May 3, 2023: A Supersized Round
plus: learn more about LenderBidding, the dangers of AI and the mistakes that have defined these Founders companies today
What is LenderBidding?
LenderBidding is proud to offer Canada's only online auction platform for mortgages.
Our system is designed to connect borrowers requiring private mortgage funds with over 45 of the most prominent Mortgage Investment Corporations in the industry, all of whom compete to provide the most favorable mortgage terms and rates possible.
What was the insight/reason that led you to launch this business?
Working as private lenders for 10+ years and lending hundreds of millions of dollars, we were frustrated watching Canadians being taken advantage of by bad mortgage brokers and predatory lenders.
How did you get started?
We started developing LenderBidding two years ago and in 2022, we launched a one-year pilot with the largest independent mortgage brokerage in Canada. After onboarding 700 users and over 45 of the biggest lenders in Canada, the pilot was an overwhelming success.
How did you find your co-founders?
We knew each other through the lending industry and became close friends. We both saw issues in the space and wanted to do something to fix the problem.
How did you get your first customer?
We started connecting with customers through digital marketing strategies, including content creation and launching paid ads on a variety of platforms.
What is the long-term vision?
To be the largest alternative lending platform in North America and expand into other industries that offer alternative lending options.
Interesting metrics (number of customers, growth in the last year, etc)
We funded over $42,000,000 in our first year and helped nearly 100 Canadians secure the best terms for their private mortgages.
Who are your customers and how do you help them?
Our customers are anyone who doesn't qualify for traditional financing due to their credit, self-employment, or change in financial status. We also support those who need short-term funds to help with a new home purchase or investment property.
What is your biggest victory? What setback(s) did you overcome?
Our biggest concern was knowing if lenders would actually use the platform and bid on mortgages. During our pilot project, we were pleased to see that not only did lenders use the platform, but they enjoyed it too.
What piece of advice would you like to pass on to other Founders?
Don't let your foot off the gas or get discouraged by any setbacks. You're closer to getting to where you want to be than you think.
What are the highlights of working at your company?
It's extremely rewarding to see our customers being supported rather than taken advantage of, and equipping them with solutions they may not have realized existed.
Anything else you would like to highlight about your company?
We are proud to be disrupting an industry as large as the private lending space. While many do not know much about it, at $50 billion dollars - it cannot be ignored.
Quick Takes: Super.com raises a Supersized round
What is the news?
Super.com raised $60m USD in equity and $25m USD in a credit facility led by Inovia with participation from a "super" group of angels including execs from Shopify, Ancestry.com, Slack, Substack, and other companies you know.
How were they able to raise?
Two things: Traction and a growth story.
Super started as a travel site and found its customers by targeting the underserved market of lower-income Americans.
This strategy led them to 5m customers worldwide, but more importantly, an understanding of the needs of this underserved market.
Super used this knowledge to launch a cashback card and position its app as a 'super app'.
This positioning and approach seem to be working as the company is projecting $1b in GMV this year and $100m in net revenue.
What is unique about this strategy?
Most companies in the tech ecosystem either target customers that look like them or enterprises. This meant that the lower-income Americans were largely underserved as developers didn't understand their needs or assumed unit economics would not be worthwhile.
Super's positioning allows them to uniquely position their super app to serve the unique needs of their customer and own a large market.
What are the takeaways for the community?
The wisdom of building a company to solve your own problems may be true but it limits the ability for you to potentially find larger opportunities.
To truly understand your customer you need to go beyond customer development.
Super.com founder Hussein told the TechTO community how they force employees to spend a week living like their customers to have empathy and solve their problems.
Catch the full story and perspective from the Founder and CEO of Super from our recent Best of TechTO event.
Quick Takes returns with a brand new episode tomorrow May 4, streaming LIVE across the TechTO platforms at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT. You can also catch up on past episodes wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Help us build the next edition of TechTO's Rocketships List. Leave your feedback and help us spotlight the top companies and startups in Canadian Tech that are taking people's careers to the moon! Leave us your feedback
What are the dangers of AI?
The DMZ awards $35,000 to black-led startups Blue Guardian, Gia Health and Scooli
Cohere, a Toronto-based generative AI startup, raised $250m US at around a $2b valuation (per the New York Times)
Get unparalleled access to today's top Founders from some of the top tech startups and companies across the country. Learn about their journey, struggles, and challenges they overcame to build their current business
Why is this cool? CrowdRiff is empowering destination marketers to showcase their unique destinations through powerful visual storytelling solutions. They're looking for a DevOps Engineer to build a robust, scalable, secure, and operational infrastructure to meet the needs of their growing customer base.
Why is this cool? Boosted.ai provides AI tools to asset managers to augment their equity capital markets research. Working with senior members of Boosted’s management and product teams, you will be involved in setting up new accounts and onboarding new customers.
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