Tag Archives: finance

Montreal FinTech Hardbacon hires Andrew Hungerbuhler as Chief Revenue Officer

Hardbacon, a Montreal-based FinTech company, has hired Andrew Hungerbuhler as Chief Revenue Officer.

Bacon Financial Technologies, better known by its brand name Hardbacon, is dedicated to helping Canadians make better financial decisions, get wealthier and achieve their financial goals. The company, which has secured $1.1 million in funding, markets a mobile app that links to its users’ accounts and helps them plan, budget and invest. Hardbacon also enables its users to compare different financial services such as credit cards, bank accounts, online brokers and robo-advisers. The company also markets its technology to financial institutions to help them accelerate their digital transformation.

With two decades of sales experience in the financial services industry, Hungerbuhler is tasked with driving revenue growth by putting his experience and network of contacts to work for the financial technology company’s business plan. “Hiring Andrew will enable us to accelerate sales of white label solutions to asset managers, brokers and insurance companies,” said Julien Brault, Hardbacon’s CEO.

Hardbacon currently generates revenue from Hardbacon Premium subscriptions, as well as from lead generation and sales of its two white label solutions for financial institutions : a portfolio analysis module and a financial planning module.

“With the boomer generation’s transfer of wealth that is happening right now, younger people can no longer be ignored by financial institutions,” says Hungerbuhler. They no longer have a choice but to invest in their digital experience to remain competitive, and Hardbacon is well positioned to help them make this shift.”

Prior to joining Hardbacon, Hungerbuhler held senior sales positions with several financial groups, including Sun Life, Excel Fund Management and BluMont Capital. He was also CEO of Alphalink Investment Partners, a fundraising firm.

Andrew Hungerbuhler’s appointment comes at a pivotal stage in Hardbacon’s development. In August, the company also hired Simon Vanpeperstraete, a former financial services director at BMO, as Chief Financial Officer.

Quebec Desjardins Starting $45m FinTech Fund

Desjardins is trying to diversify their banking domain by starting a $45m fintech fund in Canada.

The fund will disburse funding between few hundred thousand dollars to $3m dollars to startups for exchange of 10-25% of their companies.

By investing in new startups Desjardins can stay on top of its game when it comes to banking, security as well as insurance and wealth management.

Most of the former investment by Desjardins Capital were made to companies in Quebec, but now with the new fund, Desjardins is keen on investing in companies in the US, EU, and Australia.

“With $45-million, we can do a lot. There’s a lot of noise, there’s a lot of buzz in the fintech industry, and we just have to be quite careful and quite clever about the kind of partnerships [we choose]. We really know what we want to do, what we want to accomplish, so we’re not trying to go everywhere. But with this fund now we have more capacity.”

Guy Cormier, chief executive of Desjardins Group

Desjardins said that they will not only invest into financial startups but also companies like X-TELIA Group Inc., a company that operates a wireless network tailored to home automation. Desjardins said that they are OK to wait few years until companies grow and bear fruit.

“The first goal is not return on investment for us. It’s really to build a relationship that is stronger, tighter with these fintechs, and will help us to build something that is great for our members and clients. The return on investment will be there maybe in a few years.”

Guy Cormier, chief executive of Desjardins Group

Vancouver Procurify Makes Corporate Purchases Easier

We sat down with Dani Hao , Communications, to talk about her company Procurify. This new startup out of Vancouver helps reinventing the way organizations spend. Procurify is a spend management software that empowers your team to make better more informed decisions when it comes to company spending.

Summarize your company in an elevator pitch.

Procurify is a software company based in Vancouver, BC, Canada that is helping organizations reinvent the way organizations track, manage and control spending. Procurify works and consults with growing organizations such as The Boring Company, Neuralink, Hootsuite, Samumed, Aurora Cannabis, and Cabify manage their indirect spending and purchasing processes.

Our vision is to help organizations cultivate a better spend culture through a simple-to-use software that employees actually enjoy using, and create a ‘smart spend hub’ that empowers leaders to make better financial decisions through data.

Unlike legacy solutions, ERPs and other expense tracking solutions, we believe giving the right tools and budget visibility back to employees and department leaders without sacrificing security and control, so that financial decisions can be made more proactively – as every employee has an equal say in creating the spend culture of an organization.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Procurify was founded in 2013 by three operations management students: Kenneth Loi (CRO), Aman Mann (CEO), and Eugene Dong (CTO). The trio were taking a course in operations management, where they had the opportunity to discover that the field of procurement is in dire need of disruption when it comes to technology.

As a school project, the trio decided to create a simple tool developed initially to help procurement managers track purchases, which became the first iteration of what Procurify became. To their surprise, the tool was well-received and implemented by a real life company who became Procurify’s first client – Asco Aerospace.

All three of Procurify’s co-founders worked in various fields before starting a business, and they had no prior tech experience. What they wanted to create was a company that cultivated an environment where everyone can reach their true potential.

How are you being financed?

We are a privately funded company. Our investors and advisors include the likes of Mark Cuban, Xero’s Jamie Sutherland, and Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes.

