Accounting: These companies are leveraging technology to automate manual processes, manage data, and produce financial statements to improve the security, efficiency, and timeliness of accounting processes. Many offer a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution and use technology such as artificial intelligence or cloud-based services to deliver their services.
Toronto-based unicorn Freshbooks offers invoicing and accounting software that integrates with existing apps and offers a wide range of services, including bookkeeping, expense management, report generation, and compliance. The company, which claims to have customers in over 160 countries, secured a $100M line of credit to fund its global expansion through strategic acquisitions and key investments.
Banking: Companies in this category offer direct-to-consumer banking services as well as infrastructure/software to allow non-bank companies to provide financial services.
For example, Calgary-based digital bank Neo offers both B2B and B2C banking solutions for the Canadian market. Its B2B offering includes payments, integrated financial services via its platform-as-a-service, and white-label credit cards. For consumers, it offers credit cards, savings accounts, investment options, and mortgage rates. Neo recently raised a $145M Series C at a $784M valuation.
Blockchain and crypto: Companies in this category focus on integrating blockchain and crypto capabilities into existing financial functions, such as payments, trading, and investment. This includes cryptocurrency trading platforms, digital asset creation, and crypto-backed lending.
Canada-based companies working in the blockchain-enabled payments space include Nuvei and NetCents Systems. Meanwhile, Toronto-based Coinsquare is a crypto trading platform where retail investors can buy and sell various currencies.
Investment and trading: Companies in this category are providing investors with with services like improved data, analytical insights, and automated back-end processes.
Boosted.ai and Canalyst are B2B SaaS platforms that offer structured market and industry data to financial advisors. Boosted.ai raised a $35M Series B in January while Canalyst was acquired by US-based research platform Tegus in August for $350M.
Lending: Companies in this market are using technology to improve and automate lending processes like credit analysis and fraud detection. Many of these companies are creating lending solutions that target users who may have difficulty accessing traditional financing options.
For example, Toronto-based QuadFi is a digital lender that leverages alternative data to assess applicants, sidestepping credit scores. Earlier this year, the fintech partnered with New York-based Crayhill Capital Management to launch a $100M financing facility to further extend their offering.
Payments: Companies in this category develop technologies that facilitate transactions.
Many Canada-based companies in this space offer payment services that aim to help businesses boost customer retention by offering a more seamless experience. For example, WellnessLiving and Fyyne both combine booking and payment services for the fitness and beauty industries, respectively.
Meanwhile, B2B payment providers are streamlining the payment process. Trolley, for instance, offers businesses a platform and API that integrates with existing accounting platforms and banking networks to facilitate transactions with vendors. Canadian point-of-sale (PoS) fintechs are also drawing attention. In 2020, Apple acquired Montreal-based provider Mobeewave while Affirm purchased Toronto-based Paybright in the same year.
Personal finance: Financial wellness and personal finance apps aim to help consumers set and achieve financial goals. Companies in Canada are approaching this in various ways, including offering alternative ways to build credit, guided budgeting, and expense management.
Montreal-based Hardbacon provides a platform that connects to various bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, and more to provide a holistic view of a user’s finances. From there, the app offers insights and advice, along with updates on users’ financial standing. Hardbacon acquired credit score platform SimpleRate in March.
Real estate tech: From mortgage analytics to real estate debt management, companies in this category focus on improving real estate transactions and investments.
For example, Toronto-based Key offers a homeownership-as-a-service model that provides a way to facilitate co-ownership between renters and property owners. Renters can build home equity over time while property owners can benefit from lower turnover and tenants that are more invested in the up-keep of the property. The company received $9M in seed funding this year to finance the expansion of its real estate portfolio.
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