The Toronto tech scene has been making waves in the past few years. The New York Times lauded the city as a “quietly booming tech town” to rival the major California hubs to the south. CBRE named Toronto the fastest-growing tech city in North America. And Bloomberg recently reported that Toronto “just beat the Bay Area in tech jobs.”
That’s all to say: People are noticing Toronto. But what they might not notice are the micro-trends underpinning the city’s seismic shift toward tech supremacy. Namely, the emergence of fintech in Toronto. This article introduces the burgeoning sector, lists a few major players and innovators, and speculates on fintech’s bright future in “the Six.”
For the uninitiated, fintech is short for “financial technology.” Although it’s a subsection of overall tech, fintech is, itself, a wide umbrella. It encompasses diverse sub sectors like proptech (property technology), digital payments, blockchain, crypto exchanges, digital lending and more.
Why now? Consumers are increasingly looking toward digital spaces for solutions to common manual processes. And finances are no exception. Whether they want to buy a home, take out a line of credit, play the stock markets, or simply pay for dinner – they find convenience and security in financial technologies.
The sector is an ideal fit for Toronto. Like Toronto, fintech is on the rise. It’s scrappy, innovative and willing to prove its mettle against legacy incumbents.
The fintech scene in Toronto runs deep, covering a broad spectrum of subsectors and actors. To explain the scene fully would take an encyclopedia. Nevertheless, here’s an illuminating cross-section of what’s happening in Toronto fintech.
The biggest success story currently is Nobul, a real estate digital marketplace that’s single-handedly disrupting the North American real estate industry. Founded and led by innovator Regan McGee, the company aims to bring “accountability and transparency” to an industry known for its opacity by offering consumers choice, information and a negotiating edge in their relationships with agents. Notably, the company recently topped Deloitte’s Fast 50 list of the fastest-growing tech companies.
Another noteworthy Toronto Fintech is Wealthica, a digital hub for personal finances. The company, which has been gaining starry reviews in the national press, syncs a consumer’s multiple balances, holdings and transactions across institutions in one place. It’s essentially a convenient way to make sense of the often-complex world of personal finance.
And on the investment end of fintech, companies like d1g1t are making a splash. The enterprise wealth management platform is geared toward financial advisory firms, leveraging advanced analytics and big data to help mitigate risk. It trailed Nobul on the Fast 50 list, ranking fourth overall.
These companies are the tip of a massive iceberg. But they demonstrate the deep bench of talent and innovation in the city right now. It’s challenging to speculate where fintech will head next in Toronto. But expect to see diverse innovators and forward-thinkers continue to address the issues that matter most to consumers and investors.