A Startup Canada Podcast Hosted by Dr. Sean Wise
Fed up with the hold the big six bank has on Canada’s financial industry, Alyssa Furtado, Co-Founder and CEO of Ratehub, chose to begin building this fintech giant that serves as Canada’s solution for comparing mortgage rates and tools.
Ratehub continues to make shopping for mortgages and other financial products more accessible to those that use it. Alyssa has no plans of slowing down, in fact, offering these kinds of solutions to Canadians is just the beginning, Alyssa is striving to offer more solutions through her platform and continue educating Canadians on all things that are part of the financial world.
Describe how you became a fintech disruptor in Canada.
AF: I was doing some consulting in the States at the time and I noticed that consumers in the states were starting a lot of their research to find the best products, online. When I came back to Canada, I realized we were a few years behind with this. My co-founder and I knew that Canadians needed a place to go online, where they can shop for financial products.
Our product shows Canadians a wide range of providers, we work with the Big Banks but we also work with other organizations that Canadians are not familiar with, but still have great quality products to offer.
How has Ratehub changed how banking and mortgages are done in Canada?
AF: Ratehub shows Canadians that there are better deals out there. Often, there is a hidden cost to loyalty, the more loyal you are to one financial institution, the worse the offers can be. At Ratehub, we really value our proposition as making that process of comparing, and ultimately educating Canadians, a lot easier.
You recently raised an impressive 12 million dollars series A investment. Often, series A investments happen after you have found product-market fit, and after you have proven your business model. Was this the case for you?
AF: We are a bit of a unique case because we bootstrapped our company for the first seven years. Along the way, it was important for us to ensure we were building a profitable business. We got to a point where we were comfortable and could continue how we were, but we asked ourselves, will we ever be bold enough and go all in unless we bring in the external capital? We viewed this external funding as the push that we needed.
What are your plans, what are you going to do with the 12 million dollar investment?
AF: We have three major things that we are looking to do. First and foremost, we are going to scale our organization by investing and building our leadership talent. We also want to help Canadians do more of the mortgage process online and to help and improve this experience for them. And thirdly, we are going to launch into helping Canadians save in insurance as well.
What do you think most first-time founders get wrong when it comes to raising capital? And, what do you think is your own biggest learning as an entrepreneur?
AF: I think feeling the pressure to grow, scale, and spend before they have really found the product market fit or acquisition fit. Scaling too quickly seems to actually hurt first-time founders and their business before it helps them. I am empathetic because I can see how and why it happens but I think at the beginning it is incredibly important to focus, you need to find the most important thing and be the best at it.