Vancouver’s Payfirma raises $13 million, eyes IPO


Plus, what Toronto could learn from Vancouver

Payfirma gets paid
Vancouver-based digital payments startup Payfirma announced a new injection of cash Wednesday: $13 million in Series A financing. Perhaps more interesting than that, however, is CEO Michael Gokturk publicly stating the company is considering going public in 2016, both in Toronto and New York. Many tech startups either remain private or become acquired. Or they remain guarded, as for example Hootsuite has, until an actual IPO is announced. Ottawa-based Shopify went public last week, raising $131 million. Payfirma has raised $26 million to date.

Take that, Toronto
High real estate prices be damned. Vancouver is doing urban development better than Toronto, says a new report from Toronto-based Neptis Foundation, which tracks city growth. The reason? The Lower Mainland has preserved hectares of land by densifying its urban areas, while Toronto tends to build on new land. The report says that, between 2001 and 2011, 86 per cent of new Toronto-Hamilton residents moved into mostly detached homes on virgin land, while in the Lower Mainland the number is just 31 per cent. The two areas, both immigration hubs, are growing at comparable rates. Perhaps foreign investment isn’t the only thing driving higher real estate prices in Vancouver. (via the Globe and Mail)

LNG = meh?
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has (unsurprisingly) reservations about LNG, according to a new report released Tuesday. Written by geoscientist David Hughes, the report suggests LNG development could threaten Canada’s long-term energy security and that the B.C. government is “greatly” exaggerating the amount of gas available for export—among many other things. Read it here.