Canada has been recognized as one of the best markets to build and test innovative FinTech solutions, and the province of Ontario, in particular, has among the highest concentrations of tech firms outside Silicon Valley, thanks in part to cheaper costs and the cluster of Toronto and Waterloo area universities producing engineers and developers.
In fact, Toronto hosts ~12,000 financial firms and 360,000 finance workers and makes up 37% of Canada’s total GDP, which makes the province a strong economic driver for the nation. Toronto has also been noted as North America’s second-largest financial services hub after New York.
According to the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA), with 50% of the country’s approximate 60,000 FinTech employees, the Toronto region offers one of the most highly educated workforces in the developed world. TFSA also emphasizes the hallmarks of Toronto as the capital of Canada’s financial services industry – Toronto is the headquarters for:
Two of the world’s largest life insurers;
Three of the world’s top 25 banks;
123 financial securities firms;
Three of the top 60 global pension funds;
Nine of Canada’s top 10 mutual fund companies;
Third-largest equity exchange (TSX) in North America and the seventh in the world.
The Toronto region is also the Canadian headquarters for some of the world’s leading wireless and telecom companies, including Cisco, Ericsson and Alcatel, and for world-leading software and data analytics companies such as HP, IBM and Microsoft.
“Companies whose technologies support the financial services sector have found an ideal North American location in Toronto. More than 13,000 Tech companies in the Toronto region, from startups to global technology leaders, deliver hardware, software, and communications services to the North American and global financial services industry,” the Alliance notes.
Toronto’s facilitative environment served as a foundation for growth and development for a vibrant FinTech ecosystem, representing the hottest segments and successful players. According to TFSA, Toronto’s FinTech sector is in advantageous position also due to a broadly based system of R&D tax credits from the federal and provincial governments. These can reduce the gross cost of C$100 in R&D to C$42 to C$54 depending on the size and type of company.
Strong support from federal and local governments, stable financial sector, access to the top talent among other factors lay a ground for the following set of FinTech innovators to expand and reimagine the financial services industry.
Toronto’s FinTech Ecosystem
ASAPP Online Solutions is an omnichannel account origination and loan auto-decisioning solution for retail and small business banking. The company brings digital onboarding, deposit account origination, and lending origination & decisioning to the credit union and alternative banking space. ASAPP Online Solutions’ partners count DUCA Financial Services, Northern Credit Union, Equifax, Valeyo, Celero, Fiserv, and more. In 2017, in partnership with Northern Credit Union, the company won the Innovator of the year award with the CCUA for the launch of its small-business onboarding solution.
Aislelabs is a technology company assisting retailers to achieve better and increased sales through the power of big data analytics. They help their clients understand customer traffic patterns and behavior inside and outside their physical stores in ways never before possible.
BioConnect’s core solutions — its identity management platform, applications and partnerships enable the simple integration of current and future biometric technologies delivering greater security, assurance and convenience in an enterprise setting today and tomorrow.
BoardRoom provides a complete blockchain governance platform for organizations. The company develops decentralized applications that leverages smart contracts to simulate organizational structure, growth and communication.
Borrowell is an online marketplace lending platform.
Carrot Rewards is a free mobile app that rewards Canadians for making healthy lifestyle choices.
Coinkite with its web wallet system empower customers and merchants to buy, sell, accept and store bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, in both the online and physical worlds.
Coinsquare is an online exchange that enables its users to transact using cryptocurrency. Individuals can trade their wealth for digital currency and assets. With varying fees for each transaction, users have to first fund and convert their coins before having them ready for withdrawal in their digital wallets, through proprietary Interac e-transfers.
Cryptiv’s Enterprise Blockchain Wallet System allows a traditional firm to handle blockchain-enabled digital assets, like bitcoin and Ether. Cryptiv enables a firm to access multiple blockchain protocols (both private and public), manage private-keys, and grant employees limited access to the firm’s digital assets through managed wallet accounts. Cryptiv’s model is to provide a secure environment for any blockchain use case so that it can reach production safely.
