s are starved of yield generating assets.  Based on our discussions with many of the banks in Canada, the desire and rationale for these deals continues to be strong.


The creation of the OSC Launchpad in 2017 was a big deal for Ontario, and for FinTech more broadly in Canada.  Having a “Regulatory Sandbox” where FinTech companies can operate, test their business models, and coordinate potential regulatory requirements directly with the regulator, shows a lot of forward thinking for a regulator and brings Ontario “up to code” with other jurisdictions like the UK, Singapore and France in launching this initiative.  This should really benefit those companies in the FinTech sector targeting investors for capital, in the future.    

Expectations for 2017

Based on what we saw in 2016, and on-going dialogue and interaction we have with the vast majority of participants in the Canadian on-line and MPL lending sectors, we have a few predictions for 2017:

1.       More bank partnerships.  As mentioned above, many Canadian banks continue to be interested in partnering with FinTech companies in Canada, for both customer retention, or asset acquisition purposes.  On-line and MPL lenders are equally keen to participate in bank partnerships to shorten the borrower acquisition time window, and/or help fund and scale their loan books.  We expect this to drive more deals in 2017. 

2.       Increased institutional participation.  We anticipate further institutional participation in the MPL space in Canada, particularly on the loan purchase/funding side.  With this, will come an increasing requirement for institutional process and infrastructure, which we believe will further drive requirements for 3rd party data, analytics and reporting providers.  In addition to this, we believe that we will see many of the MPL Originators evaluating their own cost structure for these functions, and will look to further outsource them in 2017.

3.       One (or two) IPOs?  While neither the US nor Canadian IPO markets for MPL lenders showed anything but disappointment in 2016, there is the potential that US MPL lender SoFi gets an IPO done in 2017, and this in turn could provide the foundation for one or two of the names above, to IPO in Canada.  Valuations though will likely be much more based on these companies as lenders, vs. pure technology companies.

4.       Asset performance will be tested in the US.  Credit performance of US MPL loans in 2017 was generally as good as that seen in off-line balance sheet (credit card) credit cohorts in 2016.  However, performance of unsecured assets (both on and off-line), particularly for non and sub-prime assets began to show an increased loss profile vs. expectations in Q4.  It will be worth watching to see if this deterioration in performance is just a blip, or the start of a weakening trend.

5.       Consolidation in the US; not in Canada.  Given the multitude of Originators in the US MPL sector, and the equity funding difficulties that exist today, it’s likely we’ll see a continuation of consolidation of participants in the US space.  We don’t think the same happens in Canada though, given the relatively nascent evolution of the Canadian space, and the fewer number of players, and in fact think we are likely to see more participants in Canada in 2017.

6.       A Canadian pension fund invests strategically.  While it’s still somewhat early for pension funds to be actively participating in this space, it wouldn’t surprise us to see one or two data points in 2017.  On-line and Marketplace Lenders (FinTech) represent an interesting opportunity for both the VC and fixed income areas of the large pension funds.  Like other large global institutional investors, Canadian pension funds are starved for yield.  Also, they haven’t been shy about funding or buying lenders in other sectors, and we think that potential exists in this space as well.

7.       Regulation.  The OSC has led the way with securities regulation for FinTechs, and we wonder if OSFI will be looking to do something similar in the financial institution sector.  In the US, the OCC recently announced a new “FinTech Charter” that would essentially provide an avenue for MPL Originators to become regulated as national banks.  The UK regulator has also taken a very pro-active approach with FinTechs, with it’s PSD2 directive, which will force banks to open up their systems to FinTechs through an open API, allowing FinTechs to become intermediaries between banks and their customers.  OSFI is no doubt taking note of these developments, and the increasing push from FinTechs to create a digital bank, that looks nothing like the bank of the past.

In summary, we believe that 2016 was a break-out year for On-line and Marketplace Lending in Canada, as evidenced by the many factors above.  The sector in 2017 will be interesting to watch with the many tailwinds behind it now, which is likely to make for an exciting year!

Best wishes for a Happy New Year, and a successful 2017.

Featured Originator Profile: Progressa by David Fry

December 6th, 2016

This month's featured Originator is Progressa, a Canadian marketplace lender that focuses on social responsibility by helping consumers reconsolidate their debt. Here's their story.

ASPIRE: Give us the elevator pitch for Progressa.

