November 19, 2020
Ario, a Canadian startup that connects small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with lenders through their digital platform, has been purchased by another company in the small business lending space, Thinking Capital. Stéphane Marceau, Thinking Capital’s CEO, says that this deal will allow the company to “build on a cutting-edge cloud-based financial platform, designed from the ground up to serve small businesses.” Thinking Capital will look to establish synergies by pairing the company’s existing lending-partner network with Ario’s simple and convenient web-based platform.
Since their first office opened in Ottawa in 2017, Ario has had success in the “lending-as-a-service” market through the implementation of their digital banking platform. Ario’s software allows borrowers to browse a variety of financing options, which are customized by algorithms that analyze a company’s financial data and provide solutions that address their specific needs. As Thinking Capital’s CEO noted, the economy has become “substantially more digital over the last months” and convenient access to capital is now invaluable for the small businesses they serve.
This type of technology is in high demand following the financial hardships experienced by most SMBs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Ario’s CEO, Avinash Chidambaram, has expressed how important addressing these issues will be to the company moving forward. He stated that the parties are “excited to have become one company dedicated to empowering small businesses as they either find their way back to growth after a difficult period or to simply accelerate their continued growth momentum.” The efforts to assist SMBs through the pandemic will expand on the current COVID-19 Small Business Resource Centre currently offered by Thinking Capital.
The history between these two companies began in 2018, when Purpose Financial acquired Thinking Capital and shortly thereafter invested $10 million into Ario to help fund development of their digital platform. Ario has since offered a “Bill Market” solution to their customers, which is a service offered by Thinking Capital in collaboration with Equifax. As a unified company, Thinking Capital and Ario will now seek to expand their integration moving forward, likely to the benefit of Canadian SMBs seeking short-term financing options.
Author: Sasha Seeber