Desjardins backs Finofo

Cross-border businesses have long grappled with exchange rate volatility. While traditional solutions like FX insurance have existed, they often seem like “black boxes”, according to Charles Maranda, the co-founder and CFO of Finofo .

Seeking to bring clarity to the largely opaque FX industry – a sector that saw $156 trillion in global cross-border payment flows last year – Finofo aims to democratize foreign exchange processes. Maranda expressed concern that businesses, particularly SMBs, often lack clarity in their FX dealings, being directed by brokers without comprehensive understanding.

Maranda, who once served as a financial engineer at the National Bank of Canada, co-founded Finofo with Prateek Sodhi and Malav Shah. They recently introduced a free platform for businesses. This platform offers multi-currency accounts, simplifies currency conversions, and automates account payables. Finofo’s monetization strategy, mirroring banks, relies on interchange spreads and payment fees, yet offers prices lower than most banks.

With a vision to develop a “super app” for business finance operations, Finofo aims to integrate various financial planning processes into one platform, easing the cumbersome currency conversion process for businesses.

The startup, based primarily in Calgary, has successfully secured a $1.25 million pre-seed round, despite being early-stage. Motivate Venture Capital led the funding round, with participation from other investors such as Desjardins .

Maranda acknowledges the challenges in establishing trust in a new financial planning app. To this end, Finofo is heavily investing in customer service and education, embodying the principle of going the extra mile in the early stages.