We are backed by Runa Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Point Nine Capital, BDC Capital, and Highline. We raised our $4m seed financing round in 2015, followed by a $7m series A in 2017.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

When it comes to financial controls and spend management solutions, many organizations think that one-size-fits all enterprise solutions can solve all their problems under the sun.

The robust features and capabilities of legacy systems and other ERPs might be well-suited for financial reporting roles such as the controller or the CFO. However, for the people who are forced to use them to report spending and to request approvals for purchases, these spend solutions are tedious.

With long implementation timelines and hefty fees, organizations are coming to Procurify after experiencing the perils of adoption. Its product design philosophy is primarily focused on usability.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

Culture is everything in Procurify – we believe in investing the time into developing personal relationships with our talent (aside from just reviewing their resume and seeing if they tick the technical boxes). This means inviting them over to the office to work on a real project, and having the whole team meet the candidate before moving them onto a technical interview.

What makes us unique is that in our office, you’ll find that our openness is a real thing. Mistakes are expected, being true to yourself is encouraged, building meaningful relationships is paramount, transparency is surprisingly commonplace, and our goal to improve people’s work lives isn’t just a catchy phrase, because it guides everything we do.

Although developers do build the heart of our product, they are given the freedom to pursue passion projects and work cross-functionally with other teams. In addition, we sponsor our team members to go to events, conferences and seminars that help bring their skills to the next level.

We foster an environment where people are given the opportunity to unlock their potential – to pursue their passions and build their dream career. Our culture is embodied in the way we work together, play together, and find a better way together one day at a time.

As part of our recruitment and employer branding, we feature one team member every week in our “Meet Us Mondays”, where we explore the daily lives and hobbies of all the amazing people who work at Procurify.

Montreal Startup TickSmith, Big Data for Finance, raises $2m

Montreal firm, TickSmith,  with about 16 employees that specializes in in Big Data applications for Capital Markets and financial services, has raised $2m Canadian.

TickVault is a comprehensive software platform that leverages Hadoop and is highly scalable Its various modules include ETLs, business logic, analytics, workflow, process monitoring and data delivery. Trading groups typically use it to centralize Terabytes and Petabytes of data received from quote feeds, trading systems, event feeds and more. With multiple specialized tools and modules, the platform provides easily access to files, data, analytics, time-series and reports via point and click interfaces and APIs. TickVault can be deployed on a firm’s Hadoop cluster and in the cloud, on AWS.

Francis Wenzel, CEO and co-founder Co-Founder, TickSmith, says:

“Market participants recognise the competitive advantage that can be gained from a next generation capital markets data lake, not just in Europe and North America, but increasingly on a global basis.  As venture capital specialists within the capital markets technology space, Illuminate Financial are well positioned to help us further develop our flagship product, Tickvault, as we continue to build an international client base.”

Manage your wealth by Wealthica, Montreal startup, started by ex iWeb employees

Wealthica is a Montreal startup – All your investments in one place.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Martin Leclair, Eric Chouinard and Simon Boulet. All 3 are ex-iWeb. iWeb was sold to Internap a few years ago, then we thought about what we should do next. We realized no tools existed to provide us with an unbiazed and consolidated view of all our investments. Eric & I co-founded iWeb. Simon was among the first sysadmin we hired at iWeb and has a very strong and broad technical background. Simon acts as CEO/CTO at Wealthica and leads product development and technology.

How are you being financed?

So far we financed Wealthica ourselves. We might be looking at funding this year if we find the good fit.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Trust. Most of the big banks don’t have APIs for retrieving customer data. Our users are required to entrust us with their banking username and password so that we can retrieve their investments. Thankfully robo-advisors and indepentant institutions often are more open and provide their clients with a safe way for Wealthica to import their investments without giving away their credentials.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

We are a remote team so we search everywhere on remote work boards and sites or other online resources. We try to find developers with an entrepreneurial mindset that use online tools and that are familiar with continuous development.

Who is your biggest competition?

There are very few investment aggregation services for Canadians. In the USA there are robo-investing services that offer aggregation but most of them do not support Canadian financial institutions. There is Mint, but Mint does a very poor job at tracking investments and is more suited for regular accounts and budgeting. There are a few startups in Canada that seem to want to offer aggregation or unified view of their investments to investors but it’s hard to identify a real competitor. Since we build our own aggregation robot we could somehow be in competition with Yodlee. Beside that, we could be a threat to traditional financial tools like Croesus or Univeris, especially for the high net worth and family offices market.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

Our dashboard will remain free for individual investors, and we will be releasing a paid plan to Wealthica with more advanced reports and features in the next months. Our paid plan will target higher net worth investors that have specific taxes and reporting needs. We’re also looking at integrating Wealthica aggregation API directly into existing financial softwares and advisors CRMs.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

The sales cycle in the financial sector is very long. Big banks often go through lenghtly bid processes, for which as a startup you often don’t qualify at the end.

Website: https://wealthica.com/