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Streetwise Streetwise newsletter: ACL taps Silicon Valley for funding; Richardson GMP sued by former employee

Bank buildings tower over the corner of Bay Street and Adelaide Street in Toronto.

Gloria Nieto/The Globe and Mail

Vancouver anti-fraud software provider ACL Services Ltd. has raised $50-million from Silicon Valley private-capital firm Norwest Venture Partners, the first time it has tapped outside investment in its 30-year history. Story (Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

A former high-flying stock broker says Richardson GMP's executives brushed off his warnings that alcoholism was ruining his work and personal life then fired him after a lengthy stay in rehab. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Bank of Montreal's roboadviser SmartFolio is looking to draw in more millennial investors by lowering its minimum account size to $1,000 from $5,000. Story (Clare O'Hara)

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DEAL WRAP

Aecon shareholders voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to approve a $1.5-billion takeover of the Canadian company by a Chinese firm. Story

Lufthansa is set to secure EU antitrust approval for its acquisition of insolvent Air Berlin's subsidiary LGW after agreeing to give up some Dusseldorf airport slots and not seek new ones, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Story

SendBird, a company that provides the infrastructure for developers to build messaging and chat services into their apps, has raised $16 million (U.S.) in a series A round of funding led by Shasta Ventures and August Capital, with participation from Y Combinator and FundersClub. Redwood City, California-based SendBird serves up a messaging SDK and chat API that enable mobile apps and websites to offer chat and messaging features. VentureBeat

Lemonade, a mobile-first, AI-infused insurance firm backed by chatbots and self-proclaimed ethics, has announced a $120 million (U.S.) series C funding round led by Japanese telecom giant SoftBank. The round saw participation from some existing investors, which include big names such as GV (Google Ventures), Sequoia Capital, and Allianz. Founded out of New York in 2015, Lemonade is a fully licensed insurance carrier that underwrites its own policies, unlike many other entrants into the growing insurtech space. VentureBeat

DigitalGenius, a fledgling artificial intelligence (AI) startup that's setting out to automate many facets of customer service, has announced a $14.75 million (U.S.) series A funding round led by Global Founders Capital, with participation from Salesforce Ventures, MMC Ventures, Paua Ventures, Kairos, Runa Capital, RRE Ventures, Lumia Capital, Compound, Spider Capital, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Founded out of London in 2013, DigitalGenius connects with companies' CRM and customer service platforms to train AI assistants using transcripts from historical customer service interactions. VentureBeat

FINANCIAL SERVICES WRAP

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A push by activist hedge fund TCI to oust the chairman of the London Stock Exchange was heavily defeated on Tuesday, but that may not bring an end to the row. Story (for subscribers)

WHAT WE'RE READING

This year, China cemented its presence in venture capital. Chinese firms participated in more than 100 VC deals for US-based companies, and five of the 10 largest VC deals worldwide in 2017 were for companies headquartered in the Asian country. PitchBook

When the European Union's new MiFID II market rules kick in on Jan. 3, some firms will be temporarily unable to provide services across borders within the bloc. Seventeen of the 28 EU countries are still racing to convert the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive into national law or regulations. Until they do, investment firms in those countries won't have the right to new "passports" that enable cross-border business. Bloomberg

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Credit unions are known in Canada for their high-interest savings accounts, mortgages and insurance products. Now, they've set their sights on a much bigger slice of the investment industry while becoming more formidable competitors to Canada's big banks. Story (Clare O'Hara, for subscribers)

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