A fintech company has raised at least $760,000 from industry professionals as it adds the finishing touches to its app, which synchronizes all of a client’s accounts in real time.
Montreal-based Hardbacon, which has already signed a strategic partnership with Desjardins Online Brokerage, will use the money from the seed round to complete the dashboard product - the first of its kind in Canada - and invest in sales and marketing.
The start-up used Frontfundr’s crowdfunding platform and set no minimum investment amount. Using the offering memorandum exemption, it targeted professionals via two products that were already up and running: a 120,000 advisor directory and a lead generation service.
Julien Brault, CEO of Hardbacon, told WP: “The people we targeted were people that understood what we were doing. There’s a lot of financial service professionals like investment advisors, but also people working in banking, analysts and so on.
“That’s really good because we gained a network of people that want us to succeed. Advisors use our directory and they are going to release the Hardbacon app to their clients when the solution is finalized. That’s an exciting process.”
The app, which is slated to launch early 2020, will allow advisors to access a dashboard where they can see all the money they manage for their clients, as well as different custodians like, for example, Wealthsimple and other banks. Hardbacon is in negotiations with institutions that have a large staff of advisors, as well as independents, over deals to use its app.
The firm is targeting a sign-up of 20,000 advisors in the next two years and believes it allows them to have a better understanding of their clients, increasing the opportunities to upscale them.
Brault said: “The average age [of an advisor] is high so some are not interested in changing their practice. We are looking at people that are at the beginning and the middle of their career and want to grow their book.
“It allows them to better serve their clients and also acquire new qualified clients that they know have the level of assets they're looking for because they're plugged into the platform.”
Hardbacon backs its expertise in the wealth space and believes it gives them an edge over other broader lead generation companies. Knowing the asset levels of clients and having the ability to retarget those that search its directory means it is well positioned for the next stage of development.
Brault added: “We have expertise and experience in the industry. I would be scared to have a firm that doesn’t know anything about regulation qualify clients. You know, there's a lot of stuff you can’t say to a prospective investor.
“With the dashboard, advisors already have various products for the accounts that they are already managing, so there is competition. The advantage we have is the synchronization is real time with all the accounts, wealth accounts that are not linked and that are not managed by the advisor.
“In Canada, there are no direct competitors. In the US, eMoney is kind of doing this. We plan to go into the US eventually but over the next 18 months, we’re focused on Canada.”