The past several years have been good to the global startup economy.
Following the last major recession in North America, venture capital ramped up through the 2010s. While the pandemic caused an abrupt halt, the momentum was not dispersed; it lingered at the door until the floodgates opened once again, and as a result 2021 set many records for startup financing in Canada.
The year included many sizeable rounds, such as $61 million for Propel Holdings; $64 million for Neo Financial; $44 million for Properly; $72 million for Bench; and nearly $300 million for Fraction Technologies in Vancouver.
We could go on.
This year, a different picture is being painted, especially as we move into the second half of the year. Large drips of 2021’s energy still poured into the first quarter of this year. But you could sense the shift in market because founders were suddenly very grateful and quite proud to be raising any capital at all with such a downturn looming.
In the middle of 2022, the bigger news became layoffs, with Canadian tech darlings such as the Wealthsimple having to trim some of their fat. Some, like Thinkific, were hit particularly hard, laying off up to 20% of their total workforce. Others, such as Hootsuite, have thus far been spared from layoffs, though are exercising caution nonetheless.
There’s at least one interesting industry to look at in the midst of this turbulence.
Financial technology startups are a relatively new breed. With the shackles off of regulation, and the tech ready to enable, entrepreneurs across Canada have leapt toward the idea of solving the country’s curmudgeonly banking systems. From daily banking to stock and crypto investing to buying and selling real estate, startups are making everything easier, simpler, and of course—doable from an iPhone.
Perhaps that is why fintech startups were the most-funded in 2021, raising more than 20% of venture capital dollars across 5,000 deals around the world. And there were zero fintech layoffs, according to analysis from Roger Lee’s layoff tracker.
But with the recent and simultaneous crashing of the stock and cryptocurrency markets, fintechs have now taken some of the worst hits.
And yet not every company is in the same situation. While some have entered survival mode, others are doing is fine—quite well, actually.
Let’s take a look at some actively hiring fintech firms.
The Vancouver-based insur-tech firm runs policy purchases through its APOLLO Exchange, the company’s embedded proprietary platform.
“Our digital-forward approach eliminates traditional paper-based processes by leveraging extensive data and intelligent algorithms to quote, collect payment, and issue policies—all without human intervention,” explains Chloe Lyons, Director of Recruitment for APOLLO.
Lyons told Tech Talent Canada that this digital-forward approach is “fast, easy, and redefining insurance distribution.” It’s a transformation that is sweeping Canada’s entire financial technology sector.
The growing APOLLO is hiring for several positions, including software engineers and developers to help continue improving the technology behind the business. “We have several open roles,” confirms Lyons. “We are hoping to connect with top talent to join our team.”
In July, Tech Talent Canada will host its next Job Fair. These seasonal job fairs offer prime opportunities for Canadians to connect with some of the country’s hottest hiring startups and forge epic careers. To find the best people for the job, APOLLO makes use of Tech Talent Canada’s Job Fairs.
“We have attended Tech Talent Canada events in the past and it’s always been a great opportunity to share what we do [and] how we are digitizing insurance,” said Lyons, who noted that the events are full of “individuals passionate about disruption and tech.”
Founded in 2018, Nesto is an online brokerage platform that streamlines the process of securing a mortgage.
Last year the Montreal-based fintech startup raised a $76 million Series B funding round led by Michael Rowell and Michael Paulus, the entrepreneurs behind Assurance IQ, which was sold to Prudential Financial in 2019. The company stated it would use some of the funds “to grow its experienced team of mortgage professionals.”
With a total of $108 million combined capital raised, Nesto is the fifth most-funded proptech startup in Canada.
Toronto-based Flexiti looks and feels like a startup because the vast majority of its growth came within the last couple years, despite its founding back in 2013.
“Taking seven years to reach our first $1 billion in sales volume and only eleven months to surpass the $2 billion mark is a testament to the need for payment choice when customers make purchases to fit their lifestyle and budget,” stated Peter Kalen, CEO of Flexiti, in June.
In 2021, Flexiti ranked on Deloitte’s Canada’s Technology Fast 50, on Deloitte’s North American Technology Fast 500, and on The Globe and Mail’s Canada’s Top Growing Companies. Most recently the company made Communitech’s inaugural Team True North list of rapidly growing Canadian tech companies.
Flexiti is actively hiring for a number of positions in Canada.
Calgary’s Helcim, a payments company that powers small business, closed its Series A funding round in March—excellent timing!
The company will invest in growing its team across the organization, adding more than 150 staff members over the next two years, including developers, and salespeople.
“We built Helcim to provide the payment tools that allow small businesses to thrive by combining our payments-first approach, accessible and easy-to-use software, alongside our knowledgeable and helpful customer service,” said Nic Beique, CEO of Helcim.
Helcim is proudly participating in July’s Tech Talent Canada Job Fair.
Royal Bank of Canada
An incumbent of banking in Canada, RBC is one of Canada’s “Big Five” banks. The innovation from fintech startups across the country has spurred RBC and co. to deliver better products and service for the modern ecosystem.
RBC is one of Canada’s largest and oldest companies, making it a stable choice even in rough seas.
The banking titan is hiring at Tech Talent’s upcoming Job Fair.