In both the finance and technology worlds, strategic partnering with adjacent companies is common and necessary.
Both realms are far too complex for most incumbents, let alone startups, to encompass the whole of.
This, plus the naturally collaborative nature of Canadians, is a big reason why strategic partnerships and integrations are common among local fintechs.
Fintech.ca decided to explore some of this year’s partnerships within Canada’s financial tech space.
CapIntel and Aviso Wealth
Toronto B2B fintech startup CapIntel recently forged a new partnership with Aviso Wealth, one of Canada’s largest independent wealth management firms, to elevate the member experience for its credit union partners across Canada.
This partnership brings CapIntel’s technology to Aviso Wealth’s Canadian credit union partners. Advisors will leverage instant analytics to inform investment decisions, compare investment scenarios, and articulate investment information.
CapIntel’s intuitive platform will add efficiency to the advisor workflow by digitizing proposal and comparison-building tasks, while driving engagement with members through visual assets and interfaces that tell a story of what they’re working toward.
“Providing our credit union partners with access to the latest digital innovations is critical to our continued efforts to improve the advisor and client experience,” stated Wanda Frisk, SVP and Head of Credit Union Wealth Management at Aviso Wealth.
“This first-of-its-kind partnership for CapIntel presents an exciting and unique opportunity to bring CapIntel’s technology to Canadian credit unions,” added James Rockwood, CEO of CapIntel.
Nuula, Merchant Growth, Even Financial
Toronto fintech startup Nuula launched in Canada this year.
Their app provides a range of features to help small business owners stay on top of what matters, like cashflow and commercial metrics.
Nuula’s platform also offers an integrated suite of financial products, including business insurance and loans for different stages.
“Small businesses are at a disadvantage when it comes to financial service offerings and access to capital,” believes John MacKinlay, chief executive officer at Caary Capital. “That’s why innovative fintechs like Nuula are so important.”
The company announced over the summer a partnership with Merchant Growth—described as “Canada’s fastest and most friendly alternative financier”—to enable businesses to secure anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 from within the Nuula app, as well as an integration with Even Financial.
The result of the Even partnership is a personal loan search feature that allows small business owners and early-stage entrepreneurs access to 30 top lenders for personal loan offers up to $250,000.
Nuula also partnered with Toronto neighbour Walnut Insurance on a wellness feature that gives small business owners access to life insurance, meditation programs, and online fitness classes for under $10 per month.
Walnut Insurance and Neo Financial
Walnut Insurance this month announced the completion of a seed round: $4 million in funding for the fledging fintech, which launched nationally from Toronto earlier this year, from ATB Financial and NAventures—National Bank of Canada’s corporate venture capital arm—as well as Harvest Venture Partners, Highline Beta, and N49P.
The Ontario startup offers modern insurance products—such as life insurance memberships with additional wellness subscriptions—through an all-digital platform.
“We are empowering partners to be able to offer innovative insurance products to millions of customers without the need for years of heavy investment or diversion of significant resources from other ongoing priorities,” Derek Szeto, a cofounder and chief executive of Walnut Insurance, stated.
Embedded insurance is predicted to be a $3 trillion dollar market, according to the entrepreneur, “and Walnut is well positioned to be a leader in this industry.”
As brands look to build deeper relationships with customers and expand their revenue streams, Walnut says it provides core infrastructure and access to insurance products that can be embedded into or alongside consumer experiences.
Companies like Calgary’s Neo Financial have integrated with Walnut tech.
“We’re excited to be partnering with the team at Walnut, and to be a part of building a modern insurance infrastructure that can provide more meaningful and relevant insurance journeys to our consumers,” stated Neo Financial CEO Andrew Chau.
Neo is one of Calgary’s hottest fintech startups.
“Neo Financial is a leading example of how we work with partners to create embedded insurance offerings that support consumers’ daily lives, make insurance more accessible to the underinsured, and drive revenue for partners,” Szeto noted.
Founded in 2020, Walnut believes its digital-first approach has flipped the insurance model to build an era of insurance that is marked by accessibility and transparency.
Fintech Connect and Co.
If you’re a client of a Canadian financial services company like Borrowell, EQ Bank, Mogo, or Tangerine, you may owe that relationship to Fintel Connect. More than 50 financial service brands use the Vancouver-based startup to enhance marketing through its performance network, in an excellent showcase of tight-knit Canadian fintech collaboration.
“Our technology is helping consumers uncover product solutions from leading financial institutions and fintechs that solve their unique financial problems,” says founder Nicky Senyard. “In our current economic climate, this is more important than ever.”
Founded in 2019, the startup launched in 2020 and was named to Rocket Builders’ 2021 “Ready to Rocket” list. This has now proven true as the BC company recently announced seed funding to fuel its next stage of growth.
The funding round was led by strategic investment firm BankTech Ventures based in the US and was supported by Canada’s export credit agency Export Development Canada. Established in 2021, BankTech Ventures is the first venture fund created for and by leaders in community banking, bank technology, and fintech.
Leveraging this capital influx, Fintel plans to scale its offering, fast-track new features along the product roadmap, and grow partnerships within the US market, according to a statement from the company.
“Community banks need to be armed with the right capabilities and partners to reach their growth potential,” believes Carey Ransom, Managing Director of BTV.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Fintel Connect currently has 41 employees.