PROGRESSA: Progressa is a socially responsible alternative lender helping Canadians get out of debt and rebuild their credit.

ASPIRE: What really sets Progressa apart from other marketplace lenders?

PROGRESSA: We stand apart from other lenders because of our commitment to socially responsible and direct lending. What we mean by this is that our mandate isn’t necessarily about providing the cheapest loan, or the fastest - we lend by directly paying off our clients’ outstanding debts, and lend to people in a way that is sustainable for them and will not create any further negative impact on their financial health.

Our marketplace lending platform is also unique in the Canadian market as we offer to institutional buyers a co-ownership participation in our loan pools rather than making individual loans available for sale. This keeps us fully aligned with our marketplace investors as we share in the risks and rewards along side one another.

ASPIRE: Tell us about the culture at Progressa, what it's like to work there, and the kind of people there.

PROGRESSA: Progressa is all about innovation, and one of the best ways to innovate is to be able to share ideas and information freely and openly - our employees are learning and creating data from each of the many interactions with clients they have per day. We’re blending the professionalism and culture of service of a financial firm with the agile, creative workflow and personality of a startup.

ASPIRE: Let’s move to the technical aspects of the business. Tell us a bit more about Progress’s loan approval process. What key traits do you look for or avoid?

PROGRESSA: Let me start with the non-technical answer first, we look for good people trying to do the right thing. Our slogan is “Borrow for the RIght Reasons” and we really mean it. At the end of the day, people fall behind on their bills for reasons that are out of their control. Progressa wants to give those people a second chance to pay off these bills and rebuild their credit.

The technical answer, we are on our 3rd generation proprietary credit model and have processed just shy of 50,000 applications since inception. We rely on thousands of data points per application which allows us to identify applicants who have an ability to service their debts, even if they might not fit the traditional credit box.

ASPIRE: Talk to us about how Progressa has grown over the years, both as a company and in terms of funding volume.

PROGRESSA: We’ve grown from just two employees to over 80 in Vancouver and Toronto over the last four years. In the process of growing, we’ve brought on some amazing talent from the financial services sector in Toronto and technology sector in Vancouver. The Company’s funding volume is on pace to grow over 3.0x versus prior year.

ASPIRE: What are some challenges and opportunities facing Progressa (and marketplace lending in general) in the future?

PROGRESSA: Progressa’s biggest challenges and opportunities revolve around diversifying and lowering its cost of capital over time and becoming a healthier business for it. As the company matures, and we can show further credit performance, we are hopeful to be able to achieve the right mix for our capital structure that ultimately allows us to be most successful.

Marketplace lending is likely going to be a popular subject over the coming years for regulators in Canada. For Canadian lenders to be able to compete on a global scale, regulators need to begin to provide clarity on this area and create an even playing field across provinces. People talk about marketplace lenders as ‘bank killers’ in Canada, and we believe the opportunity exists to challenge traditional bank models, but also see a great deal of potential in partnership with major banks in order to serve a wider marketplace of people with different lending needs. And this goes without saying, regulations need to help foster the space and not stand in the way.

ASPIRE: Any closing thoughts?

PROGRESSA: We are very excited about 2017 and the ways that FinTech is opening up new ways for Canadian consumers to achieve their financial objectives, and are looking forward to working closer with Aspire to help achieve Progressa's objectives!

Featured Originator Profile: Borrowell by David Fry

October 31st, 2016

As part of a new initiative to give more exposure to our partners, Aspire will be featuring Q&A sessions with select Originators and Investors on an ongoing basis. This week, we interviewed Borrowell, a Canadian marketplace lender -- here’s what they had to say.

ASPIRE: Give us the elevator pitch for Borrowell.

BORROWELL: We are a Canadian digital lender and personal finance company; as a marketplace lender, we offer an innovative new way for Canadians to obtain personal loans at interest rates that reward their good credit. Since understanding your credit is so important for managing your personal finances, this summer we launched a program allowing Canadian consumers to get their Equifax credit score, for free. We’re also excited to announce our new partnership with CIBC to power an automated lending solution for their customers, which marks the first bank/fintech partnership in Canada for personal lending.

ASPIRE: What really sets Borrowell apart from other marketplace lenders?

BORROWELL: Three things:

      i.         A seasoned team with deep roots in financial services.

     ii.         Canada’s leading free credit score program, which gives us access to richer data and a lasting relationship with consumers.

   iii.         Backing from leading Canadian investors, including two Schedule I banks and Power Corporation.