Decentral is a hub for disruptive and decentralized technologies. The company offer blockchain and FinTech consultancy services and software development, and a two-way bitcoin ATM.
Dream Payments enables merchants to sell everywhere using mobile devices. Dream’s cloud-based payment platform combined with its mobile point-of-sale device allows merchants to accept credit and debit cards.
Easy Financial provides personal loans, mortgages, secured savings loan for Canadian customers through online channels, phone or at one of its 200+ stores/branches.
EidoSearch uses patented pattern matching technology to project probable event outcomes and find relationships in Big Data.
Equibit is a blockchain-based securities register allowing for efficient management of OTC equity, warrants, partnership units, etc. The platform includes a shareholder communications system, as well as the ability to easily issue BTC-denominated dividends and distributions to holders of equity.
Ethoca operates an online platform for card issuers and merchants to communicate outside of the payment authorization stream in the online payment industry.
Financeit provides a platform that allows businesses to offer financing to their customers at the point-of-sale using any device.
Firmex provides a SaaS-based virtual data room solution for sharing confidential data with financial due diligence and compliance.
Flexiti Financial is a Canadian sales financing company founded in 2013. The company helps retailers increase their bottom line by providing better sales financing options than a standard credit card with lower interest rates, longer payment terms and revolving credit. Using a mobile application process and patented ID scanning technology, Flexiti Financial provides quick, simple and instant point-of-sale (POS) financing for clients’ customers.
Flybits is the first context-as-a-service platform, allowing the enterprise to make Android and iOS apps truly context-aware.
FreshBooks, a cloud-based accounting software, allows owners to invoice clients, track time and run their small businesses in the cloud. It helps them manage their time and expenses, send branded invoices, and collect online payments by credit card, PayPal, or e-check.
Fundtech, which was acquired by D+H in March 2015, provides software products and services to banks of all sizes around the world. The company develops transaction banking solutions that automate activities such as payments, cash management, settlement, liquidity management, and the financial supply chain.
FundThrough offers loans to small companies that sell to bigger businesses. The company’s technology allows it to approve new clients in minutes and deliver cash quickly with no obligations or long-term commitments.
GoDay.ca is a Canadian online short-term lender. Operating a mobile and desktop website, custom-built systems that leverage the latest technology, and a highly automated decision-making process, GoDay.ca allows its customers the comfort of borrowing on-the-go and delivers funds the same day.
GoldMoney offers three accounts: Personal, Business, and Wealth. Each account has different features that help owners achieve their goals, be it reliable savings, international payments, business transaction processing, or long-term wealth protection. Goldmoney provides convenient connectivity to person’s other financial accounts and everyday access to free gold-based savings and payment tools.
Honk is a mobile app which allows finding parking space and paying for parking using the credit card stored in the application. The app sends alerts when the parking time is running out and allows simple tap and top up from where ever the user is.
Horizn is a go-to-market knowledge platform that helps financial service and technology companies accelerate market adoption of new products and technology with consumer-facing employees, and directly to consumers.
Iota Security provides an advanced cyberthreat defenses for mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT). Its product is an SDK for Android which is embedded within the application for advanced threat detection capability; CyberScape delivers an automated feed of emerging threats from mobile devices protected by Iota Security’s SDK and Iota CyberVisor sensors.
Kooltra is a FinTech startup building a multilayered capital markets platform on Force.com and Amazon Web Services. As a Salesforce.com ISV partner, Kooltra is moving the capital markets to the cloud, securely.
KoreConX is a free all-in-one solution that helps companies navigate the process of raising equity capital, and simplifies shareholder communications to reduce risk.
Lendified is Canada’s online credit marketplace providing fixed rate working capital loans to small businesses. It offers business loans within a range of $5,000 to $35,000 for 3 to 12 months.
Lending Loop is Canada’s first fully regulated peer-to-peer lending platform focused on small business.
Lendogram is a mobile lending and borrowing marketplace for friends with the aim to make sharing easier than buying.
