Swoop Funding, an Irish-based financial services company, has officially launched in Canada.
Swoop is looking to help Canadian SMEs discover the right funding solutions to meet their business goals across sources such as loans, equity and grants, as well as helping them easily identify savings on everyday expenses.
Unlike traditional banks, Swoop’s platform is an open banking service that provides users with a centralized location for all of the financial resources, information and advice they need. It’s a personalized finance experience.
Easy to use
Swoop is simple to use:
“You just come to our website, and then you can register and set up your own accounts,” said founder and CEO Andrea Reynolds. “It’s as easy as just integrating your data sources.”
Swoop even allows users to integrate their e-commerce data into the platform.
“If you’re on Shopify or Amazon…you can integrate all of that,” Reynolds said.
Users need to input the type of accounting software they use and answer a few questions about what they are trying to accomplish. This could include opening a store, refinancing something, or getting a working capital loan to hire more employees.
“Then, we show you your matches. You can get instant matching for some of the lenders, where they’ll give you an offer there and then, and some are longer because not everyone in the world is digital yet. In those [cases], you submit it to our team.”
Reynolds said that open banking took off in the U.K. in 2018 and is now slowly making its way into Canada. It allows financial institutions to share customer data (at the customer’s request) with emerging FinTech firms, who partner with them to offer additional services and keep them from falling behind in a highly competitive market.
“They [the competition] will offer you better rates, or your own bank will start to offer you better rates and better service. That’s the whole mission of open banking, to serve customers better,” Reynolds said.
The Canadian launch
Swoop, which started in Ireland and made its way to the U.K. and Australia, is now beginning its journey in Canada.
Reynolds said open banking is starting to take off in Canada, but it’s a slow process because it does involve the government.
“You need the regulator and you need the government behind it. The U.K. got behind this … and the benefit of that not just to customers, but to actually the whole financial services industry has been huge.”
The company has a user base of over 60,000 businesses and over $350m in funding has been secured through it.
Swoop has decided to launch in Canada now mainly due to the huge tech talent pool the nation has to offer, along with its rising small business market.
“It’s easy to launch tech in new geography but it’s not easy to execute it. So we look at access to talent, and that is, I would say the shining face of Canada. Its openness towards immigration so we could send some of the team out to set up access to the talent pool. And then, of course, the biggest point of all is that you have a very healthy SMB sector and [it’s] growing,” Reynolds said.