ASPIRE: Tell us about the culture at Borrowell, what it's like to work there, and the kind of people there.

BORROWELL: We have a culture of ownership, motivation, and trust.  We are a high performing group that is driven by our mission to help Canadians with their personal finances.  The team is responsible and ethical and, most importantly, we do what we say.

Fostering a culture of learning is also very important for Borrowell. Team members are encouraged to pick up the ball and develop new skills when the business needs it, or when a self-generated idea comes up.

As a financial services company, we don't necessarily adopt the "move fast and break things" ethos of other consumer technology start-ups.  We certainly like to move fast, but we are focused on precise and professional execution.

Fast.  Fair.  Friendly. Those are the three words that best describe Borrowell.

ASPIRE: Let’s move to the technical aspects of the business. Tell us a bit more about Borrowell's loan approval process. What key traits do you look for or avoid?

BORROWELL: We offer an online, highly automated application process.  After an applicant completes a quick, 60-second form, we process the application instantly – and the consumer knows up front whether he or she is approved, for how much, and at what rate.  If they choose to proceed, there are verification steps afterward to confirm identity and employment.  We also employ a full suite of due diligence solutions in the background.

As a prime unsecured lender, our first focus is on traditional credit metrics that address character, capacity and credit history.  We complement those established analyses with data-driven insights from our portfolio’s performance.

ASPIRE: Talk to us about how Borrowell has grown over the years, both as a company and in terms of funding volume.

BORROWELL: In just 18 months since launching, Borrowell has grown from a single product to three symbiotic lines of business – direct lending, free credit score, and FI partnerships.  There’s a virtuous cycle as learnings from each line inform the others.

In terms of volumes, originations in our direct business have grown at 10-15% month-over-month through 2016, and we’re adding thousands of users to the free credit score program every week.

ASPIRE: What are some challenges and opportunities facing Borrowell (and marketplace lending in general) in the future?

BORROWELL: Marketplace lending is relatively new to Canada, which presents challenges as we work to build a category.  As the upstarts, we’re focused on building trust with investors and consumer alike.

At the same time, Canada represents a fantastic opportunity.  Customers have not always been well served by the concentrated market for financial services, and the market is primed for new entrants that can provide fair pricing, more transparency and a leading edge user experience.

ASPIRE: Any closing thoughts?

BORROWELL: We’re excited to announce our partnership with CIBC, powering an online lending solution for the bank.  We've seen Canadians embrace our fast, fair and friendly approach to personal loans, and we're excited to bring that experience to more Canadians.

Live well.  Save well.  Borrowell.

Aspire Announces Four new Data Partnerships by David Fry

SOURCE: Aspire Financial Technologies Inc.







September 7, 2016 09:00 ET

Aspire Financial Technologies Announces Four Initial Data Partnerships for the Aspire Gateway Platform


Toronto-based FinTech company announces new Data Partnerships with some of the leading Alternative Marketplace Lenders in North America, further enhancing the Aspire Gateway’s capabilities for Networking, Data Management, Analytics, Processing and Reporting solutions for the Alternative Lending Market. 


TORONTO, ON--(September 7, 2016) –MaRS FinTech venture Aspire Financial Technologies (“Aspire”), announced today that it has formed new Data Partnerships with US-based marketplace lenders Marlette Funding, Pave, and Prosper Marketplace, along with Canadian Alternative Lending Originator, Progressa. 

Marlette and Prosper are well known to followers of the marketplace lending market in the United States; both of these platforms having funded billions of dollars of unsecured consumer loans since inception.  Pave is a newer US alternative lender launched in 2014, with a speciality in funding unsecured consumer loans targeting millennials who typically have “thinner” credit files.  The fourth Data Partnership announced today is with Progressa, a rapidly-growing Canadian non-prime consumer alternative lender.  “With these Data Partnerships, we’re pleased to be able to move into the next phase of value-added tools available to participants of the Aspire Gateway platform,” said David Fry, Co-Founder and CEO of Aspire. 