Lucova’s in-store technology enhances the human experience in commerce by treating smartphones as sensors that interact with the physical world. The company’s tools for medium and large businesses strengthen the loyal customer behavior, powered by their proprietary Bluetooth platform.
Method:CRM for QuickBooks syncs user data in real-time and is fully customizable to their small businesses.
nanoPay is an early-stage FinTech company providing a comprehensive next-generation payments solution for online and retail merchants. nanoPay is dedicated to solving key merchant problems and increasing merchant profitability by making payments faster, more secure, easier and cheaper to process.
Nest Wealth is an online wealth management platform that provides client with customized portfolios based on their current financial situation, goals and risk tolerance. Nest Wealth monitors and rebalances the individual portfolios back to the original asset allocation established by the client.
Nexonia is a provider of Web and mobile expense, time and other business financial management solutions. Nexonia’s simple-to-use and highly customizable applications are fully integrated with ERPs, credit cards and other systems supporting a variety of businesses. Nexonia solutions are designed to streamline the reporting and approval process, improve human resource management and enhance operational efficiency.
Next Door Lending is a Toronto-based micro-finance company that offers local entrepreneurs fast and flexible funding options from $5,000–$100,000.
NexusCrowd is an investment platform that harnesses the power of the crowd to offer investors the opportunity to co-invest alongside venture capital and private equity partners on the same terms. NexusCrowd partners with institutions to provide accredited investors with access to exclusive private investment opportunities that have reached at least 50% of the funding target. Every investment opportunity on the platform is sourced, vetted, structured, reported on and managed by institutional partners, giving investors access to institutionally led and managed investments across all sectors, stages and securities.
Nvest is an online platform that helps people become smarter investors. Nvest evaluates people’s credibility based on the accuracy of their opinions because actual performance speaks louder than credentials.
Nymi provides biometric authentication services for wearable devices. Nymi’s first product, the Nymi Band, is a secure and continuous wearable authenticator that identifies a user based on their unique electrocardiogram (or ECG), through a proprietary technology called HeartID.
Obsidian Solutions is a software company focused on bringing the benefits of enterprise software to boutique investment managers while reducing operational costs and risks. Its solutions assist in automating key daily functions allowing for efficient use of resources while minimizing discrepancies. Obsidian Solutions take a multifaceted approach in determining what matters to its users and is tailoring the software functions to address their specific needs.
OutsideIQ is a company that develops artificial intelligence solutions that perform automated due diligence in an auditable and reproducible manner. This technology minimizes the otherwise enormous resources required to make the kind of informed decisions that keep organizations competitive and compliant.
Paycase is a mobile-first universal remittance platform aimed at challenging and changing the traditional money transfer model.
Paymobile is a carrier-class transaction platform that moves money for businesses and communities quickly, economically and securely around the world. With its banking partners and Visa, Paymobile provides check replacement, remittance and online virtual payment solutions for a number of business customers and government.
Plex.ai provides a platform that allows auto insurance providers to obtain remote driving data from non-existing customers. Plex.ai automotive telematics platform uses Ethereum, machine learning and artificial intelligence to give insurance companies real-time, remote, diagnostics on a car and the driver. The company is in stealth mode as of Dec 2016.
Plooto is a payment management platform for small and medium-size businesses that want to automate and streamlines their payments.
QicSEND is an online international money transfer service, offering online remittance solutions.
Qmetrica is a Hedge fund management that uses proprietary machine learning algorithms to identify and capitalize on statistical patterns that are present in security prices.
Quandl is a data marketplace which helps data analysts to save time, effort and money by delivering financial and economic data in the format they want: via its website, API, or directly into dozens of tools.
RateHub.ca is a finance website allowing users to compare Canadian mortgage, insurance, and credit card rates.
Real Matters’ proprietary, cloud-based real estate technology platform and network of more than 100,000 qualified independent field agents optimizes the management of critical, regulated real-estate processes such as appraisals, insurance inspections, title search and mortgage closings.
RemitBee is a money transferring service. It helps sender send money to friends and family. The company is known for its rewards program, simple yet highly functional interface and customer service.
