Last year, Fintech.ca reported on a Vancouver Island startup that was conceived in 2021 to help Canadians manage money and build credit.
Victoria-based Billi Labs in November launched Boost, a credit building feature, in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, allowing newcomers to report rent payments directly to credit bureaus in order to establish credit in Canada.
“Canada doesn’t recognize immigrants’ pre-Canada credit history,” Daniel Bernhard, CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, noted at the time. “Homeowners have always been able to establish and build their credit with mortgage payments, but most newcomers are renters.”
Bernhard said he was “proud” to be a partner in what was chalked up as a “transformative initiative.” The promise of the BC-born fintech was shining.
Unfortunately, however, Billi Labs is now shuttering.
One of the founders says it is because the startup does not have enough capital to keep the business afloat.
“With a heavy heart, I must share that our journey has reached an unexpected end,” chief executive Ty Sinclair said in a recent statement. “Despite the incredible support and enthusiasm from our users, and the hard work and dedication of our amazing team, we were unable to secure the funding required to continue operating Billi.”
Sinclair dreamed of creating a digital dashboard “that would act as a personal chief financial officer, providing you with a clear understanding of your money, where it was, and where it was likely to go.”
“Our mission was to empower every individual to make informed financial decisions, harnessing the power of open finance to transform abstract numbers into meaningful information,” the CEO wrote.
Despite Billi’s shortcoming, Sinclair remains “optimistic about the untapped potential in the fintech landscape.”
“I firmly believe that the knowledge and experiences we’ve gained along the way will serve as a catalyst for future advancements,” the entrepreneur stated. “My hope is that others will take inspiration from our work and continue the mission of equipping Canadians with the essential financial tools they need to flourish.”
Let us take Sinclair’s final word to heart: “Cherish the lessons and memories,” he writes, “carrying them with us into new and promising endeavours.”
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