For the past seven years, Ratehub Inc. has laid the foundation for its company without external help, but with a new $12 million financing deal, the company is poised to expand its online insurance tools and digitize the mortgage process, according to one of its co-founders.
“Bootstrapping makes you more conservative, you’re used to always doing things under-resourced,” Alyssa Furtado told ITBusiness.ca. “One of our big strategic priorities is building out insurance comparisons. Now we can build the team to go after home, life and auto, and do that much more aggressively with the capital.”
In addition to adding to its insurance comparison platform, Ratehub wants to help Canadians leave behind what Furtado described as the “archaic” mortgage process currently in use, and go fully digital.
“We see an opportunity to revolutionize the experience for Canadian consumers,” she said, adding the new suite of tools, set to launch later this year, will look similar to the platform’s current quoting engine products, said Furtado.
That will require added cooperation with major banks, which requires a unique approach.
“We’re always trying to push the financial institutions to work together as much as possible, but then also operate within the systems and challenges of today,” said Furtado. “Sometimes you have to support your long-term vision of automation with more manual processes, but that’s all part of disrupting and changing an industry.”
Boston venture firm Elephant Partners LP, which has raised $156 million from investors, took note of the Canadian fintech’s goal to quickly deliver vast amounts of financial information to Canadians and connect them with financial institutions.
“They offer a compelling value proposition to both parties that doesn’t otherwise exist in Canada,” Jeremiah Daly, co-founder and general partner at Elephant, said in a statement.
But reaching Canadians with that proposition has been a challenge, as Canadians remain intensely loyal to their banks, Furtado said.
“I do think that Canada is behind countries like the U.K. and the U.S. in terms of online adoption for comparison shopping. In the financial services, I think that’s because we have such a strong brands,” she said.
However, that makes being a part of the fintech industry that much more exciting, she added, as Canadians are beginning to realize they can place their trust in other platforms outside of their own banking institution.