Reportin is a platform that simplifies the reporting process from start to finish. It makes it easier to produce internal managerial reports and external filing reports such as 10-Ks, 10-Qs and MD&As on desktop, web, or mobile devices.
Rubikloud is a retail intelligence platform that connects and analyzes all the customer-centric data for the omnichannel retailer. It is a retail intelligence platform focused on turning retail data into revenue.
Securacoin aims to bring digital currencies to mainstream users by training retail money service businesses to buy and sell bitcoin and more.
SecureKey provides identity and authentication services for organizations that deliver online consumer services. It eliminates the need to store passwords by securely linking consumer ID to trusted devices while providing consumers with the choice, control and convenience over how they access the services they want.
Security Compass is an information security firm that provides professional services and training to security-conscious companies. Security Compass rapidly unifies application security with business goals. The company’s goal is to help clients build secure software by seamlessly unifying their application security needs through e-learning, security requirements and verification.
SelfPay, by Digital Retail Apps, lets in-store shoppers SKIP the checkout line. Shoppers use SelfPay on their phone to scan items, view product details, and pay – all in-app – all without waiting. Shoppers save time, buy more and make more informed purchase decisions. Its solution inludes a patented loss prevention component.
Sensibill provides a turnkey digital receipt solution to the financial institutions. It allows retail customers to manage their itemized receipts from trusted financial services applications.
SmoothPay is a mobile payment, loyalty and engagement company delivering valuable offers and rewards to consumers through the SmoothPay app.
SoundPays has developed a mobile wallet solution to enable secure transactions with nothing more than regular sound waves in noisy environments. Purchases are transmitted by sound to the Soundpays mobile wallet and then charged to user’s debit account or credit card. Banking information is never stored or transmitted during this entire process. The company allows pairing a device with a TV and a laptop and buy a product that’s being advertised at that moment right away.
Stockbet.com is an entertainment platform where people can play skill-based games and win prizes or make real money/Bitcoin bets.
Street Contxt is a global knowledge exchange for institutional finance. The platform provides smart, actionable insights; helping to create a more efficient capital markets system.
Tab is a payments app for dining, providing a better and more personalized dining experience at your favorite restaurants.
Tacit Innovations’ maegan™ platform offers a frictionless experience that drives repeat customers. For restaurants and venues, maegan™ offers seamless operation by integrating with point-of-sale, payment and loyalty platforms.
TouchBistro is an iPad-based restaurant point-of-sale system enabling owners to manage reservations and take orders instantly. Instead of servers repeatedly moving between customers and terminals for order management, servers can remain with customers and instantly submit orders to the kitchen and bar.
Triangle is a free card scanning API that removes the burden of card entry at the checkout.
Vena’s corporate performance management software combines Excel’s flexibility with the structure and security of an enterprise-class system for spreadsheet-intensive finance and accounting business processes.
VersaPay is a cloud-based payment processing and systems company providing merchant payment services. It handles all elements of both credit and debit card merchant payment processing — in person, on the go, online, and in the office.
Wave offers a cloud-based integrated suite of small business tools including accounting, invoices, payments and payroll.
WeiFund is a non-profit, decentralized, open-source crowdfunding platform built on Ethereum that can be extended to interact with token and equity share systems.
Zafin is a provider of relationship banking software solutions to the financial services industry. It covers relationship banking for retail, corporate, wealth management and correspondent banking.
Zensurance is an online platform that offers commercial insurance packages for startups and small business. The company uses data and analytics to identify business risks and recommended best insurance packages to its customers. It allows the customer to get multiple quotes, purchase and manage insurance online.
Zighra provides mobile-based authentication solutions that leverage the unique potential of mobile technology and the crowdsourced intelligence of consumers to dramatically reduce costs associated with fraud in high-risk and high-value transaction environments such as mobile payments, banking and online retail.
Note: The list of companies is not exhaustive. If you wish to be included in further overviews or wish to make changes in descriptions of listed companies, please contact me at email@example.com.