“We’re excited to be an early adopter of the Aspire Gateway platform”, said Karan Mehta, Head of Capital Markets for US-based consumer lending giant Marlette Funding.  Marlette has already started data sharing with Aspire, and the formalization of a Data Partnership means that this data and associated Aspire-generated analytics, will soon be available to a broad range of Aspire Gateway Participants.  “The Aspire Gateway’s objective of integrating, high value-added technology solutions across a number of key processes between Originators and Investors is compelling and should reduce or eliminate a lot of the friction and inefficiencies.”



About Aspire

Aspire is a Toronto-based financial technology and MaRS venture focused on providing data and technology solutions to the Alternative Lending Market.  Led by Co-Founders David Fry and Mark Lecker, Aspire has assembled a team of highly skilled and experienced financial services experts and software engineering talent.  Aspire’s inaugural product, the Gateway platform, is designed to provide better data, analytics and communications infrastructure to Alternative and Online Lending Originators and Institutional Investors.  The platform uses proprietary software developed by the Aspire team providing a workflow, data, analytics, funding and reporting infrastructure solution for these two distinct user groups. Aspire aims to significantly reduce costs and increase efficiency for both user groups using a robust technology infrastructure.  Aspire will be demonstrating the Aspire Gateway platform later this week at FinovateFall in New York.


Find out more at


·         For more information, please contact:
David A. Fry, CEO
Aspire Financial Technologies Inc.
ph: 647.317.7180

Aspire Announces the release of Originator and Investor Databases in the Aspire Gateway Platform by David Fry


Aspire is pleased to announce today that the Aspire Gateway TM platform has gone live in the past week with the activation of both Originator and Investor Databases.  

As the first step in the Beta release of the Gateway platform, Aspire is targeting a focus on providing "Access" for both Alternative Lending Originators, and Institutional Investors to view and learn more about one another.  The Database launch sees in excess of 25 initial institutional participants, representing several $Bns of 2016 Origination supply and Investor demand. With this, Aspire is now moving to realize on the objective of creating a network of participants in the Alternative Lending space, and delivering high-quality data and technology solutions to them.

Initial Originator participants include US Alternative Lenders such as Marlette, Pave and IOU Financial and Canadian Alternative Lenders Financeit, Lendified and Progressa.  Origination verticals represented include a wide range of Consumer and Business and business lending, both secured and unsecured. 

The Investor Database includes a diverse range of US and Canadian generalist and specialist credit and fixed income Investors, with $Bns of appetite for Alternative Lending assets.  We anticipate that the Investor Database will also continue to grow given the supply potential that is now represented in Gateway, and the incremental Originator participation we continue to see on a weekly basis.

In addition to the Database release, Aspire is also now in discussions with several of the Originator Database participants for "Data Partnerships", which will involve Aspire uploading loan origination and performance data on thousands of consumer and business loans .  This then enables the Gateway platform to create detailed Originator Profiles and Analytics, and thereafter all of the workflow and reporting tools to manage loan funding processes for both Originators and Investors.  Over the next few weeks, we anticipate announcing a number of these partnerships.

Aspire Financial Technologies Inc.


Aspire FinTech closes early seed round by David Fry

"The company, which is focused on providing data and tech solutions to help companies in global financial services, will use the funding to invest in its Aspire Gateway technology infrastructure solution, which connects alternative and marketplace lenders with institutional capital. The platform provides data analytics, funding, and a reporting infrastructure for these lenders." More here.

Marketplace Lending: Taking the Excess out of Excess Spread by David Fry

Late last year, Canadian rating agency DBRS produced its Q3 report on Canadian credit card performance for the first three quarters of 2015.  This report showed detailed aggregated figures on performance metrics like gross yield,  payment balances, delinquencies, and loss rates for Canadian consumer credit card issuers.  Among these metrics is another one called "Excess Spread".  You have to look into the fine print to find the definition of this metric, but it turns out to be quite a simple calculation:  Excess Spread = Gross Yield - Net Loss-Cost of Funds-Other Expenses.  For the credit card issuer (mainly banks), this is simply the rate at which they lend money to you, less expenses, which include losses, funding, and other costs.

More here.

Goldman Sachs to take Minority Stake in Financeit by David Fry

"Financeit, a Toronto-based FinTech company offering a cloud-based point-of-sale platform, announced the closing of an equity financing round led by the merchant banking division of Goldman Sachs today. Terms of the investment were not disclosed, but Financeit CEO Michael Garrity indicated that the amount was larger than Financeit’s last round (a $13 million Series A in 2013)." More here.