Ontario’s rising small business market and immense tech talent made it the right location for expansion Swoop Funding, an Irish-based financial services company, has officially launched in Ontario, Canada. Since 2018, they have expanded to the United Kingdom, Australia and now Canada, where they officially launched in Toronto in 2021. Since launching in Ontario, Swoop Canada has struck a chord, building up its Canadian client base to over 500 companies, and is looking at tripling its team within 12 months. “Finding talent to fill those positions will be a cinch,” Burke says, “thanks to Ontario’s abundance of terrific educational institutions.” Unlike traditional banks, Swoop’s platform is an open banking service that provides users with a centralized location for all the financial resources and information they need to find the right funding solution for their business. It’s a personalized finance experience—Swoop can help businesses find and apply for federal programs and innovation funds like the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) or the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program. Swoop can also help a business shop for a line of credit, commercial mortgages and even raise equity by matching with venture capitalists and angel investors. “Our purpose is to serve the small businesses out there that really do struggle with access to capital. That’s why we exist. That’s what our mission is, and the funding gap out there for small businesses is enormous,” said Daire Burke, Head of Swoop Canada. But what makes Swoop Funding stand out is that its service is completely free for SMEs, with revenue coming from the other side of the marketplace. Ushering in a banking revolution with open banking One attractive feature that made Toronto, Canada’s financial capital, so attractive to Swoop is the government’s commitment to introduce open banking in the next two to three years, and Swoop is driving to be among the first to usher in this transformation. The forthcoming open banking legislation would allow consumers to share their financial accounts with emerging fintech firms to keep them from falling behind in a competitive market. “I believe that Swoop can help small businesses maximize the value open banking has to offer.”,” Burke said. “The ethos behind all this is all of your data sources are out there. It’s your data; you own it,” said Burke, noting the time savings of not having to assemble data and search for the best business deal, one outreach at a time. Why follow that approach, he says, when there are “solutions out there like [ours] that can save you all that time by doing and packaging up those applications and bringing back the best offers?” Ontario provides an environment to flourish “The talent ecosystem around Toronto is really strong,” he said. “Universities have done a great job at recognizing industry needs, [and] some pretty high profile, successful companies around Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo area have left a legacy [of accelerators and incubators] essentially built around helping businesses start up and scale up.” Burke noted that the Toronto-Waterloo corridor has the largest tech cluster in North America outside of Silicon Valley. “That speaks to the type of environment in which what we are offering might flourish.” Swoop plans to continue preparing for open banking legislation in Canada and is looking to expand into the United States in the near future. But if it does, Burke says its home base will remain in Toronto. “We see the Toronto and surrounding area as the ideal place to build our North American hub.” Learn more about Canada’s financial sector and some of the leading companies that call Ontario home.