For FinTech startup Nuula, it’s all about the partners. Nuula has joined forces with two Canadian startups, Caary and OneVest (a FinTech startup co-founded by A&S alumnus Jakob Pizzera (MFE 2011)), to launch what it calls its super app in Canada.
While the financial services app for small businesses has previously been available in the United States (US), the Canadian version is beefed up with integrations from Nuula’s two partners.
Nuula claims its new app helps small business owners track their cash flow in real time, aids them in monitoring financial and commercial metrics, and allows them to track customer sentiment, including online ratings and reviews.
Caary’s corporate credit card is offered in the Nuula app to Canadian customers, while OneVest is providing personalized investment portfolios within the app.
Nuula first launched its app in the US in 2021 after rebranding from BFS Capital, which operated for 20 years offering small business loans. Based out of the US, BFS Capital began its transformation to a company with a real-time data and analytics app in 2019, when it opened a Toronto engineering hub.
At the time of the US launch, Nuula CEO Mark Ruddock (BSc 1988) spoke about building a broader partner ecosystem through which Nuula hopes to offer a number of financial services to its customers. That now seems to be coming to fruition.
In an interview with BetaKit, Ruddock said he sees the rise of embedded FinTech partnerships coming to the forefront. “An example of this is the next generation of exciting new FinTechs that are being built and which are designed to be embedded in a range of third-party platforms,” Ruddock said.
In Nuula’s case, that means catering to small businesses globally by partnering with FinTechs locally, market by market. “Much of financial services requires local competency, and an understanding of each jurisdiction’s rules and regulations,” Ruddock said. “That is what makes partnerships so attractive — it’s easier to partner with local, best-in-class FinTechs than it is to build something from scratch that serves all needs in all markets.”
Ruddock noted that every partnership is slightly different. Some use a revenue-sharing model, while others are paid for with the onboarding of new customers. Still others are paid through a lifetime revenue share, or per transaction. “We work with a lot of different partners, and allow small businesses to access the Nuula app for free, so we are very flexible when it comes to putting the right model in place,” he said.
He also pointed out that Nuula’s partners gain access to what he said is a rapidly growing pool of small business customers, along with insights into the health of each business.
“As an app that tracks financial performance, we’re able to pre-qualify customers and find signals of financial health,” Ruddock said. “We are also able to monitor the performance of these companies over time and provide ongoing signals of health to our partners. These are insights that many FinTechs would not be able to gather on their own.”
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