Born in Canada’s financial capital, consumer lending startup goPeer is reimagining the way people lend and borrow money. The company is Canada’s first regulated peer-to-peer lending platform, offering a seamless experience for Canadians to take control of their finances.
Making Lending Accessible
Most people are broadly familiar with trading and investing systems, but goPeer founder Marc-Antoine Caya noticed a lack of access around trading options like convertible debentures. Unlike traditional stocks, these long-term debt investments are not found on exchanges and require very large sums of money to trade, meaning that participation is usually possible only by “the big guys.” Dissatisfied by the lack of accessibility and visibility of these opportunities to everyday consumers, Caya decided to bring about the change he wanted to see in the industry.
As its name suggests, goPeer connects Canadians looking for a loan with Canadians looking to invest. The platform facilitates connections between investors and credit-deserving Canadians in a secure, user-friendly process, operating from two client ends: the investors, who provide the capital, and the borrowers, who use the money and pay back monthly sums plus an interest rate.
This disrupts the traditional lending model by allowing Canadian investors to access a previously inaccessible high-yield asset class. Users can get started in just 5 minutes with as little as $10 - and still earn monthly repayments from borrowers. “We’ve made the minimum investment amount low because we want to encourage people to build a diversified portfolio,” says Caya. “The self-serve platform offers a personalized set of recommendations commensurate with an individual’s risk tolerance, allowing them to invest in many different borrowers to improve their risk profile.”
goPeer’s community-based platform sets it apart from other private investment platforms like Wealthsimple and Robinhood. It increases accessibility and affordability in a sector that is traditionally dominated by large financial institutions, redefining power dynamics in the finance sector, and shifting influence from profit-driven organizations to everyday individuals.
On top of that, the startup doesn’t earn interest revenue, instead placing the focus on providing fair rates to both parties and an optimal end-to-end experience.
goPeer has been at ventureLAB since its early days. Over the past 2 years, Caya has been part of ventureLAB’s Accelerated Growth and Capital Investment Program. “ventureLAB has helped us take our product to market,” says Caya. “We worked closely with their expert advisory team - particularly Garry Chan and Yuri Navarro - to learn how to manage a team and grow our company.”
Caya also values the founder network he accesses through ventureLAB. The community provides an opportunity to meet other founders to offer each other support and guidance.
With ventureLAB’s guidance, Caya has honed goPeer’s pitch for investors. Most recently, Caya pitched at ventureLAB’s Demo Day, featuring goPeer and 6 other innovative companies in venutreLAB’s Capital Investment Program. Dozens of investors were in attendance to hear companies in the ecosystem, including:
From raising their pre-seed round, to receiving over $100M in loan applications in just a couple of years, the team at goPeer is ambitious about its growth plans and product offerings. “We’re looking to build a billion dollar company that is the leading provider of alternative and private investments while making high yield fixed income investments available to everyday investors,” says Caya.
The company is actively fundraising their seed round to expand the technology they have built, grow their user base, and expand their operations. Caya has ambitious growth plans to share this tech with all of North America to help more people improve their financial well being.
About ventureLAB’s Capital Investment Program
ventureLAB’s Capital Investment Program is tailor-made for companies who are ready to pursue angel or seed-stage rounds of investment. ventureLAB guides participants through an intensive program focusing on elevating pitches, connecting with aligned investors, and developing long-term capital strategies. To become a part of the program, join ventureLAB today.
ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 4,000 jobs and raise more than $200 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets.